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A beautiful affair
Their unique combination of sensual Latin melodies and brilliant, metal-inspired guitar playing have made Rodrigo y Gabriela a phenomenon in their adopted Ireland, with a platinum album, sell-out tours and barn-storming festival appearances already to their credit. Now, with the release of their third album, Rodrigo y Gabriela, their sights are set on the international arena. Here, this extraordinary couple explain why they swapped sun-drenched Mexico for rain-kissed Dublin – and, for the first time, talk candidly about the open relationship they enjoy, as long-term friends and lovers.
Adrienne Murphy, 20 Feb 2006
“So how do you guys,” I ask, “manage the tempests in your own relationship?”
Rodrigo and Gabriela glance at each other briefly. Then they shrug and explain how experience has shown that because I’m a female journalist, there’s no point in bullshitting me that they’re just friends or cousins or brother and sister – which is what they often say when asked...
“Hmmm…” begins Gabriela, with a look on her face that says this is gonna be a long story. “It’s like sometimes we are boyfriend and girlfriend, and sometimes we’re not…”
“It depends on the weather,” adds a cheeky Rodrigo.
“But my reading is that you’re a couple,” I say, looking from one to the other, momentarily confused. And then it dawns on me that these two people, who are obviously soul-mates, have one of those elusive ‘open relationships’! I’m all ears.
Rather than being coy about it, Gabriela and Rodrigo seem to trust me enough to give me an insight into how it works – and what the relationship means to them.
“It’s very difficult to find people who understand the kind of relationship we have, and normally we don’t like to say anything about it,” Rodrigo confesses. “And sometimes people try to make out that open relationships are only about sex. Certainly that’s part of it, but it’s not everything.
“My closest friends know how we are,” he continues, “and they agree with half of it – that I can be with other women! – but they don’t agree that the other part of the couple should have the same freedom. They’re happy to be free to be with other girls, but they don’t understand how I could give my partner that kind of freedom. Which is stupid, because then there is no real freedom.
“So they take their freedom without telling the woman, and the relationship is shit because of that. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re together, we’ve got married and got kids and everything, but I shagged somebody else last night and the other one doesn’t know about it’. People seem to want to put chains around each other, and a lot pretend they’re happy in a monogamous relationship, when really they’re not.”