Published on August 4th, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut
Los Redd brings “Rock en Español” & Ska from El Salvador to the World
|Los Redd is a fast-rising rock band, based in San Salvador, specializing in “rock en español.”|
Los Redd may have started in 1992 in El Salvador as a rock band that played covers of music in English by the Sex Pistols, Ramones and the Rolling Stones, but this San Salvador-based group has found its greatest success in the 21st century, as a rising musical entity specializing in Spanish-language rock and ska. Lead singer Rafael García took time during their current tour of the United States to talk with LatinFlyer about Latin music, his group’s success, and the best places for live music in San Salvador.
“It’s strange that Redd’s first album was in English,” notes García, just before heading to New York City for a performance presented by Rockass Online. But now, with a strong catalog of catchy original music and a growing tour itinerary that’s taking them around the Americas, “we’re in the process of going international,” he says, nothing that Los Redd has made 14 trips to the United States and 20 more elsewhere in Latin America to perform. Clearly, this group is on the rise.
Los Redd’s musical style is a diverse amalgam that takes cues from an interesting array of musical sources, including rock and ska music. “Soda Stereo was an inspiration,” García says, referring to the immensely popular Argentine rock band that performed between 1982 and 1997. He also says the group appreciates bands like Pearl Jam and Metallica, although “we don’t want to sound like a U.S. band,” he notes.
According to García, the international market is starting to take note of Salvadoran music. For visitors to the capital city of San Salvador, García recommends places like La Luna Casa y Arte, which García says features experimental live music, and a venue called Republik, in the city’s Zona Rosa district.
For García, one of the most exciting things about touring is connecting with Latin music lovers around the hemisphere, and seeing Salvadoran audiences in places like the United States who know all the words to their songs. “We feel very proud,” he said. “We feel like part of the Salvadoran culture.”
“Hearing people outside of your national borders singing [your songs] is an incredible experience,” he adds. “I think the United States is going to open a lot of doors for us.”
Also exciting for the members of Los Redd was a performance at Cosquín Rock Argentina, an Argentine music festival that takes place in a town near the city of Córdoba. “It was an incredible experience in Argentina,” recalls García.” In Argentina, they have a musical style that’s very similar to what we do.”
As the group continues to expand its frontiers, would the members of Los Redd consider singing in English again? “We are open to anything that might bring success in the short or long term,” García says. “We’re ready to sing again in English. We’d just need to practice a bit more.”