Kinky's Carlos Chairez on Spanish Rock in the U.S. and Why "Miami Is a Challenging City"

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Some bands try to snag some buzz with a catchy name. Others become legends with their music alone. But when your band's name is Kinky and you have been nominated for several Latin Grammys, you've definitely made it.

We here at Crossfade caught up with guitarist Carlos Chairez just in time for the band's April 6 show at La Covacha to talk about Spanish rock in the U.S. and why "Miami is a challenging city."

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Crossfade: It was around 2002 when Kinky began gaining popularity in the U.S. What do you think was the catalyst for the band's North American fame?

Carlos Chairez: There were a lot of factors in 2001 and 2002 that built the band in the U.S. The Unlimited Sunshine Tour [with Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse] was an amazing tour because a couple of those bands were about to explode. In L.A., we started to have a lot of film and TV opportunities. Indie college radios started to play us and this was before the blogs when people were really into college radio.

Would you say Kinky is still more popular in Latin America?

In the U.S., we've had a lot of appearances in stuff in the movies and in TV, much more than in Mexico. But definitely on a daily basis, we have more radio play in Latin America and Mexico, because it's in Spanish and it's easier to play that kind of content in Latin America than in the U.S. It's a different scenario here and there.

Kinky's song "Más" landed on a Nissan commercial, CSI: Miami, and other mainstream media. Would you say that's your most popular song?

It's one of the most popular ones from the beginning. It picked up the attention of a lot of people. We still play it live. What's good about it is that when you hear it today it sounds fresh, it doesn't sound dated, and it's already more than ten years old. We're very proud of that song.

With Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, and Miami Music Week, Miami is obviously an EDM-obsessed city. Do you think this is a challenge for Kinky's music?

Miami is a challenging city to go to play. I think the crowd is very different than other cities. It's more electronic-oriented and [there's] a very big Latin community that listens to whole different things, from alternative music and rock. It's challenging, but it's always good to go and expose the music as you play it.

With Kinky's upcoming show at La Covacha, what impression do you want to leave on the people of Miami?

Well, I think that mainly people go to have a good time. We're hoping the fans that already know the music show up. And for the new people that haven't seen us before, it's probably gonna be a good surprise. Our show is a big expression of energy of the music we've been playing for more than 10 years.

Kinky. With Mr. Pauer. Saturday, April 6. La Covacha, 10730 NW 25th St., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $25 to $55 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-594-3717 or visit lacovacha.com.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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