It came recently and unexpectedly. So it was easy for Mint Field, the Tijuana-based trio composed of drummer Amor Amezcua, guitarist Estrella Sánchez, and bassist Andrés Corella to believe the call offering them a slot at this year’s Coachella was a prank.
“We really thought it was a joke,” Amezcua said from a recent break in recording the band’s new album. “We couldn’t believe it was true. We got the invitation three weeks ago! But they updated the lineup two days after.”
While the triad of 20-year-olds wasn’t expecting to see their name on the poster for the world’s most successful music festival this year, Mint Field has been playing their emotionally charged, shoegaze spinoffs since 2014.
Their first EP, “Primeras Salidas,” was released in 2015. Since then, they’ve shared stages with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Hello Seahorse! They’ve also had a hand in transforming Tijuana’s music scene through events like the Musica en el Patio (MEEP) series.
Still, it didn’t quite prepare them for the biggest phone call the band has received to date.
“We went last year just for fun,” Sanchez said. “Now that we’re playing, it’s crazy!”
Their excursion to Indio last year was prompted by the fact that Amezcua’s father, the Grammy-nominated Bostich of The Nortec Collective’s Bostich+Fussible, was playing.
Bostich+Fussible kicked things off on the Coachella Stage with a 1 p.m. start time both Saturdays of the 2015 festival. Amezcua will follow in her father’s footsteps when she and her bandmates share the same honor on the Outdoor Stage with noon sets on the back-to-back Sundays this year.
That’s where the similarities end, however. Amezcua eschews the electro-brass fusion that has highlighted her father’s career, instead opting for a rock-oriented sound that is steeped in a multitude of styles.
“My main influence is ambient music,” she said. “But we’ve always been into every kind of music. Our sound is really us putting together all of the influences we have.”
While Mint Field doesn’t have an exact release date for their upcoming album, they’ve put one of its new songs, “Ciudad Satélite,” on their SoundCloud page, and will be playing a few selections from it on a handful of upcoming tour dates.
But with another Coachella date to play, and sets from fellow festival bands like Beach House, Lush, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra to watch, the band is justifiably preoccupied.
Yet, despite the recent unexpected turn of events and all of the hullabaloo that comes with it, the band hasn’t lost sight of what is important to them.
“We feel with Mint Field that we’re part of a voice for Tijuana,” Amezcua said. “There are a lot of bands and musicians that deserve to be heard here. A lot of people are going to be looking to Tijuana after this.
“We can’t imagine doing anything else. This is what we love right now. And it’s crazy to think of being without something you love in your life.”
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television.