Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An interview with a drum monster: Walter Broide (LOS NATAS and POSEIDOTICA)

Lots of you reading this probably don’t need introduction of who Walter Broide is. LOS NATAS is a band that has almost cult-like following not just in their home country Argentina, but in the whole South America and I dare to say in the rest of the world too. It is hard to catch up with news about the band though. Seems that at the moment Sergio, Walter and Gonzalo are taking a break from LOS NATAS, hopefully the time they have spend together as well as the great music they have created as a band will help them to resolve whatever differences they may have. One thing is for sure; at some point last year Walter joined the instrumental psychedelic/progressive band POSEIDOTICA who by the way released their (highly recommended!!!) third album “Crónicas del Futuro” few months ago. He is actually not a newcomer to this band; in 2005 he recorded the drums for POSEIDOTICA’s first album “Intramudo”. If you have heard any of LOS NATAS albums you should know that Walter is not a conventional drummer. He has a pretty distinctive drumming style, not many drummers succeed in providing so much intensity and energy to their recordings and performances. I’d like to thank Walter for agreeing to answer to my questions and to apologize for being so pushy. Hope it is all good, Walter:)

Let’s start with your new-old collaboration with POSEIDOTICA. These guys don’t seem to have luck with drummers; I read stories about people going away because of French women. Very romantic way to lose a drummer I must say! Are you staying for long and how are they going to keep you?
Yes, I am back and my idea is to play very long with the guys. In a way I have always been a part of the band, and now as we are better musicians with more experience I hope that we can record a very good new album; we are working very hard to do it, spending a lot of time together, exploring the music, trying to find its inner message and express it in the new music we make.

“Crónicas del Futuro” is an exceptional record. I think it is much better than the first two and they are high class records too. Do you regret not being part of it and do you think you could add something more? Maybe you do it when you play live?
Yes, for me (playing with POSEIDOTICA) is a pleasure and also a big challenge. I am trying to catch the original feeling but with my energy and point of view when necessary. I rebuild some parts and make the whole thing move a little bit faster.

How do you see the chronology of your future with POSEIDOTICA? Any plans for recording, touring?
As of now, plans are to record a new album and try to play live in Argentina. We also have an additional idea to make the music for some movie. Apart from POSEIDOTICA we are quite busy people so we try to not go crazy and try to enjoy and set up things one by one.

It is difficult to put LOS NATAS and POSEIDOTICA’s music in the frames of one genre. How is being part of LOS NATAS compared to being part of POSEIDOTICA musically and what is the emotion and sensation that the work with each of the two bands gives you?
Musically they are totally different. NATAS is wild but very, very disorganized and raw and sometimes is willing to destroy your sonic reality just to build a new one. POSEIDOTICA is more soft , elaborate, more trippy and thought-provoking but with lots of arrangements, so it needs more attention and mental participation.

Who were your music teachers, both local and the ones you learned from through listening records?
It can be said that I learn from absolutely every drummers that I meet (on the road). Each one can offer a particular thing that can be learned. Of course there are some masters of the masters of the drums; like to tell you 5 out of 10.000 amazing drummers - Jack DeJohnette, Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Terry Bozzio, etc;;
But some drummers left a special mark on me, like when I saw Ruben Romano from NEBULA playing live in USA in 2000. Because I was just a kid at that time and I was learning about the rock, the highway and finding my own identity and the way to do the rock, so he taught me some very important things when I was just starting with all this.

You look like there is nothing and no one else except you and the drums on the live videos I’ve watched.....Do you notice what is going on around you while playing, do you keep an eye on the reactions of the audience or you just shut down all external factors and let the music flow?
I really stay focused in my trance, I just close my eyes and try to listen the music as much as I can, this for me is the engine of the magic and it really goes very deep inside of me.......... just the music, not the crowd, not me and the ego shit........., something very special happens if you have experience with the instrument and trust in your body and your feelings not just in the mind.

After following the progress of a few Latin American bands for some time now, if this is at all possible since there is not much info leaking, I have come to notice that the support that South American bands are giving to each other is immense. Could you tell us how the underground scene in South America looks like from inside?
The underground scene now is quite big. Several bands are growing, buying nice equipment and trying to find their place in the scene. We see lots of new bands working hard and SAS is a home for all SouAmerican bands involved in this kind of music, its a kind of South American brotherhood. Seeing that lots of bands are growing in the scene is great because its the real indicator that something good is happening.

Could you explain what South American Sludge means? This term incorporates bands from a big range of heavy sound. What unites them?
Yes, really. I heard about Sludge from a common friend, the great Alejandro Londono (when he accompanied us) in a tour with LOS NATAS. He has always said that LOS NATAS needs to show its music under the Latin American flag, like SEPULTURA. After a year of work SAS is a reality and trying to help and support all the South American bands that are working in this scene. I think that the sludge is a several music styles, but with same intentions…… sludge = doom, stoner, space rock, crowd rock, etc.

My general feeling is that South American underground scene is a very closed community. Do you intentionally keep everything in the family or is it the language barrier or some other barriers that are an obstacle for young and not so young bands to be presented to the public in the rest of the world?
It is a little bit of everything, if you think in the right way it is obvious that it is better to join the scene, to try to grow the band name in the scene, and try to have some press coverage. But now SAS is more well known in the rest of the world and we are all more strong as a continental scene.

Correct me if I am wrong but you are managing and producing artists from different music genres that are not necessarily rock. I cannot help myself but ask how are jazz, traditional folk music and heavy rock sounds getting along in Walter’s world?
Well, I love all the music…...I especially respect our traditional music, the folklore, and I like jazz because when I was young and started to learn to play, I started taking lessons from a very traditional jazz teacher, he showed me the way to study, to develop my own technique and he showed me amazing jazz drummers, so I’m still in love with this. I also play the Bombo Leguero (classic folklore percussions), also Tablas…… I’ve been playing for several years in a devotional meditation music band. I try to keep my mind open and then translate all that in my rock.
I started working with a production company (Titan Music) and we are working with amazing artists playing new folklore, new tango and some special bands. I’m also working with cultural bureaux form the inner country.

I am guessing that it is not hard for a band like LOS NATAS to always produce music of the highest quality and receive a growing recognition from fans because you are terrific musicians. But there are some speculations about the future of the band, and it looks like it is quite painful for the fans. Do you feel the pressure to always be able to meet people’s expectations and be there for them by keeping the band together?
The truth is that now LOS NATAS have some internal problems. We are trying to mend the fences, solve our differences and wait for some health. We stopped for now. We won’t play in all the 2012 and maybe time will tell if we can start again in 2013. It’s very painful for us too and keeping all the music inside really hurts.

Thank you very much for your time!
Thanks to you, hope to see you there playing soon with Poseidotica.



1 comment:

  1. really nice interview.
    do you know what walter means with crowd rock?