Interviu Thievery Corporation

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Pe 15 octombrie la Sala Palatului ii vom vedea pe Thievery Corporation, adica Rob Garza si Eric Hilton, impreuna cu un grup de instrumentisti si vocali care au colaborat de-a lungul timpului la proiectele muzicale TC.

Ultimul album al celor doi "hoti de sunete" din Washington s-a lansat pe 23 septembrie si in foarte scurtul nostru interviu cu ei am vrut sa aflam mai multe despre importanta mesajului din spatele muzicii lor, cu atat mai mult cu cat Radio Retaliation a fost mediatizat ca fiind un album-protest.

Interviul a fost realizat pe e-mail, iar mai jos sunt atat versiunea in engleza, cat si traducerea in romana:

tc
sursa foto: thieverycorporation.com


Mesajele voastre politice despre problemele internationale sunt foarte puternice... daca mesajul respectiv ajunge unde trebuie. Cum credeti ca se percepe acest mesaj in tarile ne-vorbitoare de limba engleza, mai ales in cele cu politica externa si interna moderata si care nu se lovesc de asemenea probleme in viata de zi cu zi?

Washington este un oras surprinzator de frumos, mai divers poate decat oricare altul din State (doar Toronto mi s-a parut mai divers din punct de vedere cultural). Aceasta caracterisica internationala ne-a stimulat de la bun inceput interesul pentru sunetele lumii si pentru calatorie. La un anticariat local gasesc des discuri braziliene si mici alte comori.

Reversul monedei este ca DC este ca un fel de Hollywood pentru oamenii urati. Oamenii de la putere sunt cele mai dezgustatoare specimene, iar tinerii care vin in DC sa lucreze in politica sunt atat de naivi, ceva de speriat.

Sper doar ca intr-o zi oamenii vor realiza ca partidele Republican si Democrat sunt conduse de fapt de aceeasi mare putere corporatista si ca avem nevoie de mai multe optiuni. Ma frustreaza oamenii care cred in candidatii independenti sau din alte parti, iar apoi spun "Oricum n-or sa castige". De cand e vorba doar de castigat? Acest fel pragmatic de a gandi este responsabil, dupa parerea mea, pentru conditiile in care traim azi.

Cred ca e necesar un comentariu mai larg despre rolul marilor corporatii si felul in care ele controleaza societatea americana, inclusiv politica. Daca v-ati intrebat vreodata de ce sunt americanii atat de pe dinafara, trebuie sa va uitati la sursele noastre (corporatiste) de informatie.

Telul nostru nu e neaparat ca oamenii sa priceapa. Ne exprimam pe noi insine, iar oamenii aleg daca sa asculte sau nu.

 

Ce ramane din Thievery Corporation daca scoti versurile? Credeti ca succesul vostru vine de la trasatura “outernational” (extranationala) a sunetului vostru caracteristic, sau mai degraba de la mesajul versurilor?

Diferenta principala este ca de data asta ne-am expus vehement ideile cu bass si chitara. Am dezvoltat o linie muzicala solida pentru fiecare cantec si am dus-o cat de departe am putut inainte sa ne gandim sa adaugam si voce. Multe piese ni s-au parut mai bune pastrate in faza instrumentala, dar preferam totusi sa avem cantece cu vocal.

 

Ati spus despre Radio Retaliation ca este albumul vostru cel mai "international-orientat ". De ce?

In principiu cream o lista de artisti din toata lumea cu care am vrea sa colaboram. La albumul asta am lucrat foarte bine cu Femi Kuti din Nigeria, Seu Jorge, chitaristul brazilian si Anoushka Shankar din India. Am fost foarte norocosi ca toti au putut veni in Washington, ca sa inregistreze in studioul nostru. Albumul acesta cred ca reprezinta un pas valoric mai sus si sunetul per total e mai provocator.

Este de asemenea un album mult mai politic si mai polemic decat cele dinainte. Eram foarte descurajati de politica, media si industria showbiz din America. Se pare ca nimeni din SUA nu mai spune nimic diferit de propaganda mainstream.

 

Pe viitor intentionati sa va asociati mai evident cu vreo miscare socio-politica? (pe langa afilierea voastra relativ discreta cu miscarea Rasta)

Suntem parteneri ai World Food Program. Muzica noastra a fost intotdeauna eclectica si a imbratisat diverse culturi, intr-un fel mai profund decat facutul de muzica la un pahar de martini. De la Richest Man in Babylon incoace am facut afirmatii socio-politice considerabile si muzica foarte exigenta.

Hip hop-ul este un exemplu perfect al unei forme de arta care a rezultat din sensibilizarea sociala si politica a unui mediu exploatat pentru consumerismul comercial. Cred ca e foarte greu sa ai un spirit independent si sa spui ceea ce gandesti din cauza interesului corporatist manifestat fata de industria muzicala. Faptul ca avem casa noastra proprie de discuri ne ajuta sa ne exprimam cum vrem, fara sa raspundem in fata nimanui. Exista foarte multi artisti "indy", dar nu multi care sunt cu adevarat independenti.


tc
foto Andrzej Liguz

Interviul original in engleza:

Your political message is quite strong and raises questions about international problems... If one *gets* the message. How do you think is this perceived in non-English speaking countries, especially in countries that have a moderate foreign and internal affair policy and do not struggle with such issues in every day life?

DC is a surprisingly nice and beautiful city, with perhaps more diversity than any I've visited in the US (only Toronto seemed more culturally diverse). This international flavor certainly piqued our interest in global sounds and travel from an early age. At a local used book and record shop, I often find collectible Brazilian records and other gems.

On the down side, it really is Hollywood for ugly people. The people in power are some of the slimiest individuals you can meet and the young people who come to DC to work in politics are so fucking naïve, it's startling.

I just hope one day that people realize that the Democratic and Republican party are both owned by the same corporate masters and that we need more choices. I'm so frustrated with people who believe in the positions of third party candidates and then say, "But they can't win." Since when did it become about winning? This type of practical thinking, in my opinion, has created the conditions that we live in today.

I think it’s more of a broader commentary on the role of the large corporations and how they control everything in American society, including politics. If you ever wondered why Americans seem so clueless, you just need look at their corporate sources of information. 

Our goal is not really to have people get it. We’re just expressing ourselves and people can choose to listen or not.


What is Thievery Corporation without the lyrics? Do you ascribe your major success to your "outernational" sounds, or to the assertive messages?

The main difference this time is that we hammered out our ideas on bass and guitar. We developed a solid groove for each song and then took them as far as we could before considering adding vocals. Obviously we felt a couple songs were best as instrumentals, but we really like doing full vocal songs.



How is Radio Retaliation your most internationally oriented album?

Essentially, we jut create a short wish list of international artists we’d like to collaborate with On this record we have some great collaborations artists from Nigeria like Femi Kuti, Brazilian classical guitarist Seu Jorge and Anoushka Shankar from India.were on it. Wwe were very fortunate that they were all able to visit us in DC and record at our studio. With this recording, I feel that we've stepped up our production value and the over all sound is a bit edgier.

This record is definitely more political and more confrontational then previous efforts as well. We were getting very discouraged with American politics, media, and entertainment. It seems no one in the states is saying anything different than the mainstream propaganda. 



Do you foresee any future overt affiliation with certain social or political movements? (apart from your so-far-non intrusive Rasta inclination and inspiration)

We are celebrity partners with the World Food Program. I feel that our music has always been eclectic while embracing other cultures while going deeper then making music about sitting around drinking martini's. From Richest man in Babylon on, we have made some considerable socio-political statements and music that is very conscientious.

Hip hop is a perfect example of an art form that grew out of social and political awareness into a medium that is exploited for commercial consumerism. I think it's very difficult to be independent in spirit and say what you really think because of corporate interest in the music industry. Having our own record label allows us to express how we really feel without having to answer to corporate bosses. There's a lot of indy artists but not alot of artists who are independent. 



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