The Pride of the Northside: La Mafia Celebrates Amor y Sexo

Photos by Marco Torres
"Their music takes me back to The Unicorn Ballroom, dancing and drinking all night, really feeling the honesty of their sound" recalled my amigo Reverend Butter as we caught up over a few cervezas in the parking lot of The Gatsby (formerly the Drake) last night. "They are the band that made me fall in love with musica en Español!"

Every lover of Tejano music has a story about La Mafia. My own includes making mixtapes on cassettes in the pre-MP3 days, as well as dancing to their songs at the countless quinceañeras I stood in as a teenager in North Houston. From cumbias to corridos, huapangos, and their own special blend of keyboard-heavy modern norteño, La Mafia provided the soundtrack to backyard barbecues, long drives to visit family in the Rio Grande Valley, and the slow and low cruises down Irvington and Airline Drives on Sunday nights.

With new album Amor y Sexo due to be released next Tuesday, the Tejano legends will provide yet another reminder that they will forever be the Pride of the Northside. We spoke briefly with lead singer Oscar De La Rosa and bandleader Mando Lichtenberger Jr. during Thursday night's release party.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia (center, in uniform) with La Mafia.
Rocks Off: Congratulations on all of your success, guys. Its so wonderful to know that you are creating new La Mafia music for us fans. We have tons of respect for everything that you are doing.
La Mafia:
Thank you, man.

Amor y Sexo [Love and Sex] is the title of the new album. Apart from the obvious, what else can we expect from this new recording?
Oscar De La Rosa:
There's a lot of great stuff on this album. We took our time doing it, actually. We started six years ago on this album, and then we stopped. We didn't feel like it was working out, and the inspiration wasn't there at all.

Why? What happened?
De La Rosa:
I don't really know. We lost momentum. And then music as a whole was changing so much, we were stuck asking ourselves, "What do people want to hear?" So then two years after we started, we went back to the studio, recorded two more songs, and then stopped again.

And then finally, last year, we got back to recording, and everything suddenly clicked.

Mando Lichtenberger Jr.:: And to add to what Oscar just said, the songs that we recorded first, those were the complement tracks to the album, moreso than the meat of the album. It took some time to create the real substantial tracks that we needed to complete this project, and in the end, Amor y Sexo is better because of the delays.

Story continues on the next page.

Location Info


The Gatsby

1902 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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