Tonight , Andrés Calamaro reunited with the Chilean public as part of the “Calamaro Tour”, a tour where he reviews his musical history and updates his latest record releases, such as the release of the album of duets “Dios Los Cría” (2021, where he invited Mon Laferte and Julio Iglesias, among others), and his successful collaboration with C Tangana for the album “El Madrileño”. Here, he explains his intrinsic relationship with Chile and the tribute he pays to Diego Armando Maradona in the tenth song of his show.
(Q): A fictional question: How do you imagine a party with all the collaborators of “Dios Los Cría”? How could you define this group of musicians that ranges from Julio Iglesias to Mon Laferte?
(R): It would be a formidable meeting in the Dominican Republic, the singers are the same family, like cousins. I imagine an intimate party, washed down with South African wine (chosen by Julio Iglesias), acorn-fed ham and a shot of tequila, thick with hugs and affection, singing rancheras and tangos. A formidable group: what a great idea, hopefully it can be held next year, we would all be delighted to meet face to face. What a tremendous culmination for an album.
(P): In “Dios Los Cría”, what happens in the duet of “Bohemio” is striking. ;, with Julio Iglesias, where the reversal takes on its own personality and genuinely distances itself from the original. Did you feel nervous about working with a legend like Iglesias? Was he satisfied with the result?
(R): Sure, it's the idea; the arrangement -for a jazz trio- is the style we played on the Licencia Para Cantar tour (2016/2017) and Julio sings with an outstanding mastery; it is exciting to listen to it; tremendous satisfaction. We had already sung “Juan Charrasqueado” together and we knew each other a little, everything was familiar and optimal, Julio Iglesias is a great person and singer, he was full of commitment and friendship.
(P): In Calamaro Tour, the tour that brought him to Chile, included his tribute to Diego Maradona. How has it been for you to sing this song after Diego's death? You once defined the soccer player as a “true oracle”…
(A): Diego Maradona was an extraordinary person, it is hard to believe that he is no longer in the crust of the earth. In my own way, I keep waiting for the doorbell to ring and it will be him. I think that remembering him with euphoria and joy is appropriate, something that he would have liked. We sing his song (“Maradona”), the tenth in the repertoire, number ten, and we link it with -the bolero- “Wait for me in Heaven”: from the joyful euphoria to the emotional silence of bolero that reminds you. We scream like a goal and drown the feeling in silence.
(P): What reactions (or consequences) have you enjoyed the most? after your collaboration with C Tangana in “El Madrileño”? Many young audiences got closer to his music thanks to “Hong Kong”, which he also includes in his live shows.
(A): Meeting C Tangana in the studio was extraordinary; an informal a priori meeting that ended with us writing and recording Hong Kong, then part of the triumphant album “El Madrileño”. CT is a treasure of a person, a dear friend and colleague, I am forever grateful to him. I realize that our audience is very young, especially in America; despite which I know that recording with Anton is being on the crest of the wave; he is an extraordinary person and artist. Different from everything.
(P): This year C Tangana and then Rosalía came to Chile, and we saw how the public teenager has become very familiar with flamenco and Hispanic music. You who know both sides of the Atlantic: Why do you think this merger generates so much roots in South America?
(R): The whole world is turning to Latin sounds and with this language; It is true that CT and Rosalía contain Hispanic sonorities: El Mal Querer and El Madrileño are superlative albums that raise the level of Spanish music and world pop as a whole. Rosalía studies and knows flamenco, on her previous tour she brought more dancers and specific musicians; Tangana tours with artists of the stature of Antonio Carmona and Niño de Elche, great words of contemporary flamenco with genuine roots. South America knows flamenco through its greatest ambassador who was Paco de Lucia: no one did more to spread this art in the world, touring America half a century ago. Rosalía and Anton shine with their own light, they do something new, different and original: they impose themselves because they are very good.
(Q): In the documentary saga “Bios”, which dedicates a chapter to your story, you say that “it is impossible to separate drugs from music”. About this item, what would be your advice to musicians who are starting their career?
(R): Part of the history of music is already written, everyone knows if it has been associated with the ingestion of liquors or substances. The next musicians will have to continue studying, practicing, listening to a lot of music, being constant and willful, original and healthy: being whole and lasting a long time. To take on the world
you have to have healthy teeth and a furnished head.
(P): When the pandemic lockdown began, you noted that one of the things you appreciated it was being able to spend time at home and not have to go on tour to work. How has this process of returning to travel and tours been for you?
(A): It was quite complicated, with me the remedy has been worse than the disease; I suffer sequelae from the vaccination, starting over has not been easy at all. The rehearsals and the first recitals in Mexico seemed very complicated. That's where we're at.
(P): Now that you're back on tour: how do you take advantage of your free time between one show and another? Do you have a favorite activity to pass the time during your stays?
(R): I like to read and watch AC/DC videos.
(Q): You are a great reader: what would you say to a young person who is not a reader to bring them closer to books? Did you like Houellebecq's new novel “Annihilation”?
(R): I'm not much of a reader either. Reading is a formidable company, we can get into it with books suitable for music or whatever matters to us, read stories or poetry, novels, essays or biographies. Michel Houllebecq is a pop cultural icon, a world cultural star like Quentin Tarantino, as they were
Sartre, Picasso or Che Guevara. It is a very intelligent reading, with a certain postmodern humor, it is very worthwhile and they are books that are sold even in airports. I am also a “young reader out of reading” but I like to have one or more books to read with desire. Those who do not like to watch bullfights can read bullfighting in Chavez Nogales, Bergamín and Corrochano, read Salsa con Rondón, redondillas by Violeta Parra, Jazz or fiction.
(P): We know that you are a great reader of the late Roberto Bolaño. Who are the Chileans (of all time) with whom he feels the most affinity? Who are your “favorite Chileans”?
(R): Chile is a nation of poets and Nobel laureates. My favorite is Vicente Huidobro, the “creationist”, a counterweight to Nicanor Parra, the “anti-poet”. Chile!!… Homeland of wine and poetry.