NOVEL
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NOVEL

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POP-PUNK'S MEXICAN MOMENT
Reared On MySpace And MTV, Anglo-style Alternative Rockers Break Through Below The Border
BY AYALA BEN-YEHUDA
Allison. Zoé. Motel. Panda. Novel: The newest trend in Mexican music is dominated by young bands with one-word names and a style reminiscent of Anglo pop-punk and alternative rock. Major labels are adapting to a movement fueled by video and the Internet to a degree not seen before in Mexico.
Unlike Mexican rock pioneers Maná and Café Tacuba, which incorporate Latin elements in their music, the new groups are young enough to have grown up on and still be in the target audience of MTV. Borrowing from Anglo groups is not new in Mexico, but this time the sound is heavily influenced by pop-punk bands like Blink-182 and Green Day. One band, EMI's Zoé, also draws on British groups that would land on alternative rock stations in the United States, like the Cure.
"I guess the statement of doing music with some Mexican element, it went away," says Camilo Lara, managing director of EMI Music Mexico.
Four of the nominees in the breakthrough artist category at this year's Premios MTV Latinoamérica—Allison, Zoé, Motel and Panda—are in the new Mexican rock genre. Another leader in the style, Universal's División Minúscula, is nominated in the alternative artist category. All five of those bands have had top 10 albums on the Mexican charts.
"They're very video-driven," says José Tillán, senior VP of music and talent for MTV Networks Latin America and MTV Tr3s, the bilingual U.S. channel set to launch Sept. 25. "It's kind of funny for them to see themselves on the channel they actually watch as a reference point for music."
A few of the Mexican bands have fans in other Latin countries, but the movement "is in the infancy stage," Tillán says. "The strategy for a lot of labels is you first have to blow it up in your territory before you start to get your record launched in other places."
Though acts enjoy radio support in Mexico, sites like MySpace and MTV's LaZona.com are allowing Mexican bands to absorb outside influences and get their sound out in a new way. Sony BMG U.S. Latin VP/ GM Ruben Leyva, whose label roster includes Allison, is counting on the band's MySpace popularity to flow stateside, too. "They have a huge MySpace following in Mexico, and [it's] starting to develop here as well," Leyva says. (Allison has more than 24,000 "friends" linked to its profile.)
Labels are also turning to independent labels to tap the energy of Mexico's youth. Warner signed a two-year licensing deal with Movic Records last fall. Under the arrangement, Warner will take over sales and distribution and provide marketing support for Movic bands like Panda.
Univision Music Group Mexico diversified its largely regional Mexican and traditional pop catalog by striking a licensing agreement with indie Kbaret Music, home to Novel.
EMI signed Zoé via a licensing deal with indie Noiselab, which ran a teaser campaign featuring the band's first single and video on its Web site months before release. EMI's Lara hopes the U.S. e-mail addresses on Zoé's mailing list will help spread news this side of the border.
That viral and word-of-mouth strategy becomes especially important due to the lack of Latin radio stations in the United States devoted exclusively to rock. Mexican radio stations whose signals reach into U.S. border towns can provide some early exposure, but "I'm waiting for these bands to become a little more crossover," says Nestor Rocha, VP of programming for Entravision, which operates the Super Estrella top 40 network in the States.
As with regional Mexican and reggaetón hits that transcend their genres, Rocha is keeping an eye on radio airplay in Mexico. He wants to see whether alt-rock will find a slightly older audience "instead of just the teenyboppers."
Even with MTV Tr3s, mun2 and online buzz, radio and touring will still have to play their parts in establishing a fan base in the United States. For now, Allison is gearing up for a possible run of shows in Texas and the West Coast; Zoé joined Molotov and power-poppers Delux this past summer on the Coors Light Rock Prendido tour.
There's also the question of whether young Latinos in the United States who have already heard a lot of power-pop in English will want to hear it again in Spanish. "I venture to say that a kid who has a Molotov record or a Café Tacuba record will probably also have a record by Rage Against the Machine or Beck," Tillán says. "So maybe based on that philosophy, the kid who has a Blink-182 [album] might buy an Allison record if they discover it. I think it's really about how you are reaching this audience and having a conduit to expose new talent and new music."
September 30, 2006
FIRST MEXICO, THEN THE U.S.?
Five Pop-Punk Bands Hoping To Reach An American Audience
ALLISON
Label: Sony BMG
Sounds like: Blink-182
Allison's self-titled, power-pop album has sold more than 84,000 physical copies in Mexico but only 1,000 units in the United States since it was released Aug. 1. The label is counting on video channels, radio airplay in Texas and a possible November tour to gain American traction for the Mexico City group.
NOVEL
Label: Univision
Sounds like: Green Day
Univision enters the power-pop fray with Novel, a band from indie Kbaret Music. The major hopes to spread the Monterrey, Mexico, band in its home country before bringing it to the United States in 2007. Novel's album, "Tu Fan," comes out Oct. 3 in Mexico. PANDA
Label: Warner Music Mexico
Sounds like: Unwritten Law
Monterrey's Panda came to Warner through a licensing deal with indie label Movic. Panda's album, "Para ti con Desprecio," has gone platinum in Mexico (more than 100,000 copies) but has sold just 2,000 units stateside. Warner Music Latina plans to more actively market the album in the United States next year.MOTEL
Label: Warner Music Mexico
Sounds like: The Get Up Kids
Two of this Mexico City band's members studied music at U.S. colleges. Motel's sunny, driving guitars earned its self-titled album a gold certification in Mexico (more than 50,000 copies) and a Sept. 26 U.S. release date. ZOÉ
Label: Noiselab/EMI Music Mexico
Sounds like: The Cure
Even with a sound influenced by '80s Britpop, Zoé may have been ahead of its time. EMI signed and then dropped Mexico City's Zoé in the late '90s, only to bring them back for the now gold "Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea," set for an Oct. 3 U.S. release on EMI Televisa. The group joined Molotov and melodic Mexican punk act Delux on this summer's Coors Light Rock Prendido U.S. tour.
- AYALA BEN-YEHUDA


Discography

2006 - Novel - Tu Fan
2009 - Novel - Novel

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Bio

Novel was born the 4th of July in 1999 , since we have been playing all over Mexico, when we open MySpace , we got the opportunity to perform more often, in 2006 Univision Music Group sing us and put out our fist album called , Tu Fan, that was distributed in Mexico and the US, and some other electronic music media like iTunes. Now we grow up as a band and as a musicians and today we present the new Latin Rock sound from the north of Mexico, Monterrey a place where bands like Kinky, Panda, Genitallica, Jumbo, Plastilina Mosh and some other bands came out, Now we are about to put out the our second album with our own record label call "Machaca Records" and with a worldwide distribution contract with Universal Music Group, to proof to the world that Novel sounds like Novel.
Keep Rocking Mucho!!!

NOVEL

SURGIDOS DEL MUNDO SUBTERRÀNEO DE LA ESCENA INDIE DE MONTERREY, N.L.. NOVEL ES UNA BANDA DE ROCK MEXICANO CON UN SONIDO MUY CARACTERÌSTICO Y UNAS GUITARRAS PODEROSAS LLENAS DE ENERGÌA Y ACTITUD ROCANROLERA. LAS LETRAS DE SUS CANCIONES HABLAN DE LAS HISTORIAS QUE VIVEN LOS CHAVOS DE HOY, EN DONDE PASAN POR LA VIDA ALGUNAS VECES TAN DE PRISA QUE NO SE DAN CUENTA DE LO IMPORTANTE QUE ES VIVIR, SENTIR, GRITAR Y SER JOVEN. LOS NOVEL ESTAN COMPROMETIDOS CON SU MÙSICA, SUS SUEÑOS Y SUS SEGUIDORES, QUE LLENAN EL MYSPACE DE COMENTARIOS POSITIVOS SOBRE LA BANDA, HACEN VIDEOS EN YOUTUBE DE SUS ROLAS, CREAN BLOGS ALUSIVOS A LOS NOVEL Y LOS SIGUEN A TODOS SUS CONCIERTOS. ESTAN CREANDO UNA PROMESA CON LA MUSICA DE SU PAÌS Y LO MÀS IMPORTANTE PARA ELLOS, ES QUE HAN LOGRADO TRANSMITIR SU IDEOLOGÍA A LOS LUGARES DONDE SE HAN PRESENTADO. OSCAR, VOCALISTA Y AUTOR EN TODOS LOS TEMAS, TANTO DE SU ÀLBUM DEBUT "TU FAN" (2006), COMO DE SU NUEVA PRODUCCIÒN MUSICAL "NOVEL", ES UN ARTISTA EMOTIVO QUE LO MISMO COMPONE UNA NUEVA CANCIÓN EN UN AVIÒN, QUE EN EL CUARTO DE UN HOTEL O INCLUSO VIENDO UNA PELÍCULA, LAS IDEAS FLUYEN Y LAS PLASMA EN PAPEL Y LÀPIZ TRATANDO DE DAR A CONOCER AL MUNDO SU MANERA DE PENSAR. EN LA ACTUALIDAD NOVEL SE COMPONE DE CUATRO ELEMENTOS:

OSCAR - VOZ Y GUITARRA
GASPAS - GUITARRISTA
CARLOS - BAJISTA
RULO - BATERÌA


SU NUEVA PRODUCCIÒN MUSICAL HOMÓNIMA, FUE REALIZADA POR MAURO MUÑOZ Y NOVEL, SE GRABÒ EN MONTERREY, N.L. Y SE MASTERIZÒ EN "THE LATE ROOM" EN NUEVA YORK. ES UNA PRODUCCÒN MUSICAL CON 11 TRACKS LLENOS DE ADRENALINA PURA, TANTO EN SUS LÌRICAS COMO EN SUS GUITARRAS, SIN MENOS PRECIAR EL SONIDO Y LA PAUTA DEL BAJO Y EL GRAN PODER QUE LE DA LA BATERÌA A TODO EL ÀLBUM EN SU CONJUNTO. ESTE NUEVO MATERIAL MUSICAL SALDRÀ A LA VENTA EN NUESTRO PAÌS A FINALES DEL MES DE JUNIO 2009 Y SERÀ DISTRIBUIDO POR EL SELLO TRASNACIONAL UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. SU PRIMER SENCILLO PROMOCIONAL SE TITULA "YA NO" Y HABLA DE UNA HISTORIA QUE LLEGÒ A SU FIN Y SIMPLEMENTE UNO DE ELLOS DICE QUE "YA NO" ESTARÀ MÀS PARA CUMPLIR LA VOLUNTAD DEL OTRO, "YA NO" HABRÀ MÀS DAÑO. NOVEL TIENE MUCHO QUE OFRECER Y BASTANTE CAMINO POR RECORRER. ESTOS CARNALES ORIGINARIOS DE LA TIERRA DEL CABRITO HAN PARTICIPADO EN PRESENTACIONES A LO LARGO Y ANCHO DE LA REPÙBLICA MEXICANA Y PARTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE NORTEAMÈRICA. DEJANDOSE ESCUCHAR Y SENTIR EN FESTIVALES DE MUSICA Y EN MEDIOS MASIVOS DE COMINICACIÓN. HAN ABIERTO CONCIERTOS DE BANDAS IMPORTANTES COMO YELLOW CARD Y HAN SIDO NOMBRADOS COMO "LOS GREEN DAY HISPANOS" POR LA REVISTA BILLBOARD EN EU. SOLO BASTA ATREVERSE A VIVIR UN CONCIERTO DE ESTOS EXCELENTES MÙSICOS, PARA DARNOS CUENTA DE SU CALIDAD, SU EXPLOSIÒN MUSICAL Y SU PASIÓN POR LO QUE SABEN HACER MEJOR... ROCKEAR.