Q&A: Soledad, Mexico City's Hottest Minimal Darkwave Duo

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I’ve yet to catch Brett and Estéban of Mexico City’s renowned band, Soledad, in person. God knows what horrendous, gay dance party I was at the night I should have been headbanging like a creep in the corner at their latest two sets down here, but let it be known that the third time is definitely the charm. Regardless of my failing as a devout music fan, I managed to complete my freelancer obligations via an email exchange with one of the brooding band’s members, Chicago raised, global music scenester, Brett Schultz. He relayed interesting tidbits about his past band affiliations, the current state of Mexico’s music affairs, and some personal views on the role of music in the world. Even if it turns out there isn’t a deep philosophical mystery behind these thunder-knockers, you’ll have a good time getting stoned to several of their tracks in the near future.

Watch out for their upcoming D.F. shows (Oct 12, 10 pm, Bahía Bar, México, D.F.) and if you aren’t familiar with these gloom ’n’ doom devils, make sure to watch their latest video right here. The festivities this Friday will also include participations from D.D.A. (one the madcap kids organizing Festival Antes De Que Nos Olviden) in support of Soledad’s latest limited-edition 12″ release, FE.

Where are you from, Brett? And how long have you been living in Mexico?

I was born and raised just north of Chicago, spent several years after that in Los Angeles and then New York, and came down to Mexico City in 2007.

Why Mexico City?

New York was getting too clean.

How did you and Estéban meet?

I met Estéban through mutual friends when he returned to Mexico City after studying in London. I think the very first time we met was at some fancy hotel rooftop party that we were both crashing, whereupon we realized we had many common interests, like free alcohol.

Are there any bands or projects we should know about, before Soledad?

Depends on how far back you want to dig, but my band in New York is called WOMAN. We went on hiatus this year but who knows what the future has in store.

Estéban has a lot more going on musically, most of which you can find on the YouTube channel Cassettezultan. His band, El Resplandor, used to practice in the gallery space here that I co-direct. Soledad came out of that, really. We just started making noise some nights and eventually decided that it was pretty good noise, so we made it official.

When did you know you were going to be a musician?

I don’t know. I’ve been playing guitar since I was eight, but I’ve always been pretty terrible at it. But maybe I’ve developed a kind of style around being a terrible guitar player. I generally hesitate to call myself a musician though.

Why does music matter?

I’m not sure if it does. I like it, personally, but I don’t pretend to speak for the universe or for, like, ducks or anything.

How were the Á179 and Antes shows?

Both were great. I think we probably played better at Festival Antes but each of those shows was super-memorable. I’ve known the organizers since they had a space called Rio 55 and I’m just impressed that they’ve stuck to their guns and seem to be getting more and more ambitious.

There are so few people in Mexico City actively trying to put on shows just out of love for emerging or experimental music, so I really appreciate what they’re doing. It’s essential for any city but this one seems ripe for something interesting to emerge. On that same level, I also have a ton of respect for the guys who do Negative Youth and Fer who runs Bahía Bar, as well as our people at Vale Vergas Discos.

There’s finally a lot going on here. The music scene was in a pretty desperate state when I first arrived but shit’s pretty, pretty, pretty good now.

Be sure to check out Soledad’s gig this Friday, info below: