Here’s the first episode of something we have called PingPongRocks. The idea behind you asked ? pretty simple, we will ask bands, promoters, friends, etc to answer a couple of questions and make a playlist with their favs jams for us.
For our first episode we roll egomaniac-style: Chris Sutton (Hornet Leg, Spider and the Webs, Gossip and many more) have shooted eight questions to Jorge (Booker / Tour Manager / Improviser at Hell Yeah).
Thanks a lot to Chris for his questions, you can stream Jorges playlist at the end of this interview.
Chris: When/Why did you start bringing bands to Europe with Hell Yeah?
Jorge : I’d say around 2009 probably, I was doing record reviews for a fanzine with a couple of friends, it was a really small DIY thing but then we decided to try to go “big” and interview our favorite bands and surprisingly a lot of those bands were kind enough to get in touch and talk with us. In talking with them, the question always was the same at some point: “Why aren’t you touring Europe?” and most of the time, the answer was also the same: “because apparently nobody cares about us there.” So that’s when the idea of trying to help in any way began to grow on me, it was kind of a selfish thing also, if I’d want to see my favorite band in my city the only way to make that possible was trying to help them get enough shows over Europe, that’s how Hell Yeah started….well actually, it started the day I saw this guy wearing a t-shirt that just said “Hell Yeah, let’s do this,” but that’s another story.
Chris: Is there is a person/show/band/or moment that inspired your passion for independent music ?
Jorge: More than a specific band/person/show, it was being part of an independent scene (I feel really weird about that tag though) that made me feel inspired and really appreciate what it means. I was born in Líma, Perú, and back in the day there even if you were in a heavy metal band, you just had to be independent, nobody would care if you just didn’t do shit by yourself. So at some point there was a really interesting group of people in Líma playing in bands, writing about records that they love (and probably 3 other people cared about), doing fanzines, recording songs on their tape recorders (not even 4-tracks), opening illegal record stores (because there were not even distros interested in selling records in some parts of South America), etc. Being part of that taught me a lot and I had the opportunity to meet awesome people and made the best friends, it made me realize how beautiful and powerful the music is, and it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, you just have to follow your heart and guts and do whatever makes you feel good, just for the sake of it….i mean who the hell cares about what i have to say…right ? but here we are, just having fun.
Long story short, i guess is all about The Replacements for me, that band….don’t even make me start, every time I’m on tour and one of their songs comes on i’m like an 8 year old again secretly listening to my old cousins punk records.
Chris:What are some new bands that you have been listening too?
Jorge: I’m a huge Clean fan so i have been stalking Hamish Kilgour on the internets for a while waiting for his new project so i’m pretty excited about Roya, his new band, im totally digging David Kilgours new record too…¿what else?….Landlines, Rangers, Spray Paint, Honey Bucket, Piad Guyvessant and tons of stuff from Mali and Turkey (they are not new though) like Terakaft and Haivanlar Alemi. Serpentina Satélite from Perú is also an all time favorite, i don’t know a lot…i’m kinda obssesed with Craig Leon’s Nommos reissue too…etc, etc.
Chris: What are some of the differences that you have seen between the European and American DIY scenes?
Jorge: I wish I had the chance to go on tour in the U.S. to really have a solid opinion on the American DIY scene, from what I have heard from bands and friends, it’s really hard. I guess the main difference is the way they visualize a touring band here in Europe, I like the idea of thinking about a touring band like a group of people (human beings / persons) that need to sleep well, eat, have a cup of tea or coffee, get paid and feel welcome, for me it’s like having a road trip with my family / friends when i’m going on tour and I feel SO lucky to work with promoters that share the same idea.
Chris: Who is the first band that you ever tour managed or booked?
Jorge: So Cow from Ireland was the first band that I booked and toured with. It was really funny how that happened: I was listening to the radio one day and they were playing a radio show, it was love at first sight so I contacted the DJ (if you are reading this thanks A LOT Liz) she put me in touch with them and a couple of months after that I was touring with them around Spain and Italy.
Chris: Do you play music in any bands?
Jorge: I have played in bands in Perú (where i’m originally from) and now in Spain it’s really hard but I’m starting to record some stuff in my room, just an old 4 track and my guitar.
Chris: What is the best city that you have visited in your travels?
Jorge: That’s a tough one. For me it’s not only the food, the buildings, the museums or the parks, it’s more about people and how people interact with their cities, there are beautiful cities all over Europe but the combination of amazing people and beautiful cities is hard to find. I’d say Aarhus in Denmark (my new favorite one), San Sebastian and Oviedo in Spain, Warsaw in Poland and Montpellier in France, everytime I go to any of those cities I feel really excited, it’s almost like visiting family and friends.
Chris: What is your favorite food to eat?
Jorge: i’m really flexible with food but any home made meals are always really appreciated. I also get obssesed with the most stupid-unhealthy-cheap food sometimes when on tour just to have fun. Last time with The Woolen Men i was asking the universe to send all kind of fried chicken my way, i pointed all the KFCs on the road, i was asking the guys in the van about their favorite fried chicken spots all the time but i didn’t actually bought any myself. Then when we were in Zurich, Switzerland it finally happened, i probably got the most ridiculously expensive fried chicken in the world and somebody else paid for it so that was good….i guess.
Jorges playlist for this episode is called “Directamente al entrecejo”….¿enjoy? :