Molotov Cocktail Party at the Korova
Published: July 31, 2013
“Don’t call me gringo, you fuckin’ beaner/Stay on your side of that goddamn river/Don’t call me gringo, you beaner /No me digas beaner, Mr. Puñetero /Te sacaré un susto por racista y culero/ No me llames frijolero, pinche gringo puñetero.”
—Molotov’s “Frijolero” (“Beaner”)
I don’t think a translation is needed, but here you go: “Don’t call me beaner, Mr. Jerk-off/I will scare you for being a racist and a fucker/Don’t call me beaner, fucking gringo jerk-off.”
The words are all the more provocative if you consider one of the singers, drummer Randy “The Crazy Gringo” Ebright, was born and raised in Michigan.
In 1992, a 14-year-old Ebright moved to Mexico City following his father, a DEA agent who spent three years there. When his dad got transferred back to the States, Ebright decided to stay. He joined Molotov in 1995 after high school, with Tito Fuentes (guitar, vocals) and Micky Huidobro (bass, vocals). Paco Ayala (guitar, drums, vocals) would join them later.
“[My dad] wasn’t too happy with me staying in Mexico,” Ebright told the Current on the phone from Mexico City. “Obviously, he saw the darker side by being in the line of work that he was, but I stayed out of any serious trouble. He’s now proud of me, but at first it was rough for him.”
“Frijolero,” included in 2003’s Dance and Dense Denso, was Molotov’s latest aural attack, and arguably its most lethal. No small feat for a band that became famous before its music was even heard. The cover of their 1997 debut, ¿Dónde Jugarán las Niñas? (“Where will the little girls play?”), showed a young teenage school girl in the back seat of a car, her legs up in the air and her panties by her knees. The album, which included explicit titles like “Puto” (“Fag”) and “Chinga tu Madre” (“Fuck Off”), was named as a lusty joke alluding to Mexican rock band Maná’s 1994 environmental mega-seller ¿Dónde Jugarán los Niños? (“Where Will the Children Play?”), and it was immediately boycotted by some of Mexico City’s largest record and department stores. So the band, which had signed to producer Gustavo Santaolalla’s Surco label and were distributed by Universal, sold the record on the streets. The boycotts backfired: to date, Molotov’s albums (a mix of hard rock, metal, rap, Latin rhythms and sharp, humorous bilingual lyrics about sex, politics and social commentary) earned four Latin Grammys and sold almost four million copies worldwide.
“Yes, somebody is rich out there somewhere,” said Ebright.
In 2007, the band suddenly “quit” and released four individual solo albums. The solo EPs were real, but the dissolution was a hoax.
“There was no separation and we won’t separate,” said Ebright, whose says he raps in English but “dreams in Spanish.” “That was bullshit, us fucking around because the media is full of chismes, so we gave them chismes. But we have enough new material for two new albums. There’s going to be
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