El Paso has such a diverse underground music scene, and the So Not Psyched Battle of the Bands proved it—indie-rock, rock en Español, Christian and death metal bands all shared the stage, but only one band could come out victorious: Flamel were clearly the winners by getting the Percolator crowd riled up and singing along, prying them away from their cell phones with their infectious rock music. Fusion interviewed the champs.
Who is in Flamel and what instruments do you play?
Angel-Daniel Corpus vocals/guitar, Angel Ramirez bass/synths, Anthon Rios lead guitar and Raul “Rawl” Macias drums.
What does that name mean?
Angel– Flamel comes from Nicholas Flamel, the French alchemist. The band itself is like an alchemical combination—different styles and personalities. So we decided on going with that.
Daniel– We considered a lot of words and phrases coming from Latin, Nahuatl and other languages such as Aura and Lux. But none of them were good enough for us.
Are you guys originally from El Paso? What side of town are you guys from?
Anthon– A huevo! We are from El Paso. We are from the far east-side.
Who are your influences? Who are some of your favorite bands?
Daniel– Caifanes & Zoe. Rawl- Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. Anthon- Heroes Del Silencio and The Strokes.
Angel– Porter, Pink Floyd & Caifanes.
Where do you guys play shows?
Angel– Everywhere here (in El Paso) and in Juarez—from cafes to hookah lounges, restaurants, etc…
What does Flamel sound like to people who have never heard your music?
Rawl– It is a combination of stuff that influences us all. Many people have told us that we sound like such and such artist with such and such band, but the cool stuff is that the bands are always different, so it means that we are covering quite a range there.
Angel– As far as a genre, here in El Paso it is classified as rock en Español, but in Mexico we define it as neo-psychedelic, contemporary rock.
What do you think of the El Paso music scene? Any local bands you like out there?
Angel– It is hard to start if you don’t have the contacts.
Rawl– We need more places that support bands here and in Juarez. There has been a drastic reduction of venues, although there are people trying hard to help bands!
Anthon– Here in El Paso we really like Los Deambulantes and Dirus and in Juarez we are really good friends with Afonica.
How was your experience at the So Not Psyched Battle of the Bands?
Anthon– It was awesome! It was what really got us to focus on the band.
Daniel– It made us feel more secure of ourselves, but it was long path.
How did you guys feel being the only Spanish singing band? Was it more of a challenge?
Angel– It was a challenge, but we wanted to use it more as an advantage…como una espada de dos filos. In the end we completely accepted that fact, and we wanted to prove that the rock en Español movement is still here, and that we are not the stereotypical band that plays Mana or Enanitos Verdes.
How did you feel after you won?
Daniel– It was weird because we didn’t hear Flamel being said—no nos callo el veinte, as they say in Mexico. After a couple of seconds, we all screamed and hugged each other! Angel had gone to drop off his brother’s friends and he got (back) to the Percolator at that exact moment, so we all went outside and saw him and laughed; we were planning our celebration party. Some of the bands came to congratulate us, and it felt really good after the hard work and merit all four of us put into it.
What is next for Flamel?
Angel– Our first EP, hopefully in this first quarter of the year, and next we are planning on expanding our music throughout the border, to the west-coast and south of Mexico!
TEXT: DANIEL SALAS | PHOTO CREDIT: JADE CRUZ