With a communal love for sombreros, Spanish, chi-chis and Black Sabbath, Metalachi was born under the marriage of mariachi and metal to become the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band.
El Cucuy, the trumpet player for Metalachi, said the band members learned to play mariachi first, but were quickly influenced by Black Sabbath. Instead of using electric instruments, they played their mariachi instruments.
Metalachi, with its roots in Mexico, came together as five men with a simple love for mariachi and hard rock. Now they travel across the country to entertain audiences with their shocking costumes and novel form of music.
Vega De La Rockha, lead vocals for Metalachi, said that metal and mariachi work well together because people need a little spice in their lives.
La Rockha said in their case, Metalachi decided to put some of that spice into metal.
After playing in Austin recently during this year’s South By Southwest, the band members expressed their excitement to play in Austin again and looked forward to their crowd of Austin amigos.
Playing rock and metal classics such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, Metalachi’s music resonates long after hearing the iconic blend of the mariachi trumpet, violin and guitars with the piercing sound of La Rockha’s vocals.
While the band’s music successfully creates a cohesive sound and subgenre of its own, some people are still skeptical of the combination of two unlikely genres of music. Typically fans of hard metal aren’t fans of traditional mariachi, and vice versa.
“On both genres you have many people that are purists and think of it as a sin to change the music,” El Cucuy said. “First, you need an open mind, second, you need the passion, third, you need the know-how and the commitment.”
El Cucuy said mariachi is great because it is very traditional, but the arrangement of the two genres together is what feels right.
“Metal lets me be free from anger, hate and bad energy,” La Rockha said. “It helps for some odd reason to let all the fear out, and it heals the pain of loss. Mariachi makes you fall in love because it’s fun, but it’s also my roots, my language and what I stand for. It’s a way of life, keeping you gentle, bringing the family together … it’s passion.”
This passion comes across on stage as audience members become part of Metalachi’s performance.
“Our fans love to sing along with us, and the girls love to come up on stage and get serenaded,” La Rockha said. “Without our devoted fans, our shows wouldn’t be what they always are.”
Maximilian “Dirty” Sanchez said his favorite thing about performing is watching emotions change across the audience’s faces as they rock out. From shocked, to confused, to enraged, to orgasmic, Metalachi provokes its audience in multiple ways.
“Our shows are like a big fiesta. We love to be on stage, playing, laughing and soaking up all the chi-chi love,” El Cucuy said. “But we have all people … All together and all amigos singing together, but songs of metal music.”
Clad in face paint, outrageous costumes, long hair and unusual hats, La Rockha said the sombreros are the most important part of the band’s costumes. Having lost count of how many girls have asked him for his hat, La Rockha said the sombreros are what gives Metalachi its power, much like Samson and his long hair.
“Our sombreros are part of who we are!” El Cucuy said. “Is like Magnum, P.I. without his mustache, or Lindsey Lohan without her going to jail drama.”
With it being the 21st century, you would think someone would have come up with the idea of metal and mariachi being played together by now, but it takes a bold group of people to mix these genres.
“Others would be afraid of what people would say,” “Dirty” Sanchez said. “But we don’t give a shit!”