This past weekend, Remezcla attended the 13th Annual L.A. Day of the Dead held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. We took this opportunity to ask some of the event’s performers — Las Cafeteras, Ozomatli, Andrea Zuñiga, and La Santa Cecilia — questions about Day of the Dead and Halloween.
All photos taken by the author
If your friends and family made a Day of the Dead altar to you [assuming you passed away], what three things would it have?
Ulises Bella, saxophonist of OZOMATLI: Oh man, a big plato de chorizo con huevo, a big breakfast! You know how they display your favorite food, right? I’m sure maybe a couple of records that are close to my heart, whether it’s Love Supreme or any of those kind of records that change your whole outlook as a musician or as a person. I don’t know what the last one would be, but probably pictures of me and my family enjoying good times.
Andrea Zuñiga (Chavela Vargas & Toña la Negra tribute band vocalist): A picture of my grandpa, José Guillermo Zuñiga, Guatemalan dolls and textiles (in remembrance of indigenous and working class people continually massacred for profit’s sake), and pictures of recently passed favorite singers/inspirations: Mercedes Sosa and Chavela Vargas, and although not recently passed, Toña la Negra.
La Marisoul, frontwoman of LA SANTA CECILIA: Alcohol, music, y un chingo de comida -all of my favorite stuff.
Daniel French, vocalist/jaranero of LAS CAFETERAS: A guitar, dancing shoes, and…. champurrado. Soy champurrado because I’m lactose intolerant.
If you could dress as anything [sky’s the limit] for Halloween, what would your costume be?
Ulises Bella: Godzilla! If you had the O.G. Godzilla with the big ass tail and everything, that would be the shit.
Andrea Zuñiga: The Cecilia Gimenez’s restored version of the Jesus Christ fresco painting, Ecce Homo.
La Marisoul: Could I be a skinny super sexy French maid? No, really. What would I be? You know what? Probably a dude-like Charlie Chaplin or a tranny. You know what?! Better yet a pirate! A really good one. Aarrghh!
Daniel French: Anything?… Hmmm…. I would be immigration reform.
What’s one of your craziest Halloween memories?
Ulises Bella: There are a lot of them because we’ve played some pretty crazy Halloween shows — some in Hawaii, and others that I remember off the bat, in Humboldt. In Humboldt, there was this person who kept wanting to give me a bouquet, and I was like WTF?! It looked like one of those freeway bouquets. It was janky but I still took, fuck it. Then I realized it had roses mixed with huge big weed buds, but basically it was nothing but buds. I mean that’s Humboldt for you, right?
Andrea Zuñiga: I was at a Halloween party and had to walk back home to greet my friend coming shortly from out of town. I left alone, took an alleged short-cut, stumbled and crashed into a tall massive bush and got tangled and stuck. I was screaming for help but also laughing because it was so ridiculous. I called my friend to come find me, but I wasn’t sure where I was so she wandered around trying to locate me, asking me to yell (this was before GPS). I eventually climbed out, bruised and cut from the branches and weeds, looking like I was jumped into a fairy gang.
La Marisoul: Recently, my craziest memory during Halloween is always last minute glue-gunning stuff on to skirts and corsets for my outfits for Dia de Los Muertos shows.
Daniel French: When I was in high school, I went out with a friend and a couple of his friends whom I didn’t know for Halloween. We were on our skateboards ready to smash some pumpkins. So I was like “oh, cool, we’ll be all traviesos,” it’d be fun. But I didn’t know that his friends were not just traviesos, they were some hardcore gangsters! One of the dudes ended up throwing eggs at this other gangster’s car, and ended up running for our lives like somewhere in El Monte. We hid behind some random person’s house until the sun rose. Soon after, the gangsters were in front of that house walking with guns and knives. I was like, “how the hell did I end up mixed up with these cats.” I would had left if I knew how to get home from there.