For nearly two decades, Mexico City’s Molotov has lived up to its name, creating rap-infused “rock en Español” that is incendiary, combustible and unsettling to those in positions of power.
Influenced by acts such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, the Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine, the band is known equally for its beer-soaked party anthems and its politically driven tracks such as “Frijolero,” which focuses on the friction felt by residents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
While Molotov has won four Latin Grammys, the band — which includes Tito Fuentes on guitar, Miky Huidobro on bass, Paco Ayala on guitar and Randy Ebright on drums — doesn’t spend much time back slapping or standing on ceremony. Ebright said he keeps one of his Latin golden gramophones on top of his toilet; he uses another to serve tequila.
The group, which sings in Spanish and English, is headlining the Jägermeister Music Tour — the first Latin band to do so in the tour’s 11-year history. Rolling into Sacramento’s Ace of Spades tonight, Molotov shares the bill with fellow rockeros Sangre and Diciembre Gris. The Bee recently caught up with Ebright during Molotov’s concert stop in Phoenix.
The band hasn’t released an album since 2007’s “Eternamiente.” Can fans expect a new album soon?
Yeah, we’re working on an album and we’re trying to see if we can get a single out before Christmas for the new record. It’s funny, though, because we’re doing back-to-back albums. We’re going to have two albums out back-to-back next year. We don’t have a release date but we’re pressuring ourselves to have it out by November or December.
In Molotov’s 18 years of existence, it has gone global. Where does the band have the most fans?
We do well in pretty much all of Europe. We just recorded our last DVD in Russia. We did a five-city tour there. It’s all documented in this DVD we put out in 2012. We do well in South America, Mexico, Central America. The U.S. is probably still our biggest challenge, for rock played in another language in the U.S. has always been tough. We’ve played in … little clubs, but it’s gotten to where we’re playing at The House of Blues, The Congress Theater and other good venues.
When the group first started, you probably didn’t see this coming.
Oh, hell no. Of course not. I think that’s kind of what’s attractive about the band. We were four friends getting together in a rehearsal space and having a really good time. That translates over to the stage. We still have a really good time and it’s a pretty big party, just joking around and stuff.
The band has written songs that referenced past presidential administrations in the United States and Mexico. What do you think about the Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto administrations?
Peña Nieto is one of the most obvious people. It’s obvious that he’s unclear. For example, with (Felipe) Calderón, it was pretty clear where he was going. He wasn’t so predictable but he was clear on his agenda, which was the war on drugs. (Peña Nieto) has pretty much lightened everything up as far as all the laws against the drug dealers. A whole bunch of drug dealers have gotten out of jail.
Do you see things improving in Mexico?
The lawmakers would have to do a lot to change Mexico. It would not be in their interest. It would be political suicide for them because if anybody pure in legislation wanted to actually change anything, everybody else would drag their feet. I don’t see it going anywhere. That’s how it’s made. It’s the conquistador’s government.
Call The Bee’s Kristopher Rivera at (916) 321-1101. Follow him on Twitter @kgrivera.