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Posted June 16, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

Jonaz Embraces ’90s House Music with His New Single

Jonaz
Jonaz

One half of the Monterrey-based alternative act Plastilina Mosh, Jonaz has just released “Cangrejita,” a new single, under his own name.

Drawing from ’90s house music, the song serves as the soundtrack for a new virtual video game for IOS and Android. In the game, Jonaz becomes the main character and travels through a world inspired by the video games of the ’80s. The goal is to ultimately conquer Cangrejita. Meanwhile, on his way to her, he will come across “Los Aburridos,” who’ll try to destroy him. He has to defeat the bad guys with his guitar riffs, and if he runs out of energy, he can grab a beer to recover and keep going.

While self-isolating at his Monterrey home, he has continued to compose new music. “I have a laptop here with an interface and some of my guitars and basses so I’m doing some music just to spend the time and see what happens,” he says in our phone conversation.

He spoke about his history with Plastilina Mosh and what we can expect from his solo career. 

You grew up in Monterrey. What was that like?

Monterrey is really close to Texas. The thing about Monterrey is that is like a crossroad for information about Mexican culture and U.S. culture. We have a lot of options for music. There are Mexican bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s and the rock stuff from the U.S. It’s a nice place to grow up. You can learn a lot of things and become really open-minded.  

How did Plastilina Mosh come together?

It was in the mid-’90s when we started playing together. Both Alejandro and I had some different bands. Our bands used to play together a lot in Monterrey. At one moment, we knew each other and had the same taste in industrial music. We liked Ministry and KMFDM and Front 242. I was one of the only guys in Monterrey who knew how to do music programming with keyboards and synthesizers and stuff. We pretended to be like an answer to Ministry but we played something much different. It’s a really funny journey between why the band got together and what we ended up playing. 

Talk about what was it been like to keep that band going for 20 years. 

We just keep it going because we get a lot of fun out of that band. We were making music as some sort of experiment and just out of curiosity. We didn’t expect to become mainstream. We were just trying to develop some sound that we liked. It was surprising. It was funny and weird and enjoyable. That’s why we kept going. At the end, we didn’t know what else to do with the band. Twenty years later, Alejandro had some different ideas than I had, so we started to do some harm to the name of the band by trying to keep it together and putting out records that didn’t have that original vibe. That’s why we decided to stop. We needed some time and some moment in the future, we might regain the vibe to continue. Alejandro is one of my best friends. We’ve never had a fight. It’s more of a sentimental thing to put a standby on the band. 

What made you finally want to get onto Instagram. Talk about what you try to do with your posts and how you try to engage people?

It’s been fun. I’m 44 now. I wasn’t that excited about the social media. I didn’t know it well. At some time, a guy in my band who’s younger than me started to tell me that I needed to use Instagram. You can’t leave it to management, so you have to take it over. My wife said she would help me. I discovered a direct connection. It started to be something really fun for me. I started to enjoy doing the stories with my wife and discovering my own sense of humor. It’s been something really nice. It becomes bigger and bigger each day, and now it’s one of my best connections with people. 

Talk about this new song “Cangrejita.” 

It’s like a joke about myself. Monterrey has a few mountains around, but everything is concrete and nothing more. So when I get to the beach with the band or with my wife and my kid, I notice myself like a stranger. I find it difficult to adapt myself to the coast and wear shorts instead of jeans. I feel like a complete idiot. That’s why I write this lyric. It’s about that. It’s about the people of the sea who love and enjoy the beats but some of us are complete strangers to it. 

How’d you come up with the concept for the video game with London Mexico?

That comes because some guy who’s a producer from Mexico City who moved to Monterrey. He contacted me and said we should do a video together. When we started talking about it, we remembered things like the Miami Vice TV show and all these ’80s kind of vibes and retrowave aesthetics. That’s why we did it with a retro vibe. We also remembered the video games and arcades. That’s why the video became that way. After we finished the video and were really happy with the outcome of it, we decided to use this animation to develop a video game too. 

What’s next?

I don’t really know, but I have three more singles I wanted to release. At this time, the quarantine worries me. Because we can’t go out and play, which we cannot do, I might do another record. I want it to be more personal and experimental and maybe like something that in the past I wanted to do but I didn’t have time to do. I’m doing what I feel like everyday, and I don’t have a strict agenda for the future.  


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.