In March this year, Albuquerque (New Mexico) police killed a homeless camper, James Boyd. The shooting "sparked a violent protest and a federal investigation" according to The Huffington Post. He had been camping in the Sandia Mountain foothills, and "was shot after a long stand-off" with police. Boyd died in hospital later after multiple emergency surgeries. Further reading is available through The Huffington Post. The outcry was centred on the use of police force, especially when handling suspects with mental illness (Boyd had schizophrenia).
One Albuquerque band utilising the power of music to express their feelings about this story, is Sorry Guero. The four-piece outfit comprises lead singer Ray Chavez, Angelo Perea on guitar and backing vocals, drummer Liam Harcus and 'being the Guero', bassist Tim Garcia. Their self-description is simple, "This is what happens when you get 3 Mexicans jamming with a Cowboy (Sorry Guero). Sorry Guero is an American Death Groove band. If you don't know what that is, come and watch us sometime!"
Popular in their hometown of Albuquerque, the band were impacted by the fatal shooting and decided to raise awareness through what they do best, making emotionally charged tracks. Front man Ray Chavez explains, "Our song 'Run from the Swine' is by no means an anti-police song, but we do wanna bring attention to what's been goin' on around the country and in our own hometown." Chavez advised, "There has been many protests and upset people in our community because of all of this. We don't agree with everything that is happening and hope peace is reached." It's a vocally energetic track, featuring a number of friends in their community. Released on November 26, the video clip on YouTube has already attracted over 20,000 views and shows some footage of the standoff between Boyd and the police.
When asked about the 'American Death Groove' style of music, Chavez said there is a little more 'more funk on the bass' with their particular style being 'good ol' American thrash death metal.' The bass is distinct in Sorry Guero's tunes and 'Run from the Swine' in particular is reminiscent of Primus circa 1991 with 'Tommy the Cat' – many will remember that epic bass line drilling through, and instead of Les Claypool's raucous singing, you've got the deep, growling vocals of Ray Chavez – a classic signature of Death Metal. With the band only starting "about a year ago", Chavez points out they are, "the product of members from all different bands starting a new fun music project."
It's a great time for musicians in their hometown, as he advises, "the music scene in Albuquerque is growing and has some great talents …". He adds, "me the bassist (Tim Garcia) started Sorry Guero after another metal band we were in together broke up called Tetelestai." They met Liam the drummer, at the bar Chavez was working at and "he jumped on board right before Angelo the guitarist joined, from another band called Laughing Dog." Front man Chavez writes most of the lyrics and "the songs are a collaboration between all of the members."
Right now the band are dedicated to promoting their latest track, and currently "working on an album right now, 'Run From The Swine' is the debut single." The full-length album is earmarked for release in February 2015. Off the back the release the band are planning on touring in their home state and areas, as well as releasing a second album with the help of Str8up Media and Central Root Studios. If the band can hit 20,000k views in 8 days, it seems 100,000k by Christmas is not impossible and no doubt important to share their passion and message of the fatal incident in their hometown.