April 29, 2008 06:00 PM

Almost a decade ago, Leonel García and Noel Schajris, better known as Sin Bandera, aspired to win over the hearts of millions of fans with their romantic ballads. They wished for it so strongly, that their dream became a reality. Today, after filling up giant concert halls, selling over three million copies of their four albums and winning two Latin GRAMMY awards, the duo has decided to part ways. They have done so on a good note, however, since the separation is not due to rivalry or fights.

And to make that perfectly clear, the band is offering a goodbye tour that has proved to be a hit in Latin America and will soon come to the United States. “This tour closes a very important cycle in our lives and our fans deserved it”, stated 33-year-old Noel Schajris.

In between concerts, Noel has no room for boredom. He is composing songs for a new album and for other artists like Fanny Lú, Victor Manuelle and the pop duo Jesse y Joy. He tells us about that and more in the following interview:

What has this goodbye tour been like?
People have shown us an incredible amount of nostalgia, affection, love and passion. There is no pressure on this tour of what comes next, we are just enjoying the music we generate together live.

What have you learned in the past 8 years with Leonel?
I think Leo and I gave each other a lot. We gave each other 24 hours of unparalleled devotion. We surrendered to the passion of this music project, to what it was, what it is and what (Sin Bandera) will continue to be for many people. We admired, respected and learned from one another and that is what made the band so strong.

How will you face this new challenge of being a solo artist?
I will face it like I face everything in life, with excitement, with 100 % of my soul, with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation because there are some great things happening that confirm that we did things right.

Tell us about this new stage in your life.
Life is sending some great masters my way like Juan Luis Guerra,Franco De Vita, Ricardo Montaner and many others who have agreed to compose songs for my new album. Juan Luis Guerra is a great master, he is a wonderful example of what I want to be and do in my career.

What message do you want to bring to Sin Bandera fans now that the duo is disintegrating?
The message would be don’t be scared, don’t panic. Life is beautiful and music will continue to thrive. I promise you there will be new songs and I hope you enjoy this new album that I’m working on.

Can we expect a future Sin Bandera reunion?
I can’t be sure of that. Maybe Leo and I will get together again some day and make music, but it wouldn’t be to make money, but because we both feel the need to make a new song together. Right now we’re not thinking of a comeback though. It would be an insult to tell people that now, when we are saying goodbye.

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