The Complete History of The Rock and Roll of Chino Burga:
Chino Burga is a legendary underground rock musician from Lima, Peru. With 20 years of experience in the Latin punk and experimental music scene, he’s seen a lot, and has traveled all over the world playing in his band, La Ira de Dios. Burga plays in several different rock bands, and after hearing about his legacy, I thought I’d ask him a few simple questions to learn more about his life long relationship with music.
He’s been busy this year with his new solo project entitled 3AM, and released the project’s first album, UFO Blues Tapes last month. Levitation Records will release UFO Blues Tapes on vinyl later this year.
Chino Burga is always moving forward and reinventing himself as an artist, so it’s important to know where he started in order to understand where he is going. Here is the complete history of the rock and roll of Chino Burga.
Tell me about your first real experience in a rock band?
Well, I started back in ‘93 when some friends and I got into practice room and started a band. We pretended to be like Sonic Youth, but the truth was that we just didn’t know how to play (laughs). So the music was not really good, but it was our first try and we learned a lot from it.
Do you come from a musical family?
Not at all. In fact my family was totally against it. Being a musician was not a good idea for a traditional conservative family like mine. But my father was a hardcore fan of classical music, and when I was a young kid, he took me to the opera and orchestra concerts many times. I remember seeing him with tears in his eyes as he listened to the music. He had a big passion for it. I guess he transmitted that passion to me.
Why do you make music?
Hmm…that’s a tough one. I don’t know exactly “why”. But I remember being like 7 or 8 years old and I saw a music video of Iron Maiden and I turned to my parents and told them “I wanna be like them when I grow up”. Since that moment I try to make music or try to be involved with it.
Who are you your musical influences?
There are so many. I listen to very different types of music, from Bob Marley to Anti Cimex and Robert Johnson to Kraftwerk. I guess my main influences are The Stooges, Suicide, and of course I like a lot of minimalism music via Loop, Neu and Spacemen 3. I like space rock and cosmic music like Hawkwind, a lot of krautrock , tons of 60s garage punk and 80s from Joy Division and Siouxie and The Banshees.
How many bands are you in?
Right now, I’m in four bands, but La Ira de Dios (psychedelic punk) and Necromongo (crust punk) are not very active because the drummer lives outside of Peru. We play only when he comes for a visit or when we get together for a tour. With La Garua (psychedelic blues) and Los Entierros (psychedelic post punk) we are active and playing shows. With 3AM (rock’n’drone) we are about to start playing live, and I say “we” because in studio it’s a solo project but for live shows, a friend is helping me with an extra guitar.
Tell me about the history of rock in Lima, Peru since you started and how it has changed?
I started playing in what we called the second wave of underground 90s bands in Lima. There was a first wave of bands in the middle of the 1980s. It was a hard time because there weren’t cool studios to record in, and it wasn’t easy to find cool gear. If you found good gear, it was really expensive. Also the information about cool bands was hard to access, (this was pre internet) but we managed to make it. Now with the internet, everything has changed. It’s easier to get info or to listen to music from the other corner of the world. That’s really cool. And of course, now there are nice studios to record in in Lima. Also you can do it by yourself.
What made you record a solo project (3AM)?
I’ve never tried a solo project before and thought it was a good time to start one. I had lots of riffs and ideas that wouldn’t fit in La Ira or any of the other bands I played in. I also had lots of free time. It all started like 2 years ago, when I was jobless. That took me to the point where I had to do something or go crazy, so I started to play at home and programming drum beats. I asked a friend to sing on the new songs, but she was too busy. I put the project to the side but last year, just before I went on tour to Europe with La Ira, I said to myself “If I sang on all La Ira’s albums, what the hell!!! I can sing here too, I really can do this all alone.” So I started to record the album with the help of two friends. After the tour we started to mix UFO Blues Tapes. And that’s it.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I guess I’ll keep on playing and recording. There’s a lot of work to do.
The Complete Timeline and History of The Rock and Roll of Chino Burga:
2013-3AM debut album “UFO Blues Tapes” by Levitation Records (DK)
2012-4th European tour for the album “Peru no Existe” (World in Sound Records) with La IrA de Dios (38 dates through Holland, Czech Rep, Austria, France and Spain)
2012-Producer of Virgen Sideral’s debut album
2012-Los Entierros starts
2011-Recording La Garua (“Panza de Burro Thunder Blues” album) soon release by World in Sound Records.
2011-Necromongo 7” released by Lengua Armada records
2011-Split of Necromongo/Sistemas de Aniquilacion came out
2009-La Garua starts
2009-3rd European tour for the álbum “Apus Revolution Rock” (World in Sound Records) with La IrA de Dios (33 dates through Germany, Bélgium, Denmark, Holland, Italy and Spain)
2010-Guitar player for the 45th years reunion of Los Saicos
2008-Recording sessions for Obskuria second album. Released by World in Sound Records
2008-3rd European tour for the album “Cosmos Kaos Destruccion” (World in Sound Records) with La IrA de Dios (33 dates through Germany, Bélgium, Denmark, Holland, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain)
2006-Recording sessions for Obskuria first album. Released by World in Sound Records
2006-1st European tour for the album “Archaeopterix” (Nasoni Records) with La IrA de Dios (17 dates through Germany, Bélgium and Spain)
2005-La IrA de Dios first album “Hacia el Sol Rojo” (Nasoni Records) is released in Europe
2003-La IrA de Dios first album “Hacia el Sol Rojo” is released in Peru
2001-La IrA de Dios starts
1993-2000-Played in these bands: Acidos Acme, Resplandor, Claroscuro, Espira, Los Ultimos Días del Dr. Zaius
Words and interview by: Jordannah Elizabeth