- Sumo (band)
Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Sumo
Background = group_or_band
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post-punk Alternative rock Reggae
Years_active = 1981 - 1987
Divididos Las Pelotas
Luca Prodan(vocals) Ricardo Mollo( Guitar) Germán Daffunchio( guitars) Diego Arnedo(Bass) Roberto Pettinato( Sax) Alberto "Superman" Troglio(drums)
Stephanie Nuttal Alejandro Sokol
Sumo was a 1980s
Argentine alternative rockband, merging post-punkwith reggaeand ska. Headed by Italian-born Luca Prodan, it remained underground for most of its short activity, but was extremely influential in shaping contemporary Argentine rock. Sumo introduced British post-punk to the Argentine scene, with almost the whole lyrics in English. And provided a visceral counterpoint to the progressive and nueva cancióninfluences then dominant in Rock en Español.
After living in
Londonand Manchester, hanging out with the members of Joy Division, Italian-born Luca Prodanaccepted an invitation to visit a farm in the Traslasierra zone of Córdoba province to kick his heroinhabit and relax (he was devastated by the death of Ian Curtis). Arriving in 1981, he started composing and recording songs in a homemade studio. After some time, tired of the quiet life in the countryside, he took off to Buenos Aires(specifically to Hurlingham), looking forward to join its underground music scene.
Argentina was under a repressive military dictatorship, and many music and performing-arts acts kept a low profile to avoid problems with police (
Cafe Einsteinin the Balvaneradistrict was a favorite venue for such acts, as were some pubs in Olivos). Luca soon found musicians willing to join his reggae-rock vision.
Sumo's initial formation was: Prodan on vocals and guitar,
Germán Daffunchioon guitar, Alejandro Sokolon bass, and Stephanie Nuttal(an English friend of Luca's and former member of the band Manicured Noise) on drums.
The first incarnation of Sumo played mostly around Prodan's neighborhood of Hurlingham,
Buenos Aires province, and in Cafe Einstein. Nuttal returned to England when the Falklands war( _es. Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur) started, so Sokol took on the drums, and Diego Arnedo joined on bass. Sax player (and later media star) Roberto Pettinatowas a frequent guest; he later joined the band in full.
Because they sang mostly in English, Sumo did not enjoy the extensive airplay given to Argentine bands in the wake of the war. Nevertheless, it became a pillar of the underground scene together with
Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricotaand Los Violadores.
Sumo's music had different sides: hard-edged rock with an experimental touch, influenced by the sound of British
post-punkacts (such as Joy Divisionor The Fall), funky post-punk guitars and strong dub-like bass lines (close to those of A Certain Ratioand Gang of Four), and a typically British brand of reggae and ska. After a halt due to Prodan's spending some time in Europe, the band committed fully to rock in 1984, and spun off the Hurlingham Reggae Band. Ricardo Mollo was added on guitar, and Alberto "Superman" Troglio replaced Sokol on drums.
Sumo started achieving popularity in the mid-1980s, as Luca's in-your-face style was popular with teenagers—but he could also display a mellower streak. He would shout "
Fuck You" randomly, or sing a scathing song about stupid blondes, and immediately swoon about his appreciation for common men drinking "ginebra" at a bar.
In the later releases, some
Spanish languagelyrics were added to the band's repertoire. Many of Luca's lyrics featured irony, wordplay, and references to drugs, dance parties, sex, and other aspects of young people's lives, while remaining aloof of the political and economic changes of the 1980s.
Sumo's history was linked to impresario
Omar Chabán, who was the owner of Café Einstein and then of Cemento, where Sumo played many times.
Due to his drinking and a very fast rock-and-roll lifestyle, Prodan's health deteriorated. He died of a heart attack on
December 22 1987, two days after their last show. After Luca's death, the band dissolved, but its legacy was carried on by two bands, Divididos(led by Mollo and Arnedo) and Las Pelotas(Sokol and Daffunchio). Some of Sumo's outtakes, as well as their initial effort ("Corpiños en la madrugada", originally sold in cassette format only) were released commercially, as well as two solo efforts by Prodan, recorded mostly between 1981 and 1983, were released after his death in 1987: "Time, Fate, Love" and "Beautiful Losers".
Tributes to Sumo include a
1995double disk, appropriately titled "Fuck You", in which Argentine musicians covered Sumo's songs.
On April 12th of 2007 surviving original band members reunited and played three songs - Crua Chan, Divididos por la Felicidad (Divided by Joy) and DeBeDe (Disco Baby Disco) - during "Quilmes Rock Festival" in
River Plate Stadium: Alejandro Sokol (vocals), Ricardo Mollo (guitar), Germán Daffunchio (guitar), Diego Arnedo (bass), Alberto "Superman" Troglio (drums), Roberto Petinatto(sax) and Marcelo Rodríguez "Gillespi" as guest (trumpet).
1981 - 1982
1982 - 1984
Luca Prodan(vocals, guitar)
Diego Arnedo(bass guitar)
1984 - 1987
*Alberto "Superman" Troglio (drums)
Roberto Petinatto( sax)
Diego Arnedo(bass guitar)
* 1983 - Corpiños en la madrugada (original release)
* 1985 - Divididos por la felicidad
* 1986 - Llegando los monos
* 1987 - After chabón
* 1989 - Fiebre
* 1991 - The Collection
* 1991 - Greatest Hits
* 1992 - Corpiños en la madrugada (remastered release)
* 2000 - Obras Cumbres
* [http://www.rock.com.ar/bios/0/457.shtml Sumo] (Spanish)
* [http://www.de-be-de.com.ar/sumodiscos.htm Discography] (Spanish)
* [http://sumo.rock.net.ar/ Fan's page] (Spanish)
* [http://www.rollingstonela.com/musica/musica_cs.asp?tema_id=173¬a_id=899527&pid=2370835&toi=5341 Sumo reunited after 20 years] (Spanish)
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