The Method Behind the Mask WRESTLING

This March proved to be a trial by fire for Toronto’s Tijuana Bibles. Celebrating the release of their latest split seven-inch with fellow surf-wrestle rockers Lost Acapulco, they were they main attraction at Mexico City’s Lucha Libre Wrestling/Music Festival, a week long commemoration of the sport’s cultural and musical significance. Hogtown’s merchants of masked musical mayhem quickly realised they were faced with the reality of proving themselves to the very people they emulate. The festival’s one-night-only concert, Lucha Mania, boasted the debut of the "masked wrestlers from Canada,” in the land from which they derive much of their style. Steeped in Mexican wrestling aesthetically and lyrically since their inception seven years ago, the Bibles quickly realised the severity of their situation.

"It was the final test as to whether or not we’re doing this right,” admits singer/guitarist the Crippler. "We were thinking, ‘Can we pass the test? Will they find validity to what we’re doing or will we be booed out of town?’” Confessing that the trip was akin to "a Japanese blues band finally getting to the Mississipi Delta,” the band need not have worried. They were ravenously embraced with throngs of radio appearances, press conferences and autograph requests — not to mention a shit-hot show that resulted in unusual physical injury.

"We were worried we’d get our faces slashed but we ended up signing so many autographs my hand was sore,” the Crippler says humbly between rock star jokes. He laughs that the true rock star treatment was far more "street level” though. "The real sign that we’d ‘made it,’ was seeing street vendors with bootleg Tijuana Bibles discs. It was a surprise that people had taken the time to go to the trouble! It made us feel special but more importantly they were hard-nosed! I thought they’d be like, ‘take it,’ but our stuff was full price. How cold blooded is that?”