CURASBUN: “YOU HAVE TO LIVE REBELLION WITHIN YOUR REGULAR, DAILY LIFE”
Long-running Chilean Oi band Curasbun are heading out shortly on a tour that will take them across South and North America in May / June 2016 … look for a few Canadian show too! Stay tuned for tour dates!
Here’s an interview with the band, from Chilean publication Rockaxis, done up in March 2016. Translated from Spanish by Issac D. Thanks!!
More than 20 years of an unbreakable message
20 years after starting their career, Curasbun sees the fruits of their incessant, sacrificed work. Always in the periphery of being a massively well-known band, the national five-piece went on a trip to Argentina and Uruguay, strengthening relations with the respective antifascist punks there.
Manuel “Misfits” Vargas, guitar player, tells us about the current activity of this emblematic Chilean Oi Band, denouncing the vices of a country that needs an urgent cleansing on an institutional level, and a social turnabout, with rebellion as a valid vehicle. “Inmortales” (Immortals) is their latest record, and a battle call.
Q: First of all, why did you take so long between “Un solo crew” (Just one crew), and “Inmortales”?
A: Basically because a great part of our time is taken up by our jobs and families. In this country, work shifts are long, transportation is a sham, and out of that there are few hours and energy left to invest in other activities. We don’t live from the band, and have to bust our ass working from 8 to 7 just like any other mortal. The Chilean musical industry is many times slow because of these kinds of factors, very few have the time necessary to generate good material in a short time, many of us have to do other activities in order to pay our bills, and get to the end of the month with ease.
Q: You needed this long break, considering that you have played live anyway?
A: During these 11 years between records, we haven’t stopped. We’ve recorded demos and studio material, but we’ve had complications with finishing the record due to the aforementioned. We’ve been going at it, step by step, slowly but surely. We don’t consider this a break. Its a slow process but the objective is to have quality work. On the other hand, this has been interesting, its as if we’ve rescued songs that have been forgotten due to the excess of information in this era. Our new songs go from events that happened years ago, such as the death of “Mauri the Punk”, and more current ones such as the SQM and Caval cases.
Q: How was the tour of Argentina and Uruguay?
A: Very good. We were received well by all the people involved in having us play there: fans, producers, and bands. In Argentina, the Oi Scene is huge, and so we filled 2 shows. In Uruguay, its more across the board, there were a lot of skins, punks, and rockers in general at our shows. We liked it a lot that it wasn’t sectarian, and that Antifascist ideas surpass subcultures.
Q: How did it happen that you guys got to go play abroad?
A: They contacted us via inbox and mail. In Argentina, they were celebrating the 20th Anniversary of SHARP there, and they did it really big. They’re very organized, and handle their shows very well, so much so that they invited bands like the Oppressed, Red Alert, Hard Skin, and us. In Uruguay, we played a proletarian festival with other bands with ideas close to ours.
Q: Is there any argument, idea, or conceptual thread around your latest record “Inmortales”?
A: What gave the name to this record are all the people that are involved in the punk and skinhead subcultures, also LGBTQ, workers, and wimmin who have died under any circumstance. These are people who live in a state of danger, and of constant battle with reality. They die at the hands of power, of the oppressor, patriarchy, xenophobes, and racists. We believe that we have to broaden our spectrum of struggle much more than workers’, and antifascist struggles. We must fight against anything that makes difficult the lives of any human, of any mortal. The flesh dies but the voices will not remain silent. Bodies are mortal, but not ideas. That’s the concept of “Immortals”.
Q: What are the changes that we see in Curasbun, version 2016?
A: We’re still the same, but a bit fatter, older, and uglier. Everything else is the same. We keep playing and screaming with the energy that only rage and nonconformity can give us. We’re resentful and intolerant, and it will always be that way. Faces and places may change, but corruption, double morality, segregation (and a long etc.) will always exist. The “who” changes, but never the “why”, and if that doesn’t change, we won’t either. Our music in essence remains the same, but we’re putting in more arrangements and solos. We’ve kept on for 20 years trying to make good sounds out of our instruments, and seemingly its working now.
Q: Your story is long, constant, and with a great effort. What feedback have you gotten through your music?
A: Countless. Along the way, we’ve made many friends and enemies. It has been a radical experience since we’ve lived to the extreme many times. A total religious experience.
Q: Since the political and street message is so strong in your songs, how do you see the current social outlook?
A: Its interesting. People massively go in the metro without paying, feminist marches, and many artists with a social message. Comedians make fun of the political class, and writers talk about the working class, and the aspirations of the middle and lower classes of this country. This is something that we value a lot, that artists have an opinion, that they talk about reality, daily life, of the streets and barrios. Its an incredible phenomenon, there are many platforms around, and it makes us happy that we’re all going on the same direction, from different trenches, for example Ana Tijoux, (My name is) Sebastian, and Portavoz (Chilean collectives). Even though this makes us happy, there is something that’s being left out. Its NOT enough to identify with these ideas and “pamphlets”. The struggle can never be apart from the streets because that’s where things happen. You have to live rebellion within your regular, daily life. A week ago, we had to wreck these fuckers that were grabbing a girl’s butt. That’s what were talking about when we say that things have to be changed from the streets, and within your daily life. Sometimes this could mean punches and kicks, fucking up some assholes. As one of our lyrics says: “Some already tried with peace, now we gotta try with violence.”
Q: What are Curabun’s next plans?
A: We’re in the middle of our “Inmortales” tour. In May and June, we’re gonna play Peru, Mexico, U.S., Canada, El Salvador, and Cuba. That’s our focus for the next months. I couldn’t tell you more plans, we never think much about the future.