Tag Archives: Spaghetty Town Records

Wading Through Rock N’ Roll and Natural Disasters With Los Vigilantes

Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Los Vigilantes have made their mark on the rock n’ roll world. Since their inception, they toured extensively, worked with labels like Slovenly Recordings and Mandinga Records ,and gained an international following. They have released two albums, Los Vigilantes (2011) and Al Fin (2014), plus a plethora of singles. In their records and on stage they sing in Spanish and play music influenced by styles such as bossa nova, lo-fi, and pop. The result is a unique and exciting take on garage rock.

To learn more, I sat down with the lads of Los Vigilantes. Recently, they have been enduring the conditions of quarantine in Puerto Rico due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We chatted about the music scene in San Juan, playing Funtastic Dracula Carnival (2019), a new single being released digitally and how the recent string of natural disasters hurricanes, earthquakes and pandemicshave affected life in Puerto Rico.

NixBeat: Los Vigilantes combines the talents of Jorge “Jota” Mundo, Javier Garrote, Pepe Carballido, and Rafael Diaz. I’ve read in staugustine.com on February 29, 2012 they you all have a different background in music tastes. However, together you all bring a Spanish twist to garage rock by singing in Spanish and introducing elements of hardcore, lofi, fun and bossa nova. What prompted you to draw on these influences and how did they inform you to form Los Vigilantes?

Los Vigilantes: We all grew up with different musical backgrounds so it was kind of inevitable that those influences would seep into our music. It’s like when you hear mashups of songs. “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Careless Whisper” is a perfect example of how things that don’t seem to go together do. If you haven’t heard it, look for it online. It’s amazing!

NixBeat:  What’s the garage punk scene like in San Juan and how has it changed over the years?

Los Vigliantes:  There’s a rock and roll scene. I wouldn’t call it a garage scene necessarily. When we were kids it was all hardcore and metal Lopo Drido, La Experiencia, and Tropiezo for example. In the late 90’s/00’s it started to become more popish with bands like Toy Gun, Pepiniyoz, Jenny Fatale y Los Degolladroes, and all the Bayamón scene. From 2010 on there was a boom of garage rock with Davila 666, Ardillas, Reanimadores, and us. Now I feel like it’s changing again. It seems to be getting darker. New bands like Deshauciados, EspaZmos, La Moral, Bajo Mundo and Trueno Video are painting beautiful things with bleak colors.

NixBeat: If readers wanted to check out the music scene in Puerto Rico, where should they go?

Los Vigilantes: Deshauciados, Bajo Mundo, Campo Formio, EspaZmos, Juventud Crasa, La Moral, Fantasmes, Las Abejas, Ardillas, Re-Animadores, Pepiniyoz, All have stuff out there you can check out.

NixBeat:  Los Vigilantes have toured extensively, playing in Europe, The United States and South America.  How do you find the garage punk scenes differ in some of these places compared to in San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico?

Los Vigliantes: The garage scene is pretty the same everywhere, and it is like a family. Musically I think with San Juan, Mexico, and Spain there’s a little bit more cross pollination of different styles which we personally like better.

NixBeat:  In November 2019, Los Vigilantes played the Funtastic Dracula Carnival in Benidorm. Spain. The lineup was extensive and included Tommy and The Commies, The Night Times, Davila 666 and many others. What was it like to play Funtastic Dracula Carnival?

Los Viglialantes: It was a lot of fun… I remember Angelito from Davila fell two stories from a balcony and we found him wandering through a closed off construction site thanks to the glitter on his shoes. I’ll never forget it. It was great.

NixBeat: On July 18,2019, Los Vigilantes released the “Quo Descaro”/”Tus Cartas LLegan” 7”. What are you drawing from for the track “Quo Descaro?

Los Vigilantes: A really bad break up. There’s no trick to that one.

NixBeat:  What inspired the track “Tus Cartas LLegan?”

Los Vigilantes: Tus Cartas Llegan is a cover of a Dominican Bachata song by Ramón Torres. We hear that everywhere in San Juan so we figured we’d pay homage to it in our own way.

NixBeat: Your latest 7” was released through the Brazilian label Mandinga Records. How did you get involved with this label?

Los Vigilantes: Pedrinho wrote to us saying he was interested we got a few songs together and that was that. He’s been great to us. We went to Sao Paolo for a few weeks to play and had a great time. Good people.

NixBeat: Can readers expect another album in the works from Los Vigilantes?

Los Vigilantes: We’re releasing a single called Yo No Quiero Ver a Nadie Hoy digitally this week, and we have a lot of songs in our bag so anything is possible. We’re always working.

NixBeat:  What are Los Vigilantes plans for the remainder of 2020?

Los Vigilantes: We had plans to tour that fell through because of the outbreak. So for now, we’re writing and recording as much as we can. We’re trying to turn this isolation in our favor and have music out for when we can play shows. And we are oh so ready to play some fucking shows.

NixBeat:  Much of the world has been in lockdown to the Coronavirus pandemic. These lockdowns have affected music scenes all over, with gigs being cancelled, shops closing and nightlife suspended.   How has Puerto Rico been effected by the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Los Vigilantes: Yeah well we have the strictest lockdown out of all the US. Everything is closed and Marshall Law goes into effect every night and 7pm and no one can leave their house until 5am the next morning. And on Sundays you can’t even buy cigarettes, alcohol or groceries. Only premade food. There is still no reliable testing. The government has been caught twice doing shady things with the tests. The Federal Aid that has been granted to Americans in the mainland has not arrived here, so people are getting desperate. Today, May 1, the government revoked the right to protest, people went out anyway. But it gives you an idea of the climate we’re dealing with.

NixBeat: In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by two major hurricanes Irma and Maria. The result was massive damage to the Puerto Ricans infrastructure and access to resources, as well as poor recovery efforts from the mainland of the United States. How the music scene was particularly affected by the hurricanes’ destruction and the shortcomings of the subsequent recovery efforts?

Los Vigilantes: Yes the hurricanes were horrible, the government was probably worse. Late in 2019 we also got hit by a series of earthquakes with equally dismal response, there are still people displaced from those. Now, like the rest of the world we’re dealing with Covid. Even though last summer we held historic protests and ousted the governor responsible for the mishandling of the hurricane recovery, the unelected governor that got put in charge of the earthquake recovery and the virus seems to be equally as inept and callous as her predecessor. I think this is creating an atmosphere of anger and resentment that is permeating everything. A lot of the newer bands that we’ve mentioned seem to be reflecting this. Right now there is nothing happening musically other than bands releasing music, but any scene needs live shows to grow and evolve.

Fore more about Los Vigilantes, check out their FaceBook and Bandcamp!

Rebel Kicks, Rock N’ Roll and Life In Quarantine: Chatting with Faz Waltz’s Faz La Rocca

Since 2007, Faz Waltz has led the bovver rock revival. They present a unique style that draws from influences such as The Beatles, T-Rex, David Bowie and Queen. The result is sounds that blends contemporary rock n’ roll with pop sensibilities into a nostalgic nod toward the notions of 1970’s junkshop glam.

Over the years, Faz Waltz has never seemed to slow down. They have played numerous performances, released six albums, toured all over Europe and in 2019 made their first appearance in the United States with a brief tour, including playing at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Now Faz Waltz are about to release their seventh album Rebel Kicks on April 20th 2020. After getting a preview of the new record via the Grown Up Guy/ C’Mon Liar 7”,  I contacted Faz Waltz’s frontman Faz La Rocca to learn more . We chatted about his glam rock influences, touring the States, playing the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival, the new 7” and what life is like in Italy during the Coronavirus quarantine.

NixBeat: After previously playing in punk bands, Faz Waltz formed in 2007. What prompted you to start Faz Waltz?

Faz La Rocca: Well, I was deep into the punk rock scene but there were many punk rock bands around. I wanted to do something different. So I started a band playing the music I loved the since I was a kid — rock ‘n roll.

Nix Beat: Faz Waltz seems to blend boot-boy glam rock styles that harkons on a mix of The Beatles, T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie.  Where does your passion for glam come from?

Faz La Rocca : When I was 7, I discovered Queen. They instantly became my favorite band at that time so I started looking for bands that had the same feel… the Beatles were next, then I went on to find T. Rex, Bowie, Cheap Trick, ELO, Slade, and other great bands.

Nix Beat: In an article published by Louder Than War on May 8, 2016, it was stated that Faz Waltz would write and perform in English since it was considered the universal language of rock n’roll. Why do you think that is?

Faz La Rocca: Ever since I discovered rock n’ roll as a kid, my only dream was to become a musician. My favorite bands were from the UK and the US, so singing in English is the only way for me.

Nix Beat: Faz Waltz played Punk Rock Bowling in 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. How did you get involved in playing the festival?

Faz La Rocca: It all happened thanks to Ted from Spaghetty Town Records. After we were asked to play at Punk Rock Bowling, Ted took care of all the other gigs. We’ve been asked to play in the US and Canada multiple times in the past — we even had a tour planned in 2016. Touring the US and Canada is very expensive with all the  bureaucratic red tape. So we needed a big main event like Punk Rock Bowling to make the tour happen.

NixBeat: How was performing in the States compared to playing in Europe?

Faz La Rocca: It was awesome. This was my very first time in this beautiful country. We got to travel the US and we got to play our music; it was a two-for-one dream come true. Well, playing in the States is different from some European countries but similar to others. One thing was certain: everybody was super excited to see us. We really appreciate everyone who came out and rocked with us.

NixBeat: Your new single Grown Up Guy is came out February 21, 2020. What influenced the title track “Grown Up Guy?”

Faz La Rocca: Although some songs are the fruit of my imagination, many are influenced by real life. Everybody experiences some grief sometimes and it’s not obvious that somebody is there to help. So you have to fend for yourself. This makes you think you don’t need anybody else to get through. It gives you power you didn’t think you had — though in your heart you really don’t want to be alone either.

NixBeat: What are you drawing from for the song “C’mon Liar?”

Faz La Rocca:  “Come On Liar” is the perfect B Side to “Grown Up Guy,” because it’s in the bad times that you discover who is real and who is fake, “Big smiles and big lies.” It’s about friendship, real or presumed.

NixBeat: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Italian government has enacted strict quarantine measures to limit the spread of the virus.  I saw that Faz La Rocca has been posting videos of himself playing songs like John Lennon’s “Isolation” via webcam. How have you been doing during the quarantine? 

Faz La Rocca: Yes, we do what we can to keep our minds busy while confined at home; playing some music, painting, reading, writing, and watching movies. Some people like me are still working during the day, but when I come home I need to do something that fills the void of no normal socializing.

NixBeat: What’s the mood like in Italy with the quarantine and how have people been coping with the stress.

Faz La Rocca: Northern Italy has been hit quite hard right now, the hospitals are fighting a big battle – they are heroes. Many people are dying and we’re not seeing the end of this yet. But Italy is strong, we’ll make it; we have a positive attitude,  we have faith in our national health service, and we follow all the directives for health security.

The world should learn from how we are living and stop underestimating this pandemic. We underestimated it when China was the only country affected because it looked so distant from us. Now it’s at a global level — what are we waiting for? Stay at home, stop all social contacts. It’s the only way to get through this, nobody is immune.

NixBeat: How has the Corona Virus Pandemic affected the music scene over there?

Faz La Rocca: The Coronavirus has totally affected the music scene. All the clubs are closed, no live shows, we can only play online from our home and all without getting paid. Many bands, clubs, and recording studios are dealing with financial issues due to the forced closure. So any help is appreciated by the bands, for example, you can buy  records and merch as long as the shipping services are in operation.

NixBeat: Faz Waltz’s new album Rebel Kicks is due to be released on April 20th, 2020. What can fans look forward to with the new record? 

Faz La Rocca: Yes, it will be released in April, pre-order is available now. For example on Rebel Kicks there’s fun as always but we also touch on some different topics. The album has some room for an introspective side too and it has a couple of very intense ballads as heard in the previous records. I love writing that pop oriented stuff.

NixBeat: Are you concerned about any delays because of the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Faz La Rocca: No, there’s no sense in planning when dealing with this pandemic. We all have to live day by day and take all the good from this situation.

NixBeat: What plans does Faz Waltz have for the rest of the year?
Faz La Rocca: First of all, we just all want this period to end as soon as possible. Then we’ll see. We weren’t sure if we made the right move to release the album now — maybe we should have waited for a better time. But come on, life needs to go on. Even during and because of these difficult times, we’d like people to listen to our new album and feel carefree for a while. That’s what music is for! This is why I’ve been making music for all these years. We hope to put some smiles on your faces.

For more about Faz Waltz, check out their Facebook, Bandcamp and at their online shop!

Suicide Generation — Prisoner of Love 7″

Suicide Generation

Prisoner of Love

Dirty Water Records/ Spaghetty Town Records

Released: 10/11/2019

To those not already familiar with Suicide Generation, there should be warning label on their records. These cats come out of the back alleys of London and in their wake is sonic whirlwind of chaos and destruction. They produce a sound that demands a nod to Detroit’s own The Stooges, but with a sonic flair that is ultimately their own. The results are arguably brain-splitting. Not surprisingly then that their new single Prisoner Of Love follows directly in line with this notion.

The title track “Prisoner Of Love” holds back nothing.Upon listening to this track, one can almost feel the unbridled nature of Suicide Generation blasting through their speakers. It’s a vicious assault of ear-piercing garage punk. If one has been lucky enough to survive one of their shows, then hear this shredding mess ought to bring back fond memories of a live performance.  So, beware.

On the B-side of this EP are two tracks boasting of primitive rock n’ roll. The first track “Shitty In The City” harkens toward the raw style of 1970’s punk. It’s kind of along the likes of The Stukas or Johnny and the Self Abusers.  If it wasn’t a contemporary song, it’d be surprising that “Shitty In The City” wouldn’t be found on a Killed By Death Compilation.

The other track “Rotten Mind” follows in the somewhere in between “Prisoner Of Love”  and “Shitty In The City.” It’s a rapid fire punk number that holds no prisoners and is over almost as soon as it begins. Under the right elicit conditions, this track ought to inspire thrashing out of control.  For the uninitiated and delicate “Rotten Mind” is an essential concoction of primal punk rock.

Suicide Generation’s Prisoner Of Love single shows remarkable promise.  It’s a record that demonstrates their ability to be tight while still remaining as unbridled and savage as ever. Barring the ability to seem them live, having the volume peaking in the red will give listeners a glance into what it’s like to witness the ferocity of Suicide Generation’s live act—as well as some hearing loss. For that simple reason, check out Prisoner Of Love. It’s not to be overlooked, especially by any self-styled rock n’ roll degenerate.

Fore more, check out their Bandcamp!

Jordan Jones – “Self-Titled”

Jordan Jones

“Self-Titled”

Spaghetty Town Records

Released 08/02/2019

Jordan Jone’s debut release is a power pop masterpiece.  Within this records grooves are sounds begging, if not demanding to be heard. It’s the kind of music that flawlessly delivers a certain calm and charming sound sound that blends a kind of nostalgic sense for early 2000’s style of power pop rock n’ roll. This is due to Jones’ unique style that invokes The Booze twisting with the power pop delivery of the Biters, but channeling the romanticism of The Speedways

This invocation of power pop is clearly demonstrated in the opening track “Wrote You A Song For Me.” It’s a harmonious track that blends notions of hopeless romantic notions of youthful yearnings. It’s the tune that perfectly welcomes in the the records listener and keep them hooked.

Digging deeper into this record Jones reveals music that meant to tug at one’s heart strings.  This is the case with tracks like “My Somebody,” or the mellow “How to Be” and “Be My Baby.” These are familiar themes that largely characterize this album. That being said, Jones’ isn’t redundant in his delivery, and manages to leave a sound that lingers on.

My personal favorite track is “Rumours Girls.” It’s a tune that starts out with a punch and doesn’t quite get bogged down about being a hopeless romantic. Instead it takes a shot at rock ‘ n roll scenesters  emphasis on blind nostalgic romanticism for the culture of the 1970’s. This is pointed out when Jones sings about the folly of needing to look a certain way to fit in.

While the song   pokes at the material imagery, there is some betraying a sense of self-deprecation when Jones sings of his own appreciation for the retro style. Overall, it shows Jone’s ability to move beyond the trappings of romantic power pop with the touchings of social awareness.

This all being said, Jordan Jones is record is certainly near the top of the list of vital contemporary artists to be heard.  For me this record blends the subdued groovyness that gives power pop it’s rock n’ roll zesty flavor. It is a sounds boasting brilliance with a composition meant to be nothing less that welcoming to the ears.  

Furthermore, It would be amiss not to suggest that Jones debut album is among those who help inspire a much needed revival for power pop for this day and age. Other contemporaries in that realm are Fashionism’sSmash Singles LP” and The Speedways “Another Regular Summer.” To be sure though, Jordan Jones has something more attune to 70’s power pop rock n’ roll than it’s angsty punker sounding cousins.

That doesn’t mean it’s any less worth hearing, though. So, be sure to go out to your local record shop and pick this up. Jordan Jones is a diamond in the rough and truly deserves to be heard.