Back in January, Boston-based prog duo Killer Cortez released their full-length debut “Maquiladora,” a record which is a pleasant surprise. The two-piece plays a show in Cambridge, MA this July 28th; if anyone is nearby on that date I would truly recommend to stop by and visit the Middle East Upstairs.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Socrates Cruz spoke for Progarchy about the band’s first album, other genres, and more.
Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Life is treating us alright, thanks. There are times when we can get caught up with what’s not going well in our daily lives, but it’s also important to step away and understand that overall we’re pretty privileged to be able to make music surrounded by people that support us. That said, the past few months have been a fascinating mix of joy, regret, uncertainty, and excitement. This does lead to a heightened sense of creativity though!
Speaking of music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Maquiladora”?
It’s dark; but melancholy rather than angry. The album is kind of a collection of mini-documentaries that shed light on stories we thought were worth sharing. You could say the album is a little unnerving in that each of these stories is tragic; no matter how detached we are from the characters the plot is meant to feel familiar. Then, you have all these swirling instruments and textures and sounds that make the whole thing feel sweeping and cinematic. If you are looking for music with meaning then this is for you.
What was it like working on the album?
SLOW. Also exhilarating. We’re really proud of the outcome.
Are there any bigger touring plans in support to “Maquiladora”?
It’s in our DNA to want to tour endlessly but we’re coming at this cycle through a different angle. We’re about to officially “release” the album at our show at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA on 7/28 and are close to announcing a series of dates for late Fall. Details are forthcoming, but most of the shows centered in New England, with a few scattered through NY, PA, and MD.
While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
Though not exactly countries, we seem to be getting attention in the UK and Eastern Europe. It would be great to tour there soon and maybe cap it all off playing a massive castle somewhere in the middle of Czechoslovakia. One can dream, right?
Who and what inspires you the most?
Any song, moment, story, or person who causes us to reflect on our human condition. We’re both a little addicted to some kind of never-ending search for meaning, which really can rise up anywhere at any time as long as you’re paying attention.
What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
We’re both really open minded – in the van we’re blasting anything from electronica and progressive metal to power ballads and orchestral film scores. With Maquiladora, some of this variety is reflected in the digital atmosphere of songs like Bracero or Villa Grimaldi, and also in the odd time signatures of a song like Pine Ridge Peltier.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
We’re excited to share our album with whoever is willing to listen. We tried to create a work that celebrates the struggles of the disenfranchised, the dispossessed, the exploited, and the forgotten. We feel that the shared human experience is one of constant struggle and of overcoming those challenges. Music can help us escape but it can also help us look inward.