Often referred to as Mexico’s Rage Against The Machine, the alt-rock band Molotov probably doesn’t mind being compared to one of the most successful bands of the 90s.
But unlike their American counterpart, Molotov continues to tour and release new music – cementing their crossover legacy. The band has won four Latin Grammys and has seen gold and platinum sales in the U.S. and parts of Latin America.
“We never thought we’d last this long,” lead vocalist and guitarist Tito Fuentes told Fox News Latino as his tour bus headed to El Paso, Texas.
While they’ve existed for a while – at least 18 years – they began making headlines recently because of their provacative music and risqué album cover. They even drew the ire of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, because of a song with a homophobic slur that the band believes was lost in translation.
The song, called “Puto,” included a line that is roughly translated to “kill the gay.” But band members insist it’s an anti-establishment song that calls for standing up for oneself.
“It’s about cowards not homosexuals,” Fuentes said.
Still, the group came under fire by gay rights groups – and it eventually relented. It agreed to drop use of the offensive word and to spread messages of support for the LGBT community during their performances in the United States.
"Eliminating the word 'maricon' is a good first step, and we hope the band continues to leave such hateful sentiments out of the song when it is performed in the United States, Latin America, or anywhere" GLAAD Acting President Dave Montez said in a statement recently.
Band members said while they agreed to stop using the word in U.S. performances, they insist there was nothing offensive or prejudice behind their motives.
“We don’t give a [profanity] about being politically correct,” Fuentes told Fox News Latino in response to people who want the band to drop the song completely. “We respect the art of it. The expression.”
“We always say W.P.E., we play everywhere,” the bandleader said.
Molotov plays hard rock fused with Latin beats and rap. They sing mostly in Spanish and have some English and Spanglish songs.
Their fan base in the U.S. is heavily Latino.
“Latins kind of miss their country,” Fuentes said. “It seems like people [come see us] because they miss something.”
And they said they would not let any controversy dissuade them from being the next big crossover star.
“If things look good, we’ll probably try to drop an album,” said Fuentes. “We want to stay fresh.”
The band is currently touring the U.S. through the end of August where they will finish in New York City. August 13 they play L.A.'s famed Conga Room.
Follow Victor Garcia on Twitter @MrVicGarcia