You might not know much about hardcore music, or even Mexico itself, so we'll forgive you if your knowledge of Mexican hardcore is limited. And though the raging tempo of their music isn't all that forgiving, Grito might let you off too. The long-running bunch formed back in 1995 in Hermosillo, northwest Mexico, with the common mindset of making hardcore music with a personal and fresh sound, and have done a pretty good job of that since.
Their long career has seen them tour all over, from the US and Central America to Europe, sharing stages with some of the genre's biggest and best, including Agnostic Front, Terror, Madball and Misfits – surely you've seen the t-shirts, at least? – but this is the first time in Asia, and following a rattling show in Shanghai last weekend, the Grito boys storm through Beijing this Friday. Here’s what they had to say about their band, their antics and what to expect at School Bar this weekend.
Tell us your story. How, where and when did you guys form?
Grito formed in 1995 in the northern Mexican city of Hermosillo. We started like any other band... a bunch of kids skating and going to shows, with too much free time.
You guys have toured all over. Tell us about some experiences that have stood out.
We've been in almost every corner of our native Mexico plus Central America, two Europeans tours, the west and east coast in the US and pretty much anywhere we get invited to... stories that stood out? There are too many! To mention a few, our singer crossed the US border illegally to open for Agnostic Front and we tossed beer cans at Mel Gibson's bathroom in Panama.
Beijing has an extensive local music community – what have you guys heard about it and what is your local music scene like? Who else should we check out from your scene?
We have not really heard much about the Beijing scene
, but we know there are a lot of expats from all over the world. We caught Round Eye on tour once in the States and not long ago we heard about Struggle Session
– they f**king rule! Cool hardcore and punk bands to check out from our scene include Doble D, Versus Me, Suciedad Discriminada, La Merma and No Muertos among others.
Are there any current political or personal issues close to your hearts that are present in your songs?
There are always political messages in our songs, like our discontent towards injustice, xenophobia and the general violence that is present in Mexico because of the drug trade, but we also talk about our own experiences as a way to decompress from the daily grind.
You’re preparing for a gig at School Bar. How much can you guys drink?
We are pretty much average drinkers, except for our singer who is definitely way above average. He looks Irish too – coincidence? I think not.
You guys are also hosting a DJ set at Temple, can you tell us a bit about what you plan to play or what we should expect?
Our tour manager Gilberto will perform as his DJ Pin Che Gil alter ego, playing Mexican and Latin American hardcore, metal, punk, Oi and maybe a cumbia or two. He accepts tips and drinks for his services.
What are some good phrases in Spanish for the crowd to yell during your sets?
Well... 'One more song!' is 'Chinga tu madre!' in Spanish. You can also tell us 'Vete a la verga' – great set guys – after we play.
Do your Google Translate homework before you ask for one more song, and catch Grito in action this weekend.
Interview by Michael Marshall