THEY WILL PERFORM AT THE PEPSI CENTER
Sergio Lizárraga’s Banda MS is at the top of their game. And as evidence of this, the video of their single “No me pidas perdón,” has more than 426 million views. The band is not only popular in radio or digital streaming. They sell out giant venues. They successfully returned to the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City for a second year in a row. And they are coming to Denver, at the Pepsi Center.
In exclusive interview, Oswaldo “Walo” Silvas, Alan Ramirez, Jair Osuna and Pavel Ocampo shared with us their views on the band’s big success and their future plans. We chatted with them a few hours before the first concert of the second season at the Auditorio Nacional. “It is a great lesson for us to be back here at the ‘coloso de Reforma’,” said Pavel. They are grateful for their 10-year continuous success in the regional Mexican music genre.
At the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico
Banda MS just wrapped up their second consecutive season at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico. It included three more sold out shows. According to reports on those shows. The band had huge LED screens that allowed concert goers to enjoy the videos to the songs as they sang. Ilce Martínez, the band’s official model, was also live with the band as they performed. They got standing ovations and plenty of love from the audience.
What does it feel to be standing on the stage of the Auditorio Nacional?
Pavel: It is a big undertaking and a desire to excel for our audience and for ourselves. We are happy to be back in this way. It is a blessing that we are pretty much sold out. Last year we had three concerts sol out. It is a big feat. We hope we can come back next year and do it again.
What do you remember the most from that first experience at the Auditorio Nacional?
Alan: It was a night with a lot of adrenaline. I was nervous. It was the first time we had a show of such a magnitude. We had the first part done, people had filled out the venue. The next step was to entertain them. It was a big rush; we enjoyed that feeling and we gave the best of ourselves as artists. The performance was flawless, as we had rehearsed it. It was an unforgettable experience.
What do you think the band learned with that experience?
Jair: We have matured and gained experience. It is clear that we must continue to innovate and we feel that people wants more and more from us. Being in front of that crowd helped us understand that it is important to have a varied show and musical production.
What is your goal for the second time around at the Auditorio Nacional?
Walo: We want to exceed the expectations our fans have for our new show. But, we also want the regional Mexican music genre to evolve. We want to be a point of reference and give our contribution to the genre.
It has been 14 years of musical career with 12 albums that have received numerous awards for sales and popularity lists. The band was born with the dream of creating a different concept for the “chicoteada” music, which is a fast-paced style of Mexican music. Their extensive music repertoire also includes corridos and rancheras. However, they have a signature style which is the “banda-ballad”. They have created this style and they are the top performers.
What do you think is the key to the great success of Banda MS?
Pavel: I think the obvious formula is: One kilo of hard work and discipline; one teaspoon of talent, and a pinch of good luck. But, there is another key element: We listen to what our audience wants. We produce an album but the audience decides. The song “Tengo que colgar,” from our latest album was a single that the public chose. Same happened with the most recent “Las cosas no se hacen así.” The people decided to make it their favorite.
What makes Band MS different?
Walo: The band has its own style when interpreting the songs as well as vocals. As far as the show, we are doing things that other bands haven’t dared to do. But the most important thing is that we are a team. We project everyone in the band. That makes us solid. People are familiar with all 16 faces in the band. Being together for so many years gives us credibility.
Which are the three singles that best represent Banda MS?
Jair: “Mi mayor anhelo” is one of the singles that has brought more recognition to the band. It is the song we started with and made us known through Central-Western Mexico. “Mi razón de ser,” is another song that we really love, because it shows our musical concept as a band. And I can’t forget to mention the corrido “El 24”. It is a song that people sing and chant. We sing it at every concert.
What has been the biggest achievement the band has had so far?
Alan: Our followers have taken us to places and venues where no other regional Mexican band has gone before. In 2016, we were at the Phillip Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This year we are coming back to the state of Georgia at the Infinite Energy Arena. And in August, we will be at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
What is the next goal or challenge for the band?
Pavel: I believe it is to conquer new venues in new countries. We have travelled all Mexico and most of the United States. We recently toured Central America and South America. We are planning in visiting Colombia this year. Our great goal is to continue to visit more countries and entertain more audiences.
Banda MS is closely knit to the city of Mazatlán, which is the second largest city in the state of Sinaloa. The acronym MS in their name is a sign of pride for their home Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Mazatlán is a port-city that is an important touristic destination for their beautiful beaches; their rich gastronomy and their cultural traditions, such as the tambora sinaloense. All members of Banda MS can’t hide how much they love their home town.
What else does Banda MS owes Mazatlán?
Alan: I am totally in love with Mazatlán. I personally love everything about it. I like the climate, the people, the food, the bay, the beaches, everything in Mazatlán. And I dare to say that I would never live anywhere else in the world. I was born there and it is beautiful from every angle you look at it. I invite you to visit.
Banda MS’s success has not gone unnoticed. They have been the target of criticism from other artists of the regional Mexican musical genre. Carlos Perez, singer for El Recodo, another famous band from Sinaloa, called them arrogant. Meanwhile, Joel Lizárraga, owner of the same band, told them to take it easy with success. Banda MS has also had tension with successful singer Julión Álvarez, an ex-member of the band. Beyond those minor conflicts, all members of the band show how much they enjoy working together.
What is the funnies thing that ever happened to you on stage?
Jair: That was the time when our pal José Ángel Rojas fell off the stage in Acapulco. We were dancing “El Mechón”, in which we go and dance around the stage. He plays the trombone and didn’t notice the stage was over. He fell off the stage to the floor. We were scared at first, but when we saw that he was ok, we were all laughing hard. It was really funny.
In what city in the world would you like to sing?
Walo: There are many places, especially those we haven’t been to. It would be a dream to sing in Chile for the Viña del Mar festival. We would also love to go to Europe.
Who do you want to record a song with?
Alan: There is an artist who is 100 per cent Mexican, who sings mariachi, he is from Guadalajara, specifically from Huentitan, Jalisco. He is the king of the rancheras, lord and master, Vicente Fernández. We would love for his voice to be together with ours.
Integrantes de la Banda MS
Alan Ramírez, Vocals
Oswaldo Silvas (Walo), Vocals
Cristóbal González (El Twin), Vocals
Jair Osuna, Clarinet
Pavel Ocampo, Clarinet
Elías Nordahl Piña, Trumpet
José Francisco Iturralde, Trumpet
Ricardo Nordahl Piña, Trumpet
Nicolás Tiznado, Choir
José Osuna, Choir
Francisco Hernández, Trombone
José Viera, Trombone
José Rojas, Trombone
Roberto Frausto, Bass horn
Christian Osuna, Tambora
Luis Fernando Osuna, Tarolas
Banda MS has released 12 albums in 14 years of musical career.
2004: No podrás
This is their first studio álbum. Contains covers and a few original songs, such as “A la luz de las estrellas”, “Agárrense federales” y “La suata”.
2007: La raza contenta
This production includes corridos, featuring the songs “Está de Parranda el Jefe” y “La Imagen de Malverde”.
2008: Escuela de rancho
This is the álbum that made them known in the whole country of Mexico. Songs like “El Mechón”, “Púdrete”, “Te amo” and “Hay ojitos” were the hottest hits of this album.
2011: Amor enfermo
This album took them to the top of the charts in the regional Mexican genre in iTunes. The favorite songs of this album include “Me toca a mí”, “La Última Sombra”, “Mi Olvido”, “Tan Bonita” y “Borracho y Loco”.
2013: 10 aniversario
This album gave them six nominations to the Billboard awards. It includes the song “Hermosa Experiencia”.
2014: No me pidas perdón
Album with record sales in digital platforms and streaming. Their signature video “No me pidas perdón” is the most watched video on YouTube in the history of banda music genre. It has 426 million views.
2016: Qué bendición
Recent hits like “Me vas a extrañar” and “Solo con verte” are included in this album. Their YouTube views also surpass 265 million and 373 million, respectively.
2017: La mejor versión de mí
This album was release exclusively in digital platforms for iTunes and Apple Music. Due to popular demand, it was later released on CDs under the independent firm Lizos Music. “Las cosas no se hacen así”, written by Espinoza Paz, is the most popular song in the album.