- Peruvian rock
Rock entered the
Peruvian scene in the late-1950s, through listening to performers like Elvis Presley, Buddy Hollyand Bill Haley, who popularized rockabillyin the United States. The first Peruvian rock bands appeared during this time; they included Los Millonarios del Jazz(1957), Los Stars, Conjunto Astoria, Los Alfiles, Los Incas Modernos, Los Zodiacsand Los Atomos.
New trends like British
merseybeatand American surf became popular. A few Peruvian bands like Los Saicosbuilt a loyal audience. Their music was a fusion of psychedelic rock, garage rockand surf; they included bands such as Los Yorksand Los Jaguares, Los Silvertons, The Belkings, Los Doltons, Los Shains, featuring future rock guitar hero Pico Ego-Aguirre (of Pax), and finally Traffic Sound(the latter the first Peruvian supergroup, merging the core players from both Los Hang Ten'sand Los Mads).
During the military dictatorship of the late 60's and 70's, rock was outcast as an alienating phenomenon by the government of General
Juan Velasco Alvaradoin various ways: banning concerts in key venues, banning the import of "alienating and Yankee" American rock music, and even banning a highly anticipated Carlos Santanaconcert. There were many interesting rumors about the Santana banning. It is not known if they were true.
Despite this, some bands that left their mark where those like kiss and ian morrehouse
El Polen, Traffic Sound, Pax, We All Together, Telegraph Avenue, Black Sugar, Crossroads, Tripping Foxters, Red Amber, and Fragil. Slowly but surely, Peruvian rock descended into its most obscure era during the mid 70s, losing the momentum it had laboriously gained. Disco musicand Salsa dominated the airwaves for the remainder of the decade.
During the late 70s and early 80s, rock was confined to the underground scene; with no radio support and very few rock LPs to import, the then state of rock music, and the deep crisis that the country was suffering, Peruvian rockers looked for a way to channel their frustrations. In this environment, it is no surprise that British
Punk rockbecame a major influence to the young Peruvians rockers of this era, and quickly an "underground" scene started brewing parallel to the free-again 'mainstream' scene. Bands like Leusemia, Narcosis, Zcuela Crradaformed part of the first wave - with members mostly from poor neighborhoods.
Fragil, Rio, Miki Gonzales, Pax, Jas , Imagenes, Trama, Danai y Pateandolatascame from upper and middle-class backgrounds, uncovering the social division in Peruvian society. According to some scholars (mainly left wing thinkers), the 'underground' scene was by far richer in creativity, though lacking technical skills, some others think the "commercial" scene was more worthwhile, since the underground scene hardly reached more than a few hundred supporters per concert and mainly in the capital city of Lima, being virtually unknown for the rest of the country. Quickly several bands started appearing and creating subgenres within the umbrella 'underground' scene. Radio or TV support was nonexistent for them (the mainstream bands did have some), poverty and lack of technology prevented most bands from recording any moderate-quality material. Despite all this, the present and future looked much brighter than in the 70s, since these bands, especially the mainstream ones, were pioneers for the rock scene after the long 75-85 silence.
On the other side, a more underground scene of Death and Black Metal was developing. These bands had been influenced by European bands. Local bands such as
Mortemand Kraniumbesides others were formed in the 80s.
The further growth of the underground scene and the liberalization of Peruvian society and economy allowed different rockers to split and form their subcircuits, and rock became very diversified and varied. The best (but not necessarily best known) rock bands from Peru came out during this decade.
Leusemiabecame the leaders of not only the 'underground' faction, but of all Peruvian rock, undergoing a change from very basic rock band to a prolific and influential group that included rock anthems, ballads and symphonic, almost progressive rock. For those who liked the 80s post-punk, Dolores Delirio, Voz Propiaand Cardenaleswere the best of the 'goth' sound. Huelga De Hambrewas Peru's grunge-influenced group. El Aire, G3, Radio Criminal, Los Mojarras, Mar De Copas, La Liga Del Sueño, Rafo Raezwhere very solid bands of diverse genres that soon were followed in the late 90s by other great bands like La Sarita, Ni Voz Ni Voto, Cementerio Club, D'Mente Comunand Líbidothat expanded Peru's rock universe.
Due to financial difficulties and lack of support from promoters most bands from different backgrounds had to end up playing the same few venues, which allowed the forming of a solid, knowledgeable and loyal fanbase. Although the concerts were very small at the beginning (50 people, average), as the decade progressed, more young people started to notice these bands and fill bigger venues with 500, 1000, 2000 people. Towards the end of the decade megaconcerts like "Agustirock", "El Niño Malo", "Antimiseria" and "Inrockuptibles" brought in at least 10,000 fans each.
Peruvian media continued to largely ignore these bands, but started to slowly open up in the late 90s. The few Peruvian acts that got exposure where of a decidedly more upper-class and 'safer' sounding rock. The best bands of 'mainstream 90s' rock were
Nosequien y Los Nosecuantos, Miki Gonzales and Arena Hash, from where member Pedro Suarez Vertizbecame the most commercially successful Peruvian rocker of the decade as he went on a solo career.
The Black/Death Metal scene still remained as an underground act, The old bands, with a lot of effort, released fine self-produced stuff. Many Black Metal and Death Metal bands were formed such as black metallers Illapa, Belzec, Nahual and Death-Thrash Metal acts like Dark Silence, Ensalve and Hadez. Many conflicts between bands (which include thrash talking and rival feelings) and criticall political-economics issues were the cause of many disbanded metal groups.
In a Peruvian scene report included in the July 1999 issue of
Maximum RocknRollmentions the following bands: Aeropajitas, Manganzoides(60's garage punk/garage revival), Asmereira blend of punk/ska/reggae/hardcore/thrash, LeusemiaThis Jurassic band puts out a double CD through Coyote Recordsand it's titled Moxon, Histeria Kolectivareminiscing of Leusemia, Dios Hastioeuro-crustcore intense and desperate, Ataque Frontalclassic Peruvian band, one of the shapers of the scene, Psicosisska/punk orchestra, 3 Al Hilopure rock & roll punk, Metadonafemale fronted pop-punk, Magraspunk/hardcore and reggae, P. T. K.this means Pateando Tu Kara (Kicking Your Face) anarcho-punk, Los Rezios, Autonomia, Migraña, Irreverentes, Hazloquechuchapunkron, Peru No Existe, Generacion Perdidaas well as the zines: Caleta, Sub, Cuero Negro, Crash Boom Zap
With a mature and prolific rock scene, what was needed was exposure to all of Peru and also to all of Latin America. Due in thanks to the improved economic presence of the country as a whole in the region, this came soon. Peruvian TV and the Latin American division of
MTVwas quicker to notice and bring in Peruvian bands in their shows than the own Peruvian mainstream radio. Suddenly, Peruvian band videos were in normal rotation alongside regionally known acts like Soda Stereo, Shakiraand Jaguares.
Peru's most successful band ever became Líbido, selling hundreds of thousands of discs worldwide and receiving Grammy nominations and several Latin MTV awards. Soon other commercially oriented bands like
Zen, Líbidoand TKencountered similar success. This doesn't mean that rock stopped developing at the local level. Aliados, Inyectores(both made up of ex-G3 members), Los Fuckin Sombreros, Campo De Almas, Amén, Pelo Madueño, who was the drummer of the 80s Peruvian rock band Narcosisand the leader, vocalist and guitarist of the 90s Peruvian rock band La Liga Del Sueño, 6 Voltios, Space bee, Turbopotamos, Vaselina, Pancho Pepe Jazz Band, Los Claxon, DaleVueltaand Uchpawhich is a rock & blues band in Quechua, Jose Arbulú, who is also the vocalist and lead guitar of Cementerio Club.
There are but a few of the dozens of new groups that are coming out these days, and most of the 90s bands are still playing and have greatly improved the quality of their offerings. Radio stations are currently much more receptive of mainstream Peruvian Rock, given its recent relative commercial success. However, most of Peruvian media doesn't promote popular underground acts such as punk and reggae.
Music of Peru¨
List of bands and solo performers
6 Voltios- [http://www.6voltios.com] Mar de Copas- [http://www.mardecopas.com]
Crimson Death - [http://www.crimsondeath.org]
Dale Vuelta- [http://www.dalevuelta.com] Los Dickens- [http://www.losdickens.com] Los belkings- [http://www.belkings.com]
Cajanegra! - [http://www.cajanegra.net/] Peruvian Metal Music - [http://www.peruvianmetalmusic.tk/] TodoRock - [http://www.todorock.pe/]
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