The single is released ahead of their next LP, coming Feb. 2021.
XIXA—a six-piece Latin rock band from the Arizona/Mexico border—embody mysticism, mischief and the ghost town feel with their latest single “Nights Plutonian Shore,” premiering exclusively with COLLiDE. The track features a tension that brings the listener straight into a showdown scene in a desert ghost town back in its heyday.
Lead singer Gabriel Sullivan’s vocals croon over a blend of Latin, rock, and country sounds, driving the four minute track for its entire run time. The end result is a single that intoxicates the listener, drawing them in and leaving them wanting more.
COLLiDE caught up with XIXA ahead of the “Nights Plutonian Shore” premiere to learn more about the new track. Check out the interview with XIXA band members Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan below.
What kind of genres would you describe your sound as? You have such an incredible blend of sounds, it’s great to listen to in headphones.
Brian: Though our influences may be broad, over the years we’ve gotten much better at distilling those various vibrations into a very recognizable XIXA sound. And I think the underlying rule is that, however the song is conceived, whichever genre is reference or artists pulled, the end result must have an underlying desert musk once it makes a XIXA record.
Gabriel: We pull influences from everything from Chicha, Classical, Norteño, Metal, Rock n Roll, Spaghetti Western, New Wave…. We’re all over the map! We’ve boiled down what we play to a genre we’ve dubbed “Mystic Desert Rock.”
If you had to pick one part of “Nights Plutonian Shore” that sticks out most to you, what would that be? Why?
B: To me, the piano is very distinct. It was a part written and played by our good friend, Sergio Mendoza. It’s a very laid back Montuno/Salsa rhythm that sounds very interesting when juxtaposed with the sound design and synths elements creeping beneath it.
Instruments of the earth and of the tech collide.. It’s also the only time an acoustic piano has ever been featured on any of our recordings, come to think of it.
G: The first thing that comes to mind for me with this song is certainly the Poe reference. I had sat down at a bar in LA called The Thirsty Crow with the intentions of scribbling out some lyrics for this tune… It didn’t take long for me to go to the name of the bar for inspiration and shortly thereafter find myself rereading Poe’s “The Raven.”
This song is from the raven’s point of view. Peeling back one more layer into what it is to be darkness.
What goes through your head while producing your tracks? I’d love to know how you bring the sound together.
B: We value, more than anything, spontaneity and momentum in production. This is just an inherent rule Gabriel and I have always worked under. Don’t mess with energy. Don’t mess with flow. Once it’s gone it’s impossible to get back.
You must nurture momentum to keep it around. So, though we may try a zillion things in the studio, we keep it moving.
G: As we own our own recording studio (Dust & Stone) we have made the opportunity for ourselves to never be concerned with limitations in any way. There’s not a single idea that doesn’t at least get attempted. We fill our studio with as many different and bizarre instruments as we can find and we put them all to test on XIXA recordings.
In what ways did COVID and quarantine affect the production and promotion of your latest releases?
B: It has delayed everything and has been a huge disruption to plans that had been over 18 months in the making. But it has given us all the time in the world to write and create more music. We may have several more albums written by the time Era Covid comes to pass.
G: Well…. We’re just stuck at home… creating more music while we wait for the world to open.
I remember seeing that you played a virtual concert in protest of the border wall attempting to be built between Mexico and the U.S. Why do you think it’s important for artists to use their platforms to further social justice and human rights causes?
B: Yes, we played the “Rock the Border, Stop the Wall” festival alongside other border town artists and friends like Ozomatli, Black Pumas, Las Cafeteras.
We also played a “Get Out The Vote” Livestream event in conjunction with organizations like LUCHA and Seed The Vote, to get Arizona BIPOC residents registered and mobilized (And we all saw how the Arizona elections turned out, right?)
So yeah, we want to use our platform to bring awareness to issues that specifically impact our people, our communities. We are not a partisan enterprise. We are a 6-piece latin/rock BIPOC band from a border town. These issues really matter to us.
Silence would be complacency. And complacency is cowardice. Do you want your rock bands to be cowards? I don’t.
G: I don’t necessarily think it’s always necessary for artists to use their platforms to voice opinions on political stances or even social justice stances. I think it is often more important for an artist to voice the tough questions on these matters in subtle ways and spark dilemma and thought in the listener.
However, in these times and living where we live, there was no question in our band that it was our duty to do everything in our power to further educate and promote basic humanity and goodness. We were beyond thrilled and proud to be a part of the “Rock The Border, Stop The Wall” festival and to encourage our fellow Latinx community to get out and vote!
Can we expect any more singles before your Genesis LP’s Feb. 2021 release?
G: Oh I’m sure we got a couple more in store!
Stream “Nights Plutonian Shore” ahead of its Nov. 27th release date exclusively with COLLiDE now:
Photo by: Puspa Lohmeyer