Talk Music: Siggno to play Riverside Park
May 22, 2013 at 12:22 a.m.
Updated May 25, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.
Jesse Turner never imagined Siggno would make it past the garage.
From humble beginnings in Santa Rosa, Texas, Turner has built a name for himself and his music across the Tejano circuit over the past 13 years.
With two Latin Grammy Awards and several Tejano Music Awards, including male vocalist of the year and vocal duo of the year with Elida Reyna in 2012, Turner's powerful voice and heartfelt lyrics along with the band's signature styling make for a truly beautiful thing.
He caught up with Get Out from a tour stop in Indiana to talk about his roots, his ideals and his passion and making a comeback to Victoria.
What's in store for Victoria on Memorial Day weekend?
We hadn't been in Victoria in God knows how many years. We had gone in the past, and the most people we could ever bring was between 50 and 100, and that was it. After about four or five years ago, maybe even longer, I told the guys, "Let's not go to Victoria anymore."
Five years later, we go back and there's more than 1,000 people. We were at capacity. We broke the record in Victoria for attendance. We've been breaking records everywhere we've been going. I think people have heard our stories over and over. People know our music; they have a connection. We're not just any band.
Siggno is turning into a family ordeal. How is having your son in the band?
He's 19; just came on with the band as the bassist two months ago. It happened all of a sudden. We needed to play Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Everybody said, why don't we get your son? There was nobody available that weekend. We didn't have a choice. To my surprise, he amazed me. He knew all the songs; he knew where everything went.
He's permanent. He's not going anywhere.
My son is an amazing musician; all my guys are amazing musicians, and together, we form that sound people like.
What do you like to write about?
The things I would write about, it wasn't so much about religion, it was about life in general. I wanted to write music and write stories that people can relate to and find comfort still to God but to music.
In our songs, you'll find the love that I have for my mother, the love that I have for a girl, the things I have in life to be able to move forward. From the things that go through a guy's life when they get in a car wreck to the simple things people go through in life when they're having a heartbreak. Laying next to someone who doesn't love you.
It's being able to express myself in every possible way. Every album has been a chapter and a part of my life. Everything is like an open book for everybody to hear. If I was a lawyer defending a case, that's the way I am with my albums. I know where every song is at every point in my life.
You grew up in a religious home in Santa Rosa playing music for your church. Who exposed you to non-secular music?
It wasn't so much about religion or where I was at. I wanted to learn, and I wanted to be challenged musically. It was a challenge to learn different songs, different music and different styles.
I wanted to learn. I went to where music was expressed differently.
I played pots and pans at church. We couldn't afford a drum set. I didn't know much, but I knew I liked music.
Music's been in my life for as far back as I can remember.
I was raised playing music in the church, and it wasn't until I was in high school that I was offered to play at private events: quinceaneras and weddings. By the time I got up there, I knew how to play all the instruments that carried the music that we play.
You share a lot of personal experiences in your songs. Do you find comfort in opening up?When I was around 14 or 15, I experienced love. And love ended up turning into pain after they left me. It wasn't until they left me, it was a new feeling for me. I didn't know how to express myself, I didn't know how to handle it.
Everybody who knows me knows that I tried taking my life at the age of 19 or 20 because a girl didn't want to be with me. It wasn't until the moment when my mom went into the hospital, she said, 'Isn't the love that I give you enough to make you want to live?'
At that moment, everything changed. I was able to play the instruments. I was given a gift to be able to write. The way I saw it, God had given me this gift to write how I feel so I didn't have to bottle it up inside me - out came my first song. I've written more than 100 songs, and those are all within our albums.
Siggno has a new album out?
We have a new album that came out in December, "El Mundo Se Acabo." It means the world ended. To me, the way I saw it was the world ends for everybody at that moment when they close their eyes. Sometimes, people feel like their world's crumbling, that they have nothing to live for when someone lives them.
What song are you most proud of?
This last album, I wrote a song that's my favorite song that I've written in my entire career: "Mama." To me, there is four chapters in my life. It's like four small books in the relationship of a man and his mother. I wrote a song that talks about the moment that you're born and from the moment that you fall and your mom picks you up. I remember those things. That part when you learn from your parents, from your mother. She shows you so much love. That's the first part of a man.
Second part is when he has his heart broken and realizes that even though she doesn't love him, his mom will always be there for him. His mom ends up being his best friend. Love turns into pain yet she's there no matter what.
The third part is when a man leaves home to get married and to make a family of his own, he goes to him mom and says I've found the woman of my dreams, I don't want you to think that I'm leaving your side. I want you to give me your blessing.
The middle of the song says, 'Gracias. Thank you. You're god's gift to me.' You are the most important thing in my life and you're the reason I've done everything I have up to this point.
The last part of the song is when you have to say goodbye. Mother, today I don't know what I'm going to do without you. I know you're on your way to Heaven and one day I'll see you again. Meanwhile I'll be here missing you. I love you always.
How were you able to write that when your mom is still living?
I wrote it to conquer the nightmares of losing my mom. I don't want to think about it, but I dream about it. In order to conquer my dreams and my deepest thoughts, I write about what I feel so it doesn't have to play in the back of my head. The video says everything that needs to be said.
I can't believe what I write sometimes. I don't consider myself a great writer, musician, singer or great accordion player. What I do, I do it with all of my heart and the best that I can. I write the best that I can. With that, I am satisfied, and I'm happy.
Siggno is big enough that people are getting tattoos of your band name. What do you think about that?
I didn't see us getting past the garage. We were just a bunch of friends making music in our garage. We've never been a band that went to the top after one song and one album. We went slowly and made a lot of friends, earned a lot of respect. Our music is mature, and our minds are mature. We've grown over 13 years.
It's being real with music and being real with the people. It's not just about getting on stage and playing some cover songs, rerecording music people have done in the past. It's about giving something new and fresh, opening the minds of children and showing them what I do.
We're very blessed, we're very lucky. We're six members. We make one song. We make one band.
Where do you see the band in five years?
We've never really wanted anything out of this. We just wanted to make music. We travel in an expensive bus, I get on stage, and I have a staff of 20 people. It's just crazy. Never did I ever imagine any of this happening to us, ever. All we can do is promise people what we've been promising them since we started: to always be real and to always be grounded.
We have the same amount of energy and the same amount of love. The music has matured, but everything else is the same.