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Be the Mule Blog

Son of A Hero. Story.

A Love Electric is this band we've been touring with the past 3 years, often with my name attached to it, but its grown to be a real band, an honest sum of its parts, not just mine anymore. There are three of us, from three different countries (MX/US/ARG) , all living within a block of each other in Mexico City, a city of 26 million people. We've played over 300 shows the past two years, slept on floors in Argentina, Europe, all over Mexico, and in the US. We all have careers playing in other bands as well, but this became something special as we spent more time together, we've left a lot of personal opportunity behind to commit to this, just playing music and moving around the world as much as we could. We've evolved a lot over time, from playing instrumental music to songs where I just yelled to what might be more proper songs now, which is really my voice and what I do when I'm alone just making music.
  In March 2013 John Medeski came down, as a friend, to the Baja in Mexico and we played one gig together with A Love Electric. Of course a dream for me, and all of us, and when I was driving John and his family back to the airport, he expressed gratitude for the trip - we spent a few days in a cabin on the beach in Cabo Pulmo -  the music and hanging, and said "I'll play on your next recording, you know, not charging, just whenever you want, tell me… unless you want someone else."  That was March 2013 and I started writing every morning with the Son of a Hero record in mind the next morning, every morning, on tours, wherever I could.
    By September I had about 30 songs I liked enough and had recorded a few rounds of demos in my apartment living room in MX City, just into my phone or whatever. I started talking with Hernan Hecht, our drummer, about producing the record. It was important to me the new record stay in our hands, all the understanding and love that have grown out of years of touring and living together, sharing it all, its felt really hard for someone else to feel where we are coming from. So I wanted to keep the whole process with us, and Hernan is a brilliant producer, arranger. He has a Latin Grammy and these things, but he would be absolutely the last to tell you about that.
  We started tracking songs in Hernan's studio, just me playing solo, but ended up abandoning all those recordings. We needed to be playing together the three of us in the studio to get the energy right on these tunes, I felt, Hernan didn't feel that way so much, but it ended right. So we recorded as a trio 3 days in Minnesota, the three of us, something like 16 or 17 songs, with Hernan and Aaron arranging a lot in the studio, flipping the songs around, and doing what each one of them does, make brilliant music that only they can. There's no one like either of them, and with the 3 of us, there's nothing like what happens. I've played other places with other people, it do nest happen with the vigor and personality it does with us.
 From there, we went out to Appleahead studio in Woodstock where Medeski keeps a lot of his gear. Its a magic studio, big A Frame, three cats that live in Mx City up in the cold, and John and I tracked out parts. We worked out the rest of the record in Mexico City at Hernan's studio, where the scrapped sessions started, and in this time I also became a close friend of Billy Martin, who was working with John Lurie. John Lurie is a hero of mine, I've written about that. I started speaking with John infrequently, and I got hipped to Patrick Dillet, who mixes a lot of David Byrne's stuff, and did Lounge Lizards records with John. I wanted to work with Patrick, so we set it up, long in advance, to come out to NYC and mix with him. The three of us went out and played 5 shows in a week in New York and mixed days with Patrick. There is this sense of community and humanity, maybe family, in making this record, that came about naturally. From John, and then Pat becoming a friend and just being real with us, and understanding what we do. All the right people, not a lot of people, but the right ones, seemed to come into our lives at the right time. 
Son of A Hero, the name, is something I wanted to say since a kid. I feel like we all operate, now in this giant monolith society, in the shadow of some great hero of the success of someone or something that came before us. I feel this in music, in the arts as much as in my family. Its resigning to that, "fine, you cats were heroes, thats wonderful, truly, Im fine with just being the Son of a Hero, I don't have to fight that or try to outgrow the shadow, I can celebrate my space in it".      So its overcoming by not needing to.
All I've ever wanted to do is create music, create new, and create something real with people out of that, music that is really about personality and character, and I think this record does that. 
Its taken a lot to get there. Moving to a new country, moving to a city Id never thought Id live in, sleeping on floors, buses, Aunt's couches, and writing more songs to throw away than I thought I'd ever write in the first place, but its all right, its just been following the music. I've followed the music and its led us to this record. 
Just the Son of a Hero is fine, maybe more empowering than trying to overcome some idea of greatness by ego that doesn't truly give us what may be most meaningful.

Here is the first single, "Be The Evolution" . The video was filmed by Mario Rodriguez on a roof in Oaxaca with some paint from the

supermarket that came off easier than I anticipated swimming in the Pacific Ocean.


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