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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
“For me, the most important thing is the music and to play,” says Gabriela. “And Rodrigo is the same, so that makes things flow more easily. Because if I had another idea, if I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do this for a hobby, but I’d really like to be a mother’ – well, then we’d have a big problem! Or if it was the other way around, with Rodrigo wanting me to settle down…”
In effect, they have decided to stay together to celebrate what they have in common – and part of the deal is not to mind the other stuff.
“Exactly,” says Gabriela, “because it’s when you learn how not to mind the other stuff that you actually progress within yourself.”
“Yes, as an individual,” adds Rodrigo. “A lot of people lie to themselves about all this. The only thing they do, in my mind, is to repress themselves, or fall into cheating each other eventually – and it’s so stupid because that’s the least of the problems that we can have as a person.”
“In the music business,” observes Gabriela, “you’re being forced to look at all this, because we have a style of life where we meet loads of people. When we started to play on the beach in Mexico, every night we met different people from all over the world, and it was like ‘ooooh look over there’, and ‘ooooh what about there’…”
Gabriela laughs in her characteristically wild way. “So we started to do whatever we wanted to do,” she says – and the way she says it, it seems like the best idea in the world!
“We were together as a normal couple for about six years,” says Rodrigo. “Then there was a period of transformation, of pain, of trying to understand whether what we were starting to do was right – but coming to Europe was great, because we were away from our families, so we had to deal with this shit on our own. And at the same we had to be really reliant on each other, because our livelihoods depended on playing together on the street, and in the middle of that we were trying to deal with the relationship situation, where we wanted to be free to do whatever we wanted.”