VISALIA — Historically, there have been times when brave geniuses take two seemingly disparate things and combine them to create more than the sum of their parts.
Notably, there has been mankind’s combination of tin and copper, which resulted in the bronze age a turning point in human civilization, H.B. Reese’s combination of peanut butter and chocolate was a turning point for delicious candy and now heavy metal and mariachi have been combined thanks to SoCal band Metalachi.
“We got a good reaction and thought that this [idea] could work,” says frontman and singer Vega De La Rockha. “And tequila helps. It always does.”
The band will bring their symphony of destruction back to the Valley when they play the Visalia Fox Theater Saturday. The show is a co-promotion with the Hanford Fox, where Metalachi played last June.
"They're a great group of people, very nice and extraordinarily talented. They always put on a fun show," said Zach Rodriguez, programmer for the Hanford Fox Theater's Throwback Films series.
The band, once a traditional mariachi band, was given a request to play Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” at a quinceañera and the band obliged — with a traditional mariachi twist.
The band combined Ozzy’s magnum opus with the “Jarabe Tapatio,” a traditional mariachi song also known as the “Mexican Hat Dance” — and Metalachi was born.
The band has released two albums full of metal hits done in mariachi style, even keeping with tradition and not having a drummer. Songs like “Sweet Child of Mine,” “Ace of Spades” and Slayer’s “Raining Blood” comprise their albums and live sets.
The musical hybrid was broadcast to millions of homes in 2015 when the band appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” receiving praise from all three judges, including the “king of all media,” Howard Stern.
Since then, Metalachi have been touring — almost nonstop.
“We’ve been on tour all through the winter, which is strange for Metalachi,” De La Rockha said.
But who goes to Metalachi shows? Is it mariachi fans or metalheads? Are Metalachi’s fans heshers, punks or Jalisciense? It’s all of these — and more.
“It’s not just one type of person who comes to Metalachi shows. It’s not just metal-heads or mariachi lovers. It’s also people who don’t like either and just want to come see the show,” De La Rockha said.
The band’s stage show is as much a draw as the music. The band’s outfits look as if Cheech & Chong joined KISS and the shows are full of humor between songs.
“We make fun of ourselves on stage,” De La Rockha says.
The band brings that humorous aesthetic to an audio podcast they do while on tour. The podcast, found at https://metalachi.com/category/podcast, sees the band talk about current events and interview guests.
“It’s just all our crazy minds,” De La Rockha said. “It’s definitely not for kids.”
The band plans to release “Tres,” their third and final album of metal cover songs, by this summer. The album will feature a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which the band also hopes to shoot a music video for.
After that, the next project isn’t set in stone.
The band is has thrown around ideas for an album of original songs, covers of TV show themes and even an album of holiday and Christmas music.
“There’s so many things we can do with this concept and this sound,” De La Rockha said.