Rodrigo y Gabriela: 2023

Rodrigo y Gabriela (photo by Ebru Yildiz, PR)
by Eric Holland | 09/04/2023 | 12:01am

Rodrigo y Gabriela (photo by Ebru Yildiz, PR)

When Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero of Rodrigo y Gabriela were both sixteen years old, they applied to the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City and both were rejected. This may have been the best thing that ever happened to the pair, setting them off on a fiercely independent and largely unprecedented path.

Early fans of the extraordinary duo may have heard about Tierra Ácida (Acid Land), the thrash metal band they left behind to set out as a duo on an adventure that is still unfolding. When Rodrigo y Gabriela were in town recently for their show at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, I had a chance to sit down with Gabriela whose brilliance on guitar is only matched by her incandescent smile.

We spoke about her role as the group’s rhythmic engine and how it grew along with the enthusiasm of their audiences. She also offered insights into their new album, In Between Thoughts…A New World, and discussed how they recorded it spontaneously during the pandemic in the same spirit as the musicians on the fated Titanic. She also explained how Rodrigo’s guitarmanship on his Fender Jaguar was a natural evolution following 2019's Grammy-winning Mettavolution, and how the orchestral and electronic parts came to be.

Finally, she touched on how their own spirituality, specifically their connection with the ancient Hindu tradition of Advaita Vedanta, helped to create a blueprint for the album as well as a headspace for their performances.

Later, they also recorded three songs for us, all taken from In Between Thoughts ... A New World: "True Nature," "Egoland," and "Descending to Nowhere."

[Interview recorded on 6/27/23; Engineered by Jim O'Hara and produced by Meghan Offtermatt.]

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