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The "very positive, very healthy"conversation centered on the good things and the bad, Marcovich says. "The good things put us back in the good place of our relationship; the bad, we could talk about for the first time—give them some dimension."
Not long after that, Hernandez recalls, his office got a proposal to get Caifanes back together. "Caifanes get proposals every 15 minutes, no?" Hernandez notes, and he's probably only exaggerating by about 10 minutes or so. But this one was "concrete," for the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City, in many ways a very similar event to Coachella: three days with a slew of both up-and-coming and established rock, rap, dance and electronic acts. (This year's lineup also includes a few rock en inglés acts, notably Jane's Addiction and the National.)
"I'm a reader of the circumstances that life gives you," Hernandez says. "I couldn't have imagined sitting down, suddenly studying this proposal, much less writing an email saying [to the other members of Caifanes], 'Boys, there's this offer . . .'" But that's exactly what he did.
The possibility of playing Coachella followed shortly thereafter, "like a domino effect," Hernandez says.
Everyone was game for the reunion. "It means closing a circle," Marcovich says, "because when the group ended, it ended on bad terms, and that remained like a stain on our careers."
He says that he sees it as an "exercise" to see where they are. "It's really a question of the heart," he says. "We're going to do it for ourselves, for a lot of people who listen to us, who have been waiting for us, for people who have asked us for so many years to get back together."
"There are no plans for a big tour, nor are there plans for a record, because we're going to do this musical exercise of these two festivals, and then we'll see," Hernandez says. "We'll see what happens, how we feel." He stresses that the former members all have other projects—the politically active Hernandez was just in San Francisco in March for the annual Amnesty International meeting, where he and Steve Earle performed and paid tribute to Joan Baez—and are not looking for a payday. If Caifanes continue to do anything, "it'll be for love, not for other things," he says.
"If not, and that's it, then we took out that thorn we had in our side," Hernandez says. "We did two marvelous concerts, and people will be happy."
This article appeared in print as "Mortal Friends:How a health scare last year brought rock en español legends Caifanes back together just in time for Coachella."