Band: We Here Now
Country of Origin: Brazil, Peru, India and USA
Earlier this year we featured We Here Now’s debut release “The Chikikpunk Years” as an album of the week.
While more than two months have passed since it was released, “The Chikipunk Years” still stands out as one of the more-compelling releases I’ve listened to so far in 2019. In this entry to “Five Questions With…” band member Pedrinho provided answers on behalf of the band, answers which shine more light on what makes the band’s sound so unique, so global, and so captivating.
Pedrinho and the Homemade Gifts Records crew also put together a fantastic playlist for a show a little while back. Give it a listen if you haven’t already, it will take your soul to a wonderful place.
1. What is your desert island disc (the one album you couldn’t live without?)
Pedrinho: Lucha Reyes – “Una carta al cielo”
Indrayudh: Luli e Lucina – “Amor de mulher”
Panchito: Ashwini Bhide – “Introducing Ashwini Bhide”
2. How did the band members meet (or, for a solo musician, how did you get started)?
Indrayudh and I (Pedrinho) met a long time ago on a soccer message board. We discovered that we shared the same interests in third world cinema, non-western philosophies and ethnomusicology. Not long after our first conversations we also found out that each of us could play several instruments, so we began toying with some ideas and recording them. Though we tried to settle up a cohesive project, we could not sound like a band because we used to write and record everything from ambient, indie pop, free jazz to classical, reggaeton and folk. One day, while chatting, we realized we had unconsciously banned rock n’ roll from our experiments, so we decided to make a rock n’ roll band just for fun. Around that time I went to Peru, where I met Panchito during a soccer match. We hanged out during my brief stay there and, soon afterwards, we began going to concerts. It was during this time that I became obsessed with the Chikipunk scene there. Although the bands sucked really badly, it was all these teens and pre-teens in the audience that shaped the Chikipunk dream. It was so cool that we began discussing how we could turn the term Chikipunk onto a proper concept, moving away from its ‘punk for school kids’ meaning. While we went on these ontological explorations, we also began working on a huge amount of music. A brief portion of such work became the first installment of ‘The Chikipunk Years’.
3. What is the underground music scene like in your home country?
The scene in Rio de Janeiro is very diverse. You can find everything from bossa, samba and Brazilian folk music to doom metal, indie pop or electronic music. The biggest problem is the interconnection between sub-scenes, because most of them are barely related to one another, so it is always great when you find eclectic spaces in which you can listen to all kinds of music. I guess that’s a common constrain here in South America, since independent scenes are very small, and the lack of support in terms of public funds for culture really force each scene to find DIY ways to survive, but it is very difficult to accomplish this by its own, so it is always great when bridges can be tend in between sub-scenes.
4. What are some of your biggest influences outside of music?
Pedrinho: The misery and splendor of South America
5. Tell us about your favorite show you ever played.
This is a tough one! One highlight was when my experimental pop/soul project supported Oxbow. We played on the rooftop of a large multi-level nightclub. I think the venue had the best atmosphere. There was a “hospitality manager” who followed me around all night and made sure all my friends and I had anything we needed, and I went home with two women. It’s rare for me to play for people that are on the same wavelength in spirit, so it was a real pleasure being myself.