It fills me with immense joy to officially inaugurate the section of MusicKO devoted to Uruguayan artists that are yet to find a record company.
The first band to be featured is Cínica, from my hometown of Montevideo.
This is the first part of the article, here you can read some basic band information and the answers to the questions I put their way. And you can read my opinion regarding their music in part 2. Of course, you can listen to it here.
An enormous “thank you” to Marcelo, Victoria, Gonzalo and Manuel for their time and enthusiasm.
Genre: Alternative Metal
Victoria Campbell – Vocals
Marcelo Simonetti – Guitars/ Backing Vocals
Gonzalo Simonetti – Bass Guitar
Manuel Kastanas – Drums
Been Together Since: June 2008
How would you capture the essence of your band in words?
If we’re talking specifically about the band, we could say that we have a great chemistry that is evident if you ever see us onstage. That chemistry is also felt when it comes to writing and giving shape to new songs. We all come from different styles, and in our opinion that is a plus when playing and composing. The resulting music has a mix of various flavors, but always with metal and hard rock at its root.
Are you trying to make a “new” artistic statement as far as Uruguayan music goes? Or will you just let history play its role?
The band started as two friends who met and played for fun, and it developed from that. It got more and more serious, and it eventually grew into a full band. We’ll try to play the music we like and reach out to the most people we can. We know our music has things in common with other bands but we like to think the combo is pretty unique in this country. So time will tell.
How does your music fit in global terms, IE what perception will a person who is located at the opposite end of the world have of it?
In spite of the language (we agreed from the very beginning that the lyrics would be in Spanish) our music could be heard all over the world. We don’t add (yet) elements that have exclusively Uruguayan roots like Candombe or Tango to our music. Most of our lyrics are also about universal issues – IE, issues that anyone could relate to.
What are the advantages of residing in Uruguay from a creative point of view? And the disadvantages? Is there an unbalance? Or does it all even out?
Residing in Uruguay definitely stimulates the creative side of your brain. There are not that many opportunities for music or most cultural expressions right now, but luckily this situation is changing bit by bit. So if you are trying to get to the public you have to be creative. That is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. The unbalance comes when you know that there are so many talented musicians and artists (I believe Uruguay must be one of the countries with most musicians per capita) that don’t have the chance (or the place) to showcase their art. And the public never gets to learn about it in the end.
It is usually said that Uruguay has a lot of talent that does not get a chance to shine, as opposed to some of our neighboring countries in which new artists have a readier set of opportunities. Do you think that still applies in the framework of the social web (IE, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook…)?
I don’t really think our neighbors have more opportunities. I believe it’s a matter of proportions. For example, when you go to a show on Buenos Aires it’s amazing how many flyers you get on the door of bands that you’d never heard about. But it’s true that when a band gets a chance to go mainstream there it has far more outreach than any band in our country. Web communities are great help in order to reach people, and to be known and heard. We now have near 2,000 friends on Facebook and more than 1,000 on MySpace. When I started playing back in 1993 that was unthinkable. The only way to spread your independent music was hand by hand. Now you can listen to a Kurdistan band and that is great.
In your opinion, which artists in the history of music have never received the recognition that they deserved?
That’s a difficult question. Anyone that I can think of received more or less recognition in one way or another. I don´t know. Us? 🙂
Is there a song by another artist that embodies the spirit of your band and what you have set out to achieve?
To choose one song is also very difficult. I think maybe “La Camorra” by Astor Piazzolla. I personally think that the essence of Astor’s tango is very close to that of metal. I might be crazy, but it thrills me and makes me bang my head every time. It’s almost an impossible goal to achieve in terms of music, but you’ve got to aim high.
Which tools and applications do you use to remain informed about new artists and releases? Social tools? RSS readers?
Mostly social tools. I’m not very familiar with RSS but I know it stands as a very good way to keep informed on particular issues.
Continue to Part 2: Cínica’s music analyzed.
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