Our awesome live music capital continues its bold celebration of culture, community and diversity. We are about to, once again, celebrate more of our local heroes. In the lead up to the Local Music Fest, at the Corner Hotel, The Melbourne Critique spoke to the leader of the band ‘The Pirateska Rebellion,’ Chilean musician Juan ‘Pirata.’
Tell us about yourself, your artistry; about the ideology behind The Pirateska Rebellion?
Initially I tried to replicate ‘Juan Pirata,’ the band I led in Chile, as my Chilean bass player was also living here. We play ska, dub, fusion, Latin, hip-hop, reggae… Melbourne is friendly there is a bit of love for the Latin music and charisma here! When my bass player left new players started coming in; they were locals and also musicians from Scotland, Italy and Brazil. I decided not to resist the evident transformation and remade the band to be a ‘collective’ – its psychology is to ‘respond to the people involved.’ There was also a sense of non-conformism by returning the ambition to the collective and the community, hence the name ‘The Pirateska Rebellion.’ I was meeting and sharing dreams and work-ethic with like minded people
The band is, in this reincarnation, still fairly new; what are some your significant moments so far?
We had a great time playing for the St Kilda Festival – it was one of the first moments when this current line up experienced the potential of our own band. Within a few minutes the bar was full of dancing people! We saw them and felt their energy, and, in them, we felt and saw what we could do. Something similar happened at the last Renaissance Festival. We arrived, freshly booked and quite unknown. There was not much vibe around the stage. We started playing and enjoying ourselves. Campers started gathering and emerging from their vans and tents. After a few songs, again, everyone was dancing. The feeling was great. The feeling was mutual.
What would you like to contribute to the Australian music scene; what are some of your dreams and ambitions?
My ambition is to finish the album that is currently in making and realize some touring. To keep sharing my music and the ethos of ‘collectivism’ that celebrates ‘non- competitive achievement,’ without compromising the art quality. To recruit and maintain relationships with international collaborators who share similar ideas. I would love to tour with the full band, but we are also interested in playing with people wherever we go. And it is this ‘open, yet driven’ policy that we want to share, together with the genre of music that we are carving for ourselves – the Pirateska.
What is your message to other similar and aspiring artists, and, to artists, in general?
Never give up. Humans are driven by dreams. If you know about us, if you like us, if you’re not sure about us – come and reach us, let’s build up a movement to reinstall the reign of live music and band culture. I’d love to pass on the message that we are not competing even if the world moves in a competitive way. We are seeking happiness through passion and hard work.