Maná drummer Alex González and guitarist Sergio Vallín did not graduate from high school — but that doesn’t mean they don’t encourage their young fans to stay in school.
“Every time we meet kids who want to be musicians, we tell them that we worked our asses off to achieve what we have,” González told Billboard during a phone conversation that also included Vallín. “It’s a risk not having a high school education because you can’t get a job.
“We think education is so important,” he added. “Everything starts from there.”
On Tuesday (May 12), in anticipation of a U.S. tour that starts June 10 in San Diego, the band members presented a $250,000 check to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund on behalf of tour sponsor Montejo beer.
The HSF has awarded more than $470 million in scholarships to over 57,000 students since its founding in 1975, according to its website. More than a third have been the first in their families to attend college.
“We’ve always been an active band, be it for the sake of the environment or helping Latinos in the United States,” González said, referring to Maná’s support of Greenpeace and other organizations. “We are honored and excited…about this opportunity to give Latino kids an education.
“Montejo is a fantastic beer from Mexico,” the drummer added, as glasses could be heard clinking in the background. “You should try it.”
Montejo is produced in Oaxaca by Grupo Modelo and imported to the U.S. by Anheuser-Busch, which bought Grupo Modelo in 2013. The brand has made a “significant investment” in its partnership with Maná, a brand spokesman previously told Billboard.
Maná will tour in support of the band’s new album, Cama Incendiada, which is currently in its second consecutive week on the Top Latin Albums chart.
The group played Rock in Rio on May 8, but did not perform any of the songs from the new album at that show. The Cama Incendiada tour will hit 14 U.S. cities through July.
Gonzalez revealed that the band will be traveling with 80 tons of equipment for the new arena show.
“Sponsors help us to have a great production and not raise ticket prices,” he added.