Love it or hate it, social media is the vehicle for finding out about “new stuff.” Sometimes we find out about really great stuff– like this week when David McClymont formerly of Scottish post-punk pop band Orange Juice shared out a video of an obscure Mexico City band Idle Hands practicing a song from an upcoming debut EP with the comment, “No, this isn’t a Glasgow bedroom circa 1980, it’s a Mexico City bedroom now.”
The song, titled “Carolina St.” is a glorious bright and chiming guitar instrumental reminiscent of, well, Orange Juice. This song has gained thousands of views in a couple of days– over 6,000 at the time I’m writing this! So, who are these guys? I reached out to them to see what’s going on.
From their bio: “Idle Hands is a south of Mexico City-based musical project formed by Fernando Torres and Diego Figueroa with the objective of creating sincere, smart and dreamy pop music.”
They also have a mission statement:
“We started to write music in the fall of 2015, responding to the need of obtaining an emotional and artistic expression away from the established scenes in our country. We take inspiration from the experiences, people, music and situations we love and hate. We try to tie together the good with the bad aspects of life while being aware of who we are and where we are heading, with the aim of avoiding stagnation, apathy, resentment and desensitization. These things are making Mexico a dangerous place for the people who live here and a terrible environment for art to bloom.
With our work we’d like to bring back ideas from the music we find profound and constructive, to inspire and share with our contemporaries.
Idle Hands music is written, played, recorded, produced and mixed by us.”
It’s Time to Play B-Sides: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. “Carolina St.” is a great track– I can’t wait to hear more! Will you be singing on some of the tracks, or will this be an instrumental effort?
Idle Hands: Yes, almost all of our songs have lyrics 🙂
Will “Carolina St.” have lyrics or will stay an instrumental?
Yes, it’ll have singing. It’s a love song, haha.
I read in your comments that you are looking for distribution for your EP. Will you release it digitally first or wait until someone signs you?
We will make a digital release first, but we are looking for a label to release a nice physical release.
Are you close to finished recording it?
Yes, sort of… we are quite perfectionists haha. We are finishing the recording process. The art and mixing are still on planning.
It’s amazing to see all of the shares on that video. When I saw it yesterday there was only a few hundred!
Yes, we are very impressed and grateful with everyone. We didn’t think that a rehearsal video would be so warmly received 😮
David McClymont from Orange Juice wrote a fantastic quote about us…
Actually, that is how I found out about you. One of my friends on FB shared the video with McClymont’s quote.
It’s incredible to see how the Young Sound of Scotland is alive and kicking. And the best thing: crossing seas and breaking walls!
Will the EP lyrics be in Spanish or English?
No, the lyrics are in English. It’s quite a political thing… haha. We feel quite rebellious against the musical scene of Latin America.
I’m not too familiar with the Latin music scene other than some of the bigger exports.
We don’t feel identified with much of the local stuff. Almost always the people who succeed in music in Mexico are from wealthy families and they don’t have struggles to get a record deal, gear or education.
I see. Speaking of gear, I’m impressed with the sound of that Starcaster [a budget Fender guitar line below the Squier brand]– sounds better than I thought it might.
We are condemned to play with the cheapest we can get haha. But we have the habit of improving our instruments.
I was wondering about that. Must be different pickups in there?
No way! Pickups are expensive as our guitars in México.
The secret is in the strings.
We use D’Addario Flatwounds to achieve a cleaner and smoother tone
Interesting. You use flatwounds on the Jag, too?
Yes, we have all of our guitars and basses with flatwounds
Wow. I have to say I’m pretty surprised! I would never have guessed that. The clean tone coming from those single coils sounds really nice in that video.
Yes, Squier guitars are the most trusty axes we had throughout the years.
Any effects pedals?
No, we used to had a few, but we had to sell them. And now with the “peso” devaluation we are struggling harder to get gear.
But we made our minds up. We’re trying to make the most of the cheapest things.
Well, maybe this video going viral will help sell a lot of your EP!
Haha thanks, idleness made us… We would rather make a crowdfunding for a vinyl release than selling digital music.
Well, as a vinyl junkie I would love to see that!!
Thanks a lot!
When first I saw your video I thought it sounded like Manchester scene– The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc. Though, the Orange Juice and Aztec Camera sound people are mentioning isn’t far from that.
Yes could be. Haha, we have a lot of influence of UK and Scottish bands. From the 60’s to the 80’s.
We also love soul, disco and Afrobeat.
That should make for some interesting future releases!
Yes, actually we have a lot of unreleased demos of experiments with other genres… You’ll listen to them eventually haha.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today– it’s been a lot of fun!
Thanks to you Michael, it’s been a pleasure. Love from México – Fernando & Diego