Acclaimed guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela won the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards ceremony yesterday. The award was given for Rodrigo y Gabriela’s latest album METTALVOLUTION, (ATO) their fifth studio album and first in five years. It was the duo’s first-ever Grammy win.
“We are incredibly thankful,” says Gabriela Quintero. “This is quite a moment for us. We are grateful for this opportunity to share this Grammy with our families and fans all over the world, with a big hug and also to our potential fans! After 20 years, and having played all over the world, even for President Obama in The White House, there was something missing — a Grammy. We finally got it. Rodrigo and I are people that care about many of the challenges that we are facing as a species. Mettavolution is an album about change and growth. Through music, we truly believe that we can share, at an emotional level, healing and to bring about ideas that might help to solve a lot of those challenges. We wanted to create something as unique as possible. It is important for us to feel that we are contributing something with our music. The way we perform, the way we write and produce our albums; it has been a lot of years of hard work and it feels great. A special start to the new decade, it will make us even more inspired. This is the cherry on the cake. Thank you to the Academy. Winning a Grammy will help give us a louder voice to reach more people. Thank you to our management, label partners all over the world. Keep connected everyone, we are connected with you through our music.”
“The most amazing part of winning a Grammy is the huge sense of happiness that goes around between people we love and people that love us,” says Rodrigo Sanchez. “I hope to go beyond the recognition itself to use it for something positive that can transform as many stories as possible. To all the fans around the world for supporting our music – we love you all and we can’t wait to go back to work to keep making music that inspires you.”
METTAVOLUTION, made a spectacular chart debut in 2019 as it entered Billboard’s “Americana/Folk Albums” chart at #1 with 1st week equivalents in excess of 11,000 – Rodrigo y Gabriela’s second best sales week ever. In addition, the album arrived at #2 on Billboard’s “Rock Albums,” as well as #10 on “Top Album Sales” and #71 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200.
METTAVOLUTION also earned critical acclaim to match its popular success. “For Rodrigo y Gabriela, the meditation is actually in the swirl of notes and rhythmic strums that circle around their music,” wrote NPR’s First Listen. “And if we follow their lead, there is a meditative quality for the listener as well. METTAVOLUTION closes with a 19-minute version of ‘Echoes,’ Pink Floyd’s rock masterpiece famously performed live in an ancient Roman amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy. Like its masterful catalog, Rodrigo y Gabriela gives the music new life with just two guitars.” “METTAVOLUTION finds the duo locked back in,” wrote Glide, “and where their last record was dedicated to their influences, this time it is all about the visceral primal passion of playing and what originally connected them to music. The title track opener kicks a rock beat behind the guitar strums as the producer David Sardy loads up the bass, shaker and voice synths to propel the sound forward.” Pitchfork praised the album’s original material, writing, “The crunching ‘Terracentric’ and the blurrily agile lines on ‘Witness Tree’ move like hand-cranked cars on a slotted track, wound up by Rodrigo y Gabriela’s extremely athletic wrists and then turned loose. The dance break ‘Cumbé’ and its slower-breathing follower ‘Electric Soul’ simmer down a bit and lay out their chemistry more simply, to warmer and more pleasant effect, but the dominant energy in part one is fast, heavy, and relentlessly precise… METTAVOLUTION reassures that for as long as they’re around, Rodrigo y Gabriela will be echoing their influences as only they can.”
METTAVOLUTION marks the most ambitious music of Rodrigo y Gabriela’s remarkable two-decade career. Three years in the making, the LP embraces the duo’s passionate interest in Buddhism, the history of human evolution, and the liberation of the potential we have as a species, all expressed through the medium of two acoustic guitars. Conceived and composed in their studio in Ixtapa on the Mexican Pacific Coast, the music of METTAVOLUTION was road-tested around the world on tour in 2017 and 2018 before being recorded late last year in Los Angeles with multiple GRAMMY-winning producer Dave Sardy (Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, A Perfect Circle, Band of Horses) behind the board.
METTAVOLUTION gathers six white-hot new Rodrigo y Gabriela compositions – much of which acknowledge the duo’s thrash metal roots back in Mexico City – as well as an inspired, side-long cover of Pink Floyd’s sprawling “Echoes” – originally found on 1971’s MEDDLE – audaciously reimagined for two acoustic guitars. Rolling Stone recently hailed the 19-minute epic as a “Song You Need to Know,” noting, “(‘Echoes’) is such a signature song, it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing it justice, yet somehow the Mexican acoustic-rock duo Rodrigo y Gabriela landed on a brilliant interpretation… Like the original, the song is its own journey, and it’s beautiful.” “(Rodrigo y Gabriela) make (‘Echoes’) entirely their own,” wrote NPR Music, “turning the original version’s extended psych-jam and terrifying atmospherics into percussive knocks on their guitars and strings and other strange, tactile effects. It only gets better and more breathtaking the deeper you get into the track.”
With career album sales now in excess of 1.5 million worldwide, Rodrigo y Gabriela have undoubtedly established themselves as the planet’s preeminent acoustic guitar duo, earning international acclaim and a fervent fan following with their awe-inspiring mastery of their instruments as well as a truly distinctive approach to melody, energy, and rhythm.
Rodrigo y Gabriela have been traveling the world in support of METTAVOLUTION, and today are announcing new tour dates. All tickets will go on sale this Friday, January 31 at 10am local time. For complete details and ticket information, please visit www.rodgab.com/tour-dates.
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
11 – San Antonio, TX – Majestic Theatre
12 – Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
14 – 15 – Mexico City, Mexico – Vive Latino Festival
18 – Mexico City, Mexico – Teatro Metropolitan
20 – Monterrey, Mexico – Tecate Pa’l Norte Festival *
24 – New Orleans, LA – Joy Theatre
25 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre Mobile
27 – Orlando, FL – Bob Carr Theater
28 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall