Thee Twinz performed at Dezert Demonz Dragway/Desert Horizon Pavilion on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) and May 6. We were able to interview them in their tour bus before their May 6 show.
EPMS: What are your ages?
Jessica: We're both nineteen.
Vanessa: We're identical twins.
Jessica: Las Florecitas is our old name. We kind of changed it a little bit.
EPMS: From what?
Vanessa: We changed it from Las Florecitas to Thee Twinz.
EPMS: How would you describe your music?
Jessica: Cumbia Norteña and regional Mexican music. A little Tejano.
Vanessa: Like Control.
EPMS: How long have you been singing together?
Vanessa: Ten years.
EPMS: Since you were nine years old? How did you get into this at age nine?
Jessica: We were getting tired of cheerleading...
EPMS: When did you start cheerleading?
Vanessa: We were really involved in cheerleading since six...
Jessica: In YAFL.
Vanessa: Young American Football League. We had been YAFL cheerleaders since six.
EPMS: Why did you start cheerleading?
Vanessa: We saw everybody doing it on TV.
Jessica: We like to dance. Then we just got tired of cheer. We had seen Selena and The Sparks, an international group out of New Mexico.
Vanessa: One day, we were singing their music, and a friend of our parents noticed we were harmonizing and they recommended us getting into voice rehearsals, that we were able to sing in key with the song.
EPMS: Have you ever met A. B. Quintanilla III?
EPMS: He was Selena's brother, he wrote a lot of her songs. Now he's with the Kumbia Kings.
Vanessa: Oh, yeah! Now I know who. We've opened for them a couple of times.
Jessica: They're good friends of ours.
EPMS: Are you learning Spanish?
Vanessa: We've been to Mexico to perform. She (Pearl, a member of the band) speaks Spanish.
Pearl: I teach them French. LOL. Not serious.
EPMS: Had it occurred to you do novelas, like Selena had started doing right before she died?
Vanessa: We're hoping to get on El Gordo y La Flaca.
Jessica: In San Antonio, we're on a bunch of Spanish stations. We did it good.
EPMS: Have you ever been to Juarez?
Jessica: We did a radio interview in December. Univision was there.
Loretta (their mom): Univision announced they were there to help the orphanage; they were giving time to help the orphanage.
Jessica: We danced with reporters.
EPMS: What orphanage?
Loretta: The orphanage founded by Juan Gabriel. Juan Gabriel was a child in the school, and he put money to help the school.
EPMS: So, how did you get get into singing?
Vanessa: When we were still doing cheerleading, Dad bought a karaoke machine for Christmas. We sang to Selena, Sparks.
Jessica: Achy Breaky Heart (they break into an impromptu version of it).
EPMS: Have you ever heard of Atomic Pink? They're three El Paso sisters, still in High School, that are kind of big already.
Jessica: We just graduated from High School last year. People are jealous. We actually performed at our school. We'll never forget our roots.
EPMS: What school did you go to?
Vanessa: Rio Grande High School in the South Valley of Albuquerque.
EPMS: So, back when you were nine years old...
Vanessa: We were doing karaoke.
Jessica: We'd sing at family get-togethers, weddings, for friends of the family... people would call our parents and say, "Can the girls perform for our party, or whatever?" That led to fiestas, the Indoor Mercado (an indoor flea market in Albuquerque, now closed).
Vanessa: Then we started to travel a lot more.
Jessica: We had people calling us...
Vanessa: In 2000, our first CD came out, Ya No Me Caso Compadre.
Jessica: The band got started, and the CD was released that year.
EPMS: Who is the compadre?
Vanessa, Jessica: To our father.
Jessica: Our dad wanted us to get married, our dad said, "Boys are bad, boys are evil..."
EPMS: But he wanted you to get married?
Loretta: In the song, people were telling them to get married, but their dad says, "No."
Loretta: From there, it became out of state, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Wyoming, North Carolina, California, Nevada, Florida...
Loretta: There are latin people in different areas. Lots of latin people that want Mexican or Spanish music. You would be surprised how many people in different states there are that want us.
Jessica: The first time we came to Texas, we were scared.
Loretta: They were accepted well, in all those states they went to. In 2004, we went international.
EPMS: Why were you scared to come to Texas? We're all so friendly!
Vanessa: We thought we wouldn't be accepted.
EPMS: Why not?
Vanessa: Lots of artists come from New Mexico, and get kicked out of Texas.
Jessica: Rumors we heard.
Vanessa: We took the chance, and came to Texas, and we got accepted.
Jessica: We're the only band from New Mexico to make it in Texas. We go to Odessa, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, El Paso... They play our music all over Texas. It's a thrill for us, they come from all over to hear us. I can't explain what a great feeling that is.
EPMS: What about international success?
Jessica: We made it in Mexico.
Loretta: They're accepted in Mexico.
Jessica: They're playing our music in Spain, Japan...
Loretta: We just got called from Japan...
Jessica: They listen to us on the 'net, it's amazing.
EPMS: What are the near-term goals for Thee Twinz?
Vanessa: To win a Grammy. We presented an award.
Jessica: At the Tejano Music Awards.
EPMS: How soon are you hoping to win a Grammy?
Jessica: Soon, we hope, but you never know.
Vanessa: One, three, ten years, as soon as possible. We'll keep working until we reach our goals. That's one of our goals.
After their El Paso show on May 6, Thee Twinz headed to Austin for another show the next day.
- Charles Hurley