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2010-07-22

Chilean rock band Astro seeks to thrive with independent style

By Matías Gajardo for Infosurhoy.com—22/07/2010

The group’s goal is to play abroad next year.

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Astro has blended tropical music and alternative rock to create a style that’s made it one of Chile’s most popular bands. (Courtesy of Astro)

Astro has blended tropical music and alternative rock to create a style that’s made it one of Chile’s most popular bands. (Courtesy of Astro)

VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile – By combining tropical music, the synthesizer and alternative rock, Astro has used its style to emerge as one of Chile’s most popular bands since pumping its first tunes in 2008.

Astro is comprised of Andrés Nusser, vocals and guitar; Lego, bass and drums; Octavio Cavieres, percussion and drums; and Zeta, percussion.

Nusser, 26, recently spoke exclusively with Infosurhoy.com.

Infosurhoy.com: How was your band formed?

Andrés Nusser: I got a trip to a ski resort in southern Chile. The trick was that I had to offer a musical show, and in return I would get free tickets to spend three days there having fun. In the end, we came up with the songs in a week and we went there to play. It was something that happened really fast and by accident.

Infosurhoy.com: How did you choose your musical style?

Nusser: I had been doing more independent music, which is kind of strange. In this case, the idea was to [consider some aspects of] pop music, without taking that step and saying “now I am a pop musician.” We really wanted to avoid having a style that would be “too strange,” so we came up with this “indie” (independent) thing. In other words, we found a middle ground.

Infosurhoy.com: Do you mind that you have been compared to American band MGMT?

Nusser: It bothered me in the beginning, but what happens is that we heavily are influenced by MGMT. I think that it is impossible, as an artist and regardless of the field you choose, not to soak up what you like the most.

Infosurhoy.com: What themes inspire your songs?

Nusser: I believe that great inspiration starts with the fantastic stories we invent in our minds, such as the song “Mono Tropical,” which is about some monkeys who take care of the Mayan pyramids in the Mexican jungle. Then, based on that, we create the lyrics.

Infosurhoy.com: Are you happy with your success?

Nusser: We don’t think we’ve reached the sky, much less that we’ve gotten to the point where we want to be.

Infosurhoy.com: Do you think it is hard to be a musician in Chile?

Nusser: Yes. I think it is difficult, and it depends on the kind of music you want to play. What happens with us is that we use synthesizers and machines, and in Latin America they cost a lot of money. Actually, they cost twice as much as in the United States or in Europe.

Infosurhoy.com: How was playing at the Mexican festival Vive Latino?

Nusser: It was an [incredible] experience. I think that up to [now] it has been the only and the largest festival we’ve played.

Infosurhoy.com: Would you like to play at the Viña del Mar festival some day?

Nusser: Even though it is a very professional festival, the public might not like it if we play there.

Infosurhoy.com: What are your future projects?

Nusser: We want to play abroad in 2011, but that, of course, doesn’t come to you as a gift nor is it free. What we are doing during this second semester of 2010 is strengthening a series of projects that have to do with a video and an album.

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