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Mana

Mana origins date back to a band called Sombrero Verde, whose members José Fernando (Fher) Olvera, voice, Gustavo Orozco, the electric guitar; and the Calleros brothers: Juan Diego, on bass, Ulysses, on electric guitar and Abraham, on drums came from Guadalajara. In 1975 they decided to get together to play different songs from groups they admired, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Police, among others.

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They were originally known as The Spies of the Green Hat, but soon the name was shortened to Green Hat and was eventually adapted into Spanish as Sombrero Verde, as the band wanted to rock in their own language. They were one of the first groups to venture out, composing their own songs even though rock in Spanish was not yet a trend.

In 1981 they released their first album, Sombrero Verde, under the label Ariola, the singles were “Vampiro” (Vampire), “Profesor” (Professor), “Long Time” and “Depiértate” (Wake Up).
In 1983 they released A Tiempo de Rock (On Time for Rock), the album’s singles would be “Laura”, “Hechos nada más” (Only Facts) and “Me voy al mar” (I’m Going to Sea). The group found little success with this production.

In 1984, Abraham Calleros, the group’s drummer, left the band to continue his musical career in the U.S.. The group decided to put out a newspaper ad seeking a new member. Enter Alex González, a young Cuban-Colombian-born drummer from Miami, who from that moment on would play a key role in the group’s history.

Sombrero Verde continued until 1986, when guitarist Gustavo Orozco also decides to leave the group to concentrate on his studies. The group went back to being a quartet. This is when Fher decides to move on from Sombrero Verde and form a new band that would fuse rock, pop and Latin rhythms.

At that time, a movement in Mexico began called “Rock en tu idioma” (Rock in Your Language), a business strategy from some record companies aimed at young people to develop rock in Spanish. The trend, imported from Argentina and Spain, was endorsed by the pioneering work of groups such as Soda Stereo, Enanitos Verdes, Mecano, Nacha Pop, La Unión, Radio Futura, Hombres G and Zas (Miguel Mateos’ Band).  As a result, several Mexican bands, made up mainly by young people, were formed with musical influences from American and European groups. Thus arose the movement’s leading bands in Mexico: Caifanes, Maldita Vecindad, Café Tacvba, and, among them, Maná, who achieved success not only locally but also internationally.

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