RECONCILE (Argentina) 

I only know your album "July 20th"… so it would be great if you could give a an introduction into the band. When did you start, which releases have you done, where did you do tours, etc.

we started back in 1999. we were a straight edge band of 5 kids who wanted to play modern styled classic hardcore. our main influences back then were the popular bands of the time, TEN YARD FIGHT, IN MY EYES and REACH THE SKY mainly. We released our debut CD in the end of 2000, we toured chile and then released a split with a brazilian band called GOOD INTENTIONS (they are still alive, check em out) and th en we toured brazil to support that release, and it was the shittiest tour ever. then we had a lot of line up changes, but that didnt keep us from playing lots of shows, but it really made it hard for us to write new stuff to record. so "july 20th" came out in 2004. now we are playing and writting more songs and undergoing other major line up changes. i mean, how many people you know go to hardcore shows for more than 7 years? imagine being involved in a band all that much!

It's not common for a Latin American band to sing English lyrics. Are you criticised because of this? Why did you choose to sing English?

it wasnt really a choice, it just happened that way. and i guess there would be more kids singing our songs at the shows if we sang in spanish, but we arent really going to change something that we are confortable with just to make people like us.

Sometimes I have the feeling that Latin American SXE bands become more and more popular in the European scene. Do you see it the same way?

i’m not sure about that, but i hope they are. there are lots of good bands around here (just as everywhere else) and they deserve the recognition. i mean, maybe years ago it was harder for kids in 3rd world countries to have access to the right records, the right equipments and instruments and so on... but now i can see that some bands in southamerica or asia sound better than bands from western europe or the US.

I've heard rumours about an upcoming tour of Reconcile in Europe. What about that?

i woke up thinking about that today. i kinda have been waking up thinking about touring europe for the last 6 years or something. we dont have anything planned yet, but i hope it happens sometime. we had some failed attemps and it sucked.

In general SXE seems to be a booming scene. (As far as I've seen it in Chile...). Over there I've recognized some separation between new and old school sounds. How's that in Argentina or in Buenos Aires?

i dont think that happens here. and yes, i’ve seen it happening A LOT in chile. we are friends with almost everybody there, we play chile once a year and have met lots of cool kids, but when it comes to making a show where all kinds of bands play together... it becomes hard. i mean, not that the kids in bands have problems with each other or anything like that... but the crowd is pretty much divided. that doesnt happen at all here. and i have a theory about that: the most popular hardcore style in buenos aires since the late 80s was and still is NYHC, and NYHC is kinda the middle between new school and old school, not exactly, I KNOW, but kids in buenos aires are used to bands who mix heavy breakdowns with fast hc-punk parts, so they are as tolerant to old school bands as they are towards heavy hitting mosh bands.

What do you think are the positive and the negative aspects of this scene?

the positive things are so many and so positive that i will let each one get out there and find them. and as far as negative... tough guys. kids who are troubled enough to think they can muscle their opinions into other people´s head do not belong in this world, let alone this scene.

Do you see connections between the punk and the hardcore scene?

of course. we are all boys and girls living in despair trying to change the world we live in. but still i want to emphasize the thing that we are BOYS AND GIRLS, and not punks, or straight edgers or whatever... those concepts come after. i mean, those connections... often i hear people saying "hardcore and punk scenes should work together". and that´s putting the concept before the persons envolved. it is probable that punks and hardcore kids wont get along, for whatever reasons, and if they dont i think it would be stupid to force them to cooperate when they dont see eye to eye on many things and it may all end in a fight, which is worse than having the scenes separated.

In your lyrics you avoid all SXE topics…it's a very personal album. What is your message and what do you like to express with your songs?

this is the first interview we answer as a not-sxe-anymore-band. we have recently asked Nikito to join Reconcile full time. he´s been our friend for years and he´s a great guy, he´s not straight edge, but even so he filled in for 2nd guitar in many shows when we couldnt find any stable guitarrist. but then we came to think about what i said in the last questions... concepts should go after people. so we decided we wanted to play with nikito more than having "straight edge" under RECONCILE on our shirts. but those lyrics you mention were written years before, so they dont mention straight edge for other reasons. we always thought straight edge was important for all the things it made us feel and do, and not just for the sake of it, so we tried to communicate the way we felt about the things we were going through and not just singing about abstract things.

Don't you ever feel uncomfortable to show your very personal feelings? And don't you feel the necessity to comment the current political situation?

i guess the songs are the way to make it confortable for us to communicate those intimate things. i surely would be more than uncomfortable to stand up and pick up a mic and just say how heartbroken i feel because all my friends went away, but if i can write a nice song about it then its ok. and about politics, we usually talk about that between songs and some of the new songs are more political oriented, but not that much either. i dont know, we always thought everything is politics and most of our songs are about sending the whole world to fuck themselves and just stick to the ones you love, and that could be taken as political.

Was the crisis in Argentina reflected in the underground music?

everything is 3 times more expensive now. music production, cd manufacturing, mail, everything! having bands tour argentina is almost impossible cause plane tickets are 3 times more expensive. and of course, salaries arent 3 times bigger. but overall, it had a positive impact, cause imported cds are exepensive, so kids are supporting local bands, and local bands are being overproductive, which is good.

How have been your very personal impressions and experiences within the days of crisis? Did you participate in manifestations or actions? Why or why not?

i didnt. cause at that time, it wasnt that clear what was happening, and still isnt. people got killed, people were there just to cause havok cause they were paid to, and people spontaneously demonstrated against the government. but the thing is that they were only reclaiming their property right. i dont know, it was a crazy week, we had 5 presidents. and i cant say who represented me the less, if you know what i mean.

What have been the impacts on people in general? Do you think society learned from this experience?

not at all. months later they were all going into the voting booth and picking another shitface politician to be the new president. it all means nothing. people are weak minded, they still believe in this charade called representative democracy and still hope for a leader to come and take them to the top of the world. people just want to drink coke, have a job and watch the TV when they get home.

Let's get back to hc and underground music. How did the catastrophe of Cromañón affect the music scene?

oh! that was terrible (i´m amazed how well informed you are). first and foremost, 200 kids died at a rock and roll concert. and that alone couldnt be any worse. but this is Argentina and it always gets worse. the city major just went ahead and shut down every venue in the city. so there´s practically nowhere to have a hardcore show. you can make concerts in big stadiums (which means big business), but self promoted bands cant get together and jam almost anywhere. there are only 2 or 3 little venues working right now, they hold 100 people more or less, and they are overbooked, if you want to book a show you have to show up with 6 months anticipation and maybe they´ll give you a tuesday or something. in the suburbs the situation if very different, you can play almost anywhere and no one cares, but it gets hard for everyone to show up because of the transportation and shit like that.

How would you describe the hc scene of BsAs now?

overproductive. above the crisis and the cromagnon thing, hardcore kids and bands stayed on top of things and made their way. CDs are pressed all the time, shows in the suburbs are becoming more and more crowded. looks like we are heading the right way...

Have you ever thought about living in another place? What do you like and hate about BsAs?

i often daydream about living in the polinesian, by the sea, having dreadlocks, blond by the sun, and just rent surfboards to tourists for a living. having a wife and kids, eating cocunuts, bananas and rice everyday. i would love that. but not now. im so into urban lifestyle right now, when we go to the beach with guys i enjoy the first couple of days and then i want to come back to the city. i wish i wasnt like that. but other than buenos aires, i cant think of me living in another city.

Okay, so what are the future plans for the band?

we are writting the new record, and that´s our main focus right now. once we start recording we´ll start planning the release and touring and stuff. and this week our label, is releasing a CD called "YOUTH CREW 1999" which features our first 17 tracks (the first ep and the songs from the split with GOOD INTENTIONS).

Any final words or comments?

thanx a lot for the interview, hope we meet someday, we´d love to have you in buenos aires and we´d also love to be there in germany playing to all the hardcore kids there.