The argentinian guitarrist Rolando Bruno will be visiting Portugal next month. On May 13, Rolando will perform at the Sabotage Club, Lisbon, in an event organized by Threshold Magazine, where he will play Bailazo, an album released last year, as well as some new songs. We talked with Rolando about this project, watch the result down below.
Threshold Magazine (TM) – You will return to Portugal just five months after Barreiro Rocks. How does it feel to be back?
Rolando - Super! I love Portugal. My first time there was with Los Peyotes at 2008 or 2009 more or less. Barreiro Rocks was great, super party, and now I'm looking forward to play in Lisboa, and play in Sabotage again, I played there in 2013 with this project, it was my first European Tour totally alone.
TM – You’ll continue to present your last album in this new European tour. How was the process of writing it? And how did it feel presenting Bailazo live?
Rolando - Yes, talking about Bailazo now it's strange because from the end of 2016 I was totally focused on new songs and recording the new album with the band. Now I have a band in Buenos Aires, so the Bailazo Release seems far. But Bailazo was my first solo LP, with Voodoo Rhythm Records. The process was very good one for me because I never composed many songs and it was challenge. I discovered myself as a songwrite, it was a learning process and I'm very happy with the results. I started plain in Buenos Aires with this project in 2005 and I only played versions of peruvian cumbia classics and some classic rock in cumbia style, so play your own songs have other taste
TM - What made you combine two music genres (cumbia and garage rock) that seemed so distant? Being the result a danceable explosive that you call Cumbia Trash.
Rolando - Yeah, CUMBIA TRASH and the other slogan: HEY HO CUMBIA!. I think the answer is very simple: I come from the punk garage of the sixties and I love the vintage sound. By collecting Peruvian records, I discovered the amazing Los Mirlos, and the sound of their guitars is like the 60's surf rock with some guitar fuzzes. I started to mix those styles in my project. Now I have no rules and no limits on my music.
Sorry, yes I have one: to have fun and make people dance. I mean, CUMBIA TRASH is an excuse to put all the styles or things that I have in my brain on my music project.
TM – You have also been in another band called Los Peyotes, and you recently formed Rolando Bruno Y El Grupo Arevalo (both in your hometown Buenos Aires). Do you think you express yourself better in this solo project?
Rolando - Totally, I have the control of all hahaha! But now with El Grupo Arevalo it's cool, because talking about the music, I have other colors in the sound, I have HUMANS haha! And no MIDI programming or a Backing track, so they give me their organic part to the project. And of course, it is also fun to play with the band, the preview, the post show, etc
But also I enjoy to play alone, I'm happy that I can do both.
TM - We know you’ll release a new album soon, later this year. Can we expect some new songs in Lisbon?
Rolando - Yes! I'm working hard on it to come up with some new songs to play in this tour.
TM – Currently, there are some great bands in South America, like Föllakzoid and The Holydrug Couple. How do you describe the underground music scene in Argentina?
Rolando - Underground music here is super great, there are a lot of bands, good music. I can talk about Buenos Aires, it was always a big underground scene here, but also all over the country. It's a pity that the people or the press only focus in Buenos Aires bands. I think the music level of the argentinian bands is super high. On opposite of that I think the venues in general and the music market are not so good. It's hard to do good things, to have good offers, etc.
TM – We know you’re a huge fan of Japanese pop culture. What are your favorite animes and mangas? Does it influence you in your music?
Rolando - Yes, I love the whole Japanese culture. Since I was a child I had a dream and it was to be in Japan one day… I never dreamed that I would be in Japan two times and playing music haha!
I'm super fan of Captain Tsubasa (Super Campeones in Argentina, Oliver y Benji en España, I don’t know the name in Portugal). I played almost all the video games of this anime and won the finals. I remember when I was a child I wrote the passwords in japanese and I still have those papers haha! About the influence, Peruvian culture and Japanese culture have a lot of common, If you listen to some Los Andes folk music, sometimes sound like Japanese folk music. And of course it is an influence for me, not only in my music but also in the art of my albums or flyers.
TM – If you like football, which team do you support in Argentina?
Rolando - Racing Club de Avellaneda, the first South American team to be World Champion, beating Celtic in 1967. John Lennon was in one of the matches and he said something like “I like the white and light blue team, I want that team to win” hahaha! He said that because he hated the scottish.
TM - What albums/bands are you listening nowadays?
Rolando - La Leyenda del Tiempo from Camaron de La Isla, any song or album from Los Mirlos, Azel from Bombino and a lot of argentinian of late 80's and 90's cumbia with bizarre synths like Alcides or Ricky Maravilla.
TM – Anything you want to add up to the people out there?
Rolando - I hope people enjoy my music at some point in their lives and thanks for all the support of my followers :) HEY HO CUMBIA!