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El Pipe of The May Fire

A Rocktastico Tour

With a trio of EPs that were self-released over the past year, San Franciscoís The May Fire is spreading its brand of poppy grunge rock on the Circo Rocktastico Tour, a six-week jaunt through the western U.S. and Midwest that also had a stop in Mexico. The tour, sponsored by an MTV offshoot that is geared toward Latino audiences, pairs the band with other groups with Latino heritage. It stops at the Red Devil Lounge on September 4th before continuing to several other Northern California stops. El Pipe (drums/vocals) spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from the road in Oklahoma.

SF Station (SFS): How was your first show in Mexico?

El Pipe (EP): It was fun. It was hard getting in and out of Mexico, but once we were there it was great.

SFS: How was it different from your other gigs?

EP: The people were very responsive and it almost seemed like they were a little more open-minded and enjoyed it more.

SFS: Do you have a big Latino following?

EP: Cat [Catty Tasso, lead vocals/guitar] is from Chile and I am from Colombia, but we donít really sing in Spanish. I try to be careful about it and sometimes Iím overly self-conscious because I want to appeal to people in general and I want to have fans from many ethnicities and languages. We appeal to Latinos because Cat and I are Latino and they can relate to us. At the same time, I donít think that if you played our music to somebody they would know that we are Latino. We also have two other members who are American. I think we just try to speak the language of rock íní roll.

SFS: Now that you are in the middle of your first long tour, have you learned anything new?

EP: Whenever there is food, eat it; and if there is a chance to sleep, go to sleep. That is the main thing I learned. If someone gives you a home-cooked meal, eat it because sometimes the only options are fast food. When you are in the middle of nowhere there is nothing.

SFS: Is there one particular record from the EP trilogy that you like the most?

EP: I like them all, but right now I probably like the latest one because Iíve heard the others so much. I think of them as three chapters of one book. That whole year, we worked hard to get the trilogy done while doing some small tours and shows. I still manage the band and we handle all of our recording and everything. We did the trilogy to get our music out there in installments instead of taking a lot of time off to make a full-length record.

SFS: Whatís next?

EP: I think when we get back we will take a couple weeks off to rest. After that, we will continue writing and we will probably have a full-length album at some point.

SFS: Are you shopping around for a label to sign with?

EP: I would want to be with a label if it made sense, but the record business is in such a rough space right now. I have complete control with what I want to do as far as my artistic mission and I think that is priceless. I also retain all of my publishing and songwriting rights, so I donít know if a major label deal would make sense. An indie label could be a good fit for us. If someone is reading this and they are interested, they can talk to us. We are open.

The May Fire performs at the Red Devil Lounge on September 4th. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. The show starts at 8pm.