Jose Maldonado’s day job as a lifeguard in Los Angeles would lend you to believe that he leads a fairly normal life. But when night falls in that coastal town, Maldonado assumes the role of hypersexual (yet asexual) dynamo and leader of the iconic ’80s band The Smiths known as Morrissey. In Maldonado’s case, just call him the Mexican Morrissey. Sitting down with i-D, Maldonado described the double life he leads as the fearless frontman of cover band Sweet & Tender Hooligans.
In addition to the group, he hosts the weekly Breakfast with the Smiths on L.A.’s Indie 103 and also performs solo acoustic Mexican Morrissey shows. To be brief, he might enjoy the music. While the real Morrissey can be rather perfunctory and sour, which is part of his appeal, Maldonado has a sunnier disposition about life and what The Smiths gave him growing up.
“There is some kind of a parallel of growing up Latino in Southern California is not unlike the experience growing up the son of Irish immigrants in Northern England. Growing up in the 70s and 80s around my Anglo friends I wasn’t quite Anglo enough, and around my Latino friends I wasn’t Latino enough so I was an outsider of two different communities.”
There are so many opportunities to make Smiths’ song title references here, but that joke isn’t funny anymore. Nope. Never mind. Just leaving it there.