Ivan Muñoz of Vigilante talks about bringing awareness to his audience via “artivism.” Also, rattle your neighbors with free songs by electropunk artists FIGO, professional industrial troll Caustic, & aggrotech up-and-comers BlakOpz and Ludovico Technique.
Remember FIGO, from last year’s Identity Festival? They’ve remastered their first CD, Put It All On Black, and put it up for free download over here at their bandcamp. And relatedly, FIGO’s frontman Parag’s mix of Hurt Me Tomorrow’s K’Naan is up for free download over on their soundcloud.
While we’re at it: Caustic (just back from the Very Last Chemlab reunion show ever; a memorial concert for industrial musician Jamie Duffy) has a preview of his upcoming album, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop, up for free listen on his soundcloud. And if that’s not enough for you, Casutic teamed up with Android Lust for the awesome song Bleed You Out, which is up for free download over on Metropolis Records’s soundcloud here.
BlakOpz, who just finished a tour opening for Aesthetic Perfection, also just put up a string of freebies. From soundcloud comes the aggrotech floorstomper 200 Enemy Kills–a gift to fans for helping them reaching 1000 likes on facebook. If that makes you want to break out the cargo pants and big black boots, here’s more: a DJ Zircon mashup and a Mediafire download of Virtual Terrorist’s remix of It’s Not Human.
Meanwhile, recent Metropolis Records addition The Ludovico Technique is gearing up for the release of their second CD, Some Things Are Beyond Therapy. One of their promotions is the aggrotech track Wired for Destruction, which is also up for free download on Soundcloud. These guys are touring later this year with Imperative Reaction, and are playing a Halloween show here in Pittsburgh. Will I be there? You bet!
And just in case you missed them so far . . . Vigilante is a Chilean aggrotech/industrial-metal band with a heavy political kick. I caught up with Vigilante’s frontman Ivan Muñoz as he’s aiming their Revolution is Now tour at Russia, Belgium, and France. He says the tour’s been great so far, giving him the chance to see new countries and people–not to mention the chance to go to (let alone tour) the United States for the first time. (And it was here in Pittsburgh where he and I met, as he sang his way through the dancing members of the crowd and I accidentally got him with an elbow.)
Of course, as a musician and a political activist, I pretty much was obligated to pick his brain.
I noticed when you guys were here that you incorporate a lot of political messages into your visuals and lyrics, and that you’ve gone on stage wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. What do you think of music as a way to get your points across, or as a way to open dialog?
Muñoz: I think art in general is a great tool to bring awareness to people or open a debate. I think these days critical thinking is a thing we really miss. And for me it’s great try to be provocative and try to make people ask questions. I call it “artivism.”
As you’ve been touring Europe lately, have you noticed any differences in responses or attitudes between America’s crowds and Europe’s?
Muñoz: Sometimes the language can be a barrier, because not all the people here in Europe speak English. So I think in the United States the people were more receptive to my messages because they were be able to understand it better. But anyway, here the people are great, very respectful and get into the music pretty well. And in a more personal view, with all due respect, I think the people in the USA are a little bit more “asleep” than in Europe.
Do you think it’s that some of the people in the US know/understand less about what’s going on, or that they care less?
Muñoz: I don’t think it’s the people’s fault at all; I think they are only a consequence of a very subtle indoctrination that people have received since they were very young, with the educational system, religion, patriotism, consumerism, and media.
So what’s next for you guys? Are you working on a new CD, or focusing on the tour?
Muñoz: Yes–I’m working on new material and some remixes, and planning my next tour in the USA.
Any idea when that might be?
Muñoz: The middle of next year–around June/July.
Last year around this time we had massive discontent that eventually made the Occupy Wall Street movement. This year we’ve got elections, and it looks like EVERYONE is angry. Next year . . . What do you think the political climate will be like in the US come June/July?
Muñoz: I think in general and not only in the USA we are at a turning point; people are beginning to wake up, and starting to see all the injustices of our current social economic system. So I think the discontent will grow, but I hope that discontent will be transformed into real solutions and proposals. It depends also what the people in power will be able to do to maintain the status quo. When sports, drugs and entertainment are not enough, unfortunately fear is the more efficient tool of control.
And for the last one I’ll switch gears a little–this is the question Doom asks everyone: In the event of the zombie apocalypse, what are your plans?
Muñoz: I will keep doing what I’m doing now: killing “zombies” and trying to stay alive. ;)
Right now it looks like Vigilante will be back in the states around June or July of 2013. Two of their newer songs are up for free download (and a lot are up for free listen!) over on their soundcloud–and if you like what you hear, pick up some more songs off amazon.com. :)