Volume 92, Issue 27

Thursday, October 22, 1998

mark's going to jail


Huevos, served sunny side up

Photo by Andrew Henry

HEY, HEY WE'RE THE HUEVOS RANCHEROS AND PEOPLE SAY WE HUEVOS AROUND. Catch these three amigos at Call the Office, if they're not too busy playin' to put anybody down.

By Terry Warne

Gazette Writer

After listening to the music of Huevos Rancheros, you will do one of two things – either grab a surf board, head to Mexico and hang 10 or hit the dance floor and freak out because the music is so damn "shake your tail 'til you convulse" danceable.

What sets the band apart from most, besides the blistering pace of the music and their good old fashioned rock 'n roll kick to the groin, is the fact Huevos Rancheros does not use a singer. "When we started," says guitar player Brent Cooper, "we just wanted to be an instrumental rock band. We wanted to encompass surf, rockabilly, Ramones, punk rock, R&B – anything."

In an age where music with lyrics dominates the music scene, it is difficult to imagine a place for the band's music. When asked if he sees the band fitting into the musical landscape, Cooper claims, "we don't really. We have a lot of songs being used in movies and TV shows. For us that's fine, because it pays better than being on the radio."

However, do not call Huevos Rancheros a surf band, as Cooper's heard the label applied to his band many times before. "People think instrumental equals surf. After Pulp Fiction, there was a big surf boom. Every band claimed to be a 'surf' band – it got to be a bit much," Cooper said.

He likens the surf band fad to what is currently happening with swing music. "Right now you can't toss a trombone without hitting a swing band in the head," Cooper laughs. "In a couple of years, only the good ones will be left. A lot of those surf bands are gone, but we're still here and we're not even a surf band."

After listening to Huevos Rancheros play, the band's musical prowess is certain to impress. Cooper's frenetic guitar playing, Richie Ranchero's machine gun drumming and bassist Tom Kennedy's driving rhythm, make for a sound which never lets up. Yet, Cooper objects to this description.

"If you took each of us individually, we wouldn't be real stellar musicians, but we do what we do pretty well – it's more impressive that way. We're a good band, but I'm not really a great guitar player. In fact, sometimes I'm pretty awful."

With a reputation as a "party band" and a name like Huevos Rancheros, one might think the band would have trouble being taken seriously. "We used to really push that [being a party band]," Cooper admits. "In the early days we would drink as much as possible on stage, because we were paid in beers. We thought, we have half an hour to drink 18 beers – let's do it!" Instead, critical and fan praise seem to follow the band regardless of their image.

Huevos Rancheros are modest about their success and have similarly modest goals. Still, Cooper is optimistic about the future. "We'd like to have some speaking roles in major motion pictures and own our own brewery maybe."

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998