Chris Leyva vividly recalls Mexico's 1985 earthquake.
  • Chris Leyva vividly recalls Mexico's 1985 earthquake.
  • photo by Kelli Hayden
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“Our show at Mexico City’s Imperial House will either be postponed or we may turn it into a benefit,” says Christopher Leyva of Falling Doves, who was about to launch a world tour that included the city where he grew up when an earthquake hit. “We can’t just sit at home on our ass and play it safe, so we’ve turned a few of our shows, including our San Felipe show, as a benefit for Mexico City’s Los Topos, an excavation relief team....

Video:

Falling Doves, "Rolling Slow"

“I was in Mexico City [during] the 1985 earthquake, and I remember the earth breaking and my father and mother. It was the first time I felt scared as a child, as my parents were terrified. I had never seen fear like this. We saw buildings on fire, and smoke, and pipes bursting with water. There were two quakes back-to-back. Just as one stopped, the second started, and the earth cracked on the road. It was madness.”

The rest of the tour is still on, including dates in Australia, Iceland, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, and Germany, where the Doves traveled last year to play the early Beatles landmark, the Kaiserkeller club. “Our young 21-year-old bassist from Liverpool lost his virginity within 15 minutes of arrival in Hamburg.”

“Having a background as a booking agent, I just went for it. Berlin was not very fond of international bands playing local indie clubs. Seems they’re more into supporting local living artists, so the last few gigs we got there were by miracle.”

Their December schedule is particularly intensive. “Japan, I’ve been trying to book for three years and failed. By magic, we linked up through a fan of the band that connected us to a bad-ass booker, and all the venues have backline and a cool vibe. This part of the tour booked so fast, they double-booked us a few times; we’re literally playing every day for two weeks. Everyone says that there’s a massive demand and love for music that they have many venues pumping out five to eight bands a night, every night.”

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