3 SHOTS 3 QUESTIONS with Alex Ruiz – transcript
BOB: On this episode of Three Shots Three Questions, we’re with singer-songwriter Alex Ruiz. Most notably known as the front man for the band Del Castillo, his voice, his persona, and his music have been featured in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Kill Bill 2, Sin City and most recently Machete.
Alex thank you for joining us on Three Shots Three Questions.
ALEX: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
BOB: I know you prefer to sip on the tequila so we’re gonna sip tequila today.
BOB: Look, I promise I didn’t tell him to, but I think he filled yours up a little more than mine.
ALEX: It’s good to sip
BOB: You were born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville is such a unique place geographically, culturally. How did that influence your music?
ALEX: Brownsville being a border town the tip of Texas, Spanish is usually the first language there. That’s what I absorbed. You know I guess I was born in the right place at the right time, and now here I am singing mariachi rock. Being from Brownsville and living in Austin ,Texas, I got to meet a lot of people from Brownsville that I grew up listening to. There was Rick Del Castillo and his band or bands that he was in. So just growing up I knew their names. I knew they played guitar I knew they were pretty amazing. When I got to Austin and I was reintroduced to the gang, you know, it was like we all drank the same water and we all can relate to each other, and musically, it just turned into this experience.
I didn’t think exactly we were gonna be singing in Spanish primarily but that’s where it went and it was an effortless part on our behalf because the music just flowed.
BOB: You’re most notably known for being the lead singer of Del Castillo, but you also are the front man of Robert Rodriguez’ famed movie band, Chingon. Tell me how Del Castillo has impacted your career and also how Robert Rodriguez and that relationship worked.
ALEX: Around 2002-2003 we met Robert Rodriguez. He came out to see a show of ours at this club that no longer exists called Momo’s. Momo’s was one of those places that had some magic. It would just be packed and it was like what are people doing out here just to see us? Well there was Robert there and he was like hey it’d be nice to have some guitar lessons and talk about some upcoming movie projects. So that’s kind of where that all started. He was looking for a local Latin band kind of like in the grassroots of Los Lobos but someone homegrown in Texas, and that was us and we were the choice for that band Chingon. We were doing the trilogy. We were doing the last movie which is Once Upon a Time in Mexico and then we just went on, Sin City. I played a little part there for like you know five minutes of fame or whatever they call it. To be shot by Robert Rodriguez and then to literally, in the movie, be shot as well. Everybody dies, you know, and that’s one of those honors you get with Robert. “Hey you’re gonna die dude. Your character might come back but you know for the most part it will have some bullet holes” Yeah he’s a great guy to be around. Creative minded. I think we feed off of each other’s energy.
BOB: I know that you’ve collaborated with artists like Willie Nelson,Carlos Santana, Mana, my personal favorite Carlton Zeus I’m sure countless others off the record. If you could collaborate with any musician living or dead who would it be and why?
ALEX: Wow. That’s a great one. It’d be great to sit down with John Lennon because I really can relate to his writing and the way he is as a writer and a singer. He changed the stratosphere. He changed the way music was listened to. He changed the way politics ran. He was this person that just like personified the working class the people that really make a difference in this world and that’s what we are. We’re all working to better our lives in some way or another. That would probably be one of my ultimate highs right there.
BOB: Alex, Thank you for joining us on Three Shots Three Questions