Marco Mendoza är ute på sin soloturne med senaste albumet Viva La Rock. När han spelade i Stockholm passade jag på att åka upp och se showen och prata några ord med mannen själv! Recensionen finner ni efter intervjun!

So! The album is called Viva La Rock.

Yes Pauline, you are Pauline and I am Mario Mendez.

Chuckles, No you’re not.

No Marco Mendoza. And the album is called Viva La Rock Yeah.

Your calling the tour Viva La Rock as well and Viva La Rock is a celebration of rock music and that’s why I’m curious. What is rock music to you?

Its all Rock´n´roll. I mean, I wanted to, coming back to the Viva La Rock thing. Viva La Rock is a thing that I say when Im saying good bye to my friends because for the past ten years some of the people I know, big celebrities are saying, I won’t say who they are, but they’re saying that Rock is dead, its over over and done with. And they are basing their opinions on financial statistics. To me Rock´n Roll it means its everywhere, its happening. Its music for me, its my life. So for me, to say Rock´n Roll is dead is to say that my career, my life is over. For me its just beginning, my solo thing I’m paying attention to it more and more and more and it seems to me it’s taking of more and more.  

There were at least 12 more dates I could have added to this tour but its already 45 dates, to many. Like 7 8 9 in a row but I wanted to come out and play so, Rock´n Roll is music, its life, its part of who I am and a part of what I do, and I am one of those lucky guys. In 1987, I was talking about my sobriety before, in 89 I did that album with Bill Ward and my whole life just went Ptheew (Marco shoots his hand up like a rocket) because it was the beginning of me realizing what a gift music is. And what a privilege it is so I payed attention to it and I respect it and I do my homework and my attitude changed! Towards music you know and towards who I am as a person and music being a big part of who I am, it’s my attitude of gratitude so Ill play at clubs like this, I walk away fulfilled, you know? And its nice when you get compensated financially, I’m not going to lie, because it helps you continue! But its not the only reason, if my music was only for financial gain I would have stopped a long time ago.

Did you always know that you wanted to be in the music business?

I think, I started when I was like 13 14 goofing around with music and at 15 I started with my brother, started a band and at 16 I got recruited by a big band in Mexico they had great musicians, albums and a tour and for me that’s when I realized this is where I’m gonna be so at 16 I think it became very clear that this is… I committed myself in every possible way. Its not always nice, sometimes it’s just hard.

What is a Rockstar, and do you think you are a Rockstar?

Thank you for asking me that, that’s a good one! No, I’m not by all means at all a Rockstar. My definition of a Rockstar is far from me.  Rockstar’s for me are people I look up to Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Jimmie Page, even some of the guys I’ve worked with like the Thin Lizzy boys Scott and Brian, I don’t think they’re stuck in that category you know? I also think that A Rockstar is Nikki Sixx. I have a different perception of what a Rockstar is. My perception might be wrong you know.

I don’t live the highlife, I’m not a millionaire, I don’t have tons of money. I don’t have the Ferrari or 20 automobiles and a mansion. I live a very simple life I’m a father I’m a husband we have a little home in a nice area not worth a lot of money but its home and were very comfortable, so I like to consider my self a musician first. That’s just me. Whatever other people think of me I’m flattered that they think of me at tall. Ha-ha…

Any label is welcome but if you ask me, and I’m glad you asked me Pauline no I’m not a Rockstar I’m just a musician I’m a busy Musician and I’m a musician that’s been able to fulfil a lot of my hopes and dreams I’ve way exceeded my expectations, when I was a young kid you know? I ended up working with some of the people I look up to, so in that regard it’s a beautiful thing.

I’m just like you just like everybody else I just dedicated myself to something I wanted to fulfil in my life and it payed of! And I payed for it. In many other ways you know? Kids, divorces, drug addiction and alcohol. And I’m not ashamed to say mental wards and suicide attempts, all that stuff that comes with the lifestyle. Because it gets hard. But I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of that. But Ill mention it again, the attitude of gratitude is abundant, when I allow myself to have the attitude of gratitude my whole life just works. I can leave the negative and focus on the good stuff. Like, Sunday night in Stockholm and the room is packed! Who knew?

You’ve been missed!

Yeah, and hopefully I can come back before the year is over. We’re talking about it. I’ve been trying to tell everybody this, who I’ve played with in my history matters. But to me right now what matters is the music, that people play my album so that people can decide if they like the music. I’m proud of this album it’s a good album. Its gotten a lot of great reviews, nothing bad. And the Shows with the boys! I have some of the best players around with Kyle (Kyle Hughes) and Tommy (Tommy Gentry) so I’m very lucky. Ehhh…

So, to answer your question in the longest way. I consider myself a musician a working musician and now I’m pursuing the writing side more and more and more something I put in the backburner because I was busy working with the other bands. That took a lot of energy and a lot of time. I’m starting to believe and I’m starting to like the writing and I’m starting to like more solo stuff. And I’m starting to notice how people dig it. So, I’m like ok, lets go a little deeper. I must do another album, before the year is over, before next year. So, stay tuned for that to!   

We have something in common! When I interviewed John (Corabi) in January he told me that it was you who wrote Set Me free on the Burn it down album. And I Wrote the Swedish lyrics fort that in the artwork of the album!

Oh! How very cool! That’s nice of John that he said that! I actually wrote it when I got together with Marty Fredriksen The producer, and then I got on the piano and we were talking about doing a little piece like that in the middle of this set and Im thinking lets choose another style, and Set Me Free is about the band, like a free bird its us saying “listen, I love you to death” to our wives and family “I love you, but Ive got this thing in my blood. That’s the road. I got this thing that the music is calling me. I love you, I adore you, but I got to go”. It wasn’t planned like that, it just happened. But that’s where it started. That’s where the song came from.

I love your music, every song tells a story and sometimes I feel that if there isn’t a story it’s not sincere.

Thanks, that is true and thank you for your great questions!

Thank you for letting me ask them!

Yours truly och Mr Mendoza

Recension: Marco Mendoza Live – Viva La Rock på Akkurat, Stockholm 28de April 2019

Mendoza kommer upp scenen med fjäderboor i flera färger. Musiken pumpar från sekund ett och han börjar starkt med Sunshine of your love. Publiken är i extas redan här. I publiken ser man bredden av Mendozas fanbase. Jag såg allt från Gabriel från Crashdiet och Sam från Art Nation till Jazzfolk i höga åldrar med hängslen och Foppa tofflor. Han följer upp med Sweetest Emotion och även här följer publiken med omedelbart. Marco stannar upp och berättar hur glad han är att äntligen få vara tillbaka i Stockholm. Ljudet är suveränt ut men jag fick höra efteråt att ljudet på scenen var illa. Det märktes dock inte alls för oss som såg på. Marco lyckas behålla sin mjuka men raspiga röst som i vissa stunder påminner om Prince och han leker mycket med de ljusa tonerna och kör lite bebop och scat i de instrumentala partierna. Det är sjukt mycket energi på scenen och på golvet framför, mycket latinska rytmer som får folk att röra på sig. Jag hör gamla gubbar säga att; det här minsann håller än. Publiken sjunger lydigt med i Give Peace a Chance, till och med gubben med hängslen.

Dont Mess With the Rocking Man tar över och det är tajt, ösigt och coolt, precis som det ska vara. Eleganta övergångar mellan låtarna och om Corabi på sin show berättade mycket mellan låtarna så jobbade Mendoza mer med att engagera sin publik med fingerknäppningar och allsång, samtidigt skämtar han med publiken på ett sätt som känns genuint. Han pratar om när han spelade på vattenfestivalen 1991 och om sitt drogberoende som i sin tur leder till att låten Your Touch spelas. Kyle Hughes och Tommy Gentrys energi är i perfekt synk med Mendoza på scen. Det märks att de har roligt på scen. Jag skrattade gott när Mendoza klädde Tommy i en rosa fjäderboa, det såg något obekvämt ut från Tommys sida.

Tommy Gentry, Marco Mendoza och Kyle Hughes

Jailbreak avslutar setet och här kan man konstatera att Marco Mendoza är energi. Det exploderar och alla är helt slut i publiken när det är över. Han stannar kvar och signerar och tar selfies med sina fans innan vi landar backstage för vår intervju.

Den här kvällen och spelningen får utan tvekan en 10/10 av mig. Att på ett så litet ställe som Akkurat kunna spela med en så enorm energi och fylla rummet med grym musik i varje kvadratcentimeter är få förunnat, men Marco Mendoza gör det.

Viva La Rock!

Photocred: Omslagsbilden är tagen av Anna Matsson

/P. ”The Poser” Pousár