Negative Filter

Joel Sotomayor: Bass guitar | Danny J: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Jon Shimmin: Drums

Genre: Alternative, Metal | Hardcore, Rock

Sound description: Progressive alternative metal.

RIYL: New Day Mile, Static, Queensryche (Mindcrime era)

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Inception: San Diego, 2003

Current Status: Playing in the U.S. and Mexico.

Influences: Rush, New Day Mile, Static, Tool, Fuel, Iron Maiden


Negative Filter is a three-piece that began playing gigs in Tijuana and music festivals across the state of Baja. They now live in San Diego.

"As for politics, right now Tijuana is on state and city elections season," says bass player Joel Sotomayor, "and our political system has changed for the best. Our democracy is pretty young. It's getting stronger, and the main focus on governments now is the transparency of activities done by public officials, to prevent corruption. Freedom of speech now is a major factor. Before 2000 no one could make fun of the president without feeling in danger, but now we make fun of politicians freely."

How is the Tijuana music scene?

"There are mostly indie bands," Joel says, "like Lahbia, Ambiente, and there are also the experimental progressive bands like Casa Wagner, the Nortec Collective, of course, and alternative weird acoustic like Ballena de Jonás. A lot of hardcore, punk, ska, and emo bands that I don't like, but some of them are recognized not only in Mexico but in Latin America, so I respect that. I think right now there is kind of a boom because there are more places where artists can perform, like MOFO bar, Sotano de Rita, Box Underground, Casa de la 9, Multikulti, Hard Rock, just to name a few. And of course the usual rave parties at the beach, and house parties for bands; those are always fun, not to mention the boom in norteño music and rancheras!"

So where do the members think music is heading?

Danny J., guitar: "Hard to say, with everything that's out there. Now you don't have to be even slightly talented to make it. Wait, why are we not signed?"

Joel Sotomayor, bass: "Everything is kind of like a loop, everything tends to repeat itself, so maybe neo-grunge or heavier bands. Hopefully more experimental artists with something we never heard; that would be awesome. Maybe more influence by Asian cultures -- a couple of years ago I heard this band called Dir en Gray, now they're opening for the Deftones. So a lot of Asian influence coming our way. I think right now is a good time to experiment with sounds, thanks to all soft synths and other music software. Your imagination and your processor are your only limitations."

Jon Shimmin, drums: "I have a feeling musicianship is going to come back a little more. Seeing a band like Avenged Sevenfold come out and Tool getting more progressive -- that's what I'm hoping for. Although the music biz seems to be at its worst right now, I think bands will make a comeback -- people are going to get tired of the Britney, Christina, and Justin stuff."

-- "Lists," 7-26-07

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