Here’s our chat with La Armada
La Armada, a hardcore-metal band from Chicago which features members from the Dominican Republic, comes back to Europe for the second time and we thought we’d ask them some questions for the occasion. The tour starts on the 12th of July and on the 4th, 7th and 8th of August they’re playing in Italy as well.
RADIO PUNK: Hi and welcome to Radio Punk. For a start, could you briefly introduce yourselves to our readers?
LA: Ciao Radio Punk. This is Paúl Rivera (Guitar) and Mani Marte (Bass) from the band La Armada.We are a hardcore punk band that started in the Dominican Republic in 2001 and for the last 10 years we have been living in Chicago, USA. We moved the band here to be able to tour all year. Super excited to go to Europe for an extended tour.
RP: Your second European tour is just around the corner and we’d like to know what your expectations are, compared to the first one.
LA: The first one was only 4 shows, but 4 very good ones. We played Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia, Shows with Propagandhi in Germany and a show with Pears in Austria. Even tho it was short we noticed the passion of the audiences, so we expect to continue to see how excited people are about live music.
I think what we expect the most is to make good connections and relationships, we expect to have a great time but other than that, the expectations are of ourselves. We expect to perform at a high level and to blow people away. We take a lot of pride in our live show and are excited to share it in Europe.
Being in a band and traveling to new places, you have to learn to manage what you expect. You can play a huge show but play first when nobody is there, the next night we can play a small show at a bar with 30 people but it feels amazing. The only thing we can control is how prepared we are and the quality of the show we put on. The expectation is for us to go and be as great as we can be.
RP: You played in many parts of the world with bands like Propagandhi, Iron Chic, Satanic Surfers and Sick Of It All; which are the concerts you carry in your heart?
LA: We are lucky. The band started in the Dominican Republic when we were all around 12 and 13 years old, dreaming of playing with these bands, so we have many shows that we carry in our hearts. I think some favorites are opening for Propagandhi in Chicago at a popular venue called “The Metro” because it felt like the people that who support our own shows in the city, were so proud to see us take a big step. Playing with Sick Of It All at Irving Plaza in New York, because there is a large Dominican community there and many friends that grew up with us who were there and also proud to see us play a legendary venue with a legendary band.
Also, the shows we play in the Dominican, we’ve been back only 2 times in the last 4 years and it always feels incredible. To reconnect with old friends, followers and see all the new people who follow what we do and may feel inspired by it, that’s a feeling like no other.
RP: Which differences (both positive and/or negative) did you notice between concerts in the US and in Europe?
Well, many. In Europe the two main differences are that the hospitality is so much better and that the crowds are way more passionate and musically open minded. In Europe a promoter or venue cares about giving you good and healthy food, in the US you have to find a place on your own and many times you’re lucky if you get some potato chips. In Europe you see people at festivals walking around in groups singing their favorite songs in unison, excited to see their favorite bands later on.
In the US, bands are taken for granted, maybe because you can see them at any other festival or show. We felt the difference right away.
RP: Your last album, Anti-Colonial vol. 1, was released about a year ago. Are you satisfied with its success?
LA: It depends what “success” we are talking about. Musically, we feel it is successful because we made a big jump in the quality of the songs and the production. At the end of the day, that’s the success that is most important. How much can we improve. We are satisfied with the opportunities it has brought us, it put us on tours with some of our favorite bands. However, now we are hungry to create more and create better music. So in a way, success is short lived.
RP: Which are the topics you dealt with in this album? Do you think it has something more compared with your first two albums?
LA: There are similarities for sure. We deal a lot with Neo-Colonialism – Which to us, is the way countries and corporations influence societies, individuals and the environment. We hope that the lyrics got better and smarter but easier to digest, that was kind of the goal. We have our opinion but ultimately it’s up to the listeners to decide if we achieved it.
RP: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have anything to add before the tour starts, you can do it now.
We look forward to sharing our music with audiences in Italy and across Europe. We hope you take the time to come to the shows and see something different, we’re trying to add to the genre, not repeat what’s already been done. Come share it with us!
Interview by Burzucco
Translation by Alessia Baraldo