Once again those bands gave to the crowd an intense show. Three hours of fun, music and friendship made everybody recall the shows SR had been bringing to our cities during 5 years now.
To Arrabio, specially, our bests wishes for the upcoming events. Happily they will be performing one more show next Saturday at the same venue with Resistenzia (Santa Clara), Krisis (Santa Clara) and Limalla (Sancti Spíritus), just a few days before flying to New York for the Black and Blue Bowl festival.
Edmonton! Tomorrow night, we’re going to be bringing out best down to Barber Ha, on Whyte Ave. Specifically, we’re bringing you an art show, featuring a collection of large format paintings from Cuba, a panel discussion featuring Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver musicians and artists who have been involved in the Solidarity Rock project, a couple of first view videos, photo projections and a lot of good times. We’ll be joined by our friends Ol Salty and Christian Stahl playin great music all night. Also, Steam Whistle is coming out to make sure you get your fix of craft brewed Pilsner.
As you probably know, over the past five years, we’ve been working diligently to build and maintain a punk rock infrastructure in Cuba, done 6 tours of that lovely country, brought our own collaborative visual art documentation in the form of a 50 piece photography exhibit (funded by the Edmonton Arts Council, thanks!) which is continually being shown across Cuba, Western Canada and the US, brought Arrabio to Canada, and are now heading to New York City to see what else is out there.
So, come down to Barber Ha, check out some art and hear some good stories from the people around you, who are doing what they can to push art, culture and creativity to new heights. It’ll be a great night. Hope to see you there.
They announced the line up for this year’s Black n Blue Bowl in NY last night. Arrabio has been invited to play the show and we will be announcing a bunch of details as they come in!
Posted on BlacknBlueproductions.net:
Put the rumors and gossiping to rest, the BNB Takeover proudly announced the complete line-up for this years annual Black N Blue Bowl which will feature a highly anticipated reunion from JUDGE. A complete listing of announced bands and details are as follows;
JUDGE BREAKDOWN BANE BLACK TRAIN JACK STRIFE DISTRICT 9 TAKE OFFENSE ALTERCATION OLD FIRM CASUALS FIRE & ICE ARRABIO DOWNPRESSER NO ONE RULES (w/ a special guest TBA) —– Saturday, May 18th, 2013 Webster Hall 125 E 11th Street New York, NY 10003
Arrabio's Solidarity Rock Canadian Tour (Time Off)
23 days are such a short time when you are with your friends and everyone is trying to please you.
During our stance in Canada we had some free time to go and see places that we just had a pretty far idea how awesome should them be, once again our friends took care of everything and we had the best adventures ever….
And of course even during shows we were living an endless party…
Arrabio's Solidarity Rock Canadian Tour (Agnostic Front)
At the beginning was just the possibility of going to an Agnostic Front show while we were in Canada, but then it turned to be the opportunity for Arrabio to be at the stage and do two short performances before the AF 30 anniversary bands on poster start the show, but then Roger Miret became a friend… so they end up singing all along at the stage, sharing gear and even, the last night we were in Canada, Arrabio performed an unexpected 5 songs show as a special and personal guest of Roger himself (He even hosted them, and they used AF gear…)..
Arrabio's Solidarity Rock Canadian Tour (Off Stage)
Besides the musical shows during the Canadian Tour Arrabio and Solidarity Rock crew got involved in some other cultural activities.
A panel discussion at the UWinnipeg Oral History Centre, a promotional two songs broadcasting + William words at the CJSR (Radio Station for the Edmonton University), photo sessions, interviews, a photo show…
Each one of this event were possible due to the hard work and support of our friends…
Arrabio’s Solidrity Rock Canadian Tour. (On Stage)
Solidarity Rock is brotherhood, cultural exchange and a lot of more deeper issues that I can even understand, but, of course music is one of the lubricants that makes communication go smooth.
During the 23 days Arrabio traveled Canada they performed 10 amazing shows, and was as part of the audience in one. They shared the stage with bands that surprised us over and over again. Bands that sometime we had been with before, and some other that we just had listen at in a record or watch on a DIY video clip, but been there and see, in firsthand, how they interact with the crowd, how they get feedback from audience, how the whole thing is conceived for sure had been a great experience for Arrabio members as musicians.
For me, a person non capable to play even a single tune in a guitar, be on shows had been always more a question of feeling the music. As a photographer is kind of situation where you should be concerned about changing lights, moving subjects and the risk of been hit by the exalted crowd, so is a kind of amazing adventure that sometimes don’t let you pay the right attention to the melody but for sure implies the challenge of capture the euphoria of the moment in a shot.
Arrabio’s Solidrity Rock Canadian Tour. (Abstract)
After months of planning, weeks of rush and days of stress on October 3rd, 2012, for the first time in history, a Cuban rock band flew outside the country to get involved in the adventure of touring in a foreign land.
For 23 days Arrabio, a Cuban translator and myself traveled Canada getting in touch the state of art of international punk movement , having parties, meeting old friends, knowing new ones, visiting the most amazing landscapes we ever have read about or saw on TV and, of course, the band performed 10 amazing shows with Canadian and Americans Bands, members were interviewed and participated in oral panel about DIY punk in Cuba….
For the musicians the tour was the opportunity for prove themselves as artists taking their music to a public very different from the one they are used to in Cuba, also the chance to fulfill one of the dreams of a generation, been on stage with Agnostic Front.
For me was the unique experience of seeing life with a new perspective thru my cam lens.
I’ll be uploading posts with sets of photos trying to give an idea thru images and few words of how the tour was for all of us.
Ok folks. Thankfully, ARRABIO received their visas last tuesday, the day before they flew in. We’ve been so busy, we haven’t had a chance to update you on it all here, so here’s what up.
The band arrived in Edmonton on October 3, at midnight. We went to the Empress and had a couple of drinks, surrounded by nearly all our friends who have been a part of the Solidarity Rock experience over the years. I think it was the best welcome possible for our Cuban bros.
Friday night, we made history at the ARTery in Edmonton, by witnessing the first Cuban punk or hardcore band to play outside of Cuba. This is an interesting feat, no matter what, but moreso because of the shared commitment that we’ve undertaken to support independent music and art in Cuba. Our friends in ARRABIO have been at the forefront of this work, and watching it all come together for them in my hometown made me more than proud.
Knucklehead/ARRABIO/VCMC and Nervous Wreck sold out the Artery. The people were packed in from the stage to the door, and at least half the crowd actually lost their minds.
Last night in Calgary, the show repeated itself with the substitution of Sabertooth for NW. Beyond anyone’s wildest hopes, the show sold out the Republik, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. 501 people came through the door, and it ruled.
Traveling throughout Alberta with ARRABIO has been amazing, we’re putting together a party show tonight and celebrating punksgiving with some of Edmonton and Western Canada’s best bands. We’ll be updating with photos and more very very soon!
Dear Solidarity Rock friends, fans and supporters.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, ARRABIO were not able to secure their visas in order to leave Cuba and travel to Canada in time to make our scheduled tour opening show in Toronto this evening. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon shows. Our understanding is that there is a chance they will finally receive the visas Monday or Tuesday, so that’s what we’re waiting for. We have rescheduled their flights to reflect this and are planning on going ahead with the Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver area shows, and making up as many dates as possible on the prairies, to end the tour in Winnipeg.
This being the first time a Cuban punk band has been this close to leaving Cuba to tour, we feel like it’s especially important to believe in the possibility that it will all just work itself out, and prepare for the best time possible. We will release a revised itinerary and further information in the coming days.
Stay tuned, and in the meantime, download ARRABIO’s Full Length Album at Arrabio.bancamp.com
After months of fundraising and working out the logistics on the first ever international tour by a Cuban rock band, we are very proud to announce our next Solidarity Rock tour - this time, across CANADA!
Big thanks to Edmonton NextGen, Steam Whistle, the Associacion Hermanos Saiz and Edmonton Arts Council for their continued support in everything we’re doing. We’ve also had the pleasure of partnering with musicians and artists across Cuba, and in Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles and Milwaukee. Without them, this would not happen. So, thank you from everyone involved with Solidarity Rock for all of the dedication and hardwork you have contributed, the 6 rock tours we’ve done in Cuba, recordings and this historical tour are all evidence of your awesomeness.
Here are the dates. Much more info coming soon.
09/29/2012 - TORONTO, ON 10/02/2012 - WINNIPEG, MB 10/03/2012 - REGINA, SK 10/04/2012 - SASKATOON, SK 10/05/2012 - EDMONTON, AB 10/06/2012 - CALGARY, AB 10/07/2018 - EDMONTON, AB 10/12/2012 - VANCOUVER, BC 10/13/2012 - ABBOTSFORD, BC
Check this post out! When we were in Havana, we met Ivan, the guitar player in a band called Viento Solar (which means Solar Winds). VS has been a band since 1975, Ivan grew up listening to 50’s rock n roll broadcast from Miami. We had a great time hanging out and talking, and this morning, he sent me a link to some of his photos from the Havana show! Check it out!
2012 Canada Solidarity Rock Exchange!
Dawn Jefe de la delegacion Canadiense e Ivan Fariñas
La banda de Punk canadiense en plena presentacion
Logan bateria de Oh Oh con Ivan Fariñas
Logan bateria de Oh Oh en plena accion
Modificado el ( Tuesday, 04 de September de 2012 )
LISTEN to Trinidad, Cuba’s ARRABIO. New song - NO LAW!
ARRABIO are our friends from Trinidad and Sancti Spiritus, Cuba that have been with us on our many journeys. This summer, we brought Vancouver recording engineer Jesse Gander of the Hive Creative Labs to Trinidad to make some records. This is the first listen of ARRABIO’s song No Law, from their forthcoming Album “Hecho En Trinidad”, recorded at the Solidarity Studios in Trinidad, Cuba, July 2012.
Much, much more coming soon.
No Law can destroy what we create No Law can stop what we have done No Law can keep our brother down No Law can take you from us
Because we are stronger than anger, hate and pain.
No hay ley Que pueda detenernos Que pueda hacernos caer Estamos juntos en esto No hay nada que puedan hacer
Porque somos más de uno Y es que somos más que mas Pensando diferente No nos podrán callar
Cause we are stronger and bigger than ever stronger and bigger than you.
Con mi voz y con tus manos Los podemos detener No hay ninguna ley mi hermano Que nos haga retroceder
Last night was really great. The Fucking Lottery played for a small, but very enthusiastic crowd, NN, The Fight and the Lad Mags kicked a whole lot of ass as well.
Tonight, the show continues. We’ve got some pretty amazing bands coming together to help bring our friends in ARRABIO to Canada this fall. This is more than a show to me, this is what the words SOLIDARITY ROCK actually mean. Edmonton is a hell of a crazy place sometimes. It’s more than truck nuts and stab vests, it’s a place where ideas come alive and where people know each other and give a fuck. I have been working on this Solidarity Rock project with a lot of amazing people over the past 5 years, and it means a lot to see the enthusiasm people carry with them for it. Everything we’re doing this weekend is to change the world in a small way. For ARRABIO, this is the chance of a lifetime. Just as it was for the members of 7and7is, SLATES, Kids on Fire, Hangloose, the Vicious Cycles, Uh Oh and the Previous Tenants when they got the chance to tour Cuba. The members of ARRABIO are with us at every turn while we’re down there, and this is our chance to give that back. They’ll be crashing on our floors, playing in the places we go see or play shows and seeing how life is on the DIY level across Canada.
This weekend, we have the chance to make some huge things come to pass, and I hope everyone can make it out tonight so we can show our friends the best time possible.
Here’s the line up. Doors will open around 4, bands will start after.
MORALS (10:00 - 10:45) THE GET DOWN (9:15 - 9:45) FALKLANDS (8:30 - 9:00) SKIN (7:45-8:15) THE WEEKEND KIDS (7:00-7:30) LOU WREATH (6:15-6:45) FREE ELLIOTT (5:30-6:00)
Plus James Stewart of SLATES is going to be playing some solo acousticy jams at some point in the evening.
Solidarity Rock is an Edmonton based group and a reflection of the good things that happen in our city. For almost 5 years, individual musicians, bands and artists have taken it upon themselves to help support and develop a independent rock music community in central Cuba. Solidarity Rock has reached out from our city, connecting great people across Canada, Cuba and the US in our cultural exchange and lead the first five (soon to be six) independent rock tours through Cuba.
Trinidad, Cuba’s ARRABIO have been our constant companions, guides and friends through our many experiences. Now, we’re coming together as a community and as individuals to repay the favour. Solidarity Rock is currently working on visa applications and logistics to enable ARRABIO to be the first Cuban rock band to tour outside of Cuba. This is only possible with the generous and impressive support Edmonton and other cities and scenes have shown. This show is one of the first stages in our big push to bring ARRABIO to Canada, and a darkly lit room near you. Come see some awesome bands, a photo show, and all your friends.
Set times will change, for sure. But here’s an idea of what’s happening when.
FRIDAY - August 17 Doors @ 6:30
THE FUCKING LOTTERY (10:00 - 10:45) NN (9:15 - 9:45) THE FIGHT (8:30 - 9:00) THE LAD MAGS (7:45-8:15)
SATURDAY - August 18 Doors @ 4:00 MORALS (10:00 - 10:45) THE GET DOWN (9:15 - 9:45) FALKLANDS (8:30 - 9:00) SKIN (7:45-8:15) THE WEEKEND KIDS (7:00-7:30) LOU WREATH (6:15-6:45) FREE ELLIOTT (5:30-6:00) + MORE
Without a doubt, this will be the party of the summer. Come on out! Bring your friends!
In addition to some of the best bands in Edmonton, we’re bringing you our photography exhibit, featuring the works of SANDY PHIMESTER (Edmonton), AARON BOCANEGRA (Los Angeles), SAMUEL REINA CALVO (Sancti Spiritus), DREW MCINTOSH (Edmonton) and BRYAN KULBA (Edmonton). This photography exhibit features 50 images collected over the first 5 independent rock tours in Cuba. The collection has been shown in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and is currently traveling around Cuba showing in galleries and public spaces.
The weekend is sponsored by the good folks at Steamwhistle, and both days are AA/Beer with ID. $10/day at the door. INGLEWOOD COMMUNITY HALL 12515 116 Avenue
Solidarity Rock had a great show in Vancouver last weekend at the Biltmore Cabaret. The Vicious Cycles, Slow Learners, Radii and Previous Tenants came together to raise some money and possibilities for our friends in Cuban rock bands. The show was well attended and in the end, we raised just about $1000. A big thanks needs to go out to everyone involved, including bands, the venue and Steamwhistle.
This money that was raised is going to Cuba to help with our work. Friday night, Drew McIntosh, Jesse Gander and Barry Higginson will be flying into Varadero to be met by our steady partners William Garcia and crew. We’ll be taking up residence in Trinidad for a week while Jesse turns knobs and teaches our friends the ins and outs of mobile recording. He’ll be producing two (hopefully) full length records for ARRABIO and Adictox, two of Cuba’s most well known and hardest working underground bands. Then, we’re heading on tour.
This tour will be different than all the rest that came before it, as we’re bringing two Cuban bands, a Canadian band and a US band on the road for shows in 7 cities across the country. This is only possible thanks to the support we’ve received in places like the Biltmore. So, thanks.
We’ve had some pretty amazing and generous support from Steamwhistle. Not only did they sponsor this event, but they’ve lent a hand for our previous benefits in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Steamwhistle is an independent brewery based in Toronto and they do a lot for the arts across Canada. I keep hearing stories about Whistles being dropped off at Jam spaces, recording sessions, parties, you name it. Steamwhistle goes the extra mile to support independent people doing great things, and without turning this into a commercial, you should all drink Steamwhistle beer and be thankful they care enough to reach out and support good things with their excellent beer.
On July 26, they’re doing it again with a Steamwhistle unsigned bands showcase, again at the Biltmore in Vancouver. Solidarity Rock is lucky enough to be the beneficiary of this fine evening, featuring Acres of Lions, Rococode and Familia. This unsigned series is great in that Steamwhistle pays the bands, the venue and promotion of the event and give 100% of the proceeds to a targeted cause, this time Solidarity Rock. It’s pretty amazing. So, if you’re in Vancouver, check it out. Here’s a Facebook event listing.
Here’s a great write up in Beatroute Magazine about the big benefit show we’re doing in Vancouver next week! Take a look, and if you’re in Vancouver, you know where you need to be on July 12! (The Biltmore)!
The Vicious Cycles, Slow Learners, The Radii and The Previous Tenants are throwing an epic show at the Biltmore in support of the Cuban recording project and the Cuban bands on tour this summer as we do another Solidarity Rock tour across Cuba!
Just a quick correction, 7and7is brought Drew McIntosh to Cuba, not the other way around.
The subject of Cuba brings varying opinions in the US, but the point of Solidarity Rock is to bring people together by non-political means. We use art and music to make connections and build people and communities. In any country, at any time, that is a valuable task. It’s something we take seriously, and we’re not afraid to say we believe that unity can be reached. When we do things in the US we are mindful of the situation which exists. We are a Canadian group that doesn’t have to deal with 50 years of cultural baggage when approaching Cuba as a country and a subject of discussion.
Together with our Cuban brothers and sisters, we have been working for almost 5 years to bring and support DIY community wherever we go. This show tonight at the Cactus Club is part of that. Because no money raised in the US can be spent in Cuba, in accordance with the US treasury laws, it’s important to state that all funds raised will be maintained in a Canadian bank account and be spent in Canada to assist Trinidad Cuba’s ARRABIO when we bring them to Canada to tour from Toronto to Vancouver this fall. We are pleased and proud to include bands from across North America in our Solidarity Rock project and know that things done with the goals of supporting creativity, cultural exchange and DIY lifestyle are never wasted. If you live in the Milwaukee area and believe that music is a good thing, I hope you make it down to the Cactus Club and help support a 100% DIY movement that’s doing good things in places you might not expect.
Uh, photos gripped off of Wikipedia. Milwaukee looks nice!
Hey Edmonton. Last weekend we had a big party at the Yellowhead Brewery, in support of our summer plans. The city was on fire last weekend and there were shows at every single venue in town, and we still managed to have a great time and do amazing things.
I really want to thank the brewery for hosting us, and everyone who donated prizes for our raffle. We had prizes from a lot of independent businesses, art donated by Justin Shaw and a PA rental donated by Long and McQuade. Without all this help, we could not have achieved as much as we did.
In the end, DJ’s T. Salty, Sadeeq, Jammy Ranks and Mighty Romeo helped bring the good times to the 70 people who were there, and an art auction bidding war between Linda Ha and Darren Basaraba helped push the show to new successful heights.
The piece was donated by local artist Justin Shaw. Justin is a visual artist who, among other things, works with photo collages. He’s also the guitar player in the Old Sins. His donation, along with all the others, helped bring in a total of $1400 for the evening.
This money is going to be applied to our summer project to make recordings for Arrabio from Trinidad, CU and Adictox from Santa Clara, CU. This is going to be an amazing accomplishment, as we bring Vancouver’s Jesse Gander down to do some field recordings and bring back a couple albums of Cuban punk rock mastery. Jesse has made some of my favorite records over the years, and I’m sure that the albums he records and produces for Arrabio and Adictox will go down in the same list.
Thanks again to everyone who came out, donated or helped. We had a lot of support and can feel the Edmonton love in the deepest way. Without you guys, Solidarity Rock could never have done what it has. We’re in this together!
We’ve had a lot of success over the past month and a half, as we’ve brought our Solidarity Rock project together in many places. We’ve had shows in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Milwaukee, Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad. We’ve shown photographs to the people in Cuba, thanks to the Edmonton Arts Council. A big thanks to all our friends who have shared their time and talents with us to achieve a goal which is bigger than any of us as individuals. So far, we’ve come close to raising enough to cover the expenses of our Cuban pals in Arrabio and Adictox as we hit the road this summer (more info about that below, so keep reading!)
We’re rounding the effort out with a shaker at the Yellowhead Brewery in downtown Edmonton this friday, June 8. We’ve been collecting prizes for raffle, and have been blessed with the support of the people at Yellowhead, in that they’ve donated the venue and the bar staff for the evening, along with a prize pack to help us raise funds. On top of that, $2 from each Yellowhead beer sold at the party will go towards our projects this summer and fall, so a big thanks to the Yellowhead for their support. It’s great to have such good independent businesses in our community. Big thanks also go out to Allison Dragsten and Susan McIntosh for all their hard work in putting this night together!
Here’s the lowdown on the party. DJ’s Mighty Romeo, Sadeeq, Curtis Ross, Jammy Ranks, T. Salty will be bringing their best and playing indie, punk, garage, soul, funk, R&B and reggae tunes to make you dance. We’ve got well over $1000 of prizes donated from some amazing Edmontonians, including:
Shane Turgeon and Shades of Grey tattoos and Collectables, Andrea Yacyshyn of Heritage/Anya dance studio, Linda Ha and Barber Ha, Janna Clearwater and Cinder & Smoke, Amy van Keeken, Mike Wilson-Scorgie and Nomad Mobile, Joe Gurba and Old Ugly Recording Company, Art by Heather Cook, Justin Shaw, Photos by Drew McIntosh, Aaron Bocanegra, Sandy Phimester, Samuel Reina Calvo from Solidarity Rock and a big prize pack from our hosts at Yellowhead Brewery.
This is more than a list of prizes, it’s an amazing statement of unity and support from people and businesses that are doing great things in Edmonton.
This event and others like it are going to help us accomplish big things. This summer, we’re bringing Vancouver’s Jesse Gander, head recording engineer and member several bands including Previous Tenants, Ghost House and Cloudsplitter to Cuba to make some records for two amazing bands, Arrabio from Trinidad and Adictox from Santa Clara. Not only will he be able to make these recordings, but we’ll be getting our friends set up with everything they need to record, produce and distribute their own music. This is a big step for Cuban bands, and we’re happy to take it with them.
After a week of recording, Jesse’s band Previous Tenants will be joined by Milwaukee’s Uh-Oh, ARRABIO and Adictox as we once again set out on the road with the 5th Solidarity Rock tour, which will hit Sancti Spiritus, Jatibonico, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Havana and Matanzas/Veradero. This is very exciting, as we’re always trying to do a little more each and every time, and this will be the first ever tour which involves Canadian, Cuban and American musicians playing together in Cuba. This is amazing for so many reasons. Our friends in Winnipeg and Toronto have done great work and helped raise the funds needed to bring the Cuban bands on the road. Musicians working for musicians. It’s a great thing!
In other bright news, we’ve been working on plans to bring our friends in ARRABIO on tour in Canada. We’re setting up shows in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and will be able to show our constant companions the same kind of hospitality and solidarity they have shown us for almost 5 years. This project has only been made possible with the participation of everyone across Canada and we’ll have a chance to share some more good times with you all as you as we accomplish this together.
All the funds raised will contribute to these goals, and with the help of Solidarity Rockers across the continent this summer, we’re going to make it all a reality.
Watch out for some digital compilations, benefits, parties and more coming your way all summer, and join us this fall as Cuba’s only Hardcore band gets ready to hit the road across Canada. We’re in this together - Estamos Juntos en Esto.
Ok Vancouver. Get ready. Here comes the show of the summer. The party of the year. The night you don’t want to miss!
Solidarity Rock is coming to the Biltmore Cabaret in East Vancouver, July 12. The Vicious Cycles, Slow Learners, The Radii and The Previous Tenants are going to bring the party, raise the roof and make big waves as they kick off another Vancouver led Solidarity Rock project.
This show will be in support of our previously announced recording project, and Cuban rock tour, featuring the Previous Tenants, Uh-Oh, ARRABIO and Adictox. We’re raising money to cover some basic expenses for the recording project and for tour support for the Cuban bands.
The Biltmore is a big room, so we want to see if full! Bring your friends, bring you family, bring everyone you know who likes to have fun (and is over 19) and get ready to celebrate all things DIY and awesome.
Vancouver has been a big part of the Solidarity Rock experience over the past couple years. So far, we’ve been hosted at Lana Lou’s and the Media Club as The AK-747’s, The Receptionists, Anti-Party, Rich Hope and his Evil Doers, the Vicious Cycles, Previous Tenants, Safety Show and Philosoraptor have all lent their time and talents to supporting Cuban DIY, including the wildly successful Vicious Cycles tour in January 2012. It’s been great. Vancouver’s a pretty swell place. Join us at the Biltmore on July 12, and help us make Rock n Roll history.
Interview with DeliriuM - a Cuban 'zine from Santa Clara
Here’s an interview Drew did a couple months ago with Delirium Fanzine from Santa Clara, Cuba. Enjoy!
Entrevista a Rock Solidario
D: Que es Rock Solidario y a cual es la idea esencial del proyecto? D: What is Solidarity Rock and what are the essential ideas involved in the project?
The best answer I can give you is that Solidarity Rock is a project that brings people together to make music and strengthen creative communities. We’ve done the first 5 rock tours through Cuba, and a big part of that is meeting people, sharing a moment and taking away new ideas and new expressions. We’ve been very lucky to always meet amazing people in Cuba, and we’ve been able to help the people who are like us, but live in another country and have another culture. Solidarity Rock proves that although there are differences between us, we have a common culture, and we have a space to grow together. It’s what we do that unites us, when the world sees only division.
In each of the cities across Canada that have been a part of Solidarity Rock, we’ve seen the creative communities grow and benefit at the same time as our Cuban friends. It’s been really important to us to be able to be a part of and access this kind of two-way exchange. We’ve learned so much and it’s important that we understand that solidarity rock is not about what we can give, but what we can share.
D: Como y cuando surge específicamente la idea de venir a nuestro país? D: Exactly how and when did you get the idea to come to our country?
Solidarity Rock started in 2008, after I had the chance to come to Cuba for the first ever rock tour through the country. In December 2007, I was with the Canadian indie rock band 7and7is as we toured Cuba. It was an amazing experience, and the ability to do something new and see a country in a way no one else ever had was really special.
The 7and7is tour was really kind of crazy. It all came together at the last minute and almost didn’t happen. Sean Foster, the singer of 7and7is had a friend named Luis Ulloa, a trovador from Sancti Spiritus. Luis was living in Canada and worked with Sean’s father, who was also a music lover. Sean came to Cuba and played some songs with Luis, and someone invited him to come back to Cuba with the rest of his band. That’s where the entire project started.
When we were there, we realized that due to reasons outside of their control, musicians, and especially rock musicians, had no access to the basic tools to make their music. Being able to find anything from amplifiers and PA equipment, to smaller things like strings and picks was a challenge. Our city (Edmonton) has a great punk rock music scene, full of creative and generous people. We asked for bands to play a show called “Solidarity Rock” to try to get a couple small things to our friends in Cuba. We sent a package to Sancti Spiritus, and kept on holding solidarity Rock shows. Eventually, I realized we could do another tour and improve on the work we had started, so in January 2010, we came back with SLATES and have been working ever since.
D: Que pretenden lograr con el proyecto? D: What are your goals with the project?
First, we tried to meet the basic needs that stopped people from being able to play the music they wanted. We brought some instruments down with us when SLATES toured. These pieces stayed in Sancti Spiritus, and helped to create the environment where people could play music, spend time with their friends and grow in their own paths. I think to a certain extent we have done that.
We are focusing on documenting the music that our Cuban friends make and recording it to preserve and share it with the world. We hope to be able to continue the idea of an equal exchange with the people we meet in Cuba and around the world. We’ve got some plans for more tours and more opportunity to share our lives with our friends in Cuba, and I think it’s a very positive thing for everyone involved. We want to say that we’re all punks, rockers, freaquis or whatever you want to call us. And we’re all, at least on some level, the same. We want to show the world that in a country they don’t associate with punk rock, there are punks because it’s a natural development of the artforms and music.
D: En este tiempo que han estado visitando nuestro país, se han integrado diversas bandas para colaborar con el proyecto. Como es la selección a presentarse en cuba? D: You’ve worked with a lot of different bands in Cuba, how do you choose who to work with?
From the start, our project has been about friendship and working together to build something for everyone. We work with the bands that we know, and that we’re friends with. Since our partner William is from Sancti Spiritus, we started there. We got to know several of the bands playing there and have been able to help them with the little things we can.
I’m always super impressed by the quality of the music that we hear. Bands like Arrabio, Adictox, Akupuntura and Cancerbero are really not lacking in anything but equipment. There’s a spirit that comes with punk rock specifically, and I think that the bands in Cuba have that spirit as much as anyone anywhere. I have played the recordings for people here and in other countries, and they get really excited, because they didn’t know that this existed or that it was possible in a country like Cuba. All we ever see are faded images of the Buena Vista Social Club, maracas and salsa dancing. I feel like Cuban bands are reinventing rock n roll. Maybe it’s hard to see right now, but I think that in the next few years, we will see the rise of Cuban punk rock as something very serious and well regarded.
D: Donde se han estado presentando en nuestro pais? D: Where have you done shows in Cuba?
To date, we’ve done shows in Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Jatibonico, Moron, Havana, Matanzas and Varadero.
D: Como ha sido la acogida del público y de las otras agrupaciones con quienes han intercambiado? D: How has your experience been with the Cuban people and groups that host you?
We’ve never had a bad experience. Sometimes, things are really different than we’re used to. Generally, I’m the only one on our Canadian crew that speaks Spanish, and if the musicians who are touring have been to Cuba, it’s been as tourists in places like Havana and Varadero. So, it’s always a new thing for everyone involved. I find that the people we meet, weather they’re 14 or 80 years old are always friendly and willing to share some time and a conversation, even if the two people don’t speak the same language. When we play shows in a place like Jatibonico, you can feel that it’s special because it doesn’t happen very often. I find that with this project, we’re all sharing the moment and everyone understands that it’s a unique experience and something valuable.
D: crees que se cumplan los objetivos que me mencionabas anteriormente? D: Do you feel that you are achieving the goals you mentioned earlier?
Absolutely. I know the bands we play with have progressed a lot in the past four years. We’ve got musicians, artists and supporters across Western Canada, in the US and in Cuba. We’ve been able to use our project as a way to show the world that division between cultures can be overcome, that people are the same everywhere and that music and art are always important to the development of healthy and happy people. I know that when we first spoke of the idea of doing a tour in Cuba, I had no idea what it would bring, and now there is something where there was nothing before. So, in all ways, I think we have achieved our goals and our ideas have been validated.
D: Que ha significado este proyecto para todos los que han estado involucrados en el? D: What has this project meant for everyone involved with it?
Well, obviously, that question will get a different answer, depending on who you ask. For me, it has been a course of action which has made me look back on my youth in a totally different way. People should understand that for us, 15 years ago, having a mohawk (which I never did) or dying your hair blue, or piercing your face and wearing a punk rock shirt was hard to do. Our parents, our teachers and the people around us didn’t ever look at that and just think it was cool. It separated us and made us different. Suddenly, our culture in North America has progressed to the point that these things are no longer dangerous, and sometimes, they’re the popular thing to do. For me to work closely with my friends in Cuba provides me more than anything with an opportunity to mentor other people who are experiencing something which is perhaps similar. It gives me the opportunity to calmly look back at the things we did and the things that other people did before us, and offer guidance to the way it worked for us. Things like how to set up shows, how to create things you’re proud of, how to build a community, how to care for our friends… I think these are the real lessons that we are learning fresh for ourselves and at the same time, teaching those that want to learn.
D: Mencionanos que logros han tenido y comentanos sobre los retos que han tenido que enfrentar? D: Talk about some of the achievements you’ve had and some of the challenges you’ve faced.
Well, from our side in Canada, we’ve managed to unite a lot of people around the idea that what we do is international. What we do here would matter anywhere, because the basic humanitarian elements of punk rock community are constant. We’re putting together a string of shows over the next couple of months in places I haven’t ever been. So, it’s great that our ideas can get somewhere to be united with people who believe similarly.
At the start, people didn’t understand the possibilities of what we want to do. I think that has been the biggest challenge, to give people the opportunity to see themselves in this sort of loosely defined community. But, we’ve done amazing things. We’ve managed to get support for our tours from our city’s art council and we’ve managed to bring this crazy story into a lot of people’s minds. We’ve given a lot of musicians the ability to see their work in a totally different context and I think that has made them true believers.
We’ve won a couple of small awards, but the most amazing thing happened last January when the AHS in Sancti Spiritus gave us their 25th anniversary medal for the work we had done to bring people together in support of artistic living. That was an amazing experience, because I felt like, for sure, we had communicated our vision with someone who was taking notice. I never, ever thought I would be the recipient of such an award, it’s defiantly a point of pride for me and everyone else involved in Solidarity Rock. We’ve been able to use art to change the way people perceive the world. For me, according to my personal philosophy, this is the first step to building a more just world for everyone in a humanistic way.
D: Tienes alguna anécdota que contarnos? D: Do you have any funny stories you want to tell us?
There’s a fried Chicken restaurant in Vancouver which is really famous as being the best fried chicken in that city. Joe Staggliano, the drummer in Hangloose had a t shirt from there, and there’s a big chicken on it. He thought it was funny to give the chicken shirt to Pollo, the singer of Adictox. We were in Matanzas, and Joe said something to him and called him Pollo. There was a group of about 5 or 6 girl that looked at him, looked at the chicken on the shirt and started laughing. I don’t know why, but I thought it was hilarious.
D: Que otros destinos tienen como planes futuros? D: Where else do you plan to bring Solidarity Rock
I don’t even know. I’ve been doing this Solidarity Rock project for quite a while, and now feel like it’s the right time to try to get some new ideas and voices into the project. I would like to be able to work on more documentary films in the next couple of years, and have a couple of great projects shaping up. I think that the Solidarity Rock project could have a great future, and could bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. I’d like to see Solidarity Rock work in eastern Europe, and maybe somewhere else in Latin America. No matter where I or Solidarity Rock goes, the times I’ve spent in Cuba will always be amazing.
D: Por ultimo algo que quisieras añadir? D: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
When I close my eyes, all I see are images and memories from my time in Cuba. For me, each and every night I have spent at El Mejunje in Santa Clara has been amazing. I don’t know why, but that place has a very special feeling, like there’s always something extremely important happening. I think that each of the shows we’ve done at Mejunje have been special in their own right, and I can’t even really begin to describe what the shows with SLATES, Kids on Fire, Hangloose and the Vicious Cycles have been. But El Mejunje is it’s own story, and if I tried to tell it, I would do a poor job, so if you know the place, and if you were there, you probably understand. It’s always amazing to be part of a night that could never be recreated and share that with my friends.
D: Gracias por tu tiempo en nuestras páginas, sean siempre bienvenidos. D: Thanks for taking the time to do the interview, you’re always welcome on our page!
Yeah, thanks for asking! I love zines, and am really happy that there are some quality zines being made in Cuba. I can’t wait to get back to Santa Clara! See you next time!
MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT! Solidarity Rock returns to Cuba!
We just got home a couple weeks ago, and we’ve already got tickets to head back to the beautiful island of Cuba. This time, we’re going to do something even more astounding.
It gives me nothing but pleasure to announce that we’re bringing the ability to record and preserve the DIY rock music we’ve helped create over the years.
Vancouver’s Jesse Gander, head recording engineer at the Hive Creative Labs is going to be joining us from July 21 to 28 for a recording session in Sancti Spiritus. William Garcia has found a spot to set up and get it done, and we’ll be recording his band Arrabio, based in Trinidad, and a band called Adictox from Santa Clara. Big things are happening with independent art and music in Sancti Spiritus, kids are growing up with punk rock, tattoo artists are moving in and setting up shop because that’s where all the “freakies” are, young visual artists are engaged with the musicians, creating a new and exciting creative community, and we hope that their ability to record music and disseminate it with fewer barriers will help that process even more.
When we first got to Sancti Spiritus, it was a sleepy town, now we can see how art and music can transform people and places.
Even better than that is the fact that we’re hitting the road again for what will be the 5th Solidarity Rock tour, and the 6th DIY tour ever, if you count the 7and7is tour in 2007 which started it all (and we do).
July 29 - August 8 will see some amazing things going down.
Jesse’s band the Previous Tenants will be ripping though our usual haunts and for the first time ever, we’ll be joined by a brave group of American musicians, a DIY punk rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Uh-Oh. We’ll be doing it international styles in Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Jatibonico, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Havana and more!
Not only that, but as always, we’re bringing Arrabio from Trinidad, and for the first time, Adictox from Santa Clara. We’ll be raising money at our upcoming Solidarity Rock shows in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton to accomplish our tasks. We hope to see you there! Watch out for Solidarity Rock shows and projects coming your way, be part of it all. Estamos Juntos en Esto! We’re in this together and we’re making a difference.
As you can tell, we’ve been busy with the Solidarity Rock project, and we’ve been bringing more shows to more cities, so we can cast our nets even further. Solidarity Rock brings good people together where ever they are to work towards a common goal: making music happen in a big way.
We’ve managed to bring the solidarity rock message to a lot of cities, from Edmonton onward. Each time we add a new location and group of people, it’s a major victory. Out ideas are about uniting people with music and art. Our project helps us come together to support the very idea that music and art make cities better and make people happier.
If you’re in Toronto, head down to Sneaky Dee’s for a night full of music and good times. We use shows as a major way to bring in money. The money we raise goes straight to accomplishing goals set out by members of the organization in Canada, Cuba and the US.
We run independent rock tours in Cuba. We’ve brought Canadian bands on the road 5 times, and continually broken barriers in a country which deals with a lot of pressures. Our project is non-political, and we believe that we can make the world better by spreading art and creativity. This summer, we’re going to be heading back on the road, and running another tour. The money from this show in Toronto will help pay for expenses for our Cuban partners in Arrabio and Adictox as they join us on the road. This means bus costs, hotels, meals and a couple beers. Together with our friends in Winnipeg, Toronto’s musical community is going to lend a hand to support musicians and help them do things which were previously unthinkable.
Please join us at Sneaky Dee’s for a night full of music, creativity and solidarity and help us welcome Toronto to the Solidarity Rock project. It’s going to be great! Hope to see you there!
Darryl Reilly, our friend, long time Solidarity Rock supporter and guitar player in Winnipeg’s Guerrillas of Soul put some words down about last weekend’s shaker at the Times Change(d). Check this out.
Solidarity Month kicked off in Winnipeg with a bang on Friday May 25th at the Time’s Change(d) High & Lonesome Club. Local Winnipeg acts The Guerrillas of Soul & The Nobel Thiefs both brought their unique blend of Soul & Rock & Roll to the Solidarity Rock dance floor and a sweaty, grimy dance floor it was.
The Guerrillas of Soul kicked off the night around 11pm and despite the unseasonably cold gusty weather were able to quickly heat up the building. Featuring lead singer Noma Sibanda, a political refugee from Zimbabwe, along with long time Solidarity Rock supporters Darryl Reilly, Kevin McLean & Alain Guillemette (ex-SubCity members) and Scott Price the Guerrillas were a natural fit to the Solidarity Rock cause. Highlights of the performance included a never-before heard rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Be my Husband’ and GOS originals Red Tent and Lipstick & War. The Guerrillas set was a eclectic mix of thought-provoking, heart wrenching ballads along with good time four on the floor soulful, ass-shaking rock & roll.
After a short pause for everyone to refill their drinks and catch a breath of fresh air the mighty Noble Thiefs took to the stage. By the second stroke of a chord by master guitarist Riley Hastings the dance floor was packed with sweaty Solidarity Rockers ready to shake it all night long. Featuring the silky vocals of Myron Dean, pounding bass of Ian Lodewyks, and steady beat of Tim Jones, The Thiefs delivered on their promise to leave everyone on the dance floor dead tired & satisfied. The blazing 70 minute set included a wide variety of originals & choice covers spanning from rock & roll to soul to reggae which kept the people moving all night long. Fresh off a western Canadian tour it’s no wonder this 4 piece rock & soul band has been turning heads across the country.
All in all, Solidarity Rock’s triumphant return to Winnipeg was just that and everyone in the city seems re-invigorated and ready for many more Solidarity Rock events in the coming months!
I asked our friends and partners in Vancouver and Winnipeg to write up some show reports from their latest Solidarity Rock events in those fine western Canadian cities!
Joel Tong from Previous Tenants and What’s Wrong Tohei waxed philosophical about Vancouver. The show was May 4th at Lana Lou’s and featured Safety Show, Philoceraptor and Previous Tenants.
We all but drowned in the heat and sweat of Vancouver. And this was the beginning of May on the darkened block of Powell Street. Solidarity Rock is set to bring us to Cuba in August. If my maths are right, we will return as drawn gazelles.
Thank you, LanaLou’s. You let a lot of beautiful people into your restaurant. Now that i have had my ears pierced by Philoceraptor i am shopping for an appropriate weed leaf and tennis racquet to hang from the new holes in my head. They changed me like a diaper. Also, it was good to see Steve Spielberg back in Safety Show again. Beyond putting alien worlds in both of my eyes, he reached into my soul. I swear, it was like i could touch him.
These are things that have been happening. This is going to happen again. This is the kind of thing that will bring Cuban underground music to the rest of the world.
Many Canadians see Cuba through tourist’s eyes. The beaches, the food, the culture, all experienced in a paradise compound. But what is it like to be a musician in Cuba? How can you be part of a band when getting and maintaining an instrument is a hurdle within itself? Solidarity Rock, an organization that started in 2007 in Edmonton, AB, is trying to help Cuban musicians with everything from guitar strings to recording. How did it all begin? How can we help? Rob Wright, Vice President of Solidarity Rock, explains in the Q&A below.
What is Solidarity Rock? Solidarity Rock is an artist run organization working to partner musicians, artists and creative people in Canada, Cuba and beyond. Since 2008 Solidarity Rock has been working to collect instruments and musical equipment to help our friends in Cuban rock bands find their own way through music. Solidarity Rock has also come to include photography exhibits from Cuban, Canadian and American photographers. In the summer of 2012 we will send Vancouver music engineer and producer Jesse Gander to Cuba to record full length albums for some of the top punk bands in Cuba, including Adictox from Santa Clara and Arrabio from Trinidad & Sancti Spiritus.
How did it get started? Solidarity Rock was born out of the first tour of Cuba undertaken by a foreign rock band. In 2007, Edmonton rock band 7 and 7 travelled to Cuba and embarked on a five date tour. Solidarity Rock has come to life largely through the work of Edmonton’s Drew McIntosh and William Garcia, in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. There are of course, many other ardent supporters behind the organization. Since that first tour, Edmonton’s SLATES have toured Cuba, followed by Kids on Fire (Winnipeg), Hang Loose (Edmonton) and my band, the Vicious Cycles, which is based in East Vancouver. How are you able to gather the money needed to send instruments to Cuba? Most of the money raised has come from holding benefit shows and events, primarily in Edmonton, AB where S.R. is headquartered. Other events have been held, and will be held again in future, in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and more. Our first Toronto event is being held on Thursday May 31 at Sneaky Dee’s, which is very exciting. Those unable to attend a Solidarity Rock event or who want to help can get more information on our site and can find out about upcoming events on our Facebook page.
How much gear have you sent so far, and who does it go to? To date, enough to get several bands in the centre of the country going, and we’ve got a big shipment with 15 guitars, 2 drum kits, and 3 amps waiting to get permission from the Ministry of Culture to be cleared for entry. What’s really cool is that typically when someone gets a new (used) instrument, they then pass theirs onto someone else who either doesn’t have one or who will wind up with something better. So essentially whoever is down that line often gets an upgrade. Why is this project important to you? It’s got a really strong foothold in the DIY movement, which has always spoken to me on a personal level. The ethos that anyone can help affect change if they want to, and the idea that making great things happen isn’t the domain solely of those with political power or the moneyed is hugely appealing to me. Don’t like what you see around you? Change it. In whatever small way you can. When we can help out our friends, why wouldn’t we? It’s a very real scenario in which someone in Cuba is inspired to play music but doesn’t have a guitar, and doesn’t have the means to buy one, even if one could be purchased. We can help get instruments into people’s hands for nothing. Purchasing a guitar or drum sticks or guitar picks is easy to do in Canada, but not so much in Cuba. There’s no Long & McQuade to go to. And who has the money for luxuries like those?
What have you learned from the musicians you’ve met in Cuba? I’ve learned that these people really, really mean it. It’s one thing to grow up in a small town somewhere in North America (like I did). Maybe it’s hard being the lone punk rocker or metalhead in your town, but you’ve got all this access to music, and instruments and media that the average Cuban doesn’t. It’s a life that I don’t pretend to completely understand but I have learned to be a lot more grateful for what I have. I came away from Cuba with a belief that my involvement with Solidarity Rock couldn’t just end with this one tour that I was lucky enough to be a part of.
How can bands and fans help out with your efforts here in Canada? We do gear drives pretty regularly, and anyone with an instrument they’d like to donate can email us at email@example.com You can also donate via PayPal on our site, or come to one of the many upcoming events being held across Canada, which can be found on our Facebook page. Get in touch, and talk to us about starting a Solidarity Rock chapter in your town. Even something as seemingly simple as blogging about Solidarity Rock, spreading the word via social media or liking us on Facebook. The limits on what we can achieve together are only constructed by ourselves.
From April 29 to May 13, the Solidarity Rock crew got together in Trinidad and Sancti Spiritus to bring our photography exhibit to the people. It was a great time, and we spent it with our friends and adoptive Cuban families, and it was almost perfect. The only thing we missed was our friend Sandy Phimester, who due to circumstances out of his control was unable to make it down. We had planned our photography exhibit unveiling in Sancti Spiritus around him being able to be there, but things changed unexpectedly and despite his attempts, he couldn’t make it, and we all missed him a lot during our time with friends.
We went down with a 50 image show to donate to the AHS in Sancti Spiritus, as a way to share and show our time and vision for what we have seen and done over the past five years. Since the very beginning, we have been documenting our trips with photography and video. I curated the show down from 1900 to 50 images, and I think we got the right ones. Photographers Aaron Bocanegra, Sandy Phimester, Samuel Reina Calvo, Bryan Kulba and me, Drew McIntosh, presented our work thanks largely to the Edmonton Arts Council, who supplied us with the financial support we needed to print and frame such a large collection. Thanks to them, the show will be seen around Cuba for the next year, at least.
Showing the work was cathartic in a lot of ways. It’s a weird place to be as a documentary artist who is also working to set the stage every time. Not only is my work about collecting and documenting the moments we share, the Cuban punk rock movement we’ve been a part of and the country which hosts us each time, but it’s also about making those things happen. It’s easy for me to sometimes get lost in the tasks that we’ve taken on. So, for me, it was and is especially important to finally get a big piece of this work off the bench to be able to show people in Cuba the reflections of owr time together. This is an international photography exhibit which features participation of artists from three separate countries, who exist in totally different ways within the Cuban context. Canadians are often seen as tourists, locked in resorts, Americans are the enemy, or at least their government is.
We (collectively) don’t understand Cuba, or the people who live there. Our impressions of the country have been built up by the imagery we’re fed. Cuba is either a cold war relic or a place full of happy people who ride around in old cars. I really feel that we’re accessing something other than that with our work. We’re trying to build understanding with cultural exchange, and I think we’ve come a long way.
We put the photos up at the AHS' Casa de Joven Creador in Trinidad, and our good friends ARRABIO played late into the night to celebrate. Winnipeg's Ian Lodwyks opened with a couple of accoustic jams. The show was packed with Cuban punk kids, the Solidarity Rock crew which had come out from Edmonton, Winnipeg and Los Angeles and a whole lot of friends from Winnipeg. Some of our Pegger pals were getting married in Trinidad, and it was a great way to build more connections and bridge more cultural gaps as we could welcome their friends and family into our sphere.
In Sancti Spiritus, we opened up a gallery which has been shuttered for months to host our show. The Galleria El Passo is space which was originally opened by an artist and curator named Rafael Gonzàlez Perèz from Sancti Spiritus. It was a pedestrian underpass used for less than noble purposes of drinking and bummin out of sight. The very first night we were in Sancti Spiritus in 2007 was 51 years to the day that the rebels had left Mexico on the Granma boat, and we went to an art show celebrating that feat at the Galleria el Passo. So, to have an opening there almost 5 years later was really special. Rafa has since moved to Tenerife, and we still talk about working together in a lot of ways, so it was great to be able continue something he started.
The show is going to travel to places like Jatibonico, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Havana and more over the next year. We’ve already shown some of these photos in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary, and we’ve got plans to take it even further. With any luck, you might see our work near you soon.
Rock Solidario Tatuado en el alma, cuerpo e historia de Cuba.
William Garcia - Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
Algunos proyectos no pasan de ser eso, solo proyectos que con mas o menos frutos pasan con el cursar de los años y quedan algunos en el olvido o en la memorias de los que miramos atrás en el tiempo, esto no sucederá nunca con Rock Solidario el proyecto que después de 5 años de trabajo y lucha por el movimiento punk rock en la isla de Cuba esta año sueña con mayores logros. Ya realizamos una primera gira, muy exitosa en el mismo primer mes del año, un amigo de Winnipeg vino con su familia y amigos para compartir con nosotros sus amigos en Sancti Spíritus Cuba su boda cubana, este es otro paso gigantesco de Solidarity Rock- Rock Solidario el de unir en cada ocasión a mas personas positivas en las maneras mas disímiles y sinceras las amistad y la solidaridad. En la piel se manifiesta hoy el proyecto en tatuajes que no serán nunca borrados con el tiempo, esta es una clara respuesta de agradecimiento y respeto al proyecto y a todos los que de una forma u otra han ayudado y lo siguen haciendo cada día. No podrá borrarse con el tiempo los tatuajes que se dejan leer Solidarity Rock, o simplemente RS. Se necesita mucho respeto y mucho convencimiento sobre un proyecto para decidir llevarlo tatuado en la piel para toda una vida y es que ya esta muy dentro de nosotros que hasta puede verse hoy a flor de piel.
Solidarity Rock is tattooed on the soul, body and history of Cuba.
Some projects are nothing more than that. Things people do. Some bear more fruit than others, and over time will be left as memories of things people did in the past. When we look back on Solidarity Rock, we know that will not be the case. After 5 years of work and struggle for the punk rock movement in the island of Cuba this year, we dream of greater achievements. In January, we did our first tour of the year. In May, some friends from Winnipeg got married in Cuba and we were able to share our homes and lives with them and their families. For us, this is another giant step of Solidarity Rock-Rock Solidario, as we endeavor to unite more people every time, in positive ways with the most amazing and sincere friendship and solidarity.
This idea and project has now been committed to skin, in the form of tattoos, and will not be erased over time. This is a clear response of gratitude and respect to the project and all that have in one way or another helped us to achieve this thing together, and still do every day. The tattoos can not be erased by time. They spell out commitment to the ideas brought here to create a movement. Solidarity Rock, or simply RS. It takes a lot of respect and commitment to decide to tattoo the name of our project to carry it on the skin for a lifetime. It is already deep within us, and today, we bear the marks. We know it is more than just skin deep.
Hey everyone. One of the biggest things we’re trying to do with Solidarity Rock is bring people together. So, we are!
The idea of Solidarity Month is that we’re throwing shows, putting up photography expos and trying to get the word out that we’re working together to create more music and more art for everyone. As anything, when dealing with large groups of people, details aren’t always super 100% until they “have” to be. So, here’s what we can tell you for now.
SOLIDARITY ROCK IS CALLING ON ALL ALLIES TO STAND TOGETHER WITH CUBAN ROCKERS!
WE’RE HOLDING THESE SHOWS IN SUPPORT OF OUR SUMMER PROJECTS: April 21 - Edmonton, AB - The Mandates - Dead Voices - Allotropes @ The Wunderbar (http://on.fb.me/HPMPto) April 21 - Jatibonico, Cuba - Arrabio, Cancerbero April 27 - Milwaukee, WI ** May 3 - Trinidad, Cuba - Arrabio, Adictox, Akupunktura @ AHS May 4 - Vancouver, BC - Safety Show, Philoceraptor, Previous Tenants @ Lana Lou’s (http://on.fb.me/HEnpQv) May 10 - Sancti Spiritus, Cuba - Arrabio and guests @ Galleria El Paso - Photography exposition opening May 25 - Winnipeg, MB - Guerillas of Soul, Noble Thiefs @ Times Change(d) June 8 - Edmonton, AB - Sock Hop! TBA
DON’T SEE YOUR CITY? STAND WITH US BY HOSTING A SOLIDARITY ROCK PARTY/SHOW/BBQ/GET TOGETHER. Email info(a)solidarityrock.com to let us know! We’ll include your show in our listings and post your photos to our site!
All of these shows are going to be great, and if you can make it to one of them, you should. All the funds raised by the individual shows will go towards our summer plans.
During the month, we’re going to be announcing some awesome stuff, like the launch of our digital distro! You’re going to be able to check out some great music from our Cuban cohorts, and the awesome bands that support them. I think most people familiar with Solidarity Rock realize that this project is as DIY as they come. Our distro will be a way for people to support us with a small donation for music downloads and for our Cuban friends to get the recognition they deserve by being heard.
WE’VE GOT BIG PLANS FOR THE NEXT MONTH
We’re heading back to Cuba! In just over 2 weeks, members of the Solidarity Rock crew are heading south. Our friend and Solidarity Rock dude in Winnipeg, Darryl Reilly is getting married to his lovely lady Leanne in Trinidad! He was with us on the Kids on Fire tour last March, and has always had an affinity for Cuba. He’s getting married on May 2 in Trinidad surrounded by friends from across Canada and Cuba and even a lone American. On May 3rd, Arrabio, Adictox and Akupuntura are all going to make their way to Trinidad to play a show in celebration of our friends and their life together.
Then, on May 10, we’re going to take the next step with our photography show by opening a 50 image exposition in Sancti Spiritus. This is the same show that the Edmonton Arts Council funded through their micro grant program and that we’ve had the good fortune to show in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Thanks to the EAC, we get the chance to share our work with people across Cuba. The show is currently booked at the Galleria El Passo in Sancti Spiritus as well as the gallery in Jatibonico, and we’re donating the whole show to the AHS in Sancti Spiritus to be toured around the country. Clearly, we’re using art for the highest and most badass reasons.
This July, our good friend Jesse Gander, one of the recording gurus usually holed up in Vancouver’s Hive Creative Labs, will be heading to the beautiful Island to do what he does best - make records. We’ll be setting up our buddies in long running Cuban punk bands Arrabio (Trinidad), Akupunktura (Cienfuegos) and Adictox (Santa Clara) with a day and a half each of solid recording time and producing an album each when it’s all done.
Our plans for the summer are shaping up, and we’re looking to raise about $2500 for the recording project. I am 100% certain that we can do this together.
Our benefit shows across Canada and into the US will help us to accomplish our goals of:
1. Making some punk rock records in Cuba 2. Supporting our summer tour (which will be announced on May 15, as soon as we’re back from the next trip) 3. Bringing ARRABIO to Canada. This is something we’re working on in the initial stages. We’ll let you know what it’s going to take in a couple weeks. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME A CUBAN ROCK BAND HAS LEFT CUBA TO TOUR IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY!
As you can see, these are all awesome plans. Help us reach our goal by standing together for the things we all love: rock’n’roll, community and friendship.
Hey everyone. Here are some photos from the Wunderbar last weekend. As I mentioned, we raised enough to send a sizeable shipment of gear to our friends in Cuba. Thanks for playing, hosting and attending. You’re all beautiful. Here are some B&W’s.
Solidarity Rock was born in Edmonton. We started with one show at the artery to raise a couple bucks to send a care package full of rocknroll implements to William and the crew in Sancti Spiritus, and has grown into a full on movement. Musicians, artists and other creative people across our city have contributed their time and their abilities in support of people across the world doing the same thing.
So, we did it again last weekend at the Wunderbar. We threw a show and got a crowd. If you were there and don’t know exactly what Solidarity Rock is, I’ll fill you in. For the past four years, Solidarity Rock has been bringing stuff, people and a DIY ethic to Cuba in support of independent music and art. We work in the centre of the country, mostly in the cities of Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Cienfuegos. Our steady crew of Cuban punk rock bands includes Arrabio, Adictox, Akupunktura, Limalla, Gatillo and others. We started independent rock tours through a communist country which is constantly on guard and prepared for war. We’ve helped bands and individuals accomplish seemingly impossible tasks, united like minded individuals in a non-political action to make people happy through the power of music and the raw expressive quality the rock music brings people. We did it the other night at the Wunderbar, and we’ll do it again very soon in Cuba.
We spent the evening in Edmonton with Scarpbooker, Krang and Catgut. The three bands represent different musical paths, but a common community and stage. The show was a great success and the bar was full all night. We raised about $1000 combined with the Calgary show the week before, and we’re about to get our instrument collection ready for shipping.
If you have any old guitar cases or gig bags, please let us know. We need a bit of protection for our soon to be treasured cargo. I’m pretty excited about this. I’ll let you know more in the coming days.
Check out the videos below. I’ll post some photos this evening!