Latin Metalists Pluck with Tradition

Originally published in Guitar World, Holiday 2010

Argentina’s acoustic duo Seis Cuerdas have brotherly love for flamenco-inspired shred.

Have Rodrigo y Gabriela met their match? The Mexican duo has made a name for itself by fusing metal influences with flamenco-style acoustic guitar playing. But now it may have a little competition, courtesy of Martin and Ezequiel Etcheverry, the two brothers behind the acoustic guitar duo Seis Cuerdas (Spanish for “six strings”). Hailing from Argentina, the duo mixes elements of metal, classical and especially flamenco into an intoxicating shred-inspired brew. The result can be heard on Mar Adentro, Seis Cuerdas’ latest album.

“Our inspiration comes from bands like Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, Van Halen and Paco de Lucia,” Ezequiel explains. And lest anyone think the brothers take their musical cues from Rodrigo y Gabriela, he notes, “We formed Seis Cuerdas in 2000 and have been playing this style of music for years.”

Armed with just their guitars and fierce finger dexterity, the Etcheverrys emigrated to Los Angeles from Buenos Aires in 2001 to pursue success with their metal band. They continued performing on the side as Seis Cuerdas, but when their metal act stalled, the acoustic work became their main focus. “By 2006, we began to be more fulfilled writing and playing the music of Seis Cuerdas,” Martin says.

Enter Iron Maiden guitarists Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, who became fast friends with the brothers. Martin says, “Whenever they were in L.A., they would come to our shows, and they’d invite us backstage to the Maiden shows. Finally Janick said, ‘Forget the metal band, this is your thing.’ Those words of encouragement confirmed what we were already thinking.”

Since then, the brothers have found their audience expanding beyond headbangers in Metallica and Slayer T-shirts to include small children and their parents, and senior citizens. “Some are attracted to the shredding and technique while others are moved simply by the rhythm and melodies,” Ezequiel says. “It’s evidence of the diversity of our music.”

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