Del Castillo I

DEL CASTILLO: CASTLES IN THE SKY

AUSTIN420: How’s the reception been for Del Castillo throughout Europe?

Mark Del Castillo: We had great reception, as good as we could hope for at this point. We’ve only been there like three times and it just keeps getting better and better. We got great crowds and packed up a lot of places. We were surprised! We have a full team of people over there working for us; they did a great job getting everything set up, so when we got there, people knew we were coming.

Albert Bestiero: There were a few places that we played at that we were returning to. So those places, especially, were SOLD OUT. It was like going to visit old friends, they were very receptive. Everybody treated us well, so it was real fortunate.

AUSTIN420: What were some of the new places that you guys hit this time around?

MD: We went to Norway. We’d like to go to Norway on different circumstances, I think, next time (laughs). We had to play at the late spot of a great festival, which wasn’t bad, but then we had to go straight from there to the airport.

Alex Ruiz: Like 3 in the morning, after we played at 1. So, we played two gigs that day.

MD: We played at 1 in the morning that day, and we got to the airport and flew out to go set up and play that night.

AR: But that was just the exhausting part of it, but the cool part of it was that we found out that the Norwegian sun does not go down until 10pm (laughs), then it comes up at 4, 4:30 and people are already out and about.

AB: We also did a gig in this town of Bergin, where there’s a mountain, and the only way up to this place up there, is by cable car. So we went up by cable car, all of us with our equipment, and one guy with a big backpack who was going to jump off the mountain. So we go and we set up, and we’re playing and then all of a sudden, we look out, and you can look out over the city, and there’s this guy paragliding.

AR: He just flew off, jumped off the mountain and… (laughs)

MD: We did a music video while we were over there; he’s in the video. It looks amazing, you’ll see.

AB: For the amount of time we’re over there, you try and cover as much ground because you know you’re so far away from home. Sometimes it was tough, but every night was rewarding because there wasn’t one crowd that wasn’t receptive to what we did.

AUSTIN420: So what’s life on the road like for Del Castillo?

MD: In Europe it’s different because we’re going constant, constant, constant, boom, boom, boom; 21 gigs in 25 days! You can’t really compare ‘life on the road’ over there to here because it’s not the same; we have breaks here, and we get to go home after a weekend or whatever.

AR: We get to feel ‘human’ again.

MD: If anybody was feeling stressed or frustrated or tired from the day, by the time we all got on-stage, nobody showed it and then the next morning, we’d all be tired. (Laughs) Every time everybody got on-stage…we’d be better. Everybody would step up and we’d do what we had to do.

AUSTIN420: When you guys are off the road, how do you spend your time?

AB: Definitely, time with family.

MD: That’s become very important lately, especially with all the time we’re spending over there. It makes you realize how much time you need to spend at home.

AR: Yeah! Gotta see the kids grow, because every time you turn around, it’s like ‘my god did you stretch’ or ‘you already know how to skateboard?’ ‘I wasn’t around!’ (Laughs) ‘How did that happen?’

AB: It helps in keeping you to appreciate when your home. You’re not home for long, so you really appreciate it that much more, and then when you get on the road, you’re kind of glad to be back doing what you love to do. You long for one, and you long for the other. When it’s in balance, it’s great!

AUSTIN420: What projects has Del Castillo been involved with lately?

MD: We’re trying to get back with Robert (Rodriguez), we always exchange texts and stuff about ideas, and what he wants to do, what we want to do, but it’s just one of those things like when are we gonna do it? He wants to do the song that we did for Machete “Cascabel”. He wants to do that live and that’s a work out for everybody, so we got to prepare for that. The main thing is that we’re trying to get Chingon going again, just to get it up and running and so we can make a couple of appearances here and there. It’s fun for everybody. I know Robert likes to do it and he’s the guy that’s so busy, he wants to do it, just doesn’t know how to find the time to do it.

AUSTIN420: When can we expect a new studio release from Del Castillo?

MD: We just had another meeting about that today. (Laughs) I think we’re gonna call it like a Six Pack, six new songs and it’s going to have the video we shot in Europe for a song “Canta”. So we hope to have that out in a couple of months. By the end of summer, that would be great!

AB: A friend of ours just expressed interest in doing maybe some more live footage. He has a production company that they’re putting together and they want to do something with Del Castillo. So maybe at the next Nutty Brown show there might be some type of filming, I’m hoping.

AR: There are also talks of a Los Lonely Boys/Del Castillo album, another Six Pack! It’s turning into a party now Vince!

AUSTIN420: Del Castillo has always been a fusion of many styles, has any new styles played an influence as well?

MD: We’re starting to be more expressive with the influences we’ve had that we’ve kind of held back a little bit. Everybody is trying to throw in a little more of themselves. Where before it would be like ‘uh that’s not really Latin’ or whatever. Now it’s like ‘hey, that sounds cool’. Let’s throw in an electric guitar here’. Like in Europe, I started playing the electric a lot at the end of the night just to do something different. I think we’re getting to that point where we’ve been doing it for so long, we wanted to start doing something fun with it and change it up a little bit you know.

AB: There were some pretty special nights in Europe with the ‘encores’ where it got kind of experimental, where we just said ‘Let’s try something really different you know’, and usually we’re a little bit more rehearsed for something like that and we just went for it.

AR: We did a “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Highway To Hell”! That was so fun!

MD: This is stuff that you’ll never see Del Castillo do or never would have thought of. That just happened, but it was funny and we just laughed about it. And the next day ‘how did that happen?’, ‘who started it?’, ‘you started it!’, ‘I didn’t start it. You started it.’

AUSTIN420: What’s the one thing that makes Austin home for Del Castillo?

AR: Austin is the coolest town to be in. I mean there are so many great towns, here around Austin that it makes you feel at home. And the funny part Vince, we’re all the way in Germany, right? In Hamburg, and Albert runs into the sound guy for Nomad, from here. He works at the Continental and does sound for King’s X. It’s hilarious. And the next thing you know, we’re hanging out with Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Albert’s favorite guitarists, Mike Keller, was there too.

MD: It’s funny, because over there, Austin’s so revered and to come back to Austin from over there, it definitely feels like home. When you live here, you don’t take it for granted, but you kind of expect the scene that’s here. You start realizing how special it is when you go overseas. It makes you really long for home.

AUSTIN420: In closing, Del Castillo has always had a great sense of compassion. I’m curious, what is your stance in regard to the medical cannabis movement?

AB: If something helps somebody out and it’s not harmful to other people, I think they have every right to do whatever helps, whatever makes you feel good. We all have different levels of pain. We all have different levels of comfort, and if something helps alleviate ‘your pain’ or helps alleviate ‘your condition’, then more power to you. I firmly agree that we all have the right to do that, because that’s the pursuit of happiness, to live life free. You were talking about compassion. I think that as a society, in general, we become compassionate in accepting people for different lifestyles, accepting people for different ways of looking. Everybody’s the same, just because you look different or talk different or eat different, doesn’t mean you’re different.

MD: And that’s the great thing about Austin is that you get that unity here. It’s not really the same all over the state. You go to small towns in Texas and they’re not as compassionate or understanding. So, it’s always great to come home to Austin.

AR: Smoke ‘em, if you got ‘em! ~