Mexicans At Night
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Mexicans At Night

Band Rock Latin


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Absorbing the songs of their fathers"

CORPUS CHRISTI — El Paso’s Mexicans at Night is a spare duo that makes stripped-down bilingual rock designed to get listeners out of the chair and onto the dance floor.

But while the band’s brand of quirky and infectious pop is often subtle, its logo — a silhouette of the musicians inspired by a traffic sign advising caution in U.S. border locales with high rates of illegal border crossings — is not.

Singer-guitarist Rafa Pistola said the band wasn’t looking to make a political statement with its logo; rather, the logo is an effort to subvert the negative connotation of the original sign itself.

“The sign can be seen along the U.S. border (with Mexico), I think. I know that it’s common in California,” Pistola said. “And so we wanted to take something that some people see as negative and twist it around.”

Mexicans at Night will perform at The Texan Saturday as part of its first extended tour, a weeklong run that will take the group to New Orleans before heading West.

Formed in the summer of 2007, Mexicans at Night are Pistola on vocals and guitar and Alex Rocka on drums. While two-piece combos are becoming more common in this post-White Stripes age, Mexicans at Night taps Mexican folk music influences such as corridos and cumbias to create a dance-friendly sound that sets it apart from power-chord blasting peers.

To date, the duo has released one album, the 2008 demo “Quetzalcoatl in a Space Shuttle.” The recording recently was remastered and released eponymously with three bonus tracks taken from a new album set for release later this year. The band plans to release its sophomore album, “The Steeve,” following the tour.

Pistola said that while he’s hopeful the band will break through to a national audience, his goal is to build up El Paso’s music scene.

“For our band, my goal is simple,” he said. “I want to make music that people will still listen to a thousand years from now.”

If you go
- The Caller-Times (Courpus Christy TX)

"Mexicans at Night: music with ideas"

Mexicans at Night first played as a trio in Las Vegas, which they have a video recording of on their MySpace Web site. Although Ralph has played with the group on tours, Mexicans at Night has yet to play a local show as a complete group.

Pistola said other than the small tours and weekend warrior gigs they usually do, Mexicans at Night's main concern is not touring. Spreading their ideas and supporting the El Paso scene come first.

"This place (referring to music scene) should be skyrocketing," Rocka said.

The trinity has been recognized by many, such as What's up El Paso, the El Paso Times and out-of-town sources, also receiving college radio play in other towns such as Fort Worth and San Antonio.

"To come back home, its hard to comprehend that our college radio doesn't do anything like that," Rocka said.

Although they credit their success to living and growing up in El Paso, Mexicans at Night feel that El Paso has some of the strongest homegrown talent, but a lack of support from larger local outlets, Rocka said.

"Musically, we have more influence here (El Paso), the problem is stations like KLAQ, if its not approved they'll take you down," Rocka said. "That's why everyone leaves because of that control."

By playing original music at local venues, self-releasing their own records, and supporting other El Paso acts, the band will continue to push El Paso in the direction of other established music hubs such as Austin, Seattle and Los Angeles.

"We have one of the biggest music scenes when it comes to diversity," Pistola said. "We're different because we are isolated."

For their upcoming release "The Steeze," Mexicans at Night will once again self-release, but this time around on their new label called Division del Norte records.

"They're (albums) self released anyway, but we're going to make it official," Rocka said.

Along with plans for a CD release show on Nov. 14 at Take II, Mexicans at Night will be performing in-and-around town for the next month.

For more information about Mexicans at Night visit

Justin Anthony Monarez may be reached at
- The Prospector (University of Texas at El Paso)

"Mexicans at Night"

Have you heard Mexicans at Night from El Paso? Been lucky enough to see them live? I first listened to them yesterday in advance of what I expected to be a pretty good show at Blue Moon and was blown away by how great they were. If I’m not mistaken, last night was their first show in Seattle, and I’ll be first in line when they come back. - Back Beat Seattle

"Charlando Con La Gringa"

On the other side of the sonic spectrum is Mexicans at Night. El Paso’s new favorite power duo make a single guitar and drum set sound as mind-blowing as Pink Floyd, Café Tacuba and Brian Eno going bat crazy in a jam session. They’re selling out shows all over town thanks to their irresistible combination of catchy pop with a genre-defying spiciness that you haven’t quite heard before but would love to dance to for the rest of your life.

Mexicans at Night have a new release out in February, which is actually a double feature: Mexicans at Night and The Steeze. The first is a re-recorded, re-mixed and re-mastered version of their first-ever full-length, Quetzalcoatl in a Space Shuttle. A lo-fi version of the album was put out last spring but the band didn’t feel it had captured their potential; hence, they went back into the studio and tried again, this time working on bringing their raw live power to the forefront. The Steeze is more of an EP, giving a glimpse of their upcoming second all-original album, featuring three songs that will be included in the full-length once it’s ready later this year.

Mexicans at Night will be celebrating this release with a performance and party featuring giveaways on Friday, Feb. 20 at the Percolator Café. They’ll follow it up with a tour throughout the southern U.S. with the aim of getting back home and back into the recording studio as quickly as possible in order to get innumerable song ideas down on tape.

“We have this vision of driving down the road and dying in a car accident and thinking, ‘We never got the chance to record those songs!’,” says singer/guitarist Rafael Pistola. “We don’t want to do that, so we try to record everything whenever we can. We’re very type-A like that.”
- El Paso Magazine

"Alfresco Fridays Mexicans at Night"

Come to Alfresco Fridays at the Arts Festival Plaza adjacent to the El Paso Museum of Art and enjoy free, live music from one of El Paso's finest bands, Mexicans at Night. Don't be scared of their logo, these kids really rock. - Newspaper Tree - EL Paso's online newspaper


Album #1 = Quezalcoatl in a Space Shuttle-12 songs - 2008
Album #2 = The Steeze- 12 songs - 2008
Album #3 = (Upcoming)- 12 songs - 2009



Mexicans at Night is rock 'n' roll at its purest: rebellion, reinvention, defiance and, of course, dance.
Singer-guitarist Rafa Pistola and drummer Alex Rocka are thirty-somethings with years of musical experience under their belts with bands like Fuga, Fewel Project and Operador. Despite coming from humble beginnings, the two found ways to express themselves through music, even without instruments. “I never played drums when I was a kid,” Rocka explains. “We weren’t really poor, but we didn’t have money and we always lived in apartments so there was no way I could play drums. I learned to play the drums in high school—I used to air drum for hours. It sounds funny, but that’s the way that I would practice! I was 25 before I could afford my own drums and my own place to play and store them.”

Both were raised in El Paso, Texas, although Rocka was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and came to the U.S. as a child. Fluent in Spanish, the two give mad props to their bicultural, binational existence, recognizing that the incredibly unique and powerful frontera environment that bred them is what makes their music so good. “Being on the border, we get to hear both sides of the story,” says Pistola. “We’re right here where things are happening, not in the middle of America where the media’s only telling us one side.

As fun and creative as they are about their art, they’re also passionate and serious about the politics surrounding who and where they are. “In the U.S., you get more time for coming over trying to work on roofs than you do if you molest a child. That to me is really f*cked up,” says Rocka. “I take immigration very personally because that’s how my family got here, but I didn’t feel like I was invading—I’m not a bad person.”

The compelling mishmash that is Mexicans at Night’s sound hearkens to what being American is supposed to be—multiethnic, multicultural, the proverbial melting pot. Their music comes out of rock and its progeny—metal, grunge—as well as Latin beats like cumbia, mambo and jazz. Explaining their songwriting process and what inspires them, Rocka says, “We go way back to when I was a kid in Chihuahua and my grandma would listen to 50’s mambo, corridos from the Mexican revolution and cumbias from the 70’s. And we play in the same method as say the corridos; it could be the same beat over and over again, but not one of them is the same because they all tell a different story. That’s our mission—to be storytellers, not extravagant rock stars. Of course, we want people to dance and have fun and they do.”

The decision to stay a twosome rather than expand by adding more players hasn’t cramped their style in the least. Rather, what makes Mexicans at Night so mind-blowing is their ability to generate so much excellent noise from just two people, one guitar and a drum set. It’s nothing accidental or skimpy—there’s a very well-thought process behind it. “Not having a lead guitarist, we eliminated the solos and different breaks,” Rocka explains. “It’s all rhythm and power chords.” Pistola adds, “My songwriting style had always been attuned to the two-man band, but this is the first time I’ve been able to keep the purity of a song I’ve written. Before it was always like, ‘Let’s see how the five guitars are going to sound with this and where the solo’s going to go…’”

Despite the very specific locale they sprung from and their devotion to it as a source of inimitable inspiration, Mexicans at Night know their stuff is universal. “Music to me is reflective of our city—we don’t have a lot of money or fancy clothes, but we do have content, and I like to think the songs are like that,” says Pistola. “Rocka doesn’t do a lot of fancy stuff and we don’t use a lot of pedals. All that’s just bells and whistles, like somebody driving up in a Lexus when they could’ve walked. We want a lo-fi sensibility, which is the way we really are in life. I think in a strange way aesthetically that’s what people want.”

“I think that what we do appeals to people who don’t know about our culture or background,” adds Rocka. “It’s American enough to appeal to sensibilities of American kids. It’s good enough rock ‘n’ roll. How are these kids going to relate to it, you ask? They’re going to relate to it automatically.

“We don’t have a problem because rhythm is such an international thing, whether you’re Anglo or black or brown,” Rocka continues. “You have to have lead going through your veins if you can hear a really good rhythm and not tap your feet.”

The two also feel strongly about being cultural ambassadors to the kids who look up to them as leaders in coolness and rebellion, taking advantage of their attention to try to teach a few heartfelt lessons. “We’re trying to be the next generation of heroes and role models,” says Rocka. “I think the Beatles had a lot to do with spreading the English language around the world—everybody wanted to be like them. Think about that cultural influence! At this time, when Hispan