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Rodrigo and Gabriela shred the stage

The globe-trotting duo goes unplugged to rock the international charts

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It’s been the summer of living nomadically for Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, whose instrumental guitar rock sound has been a fixture on the music-fest circuit. Fitting, given that their self-titled album, No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top World Albums chart earlier this month, was born out of their global travels. FOLK OUT You’re more likely to see the Mexican natives throwing up devil horns than peace signs on stage. Their biggest influence: early Metallica, especially Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets. ”Thrash is very skillful,” Gabriela says. ”If you hear those Pantera records, they might look like rrrr! but they’re very technical. For us, the aggressiveness and the rhythm is what connects.” ROAD TESTED The two started playing together in Mexico City, but it took a European adventure that found them busking in the streets of Dublin in order for them to perfect their lightning-fast compositions. ”In Mexico we never played anything related to Latin rhythms,” says Rodrigo. ”But when we were over in Ireland, that [Latin influence] came out naturally.” And those rhythms were crowd-pleasers. ”We realized,” says Rodrigo, ”that if people stop — and they are not drunk — it’s because they like it.” OFF THE STREETS On their extended tour through the U.S. and Europe, success has made for a slightly easier gig. ”We don’t [have to] try to win people,” says Rodrigo. ”Every time we play it’s just totally full.”