La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]

Latino/Chicago hardcore act La Armada share the secrets to their uniquely ferocious sound, and their dual passion for music and politics.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

La Armada bring a passion and ferocity to the stage that’s rarely seen, even in the hardcore punk scene. Starting life in the Dominican Republic, they’re heavily influenced by latin and Caribbean rhythms, but they’ve since relocated to Chicago via Florida, where a love for thrash, hardcore and grind has galvanized their fiery sound.

To relocate from Latin America to the USA for a shared musical project shows overwhelming dedication but they’re not stopping there: lyrically they’re aiming to be a voice for those who don’t have one, in Donald Trump’s America. Musically they’re seeking to defy genres and leave their own mark on the world.

We spoke to guitarist Paul and bassist Mani to learn more about this unique band.

I was lucky enough to catch you guys live at Punk Rock Holiday last year – I was floored by your live show. What did you most enjoy about your time in Europe?

Paul: A lot of things! I think the biggest one is the passion people have for music. I remember walking around precisely at Punk Rock Holiday and seeing groups of people marching around between bands and just singing songs from their favorite bands from the weekend out loud, just excited to be there and to see live music. You really don’t see that level of excitement as much on the side of the world we live in. So, definitely the appreciation people have for live music is the top thing we enjoyed seeing.

Aside from that, the experience of traveling country to country and being submerged into different cultures, languages without having to stop at a crosspoint for borders was great. We are planning to be back in Europe in the summer of 2019 with the help of Epidemic Records from Italy, who helped distribute our new record out there.

You released Anti-Colonial Vol. 1 earlier this year – it’s a melting pot of aggressive, latin-influenced hardcore. It’s quite a unique sound. What’s inspired that combination?

Mani: Music is a quintessential part of latin culture and identity. Before we even heard of punk and metal, we where listening to Caribbean merengue, salsa and bachata, and these rhythms had a big impact on our early musical development. By the time we went over every sub-genre of punk and metal (from grind to thrash) it was almost like we where fluent in two languages.

I think our current sound is also a direct result of the process of migrating and relocating to the US, being detached from our friends and families for so long pushed us to find a way to musically reconnect with our culture. Continue reading “La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]”

Punk Rock Holiday 1.7 Review Part 4: Friday – The Big One!

The final dose of my PRH adventure, featuring 13 hours of bands, lot of crowdsurfing, and some inappropriate jokes about how much I enjoy Propagandhi.

Article by Sarah Williams.

The final instalment is here! And it doesn’t get better than this line-up.

If you’ve only just stumbled upon the review, make sure you also check out:

Kid Crowdsurfing Punk Rock Holiday

Friday

  • Mainstage Highlight: Propagandhi (duh)
  • Beach Stage Highlight: La Armada / Darko
  • Cover of the Day: Straightline – Boom Boom Boom Boom!!

On Friday morning I wake to discover a small lake forming at the front of the tent. Luckily the dam I built with sullied clothes has kept it at bay and, in fact, it’s evaporated a little in the heat. We venture out of the campsite to a makeshift bar on the roadside, starting the day with battery-acid €1 coffee and Slovenian schnapps called Unicorn Tears. It beats an alarm clock.

Friday is the big one. Although the rest of the week has been fun, there’s not a single band on today’s line-up that I’m willing to miss. The Beach Stage is a Lockjaw Records extravaganza of heavy, technical chaos, and the evening bill is knicker-moisteningly intense: 88 Fingers Louie, Snuff and Propagandhi. Propa-fucking-gandhi! Ask anyone earlier in the week who they’re looking forward to seeing: the answer is always Propagandhi. I’m worried I may die from excitement. Or alcohol poisoning.

Sat at the roadside bar we can hear ominous ripplings of thunder from over the hills, and the skies open once again. I grab another tongue-melting coffee and wait for the storm to pass, knowing that I’m going to need to bail the tent out again.

Amusingly, when the rain lets up, I notice a few people roaming around the campsite, foraging for rubbish. Garbage is a valuable commodity at PRH. You pay €10 on entry that’s returned when you hand in a full trash bag: a system so efficient that it’s a challenge to find enough litter to reclaim your deposit. The €1 cup-deposit scheme also means there’s not a single cup to be found on the ground (the complete opposite of many English festivals). On the last day we wind up optimistically searching bins for discarded cups, just to reclaim out deposits – that’s how clean it is!

Beach Friday Punk Rock Holiday

I get down to the Beach Stage early and listen to Corbillard sound checking while dipping my toes in the glacial water. The beach is quiet, with a light mist rising from the river. The water’s no longer clear because the storm has shaken up the silt overnight. As the singer ‘one-two-one-two’s into the mic it booms madly around the mountains, making the strangest echo.  Continue reading “Punk Rock Holiday 1.7 Review Part 4: Friday – The Big One!”