A ferocious loud and
fast quartet hailing from the beaches of Tijuana, Mexico which is
made up of four guys simply looking for an outlet and a voice to
express their feelings towards their world....
music ranging from ska/punk to hardcore reflects a communal feeling
amongst the four that strives to interpret the daily struggles of
life. This band also tries to demonstrate a sincere, energetic and
positive message through their music and words without sacrificing
the need for expression, while relieving their feeling that this
world and it's injustice has brought them. Erik Hilgado took time
out of his busy schedule to do the following interview.
It is so nice to get the chance to interview you can you give us
some back ground on Los Karma. How long have you been together and
where in Mexico are you from?
ERIK HILDAGO: We have been a band for about 8 years or more, the
thing is that we met each other since kinder garden (no kidding) and
we been friends since then, we started to hear music together as
well as learning to play an instrument, so the band actually formed
itself, we started playing cover songs and then we realized by
starting going to local gigs and concerts in TJ & SD and watching
bands play live, that we could create our own music and express
whatever we felt, and that is exactly what we did, and still do. We
also got very involved on promoting the local Tijuana Music Scene,
we started producing local shows and working whit bands from all
over Mexico and California, improvising venues, putting on shows, we
also worked on radio, news papers, whit the intention to take over
some spaces of the local media and used that to promote the music
and ideas that the young rockers in Tijuana had.
We are from Playas de
Tijuana, a small town that collides whit the pacific ocean and the
metal US border to the north (SD), its actually consider as the last
corner of Latin-America, hometown of Tijuana No, Julieta Venegas,
Nortec and many more.
Is there a story about how you came up with Los Karma for a band
E.H. : We were
actually at school in a stupid class looking for a name for the
band, we had an old dictionary and we decided to look up for a name
there, we saw karma and what it meant, and we felt it had energy,
power, speed and justice.
For us LOS KARMA is a way of understanding and having conscience
that everything you do good or bad is eventually going to return to
you whit the same intention as you do anything to others. LOS KARMA
to us is respect, tolerance but at the same time if you mess whit us
or anybody for no valid reason you're going to get a reaction.
Can you give us a run down of who is in the band and what they play?
E.H. : Rodrigo Flores
plays bass and backing vocals, Memo Guerrero plays lead guitar and
backing vocals, Omar Becerra plays the drums and he also does
backing vocals and I (Erik Hidalgo) play guitar and lead vocals
Have any of you been in bands prior to Los Karma? Do any of you have
E.H. : We always
have been in LOS KARMA, it was our first band and its still our
priority, but we have done some work or collaboration whit some
other bands, for example: Rodrigo rehearsed and played bass for a
while whit Tijuana Punk Legend Solucion Mortal, Omar Played the
drums whit the last line up of Unknown Paranoia whit Hassan of Kung
Fu Monkeys and Jesse (original UP vocal), Memo played guitar and
vocals whit a local punk band called Los Pobres and I (Erik)
recorded guitars whit Mosquito a collective of many musicians from
Tijuana and also played live a couple of times as a guest whit other
local and national bands. But right now all of us are focusing just
in LOS KARMA.
Is this the original line up?
E.H. : Since the beginning we had always been 3, Erik, Rodrigo and
Omar, Memo joined the band later, he has been our friend since way
back, he actually helped us out as a stage manager, selling merch
and always went on tour whit us, etc. when his band Los Pobres
stopped playing, we invited Memo to play whit us, since he always
had been a part of Los Karma, it was something natural for him to be
in the band, he had something missing whit us all this time and that
was his fucking loud guitar.
Can you tell us about the punk scene in Tijuana? Are there a lot of
clubs to play?
E.H. : Tijuana was the
first door to open for Punk music to come to Mexico, so on our early
days we went to see a lot of punk bands that came from USA to
Tijuana, as well as many local bands, bands like: Solucion Mortal,
The Neighbors, Especimen, etc. We would go to places like the venues
of avenida revolucion or plaza fiesta. Today the punk scene in
Tijuana is still alive, not as strong as before, but there are a lot
of bands and kids that still follow the punk ideals and play real
punk music, not the shit that we see and hear on Mtvla or Telehit,
here in Mexico.
In this days we don't
have a lot of clubs to play in, but there are few that every weekend
host shows like The Box Underground at Jai Alai or Multikulti that
is our favorite place right now to play in and go see shows,
recently Misfits, The Adicts, US Bomb, Citizen Fish, Leftover Crack,
played on that venue and each show simply rocked. Hopefully more
bands can cross the border and play in Tijuana, feel free to contact
us to see if we can put on a show here.
Punk Globe: Have
you played Mexico City? I know there is a strong punk following
there? How about other cities in Mexico?
E.H. : We have played there and it's amazing the amount of people
that go to shows, Mexico City and Guadalajara could be the cities
whit the biggest punk scene in Mexico, we have played on most of the
cities here in Mexico and the punk following is really big in this
country, I remember great shows when touring whit bands like Bye
Samy, Los Kung Fu Monkeys, Agente Calavera and many more.
And we are actually
going to tour Mexico in January 2007, we can wait to return to a lot
of cities and especially Mexico City.
Punk Globe: I
know when my White Trash Debutantes played with The Ramones we
played at Iguana's. When WTD played later played in TJ, we did a
show with Bulldog Productions. That is when we met Los Kung Fu
Monkey's. I remember Jesse and Unknown Paranoia from Rosarito were
there in the audience. Union 69 were headlining the show.
E.H.: Hey, we actually
went to that last show and it rocked.
Does Los Karma have any releases out and if so what label?
E.H.: We have a split CD that we did whit Destruction Made Simple
(AF Records) it was released by One Shot Records (LA), we also have
participate on some Mexican Compilations like: Rolitas de la
Frontera, Tijuana Live, Tijuana Libre Tour and many others. Our
first debut album "Desde Que Puedo Recordar" is coming out at last
after many years in January 2007. We don't have a label.
Punk Globe: I
have heard your music on My Space and Pure Volume and it kicks ass.
Do you also have a website?
E.H.: Yeah, we are really glad you like it. And yes, you can check
us out also on our main website:
Punk Globe: I
have been reading about this upcoming tour you have planned. Can you
give the readers some updates about it?
E.H. : It's actually a
contest, we don't like contests very much, but we got picked from
over 500 independent bands from myspace by Avalon a San Diego based
art production company, and they have the idea on sending the 4 most
voted import bands to SD and start a tour in USA from there, all
expenses paid. We are actually the only American and Latin-American
Band competing upon bands from Australia, England, France and
Canada. So help us out and vote for Los Karma.
How can the readers and fans help you?
E.H.: If we win we
would go on tour and cover some cities of the US starting from SD.
There actually going to fly bands form Europe, LOS KARMA are
representing Mexico, and since we are so close to SD were not going
to fly, but we are certainly going to drive ourselves across the
border and rock as hard as we can, to show everybody that Mexican
music is not just fucking Mariachi.
You can help us out by voting for LOS KARMA directly at:
or check out our myspace for more information:
Your vote can help us a lot, voting ends Dec 1st 2006.
Los Karma has a Ska/Punk sound, who are some of your influences?
E.H.: We listen to
all kind of music, but we grew up listening to punk, grunge, hard
core, metal, ska, alternative, funk, etc. We grew up listening to
bands like: Operation Ivy, Maldita Vecindad, Metallica, Bad
Religion, Ramones, Nirvana, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Primus, Tijuana No,
Rancid, Sekta Core, No Use For a Name, Ska-P.
Do you know the band Tijuana NO?
: Tijuana No is actually one of our strong influences, musically
and idealistic, we learn from them to express what we think no mater
what happened and also to be socially involved on movements in witch
whit our music we could help others in need.
We are currently good
friends whit Alex Zuniga (Drumer of Tijuana NO) whit who we
actually have produce some shows whit, at Multikulti, and we also
knew Luis Guerna, I remember he played congas to our ska a alta
velocidad (very fast ska) as he stated, on one gig years ago here in
Tijuana. And we actually played whit Tijuana No this past Month in
support of the EZLN and I (Erik) was invited to sing the song "La
Migra" whit los NO, awesome experience.
Punk Globe: I
remember that Bernardo Leos (KFM) was so excited to find out I knew
Nick Traina and Link 80. Are you familiar with them?
E.H.: Yes, we love
that band, since we are so close to USA we listen and admire a lot
of bands and musicians that we get the chance to see on shows or get
the cd's or music trough the Internet.
Who writes your material?
E.H.: We write all of
the material, the main reason for us to make music is to express
ourselves, so we are really in to creating music that really means
something to us and lets us just scream what we have in our heads.
Can you tell us about your BEST show you have played so far and also
E.H.: I remember a
great show in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, it was a national rock
festival, we were representing our hometown, it was awesome, people
flying over the speakers, the red cross crew taking people out of
the pit and in to the ambulance, those kids were hearing us for the
first time and they supported us really great. We went back to
Culiacan 4 more times that year. Great Show.
One of the worst shows was in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, I can only
remember a big abandoned backyard, a dried pool, us playing in front
of 3 junkies dancing like Indians, sniffing glue on plastic bags and
destroying old TVs and throwing a couch in to the pool, hey,
actually that was fun, ha ha. But it was not what we expected it was
a dangerous show.
Any fun tour tales you would like to share?
E.H.: In the USA we
only have played mostly in LA, we would love to play more often over
there and hopefully someday do a tour in the USA.
We have toured Mexico many times, a fun tour tale would be when we
were in Rosarito Beach, we got a room on an expensive spring break
hotel, we had friends from other bands singing in our room whit an
old paracho acoustic guitar, after a lot of beers we realized that
the room was on fire and that Omar jumped in the bed to get away and
made a hole in the wall, 5 minutes later we were in the street whit
no room but still a lot of party.
I mentioned your Los Karma profile on My Space. Recently you and
myself were victims of HACKERS on My Space. My Ginger Coyote profile
had 14,000 + friends and Los Karma had 16,000 + friends. I can so
relate to how you must have felt when you could no longer log in to
your profile. My Space does nothing to help you... Please give us
your new My Space address.
What is in the future for Los Karma?
E.H.: We are about to
put out our first debut album "Desde Que Puedo Recordar" (January
2007), it's a independent production that we hope we can distribute
as much as we can in Mexico and the US, were also touring Mexico in
January and planning to play live as much as we can next year to
support this record.
We here at Punk Globe would like to thank you for this interview. Do
you have any last words for the readers?
E.H.: Thanks a lot for
taking the time to read this interview, we hope you give us the
opportunity to be heard by you, and hope to see you someday at a LOS
KARMA show. And special thanks to Ginger Coyote and Punk Globe for
helping us out and for this great interview. Don't forget to stop by
Please check out Los
Karma, you will not be sorry you. Thank you Erik for the