Bilingual electronic-pop band, She’s A Tease, has been turning heads in the Mexican alternative rock scene for years now. Establishing recognition in 2004 with their first EP, Long Time Rolled, She’s A Tease has since then been touring Mexico and taking part in the International Music Fest MXBeat– a festival which has also showcased artists like Soulwax, Chromeo, and Santigold.
Since then, the electronic-pop band has not slowed down the momentum of touring, producing, and creating with their music; on September 6, 2011, the band gave their album, Millionaria, a proper digital release in the United States via Nacional Records. Nacional will release the album physically on September 16. Millionaria, released in Mexico in late October of 2010, features collaborations with Milkman, Disco Ruido, and Toy Selectah.
She’s A Tease frontman Luis Gustavo Leyva Suárez (goes by the name “Scott”) sat down with Austin Vida while they were in town recently to discuss their inspirations, origins, the thought process behind their music video for “Fiebre de Jack,” details about their album, the Monterrey music scene, and what’s next for the band in 2011.
You guys have a very electronic based sound, what influenced you guys to go into that direction?
Scott: We were listening to a lot of old house music from the ’80s. We also listened to a lot of Italian electronic pop music. We were introduced into that style of music right then when we were making our first record. I think that is why this record came out particularly this way. We don’t consider ourselves an electronic based band, but you can see that we were influenced by that kind of music.
How did you all come together?
Scott: We have known each other for a very long time. Chico (Miguel) and I have known each other since we were babies. Then I met Johnny (Juan Antonio Vázquez Salinas/guitar) in high school and we started playing back then. Eventually we took our place. When we knew we had to go pro, we knew we had to all work with each other, because we knew each other well.
Scott: That is something that is very important for us. When we decided that we wanted to make this record we had a very clear idea of what we wanted to express, and that we were very interested in sending a message to people that are similar to us. We wanted to express our message very clearly; I think we were able to communicate in a way that people can relate to our record. We were very influenced by our surroundings. Living in Mexico and dealing with the dangerous situations that are going on, we didn’t just want to make a song or a record, but we wanted to put something on the table that actually mattered to us.
How does the song writing process go?
Scott: I guess it is always different. We like to be really focused on something; we don’t like to write or just compose a song without a goal. We don’t like to give ourselves too much freedom. We like to have a particular focus, always. Even though we mix our styles, we don’t like to mix them a way that is overwhelming. It is complicated, but it is not too much of a free process. We like to work being really focused and having goals during the song-writing process. We always have ideas in our head and we like to get straight to the point.
What were you trying to convey through your music video for “Fiebre de Jack” ?
Scott: It was actually a friend’s idea. He is crazy and we always take his advice, his word. We thought it was really cool, the whole concept. We fell in love with the idea that he proposed to us. We felt that it was unusual and that it had a certain feeling that we all really liked. We just ran with his idea and it turned out really well.
In the music video and in your photographs, you guys seemed to be very fashionable– what is the inspiration behind your style?
Scott: Our style is very rock n’ roll, rock n’ roll. We are not very fashionable, but we all like to dress up and express ourselves through the way we dress. I guess that’s it. Our fashion just reflects our personalities.
Scott: Oh, it’s awesome; it’s a great scene. I don’t want to say it is the most important scene in Mexico, or anything like that at all, but it is very important; Monterrey has a lot to offer. There are a lot of fans, a lot, lot of bands– a lot of punk rock bands. The cool thing about Monterrey is that it is not that big, so all of the musicians are good friends. Something that helps us a lot, is that our friends– guys who have already gone through these processes– they always talk to us about their experiences and how they got to where we want to be and they try to help us to grow. We all share experiences, so that is always helpful.
How do you expect to continue your success? Do you want to build up a fan base in the U.S. ?
Scott: We don’t see ourselves being just a local band from Monterrey. We feel like we belong to ourselves and to the world. We don’t feel like who we are ends or stops in Mexico. We are planning on writing a lot of music that has the potential in being important to everyone in the world. I think that the plans are very big. If we can get there, that would be cool. Our biggest aspiration is to try to share with the world.
What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages behind being a bilingual music group?
Scott: There are a lot of advantages to that. Especially because we don’t stick to just writing in Spanish or in English. If we could speak Portuguese, we would also be writing in Portuguese. I guess it helps to write in both languages. We understand we have to write in both languages to communicate with the people, and that is very important to us. Right now we are in the process of writing another record; we are not going to limit ourselves to writing in one language.
What did you hope to accomplish by performing at South by Southwest?
Scott: Hopefully, someone caught our shows and had a good time. That is our first goal, whenever we play. If anyone enjoyed the show and really liked the songs, then we are very happy. I think that coming to another country is awesome for us, alone. To get a chance to show our music to people outside of Mexico is very important to us.
What does the rest of 2011 look like for She’s a Tease?
Scott: It looks awesome. We are having a great time already. We are enjoying our friendship a lot. We are also about to get to the process of writing another record. For us, that is the most fun we could ever have.
Lastly, Austin Vida interviewed Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) during South by Southwest and we asked him who his favorite artist to see was– and he said it was “She’s a Tease” — did you guys know that? How does that make you feel?
Scott: Wow, really? That is awesome. We are very, very flattered.
Watch the music video for “Fiebre de Jack” below.