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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
“It’s amazing that you could stay trusting each other through that transformation period,” I say.
“Well, it was very, very painful,” admits Gabriela.
For how long?
They both laugh grimly, and just say it wasn’t quick.
“So how did you learn not to feel really jealous and hurt if one of you went off with someone else?” I ask. For most people, it’d be the 60,000 dollar question.
“But jealousy and hurt is a good thing to feel,” says Gabriela, who then explains how these emotions – which bring a person’s self-esteem or lack of it into sharp relief – have the potential to become gateways to greater self-love.
“When you start feeling jealous and hurt,” she explains, “that’s exactly where you say, okay, this is something I don’t fucking want to feel over this person. I can’t really feel jealous, because I can’t really feel less than anyone in this world. It goes that way, especially if you’re female, because often the weakest point for a girl or a woman is to feel less – or sometimes to feel more – than anybody. So that pain offers the opportunity to redress the balance. You can train yourself – your whole body and system – to change that ‘lesser-than’ trip. And then you’re able to face anything with anybody, and maintain your own integrity.”
Rodrigo takes up the tale.
“Many people have the idea of having that kind of open lifestyle,” he says, “but when you agree to do it as a couple, at the beginning you’re dying to do it but you don’t. It’s very important that somebody takes that first step and is very actively doing it. And then suddenly the other comes around, and then there is a kind of a trading, and probably normally one is going to be more active than the other one, and this one is going to learn about one side of it, and this one is going to learn the other part of the whole situation. You know what I’m saying?”
I do. Rodrigo and Gabriela are making a very good fist of explaining something that is obviously deeply subtle and sensitive, in a language they couldn’t even speak seven years ago. i'm impressed.