Mexican metal act Moderatto hope to swap tequila for sake

by Lauren Furniss

Although their name may sound like the Spanish cognate for “moderate,” parody glam-rock band Moderatto are anything but.

Formed in 2001 by five friends from Mexico City, Moderatto caricature 1980s rock and pop bands ranging from Led Zeppelin to Puerto Rican boy band Menudo.

Producing their own singles as well as Spanish-language covers of popular songs, Moderatto do well in imitating the heavy metal style of bands such as Poison, applying crashing drums, screeching guitars and wailing lead vocals to whatever song they tackle — whether it’s Aerosmith’s “Walk this way” or “Muriendo lento,” a collaboration with Mexican pop star Belinda.

They’ve got the look, too: The rockers are adored for their wild costumes, which include Leopard-print leggings and extreme eye makeup.

“The makeup and the clothes are a very important part of our image and show,” says bassist Xavi Moderatto. “We think the stage is a place you can really exaggerate.”

However, their performances are wilder still, and that’s what really drives the fans nuts. Their shows feature pyrotechnics and flashing lights that, frankly, no self-respecting glam-rock band could go without.

Despite their over-the-top approach to music, Moderatto has also garnered critical acclaim within the Latin American music scene. The band have released five albums since 2001, three of which have gone platinum. They’ve received multiple nominations for Latin American MTV Video Music Awards and regularly pack massive concert venues throughout Mexico and Latin America.

What the band have in store for their Japan shows remains a bit of a mystery. Watching Moderatto’s concerts on YouTube, it’s clear they have become accustomed to stadiums filled with frenzied fans. However, as they prepare to perform at smaller venues in Tokyo and Yokohama, it will be interesting to see how their larger-than-life stage presence will translate to the more tightly packed stages at Trump Room and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.

Regardless of the stage they’re playing on, Moderatto promise their audience they will rock as hard as ever.

“We are very grateful to the gods of rock ‘n’ roll for letting us visit Japan,” says Moderatto. “We really want to get there to meet other bands, swap stories, drink some beer and exchange some tequila for sake!”

Moderatto performs at Yokohama’s Red Brick Warehouse on July 24 and The Trump Room in Shibuya, Tokyo, on July 25. For more information, visit