“It was in July 2008 when we left,” bassist Rafael Navejas recalls of the band's decision to move its base of operations to Mexico City. “We had finished recording our second record El Segundo es Felino. Here in the United States, there was only so much we could have done with it.” Feeling the limitations on this side of the border, Enjambre looked south of it . “We had the opportunity to go to Mexico a couple times before, and we noticed that there was a good amount of people interested. We decided to stay there just to see how it was going to be. We said if by wintertime nothing's happening, we all go back to the U.S. and continue our lives.”
The band, as it turned out, never returned to Orange County. “Things started happening,” Rafael notes of the successful path they embarked on. An independent record label licensed their album and the band was invited to play Vive Latino, Mexico City's version of Coachella, in 2009. “That's why we decided to stay there and it's been three years since then. We made a lot of noise with our second record and got the attention of the major labels. We started then working with EMI. We did a second Vive Latino in 2010 and hit the main stage in 2011.”
The band found the expanded horizons they sought out going on their first formal tour last year in support of their third album Daltónico and jamming their cover of “Estás Dormida” with the songwriter Caifanes guitarist Alejandro Marcovich himself during a show along the way. “He's a rock legend,” singer Luis Humberto Navejas says, “It was special…there he was on the same stage with us.”
With the ascendancy of the Orange County formed band in Mexico City, has the moment arrived for Enjambre to return triumphant to Southern California? “We've been wanting to play here for a long time,” guitarist/keyboardist Julián Navejas notes. “The last time we played here was in March 2009. That was long time ago and we really miss playing here.” Before that, Enjambre performed with Tiger Army at the Grove of Anaheim in October 2008. It was the band's biggest and oddest booking stateside. “The singer happens to like our band and they invited us to open,” Luis explains, “We thought it was a great opportunity.”
“We're not necessarily new here,” Rafael says. “We hope that there's still a fan base out there. We need to get back here and get that going again.” Other bands from Mexico City have made the trek northward for a slate of California shows, but there's a difference. Daltónico has only been released digitally in the U.S. via iTunes and the Latin Alternative media pipeline between Mexico and California is persistent, but small. “We want to come out with our new album hopefully in Spring 2012. That's the first thing we're going to do when we get back in Mexico City is start working on the new album,” the bassist says. “We think it would be a good idea to come here during the Summer and promote the new album and Daltónico, which we didn't really have a chance to promote here live. We would have a lot of material to show here.”
With new songs already worked out, the still untitled recording will figure prominently in Enjambre's future plans. “We definitely are going to put a lot of pressure on our record label,” Rafael adds, “so that if they're not planning on releasing the album in the United States, they can sub-license it to a company to put it out here.” That has been a key element that other Mexico City bands like Hello Seahorse! have been able to utilize in order to gain exposure stateside. “But no one from the U.S. has shown any interest yet. That's why we left!” Luis chimes in laughing. “I thought it was because there's nothing really going, but it's a good surprise to know that there's something actually happening. We want some of that!”
One way or another, Enjambre is more serious than ever about returning home for a set of shows with the first one perhaps being in Anaheim. “It would be cool to have the first show here because we lived here for so long and the band started here,” Julián says. “Any show would be really important and we would be really excited to play. It doesn't matter if it's the first or the last one. To the fans that miss us, we really, really, really want to play here!” Enjambre is ready for Southern California. Is a reviving local Latin Alternative scene ready for them? The time is as fitting as ever.
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