In October 2011, I interviewed Tonio Ruiz, the lead singer of Mexican rock band QBO. This is what I originally wrote for a university magazine.
Mexican band becomes number one in iTunes Latin America
QBO was formed in Mexico City in May 2001 by Tonio Ruiz (vocals and guitar), Tarro Martinez (drums) and Maxz Robles (vocals and bass). EMI Music Mexico released their first and self-titled album in 2003, which combined a mix of rock and pop elements presented in a fresh and unique way.
“Aire” (Air), released in 2004 preserved the balance between love and hate. QBO ́s album III (2006) contained, for the first time, two tracks in English and allowed the band to tour in the U.S.
“El Tiempo se Detiene” (2009), or Time Stops, didn’t make it to the stores but had a great online welcome.
In September 2011, QBO set the bar high again with “Ángel Caído” (Fallen Angel), an album that was number 1 in the Mexican and Latin American iTunes Store.
I spoke to them about their new release, and this is what they said.
When was QBO formed?
Before QBO, Tarro and Maxz had a band. I was part of another band, and at some point, I produced a demo for their band. Then we connected well, and we talked about the idea of making a band together. When our respective bands ended we got together and started QBO.
What kind of obstacles did you find down the road?
We faced all kinds of obstacles, economical, cultural, social. It is complicated to intend to develop a project like QBO in Mexico. Rock is not considered a business for record labels, so we have had to do everything in an independent way in the last few years. Making our effort profitable is very complicated.
What does it take to make an album?
A creative or composing phase, pre-production phase, recording phase, mixing, mastering, cover design, booklet, assembly, and distribution.
In which countries has qbo played?
Basically, in Mexico, we have played in the US, and we plan to visit few countries in South America with the new album, Ángel Caído.
Are there any plans for the future?
We released our 5th record named Ángel Caído and it is available on iTunes.
What does the promotion of “Ángel Caído ̈ include?
We are playing live as part of a tour to promote the album. The idea is to play a lot because rock music is sold on stage, and obviously, we’ll shoot few music videos, we don’t know how many, at least two hopefully.
What percentage of album sales go to the band?
As an independent band, sales percentage is roughly 60 percent because we have an external distribution.
QBO is now formed by Tonio Ruiz and Tarro Martinez (Lu Salinas has joined the band).
You can listen to QBO’s two tracks in English, One Last Time and Getting Away, as well as their latest album Ángel Caído after the break.