The Mexican band Jumbo celebrates 25 years of rock. They are aware of how much the landscape has changed since they debuted with their album “Restaurant” in the late 1990s.
“Everything in the industry was less, there were fewer proposals, fewer bands, fewer options,” said vocalist Clemente Castillo, in a recent interview at the Teatro Metropólitan in Mexico City, where they will perform in concert on Thursday to celebrate this important anniversary. . “I think that right now any fusion is valid, any way of presenting a single or a proposal, people are going to consume it, because there are many niches.”
Back then it was necessary for them to be signed by a record company and to record with a producer in a professional studio. The records were physical and there were high-impact distribution channels such as radio and the MTV channel.
Now everything has changed, since entire albums can be produced at home and distribution is digital. Although it seems easier to reach the public, for Jumbo the path that artists must travel to receive compensation for their art has become “very, very long.”
“Obviously you dream of being able to make a living from music; not only for the glamor and fame that that could represent in the fantasies of a teenager, but for doing it every day all day long,” Tamez said. “I do remember that machinery with great affection… We had a team that years later you realized had marketers, accountants, radio promoters, press promoters…”.
“And with everything and the great tools that exist today for a new artist,” he added. “Suddenly you say, why are they so stressed checking their monthly listeners every two or three days? Checking their statistics? Suddenly it became a video game where the song is the token.”
They see streaming as a double-edged sword, with many advantages for the audience, but with elusive effects for the artists.
Returning to the origin of Jumbo, when the band—completed by drummer Beto Ramos and bassist Charly Castro—had months before releasing their “Restaurant” in 1999, its members saw one of the concerts that had the most impact on them at the Teatro Metropólitan.
“The presentation of Cerati’s ‘Bocanada’ blew my mind here,” said Tamez. “It was a brutal avalanche of rock and roll.”
“We were sitting there,” Castillo pointed to some seats in the theater’s rear window.
“They had just given us the album at BMG and they invited us to the concert,” said Tamez, who added that they were big fans of Soda Stereo. “We saw them since they went to school gyms in Monterrey (to play). And then the bullring and Soda’s farewell.”
For their concert, they hope to perform many of the songs of Jumbo, famous for songs like “Monotransistor”, “Here” and “Photography”, divided into different sections, one with a lot of energy, sides by another with an ensemble of musicians similar to their live album “Travel Manual.” They also hope to have guests.
“Since we have no time restriction and it is very worthwhile to give people an extensive show, a fun show…” Castillo said. “I generally don’t remember having made such a long setlist in a long time.”
At the moment they are not planning to release new songs, they say they don’t want to force things. But they do have personal projects related to music, including their promotion of new bands. Jumbo belongs to the Avanzada Regia movement that also includes groups such as Control Machete, Plastilina Mosh, El Gran Silencio, Zurdok and Kinky. Now its members say that they find a lot of talent in proposals like those of Danzantes, Serbia and Efelante.
“I hope that the factors that helped our generation have that visibility are created because suddenly you hear new bands in Monterrey that are really incredible,” Castillo said.
Jumbo will perform at the Coordenada festival in Guadalajara in October. They hope to hold the formal celebration of the 25th anniversary at the beginning of next year in Monterrey.