An interview with singer Poc
by Tina Hall
photo by Wac Division
With her debut apptly titled Rise Above the mexican rocker Poc proves to the world that she can do just that. As a teen when her budding career as a professinal ballet dancer was cut short by an accident she focused in on the music that she had loved from the young age of 5.Her singing and songwriting skills showcased around Mexico City led to her opening for the iconic rock band Guns N Roses and to being discovered by their guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. Thal was so impressed with her unique talent and drive that he brought her to the U.S. to record the album. Finding herself far from home for the first time in her life the talented songstress set out to show the world what she is made of.
Dealing with a language barrier, acts of nature, Ron’s rehabilitation from an accident of his own, and even threats of murder and extortion the pair proved with enough determination, grit, and pure talent a truly solid rock album is inevitable. Joined by Guns N’ Roses drummer Frank Ferrer, the album is influened heavily by rock legends such as Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, and Led Zepplin. Featuring a mix of tracks heavily in Spanish as well as in English this debut has a global appeal that is hard to deny. The first single off the album, Rock N Roll Baby gave fans a chance to participate in the recording by submitting their own backing vocals via Skype.
Maximum Ink: What were you like as a child growing up? How do you think your earliest days have influenced you to be who you are now?
Poc: Well, I have always been walking trouble, I think the most difficult age for my mom to control me was between 15 to 18. I was completely out of control, I like taking things to the limit, and I never give up which can be something good or something really bad. I think the person who really made who I am today is certainly my mom, she taught me everything and she has been there for me everytime I needed her, in good and bad times.
MI: As an aspiring pianist at age 5,when did you first discover your love of music? What led you to take up guitar at 17?
P: When I was studing piano I must admit I didn’t like it that much, but I was good at it . Then I started studying to become a professional ballet dancer, and at the age of 17 the day of my professional exam I broke my ankle. I felt my dream had just torn apart. All those years of had work went away in one second, I mean I could go back to studying to do the exam again, but after a surgery of an ankle I knew things wouldn’t be the same again as a ballet dancer I had to take 2 years of therapy to go back dancing, and I lost flexibility and strength. Thats when I started writing music and learing guitar, music was the only thing that actually pulled me out of the terrible depression I was drowning in. Music was the only thing that worked for me. Including going to psycotherapist and all that kind
MI: Do you find your experience as a dancer comes in handy while performing as a vocalist on stage?
P: I guess my experience as a dancer should help on my live performs but being honest, I dont feel it’s helping. One is classic movements and the other one is move as you want. I mean both are dances but I don’t know.
MI: What did it feel like to open for Guns N Roses? Had you been a fan of their work previously? Was that the largest crowd you had ever played for?
P: Opening for GnR was great, I’ve never played for so many people before, I really enjoyed it. I love their music, and getting to know them personally has been great, they are amazing people. I wouldn’t change that experience for anything.
MI: How does the music scene in Mexico differ most from the one in the United States?
P: Well, I feel Mexico is open for every kind of music,but the charts say that Mexico has pop sales numbers higher than rock.Then again it has been a long time since we last had one new rock project. And also I feel Europe is more used to rock music. I guess I need a marketing guy.
MI: Did you experience any culture shock when coming to the US? What was your first day in the states like? What did you enjoy most about your time here, other than the music?
P: Well the first day I arrived to the US it was fucking crazy. A heat wave was going on so the weather was amazingly hot. I remeber we went to have dinner because I arrived by night, and my bags got lost so me and Bumble had to wait for them in at the airport, we had to wait like 2 hours, I was really embarassed because of that, besides it was the first time I saw him and he had to wait for me cause my bags got lost. We went to have dinner and I remember I asked for a salad. I can’t remember the name of the salad, but with feta cheese and olives and ginger , nice salad, but Bumble introduced me to the sweet potatoe fries. I was doomed,I completely loved them, then we went to the studio and that’s where I slept. The next day it was even worse than the first one. It was the hottest day of the year. And I didn’t know how to make the air conditioner work, so I woke up, suffocating and I called Ron and he came immediately to help me. That time he really was my hero, I mean in Mexico we never have weather like that. It was like living in hell. That’s when we started calling the studio living hell. And about culture, hmmm nothing I guess, it felt pretty normal to me. What I enjoyed the most was getting to know new places, and Bumble is a guy that not only knows a lot about music, but about history and everything, so as a tour guide he rocked
MI: Did you ever get homesick while here recording the album?
P: There were times when I really missed my family, but I mean I had to finish what I started, beside I talked to my parents every half hour through Skype.
MI: Are there any amusing stories from the making of album? What is the most important thing you have learned from working with Ron?
P: Everything about making that album was completely exciting and weird, but I think what I enjoyed the most was recording the backing vocals through Skype, from the fans.That was for the song Rock N Roll Baby. I learned a lot of things with Ron, but the most important was that the show must go on no matter what.
MI: What are some of your hobbies?
P: One of my hobbies is taking pictures, I’m a photographer in my free time.
MI: Are there any little known facts about you as an individual that you’d not mind sharing?
P: I hate when someone sees me cry.
MI: Other than the album what projects are you looking forward to next?
P: Maybe when the album is succeeding and I’m starting the second one. Maybe I’ll start a clothing line with Ron, maybe. We’ll see.
CD: Rise Again Record Label: Bumblefoot Music
• Download Rise Again on Amazon