20 | ENE | 2019

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Antonio Sánchez, more than a drummer
The drummer will perform solo at the National Auditorium - Photo: Featured photography

Antonio Sánchez, more than a drummer

Mexico City
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Sánchez, who is also a bass player and a composer, will perform the soundtrack of the movie Birdman, live at the Auditorium

Musician Antonio Sánchez claims to use his compositions and dexterity for playing the drums as a bridge to unite people.

His love of music began when he was five years old, but today, at age 46, he has made music his raison d’être, his voice, and banner all around the globe.

In an interview, the composer recalls his experience working with great film directors such as Alejandro González Iñárritu, stating that music has always been a lifesaver that leads him to a safe port.

“I think music is a very powerful platform because, in the end, art is only a filter for life.” Artists, he explains, narrate their experiences through what they do.

“Music has been a constant escape to me, and if I weren’t a musician, I don’t know what I would have become, because it’s a way for me to get so many things off my chest.”

Sánchez uses music to defend his beliefs, like he did on the album he launched on September 2017, “Bad Hombre," where he clearly refers to what Donald Trump said when speaking about Mexicans. The album encompasses musical connotations which he thought it necessary to put on the table.

“The political message that I try to incorporate in my work makes it necessary for me to address the political climate we experience today. I feel that it is my civic duty as a Mexican, and now as an American citizen, to raise my voice and protest against so many things that are happening here,” he stressed.

Another thing that has become his calling card is his love for jazz, and though he admits that the genre continues to be the underdog of music, he tries to bring it closer to a public that is keen to new sounds and experiences.

“What I want to convey is that jazz is not some super sophisticated music that no one can understand or that is plainly weird.”

Sanchez undertakes the task as a bassist, drum player, and composer, of making music accessible, so that it appeals to both professional jazz players and normal people, like your family and friends.

“If you are able to attract musicians and non-musicians alike, then you have found the secret recipe.”

On June 13, the movie Birdman will be projected at the Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium), where Antonio will play the soundtrack he wrote himself, live on stage. Although he has performed in the Auditorium before, it will be the first time where he will play on his own, in the spotlight.

“I obviously feel nervous, I hope that all 10 thousand people show up, that would be wonderful,” he joked. “The difference with this and other presentations is that, on other occasions, I was playing as a guest with an orchestra, but this time, I will be the only person on stage. And the fact that I’m only playing the drums is even more extraordinary,” he commented.

About working with the Academy Award-winning movie director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, the composer emphasized: “One of the most rewarding experiences in working with Alejandro was that, even though he is not involved in the music world, he’s a very creative person, and seeing his creative process and how he conducts himself as a director was spectacular.”

The musician hasn’t ruled out the possibility of making soundtracks for other Mexican directors that have left their mark on Hollywood.

Del Toro and Cuarón are extraordinary, and I would love to work with either of them. I thank Birdman for putting me on the map; however, it did so in a very specific way, and now I’m known as the guy who only plays the drums. So if anyone’s thinking of including instruments in their soundtracks other than the drums, I probably won’t be their first choice.”

Antonio Sánchez commented that he is currently trying to broaden his creative horizons in terms of visual media, so that people can see that he does other things, besides playing the drums.

“I would like to be known for other things too.”




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