La Vida Boheme took the stage at ACL and played to a packed, enthralled multi-national crowd of 20 to 30 somethings. Their energetic set was punctuated by stylistic driving beats that took the audience away to Venezuela’s burgeoning expressionist art scene.
Last year, La Vida Boheme received a GRAMMY nomination and two Latin Grammy nominations for their debut album, which was featured in NPR’s “Top 50 Albums of the Year.” The raucous dance-punk band was also chosen as iTunes Latino “Breakthrough Artist of the Year.” In November 2011, “Nuestra” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album.
Their first single was “Radio Capital”, a danceable tune anchored by a repetitive chant of “Gabba Gabba Hey“, referencing The Ramones. They were widely acclaimed for their debut album and it are currently one of the most popular bands in Venezuela. Their song “Buen Salvaje‘ is featured in the EA Sports game FIFA 12.
At SXSW earlier this year, La Vida Boheme was featured at both the NPR and Billboard showcases, after which Esquire Magazine picked them as a favorite:
“When I saw this band at SXSW, I flashed to seeing The Clash in 1979. It was the fierceness, the original sound, the hodgepodge of styles — it was the clash of cultures and sound.”
INTERVIEW by Kathleene Cochrane for Kathleene’s Compass. Kathleene is a music industry insider, a music supervisor, manager, and film producer. She is also the wife of Canadian rocker/humanitarian Tom Cochrane. Kathleene’s Compass is a featured section of AMFM Magazine.
All Four members of La Vida Boheme, Henry D´Arthenay (Guitar, Vocals, Electronics), Daniel de Sousa (Guitar, Cow bell, Backing Vocals), Sebastián Ayala (Drummer, Backing Vocals), Rafael Pérez Medina (Bass guitar, Backing Vocals) spoke together with Kathleene simultaneously, but it was Henry who answered most of the questions.
LVB: We just got here, like 20 hours ago. We’re leaving tomorrow, we have show in Miami Tuesday, then we’re headed back. We’re recording our second album.
AMFM: YOU NEED TO DO MORE HERE:
Yes, love Texas, it’s great. people are really nice.
AMFM: HAVE YOU BEEN TO TEXAS BEFORE?
Yes, this is the 7th time we’ve played. 2nd time here, but we’ve also played in San Antonio, San Diego and El Paso,
AMFM: WERE YOU AT THE GRAMMY’S IN L.A. WHEN YOU WERE NOMINATED?
Yes we were.
AMFM: YOUR SHOW WAS AMAZING, JUST BRILLIANT.
Thank you, it was warm up there, we were all sweaty, even all the way down to my fingers.
AMFM: YES, IT WAS A LITTLE WARM. BUT IT’S TROPICAL IN VENEZUELA TOO. BACK TO THE SUBJECT OF THE ARTS! I WANT TO GET THIS DOWN, BUT I THINK WE’VE PINPOINTED YOUR ACT – INSPIRED BY JACKSON POLLOCK?
Yes, and Sun Roses, and many many more.
AMFM: DO YOU DO THAT (THE PAINT SPATTERED PERFORMANCE) EVERY TIME?
Not every night. But here, we have to play the first album, which came out in 2011.
AMFM: SO THAT’S CONNECTED ONLY WITH THE FIRST ALBUM?
The way we look onstage has to be connected somehow to the records that we’re doing. This came about with the record “Nuestra” because we need to look how the record sounded. But the next record will be in a different direction, because it sounds differently, it should look different.
AMFM: NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD CONNECT THE DOTS WITH JACKSON POLLOCK, SO WHAT KIND OF INFLUENCE DOES JACKSON POLLOCK HAVE IN VENEZUELA?
We have a very strong specialist movement of artists. For example, for us, many of the things we were trying to do on the first record are connected with abstract expressionists from the ‘50s in New York. Trying to make things more about the action, more about the feeling, more about the intensity and viscerality of the performance.
AMFM: YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY CAPTURED THAT.
In a way, our city Caracas is an expressionist city. We’re visceral, and we think Pollock captures that essence very well.
AMFM: SO ARE YOU ALL UNIVERSITY EDUCATED?
He and he are graduated already, and in December Sebastian and me will graduate. We’re almost there.
AMFM: HOW MANY YEARS OUT OF HGH SCHOOL?
AMFM: HOW OLD?
We are all 23 and 24.
AMFM: AND LOOK WHAT YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED ALREADY. WHAT MORE DO YOU THINK YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH?
We never set ourselves to very ambitious goals. It just seems right to be doing this. The same with college. It just seems right to have an education.
AMFM: CONGRATULATIONS, I COMMEND YOU ALL. IT’S VERY HARD TO DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING LET ALONE ADD ANOTHER DIMENSION TO IT. WHAT’S COMING UP FOR YOU?
The second album. We’re going to record it back home, then release it, and have a different show. (leader) But here in the states, we’re going to have to keep doing the first album for a little bit, because our label, Nacional Records, isn’t finished with our tour. We have to go to the mid-west. We’ve only done East Coast, West Coast, and Texas. So we’re looking forward to seeing more of the states.
AMFM: I’M CANADIAN, SO I HOPE YOU BRING IT TO CANADA.
Yes, we love Canada. There’s actually a Canadian band we really like, can I say this? It’s called “Fucked Up.” It’s actually one of my favorite bands. And Austin is cool too, the have “Explosions in the Sky”
AMFM: AUSTIN HAS AMAZING TALENT, AMAZING FACILITIES TO PLAY, WE’RE ALL FORTUNATE TO LIVE HERE. THANK YOU, WE WISH YOU CONTINUED SUCCESS.
La Vida Boheme Documentary: http://wearealloftheabove.com/
More on Jackson Pollock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock