Zoé is a Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award-winning Mexican rock band. It was initially formed in Mexico City in 1994, although membership started to stabilize in 1997. The band has achieved success in Mexico and most Spanish-speaking countries with albums such as Rocanlover, Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea and Reptilectric.
Zoé's history begins in Mexico in 1994, with slight influences from Seattle's grunge, Zoé went through a period of changing line-ups and varying styles before stabilizing in 1997, with León Larregui , Sergio Acosta , Alberto Cabrera , Ángel Mosqueda and Jesus Báez . By this time, a clear influence from The Beatles could be seen alongside the Britpop and grunge stylings.
Faced with a lack of venues in which to showcase their music, Zoé relied upon self-organized concerts, the Internet and a self-published demo. All of these efforts, plus a good deal of positive word of mouth, helped them gain popularity in Spanish-language radio stations in the United States. They signed their first recording contract in 1998, but nothing came of it. They independently released an album in 2000 that attracted the attention of Sony Music, who took over its distribution. Popular songs from this recording included "Asteroide" and "Miel". Following the success of this album, some of their songs were included in the soundtracks of movies like Amar Te Duele, Ladies Night and The Dreamer.
In November 2003, Zoé released a second album, produced by Phil Vinall, who had previously worked with bands like Placebo and Elastica. This new album was titled Rocanlover, and the main singles were "Peace and Love", "Love" and "Veneno". Although their musical style was becoming more clearly defined, the band had still not found an identity. In 2017, looking back at this period, Larreguí characterized this as a time of experimentation and trying different things; for example the band had not decided if they wanted to record more songs in English.
Zoé left Sony in early 2004. The band kept working and touring during the whole year without a label behind them and started to gain a big following with the self-promoted singles "Love" and "Veneno". In early 2005, the band started working on new songs for their next album. By mid-2005, the band had recorded the song "Dead" with their own resources. Also at this time, Cabrera left the band and Rodrigo Guardiola joined. Some major labels in Mexico were very interested in signing the band, but Zoé, tired of their bad past experiences, surprised everyone and signed an independent deal with Noiselab, a fast-growing independent label from Mexico. New songs to complete the EP, named The Room, were written. The EP became an instant hit, going Gold after selling more than 50,000 units. Some new songs were recorded in English, and some producers, like Alan McGee, expressed interest in taking them to the UK and Europe. The release of the EP was followed by two sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Theater in Mexico City and a national tour.
The first six months of 2006 were quite active for Zoé. They kept playing strategic shows like the Vive Latino Festival and devoted themselves to the production of their third studio album. In January, the band went to Manzanillo to start preproduction with the British producer Phil Vinall. In February, there were shows and more preproduction in Mexico City, and March was used for basic tracking at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas. In April, post-production and more shows; the songs were mixed in May. The album was finished by early June.
Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea was releasedt on 12 July 2006, going straight in to the Mexican charts at number one. The first single from the album, "Vía Láctea", had some rotation in local music channels like MTV Latin America and Telehit. The album achieved gold record status after more than 40,000 units sold in the four weeks after its release and it received very good reviews from the specialized press.
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