La orquesta del sol naciente
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La orquesta del sol naciente

Santiago, Santiago, Chile | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Santiago, Santiago, Chile | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Latin





By Mark Jordan
Special to The Commercial Appear
Friday, May 9, 2014-08-24

In 1964, The Beatles touched down in America for the first time, sparkling an influx of English groups into the U.S, that became known as the British Invasion anda changed rock and roll forever.

Now, fifty years later, a couple of bands from the South American country of Chile are leading a new, if quieter, invasión of America’s musical shores with their first tour of the U.S.
“We made this three-month tour of the U.S. to, how do you say, professionalize our bandas anda our label and to check the opportunity of getting into a market that is bigger tan we have in Chile”, says José Tomás Herrera, bass player for one of the groups, the psychedelic punk trío the Rising sun Orchestra, and co-head of Armatoste Brazo Discográfico, the Santiago-based label of that group and their touring partners, Tomates Rocky. “We are learning a lot from the bands and connections we are making here. We are rehearsing a lot and getting a lof of gigs, more that we can get in Chile”.

Rising Sun Orchestra and Tomates Rocky perform this friday at the fourth anual Bristerfest, which is being held all weekend at 1015 S. Cooper at the old Galloway Baptist Church, and saturday at the Hi-Tone in-between that day’s Midtown Record Swap and a later set by Memphis’ the Oblivians. The Bristerfest performance is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 a.m. while the Hi-Tone sets are scheduled to run from 5 to 8p .m.

The Memphis stint, which also includes dates earlier in the week at Newby’s on wednesday at Bar DKDC on thursday, is the band’s second time here following and appearence in March. The warm reception they received that first time has inspired Rising Sun Orchestra to use the Memphis dates as the launch for their self-titled debut álbum, and effort that hastily completed just days before the bands left to come the States.

For rock bands all over the world, make it in America is seen a sort of Holy Grail. But for Rising Sun Orchestra and Tomates Rocky, success in the States would also be a triumph over despotism.

Rock music was officialy banned in Chile between 1973 and 1990. Since that the country’s previously underground rock scene has rushed to catch up with the rest of the world. In 2011, Santiago hosted the first Lolapalooza festival to be held outside the United States, but Herrera says it can still be a hard slog for musicians in Chile.

“We don’t have the possibilities of getting too many gigs in such a short period”, he says, explaining that his band may pay a couple of times a month back home. “We have less places top lay, and it’s not as easy to tour like here”.

To survive in Chile, groups, like elsewhere, have banded to together to pool resources. Herrera and Tomates Rocky band mates Nico Bowen and Kena Goldenberg started Armatoste Brazo Discográfico a few years back as a plattform for their friend’s music. Currently the label has 12 acts, most of which are bound by a love of psychedelic-tinted music, which has been a particularly consistent trait of Latin rock since Brazil’s Os Mutantes came along in the ‘60s.

Now the label is looking to break into the States with that Herrera hopes will be the first of many tours. And they are finding American audiences receptive to their Spanish-language rock.

The groups arrived in America in march – they are using Austin, Texas, as a home base – and son afterward made their Memphis debut at the Hi-Tone. There were only a handful at that first show, but those who did see them were more than enthused by what they Heard – tight, modern arrangements with strong musicianship – a pronounced soul influence in the case of Tomates Rocky abd a progressive rock bent for Rising Sun Orchestra.

Hi-Tone management liked the bands enough top ut them back on stage the next night after the packed record reléase for the Dead Dawls And a fan landed them another gig the night after that at Bar DKDC where they played to a full room.

“We really love Memphis”, says Herrera of the tour, which has so far included Austin and Houston with trips to come to Philadelphia and Charleston, South Carolina. “Every-where we play al the people say it’s great- It’s excellent. They like us very much. We have made a lot of friends. For us to impress people here in North American is very important because you guys have the best musicians”. - By Mark Jordan


Rising Sun Orchestra – Self-titled

I was walking down Red River Street in downtown Austin, Texas on the night of May 01, 2014, munching on a slice of cheese pizza and on my way to meet my wife at our car so we could go back to the hotel. We’d spent the evening between the Mohawk and Red 7 (two downtown Austin music venues) and were ready to call it a night.

I crossed Red River at 7th Street and was stopped in my tracks by the wall-flattening sound coming out of a place called the Swan Dive. Someone was blasting some hard stuff in there, and I instantly thought, “Who the hell is THAT?” I wasn’t sure if the bouncer would let me in with my cheese slice, and I didn’t have much money left for a cover charge.

He let me in, for free, and I got to see the last two minutes of a fiery set by a band from Chile called Rising Sun Orchestra. They were excited to meet a DJ who was interested in their music and kind enough to give me a copy of their debut, self-titled album.

It opens (after a quirky intro called “Wifi”) with the smashing “Serpiente,” which is full of jangling, tough guitars by Francisco Prieto and drums by Gonzalo Salazar that smack you in the face to make sure you’re paying attention. It’s a fast, flat-out rock song that turns into a wild psych-prog tune when Jose Tomas Herrera brings in the skronky keyboards.

“Puente” (“Bridge”) has some of Salazar’s snappiest drumming on the record while Prieto seems to be seducing a woman through most of his lyrics. “Maria Ipalei” could be a Nine Inch Nails tune if Trent Reznor grew up in Chile, but thankfully Rising Sun Orchestra beat him to the punch with the creepy keyboards, tribal drumming, and spooky lyrics. “Shao,” with its Spanglish lyrics, tricky yet spacey guitar, goes from a catchy hook song that might be about marriage to a crazy psychedelic freak-out about subjects unknown to me, but the tune is insane so who cares about hidden meanings?

“Zorros” (“Foxes”) is a crafty track that goes from almost a reggae feel to something the Police might’ve released on an alternate cut of Regatta De Blanc. The next track is in two parts – “La Fuerza de Los Dioses” (“The Force of the Gods”) and “Electric Sun System.” The first part is a love song that would belong in a modern spaghetti western. The second part is an electro floor-stomper that would belong in any dance club or rock hall. The final track, “Vibora,” is a fun one, with sizzling guitar and silly to assured vocals from Prieto, wicked drumming from Salazar (who may be the best drummer I have heard in a long while), and more breaking-the-scales fat bass from Herrera.

I might not have discovered this band if I hadn’t bought that cheese slice and had to cross the street and thus be within earshot of the Swan Dive as a result. So thank you, cheese pizza; and thank you, Rising Sun Orchestra, for this fine record.

Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at

Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.

Published on August 11th, 2014 - NIK HAVERT


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