Staying young through punk therapy
For The Herald
Power trio Elbou speaks to the Herald about getting back together and future projects
Those who roam the city’s contemporary jazz scene may already know two thirds of this band. Cirilo Fernández fronts his own quartet, Fernández 4, with a very recent work up the sleeve, No Fear. Nicolás Sorín, on the other hand, fronts an octet — Sorín Octeto — and Octafonic, a band in which Fernández is also present. Basically, anyone interested in the career of young talents such as them or Pipi Piazzolla, Esteban Sehinkman, Mariano Sívori and so on, may already know them — the jazz scene is happily endogamous when it comes to bands.
And for those who have visited México in the last couple of years, if you have stumbled upon an energetic, bearded, multi-intrumentralist touring the country with his girlfriend in a vintage motorhome doing music which he defines as “forest punk,” well, kudos, you know the other third of the band: drummer Juan Rosenbaum.
Together, the three of them are Elbou, a teen-spirited musical adventure that brings these three musicians back to those punk roots that couldn’t be left behind. Their music is a particular mix of punk chords, a seemingly Kurt-Cobain-ish ring on vocals and still a lot of groove paired with a happy, carefree vibe. Five years have gone by since Elbou fell into oblivion. Now it arises in renewed form: more eager, hungrier… and balder.
How would each of you define Elbou?
Rosenbaum: I always say that what we do is “fantastic-core” (laughs.) Because there is a certain fantasy edge in our hardcore punk inspired sound — like ironic music, blended with seriousness, dramatism and a teenage feel… played by pretty grown-up dudes.
Sorín: It saves me 400 pesos of therapy per week. That’s no joke, this is like a way of staying young and taking music not so seriously.
Fernández: Also, Elbou works — creatively — like a real band; the songs are put together by the three of us. It’s not like (our other projects) where we go “ok, look, play this.” And that’s also the fun part: Nico (Sorín) plays guitar, though he isn’t mainly a guitarist, I play bass, though I’m a pianist …It decompresses responsibility.
Sorín: And I’m not a skilled guitar player, just like Chivi (Fernández) isn’t a skilled bass player either. But that’s the upside of it, we have mastered a symbiosis due to the lack of technical resources; we sound really tight together.
Are you guys thinking of recording something?
Sorín: We are really eager to record an album, maybe in January. And we want to do it outside of the country, in the US. We will also try to fine-tune our sound there.
Fernández: I think we realized that Elbou was more important to us than what we had originally thought.
Sorín: But right now we’re focused on our show tonight . Still, our forte lies in the creative side, when we start to just throw around ideas. Besides, we also have Lula (from Eruca Sativa) as second guitar player to help us out.
Maybe Elbou also represents some sort of vacation. In your other projects you tend toward a cerebral approach to music and this comes from a more emotional place, the genre demands it.
Sorín: Yes. And it is also quite tiring. After the rehearsals I need to lie down for three hours because I’m broken, emotionally and physically.
Rosenbaum: It’s like you can’t play this kind of music unless you’re absolutely taken by it, giving it all you’ve got. It’s like he says, it’s not so mental, it’s much more emotional.
Sorín: And that wears you out even more. I’ve been thinking of going to the gym, seriously! You have to be some kind of athlete.
Fernández: It’s just like you said, that cerebral thing that we do in other projects get des-cerebralized here.
Sorín: Octafonic — for instance — is like a kind of Elbou but with several more people. Octafonic’s essence has a lot of Elbou in it. You see, in my car I have jazz and classical music, but I always have that one punk record… I think that punk music — especially Californian style — maintains a sort of romanticism that I can’t get tired of.
Speaking about Octafonic, both Cirilo and you have participated in several shared projects; it is understandable that there would be a keen musical understanding between one another. Yet, with Juan’s return, everything seems to run equally as smooth…
Sorín: He’s like one of those old girlfriends that you’ve always liked. Maybe they’re married now, but you see them at a party and you think to yourself “man, she’s still hot.”
From what you’ve been telling me, Elbou seems to be that girlfriend too.
Ferández: Yes, it’s exactly like that.
When and where
Tonight, 9.30pm. Boris Club (Gorriti 5568).Tickets from 70 pesos available at the venue and online from www.ticketek.com.ar