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February 2007 - Tijuana Gigolos

SCS: How and when did The Tijuana Gigolos form as a band?

Tony: 2001 The brain child of Marty Steinhausen lead guitarist and vocals, the band was started along with Dave Robel on drums and Tony Meza on percussion and vocals.

Marty: I had a bunch of songs that I wanted to play with a band. I knew Dave Robel from playing together on the a recording session for the late Bobby Lowell. Tony Meza and I had played together in The Mezcal Brothers. Tom Harvill was a friend of a friend (Benjamin Kushner.) We started jamming -- practicing a lot. Eventually, we found Jeff Boehmer on bass. Jeff became the glue that would hold the music together.

SCS: I would kind of define you guys as a blend of Tex-Mex, Country, Rock, Blues, but how would you describe your band or your sound to someone who’s never heard or seen you?

Tony: Exactly the way you just did with a touch of tequila

Marty: Roots music. American rock and roll. We throw in some percussion and keys -- but we never make it too fancy.

SCS: How would you describe a Gigolos show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Tony: High energy, lots of original music with a varied selection of styles, a few cover songs just to keep it interesting…

Marty: It's a riot. People come together who just want to have fun. Some drink. Some dance. Some just enjoy the music.

SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?

Tony: Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs, Dave Alvin, the Blasters, the Blazers, the king…

Marty: I'm influenced mostly by the musicians I play with. They way they play and the music they listen to rubs off on me. I was influenced quite a bit by my high school band teachers. They showed me that you can throw a bunch of diverse people together and actually make music.

SCS: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?

Tony: We've definitely grown, if we hadn’t we would have broken up…

Marty: We trust each other as players so that if one of us drops the ball, the other guys are there to pick it up. That's why they call it a band. if we didn't have instruments, they'd probably call us a gang.

SCS: Do you have to develop any special coping skills to deal with being in a band with an ultra-mega-superstar like Dave Robel?

Tony: The thing I love most about our band is that all of us were friends before we became band mates; no drama allowed, we love Dave…

Marty: Dave Robel is a wild beast that can not be controlled. You just have to point him in the right direction, and say "Go!

SCS: Who writes the songs and how do you work them from the idea stage to the finished product?

Tony: Marty writes the material, brings it to practice and we hammer it out. On the songs that Marty want’s me to sing he allows me to have input on the arrangements vocally

Marty: Songs usually come to me semi-finished. So it's a matter of fleshing them out to a form. You have to transfer what's in your head to the instruments. Luckily, the Gigolos are great at taking ideas and creating parts that fit together. That makes it fun as a songwriter.

SCS: Now that “Do Ya Wanna Go” has been out for a bit, is there anything you wish you could go back and change on it?

Tony: I wish I could have another crack at some of my percussion.

Marty: Overall, I'm proud of the CD. We put a lot of music on that disc. We had to do a lot in a short time. Mike Mogis, the engineer, is to credit for getting it all together. Ideally, you'd like to have unlimited time and money to do a CD.

SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?

Tony: I believe it was at the Zoo bar with Ideal cleaners, as far as how it went that was a lot of beer’s and tequila’s ago, we have made adjustments since the first show but it must have went well enough, no fucking refunds!

SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

Tony: It was our cd release show. It made it memorable because on the first night if we would have taken what we collected at the door and all the cd sales we would have been able to pay for the entire cost of making the cd on that first night.

Marty: I can't say there was any one performance, but I remember a lot of moments. Like when Tony nearly died of heat stroke playing under the Arkansas sun, when Dave was a no-show in KC and we had to rent a drummer (thanks, Duane), when Tom played in a Count Chocula costume, or when Jeff used a fencing tool to save us from certain disaster on a lonesome mountain road.

SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Tony: I like the fact that we have a music scene. I wish Omaha and Lincoln could hold hands and sing kumbaya more often.

Marty: I think there's an incredible amount of talent and creativity in the local music scene. Compared to most communities, Lincoln kicks ass.

SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?

Tony: Get started young.

Marty: Yes. If you suck, turn down. If you rock, turn up just a little.

Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

Tony: My brothers band the Mezcal Brothers, that’s how I met Marty. So many other bands that I admire I would be afraid to mention any of them by name for fear of forgetting someone (like I said above start young, old people forget shit)

Marty: We have a lot of musical brethren out there. Lots of friends and players we respect. We're all learning from each other, but the person I've learned to most from is Tony Robertson. We used to play together in The Darlings. A lot of my guitar style was stolen from him.

Who’s your favorite local band to play with

Tony: The Mezcal’s

Marty: Yep. The Mezcal Brothers. It's like a family reunion every time we get together.

Are you working on a new album now, and if so, when do you expect it to come out?

Tony: Spring 2007

Marty: Yeah, Spring or Summer.

Was there one defining moment which led you to a life of rock and roll?

Tony: 9th grade talent show at Everett junior high, I played the sound of silence on the guitar along with my two cousins one on rhythm one playing the flute, we got a standing ovation… I was hooked…

Marty: All of them.

If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?

Tony: Elvis

Marty: Willy Nelson

What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?

Tony: “Every night about this time” Dave Alvin

Marty: No idea.

What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?

Tony: The Ramones on my 21st birthday in Washington D.C. while stationed in the Army in a club called the Bijou

Marty: Hanging out with Sweet Basil McJagger from The Derailers and Justin Jones from Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs, we watched Red Volkaert play in this hole-in-the-wall club in Austin. Red is one of the greatest guitar players in the world. It was a Wednesday night, and there were about 15 people in the club. Unbelievable.

Who do you think is the most underrated artist in the music industry?

Tony: Dave Alvin

Marty: Probably Bo Rose, the sound guy at the Zoo Bar.

What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?

Tony: New cd, killer shows…

Marty: New songs. New CD.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Tony: Have as much fun as humanly possible, eventually this ride stops...

- Tery Daly