Del Castillo brings 'world rock' to Golden Gecko

By by melissa crowe/
Oct. 31, 2012 at 5:31 a.m.

Del Castillo

Del Castillo

Get ready "a bailar" Saturday night with Del Castillo featuring brothers Rick and Mark, the Austin quintet will highlight songs from their fifth album, "Infinitas Rapsodias."

In addition to writing their own albums, Del Castillo has been featured on "Kill Bill Vol. 2" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

Rick del Castillo took a few minutes to talk about his philosophies with opening up to the ether, traffic light songwriting and the musical bond between brothers.

Why did you and Mark start playing in 2000?

What's funny is we were working on separate projects at the time. Ironically, he was more into a rock band and I was producing their albums.

Mark had this real hard rock sound, but there were a couple of songs he'd written on nylon guitar. I was working with another musician on songs similar to what Del Castillo is. We were both working on the same kind of thing peripherally, so why don't we just see what happens?

Even though I toured around in the '80s playing rock music, I always had my nylon guitar with me. I'd get back to the hotel and play classical or Spanish style. That's always been with me and it's always been with my brother. We grew up listening to my dad's music - real Mexican songs: Javier Soliz and Vicente Fernandez. That was always in the background.

How has your songwriting evolved over the years?

In the early days, we were writing a lot of stuff together. We both have very strong personalities. Now, we tend to write our own songs individually, bring them to the band and collectively work on it. There's plenty of songs to be had because he and I are pretty prolific in writing. In the beginning, we started off collaborating and toward the third or fourth album started finding our own niche.Where do you find inspiration?

Life. You can be reading a book, hear somebody speak or watch a moving and you hear a phrase. For an artist that's normal: "That's a great line let me write that down."

It's funny how you're always opening yourself up to the ether, just being aware of things around you and writing about them.

I saw a documentary about the Gypsy Kings and I was so inspired, I wrote two songs just about that.

Modern technology: I have a notepad on my iPhone. Sometimes I like traffic lights because I can start typing something in real fast into my phone. Green light? Ok, I'll wait for the next red light so I can continue writing my idea. With Voice Memo, I sing any idea and what's really cool is a month later, you look back and have 25 ideas of little snippets.

Del Castillo has played worldwide and on the stage of icons including B.B. King, Los Lonely Boys and Willie Nelson. where's your favorite place it's taken you?

We love to go to Europe to play. We love the states, too. Anywhere where there's a crowd that's excited and a surge of energy, that's our favorite place to play. We just love to play, period.

What role does dancing play in your music?

Our earlier music wasn't really dance-oriented. You could dance to it, but the later stuff we were writing is more blatant, "OK, I have to dance." It's really awesome when you see the crowd just start dancing or moving.

What's your philosophy to put it all together?

We didn't set any goals. Our goal was to have fun. It wasn't "OK. We're going to write this style of music. 1, 2, Go!" We have five diverse musicians, so whatever I come up with, Mike, the drummer, with all his influences, will put something that I never thought of rhythmically and immediately changes it.

We never set out to create a certain sound. We're not trying to be traditional in any form - Latin, rock or country - we just like to write what we feel and thankfully the crowd likes what we do.

We played Victoria two times prior, but that was many, many years ago.

Be prepared to have fun. Come out and have a good time.

People who work all week long and just need some kind of release find it when they hear the dance songs we play. Music truly is the universal language. It's very, very evident, especially in non-English speaking countries and people are just going, "Yeah!" We want people to come out and enjoy themselves and have a good time.



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