Mexicali's Maniqui Lazer (pronounced man-nick-eee) is the modern punk sound you've been waiting for. It took being booked by the AMF 2012 Music Festival to get the trio out of a three-year hiatus -- if you attended, you know it was a mosh pit heaven because the attendees were screaming their punk rock hearts out right along with Maniqui.
Playing together again has revived their interest in producing a fourth album to add to their "lazer punk" music catalog. And if you listen to Maniqui Lazer you'll understand why. Meet Valentín Torres (keyboards and effects), Rodo (bass) and Jung Sing (drums and vocals).
Dita Quiñones: Now that you're fresh off from performing at AMF, what's Maniqui Lazer feeling like as a band?
Maniqui Lazer: We feel more relaxed and ready to work on new music.
DQ: What did it feel like reuniting on the stage after three years? Butterflies, excitement, or 'let's get this over with'?
ML: When we first started practicing together it felt a little awkward but things started flowing and we felt good vibes. So, when we finally played live, everything came out natural.
DQ: Why do you think AMF booked Maniqui Lazer even though you guys hadn't played together in three years?
ML: 'Cause we're the best Mexican punk band.
DQ: Did you guys actually break up or was it hiatus?
ML: We just stopped and got preoccupied with other projects and we weren't sure if we'd play together as M.L. again, but the stars aligned to start practicing and plan future shows.
DQ: What's on the calendar for the band? Any possibilities of re-introducing your past albums or producing a new one?
ML: For now we're focusing on making new stuff and getting a new album out, booking some shows in the U.S. next year and re-introducing our old stuff along with the new.
DQ: What does it mean to be a musician from Mexicali?
ML: We don't really see ourselves as musicians from any given place. We just happened to be born here. Yet, there will always be a part of Mexicali deep inside us. I guess it's got something to do with the heat.
DQ: You often commute to Tijuana or San Diego or does the Mexicali music nightlife keep you busy?
ML: We go play where we're invited; we've been all over Mexico and to the major cities in the U.S. We're not just a local border band.
DQ: What song would you pick from your past music catalog as the definition of Maniqui Lazer?
ML: "Indian Gold."
DQ: Where were each of the musicians born and is everyone Mexican-descent?
ML: All three of us were born in Mexicali, Mexico. And Jung is third-generation Chinese.
Maniqui Lazer will perform on Jan. 11, 2013 in Tecate, MX. Click for more info.
LISTEN Maniqui Lazer - “Indian Gold”
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.