Photo: María Fernanda Molins

Mint Field Brings Dream-Like Feel to Music at SXSW

The voices in Mint Field songs sound like echoes you hear in dream sequences that are often found in films, just barely audible over the ethereal music backing them. This sensation is liberating, allowing your brain to explore the shifts in pace and delicate vocals, often for six to seven minutes at a time. The band is comprised of Amor Amezcua and Estrella Sánchez, who bring reflections of their upbringing in Tijuana, Mexico to the forefront of their music. During our last day at SXSW on March 16, we had the chance to talk to Amezcua about their exhausting schedule, their recent tour in Europe and a guy driving a banana car.

On Tap: So, I heard that Estrella lost her voice. 
Amor Amezcua: Mhm. We got really sick out on our Europe tour, with the mix of the weather and jet lag. We still have coughs and bad voices, but we’re okay to play. She’s not sick; she just needs some rest.

OT: Speaking of which, how was your Europe tour? 
AA: Traveling somewhere else to play your own music with people from around the world listening to you play is weird, but it’s great. People received us in an amazing way. The venues have showers and washing machines, and they give you so much food. I can say it’s better than Mexico – there’s no culture of even giving the band water.

OT: I’ve never really heard your sound with Spanish lyrics before. Are there other bands under your umbrella that people should look for if they dig you two? 
AA: Yeah, there are so many bands in Mexico. One that’s sort of similar to our sound is here at SXSW: a band called Jóvenes Adultos. There’s so many, and if you dig into the scene in Mexico City and Tijuana, you’ll find so many bands.

OT: Are there other bands that you guys look up to? 
AA: I couldn’t say many Mexican bands. I think mostly like Trish Keenan from Broadcast, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson and other bands from that 80s [and] 90s era. There are a lot of new bands that are inspiring us right now also.

OT: Has anything changed for you two since releasing Pasar de las Luces in February? 
AA: We had only released one EP before, and we hadn’t put anything out in like two years. So all we had was this EP, and it’s not even what we sound like anymore. It’s great to have people listen to the music you’re playing now.

OT: How much did you throw out for the record? Did you have to cut it down a lot? 
AA: Just one [song], and it didn’t really fit. It was only a one-minute song. Most of our songs are seven or eight minutes, and that’s the point of our music. It feels – I don’t know how to say it English – entero. It’s there, it’s floating.

OT: How has your SXSW experience been compared to last year?
AA: We mostly did house and DIY shows, which are great. I love them. This year, we’ve just been playing in bigger venues, like Hotel Vegas and a bunch of others. We rented a van this year, and that’s a big step. Last year we’d drive around in Ride Austin, and it was horrible [laughs].

OT: Are there any tough parts about playing this festival? 
AA: No, we love playing show after show day after day – like, we love that. We thought we could play every day, but we can’t. We need some rest [laughs]. We thought we were invincible and could play a month straight without stopping. This is our free day, so we’re looking to chill out a little for sure. We can’t play every day of our life – bummer.

OT: What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen so far? 
AA: I’m so glad you asked this question! I’m staying at a friend’s house south of downtown, and I was just washing my dishes when out of nowhere, a little car in the shape of a banana being driven by a guy with a helmet just sped past. It was just so random. I was like “What?” So weird.

To learn more about Mint Field, check them out here