It seemed very appropriate that I was to meet the members of Buenos Aires punk band Drop Dead Dreams at the famous Plaza de Mayo, where countless demonstrations had occurred against the government over the years. When lead singer and original member Matyas arrived along with his bandmates Pablo and Kamo, we decided to conduct the interview with Casa Rosa or the Pink House (Argentina’s White House) in the background.
Drop Dead, as they are perhaps better known to fans, has been around the punk and alternative scene for a while in Buenos Aires and are unique in that they sing in English, a rare thing for a band in a Spanish Speaking country.
Our interview went well over 30 minutes. We covered a lot of territory, from the challenges of performing in English, to the state of punk today in Argentina and the upcoming shows by NOFX (next week) and Social Distortion in April.
These guys are not your average musicians, they are smart (Kamo is studying medicine) and are very, very politically aware, not only about matters in Argentina but in the U.S. and the world as well.
Being an independent punk band is not easy anywhere, but especially in Argentina the past few years. Political unrest, a war in the 80s, an economic collapse at the turn of the century followed by a tragic nightclub fire that almost single handedly shut down the underground scene in Buenos Aires, it’s been a tough few years for Argentina’s punk contingent.
But adversity is where and why punk thrives. Its the one major common element that seems to weave all the different punk scenes in all the different countries of Latin America (and the world) together. Righting wrongs, fighting the status quo and corruption, that is what punk is about right?
And what better place than to discuss these things than right in front of the historic Pink House in Buenos Aires with punk band Drop Dead. From Eva Peron to bad Madonna movies to military dictatorships to mobs in the streets, the Pink House and Plaza de Mayo has seen a lot of history.
After the interview, the guys and I went for a pretty cool FREE tour of the Pink House to see first hand as Matyas so aptly joked “where the corruption begins” (sounds familiar to the U.S.). It was a Saturday and the politicians were off so for a brief moment in time while WE were there when the politics of power didn’t rule the day, it could have also been called the Punk House.