Thursday, November 10, 2011

Los Venenos Tells It All

What if Jacques Brel got ass-pounding drunk and started a fist fight with Johnny Cash? Imagine Jacques broke his good hand in that fight and ran off to Buenos Aires where he ended up homeless on the streets playing for coins to buy the cheapest rot-gut liquor he could find. If all that happened the resulting sound might be like Los Venenos.

Los Venenos was formed in 2010 by Gabriel Perez, a much nicer guy than the sound, not the band I'm describing. Perez’s original vision was supposed to be a solo project. but soon he was joined by his sister, Mariana Teo. The Perez y Teo combination worked so well that the two began making at-home demo recordings…the kind of simple, expressionistic, ham-fisted recordings that no studio recording could compete with.

“Our influences are 60s rock, country, rockabilly, old school punk, new wave, and alternative music,” Gabriel tells me.

“The idea of the band is being a bit different in comparison with other music. Our inspiration is simple things that happen in life and the things that bother us. Many people live with those situations, so we use the resource of the raw sound to express them. We like to be more direct with the lyrics“.

Maybe the lyrics sound more direct because English isn’t Perez or Teo’s first language. The lyrics are starker than Americans are used to, but they’re still poetic. Everybody knows-or should know-that the Spanish language has a profound tradition of literature and poetry.

“Our idea is a cultural exchange too. To create the feeling of music of all the world that is expressive and from the very inside of people's heart. That’s the music that e that deserves our ears. So with Los Venenos, we try to express those things that are annoying in the society…cruelty, poverty, selfishness”.

What Gabriel Perez doesn’t mention is that ultimately Los Venenos’s music is filled with a kind of desperate hopefulness.

“Mariana plays bass and sings the chorus. I play guitar, do vocals and play drums. This formation allows the music that we want to do. It’s critical music. It expresses something that is not right“.

"The name "Los Venenos" comes from a tale by Argentine author and social critic Julio Cortázar. The meaning is similar, but not exactly the same as the English word 'poison'. As we know, this means something bad or dangerous. Our songs are a little bit like that. They’re about things not many people want to know about. That summarizes the whole thing. People telling other people things they already know but things they don't recognize. Things that they would rather not know".

“We’d like to do live performances if it's possible. Meanwhile, we continue writing and recording songs. That what Los Venenos believes, want to do and to express“.

Los Venenos have released their first single and video of the song ‘Return’. They're also featured on the recent release THAT’S DADASTIC! The 20 song compilation includes their version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘It Seems So Long Ago, Nancy’. It/s much more raw, gutsy and powerful than the original. The duo are also recording their first full-length album, appropriately titled Males Que No Todos Conocen roughly translated; Things Nobody Knows.  It should be released in the Fall of 2020.

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