Subalternos a 4 piece punk band from Sao Paulo, Brazil who are very much influenced by the UK punk scene. I spoke with frontman Deedy to discuss the band influences, the scene in Brazil, their appearance at last years Rebellion festival and their UK tour later this year.
SOTS – Many thanks for taking the time out to speak to me. Can you start by introducing the band and tell us how the band got together?
Deedy – Subalternos appeared in 2014. The band had another name and another vocalist, from there I was invited to take the vocals at the end of 2015, with the name changing to Subalternos. We had only one change in the line-up with guitarist Junior “Cabeça” who was replaced with Vinicius “Coelho”. The current line-up is formed by Cesar on drums, Juliano on bass, Coelho on guitar, and Deedy on vocals and guitar.
SOTS – Although you sing Portuguese your sound has a very English 77’ punk sound to it. Is that a fair statement? What are the band’s main influences?
Deedy – We really like English Punk 77 and our main influences are bands like Cock Sparrer, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks, The Clash, U.K. Subs, The Jam, Gimp Fist and Perkele. In Brazil, they say that we have a more of a Punk 80’s sound, a term used for national bands.
SOTS – You have released the brilliant ‘Nunca Pare De Lutar’ in 2017, can you tell us what the songs on the album are about?
Deedy – The songs talk about political issues in Brazil and about social issues. Unfortunately, we have serious problems in our national policy, in fact the world has. but we prefer to talk about what we really know. What we live. In addition, we also have songs that talk about football, beer and friendship. I think we did a great job, after all the band had only 1 year of experience before we recorded it.
SOTS – Who writes the songs? Is it a collective effort or is one person responsible for writing the songs?
Deedy – For our first album the lyrics were written myself, Cesar and Juliano. We are a band that does not have just one person to listen to. An example of this is our new guitarist, “Coelho”, who wrote a great song last year and we recorded it. We have very similar ideas, but each one with its peculiarities.
SOTS – I believe that you have busy in the studio, when can we expect to hear some new material?
Deedy – Yes, we went into the studio more than once in 2018. We have just released a new music video for the song “Beer”. There are pictures of the streets and pubs of Blackpool, the days we stayed at the Rebellion Festival, and pictures of a pub in São Paulo, Brazil. The song will be available on Spotify and other digital platforms next week. In addition, we recorded a single that will be part of a 7 inch vinyl EP with the Drongos For Europe and Resistance 77 bands from England and Fibonattis from Brazil. We can’t wait!
SOTS – What is the punk scene like in Sao Paulo and Brazil? What bands would you recommend that we check out?
Deedy – The punk scene in Brazil and especially São Paulo is very complicated. We had lots of bars and a large audience at the shows by the middle of 2014, but not anymore. There a only a few bars left and many people prefer to talk on social networks instead of going to underground band shows. Big bands still get great audiences , crowded stadiums but bars in São Paulo are increasingly empty. There are many good bands in Brazil. Traditional bands such as Inocentes, Cólera, Ratos de Porão and Garotos Podres, in which I am a guitarist, are excellent and have a lot of respect from the public. The new bands I really like Fibonattis, Francisco Morato (SP). I will not mention others, so as not to be unfair to a friend. But listen Fibonattis, you’ll love it!
SOTS – Last year you had the chance to play the introducing stage at the Rebellion Festival which was one of my highlights of the weekend. How was it for you?
Deedy – For me and the whole band it was amazing! I’ve always heard of the Rebellion Festival and I’ve always wanted to go, but I never imagined playing it. When we received the invitation, I got scared and called the whole band at the same time. We had the best experience of our lives in relation to music and did everything to enjoy it in the best way possible. The result of our effort paid off, after all we were invited to return, this time in one of the main stages of the festival.
SOTS – Did you have a chance to check out some other bands? What were your highlights and what do you think of the UK punk scene in general?
Deedy – Yeah. I saw a lot of bands. Some of them I had not even seen a show, UK Subs cases, Angelic Upstarts, 999, and PIL. I really enjoyed the Buzzcocks show. They are a wonderful band and I’ve seen it in Brazil twice. I also liked bands like Gimp Fist, Wolf Bites Boy, Drongos For Europe, Resistance 77 and Arch Rivals. The event is so fantastic that it’s hard to choose the best show. But even in respect to Pete Shelley, I’m staying with Buzzcocks on the first night of the festival.
We do not know the scene in England. We played in Bristol, Bolton and went to London and Manchester and we noticed that the bands are excellent with great musicians and there is a great competition to be able to play at Rebellion. Another thing I realized is that a month before the festival it is very difficult to organize a gig, due to everybody waiting for the 4 days that they will be in Blackpool.
SOTS -As you mentioned you have been invited back this year to be on one of the main stages. You must be delighted to be asked back again this year?
Deedy – Yeah, both me and the guys in the band are excited to be back. We’ll do an even better show than we did in 2018. We promise!
SOTS – Will you be playing any other shows in the UK when you are over here for Rebellion?
Deedy – Yes. We arrive in London on July 26 and will play either in the city or somewhere else nearby. Then we headed to Birmingham, Manchester and Blackpool. A total of 5 shows in 10 days in UK.
SOTS – Thank you again for the time and wish you all the best for year and I will catch up with you at Rebellion for a beer.
Deedy – I thank you for the opportunity and respect you have for Subalternos. We will definitely meet up for a beer at the Rebellion Festival. See you soon.