Friday, 19 June 2009

THE BASEBALL FURIES

Photo by Mariano Goldgrob from “Star Dealers” video.
Interview by Hattie Carroll

The Baseball Furies don’t use bats or wear baseball caps, they don’t paint their faces and they don’t belong to a gang and fight on the streets for power (not that we know of at least). Instead, they hold high the title of “one of the most interesting bands” of Buenos Aires, and they’ve conquered this title by working hard and playing one shocking gig after the other.
From the Cosmos, thru the politics of underground movement until UFO bases in Bahía Blanca; space rock is set on the table and I’m sharing it with Diego Petrecolla Jr. one of the lead singers and guitarist and Juan Cruz Chiappara, drummer.

Hattie Carroll: So, how was the band formed, and was it always as it is now? Speaking in terms of formation...
Diego Petrecolla Jr.
: We started as a duet, Martin and I, and recorded our first EP around 2005 with Patricio, who left the band last year because he already played in Banda de Turistas and didn’t have enough time.
To start playing live and record our second EP, we gathered Agustín (bass) Juan Cruz (drums) and Federico (tambourine-casiotone).
Federico left last year because of personal issues and we added another old friend, Joaquin to replace him.

HC: And how did the name of the band come up, does it have anything to do with the movie “The Warriors” (1979) by Walter Hill?
Juan Cruz Chiappara: I believe it was a suggestion that we took from a source very dear to us. But it really doesn’t matter anyway.

HC: Most people and other publications talk about you as a Space Rock band, would you put yourselves into that same genre?
DP. Jr.
: I feel comfortable with the space rock definition, it’s a very abarcative genre. We treat it as a genre on it’s own and not a sub-genre. Basically it’s a new face of psychedelia.

HC: So what’s your idea of music? What is it to you?
DP. Jr.: Sometimes a hobby, because we can’t live off our music, but sometimes a full time non remunerative job. I don’t know, is something we just like to do.

HC: Some of you have different nationalities, does that affect in any sense to the music of the band? Is the “mixed cultures are better in art” myth to be true?
JCC: Mmmm, Diego lived only a few years in North America, but I think his approach to music always has something to do with the cold climate of Illinois.

HC: So then, what would you say your music is to someone who has never heard of you?
JCC: Music for astronauts.

HC: You know, it’s been often discussed before in terms of inspiration, but how you think the Cosmos as a whole affects creativity? Would you believe to be true that creativity increases at night, when the Cosmos is better seen? Do you think there’s a connection there?
DP. Jr.: Cosmos is definitely an inspiration, but i think every member of the band has a different idea of it, and also diverging ideas of what space rock is, that altogether creates a particular sound and interplay of melodies that often end up as our songs. I also think it’s conceivable that stars and planets emit certain energy and frequencies that affect human behaviour and create a sort of universal melody that has been proved.

HC: So being mostly an instrumental band, how is the process of composing music?
JCC: Usually Diego or Martin come with an idea of a song and we perform it in the rehearsal room until the song comes out clean. But it can be a long process as well, maybe months until the song really gets to its final cut. Other scenario is for example Agustin coming up with a great tune or some kind of melody and then we jump into the creation process.

HC: And in terms of lyrics, also existing in some of your songs, how you guys work in that area? Is it like "you wrote it, you sing it"?
JCC: For now…

HC: What do the voices in “Baseball Furies” song say? Is there a story behind that?
JCC: They talk about killing old women to steal their money and buy effect pedals with it.

HC: What’s your gear?
JCC: Premier Drums 90’s, Zildjian Cymbals, Gibson SG, Gretsch Corvette, ARP Quartet, Farfisa, Peavy bass, Phantom GEM 61R6, Casiotone MT-40, Yamaha organ, Bontempi, MicroSynthetizer, VoX. And tons of effect pedals.

HC: Often it is portrayed that instrumental music cannot have a political connotation because of not having lyrics, we believe it’s not true, what are your thoughts on this?
JCC: There’s an urgent necessity and that is, that there can’t be no more ignorance about the fact of mind control and imposed fear, organized by big national organizations. Music is an almost perfect way to explain your position. You don’t need no lawyer.
DP. Jr.: Every decision you take is political, deciding to make music not to please market demands is a little revolution by itself.

HC: It is. And coming from a country that has been slowly crashing for the past years, what are your views, as youth, on what might need to be done? How does that relate to your music?
DP. Jr.: I think our music reflects a point of no return, not only in our country’s situation but in the world’s as a whole. There’s not much to be done, probably the world and the chances of a change have already died, sometimes I personally feel we’re asking the past generations how did they let that happen.

HC: Then what are your thoughts on the underground movement of your country?
DP. Jr.: The problem with the underground movement is that there’s no such thing. I usually recognize the people in most of our shows, they’re always mostly the same. Underground is now a part of the system, there are only lost souls who seek something different in life and arts, but they don’t act as a movement.
JCC: Very poor. There are a few places that really give the bands and the people the minimum comfort and liberties they need to enjoy themselves. The Bauen Hotel though has a nice stage and great seats.

HC: So would you say that rock and roll is dead?
JCC: Yes, it died with Elvis.

HC: What are your thoughts on the Music Industry then?
DP. Jr.: There’s nothing new to say about that, they are an industry, they seek to make money, and they act as they are expected to.
JCC: An Industry in decay. Luckily they are getting what they deserve. It’s a shame that there’s no major decent record label, there are many bands that could record very positive music.

HC: Are you supported by any record label or distribution company?
JCC: As we don’t have any physical record yet, we’re only at Mamushka Dogs Records and Sadness Discos homepage, who have nicely let us be on their catalog.

HC: So, like you mentioned before, you’ve released 2 EP’s independently, is there any news about a 3rd or an album?
DP. Jr.: We’re in the process of recording our 1st LP.

HC: What bands do you listen to?
DP. Jr.: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra –la-la Band, Ash Ra Tempel, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Yo La Tengo, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spectrum, Sonic Boom, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Euros Childs, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Felt… and many more.

HC: What bands from your country you guys admire or look up to?
JCC: Mujercitas Terror, El Festival de los Viajes, Modular, Los Alamos, and La Patrulla Espacial.

HC: When listening to the Baseball Furies one gets the impression of many other artists that might be influential to you, what are your thoughts on “influences” and “comparisons”? How do you feel when being compared or quoted as “influenced by” artists such as Spectrum, Spiritualized, Kfrafwerk, Neu! or Flying Saucer Attack?
JCC: I think that there’s no possible comparison, but definitely an influence. We are very fond of all Sonic Boom/Spectrum albums…Drone Dream, Angel, Hi Lows. There’s also Yanqui U.X.O. by GYBE, which is a turning point for us. That album is for sure one of the best records we’ve heard so far. Ralf and Florian, Kraftwerk and Neu! are other bands that we enjoy.

HC: What are the band’s non musical inspirations?
DP. Jr.: Our non musical influences are vast. Sci Fi literature and sci fi aesthetics of the 50’s when there was no idea of how space travel was going to be, so people simply imagined it. The sight from very high rooftops, the idea of the world ending soon, the cold war, soviet architecture.
I personally enjoy Antonio Las Hera’s books that talk about and support the idea that there’s a sub aquatic UFO base near Bahía Blanca in Argentina.

HC: So If you as a band, had to be characters of a writer, who would that writer be?
JCC: George Orwell maybe…, but no, no. It s a very narrow question. There’s tons of science fiction authors that we’re very fond of: Ballard, Kornbluth, Ploth, Cortazar, Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley…

HC: Do any of you guys express yourselves thru any other art form?
DP. Jr.: Juan Cruz paints, I write sometimes.

HC: What do you try to make people feel at your shows?
DP. Jr.: To trip, and mostly to evoke images of our non musical influences and thoughts, a distant future that we won’t get to see.

HC: So when you play live, if you had to describe the band as a “mood”, what would that “mood” be? Why?
DP. Jr.: We are very concentrated in our instruments, we don’t interact with people too much, not because we’re arrogant, we’re mostly shy, but I think the mood would be “distant”.

HC: When it comes to the design of the band’s artwork, do you guys take that into your own hands, or go to other artists?
JCC
: The cover of the 2nd EP was a kind gesture of an Italian photographer called Francesco Nonino, from the collection Atmospheres, we agreed on 14 “Cirrostratus”. For the next LP we are preparing some artworks for the inside booklet, and we are also looking at a possible collaboration with an Argentinean artist.

HC: On “Star Dealers” video, directed by Mariano Goldgrob, there’s a 5th member that comes and goes, does that mean anything in particular?
JCC
: “Pay close attention”.

HC: So guys, when you read reviews about you, what are the things you believe aren’t true or that you don’t like about what you read?
JCC
: There’s really nothing we dislike because we simply don’t care. This is the only proper interview we have done so far.
DP. Jr.
: That’s right, there’s not a problem with what they say but with the method, there’s usually little true interest.

HC: What’s coming ahead for the Furies?
JCC:
The brand new LP and then gold and glory.


+INFO:

Mamushka Dogs Records
Sadness Discos

Juan Cruz Chiappara
The Baseball Furies at MySpace



2 comments:

  1. Awesome interview, as always Hattie, you nailed it!
    Also an amazing band, not only because of their music, but their minds as well.
    Keep it going,
    Love you with all my heart.
    P

    ReplyDelete
  2. amazing band!

    can't wait for the album!


    great blog too by the way...

    ReplyDelete