Chain D.L.K.: Hi, please introduce yourself
Vagabundo Inn: We are a bi-cultural band formed by members from Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California. We call ourselves Vagabundo Inn. The name comes from this phase in our lives as musicians around 2005 when everybody from the musical scene in Tijuana was dropping by to jam at our studio. So some of us decided to make a band out of all this jamming and hanging around at the studio. The actual line up of Vagabundo Inn is: Kikko Flores – former lead vocals of a band called Hongos de Gina, David Chirinos – drummer with a lot of experience playing different venues, bars and night clubs in Tijuana, David Cortez – former lead guitar player from a band called Mexican Jumping Frijoles, Luis Gonzalez – guitar player from a band called Lhabia, and Octavio de la Torre – a bass player that has participated in different projects.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you all start?
Vagabundo Inn: Well, Vagabundo Inn has suffered a lot of changes since the beginning. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with a lot of musicians that have come through (and gone from) this band, but since the beginning the motto of the band has always been the same: “an open band for open & available musicians” (lol). But now it looks like the current line up of VI sounds satisfying for every band member. We have been creating songs and sounds for a while now. Sometimes as musicians you just have the gut feeling that “this is working” when the ideas at rehearsal continue flowing. The idea of the band started around 2004; and since then it has been a slow process, but we have been very patient and we never forget our purpose: that we get together every week just to create music and have a good time.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your Influences?
Vagabundo Inn: Since there are a lot of people in the band our influences vary from Electronica to Metal to Son Cubano. The band members are very open-minded and to be honest, sometimes there’s a part in a song (or even a entire song) that someone in the band doesn’t like, but we still make the most of it and play it as it is. Sometimes we just laugh about it afterwards.
Chain D.L.K.: You are from Tijuana a city known for violence & drug traffic. How can you focus on the music in an environment like that?
Vagabundo Inn: Good question. There’s always that fear, and fear is a strong feeling that can paralyze you. It’s always in the back of our minds, but I’m not going to be fatalistic about it. When we get together though all of that goes away and we enjoy every moment spent. Some of us have to cross the border every time we rehearse and sometimes it’s a hassle dealing with the long lines at the border and whatnot, but you always get used to the environment around you after a while.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your plans for the future?
Vagabundo Inn: We are recording an independent EP with 5 songs. We’re producing it ourselves and we want to see how far we can take it. One of our band members has a small recording studio, so we did everything there. Another band member does graphic design, so he’s working on the cover art of the CD and does all of the designs for the band. Being in the independent music movement – like you well know – it is very difficult to stand out in all this big corporate market when you have a small budget.
Chain D.L.K.: You sing in Spanish, is there a particular reason for it?
Vagabundo Inn: Yes, we do sing in Spanish. One of the reasons we sign in Spanish – and I think is the more important one – is simply that Spanish is our primary language (lol). We don’t want our songs to sound like Speedy Gonzalez is singing them, so it is easier for us to find a melody to our songs in Spanish.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you singing for a specific audience?
Vagabundo Inn: No, not at all. There are a lot of rhythms and sounds that we use in our songs. There’s the heavy and clean melodic guitars, hard & jazzy drums, ambient and hard sequences & keyboards, and melodic and screaming vocals. You know, there’s the head banging in some songs and the choreography dancing in the other (lol).
Chain D.L.K.: You played in Mexico and the USA, what differences/similarities you noticed between the 2 places?
Vagabundo Inn: Well, it’s true what they say in Mexico – “nadie es profeta en su propia tierra” – which means: ‘you can’t be a prophet in your own land’, so it is very difficult in Tijuana and even more so in big metropolitan cities, like Mexico City. The more people, the more bands equal more competition. And on the other hand when you go to a different country – and I don’t know why this is but – they always treat you better. You feel more support or probably as an independent band you feel overwhelmed that your music has made it that far.
Chain D.L.K.: Did you find any particular difficulties during your career? Do you have any suggestions for young musicians that are starting?
Vagabundo Inn: I guess it depends on what are you’re aiming for. If your goal is to make it big, be on TV and be a celebrity – go for it. Do everything right, get an agent, do your portfolio, and spend some real money on your records and promotion. It is very difficult but if that’s your dream & your goal nothing in this life is impossible if you put your mind and will to it. And as Andy Warhol said one time, we all get our “15 minutes of fame.” If yours hasn’t come yet, be prepared and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
Chain D.L.K.: Message for our readers
Vagabundo Inn: Thanx a Mill to Chain D.L.K. and the loyal readers for the support and this incredible independent support. I’m just surprised that people are reading again (lol)…when you go to a site nowadays you just look for the video link!
Visit Vagabundo Inn on the web at:
[interviewed by Ant Dakini] [proofreading by Sergio O.]