Last year the Alibi received a package containing a zia-emblazoned CD. This wasn’t unusual. Many proud local musicians use the symbol in their imagery. What was unusual was that the band New Mexico hails from San Diego. This does not follow protocol. After all, Kansas is from Kansas, Alabama from Alabama; Chicago (which plays live on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero) is from Chicago and Boston from Boston. Even Europe is from Europe, and America is from America (well, mostly). Not since Asia has a musical entity been so geographically displaced from its chosen moniker.
The music in that package was pretty damn good, though. The three-piece’s first recording—an EP called “Have You Met My Friend?”—is a little bit power pop, a little bit post punk, a little bit grunge. New Mexico sounds cool.
We wanted to know more about the California band that named itself after us. Below is the emailed communiqué with multi-instrumentalist Jake Bankhead.
How did you come up with your name?
We were at SXSW as our old group Apes of Wrath. We had made significant artistic changes and we were over our name. I had a state of New Mexico shirt on, and it spoke to us. So we named our band after the shirt because of all of its possible meanings, and the fact that it will be impossible to find us on the Internet. We also love the state of New Mexico. It's beautiful.
How do you describe your sound?
Somewhere between Wire, The Cure and Nirvana.
Has New Mexico ever played in New Mexico?
We wish. Although, there is a fun part of the anticipation.
Do you plan to come to New Mexico any time in the near future?
After we get our recording done we would be happy to.
Have you written, or would you be willing to write, a New Mexico theme song?
We feel that all of our songs are New Mexico theme songs.
What is New Mexico's official stance on immigration?
See track three on our EP, "Have You Met My Friend?"
Do you listen to mariachi?
I like to watch it live. Dustin loves the trumpets. Rob is more of a cumbia guy.
Red or green?
Can you characterize San Diego Mexican food versus New Mexican food?
San Diego is known for the amazing California burrito with carne asada, guacamole, cheese and french fries. That is legit. Although the home-cooked style of New Mexican food using the amazing chiles is a whole other animal. Apples and oranges in our opinions. New Mexico knows old Mexico.
Have you ever received a cease and desist letter from the state of New Mexico?
That would be awesome. Not yet.