The generational renewal within Argentine rock it is a reality. Perhaps many did not realize it, but names like Zoe Gotusso and Knowing Russia are really very popular and successful, with several Great Rex under their belt. And not to mention urban music, which is another rage apart.
On that podium of importance the group Bandalos Chinos can be located at the topwith several albums full of hits, important pre-pandemic performances abroad and a current world tour that has already passed through Spain, France, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, always before crowds and with sold-out tickets.
Now they are regaining strength after two months on the road, but in September they return to the fray, with their Big Blue Tour reaching the interior of the country and Chile, ending on October 22 at the Luna Park stadium.
Iñaki and Goyo, from Bandalos Chinos. Photo German Garcia Adrasti
In Buenos Aires, their last big show was at the Quilmes Rock festival, where they were overwhelmed by a crowd that overtook their stage area.
Goyo Degano, the singer of the band, remembers that performance from early May clearly: “It was crazy and the truth is that it took us by surprise. We looked at each other because there was a sea of heads and you couldn’t see the bottom. It was very nice to receive that support from the entire audience at such an important festival! In the last few shows I hadn’t come down among the people on the fences, but there I felt so much magnetism that I wanted to go down and hug everyone. There was a very cool energy”.
Iñaki Colombo, guitarist and also keyboardisthe adds: “Playing in front of so many people gives you more adrenaline. There in the Quilmes we looked out before leaving and it was incredible. It’s a very stimulating feeling”.
According to Goyo, selling out locations “is great.” He says that he does not forget the first shows in Niceto, where until the last moment they were aware of the number of people, to see if they could distribute tickets among friends or not.
“Now -he admits- it is to forget about that and in every place we go we are practically to a full room. That is very pleasant because it allows you to occupy yourself and concentrate on giving the show, playing and being connected with each other. It is great to take for granted that it is going to be people watching the concert”.
The hinge moments
Bandalos Chinos in the middle of Sonic Ranch in Texas. press photo
-What would be the pivotal moments in your career? Perhaps those early Nicetos, but what else?
-Inaki: Without a doubt the first Niceto of 2016, when we presented the EP In the air.
-Goyo: That was our first landing in the Capital, being a band from Beccar, in the North Zone. It was very difficult for us to get shows and concerts in the Capital. It was a pivotal moment, and another was the exit of Bachwith all the tour that came after.
-And in Mexico what was that key moment?
-Inaki: The Catrina festival, in Puebla.
-Goyo: Yes. We hit our first tour in Mexico at the end of 2018, we played that festival and it was awesome. The truth is that it was one of the first recitals we did and there were a lot of people. A few months later, in March 2019, we went to play Vive Latino and it seems to me that there was also a pivotal moment.
We played in the Intolerant Tent, which is like an alternative stage, smaller. Before touching the place was bare, and when we left there were people to the bottom. That made us think that we had to continue going to Mexico.
Goyo Degano and Iñaki Colombo, from Bandalos Chinos. Photo German Garcia Adrasti.
– Seeing so many people gives you enthusiasm and pride, or fear?
-Inaki: It’s a mix. The day you lose your fear you have to retire. Sometimes that uncertainty of what is going to happen is the engine, because you don’t know if you are going to be booed or applauded. Every show is like the first, because there are also people who are seeing you for the first time.
-Goyo: The truth that gives a lot of pride, especially to be able to travel and reach such distant places and that there are people singing the songs. When we went to Mexico last year, we played in Tijuana, a city with a very strong rock tradition. And in each place we put the address of our little house in Beccar to see how many kilometers away we are. And seeing so many people singing and applauding is to inflate the chest and say “How beautiful what is happening to us!”.
Heading to Luna Park
-How are you dreaming about the Luna Park recital?
-Inaki: There are tickles in the belly. We are already beating it from now on, although there is still a long way to go. It’s like the end of this entire first part of the tour that takes us through so many countries. It gives us a lot of pride and happiness to be able to do it. In addition, it is an immense challenge to put on a show right there, with all the mystique that the place has.
Chinese bands. press photo
-What unforgettable shows did you see there?
-Goyo: I have one that has to do with a special moment, because I was just starting out in that business of going to recitals and it was the first time I went to the Luna. It was the show of the 15 years of Prophetic Culture. I got among the people and I remember that a friend fainted and had to be taken to be assisted. There I saw the strength and power that this place has. And from recent times I remember a very powerful show by Wosito.
-iñaki: My memory is more recent: a Patti Smith recital that blew my wig off. I remember that the stage was very bare and a tremendous rock band came out.
-Goyo: oh! I told my grandmother we were going to play there and she said, “That’s where Sinatra sang!” I also saw Rodrigo’s shows on YouTube, which remained for posterity. The truth is that it is crazy to have the opportunity to do a show there.
-Al Luna already arrive with all the new songs of “Big Blue”?
-Goyo: Yes. The idea is to play all the new songs and obviously our greatest hits. The new album is only 35 minutes long, and it’s good because you finish listening to it and you have time to put it back on.
-Inaki: We are already in about two hours of show.
The new generation
Bandalos Chinos live at the Quilmes Rock festival. Photo: Martin Bonetto.
-It’s been ten years since the first album and they are the first band of their generation to arrive at Luna Park. Who do you feel close to?
-Goyo: With the Russian, from Knowing Russia. He is a colleague with whom we have been crossing paths on the scene for many years, when he had other projects. He noticed that Marilina arrived before us at Luna, but it’s not a band.
-Inaki: There’s also El Mató A Motorized Police, but they’ve been around longer. When we started, they were a reference and model of self-management. We see each other a lot with Zoe, Ainda, El Zar, Indios and bands like Francisca y los Exploradores, Rayos Láser, Hipnotica.
-Goyo: Also the bands from Mendoza, the meek-indie ones, although now You Show Me It’s not active.
The last album: Big Blue
The cover of the album Big Blue by Bandalos Chinos
As in the preview of their previous album, pop paranoidthis recent Big Blue It made them hesitate to record at the Sonic Ranch again, but they were excited about the possibility of using a new part of the “ranch” called Big Blue (hence the album’s title).
According to Goyo, the decision to go back to Texas had to do with the confinement and the pandemic, having each one living at home and making their life. “We needed that reunion space and we were tempted by the idea of going to that studio that we had seen when it was being built.”
Another factor that they repeated from the formula that was successful in Bach Y pop paranoid was producer Adan Jodorowsky. The singer explains that this creative bond continued to develop, in addition to the fraternal bond of friendship.
“It is important -explains Goyo- the energy that is experienced in a recording room, when you are producing and printing what is going to be a record that will last forever”.
Iñaki reflects: “I don’t know if we are going to be able to make an album alone. We did it with the first ones, and in Bach we called Adan and it worked for us. Definitely being a six person band, having someone like him is pretty key. Because there comes a point where you don’t agree on everything and you need someone who is outside of the situation and has some objectivity.”
“He is a person -adds Goyo- to whom we all gave that power and authority, understanding that you have to trust him. A discussion can be really eternal and someone is key to speed up the process and not get entangled in unnecessary sophism” .
-I read that they recorded everything live. Hadn’t they done it before?
-Inaki: Some things yes, like the drums with the bass and the guitar. But here it was literally all together, with the two guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and lead vocals. There was practically no overdubs On the disk. It was a challenge that Adan proposed to us when he arrived at the studio. We didn’t know we were going to record it like this! I think he gives a tint and a philosophy to the album, because it is to be able to incorporate the error or the imperfection to the concept. The best collective shot was chosen and it wouldn’t let us correct it.
-Goyo: There was no mental or physical preparation! It was cool to make friends with the mistake and raise your head and look at the other during the shot. There was a cool energetic work, which ends up being heard in the songs.
-There are references to the pandemic in the lyrics. Was everything composed in full confinement?
-Goyo: Yes, totally. Although we do not consider that it speaks exclusively or directly about the situation we are experiencing in the pandemic, it was conceived at that time. There are details, for example in My Party, which we composed with Joaco Vitola in Saldías and we wanted to talk about a clandestine party, which was very much from that time. It ends up having glimpses and influences of what happened to us in the confinement, but it doesn’t seem to me to be the common thread or the main theme.
-Was it difficult to put together the tracklist or did it come naturally?
-Goyo: The decision has to be unanimous. In general, Iñaki and Mati, the drummer, are the ones who propose the most and get involved in testing and listening to how each variant turns out. The rest of us listen and put our thumbs up or down. And to choose the singles we have a very fun game that is to write down each of their three proposals on a piece of paper.
-Inaki: It was difficult. It’s always a nice challenge. There are certain managers who propose an order of topics, but then you have to stick to the idea of the committee, as we say. The six of us voted, but winning 4-2 is not enough, because we want to reach something that everyone likes. That is our system. It is a unanimous democracy.
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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com