LOS CHICOS ARE COMING TO DRINK YOU DRY
Madrid band Los Chicos formed a decade ago. They're a country-punk-rock-soul-gospel machine that's has blown away crowds all over the world. They've recorded four albums and appeared on international tributes to Chuck Berry and The Fleshtones. If you're an I-94 Bar patron with a modicum of a liking for any or all of the above, you're going to have to check them out (if you haven't already), dig?
Los Chicos are on a mission: To spread the word of rock 'n' roll. They jump around like monkeys on stage, with a killer twin brother twin-guitar attack, an earthquake-inducing rhythm section and a mad frontman who seems to fly off the top of PA stacks like Tarzan. Someone once said they were "a cross between Black Flag and the Shananas or like Otis Redding with a Texan punk garage band behind him with their gear about to explode." That should rock your boat.
Comprising vocalist Rafa (pictured left), identical twin guitarists Gerardo and Antonio, bassist Manu and drummer Piña, Los Chicos have shared stages with The Sonics, Roy Loney, Johnny Casino, Paul Collins, Southern Culture On The Skids, Eddie & the Hot Rods, King Khan, Barrence Whitfield, Hi-Risers and JOHNNY CASINO, himself a frequent rock and roll tourist in Spain.
With Los Chicos on their way to Australia in August 2010 to promote a compilation, "10 Years Of Shakin' Fat," on Off The Hip and to play with Johnny and his band The Secrets (as well as a bunch of other folk), we thought it was a great idea to hook him up with the band to preview their visit. Vocalist RAFFA fielded his questions and here's the result.
JOHNNY CASINO: What kind of music did you hear in your house as a young child ?
RAFA: My dad was playing classical music and opera records all the time. That turned me and my brother onto punk.
J: What or who made you want pick up the guitar and play rock 'n' roll ?
R: I could be here for four years giving names, MC5, Neil Young, Stooges, Radio Birdman, Dr Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods.....but also the fact that it felt appropriate to do tons of silly stuff on top of a stage. Everyone would congratulate you after acting like a donkey on stage but you could never do that in the classroom or at the dinner table.
J: How did you start the band? Did you know all the members before the band was formed ?
R: No. In fact we met because of the band. First we started playing and then we became friends. And after 10 years we've become family.
The twin brothers met me while I was drunk discussing with another drunk guy about the Stooges versus the MC5. We talked a bit that day. They were loaded on Kalimotxo. The next day I was drunk again, I took some hippy's guitar and started playing "Down By The River" by Neil Young.
The twin brothers came to me and we felt in love. Then we formed the band and went into madness.
J: When you started the band did you have an idea of what the band should sound like ?
R: Yes. we wanted to be like Radio Birdman, MC5, Neil Young, Bob Seger, Stooges, Detroit, Mitch Rider, Nine Pound Hammer. A garage band but with a Kalimotxo touch to it.
J: Is it true that you only play in a band to get free Kalimotxo? And if so please tell our Aussie readers what makes a good Kalimotxo?
R: We only play in a band to spread the word of Kalimotxo all over the world.
Dear Aussie readers. This is the recipe: The cheapest wine and the cheapest Coke….makes the best Kalimotxo!
J: Can you please tells us some Spanish bands past and present that both influence you and inspire you?
R: Well, mainly Mermelada, Burning, Josele y Los Enemigos, Señor No, Discípulos de Dionisos, Rosendo, Aerobitch, Cerebros Exprimidos, La Banda Trapera del Río, etc...
J: You have made two records now with Mike Mariconda of the Raunch Hands producing. How did this all come about?
R: We played with him and became good friends. Our devotion to music and alcohol made the rest. He's very important to us. He gives us the sound we want, he understands our changes in music direction. He's the best. Although sometimes he orders salad.
J: What is the correct percentages of alcohol and pigs' ears that make for a good Los Chicos show ?
R: 300% pigs' ears. 600% alcohol.
J: What can you tell us about Australian music you like? Why do you like it? And do you think there is an Australian sound ?
R: We LOVE Australian music. From GOD to Radio Birdman, the Hard-Ons, Asteroid B612, The Saints, Beasts Of Bourbon and Spencer P Jones, Powder Monkeys, Johnny Casino, Rob Younger's New Christs, New Race, the Triffids, etc!!
We love all those bands because they re just absolutely PERFECT!
I guess there is an Australian sound....the sea, the land, everything helps in forming any culture and in the shape of any sound+attitude. And the Australian sound is just so direct, melodic and rough....we love it!!
J: What are you looking forward to most about coming to Australia ?
R: Eating kangaroos with Kalimotxo and spreading our crazy drunk gospel all over. Also visiting the coast and your national parks. And most importantly….hugging Johnny Casino.
J: Besides Kalimotxo, what drinks should Aussie girls be buying the members of Los Chicos ?
R: We love surprises. They can make alcohol out of a potato, we will try it.
LOS CHICOS - AUSTRALIAN TOUR - AUGUST 2010
Friday 6th - THE NATIONAL HOTEL - GEELONG - VICTORIA
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets + Midnight Woolf + Support
Saturday 7th - THE OLD BAR - FITZROY - VICTORIA
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets + Bad Orkestra
Sunday 8th - BAR OPEN FITZROY, VIC
w/ THE KNOCKOUTS
Wednesday - 11th - THE PHOENIX BAR - CANBERRA - ACT
w/ Local Support
Thursday - 12th - THE OLD MANLY BOATSHED - MANLY - NSW
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets
Friday - 13th - MOJO RECORDS INSTORE PARTY - SYDNEY - NSW
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets
Saturday 14th - SYDNEY HARBOUR BOAT CRUISE - SYDNEY - NSW (Boarding from Pyrmont Bay, Pyrmont NSW)
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets + The Crusaders + Dunhill Blues
Tickets from Mojo Music or The Illustrated Man
Sunday 15th - THE EXCELSIOR HOTEL - SURRY HILLS - NSW w/ Carrie Phillis and the Downtown Three + Support
Thursday 19th - 3PBS LIVE TO AIR on FANG IT 5pm-7pm
Thursday 19th - THE ESPLANADE HOTEL - ST KILDA - VICTORIA
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets + Midnight Woolf + High Fangs
Friday 20th - OFF THE HIP RECORDS INSTORE PARTY - MELBOURNE - VICTORIA
w/ Midnight Woolf + Lost Ones + FREE BEER !!
Saturday 21st (after in-store) 2AM - THE PONY BAR - MELBOURNE
Saturday 21st - YAH YAHS BAR - FITZROY - VICTORIA
w/ Digger and the Pussycats + Kids of Zoo
Sunday 22nd - THE TOTE HOTEL - COLLINGWOOD - VICTORIA
w/ Johnny Casino and the Secrets + Midnight Woolf + The Cheats + Wrong Turn + Thee Wylde Oscars + Sole Stickers + The Living Eyes + Little Murders + Buried Horses + Russian Roulettes + more tba