Interview with THE OTHERNESS
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
When we were kids in the profound south of Argentina (La Patagonia) we were deeply affected by the music of Nirvana. We felt something unique that turned out into a passion for playing and creating music that is very complex to put down in words. We were so far out from everything that by late 90’s we didn’t know that Kurt Cobain was already dead… However, we found a source of inspiration and also a door to a very special kind of artists and writers that range from The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, black music, punk rock and Leadbelly to James Joyce, Sartre, Cormac McCarthy and William Burroughs. It’s always about freedom of expression for us and that is our cultural battle. In all honesty, no clue what we would be doing without music in our lives.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We are keen on books and series and films. Sometimes a dialogue or a combination of words sparks the flame of inspiration and you can make something out of it. It may happen right away or on the other hand, it is something you carry with you in the back of your mind until something triggers that special moment of creation in the making.
We also like fútbol, like the 100% of Argentine population. Videogames and meeting random people in the pub when we are on tour are also things we really like to do.
How long has your band been around?
The present combo is around since 2020. Gonza and Martin started to play together when they were little kids in Comodoro Rivadavia. They left their hometown and stayed in Buenos Aires for a few years writing songs until Pablo joined in on drums around 2010.
After a “lousy guitar players parade”, Nico completed the band.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are now based in Berlin and this has no influence at all over our music because “techno” is the main genre here and we find it horrible.
Having mentioned that, great records by David Bowie and Lou Reed were made in the city and also there’s a fine tradition of punk rock in the likes of The Ramones and The Clash –which are bands we all really love.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We came up with “The Otherness” as a name in Buenos Aires during a period of time in which we used to stay all night long listening to full albums, trying to study the music and the production of the tracks. “Otherness” is the quality of being different and accepting and embracing the fact that we live in a world of diversity. Also we are quite suspicious of tags, slogans and the “sameness” boosted and promoted by the algorithm and AI so we are happy just as the “other”, you know. It is a genuine alternative because resistance and subculture no longer have to be obscure.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We had a great time playing at Electric Brixton in London together with a legendary band from Argentina, called “Auténticos Decadentes” and after the gig we went to a club of African music and had a blast dancing to the great beats and vibes of the Hootananny. It was great to see people dancing from all over the globe and reacting positively to our music when most of the audience didn’t know the songs of our debut album –unreleased at the time in 2019.
We also really like to play small venues such as Cowboy und Indianer in Hamburg where you are face to face with the audience and crazy shit happens. We had the stage set on fire with a product of dubious origin and also one time we were playing “Woo-hoo” and the manager of the venue threw water all over the drum set for a funny and exciting performance… Yin Yang aesthetics in the same place for such great joy and good fun, you know?
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We are fond of every venue that received us and gave us the chance to play our music. We are currently dreaming of playing for the first time in the USA next year.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
It’d be nice to play along Jon Batiste, Khruangbin, Leon Bridges and Gary Clarke Junior.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
We think everyone creates a unique and singular path so it’s kind of hard to be in a position that allows anyone to give a certain piece of advice. Just be passionate about your craft and love music they way you love the most significant things in life - you have to care for the music and cultivate it as a sacred garden.
We would tell our younger selves that things like discrimination against nationalities, ethnics, origins and class still happen in the music business so don’t be näive wherever you come from because this world is not a fair place at all and it is money driven, no matter how good you are.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t believe in people you don’t really know because most of them don’t give a shit for young unknown musicians.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“A New Resistance” is one of our favourite because it has a beautiful melody that we sing as a duet and also the lyrics are meaningful and provide the listeners with an interesting insight in regards to the effects of technology and social media on society and human relationships.
On the other hand, “We Can Be One” acknowledges themes that are contemporary and complex and does it through a sweet pop arrangement that shreds light onto terrible things that belong to the dark side of humanity.
Also the videos we produced for both songs are really cool.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We love to play the rock numbers that imply screaming and getting crazy but also we have a soft spot for tunes. “A New Resistance” is the most requested because it’s new and catchy and “Few for the Stew, “Bit of Fun”, “Isn’t It Amusing” and “She Feels the Soul” are always very welcome every gig.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Martin and Gonza write the songs together and produce demos to share with the band in order to agree on the final arrangement for a track altogether.
The inspiration for songwriting is a mystery we don’t want to discover.
We just try to be open and receptive because music is all around all the time, and just like poetry it has the beauty of the unnamed, priceless and soulful.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Freedom of thought and expression, acceptance, tolerance, peace, joy to live and strength to fight against greed and corruption and racism/sexism.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Of course, plenty of disagreements sometimes. That happens because we are good friends and friendship is also the reason why we get past them –we just talk through when the heat of the moment is over.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are currently working on the songs for our 2nd album and have plans to play again in Europe and the wish/goal to play in the USA and Canada for the first time next year.
“We Can Be One” video is just out:
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Just get in touch on any of the following social media, or drop us a line by email.