An Interview with Bareto

Today, I have in store for you something brand new to my blog and something I am super excited about sharing with you! (Exclamation point!)

Someone actually thought my blog was cool enough to let ME do an interview with Latin Grammy-Nominated Bareto,  who recently just played at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas (or, SxSW for all you hipsters out there).

I just want to hang out with them. [image: www.festivalperuanodenewjersey.com]

I just want to hang out with them. [image: http://www.festivalperuanodenewjersey.com]

If you’ve been with spinmuse for a little while now (thank you!), you know that my musical taste is ALL over the charts, and that I think it’s rad to work out to Enigma, Deadmau5, Celine Dion, and Van Morrison, all in the same playlist.  I think this is why I’m so drawn to Bareto’s music, because their style falls anywhere between the ska of Slightly Stoopid or Pepper, to a Bob Marley reggae dub for a sunny day, but also can jam out pretty heavily and get a little trippy.

They were made famous in Peru for putting their own spin on Cumbia hits (read on to learn more about Cumbia), and have come out with a few EPs and LPs thus far since their inception around 2003 which you can find and listen to on Spotify.  Bareto’s musical versatility brings something exciting and fresh to the game with their classically Latin flavor in a world overflowing with Beibers and babies on laptops trying to become the next Skrillex.

The group is made up of a bunch of Peruvian dudes who love what they do, and something extra-awesome about these guys? Their songs are politically driven and address social issues in their country. Talented, sexy, AND caring – what’s better than that?

This is one of my favorite jams so far – it’s all instrumental, and it’s just chilled out, soulful, and jammy. 

Here’s a taste of a Bareto song which has some Carribean Ska elements with a really beautiful jam around the 2 minute mark:

I hope you enjoy reading the interview below, and do check them out because I have an inkling they will be getting noticed in the US on a large-scale, and will probably be on some festival bills in the next year.  I can’t wait until they come around to NYC again!

Firstly.. how did a bunch of hot, talented, Peruvian dudes meet to start Bareto?

The starting point was avoiding classes in an advertising institute, where 3 of the founding members of the band happen to study, about a decade ago. The rest of the band joined gradually, first as friends sharing the love for music (specially reggae and ska), and then as fellow musicians, collaborating with the sound the band has these days: an hybrid where influences from dub to salsa, from merengue to peruvian psychelelic cumbia.

Describe the music style “Cumbia” to us American folks who aren’t familiar with it.

Originally, Cumbia is a tropical genre from Colombia. But every where over South America there are different encarnations of cumbia, which is a very easy-danceable rhythm (not as “salsa”, for example, where you have to develope certain skills before you hit the dance floor). Even in Peru, we have different styles of cumbia, depending on the region; we love the psychedelic cumbia from the jungle the most (instrumental bands from the 60s like Juaneco y su combo and Los Mirlos, the likes we payed homage in our second album, called “Cumbia”).

With a variety of sounds and styles in your music, who are your biggest musical influencers?

I would say everyone in the band listens to different styles of music, which is great because we can share and learn from  the others. But in this project, first reggae music (which we find to be very similar to cumbia): Bob Marley, The Skatalites, Steel Pulse, to name a few; then Peruvian cumbia groups from the 60s; and also Latin music, like Ruben Blades y 6 del Solar, which is a more experimental and jazzy approach to salsa.

Although I don’t understand the language, I understand some songs are politically and socially driven. What do you feel is the most important issue or message your music speaks to?

Well, as we have the opportunity to travel all over our country doing what we love (playing music), we think that with that privilege comes as well the responsibility of telling what we see: social differences still reigning, and the macroeconomic numbers of growth and prosperity don’t reach to the people. So we point some of this issues that the media and the higher classes don’t like to see… that’s why the record is called “Ves lo que quieres ver” (in English: “You just see what you wanna see”).

What’s cooler… Being nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2012, or being apart of SxSW in 2013?

Both have been amazing experiences: being nominated is an honor and a kind of “adjective” that will stuck with the name of the band forever: Latin Grammy nominees… until we actually win one! And SxSW has been incredible, to perform in front of people from over the world, to share experiences and to have a glimpse of the bigger acts in the industry right now… we actually met Dave Grohl and took a picture with him. How cool is that?

SO COOL. Pictures, or it didn’t happen. With both a mix of new, underground bands, as well as bigger, established performers, who are you most excited to see/meet at SxSW this year?

We were quite impressed with the Flaming Lips concert (they premiered their new album live that night in an open, free show). We also loved the NPR’s Alt-latino sponsored concert, which featured Latin bands that we love and follow like Cafe Tacuba and Molotov from Mexico, and Bajofondo from Argentina.

Where does Bareto hope to be in a year? Three years?

In a year, we hope we can play as many alternative festivals in the US, working in our growing fan base. In three years, we hope that circuit would expanded to the whole world.

I have a good feeling about that. Three things you can’t live without while on tour?

Headphones, a free wifi source and a selection of the local record stores to attack in our free time.

Band/artist/performer you cannot miss while they’re on tour?

We love going to live shows, perhaps that’s the activity we most share apart from playing together. Me, personally, want to see Tom Petty and Neil Young pretty soon, but they hardly tour south america… so I hope we can cross paths sometime in the future when we tour the US again.

My blog has two themes-music and working out-anyone have a favorite workout routine? Favorite song to workout to? Who’s taken a spinning class before?

I think all of us is really into working out, but most of us have a little stretching routine before going to the stage. I bet none of us has take a spinning class before…

I’ll give you guys a private spin class next time you’re in the city. You guys are so cool, thanks for your time and the best of luck to Bareto! Can’t wait to see where your journey leads you.

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