))caradura interview

by excA

so caradura has decided to call it quits, but hopefully they'll play sometime somewhere somehow in a reincarnation of what was))caradura @ aztlan fest(( one of the most respectable latin ska-punk bands in california, from san francisco to be exact. the band had only one cd but they gave it away not only literally at the Aztlan Fest, which became their last gig in los angeles, but also in terms of music, horns and crazy sounds. before we forget this band, let's start reading about Alberto's (Trumpet) and Max's (Guitar) future plans as well as what made caradura what it was:

Is it true that you guys are breaking up?


But last time I saw you at the Roxy you said that...

Alberto: Well this is our last L.A. show forever. And at Berkeley is our last show. We played here only because we had confirmed a long time ago. If not, we wouldn't have done it.

So how come you guys are breaking up?

Max: Well we've around for 3 years, which isn't that much but we all felt in the band that we went as far as we can go.

Alberto: With this line-up. We had a good time

Max: We had a good time but as far as making music it was getting kinda stale.

Alberto: We're all really good friends. We just decided, we had a big meeting and we all spoke from the heart and we all just decided that we will continue to play together and separated. Max plays in a group with the drummer and vocalist. They have something going on and we'll try to do something as well. We'll still play but as Caradura we decided to dump the name. We've always been the same people, so it's always been very much a family. We can't just kick one person out and say we're Caradura because that's not the case. That's what we decided, that's we did this show and throw out so many cds. We didn't even put a cover on it. We just recorded our cd with the little bit of money that we had and it was something that we had for a long time.

Max: A long time, almost three years old.

Alberto: We didn't have any new material that we liked so we decided to give them all free. That's we're doing on our web site, you can send us a post card if you want one.

Max: We didn't want to keep playing, we were getting tired of it.

Alberto: It's not so much the shows, it was us.

Max: We can't take it that much further unless we do something really drastic.

Alberto: We're just talking about music, not about being famous. We were growing and then we stopped growing. If we really wanna play together we all gotta work hard.

Max: Half of the band when we rehearse, we'll start playing a jazzy number and it's something that we want to pursue but we can't really do as Caradura.


Alberto: Because not everybody's style are alike. One day I was playing this serenata to this girl "Sabor a mi" and do something like that. We want to be able to do whatever we want. And with this line-up that we had we couldn't. We want to be more open, still with the emotion, the heart, with everything that we play.

What did you think of the Aztlan Fest?

A: Really cool, the organizers were a little worried but this is beautiful. Up north we wouldn't be able to have something like this with this much youth, especially latinos. This is very much like a scene, it's a very good event. Next year they're going to do it again and with the new band we might play. It will be better and then pretty soon it's gonna be like the Warped Tour hopefully, something like that but our movimiento.

How do you think other bands will react, since there's always been this separation

A: They're gonna try to jump on these shows. We work with a lot of other groups from other countries and they love coming to Mexico, L.A., playing in front of [other audiences]. The white kids also that are in bands, if they see that people like their music, they're going to be on the next year's bill for sure. Pretty soon it's gonna be maybe half and half  with big headliners.

Did you guys play in Mexico and other countries?

A: Just the border, Tijuana, Tecate, and it was cool. We did three trips. We had a good time and everybody was really nice.

M: Good bands too, Jambo, Almalafa.

A: When we started going down under we didn't even get paid. We traveled a lot to get there so I think the other groups they  respected that and they were really nice to us.

How did Caradura start?

M: It was me, the drummer and the bassist. Oscar had a surf ska group and then we met the singer when I was going to community college and he was into the same type of music. You know, el Hector se ve guero right? So I'm like "You speak spanish?" "Yeah soy de Jalisco", so we started haging out with him. We got him in the group, he was playing percussion at first because it was instrumental, nobody sang. Then the sax player when we started getting into the ska scene. The singer knew two brothers that played horns and that's how we hooked up with them. Later on we added the keyboardist. That's basically it, we were all friends.

A: That was the prerequisite. None of us knew how to play our instruments.

M: The way we met him [Albert] we said alright we're gonna hang out with you first, if you're cool you're in the band. If you're kinda of a dick then sorry.

A: Luckily I was cool

M: Then after that he called his brother who was living here in L.A., he was a chef. And he was like fuck yeah! He moved out there and that's how...

A: It's like fantasy childhood. We just decided one day, they have a band, let's do a band. [They called me] and was like "you play the trumpet?" I was like "I told you I played the trumpet in fourth grade" and was like "well, whatever." I was like all right fuck it. I rented a trumpet and tried to learn it again, very difficult and empezamos (we started). We were missing two people tonight, the key boardist and the saxofonist unfortunately, but it's cool.

Have you heard the ska bands that are starting up?

A: Before we would always play with the same groups, Los Olvidados, 15 Letras, Chencha Berrinches and that's pretty much it, those three groups. Then we didn't come down for a little while and the next time we came down there were other groups, I know Viernes 13 and I've seen and heard other names. We saw Skalavera today for the first time, and it's cool I mean if people like it, it's always a positive thing. It's just I don't the names very much because I don't come down here unless we play.

Why did you choose the name Caradura?

M: It was Hector's birthday, and me and the bass player went to get him a Che Guevara book, the autobiography. We gave it to him and two weeks later he's like hey I got the name for the band, what do you think of caradura? that sounds cool, where did you get it? it was on the book. When Che Guevara was younger, he would go to the dances but he would go dirty from working. Le valia madres [He wouldn't care] he would just go and dance with girls and he was a popular guy, everyone liked him but sus camaradas le decían caradura.

A: It's a term in Latin America

M: It means un sin verguenza, un descarado eso es lo que es un caradura...

A:Also it means que tan cabrón,

M: Like a gangsta type of guy

A: Even like a bad ass but not in a bad way, but like you have the balls. I don't know if we were ever Caradura but it's something we aspired to. To be good to go, shoot from the hip, straight forward, work hard, all that kind of stuff. Si eres un Caradura, you're a mother fucker, something like that.

M: That's also what made the music, the type of thing we tried to do

A: What we talked about.

You follow Che Guevara?

M: Yeah, some are more into it than others, like this guy with his tatoo right here...

A: I got a tattooed on my chest, because it was important to me.

M: All of us at one point have gone and studied the roots, races. We keep it in mind and think about stuff, but it's not something that we based our music on in the beggining, not even right now. We're not political at all, we have political views but we just

A: We do benefits, we do every benefit, solidarity with the Zapatistas. I think that's more important than saying I'm a fucking mad political guy and then I go home and put my reeboks on.

M: Yeah, get drunk...

If there was a message to your music that you give to the young...

M: It was a funny thing because I was singing the only song that I sing and I looked down and there was these  two cats singing it word for word. I think I would like people to come from what we've done...

A: Every time we played, it was very honest and we worked very hard. If anything, just go by your life like that. We rocked out because we had a good time. Don't try to do it because you want to be in VH1, MTV. Don't try to fuck other bands, if somebody is in need, help them. If somebody needs a place to stay, give them a place to stay, if somebody needs to borrow some drums, lend him some drums. And that's what we do. When people would see us, I just wanted them to know that we weren't faking it. If we looked like we were having fun, that's because we were having a really good time. That's the reason you should do it, if you have any other reason, I don't think you should do it.

M: I just hope that people saw that what we were doing it was for real, not just cause we wanted to be famous.

A: We don't talk a lot on stage, we're not very good at it. We play our music, but just trying to be funny if you don't feel it, we feel it but we're not very good at it. I think it would be better if we would get more into but it's cool.

You might still be able to catch a free cd, so check out www.caradura.com if you want to listen.


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