From posting the mp3 of the title track to my review of Los Natas‘ new album, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (Small Stone), I’ve made it abundantly clear that the more aggressive approach the band takes with songs like “Las Campanadas” and “David y Goliath” is a-okay in my book. The music is vital, immediate and soulful. It may not have the spontaneity of their improv/jamming work on records like Toba Trance, but the sweet plucking of nylon acoustic strings on “Bienvenidos” and the raw driven punk of “10,000″ are an easy trade.
The Argentina trio — Sergio Chotsourian, the main songwriter, vocalist and guitarist is joined by bassist Gonzalo Villagra and drummer Walter Broide — have been together since 1993 and have proven to be in possession of an ongoing willingness to push their sound. Nuevo Orden de la Libertad is a powerful example of what happens when a band grows in tandem with its members.
Enough of my prattling and gushing. Sergio was kind enough to take part in the email interview after the jump and discuss the band’s past in the stoner rock genre, creative future, and why Nuevo Orden de la Libertad sounds so darn solid as an album. Enjoy.
First off, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad feels really purposefully put together. It starts and ends with basically the same notes. Was there a reason you wanted that kind of symmetry on the record? Was there anything going into this album that you wanted different from El Hombre de Monta?a?
First of all want to say hola! And yes, the new album begins and ends with the same melody on purpose.?It gives the feeling of a never ending and continuous thing, you know. It?s also a nice way to have both times for breathe, when going in and out the pool of tears, haha.
And yes, I think it?s different from Hombre de Monta?a, as every album has its own things. Maybe in the character of the new one we wanted to go straight to the point — no more time for fooling around or stoning out. It?s the new order for your freedom and it needs to be done now! Fast!
Your sound is always changing, and on this album it?s taken an aggressive turn for sure. When you?re writing songs, how consciously do you try to do something different? Is it just what comes out of jamming, or something you make sure to change up?
No, we don?t try to do something different, we just change as people in many different ways and we are also very vulnerable to life and shit. Here in South America, life is war to survive, in all means, socially and physically along with materially. That means music changes along with us.
Most times the first approach to the song is me in my home backyard playing with my son Rafa?s little wood guitar.?Most new albums came from that one, I swear!?Then we take the whole trip with the guys at the rehearsal and the music takes on a life and lives for itself. From then on we just try to follow the feeling, the music and what we really want to mean.
On this new one, yes, it?s got more metal, as my life lately had to deal with a lot of stuff. I?m a dad alone to take care of all, and I love what I do, but sometimes it?s good to have Los Natas to blow my fuses.
Los Natas has been around for over 15 years now. How do you feel about the ways the band has changed and progressed in that time? You?ve come a long way since the Man?s Ruin days.
Looong time; Frank Kozik, Nebula, Kyuss. I remember. It looks like old times now, haha. Now it was amazing to do the album with Dale Crover. At that time we knew nothing about it — it was all about letting us go, trust in our guts and do it.?Now we know too much already. It?s like Spinal Tap sometimes?
But yes, experience makes you want less things and focus on what you have in your hands. That?s why maybe it?s a long time since our album reviews don?t mention the word Kyuss anymore.
How would recording Nuevo Orden de la Libertad compare to making M?nchen Sessions or the Toba Trance records? Do you approach albums the same way no matter what, or is it different each time?
This new one was approached like movie editing, maybe.?It had something from my studio, the heavy jams and basses on two inch analog in a big room in the studio, then on to El Attic Studios? post production, like a movie montage.
Albums like Toba Trance or M?nchen Sessions have been recorded from the first gut feeling, totally live jamming, no composition at all. This one is different, took a lot of time and it has maybe a manifest on its own, more meant and not so casual.
Is there a definite idea of what Los Natas has to sound like for you? It sounds like special attention was paid to the mood of this album.
Um, it has to sound like Walter and Gonzalo and me.?That?s our main goal every rehearsal, gig or tour.?It has to be the most similar to what we feel inside, you know? That?s when we got it! When the goddess shows up, when it?s true.
I?ve also been listenin? to a lotta Mastodon lately, hahaha.
Was the process for writing a more acoustic track like ?Noviembre? any different from the more aggressive songs like ?David Y Goliath??
Yes. The more acoustic parts come straight from my home studio and jammin? with my kids around or late night back from a bar. Totally donked and smoked.?The aggressive parts, it?s the band at its whole,?the three of us. The other is more like, me.
I haven?t seen the lyrics to translate them. What is the album about? Is there a story to it? The name automatically sounds politically-themed, and songs like ?Resistiendo al Dolor? seem to have a clear message. What is the band saying with these songs?
It?s a daily basis for local people and families in South America. It?s hard and we just gotta keep on hangin? on there,?not get back. One day you sleep here, you may lose everything.?And by now we got freedom but not order to do things right.?It?s not about a political order but a very inner order every one needs to pull off, for freedom to be fun and safety for family and friends.
I try to wake up every morning and try to do things the best I can, try not to get more stuff but clean my shit,?not buy but repair, keep my kids healthy and clean, my house away from dealers and pushers. That simple, and that hard!
You have a side-project coming out on MeteorCity. Can you preview what that sounds like?
Yes, it?s called Ararat.?It?s most about like the acoustic and drone parts from new albums, and something like the Toba Trances we did in the past. It?s also something I?m doin? with my big brother Santiago, who plays piano and mellotron on the record.?Debut release very soon!
It has many melody, Indian drums all that shit, you know, and the spirit goes over from what my granddads were — Armenians — so the whole thing sounds pretty Islamic in that sense. Ararat is the holy mountain for them.?Mount Ararat. And the music is for liberation.
What?s next for Los Natas? Will you be doing much touring for the album?
Yes, right now we are doin? a lotta local tourin?, also about to do opening for bigs at festivals here and Europe tour next year; early March 2010, we hope.
Where do you think the Los Natas sound will go from here?
Once we get all the shit done for the new album, we?ll start recording Toba Trance Vol. III. Yes, with a fourth musician local on guitars and local smaller guitars and strings,?hope all turns out for good.
Tags: Argentina, Los Natas, Small Stone