Tijuana Cartel have been on the road for years now and, as many know, that road can take a toll.
All-night parties that turn into long-haul flights, coupled with endless shows and non-stop debauchery, it’s a fast, crazy and taxing lifestyle for many.
All this debauchery came to a head when one of the members was found face down in a pool after a bottle or so of tequila. Although completely blue and without a pulse, he was revived by a doctor quite luckily standing not too far away. For the members of Tijuana Cartel this was a wake-up call.
‘We’d almost forgotten about the music,’ says Paul George, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist.
‘We got so caught up in this whirlwind of touring and late-night antics that it was beginning to affect what we could achieve as musicians.’
Tijuana Cartel’s new attitude seems to have had a positive effect on their musical direction. There is still the party flavour of Tijuana, but you can hear a much more serious musicality, and a quite sexy theme permeates the songs. In the live show each track flows seamlessly into the next and provides a groove that builds throughout their entire show.
‘For me it was Dutch courage,’ laughs Daniel Gonzalez, the band’s percussionist and manager. ‘I found my nerves would get the better of me before I stood in front of a few thousand people. I found a bottle of tequila and a few beers helped.’ Daniel now spends his tours completely sober and is content on chai tea and health food in place of drugs and alcohol.
‘I can’t guarantee it’ll last, but my heart is in the music first.’
Tijuana Cartel have toured their way to one of Australia’s most loved and successful independent bands. Their recent single Snappy Tom managed to gain 40,000 YouTube hits in its first week of release. This is a huge accomplishment for an act who run their whole operation in house.
If you want to get on a roll with the Cartel, get yourself to the Brunswiwck Heads Hotel for New Years Eve.
Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.