MySpace is getting bigger and bigger and it makes the world smaller. Since I've visited Argentina in 1995 I always been interested in bands from that country. I never heard of the band til the day they contacted me through MySpace. I listened to their songs, the album and thought it's time to let people outside Argentina know about this band.
Guitarist Jeremian Stutz was so kind to answer me questions and I hope this will make you check them out!
Please tell a bit about the beginning of the band! How does everything start?
The group started by the end of 1997. At that time we were a group of teenagers which wanted to play the music we loved so much, just for fun. Without any planning, just that.
Was it difficult to get the band together? To people outside Argentina it seems that there is almost no metal scene... As Argentina had economical problems in the late 90's, was it difficult for you in the early days?
No, it was not really difficult to get the band together. Some of the members arrived through friends and others through advertisements we left in music shops, but it wasn't really a problem. The hardest issue was to get the right people for a band to last. But now we have it. In Argentina, as far as I can remember, there's always been financial problems. Some times were easier, but we have always had problems. Music doesn't get the attention it should. Our government doesn't pay enough attention to art in general. It's difficult to find a place to play, and worse, bands have to pay to play. All expenses such as loan, music equipment, freight, advertisement, etc, should be afforded by the band. And usually money is lost, so we have to work like dogs to get what we´re looking for. Sometimes it's really hard, but we keep going because we love what we do.
Why do you choose Sick Porky as the bands name? And what does it mean to you?
The name was not really chosen for any special reason. We simply wanted a weird name. We named the band in 1997, when we were 15-18 years old. With time, the name became well known among people, thanks to the live shows we did. So we kept the name. Today, the name means the unity of 5 brothers in life and music who struggle to become well known the music we love for 9 years now. Sick Porky means unity, strength, friendship and power.
In 2001 and 2003 you released an EP called Difusión. How much does your music today differ from that days? Did the EPs have the same songs, but different versions? Or why do they both been named Difusión?
The music we currently do is different from the firsts EPs. The music is now more evolutioned, complicated, hard and emotional. But it still keeps the same old spirit. Moreover, the songs from our 2nd CD will be very different from Ancestral. That´s due to a natural musical evolution which should happen. We should try not to stand still. We don't like to repeat the same formula. The EPs didn't have the same songs, but half the songs from Ancestral are from that time, and some were recorded in the previous EPs (like Buitro, Lobo Solitario) and they're in Ancestral, but with a more refreshing sound.
In 2004 you took part on 2 compilations. Please tell us a bit about these compilations and who you got involved.
Yes, we played at Listen Without Distraction (a tribute to Kyuss) and Loco Gringos Have A Party: South American Stoner Rock. In both we were contacted by Hugo Garcia, owner of the label Dias de Garage. For Listen... they told us to play Demon Cleaner, so we changed it a little and recorded it in a professional studio (for drums) and an improvised studio at a friend's house. The truth is it was a funny experience. And for the Loco Gringos... we brought Buitro (2003 EP version).
Your debut album is called Ancestral. Why do you choose this title?
We chose that title because the record goes through our 'old' ('ancestral') musical history of 2000 and on. We felt that was the right name, and we also mentioned the word in chorus of 2 Rupias, so the concept was correct. Finding the right name was one of the most complicated things, even though it's unbelievable. We had only one tentative name which we didn't really make us happy, so when Ancestral came up to mind, we said "that's it, it's the right one".
Are the songs off Ancestral been written for these release? Or is it a kind of collection of your songs?
Well, a little bit of both. Five of the songs were already written some years ago, and we wrote 6 songs for the debut record.
How do you write songs? As a band? Or does someone comes up with an idea you as a band work on?
The songs start mostly with a guitar riff or some drums arrangement, or one of us may have some idea in ones head. From that on, we all get involved in the writing process, bringing up ideas. The last thing that comes up is the lyrics, which takes a little longer.
What inspires you? What are your write about lyrically?
We´re inspired by life in general, the movement of things, the big questions which we won't be able to answer, the passing of time, the things, feelings in our heads, deep feelings. Our lyrics are not direct. We prefer the audience to give their own meaning, that sounds more interesting. They have double sense, symbolisms, mystic references, etc.
What about playing live? How is the music scene in Buenos Aires? In Argentina?
Playing live is one of the most gratifying experiences. The adrenaline it generates is unique. Even though it may be difficult to get good places to play, playing is the best thing to do. We all feel and express it in our own way, but after a good show our joy is incomparable.
Do you have / had the chance to play outside greater-Buenos Aires?
Yes, this year we have plans for playing outside greater Buenos Aires and Capital city, also for playing in Chile and Uruguay (but we are still planning it). We really hope to make it happen! ...And who knows, maybe in a couple of years we'll be visiting Europe!
At least here in Europe we hardly hear anything about bands from South America. A few bands from Brazil are known and there might be a few fans knowing Rata Blanca as coming from Argentina. Why don't we hear of more bands? Is it because most bands sing in Spanish? What do you think is the reason?
We don't find A reason... I think the language might be one of the 'negative' aspects, but on the other hand, it seems that there are more European and/or North American headbangers interested in foreign bands. Another reason might be that the Argentine scene is quite difficult for emerging bands like Sick Porky. You always need to do an extra effort, this means: the every day work (it is hard to find a non-establishment band living by music), cost of equipments (Argentine $ is devalued), long distances (Argentina - Europe, Argentina - USA)... But I'm quite confident about the future of South American music, there is a lot of talent over here. I think it is just a matter of time, we have to fight and cross the frontiers in spite of the language and physical distances.
With the internet the world gets smaller. And with MySpace there is a community where fans and bands can meet. Does it help you? Or do you think that too many bands try to catch peoples attention?
Internet helps us a lot. Nowadays it is easier than 10 years ago to get in touch with other bands or people interested in the band living in other countries or provinces in Argentina. This is highly positive and MySpace has been of great help. In 7 months we reached more than 14,000 visits, what was completely unexpected for us some time ago. We believe it is a great opportunity for us (and for all the bands!) to be listened to all over the world. It's amazing! We hope it continues supporting music and all kind of arts in general. Possibly there are a lot bands trying to catch people attention, but the audience of MySpace has the last word (if you accept the band or not).
Metal fans in Europe and North America easily have access to the internet, but still there are many people around the world who doesn't. So still the 'traditional' ways of promotion and distribution are important. Is there any talk about releasing / distributing your album in other parts of the world?
At that time, we had talked to people in Spain, but for the time being, we've not received any offer besides that one. But well, we're always open to hear proposals, so who knows. As long as we´re heard in many places, better for us!
If an international label would offer you a deal, but you would have to change the lyrics to English, would you sign with them? Or do you think that the Spanish lyrics are part of what is Sick Porky?
We´ve never really been in position of signing with any international record company, so I can't give you an accurate answer. I think that lyrics in Spanish are a part we´d like to change, so we'd try to see how we could solve the issue. I'll be able to answer when it happens, meanwhile you can take this one.
What are your plans for the near future? What can fans expect?
Our plans are to keep playing Ancestral live. Our fans can expect a bit more elaborate shows, with different projections and a different scenery, getting out of the usual show which we were used to. We need to make better shows, this is our goal. Meanwhile, we'll keep on writing new songs for a second album. So be alert!
Last, but not least... famous last words!
Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity of getting known in the metal world. I hope metal and rock fans may be able to listen to Sick Porky's Ancestral. Our music is straight from our hearts! It's what we most love, so we won't let you down.
Greetings to our metal brothers. We hope to get to visit you very soon and show you how we rock in Argentina!
I have to thank Sick Porky for the opportunity to review the album and to do this interview. A very interesting band which I will keep an eye on. Waiting to hear new stuff from the Porteños!