"There are tunes that I don't like and I tell Doug," Fender says. "And there are songs I do that he doesn't like and he lets me know. Hey, we got four different people shooting in different directions. But we're givin' our listeners four different things comin' out of one album, and somehow . . . it works."
In the future, the band has plans to record a second Spanish-language record and market it in Mexico and South America; there will be no more translations. The Tornados prefer the English versions of their songs--and being stars in suburbia may be the group's best revenge.
"How far will it go? I have no idea," Fender says. "I'll be happy when we ask people in Pennsylvania or Vermont to listen to Tex-Mex and they even know what we are talking about." Texas Tornados will perform at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum as part of the Arizona State Fair on Saturday, October 19. Showtimes are 4 and 7 p.m.
There on the tube in the wilds of white-bread suburbia, the Texas Tornados are hamming it up for McDonald's breakfast burritos.
Still unknown outside the Southwestern U.S., Tex-Mex music has long been one of America's most underrated cultural treasures. Going to a Tornados show or listening to their records is like hearing the best of the last 40 years of south Texas roadhouse jukeboxes. To get real Nineties about it, the Tornados are "cultural diversity." "You know we call this country the melting pot, but golleeee, man, lately it's been melting kinda slow. We got to put some more fire under that pot." "You heard of New Kids on the Block. Well, we're the old farts in the neighborhood."
"The Tornados give me the freedom to do whatever the hell I want to. I can sing `Pop Goes the Weasel.'