Their guitarist Martin invited me to their rehearsal last night at Vadar Studios in a neighborhood about a 15 minute taxi ride from my apartment in Recoleta. The problem was none of these guys spoke any English, and my “un poco” Spanish has been suffering a setback amid the strong and unique Argentine accent.
No matter. We can’t let a little thing like language get in the way from the task at hand, documenting the punk scene in Argentina. Comando Suicida is legendary and very influential on the Buenos Aires punk scene, having been around since the early 80s. Their frontman and spiritual leader is Sergio, who is the lone remaining original member.
I had no problem spotting Martin, Sergio and the rest of the band at the appointed place on the corner right outside the studio as these guys are pretty big physically and pretty hard core with tats all over.
Once rehearsal got going these guys never let up. They rocked for a solid hour playing Oi! punk music in Spanish with hardly a rest in between. While I didn’t know any of the songs a couple were so catchy I felt I had heard them before.
After rehearsal, Sergio agreed to be interviewed and we all shared a beer, took some photos, exchanged stickers and patches. The owner of the studio graciously made me a DVD copy of a documentary on Buenos Aires punk which I can’t wait to see when I get back to the states.
Maybe by then my Spanish will have improved. Interviewing Sergio without the help of a translator was my toughest interview to date, but we got through it and covered some good territory that should be good for the documentary. I’d be lying if I said the language barrier isn’t frustrating but I just refuse to let it stop me.
On the way back to the apartment, I took some pics of a carnival celebration Argentina style. While tiny compared to Brasil, it was really fun and I have to say, I felt a bit primitive listening to the chants and observing the dances, just like I do when I listen to punk music. I think this is going to impact my line of questioning in the future, as I’d like to explore the link between indigenous music and culture and punk music. They both impact me similiarly. There must be some connection.
Stay tuned. We’re just getting warmed up here in Argentina.
The front man and original member of the band since it’s inception on the Buenos Aires punk scene is Sergio,