Tijuana's Glasmus is a buzzing, alt-rock band to be on the lookout for at this Saturday's 10th annual TJ BeerFest, which takes place at the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT). In 2012, local radio station 91x took notice of the band's self-titled debut EP and named them Local Band of the Month for July. After watching Glasmus perform at this year's All My Friend's Music Festival, Goldenvoice founder, Gary Tovar, noted them as “having their own style.”
As all indie artists know, there's much work to be paved in a career of music. Getting a few honorable mentions is cool, but the music has to reach far and wide. Glasmus is steadily rising as a standout local group on both sides of the border because of their energetic, attention-grabbing live shows. Their single, “We Are Machines,” is a catchy, thought-provoking rock song that takes a look at the insidiousness of a partriarchal society. With lyrics like, "Picking the scabs right off your back/Feeding the wounds with broken glass,” along with it's buzzy amplified guitar hooks, you can't help but to be sonically attached. Glasmus lead guitarist, Mousiky, shares the depths of the song:
Dita Quinones: There seems to be a conspiracy theory element to the “We Are The Machines” music video and lyrics. Can you explain?
Mousiky: The whole song is about how in some cultures women have been horrendously mistreated by men in the name of religion and how as men we perpetuate that by not acknowledging there's even a problem. I didn't want to be blunt or preachy about the subject, so I tried to use metaphors and symbolisms to convey that message. We're baffled by the fact that in some parts of the world, women's rights are being oppressed by religious groups, the hooded men represent those old patriarchies.
DQ: Really cool music video. Where was the music video shot?
Mousiky: It was shot at El Salto, near Ensenada by director Sergio Valdez. We had a lot of talks with him about how to visually treat the meaning of the song.
DQ: I noticed renowned drummer Zoell Farrugia performing with you guys in some of your YouTube videos. Is he your officiall drummer?
Mousiky: No, Zoell is a good friend and a frequent Glasmus collaborator. He's recorded drums on both our debut EP and upcoming release. He's now a full-time touring drummer for the bands Rey Pila and Chikita Violenta. Moncho is our official drummer now.
DQ: What will your upcoming EP be called?
Mousiky: We don't have an official name for it yet. We've been calling it "Waves," but it's still a working title. We're no sure it'll end up as the official one.
DQ: I love your band's name. It just rolls off the tongue even though I have no idea what it means.
Mousiky: Glasmus is sort of a portmanteau word. I made it up by playing around with the words “glass” and “museum” taken from a song by from one of my favorite bands, Tortoise. We decided right from the get go that we wanted to name the project with a word completely unattached to anything yet, easy enough to be memorized by either the spelling or pronunciation in both English and Spanish. And ultimately – with a little SEO in mind – the only web reference would be redirected to our band.
Part of Glasmus' appeal is they bring the whole package: style, originality, vision and a solid live show. Not to mention, they give subtle hints of their advocacy for women's rights. On an upcoming episode of “SoundDiego,” lead singer, Magdalen, admits his girlfriend's feminist views show up in his songwriting. It may be two years since “We Are Machines” released, but it's still relevant and ready to heard on heavy radio rotation.
Glasmus performs Aug. 16 at TJ Beerfest. For more info on TJ Beerfest go here. Watch “We Are Machines” music video here.
Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.