Guest Columnist #79 - Mexico Tour Diary by Fernando

DAILY TOUR GIRA REACCIONA INVIERNO 2004
Last January we organized a tour in Mexico, we visited 10 cities on 11 days: Matamoros, Tamps. San Luis Potosi. Tepic, Nayarit. Guadalajara, Jalisco. Aguascalientes. Oaxaca. Mendoza, Veracruz. Queretaro. Toluca. Mexico city and Monterrey. The original idea to make this tour came from a band called Divorce (Athens,GA.) unfortunately they cancel, but they support us with half of the cost of their band to cover the rent of the bus. Everyone had to pay $200 bucks, so they help us with $100 each, there was another cancellation of last minute a band from Matamoros called G.A.P. for economic reasons, so we almost decided to cancel the tour, but days before our girlfriend Virginia (Austin,Tx.), who helped us a lot to contact people to make this tour, find more people to take Divorce places. Out friend Simon (Portland, Or.) from Cuerpo de Perro cancel too for personal reasons but he also help us same like Divorce. So we didnít cancel although we needed 5 more people to fill the bus and complete the total for the rent and we took the decision to use the money that gave us in the shows to can pay the total. In Mexico itís hard to give money to the bands so we appreciated any help. We invited our friend Craig (Upheaval ëzine/ Whereís your anger rec./ Keep Laughing) from Boston, he came with lots of cool stuff and Keep Laughing demos. Punx from Austin, Stanís (ex-Deathreat) new band Signal Lost, Chris (Storm the Tower/ Severed Head of State/ J Church) came to play drums for Signal Lost and bring Storm the Tower tapes & cds, Timmy the bookingtour kid, Virginia and a bunch of nice people. Punx from PDX, Randy and Kattie from Cuerpo de Perro, Lidia  brings Feral Ward stuff and a couple of nice people including Jewels from Australia, we met all of them in Matamoros ëcause is a city border with Brownsville,Tx. Konflicto an Anarchopunk band from Matamoros came and from Monterrey Life Extinction, Rash, our band La Caida de la Civilizacion and 5 more friends including our daughter Sunev came too. The mean reason to do this tour is to let them know to more people and bands to organize tours like that, ëcause years ago bands never toured in Mexico and this is the only way to tour easily and cheap in Mexico
WEDNESDAY 7. We went to the highway at 9 in the morning, but before our friend Nico cancel, but we keep going and in less than 5 hours we arrived to Matamoros directly to a parking lot to wait for our friends Konflicto to take us somewhere to eat. We never been before in this city, it was freezing almost 30 degrees, but anyway some of us went out of the bus to play soccer. Later came Carlos, Konflictoís guitarist to take us at the place of the show to park the bus outside, then he took us to his home to eat. Luis Gonzo, Rashís drummer was there since days before to practice ëcause Konflictoís drummer canít come and he would play drums in the tour for them. While we eat, Venus and me were nervous waiting for the phone call of our friends from U.$.A. The time to go the show came so we have to move from there, when we get there, Gabriel,        Konflictoís singer, received the phone call of our U.$. friends and together with Carlos were to pick up them to the border. In few minutes everybody were there the magic of the D.I.Y. Punk joined us, it was a great moment, unforgettable. Virginia told us that they didnít receive the permission to enter to Mexico, so they needed to back to the border to get it after the show. People from other Texas towns came to the show, local bands started the show, then the bands of the tour and the turn of our band  came, Venus and me were nervous and excited ëcause would be our debut, but everything was perfect and the whole show was great. Signal Lost played and we liked very much and we were glad ëcause we would watch them 10 more times. Cuerpo de Perro didnít play, but they talked to Stan to play guitar and Mike Maistrillo to sing on next shows. After the show the U.$. contingent were to the bus station in groups of 5 people to get the permission, when everybody got it, we took the highway directly to San Luis Potosi where Masturboy (Absolucion/Dogma Destroyer rec.) will receive us at his home.
THURSDAY 8. San Luis Potosi is the land of Maistrinismo, an old social movement that is reborning at these days and Don Mastur (Masturboyís Father) is the vital representing. They always receive us with open arms and his Mother and Jessica his girlfriend cook great food. The show was amazing, Absolucion played, but unfortunately, Agonia, another local band didnít play they are an amazing Emo/Crust band, anyway this show was the best of the tour. After the show 3 monsters attack our bus, Absolucion joined us to come to the next 3 shows with a non stop fun at the bus, so we get back to the highway directly to Tepic, Nayarit.
FRIDAY 9. We had plans to go to the Pacific beach, but when we arrived to Tepic, it was late to do that, 1: p.m. and we still need 2 hours more to get to the beach, so I called my friend Kalin (Anulacionís drummer) who organized the show and he proposed better to go to some thermal waterfalls at just 30 minutes from where we were. Hardly I explained everybody the situation ëcause all of us had the idea to go to the beach and fortunately everybody get convinced. Toshiro (Anulacionís bass player) came to take us to the waterfalls and when we get there a beautiful paradise gave us a nice welcome with natural hot water from the deeps of earth. We spend like 5 hours there, swimming, eating and getting together. Everytime the communion of the people from the bus was growing. After the great evening at this beauty place where 50 years ago people were took there to be killed by robbers, hanging them in the big trees around. A real amazing story. We went to the place of the show that was O.K. ëcause they rent a huge P.A. no necessary for that place, too much power, bad equalizing, Anulacion open the show and then the bands of the tour. The bad thing here was too much pot and alcohol at the show and young kids smoking and drinking and nobody looks like cares about it, really sad thing. We talk with some kids about it, but they looks really confused.
SATURDAY 10. Guadalajara was our next stop, after spend the night sleeping in Tepic, we were directly to ìel tianguisî a big Rock market similar like ìel chopoî but in Guadalajara, in the Alameda a nice park in the middle of downtown. James (Drummer) and Benjamin (Singer) from Fallas del Sistema received us there. Here there are people selling lots of different stuff like music in all formats, tons of books, craftsmanship, food, etcÖand bands playing live. Here some of our U.$. friends were to downtown to drink coffee, weíll meet them at the place of the show later. The show was a benefit festival for Zapatista movement where played bands of different styles, including the bands of the tour. The organization was pretty bad ëcause nobody give a limited time to the bands and local bands played so much time and we were waiting almost at eleven to our bands can play, the good thing is that before that James bring us food, but we get boring and tired. Few minutes later, we get surprised when we saw on the stage Cuerpo de Perro getting ready to start and it was a total madness, Mike the singer get crazy and throw the microphone against the floor and the stupid guy of the P.A. get angry and disconnect all. Fortunately Fallas put their amps and the show continues with Cuerpo de Perro set, Signal Lost, Konflicto and Life Extinction, Rash and L.C.D.L.C. didnít play. After this marathonical weird show Benjamin took us to a house to spend the night resting, that house was rented by people from ìel tianguisî that they use like a cultural space. When everyone took their place for sleeping bags was time to sleep. It was like 3 or 4 a.m. when somebody was yelling outside of the house, then starts to kick the door, Benjamin didnít stay with us and he told us that donít open the door to anybody ëcause itís a dangerous neighborhood and also told us to watch the door to donít action the alarm, but with the kicking of that guy the alarm started ringing loudly and to turn off you have to click a special code, but Benjamin didnít mention nothing about it, so we start clicking every bottom for almost like an hour until the alarm stops. It was funny, but at the same time, we were afraid that police come and questioning what we were doing there.
SUNDAY 11. After that long night, in the morning we find just in front of that house a big nice market with restaurants, so everyone ate a good hot breakfast. Benjamin came later and we explained him what happened last night to never let people alone again. One more passenger join us, Nayeli (Bandera negra rec.) from D.F. needed a raid back and come with us, she also organized the gig in Mexico city. Our next city Aguascalientes was waiting, so we get there in 4 hours and our friend XKataX (Empatiaís Drummer & singer) received us at the place of the show. Before the show started some were to walk downtown, some others sayed and the rest were to take a shower at Chinoís (Empatiaís guitarist) home. A characteristic from Aguascalientes (Hotwaters) itís that they donít need a boiler ëcause the water always come hot. Back to the place XKataX bring us food and then the show started with local bands and Empatia, then the bands of the tour. Only Life extinction didnít play ëcause Beto the bass player return to Monterrey for a couple of the days to participate in the Globalizationís protests. The last band that played was Agonia from San Luis Potosi. After the show came an emotive goodbye to Absolucion ëcause they would stay there. Weíll passing near of Mexico city early in the morning so Nayeli and 3 more persons including Cano (Crimenes maistrosís drummer aka. Crimenes de Guerra) came with us to let them there.
MONDAY 12. After a long drive of 15 hours we arrived to Oaxaca, it was like 4:p.m. and our friend Pepe received at his home, where good food was waiting for us. This was the day off, but that night would be a Zapatista meeting in downtown and Pepe told us that two bands could play there, so Konflicto and Signal Lost decide to play that night. Before this meeting some of us were to see ìel arbol del Tuleî a big 2000 year old Ahuehuete tree to 40 minutes from Pepeís home. Having a beautiful look of the old architecture around us and a screen with images of the last video of Zapatistas the bands played until Chris broke the bass drum patch.
TUESDAY 13. Early in the morning some woke up to go to Montealban pyramids a really amazing beautiful magic place to 30 minutes from downtown, the rest we just go to walk downtown to buy souvenirs, Sunev, Venus and me weíve been at the pyramids 2 years ago. The show started around 4:p.m. and it was crazy and weird ëcause the staged was on a second floor and the audience were in the patio at first floor, Pepe and Drakula explained to us, this was the first time they did a show in that place and itís better for them ëcause they rent a P.A. and bands would play upstairs to care the P.A. and be safe for the mosh. It was funny ëcause our singer Hussein sang at first floor, while we played upstairs and he was alone singing, Ashley singer for Signal Lost did the same. Definitively, was the night of Rash, people get crazy with them and at the time they played it was like 200 people, a good quantity to be a show on Tuesday, no local bands played ëcause the show had to finnish at 9:p.m. After the show everyone was ready to celebrates Randy La PiÒaís birthday at Pepeís home, but it was a little late to party ëcause Pepeís parents live there, so the party group go out to a bar in downtown and the rest of us stayed at home to sleep.
WEDNESDAY 14. It was great to be in Oaxaca again and receive the hospitality of Pepe, his family and a collective of individuals that always meet to organize activities. Early in the morning another group went to Montealban and some of us went to downtown again to walk. After that, we departured to Veracruz, it was pretty late and we arrived to Mendoza, Veracruz almost around 8:p.m. Mendoza itís a small town next to Orizaba, the show started and Viktor and Ivan (Bass/vocals and guitarist for Los Hijos de la Chingada) organizers were nervous about us, but when they saw the bus, everything get calm. It was a darky parking lot place with a couple of lights, local bands played and Los Hijos de la Chingada played last, then the bands of the tour. There was food for us and Jamaica water. Konflicto played first, then us and then Cuerpo de Perro, some people were shouting shit them, but nothing bad happen and just right they were playing, the P.A. fucked up and the show stops they didnít bring amps so bands couldnít still play. After that, we decided to go to our next city, Viktor and Ivan excused about what happened with the drunk people shouting and the P.A., but shit happens and these are no reasons to comeback.
THURSDAY 15. We arrived to Queretaro at 8:a.m., I called my friend ToÒo and he would come for us around 11, so some of us were to take a shower at a nice public bathrooms for $3.00 each, while some stayed sleeping at the bus that park in front of the Alameda. Life extinctionís bass player Beto would meet us in Veracruz, but he canít come so we get surprised when we met him with Masturboy where the bus was parking. They were in a public bus and suddenly they saw our bus. At 11 ToÒo came and he need to pick up the food at Belenís home (ToÒoís girlfriend) and Javi (Guitar for Life extinction and L.C.D.L.C.) and me go with him to help to carry to bring the food at some tables in the Alameda. We walked to her house and it was a nice walk through one of the beautiest old downtown in Mexico. Belen was there with a delicious spaghetti ready and we came back to the Alameda and we had a nice dinner down the big trees. After that ToÒo took us to the place of the show in a small town called ìLa CaÒadaî, the show was at the same place where Tragedy played last year called ìLa palapa del Meleî. When we get there some of us played soccer before the show starts. Two local bands open Execrate (Grindcore) and Malaria and all female Noisy/Punk quartet that probably put out a record on Whereís your anger rec. soon. The show was great, police came at the end but thereís no problem and definitively weíll come back to Queretaro with more time to spend there. After the show we were to a place outside of the city, next to the highway, that has a restaurant, we spend the night there having a plenty sleep outside of the building.
FRIDAY 16. Sunev and Venus slept in the bus, around 8 in the morning Venus came to woke me up ëcause started to rain. I called my friend Lucas who was in charge of the gig in San Cristobal Huichochitlan a town closer to Toluca, then soon we were on the highway again, while we watched a never ending video compilation that Craig brought with Keep laughing first show and a bunch of great bands, including Naked Aggressionís return. We arrived to San Cristobal on time, directly to Don Bauís bar the place of the show and the same place where Bacteria and Tragedy played. The brothers Lucas and Gaudencio (Drummer and guitarist for Nu Boxte) were there to received us and soon they were for the food, prepared by Lucas and his girlfriend, a delicious soy ìal pastorî. San Cristobal Huichochitlan itís a small town habited by Otomi Indians that speaks in Otomi. Nu Boxte itís an old local band that has been playing for more than 10 years, they sing in Otomi. The show started around 7:p.m. Re.In and Odio from Toluca open, both bands are awesome, really great, theyíve been playing for some years, the drummer and bass player play in both bands and these guys are amazing playing their instruments and the drummer also play in the next band called Orines de Puerco, another old Street/Punk band from Toluca. The next band was Pasion Libertaria, basic Anarchopunk with a girl singing and then Nu boxte, after that the bands of the tour. These was also a great show, the bad thing was lots of people smoking and the place only had one door to let the air pass, so we felt like asphyxiation and outside it was like 30 degrees, so it was impossible go out to breath some clean air. They had 2 piles full of beer called ìcaguamasî (itís like a 40 bottle) at the end of the show the piles were empty.
Lucas brought rice for dinner and his girlfriend build quickly two homemade stoves with two laminated cages full of sawdust that can to last ¥til 8 hours on, an incredible D.I.Y. idea to learn. After the food some slept in the bar and the rest we slept inside the bus.
SATURDAY 17. The morning was freezing and I woke up early to call everybody to get ready to go soon to Mexico city directly to ìel tianguis el chopoî. The Millan brothers (Re.In/Odio) came to bring us some food, but unfortunately we left the place before, so sorry for that and thanks so much. Cano, drummer for Crimenes maistrines (aka. Crimenes de Guerra) came with us to give directions to get directly to ìel chopoî. If you want to check all the tables at the tianguis you have to get early, so when we arrived it was a little late and the place it was almost full of people. ìEl chopoî is a rock market, people put tables in the middle of the street and you can find lots of rare stuff of any kind of music style in every format, videos, movies, books, clothing, patches, bands playing live, pins, shirts, etc..After a nice evening at ìel chopoî we get ready to go to the place of the show and we arrived there late too ¥cause it was pretty far. This show was a benefit for the local Anarchist Library ìReconstruirî, 4 local bands were in the flyer, Causa Justa are a local 5 piece Crust/Grind band, theyíre playing several time ago and theyíre really great, actually they have a split tape with Fanaticos Bastardos another local band. Autoestima and What if Godís lie are two new local Dis-Crust great bands and Teratoyeni itís a Grindcore band. This show was little weird, local bands played too long sets, nobody of the organization put them a limit to play and only of the bands of the tour La Caida de la Civilizacion didnít play. After the show we ran quickly to get soon to Monterrey.
SUNDAY 18. We made it once again, another tour full of friendship, adventures, fun and new contacts was done. It was 1:p.m. when the bus park in a park near of our house, we take out all of our stuff and the bus driver said goodbye to everybody. W e salute to my Father (we live in his house) and I call to our friend Manolo, he is an old friend of the family, he is from Monterrey, but he lives now in Austin,Tx, like an illegal but now he is fixing his papers and the U.$. government gave him a 10 days permission to come to Mexico to take all his Mexican papers and we didnít saw him for the last 5 years so we were really excited about it, he also runs Desobediencia rec. and he lives with his girlfriend Bere and their daughter Edna, but both canít come back to Mexico, they have to wait some years to fix their papers. Kari & el Maistrin friends of us prepared food for everybody and brought to our house, as soon as I can I went to the place of the show to get ready, I took my drums and Manolo & el Maistrin and some others came with me to help me, I was almost exhausted but still excited. Two local new young bands open the show Exiliados and Exterminio and also we asked to other band called Mortal Noise to play, theyíre 4 kids from our neighborhood, the singer is 12 year old and the rest around 15 and we wanted to our U.S. friends to watchíem. The show was great, Chris sang with us the ìHumans, fleas & godsî cover of  S.H.O.S. that we played and we were sad ëcause the time to say goodbye it was closer but we really enjoy it. After the show, we were at our house and I get so sick and fall in the bed, too much pressure, too much responsibility, get me sick, but with lots of satisfactions to done this great project.
We want to say MUCHAS GRACIAS to all the people from the States and Australia that came with us in this tour, to Signal Lost and Cuerpo de Perro for the interest and we want to invite to bands, zine editors, people from labels and distros with positive ideas, D.I.Y. activists who want to share knowledges, friendship and contact new people in Mexico to come to our next tours. The next tour will be from the last week of July to the first week of August, for more information and details, keep in touch by e-mail: lissunlozano@hotmail.com or give us a call: (81) 8377- 2388 after 9:p.m. better the weekdays.
If you do a zine or you have a friend that does one, PLEASE PASS THIS ON..GRACIAS.