Spotlight On: A Series on Culture & the Arts

Stati_k“Spotlight On” is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on all things cultural & artistic in Xela and Guatemala. This month’s topic is: The Punk Band Stati_K.

One of the big hits at this year’s music festival was local punk band Stati_K. XelaWho decided to get off its ass and finally do something resembling journalism, so we went and interviewed them.

XelaWho: How long have you guys been playing together?
Jorge: For about 2 years. Me and Luisjo are the original members- Tono joined a year ago and Jorge Cruz joined about 3 months ago.

X: Individually you all listen to different music, but which bands have been most influential for the group as a whole?
J: We all started off listening to Blink 182. When we were looking for a bassist, one of the reasons we picked JC was ‘cos he liked Blink.

X: Jorge, you list Shakira and Nelly Furtado as influences – how does this fit into the punk picture?
J: I listen to a lot of stuff and get my influences from all over. Music is music. If it’s good I like it.

X: What about the old punk bands, like the Sex Pistols and the Minutemen?
Tono: I like the Pistols and the Ramones. Luis Jo listens to a lot of the old stuff.

X: Who writes the songs?
J: We all do. Whoever has an idea brings it to the group and we all work on it, to fill it out. Nobody’s the main writer – we even all work on the lyrics.

X: And you play covers?
T: Some. We like to stay original, but we play songs by Fall Out Boy, Panda, Delux… One Eyed Chicken, which is a Guatemalan band.

X: You recorded a demo last year…
T: Yeah. We finished recording the weekend (Hurricane) Stan hit.
J: The idea was to get some radio airplay. We got a bit on a Coban station and a pirate station here in Xela which got shut down. Siglo 104 played us a few times. We’re planning on recording a better quality demo, so we get played more.

X: There don’t seem to be too many venues in Xela for punk music…
T: The problem with Guatemala is that people don’t support bands until they’re famous. Xela’s tricky, because punk is too different.
Luis Jo: Most of our gigs we get invited to play somewhere. We also try to play support for bigger bands when they come through. We’ve played with Legión and Visión Púrpura.
JC: Now there are a few places where we can play, like the skate park in Salcaja, but punk is part of a subculture here, so it’s hard to find a place.
J: Xela really needs more events like the music festival.
LJ: That’s right. They’re a great opportunity for people to get to know local bands and their music.

X: So where can people hear your music?
J: We’ve got our songs on our [now defunct] website: Also if we have gigs coming up we advertise them there.

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