Yesterday was jetlagged like crazy as I flew in overnight for over 15 hours and finally made it to my hotel in Santiago, Chile around 11AM. I took 3 different naps throughout the day but somehow found time to get out and explore the El Central area and eat some really good food.
First impressions of Chile is it is really expensive relative to the rest of Latin America and especially compared to it’s neighbor Argentina. 500 pesos is a dollar and I keep forgetting that. A short taxi ride last night set me back $16. Crazier than NYC prices.. but the climate is awesome, my hotel is really a great value and the food so far, excelente!
As far as a punk scene in Chile, well let me say it’s everywhere. It really has an impact on the mainstream as you’ll more likely than not see “regular” young Chilenos dressed in high top converse and band T shirts and the girls in particular will have dyed hair. It’s pop punk of the Avril Lavigne or Blink 182 variety and not very edgy but keep in mind I’m just talking about the everyday folks here in comparison with the U.S. Where in the United States more young people seem to take their cues from pop and hip hop, here they take it from rock, metal and punk, at least on first impression.
As far as the actual punks go, well, I’ve had limited exposure so far, but it seems there is a big, big scene in Valpairaso, a blue collar town on the sea about 2 hours from Santiago. I am going there Saturday for a ska concert and have made contact with several punks there who are going to be interviewed and show me around the scene.
In Santiago I did chat briefly with 3 punks (2 girls and a guy) on the street yesterday after noticing one of the girl’s had on a Casualties shirt. They were cool and said I should hang out in Plaza De Armas which is in El Centro close to where I saw them. I also heard Barrio Brazil is a good spot and I plan on hitting that today and tonight.
Last night I saw a hard core psychobilly cat with his girlfriend. They were cool. He was a fan of Tiger Army, Calavera and Nekromantix and said something about a band here in Chile I think White Zombie? I have to research some more. He said it was a big scene here but a bit separate somewhat from the punk scene (no surprise there) and that there was a huge scene in Brasil (also no surprise).
I gave the guy my card and some stickers and hopefully he will contact me because I really need to cover more hardcore psychobilly in Latin America for the documentary.
OK, I’m off in search of more TRUE punks in Chile. I know they are here and lots of em so stay tuned!