When I took the boat to Colonia, Uruguay from Buenos Aires, it was a beautiful, sunny crisp day. Quite a contrast to that day two days earlier when it was raining buckets and my trip was delayed due to an ethically challenged and fake “taxi” driver.
I was still kicking myself for allowing myself to get robbed and I was going over and over in my head the numerous mistakes made.
But alas, I kept coming back to the pure coincidences that led to the robbery (the timing of the storm, the corner I had chosen to hail a taxi, the busy phone line of the taxi company, etc.). I had planted in my head since then that the robbery was at least partially due to fate and thus had happened for a reason.
Whether it was fate or stupidity, I was still very bummed. When I rolled into Montevideo a day later via bus from Colonia, I was in dire need of something to take my mind off the robbery.
The band, Rudos Wild took care of that for me. When they heard about the robbery and the loss of my video camera, they said no problem, come on to Uruguay anyway and they’d find a camera for me to use and they did.
Guitarist Camilo and Drummer Juan (Pancho) met me at my rented apartment near the beach and we went to the shopping mall to get Mini DV tapes for the camcorder that bassist, Leonardo had (fatefully?) recently purchased. We then took a bus over to the lead singer, Claudio’s (Peyo) house to chill out before heading to the rehearsal space close by.
Peyo is an immediately likable cat and we hit it off right away. Camilo had warned me that Peyo was a big Social Distortion/Mike Ness fan and as soon as I saw Peyo it was clear, this guy was the real deal. He dressed and looked a lot like Mike Ness of the 1990s, with side burns, chain wallet, boots and a nice slate of tattoos including one of Social Distortion of course.
Peyo was hyper, singing and joking around and proving to be an incredibly gracious host. He treated us to some beer, soft drinks and his famous Robert DiNiro impressions before we took the 10 minute walk over to the rehearsal space.
Anyone who has read this blog or has known me for over 30 minutes, probably knows that I have a perhaps unhealthy admiration for Social Distortion, so I’m not going to pretend to be objective when it comes to Rudos Wild’s music as it is heavily influenced by Social D. and Mike Ness.
But I will tell you they are one of the most unique punk bands I’ve seen in South America so far. They play a a nice dose of punkabilly covers along with their own very catchy original Spanish tunes (enough to fill 2 CDs worth).
In Latin America I have yet to find a lot of hardcore punkabilly music like you’d find in certain areas of the U.S. But Rudos Wild firmly fit that bill. Every musician is tight and Peyo’s vocal and guitar energy is perfectly complimented by Camilo’s guitar and Leonardo’s screaming supporting vocals and bass.
In addition to Rudos Wild, Camilo also plays in an Oi! band and Leonardo plays in a hardcore band, but when playing for Rudos Wild they stick firmly to the band’s roots punkabilly sound. Playing Johnny Cash and Social Distortion covers these guys made it difficult for me to shoot video. I wanted to put the camera down and join in and sing.
Indeed, eventually they convinced me do just that and Peyo let me sing lead on Social Distortion’s “Don’t Drag Me Down”. I knew most of the words and their playing was excellent enough that we made it to the very end before I got lost and ended up mumbling the lyrics. I was thrilled but also happy there was no one there to video the moment, though I hear it’s on the CD they recorded of the rehearsal session.
Rehearsal went on for two hours and I was getting increasingly bummed that I had to fly out the same day of their upcoming live show and would miss it. I really, really liked their music, not just the covers but especially their originals. The guys have a great energy and are fun to be around, even when they are not playing music.
We agreed to do the interview the next day under better lighting conditions so around midnight we headed out of the studio, said our goodbyes and I shared a taxi with Juan back to my apartment. On the ride back, Juan filled me in a little bit more on the history of Rudos Wild and the punk scene in general in Montevideo.
I was in my apartment, getting ready for bed when I realized I was singing and humming one particularly catchy Rudos Wild tune and that the old, depressing “I screwed up” feeling from getting robbed that had haunted me the last few days had almost completely gone away.
Bonding with new friends and people from thousands of miles away over music and shared interests had worked it’s magic once again.
* I’ll need some time to digitize the tapes to upload video from the rehearsal but for more pics from the rehearsal & more check out Punk Outlaw’s Flikr page