Heavy metal receives a mariachi twist


Metalachi violinist, Maximilian “Dirty” Sanchez, performs onstage at Fishlips on Sept. 1. The band puts a mariachi twist on metal songs.

Tyler Mcginty, Opinions Editor

Five brothers, with the same mother and different fathers, have formed a cover band dedicated to playing metal songs in a mariachi style.

It seems outlandish, but that’s the story Vega de la Rockha gives on the origins of Metalachi.

“We’ve been playing together since birth,” says Rockha.

Metalachi is very passionate about metal, claiming to have learned how to speak English from metal.

“Metal and mariachi are the best music on the planet, and you put them together and you get Metalachi,” says violinist Maximilan “Dirty” Sanchez.

Their (possibly real) stage personas give Metalachi a unique flair that contributes to their music and bleeds into their performance.

The story of a group of illegitimate children, all brothers fathered by different drunken mariachi musicians, following in their fathers’ footsteps seems like the makings of a legend.

Or at the very least, a story you might hear in a bar somewhere.

Metalachi kicked off their live performance at Fishlips on Sept. 1 with a cover of AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” and Rockha channeled Brian Johnson in a way that doesn’t seem possible if you’ve heard him speak. But all it took was the opening riff being played on El Cucuy’s trumpet for the crowd to get hooked.

Metalachi seemed to be a little constricted by the smaller stage at Fishlips, so there weren’t a lot of onstage antics, but they did banter with the audience.

They even brought a woman onstage when they introduced the band and made the “perfect” margarita for her. Each member of the band had one ingredient that they poured into her cup, one by one, as they were introduced.

This concoction was topped off by El Cucuy, who squeezed a lime on the codpiece of his ornate KISS-styled armor (which he claims to have been born in).

But it isn’t just flair, outlandish stories and crazy armor that make Metalachi what it is. These may get them noticed, but if the band didn’t have talent then they wouldn’t have any staying power.

With El Cucuy and Sanchez taking the center stage most frequently, playing the riffs people would know, a lot is riding on these two.

Fortunately, these two can carry the band. Especially during “Sweet Child of Mine” when Sanchez plays pizzicato. Then it was easy to see why Sanchez claims that people call him the “Mexican Slash.”

The arrangement of their covers was innovative, and Rockha says they work hard on it.

“We figure out how not to just cover a metal song, but to do a combination of mariachi with the metal,” says Rockha. “The instrumentation helps a lot, but we try to incorporate a lot of mariachi rhythms.”

Metalachi doesn’t have an album out yet, but they’re working on raising money to start production. They’re relying heavily on fans, and using a Kickstarter account, but they hope to put out an album soon.