Las Palabras Queman is a Straight Edge Hardcore band from Buenos Aires – Argentina.
Formed in 2008 playing a energetic Youth Crew hardcore, positive, with messages referring to the Straight Edge lifestyle, animal liberation, friendship and brotherhood in the current scene. Known as “The new hope of Straight Edge in South America”. In 2009 the drop their first EP under the title “APunto De Estallar” (About to explode), with 5 tracks that began to pave the legacy of the band, three years later, they consolidate with the released of their first LP entitled “Invocación” (Invocation), one of the most anticipated album of that year.
Today I am meeting through Skype with Alfredo Meyer (Alfredege) drummer of the band.
*Hello Alfredo and thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please let’s start with a short introduction of the band. Who is who and what for noise everyone makes.
-Hello Leo and thanks for having us on this interview for xclusivx.
Ok. I am Alfredo (Alfredge) and play the Drums, Ariel (Abhaya Gaura Das) is the singer, Lucas (Locan das) plays the guitar and Alejandro plays the Bass.
Abhaya Gaura Das & Locan das are spiritual names Ariel & Lucas have due to their devotion to Krishna.
*How did you guys meet?
-Well. Ariel and I knows each other for over 20 years now, we meet at shows on the early 90’s here in Buenos Aires. Ariel used to have a band back then which was the first Straight Edge band in Argentina called CONFORT SUPREMO. Since then began our friendship that have been keeping strong until today. Then as you know I was living in Switzerland for 10 years. However, as soon as I came back to Argentina in the year 2005 I contacted Ariel once again, then we began having contact again as before, started going to shows together and during this time Lucas and Alejandro joined.
Basically we know each others already for some years and got to know through shows and experiences with previous bands that we have been playing together.
*How did LPQ has started?
-The principal idea of forming a band was Ariel’s. He wanna to form an Straight Edge band with a clear and direct message not strange lyrics or love or anything related to this strange things happening in nowadays in Hardcore. Clear and direct lyrics, short songs and fucking old school (laughs)
*Have any of you previously played in another band?
Ok. I played in two different bands while living in Switzerland. BLUE WATER BOY and CRUSH MY CALM. In the year 2005 when I came back to Argentina we started with a project called CUENTA CONMIGO with some friends that had a similar sound to TEN YARD FIGHT, then around the same time I started playing for a band called ENQUIRER which was an experimental band that reflects the Hare Krishna faith of the bands members. A band heavily influenced by Hardcore Punk New York band 108. We produced 3 records and today the band no longer exists. Alejandro who as well runs the independent label VEGAN RECORDS have a side project call MIL CARAS who recently came out with a record and are working on a next one. Before that he was as well playing in a Hardcore band called BASTA DE ODIO.
Lucas as well played in different bands but the one that was more significant was ENQUIRER where we share good experiences together. Ariel as I mentioned before was part of CONFORT SUPREMO. Then in the mid 90’s formed another band called SUDARSHANA which is inactive today but perhaps they might record a new record and start touring once again this year. So, we have over 20 years on this and still want to keep saying some things through music.. (laughs)
*What is the meaning behind the name Las Palabras Queman?
-The meaning of the name represent that message we want to give as a band. When one sincerely conveys something, a message. Surely some people will feel hurt, dissatisfied or even uncomfortable for this things that we say or sing about. Therefore those words that we transmitted will burn, they burned on peoples heart or their heads because we might talk about things they do not want to listen, things that they don’t want to be reminded of or told. Words that burn.
*Which bands LPQ feel inspired from?
-The band that inspires us and still doing so until these days is YOUTH OF TODAY. We believe that YOT is the band that defined Straight Edge as we believe it should be. However there are other bands like CARRY ON or BETTER THAN A THOUSAND which are bands that we like a lot and have a big influence in the sound of the band.
*How does 2014 has been for LPQ and what for plans or projects are awaiting in 2015?
-The year 2014 was a pretty good year for the band. We were playing a lot within the country. As you know Argentina is a really big country and sometimes cost a lot to get to the provinces but we set a goal to try to get to some more people. Not just playing in the big city but around the country or places where usually there’s no much going on. We played quite often continuing with the promotion of our latest album “Invocación”. We as well had the possibility to close the year in Brasil in an interesting festival where we had the chance to play with GORILLAS BISCUITS. In relation to 2015. We are planing in getting together and finish some tracks. Therefore record another album and continuing playing.
*With the drop of the latest album “ Invocación” in October 2012 do you think Hardcore comes back to bite everyone in the arse?
-Obviously (laughs). During these times where Hardcore seem so manipulated, we do believe that the essence is being lost, people sometimes do not even know from where Hardcore comes from. Therefore we are here to represent that factor, how the ideas of Hardcore are transmitted, etc. In nowadays with all of the different genres that exist as derivates of Hardcore where very rarely you could find an strong message, a positive message of underground Hardcore, the idea of DIY which seems slowing disappearing, where people are more attracted to modern video clips and bands that are desperate to get on MTV rather than transmitting a sincere message or something positive for the youth. We have a very loss youth. We do want something positive and stand on that idea.
*Tell us about the process, experiences, ups and downs during the recording of Invocación?
-For me personally. Invocación was a very particular process. It was the very first time in my life that I was recording with the “click” you know. “click, click, click” When we wanted to begin with the recording of the album, the producer Javier Casas (former guitar player from well known Vegan Straight Edge band Nueva Etica) told me NO! You can’t record this record like that. We will delay the recording of this record for another half a year. You will come to studio and practice. You’re going to rehearse the tracks with the “click”. I started like this. Twice a week right after work I was going to the studio and rehearse the tracks with the “click” and improve the tracks if there was something that has to be improved. So. I was there, working pretty hard on the tracks while the recording of record. I calculated that after about 4 months we were right on point with the recording. That was pretty hard for me because my ego was touched. However I have learned something new, improvised with the way I play, so, my opinion about this particular moment is different now. Finally we ended up having a album which is De Puta Madre!
*Who writes the lyrics?
-All lyrics are written by our singer Ariel.
*You guys have recently been touring in Brasil and opening for Gorillas Biscuit. How did this come together?
-We have a pretty good friendship relationship with Franco from SEVEN EIGHT LIFE RECORDINGS in Brasil. He was in charge of bringing JUDGE and Gorillas Biscuit this past December to Brasil. Therefore he has no doubt in inviting us from Argentina to share that evening together with GB. We are very grateful about this as well for been able to share the stage with other good South American bands like En Mi Defensa (Chile), Days Of Sunday (Brasil), Inspire (Brasil) among other bands. A very beautiful experience and a really nice christmas gift.
*Tell us about the Hardcore scene in Argentina?
-Well. Argentina has always been a place where you can find many bands. There’s a diversity and already since the beginning of the 90’s many bands have emerged. Specially in the city of Buenos Aires and from that starting point it creates like a snowball effect that has never really stop. There has been good and bad times but overall there are always bands around, old, new ones, new styles, etc. In nowadays there’re many bands and we have many shows which in my eyes at some point could be a bit negative because I think that people get tired of it. Tired of having many shows in weekly basis, sometimes theres not many people attending the shows. We hope this can change and hopefully we have more people attending to the shows in the near future.
*You guys are a Straight Edge band. Tell us a bit more about this? Would LPQ ever have a member who is not straight Edge?
-Yes! we are an Edge band. We believe that the Straight Edge as well include vegetarianism and veganism. We don’t really believe in a Straight Edge that is just Drug Free. We are a band that is very committed to these ideas. However. We had a year were it was difficult for us to find a bass player, there was no one that fixed in the band so we had a very good friend who was not Straight Edge and help us and played during one year with us so that we could be able to keep playing shows. However if we refer to a fixed member in the band then is important that this person is as well Vegan Straight Edge like us.
*Which other bands are involved in the Hardcore scene in Argentina?
-We have many bands so I will just mention a few. Bands like Mil Caras, Los Verdaderos, Donde Todo Termina, Superalma, Diaspora.
*How do you see the relevance from Straight Edge in relation to the Hardcore scene in Argentina or South America for that matter?
-I believe that the Straight Edge movement in South America is pretty big. There was a time here in Argentina were no many Hardcore bands were active and the only movement that was pushing it forward was the Straight Edge. Can you imagine? Basically just Straight Edge bands keeping the movement alive. There are still many people in the scene that still interested in transmitting a message and keeping the scene alive. However we are getting older (laughs). I like to see how the Straight Edge is able to leave a mark in people. Countries like Chile, Brasil, Peru, Colombia y Venezuela have incredible bands. I wish that more people in Europe would be interested in band from South America. At this point on time the Straight Edge in South America is red hot, alive and kicking.
*Do you guys prefer the anticipation of big venues or intimacy and sweaty balls of smaller ones?
-Personally I prefer the second option (laughs). I have preferences for a small place. All together, one next to the other, dancing, singing, small scenario, everyone on top of the stage, on the side, you name it. That beautiful atmosphere in Hardcore that is created, when the band and the crowd is all the same, all at the same level and having fun, full positive energy flowing in the environment. That’s part of the beauty of this scene.
*You clearly meet one or two people during your travels, too. Who’s been the biggest famous dickhead ever?
-I can’t think on anyone….(laughs) that’s a difficult question. We have always been in company of good people tho. I will have to think pretty hard about that one. (laughs)
*Any embarrassing things during tour that you would like to share with us?
-Many things happened in our tour to Brasil (laughs). First the suitcase with the merchandise and cd’s didn’t arrived. Not having merchandising and cd’s to sell to the people was embarrassing enough. Until today I still waiting for the airline to find our suitcase. Hopefully I get something back for that lost. The other one was missing the plane in Brasil in our way back to Argentina due to the massive traffic in the streets of Sao Paulo. We were not able to board the plane and had to get new tickets. However. The tickets were ridiculously expensive. At this point I was saying “FUCK!” in between every sentence, started asking around what was the best way to get back home and trying to find a possible, affordable solution. At the end of the day, we decided to travel by bus and that took us about 2 days of travel.
*I just can find 3 songs in Bandcamp. What’s up with that?
-We should do something about that. We have been lazy with it tho, but you can find and listen the whole album in Youtube.
*Usually when people get past 30, they stand there in a show and cross their arms. They do not go apeshit. It feels like you’re playing to a cabaret crowd. Does this happen in Argentina?
-Usually this does not happen in the shows here (laughs). I love seen people going crazy while we play but personally as an spectator I do cross my arms and stand there (laughs)
*Will LPQ be working on another record?
Definitely. We will be getting together to plan some things for 2015 as I mentioned and will talk about this. We are working on a 6-7 tracks projects and want to go out there and keep playing. We are reaching the age of 40 but still have no intentions to stop (laughs)
Thank you Alfredo for the interview. Until we meet again.
Motivated, PMA, Dedicated, sometimes an a$$hole who loves kicks, sports and japanese manga robots, open minded and rarely complicated, music addicted and vinyl junkie, shows, tattoos, food, good conversations, travel, exchange of ideas, sarcastic with a dark humour and thirsty for knowledge.
DIY. What you can do yourself, you should do yourself. In the end, either you love it or leave it!