Rock Legend Silverio Has One Mission: Bring Punk’s Animal Instincts Back to the Stage

The Recipe for Disaster: one part Johnny Rotten, one part Rip Taylor, two Coronas, and a handful of jalapeños. Chop it all up and hurl it at a turntable. Congratulations, you’ve just made Silverio.

ReMezcla, 01/06/2016

Kooky, foul, and a bonafide sex symbol, Su Majestad Imperial Silverio is the brainchild of Julián Lede, one of the original members of cult electronic rock band Titán and part of Mexican freak indie label Nuevos Ricos. Infamous for his onstage antics, Silverio has been wreaking havoc for nearly 20 years, with no signs of stopping. Though it’s easy to be blindsided by Silverio’s show, don’t be fooled by the kitsch; everything you’re hearing and seeing is carefully curated. He understands that many people at his shows will feel uncomfortable and will possibly not understand his process, but this doesn’t change his vision. His goal is simple: break down today’s jaded audiences, and inject novelty and fun back into the concertgoing experience.

Canción, “El Iluminado”. Ciclo, “Fusión 09 Bandas y sonidos emergentes: Silverio”. Centro Nacional de las Artes. Agosto 2009

Back in 2014, Silverio surprised the audience at Vive Latino by bringing iconic Mexican cumbia songstress Laura León (aka La Tesorito) on stage and performing rearranged versions of her biggest hits alongside her. He blew our minds again last summer when he stole the show at Chicago’s Ruido Fest, with his bonkers mix of sequins, dirty electronica, and a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. Most recently, he made us gasp with delight at his latest EP, an official collaboration with La Tesorito herself. The EP, titled Silverio y La Tesorito, is comprised of two Laura León covers and a rework of his own track “Gorila,” featuring León on vocals. The mini album is brief but packs a punch, and with it, Silverio has reintroduced an entire generation to Laura León, reminding us that her bossness extends far beyond slaying a telenovela theme song. Admit it – you still know every word to “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.”

It’s not much of a stretch to paint Silverio with a religious palette. The packaging is gaudy and the show is jarring, but there is release and salvation in his debauched spectacle. He is breaking down our learned behavior of silent observation and urging us to go primal and follow our musical instincts.

Silverio’s true contribution to the art of live performance lies in his connection to reality. Though character-driven, Silverio’s philosophy is one of back to basics, valuing his audience above all else, and urging young musicians to be interesting and shirk the normalized format of playing instruments and holding for applause.

Silverio gave us some insight on his performance philosophy, collaborating with an icon, and what the future of rock may hold… [+]

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