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Catching the excitement, Tamblay realizes that the band's management and production team also share an industry-town advantage. "We have management that knows the whole inside of the label," he notes of former Warner employees Becky Fajardo and Maribel Schumacher. Warner Chappell music publishing vice president Gustavo Menendez took on Luces as a producer, calling in local engineering whiz John Thomas and Crescent Moon's brilliant Sebastian Krys to mix the album. Tamblay marvels, "We looked to the side and everyone was there."
The only thing that irks anyone now is the frequent comparison of Volumen Cero to Eighties heroes the Cure.
"I just don't hear it," protests Escuti.
"Except for our song 'Love Dogs,'" deadpans Tamblay, rolling out the opening vamp to Cure favorite "Love Cats" on air keyboard.
Chan intervenes diplomatically. "[Producer] Gustavo is a big Eighties fan," he ventures, "maybe [the Cure sound] is in the effects."
Indeed for these fans of Stereolab, Coldplay, Air, and Travis, the bright reworkings of Big Eighties sound is only one of the elements that went into Luces. Sanchez's punkster-fun drums offset Tamblay's petulant vocals and driving bass, while Chan scratches and bounces along and Escuti flirts with rock-god solo here, heavy-metal thrash there. Like so many Latin bands, Volumen Cero mixes and matches styles, only this time the trunk it draws from is filled with the traditions of rock and roll.
"Luces shows what we are," says Chan. "We're a rock band with two guitars and drums, a singer, and a couple of kick-ass background vocalists."
"For some reason, bands from Miami have a Miami sound, just like bands from L.A. have an L.A. sound," adds Tamblay. "This is the town we grew up in. We are going to represent Miami forever."