Calle 13 has recently released their new album, Multi-Viral, the first album under their own label, “Abismo” and the band is currently in the middle of a concert and promotional tour through some of the most important cities in the United States.
To find out more about the new album and tour, we spoke via telephone with the face of the band, the outspoken Residente (Rene Perez) and here is an excerpt of our conversation:
Is this the first time you are doing a full blown tour of the U.S.?
We have played many times in different cities like New York, L.A. Chicago and others, but this is the first time we are doing an actual tour. The idea was to release the album and start touring to promote the album with live shows [instead of just the usual promotional tour of media interviews], and in September we will be back on the road with a different tour where we will just concentrate on playing.
Calle 13 has become known for their eclectic use of different Latin American musical styles and on Mulit-Viral you have now ventured into European sounds like Celtic music, how did this come about?
Mixing different musical styles has always been part of the Calle 13 concept, and in this case for the song “Aguante” (strength, resistance) I was thinking of the Irish friends that I have and the strength they have to hold their liquor when drinking and it made me think of the strength or resistance of human beings through history.
Calle 13 has had many collaboration with different artists like Café Tacvba, Vicentico, Outernational and many others, and this time you have Julian Assange from Wikileaks, guitarist Tom Morello, the great Silvio Rodriguez and the poet and writer Eduardo Geleano, how did these collaborations come about?
Each collaboration is because it fits within the concept of the song or the album, in this case when we were singing about the manipulation of the news and social problems, who better than Julian Assange or Tom Morello. Opening the album with Eduardo Galeano was just the perfect addition as he is one of the most important Latin American writers who are still alive and Silvio Rodriguez, he is just so great.
A lot of people still relate Calle 13 to reggaeton, what do you think about those people who won’t give Calle 13 a chance because of their prejudice?
I think it has to do with lack of education, it’s like if you asked me ‘what can we do to stop people from being ignorant’, they have to educate themselves, and the same with the music, people have to stop being ignorant and open their minds, there’s nothing we can do to change people’s mind.
On the video for the song “Adentro” you allowed your own car to be destroyed at the end of the video, what does that signify for you?
The songs talks about the exaggerations of life and unnecessary luxuries and how rappers glorify the gold chains and all that bling and it often leads to kids to fight and kill over a golden chain, and as I was writing the song, I realized that when we started to make money, I bought that car that was completely unnecessary and I had even forgotten about it, because I had left it in Puerto Rico and I was living in Argentina. When the production team was talking about getting a car to be destroyed in the video, I told them we would use my car, because that car represents those unnecessary luxuries. I am not saying that people do not deserve to have some luxuries in their lives, but there is a point where it’s just too much.
Calle 13 will be performing tonight at The Observatory in Santa Ana and Residente stated that the fans can expect a show full of energy and dance as they will be performing with their full band.