Pedro (lead vocals and percussion) of Karamelo Santo (Arg), interviewed by Freemuse / Eric Silva Brenneman at Roskilde Festival 27th of June 2003. Karamelo Santo, originally from Mendoza, Argentina, use a ska base for their musical fusion with politically critical messages concerning Argentina and the world.
Pedro, have you ever experienced any kind of music censorship? Watch interview Interview is in Spanish! Please find English transcription below
Transcript Pedro (lead vocals and percussion) of Karamelo Santo
Pedro, have you ever experienced any kind of music censorship?
“You could say I lived it because Mariano joined the band when we had to move to Buenos Aires. The band has been together for 10 years and during 4 years the band played a lot in Mendoza, this province that is very close to Chile. When we couldn’t play any more, when he had hit a roof from our work where the circuit, the mainstream, didn’t work anymore, we had to move to Buenos Aires. Had we not, we would have had to have made the decision of accepting the band as a hobby and working with something else. We wanted to work with music, the band, so we moved to Buenos Aires.
I tell you all of this because I lived these acts of censorship in Mendoza. Mariano entered the band one year after we moved to Buenos Aires. I lived the acts of censorship because we have lyrics between the social and the sarcastic always making a point to show what we think are errors committed against society and the human being where we live. Obviously, an establishment, a government, even the police, are no going to like anyone that sing against this, against repression, against the fact that they rob all the money from the people and the people end up with no money to eat with.
This was a time we lived. Where a persecution in which the media, newspapers, journals, was officialized. For example, they wouldn’t publish our advertisements for shows. Or, they’d suddenly shut down places to play. Okay? These are things that we lived. Or, they’d set up all of these obstacles for us to get a simple salon where we could play. These are the things we lived in Mendoza for practically 4 years. Afterwards we went to Buenos Aires and there was still a type (of censorship), like businesses already set-up in Buenos Aires.
With respect to rock and music, as much as one wants to criticize the state, one has his/her definite opinion with respect to and against certain decisions of governments, all of this, there is a scene put together that one can’t fight. In Buenos Aires, we could say that we didn’t come against this problem, this dilemma with the media, against the state, because the war of the state against society and us, the artists that sing and tell about what is happening, happens on another level. It’s a very dark war, very undercover. So between us, we have the liberty to move around, and for that reason we moved to Buenos Aires to work. And up until today, here we are.”
Extensive article on how music was “restricted” during the Falkland and Gulf war, with focus on UK legislation and corporate censorship. Presented by Martin Cloonan at the 1st World Conference on Music and Censorship, 1998