Rey Pila is riding high. Signed to Cult Records, the four-piece just released their Wall of Goth EP, produced by Julian Casablancas. The group’s roots in Mexico City have influenced their sound, which oozes broody, garage rock. Their last album, The Future Sugar, is a larger-than-life record with an ’80s flare. The band is currently in the middle of a festival bend to support its release; we caught up with frontman Diego Solórzano while he was in his hometown of Mexico City to get an in-depth look at the EP and discuss the difficulties of breaking into the New York City music scene.
Vinyl Mag: What’s the meaning behind the title of Wall of Goth?
Diego Solórzano: I guess we’re secretly goth in a way, or if not, we’re big fans of that culture. We’re huge fans of bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees. We feel they don’t have enough recognition, like they should be 10 times more popular. It’s not like we’re such a big and popular band that we’re going to put them out there, but we owe them that. There’s a club in Mexico City where people only go to dance. There’s a wall there, where we got the name from, that has a bunch of pictures of goth artists. Musicians but also like romantic writers that were also the first steps toward goth, like Edgar Allan Poe and even Beethoven. He’s considered goth.
VM: If you had to describe the EP in three words, what would they be?
DS: I’d say popular, weird, and big.
VM: When I first heard “Alexander,” it reminded me of Echo & the Bunnymen. Is that early ’80s British sound something that inspires your music?
DS: Well it’s weird, you know, because there are so many bands and all artists in general now talk about their influences. In that song in particular, it was part of a moment. That moment in particular we were trying to do a Cars-inspired song, and that’s what came out. That’s something that’s very interesting about perspective in music in general. Like, you hear something different than we intended you to hear.
VM: What’s it like working with Julian Casablancas?
DS: For this EP, we knew what the studio vibes are with him. It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s really interesting, and he knows what he wants from music. The decisions don’t take that long. It’s definitely a pleasure to work with Julian.
VM: You’re from Mexico City. How did growing up there influence your sound?
DS: There’s a big like ’80s following here in Mexico. Eighties bands are huge here, like The Cure and The Smiths. That part of music I would say influenced us the most. The club that I mentioned before is a place that people who are like 50 years old go to still to hear ’80s music. Mexico City has a lot of different things going on musically. Also it’s a city that’s growing a cult following from a lot of people from all over the world. It’s also a bit dangerous, which makes it exciting.
VM: You guys play a lot of shows in Mexico. Do the shows there have a different vibe than ones in the United States?
DS: We pretty much play an equal amount of shows there [as in the US]. A year and a half ago, we played only shows in the US. When we play in Mexico City, it’s our hometown, so it’s always a great show. People are very excited. The US is different. The response from the crowd is very particular. New York is getting there. We’ve played there so many times. Last time they were so excited, and it was a sold out show. It’s a hard town to break. Salt Lake City is a good place for us. It’s fucking weird. One of the weirdest places I’ve ever seen in my life. Under all the buildings, it’s really dark and kind of evil. We also get good responses in Texas and Vancouver. The people are what make it good.
VM: “Ninjas” recently got played on the Chicago Cubs fancam. Are you guys Cubs fans?
DS: Well, I’m a Yankees fan. But that’s great it’s getting played!
VM: Any music recommendations for our readers?
DS: Jim Williams. He’s French composer, and he’s really cool. There’s a European band called Principles of Geometry. They’re electronic/experimental. Frank Ocean is always on the playlist. Justice’s new album Woman is great. We like that one.
VM: What’s your dream artist collaboration?
DS: David Bowie. He’s a classic, but he’s the reason I started playing music.
Listen to the Wall of Goth EP below!