Walas, from Massacre: “We are still with one foot in the under”

On Saturday, July 22, from 8:00 p.m. massacre is presented at Club Paraguay, with a show in which “Ella va” and “La cita” will be played, his new songs, and also classics from his extensive career of more than 30 years, between the underground and the mainstream of Argentine rock.

In the previous one, Guillermo Cidade, Walasthe band’s histrionic singer, spoke with the new morning about the past, present and future of this band that was part of the “new rock” litter of the ’90s, which surprised us with new sounds, and filled underground auditoriums until the release of “El Mamut” in 2007, that opened the doors of massiveness.

With psychedelia as an enveloping halo, which has been sustained since its origins, and the harmonic dialogue of its guitars, which keeps its “sonic” spirit alive, Massacre’s original sound strength arouses, record after record, simultaneous praise from critics and a faithful accompaniment by the public, in permanent renewal.

“The show is on the 22nd and my birthday is on the 23rd, so as of midnight I already have my birthday in the school, which makes me very happy,” Walas introduced, as if introducing a harmonic to the tonic of the interview.

– What are people going to find when they listen to Club Paraguay?

– Right now we are presenting a new single, which has two songs, which we released to the platforms and on vinyl as well. We’re not playing the whole new record, because since it’s not out yet; people don’t know the songs yet. We are making the songs that are playing and that people have in their heads. Then we are also going to do the usual classics, some covers, some medleys. The things we always do.

– They are a band that, although it exploded massively after El Mamut, still has an imprint and an underworld mystique. What’s up with that?

– We have a 30-year career and the first 20 were under. Despite the fact that we always included an average of 500 people or even more, we belonged to the Argentine underground. But after El Mamut, produced by Juanchi Baleirón, we became part of national rock and we began to play at festivals and on the big stages, and we accessed all those places of consecration that are Luna Park, Obras, the cover from Rolling Stone magazine, the Great Rex: all those symbols that you are already playing first class and are part of national rock.

Walas refers that the massive explosion that came from the hand of El Mamut took them by surprise, despite the fact that they were aware that it was “a great album, a bible.” He compares what happened with what another iconic new rock band of the ’90s, Babasónicos, experienced when they released their album “Jessico.”

– Were you a bit dizzy or did you fear that the situation could get out of hand?

– No, because we already had such a crush on the under and we had so much trade, that we knew the glories and miseries of rock. So we continue to be with one foot in the under. In a capable weekend we played on a Friday in a giant place and on Saturday in a smaller place. We are used to it and that is very good for the balance of egos and vanities, and for our mental health.

– What about the human group? Although they have had variations in training, they have been together for many years. What is the password?

– On the one hand, all of Massacre work on something else, besides playing in Massacre. That always kept us without money problems, without asking art for money. And on the other hand, we are a group that has well-managed the roles, the place of each one. In addition to being a musician, one is an art, film, and advertising director; another is a psychiatrist; another is a producer.

Walas points out that, since the underground years, the band has always received very good reviews in terms of art. Hence, the massiveness brought by “El Mamut” has not entailed content conditioning.

“At no time did we have conditions. We have a record company, which is Pop Art, which gives us artistic freedom. They never put any pressure on us at all. They know that we are prestigious in terms of that dilemma that is fame vs prestige. They know that we make albums that may not be popular at a popular level, but end up being the best albums of the year in year-end polls, which is what happened to us with the last three, which were chosen as the best Argentine rock album in the surveys carried out by Página 12 and Clarín. We are respected and the artistic thing is sacred”.

“Memories to the Future”, from 2018, is an album and DVD that reviews the 30-song show in Obras with which the band celebrated its first three decades of life. In it, the sound uniformity of a list that goes through many different moments of the band is surprising: including, particularly, its most traditional first albums and the last ones, with international production.

Walas recalls how the decision was made to bring the 30 songs to record on disc and DVD and the way in which they keep the older songs alive and make them dialogue with the new compositions: “In our 30-year career we always made new songs. And that we started when we were very young, being Massacre Palestina (the name the band kept until 1992, when they decided to shorten it) and the old songs were perhaps more punkish. The Obras album, in which we published 30 songs when we turned 30, is madness. Because one makes a show of 30 songs and then chooses which ones are better. But at one point we decided to publish the 30 and they all have their quality; it’s not that there are poorer songs and other more complex ones”.

– Since its beginnings, the band has had a very characteristic psychedelic component. What do you find there that calls your attention so much?

– We have a lot of roots in the ’60s. Although we started out as punks, we quickly went to investigate the roots of rock history and there we fell in love with psychedelia. We really like bands and songs that, even though they are current, have roots in the 60s. That’s why we really like REM and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Psychedelia is a way of rereading our sonic origins. We are one of the most sonic bands in Argentina, with our two guitars that make the unique sound of Massacre. As much as sonic rock seems like a term from the ’90s, psychedelia is a way of mutating from what our roots were, with bands like Jane’s Addiction. When we don’t put in a song of ours that has psychedelia, we put in a cover or a medley

– Forward, What do you want to do and haven’t done yet?

– One thing that we had not done and that we are going to do this year is a European tour. We are going to play in some cities in Spain, where it is full of Argentines, and we are also going to Berlin and London, where a very cool scene is set up with the bands from here. We have gone but to record, but we never went to play live.

– What characteristics does the new album have?

– It has a lot of spiritual content. There are many holistic, transensory, paranormal, transdimensional songs. It came out that way. There are several hymns to the new spirituality, about the fact that we are in more spiritual than physical searches. It is an eclectic, elastic, free album. It has nine songs that are very different from each other. In addition, it has three producers. The first segment is produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, the second by Héctor Castillo and the third by Federico “Fico” Piskorz (guitarist of the band). It’s like it’s a compilation of three maxis with three songs each. It was recorded in Buenos Aires, in Brooklyn, in Los Angeles, in Texas and back in Buenos Aires. It’s a great album, it’s a unit and it’s surely going to be appreciated by critics. It’s ready, so we’ll get it out by August for sure.

Club Paraguay is located at Marcelo T. de Alvear 651 in this capital.

Tickets to see Massacre can be purchased at the following link:

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Walas, from Massacre: “We are still with one foot in the under”