Posted August 15, 2018 by Jeff in Tunes

No Te Va Gustar: 20 Years and Counting

No Te Ve Gustar
No Te Ve Gustar

The Uruguayan rock band No Te Va Gustar formed when members were still teenagers. While many bands that start out in those circumstances don’t make it past an album or two, these guys have persevered for more than 20 years now. The group just issued Suenan Las Alarmas, its seventh album. Recorded at Elefante Blanco in Montevideo, Romaphonic in Buenos Aires, White Water Music in New York and Bass Station in Brooklyn, the album commences with the hard-hitting “Y el mundo me comió a mí” but then shifts its tone and includes ballads such as “Quería ser como él.” Venezuelan producer and four-time Latin Grammy winner produced the album. Trumpet player and backing singer Martín Gil recently spoke to us via phone as he was prepping for a tour of Mexico.

What was it like to form the band when you were so young?
When we started, we were almost kids. We were still in school. We were just playing and having fun. It was nothing more than that.

What was the music scene like in Montevideo?
There were a few bands playing rock. There were some good singers in the early ‘90s and that was great for all the bands playing at the time, such as us.

Your second album really catapulted the band. Talk about what was different about that record.
We recorded our second CD in 2002 in Santiago, Chile. The producer at the time told us that he wanted the sound to be more for radio. The songs that we recorded for that album were the best we could do at the time. Today, we still play most of them at every show.

When did the songs for your latest album, Suenan Las Alarmas, begin to come together?
We usually tour and play as many countries as we can. It’s during that time that we were recording most of the songs. We did one song, but we weren’t comfortable with how it sounded so we kept it to ourselves. It sounded too much like the songs on the albums that were released before. As we worked on the CD, the producer told us to not play so we were so wide-awake. He wanted us to take it away from the past.

That’s what we started looking for and that’s what we found.

They all sound really different from one another. Talk about that approach. Was that your intention?
Yes. We try every time to make a different album and sound different and to play new instruments. We travel a lot and find instruments everywhere we go. When you put them on a pop song, they sound really great and refresh the sound of the band.

What was it like to work with Héctor Castillo, who produced the album?
It was amazing. He has a lot of experience. What we like most is that he helped us to find the sound we wanted. We wanted to sound kind of aggressive and really rocking, the same as when we play live. That was what we were looking for and he helped us find that. They sound so dynamic that they reflect what we do live.

Talk about the mariachi band that performs on “Los Villanos.”
When we were working on the songs, we didn’t know which were going to go on the album. We had the idea to invite Mariachi Flor De Toloache. That was a great decision. They arranged the song and we loved it so much, we decided to go with the idea they had.

What did Dr. Shenka, the front man of Mexican ska band Panteón Rococó, do with the band?
We didn’t actually work together with him, but we sent him the song and he sent us back what he recorded and we loved the way he remixed the song.

And what was it like to work with Herbert Pianna on “Pegame Mas Fuerte”?
We’ve liked him since we were kids, and he played in Os Paralamas do Sucesso. His band made a huge difference for us. We played with them many, many years ago when they were touring. He’s amazing. The story of his life is very heavy; he’s had a hard life because of what he went through many years ago. We thought that because of the lyrics this song would be good for him. That’s why we invited him. When he said yes, we shouted out with emotion. It was the same way with Dr. Shenka. We sent him the song, and we really liked what he sent back.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We’re flying to Mexico to tomorrow morning and we’re there for two weeks. We have plans to play Argentina and Colombia and hopefully to the United States in September.

NTVG Photo: Courtesy of The Music Joint Group


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