The Interview

The Band © Paolo Sarti

The Band

 - When did you start to make music?

Paco: Actually, music has always been with us in our lives. Our parents are quite music oriented and I can still remember them singing and dancing. I guess, it happened to us automatically.  In fact, since teenage, we have been rocking to the vibes of Punk, Latin and Ska. Now, with RAGGABUND, we have been on the road for already more than 10 years and touring all around the globe. In fact, I am sure that the music will bring us a lot of good luck also for the future.

- How did you choose your band name?

Caramelo: Actually quite random. One day this word play just came to our minds. The Jamaican style of rap is called RAGGA and we all like this kind of singing a lot. However, the music genre, we play, is not only limited to RAGGAE. We rather like to embrace experiments and innovations, when it comes to music and we really like to wander into different music genres. We see ourselves as Sound- Vagabonds or Wanderers. That is how the name of our band came into origin “RAGGA and VAGABONDS – RAGGABUND”.

- How did you find the other Band members, the backing band “The Dubby Conquerors” from Zurich?

Paco: This was a funny story. Those times the singer Elijah asked us for a feature and their musicians seemed very positive to us – a great bass, steady groove – all the things that one wishes for as a front singer. Then, of course, we really tried hard on that feature; after that, we had a few concerts with those boys and we felt connected, our chemistry was good. It was like love at the first sight, but on a musical level.

- Your music is a lot influenced by music traditions from Latin America. You have had music tours through all over the globe. So far, did you already do fusion music projects? If so, which?

Paco: yes we did! In fact countless! – Caramellos old band “Les Babacools” even called himself a fusion project. Everything that had groove inside, got integrated in a very elaborated and detailed way into their sound. It was really worth hearing.

Caramelo: Paco is part of the “Koalas Desperados”, a project with a very global fusion attitude. Also with RAGGABUND for example we fused Jazz with Reggae. What belongs to our project with Silly Walks, we fused African beats with Dancehall or Electro and Pop. Especially the Fusion gives us many opportunities to create new forms of sound. For me it is a bit like cooking.

- What do you know about music from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka? Do you know any Bollywood songs or Sufi-music?

Paco: Of course, we know Indian rhythms and music instruments. Already the Beatles were so excited about the musical variety there, for us it is just the same. We even recorded a track together with the Indian Electro-Rock-Band “Zoo” from Calcutta. You can in fact read that online at Rolling Stone India. However, it was more of a western style beat. Well, the Indian music groove does thrill us and we definitively hope to get lots of inspiration by Indian music.

- In South Asia, many music instruments are quite unknown in Europe. Can you play any music instruments from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka?

Paco: we have already tried Tabla at diverse jam sessions. One time I was in the artist commune “Mars” und spent hours with a sitar. Still, for us, that music instruments sound like far away countries and exotica vibes. Especially, Luca has a big liking for those sounds. I think we all will return to Germany with Indian instruments in our bags.

- From where you get the motivation for all the songs and for all the different topics?

Caramelo: Actually I can´t narrow it down to one thing – sometimes new songs come to mind just like that and sometimes one has to work really hard and put your brains into them, just the way it happens in love. Because our songs do cover a lot of social issues and any social injustice motivate us for songs. If people are not interested about the sorrow in the world and if they even feel superior against foreign people or others, we do not need to wait for a long time and soon we are inspired for a new song.

- Do you have any short message you have for the German learners in South Asia?

Paco: Get ready – we will capture you into our cosmos and we will show you, how the German language can be used to create great songs and poems.

- Rapid Fire: Give an answer to the terms that is suddenly coming into your mind:

Music: Life

Favorite instrument: The human voice, this is the most natural instrument that everybody owns.

South Asia:
Paco: Friends

Caramelo: Love

Paco: Its feeling, not a place!

Paco: Our language with lots of rough edges, but as smooth as a cat.

Caramelo: Not a new thing. The humankind has always been in motion and has benefited from the cultural exchange with other countries.

Paco: We love to explore other countries and we are very happy that the Goethe-Institute & the Pasch-Initiative make it possible for us to explore unknown spots on the globe
Protest songs:
Caramelo: Unfortunately at the moment there are too little, although problems are not getting less.

- Because of concerts you are often away from your family and friends for a long time. Do you miss them? How do you feel to stay away from them?

Caramelo: Actually travelling is one of the constants of our time. In addition, many of our friends in their jobs do not have the opportunity to live in their hometown. During the week they are on the move or sometimes even for months. In fact, we have a privilege to spend more time with our family from time and time. That is very important to us, too.

- One can learn a language quite fast. How many languages do you speak? Did you also learn a language by music? If so, which language(s)?

Paco: We were all growing up multilingual. We all speak fluent German, Spanish, English and French. Even some pieces of Guarani, the indigenous language of Paraguay. Our band members Mikey and Luca know Italian. Definitely, music taught us the language of love, you just need to hear Barry White, Stevie Wonder or Prince.

Caramelo: But I think that the influence of the English Hip-Hop and Reggae already contributed a lot to our English language skills.

- It´s you first tour in South Asia. The cultural differences between Europe and South Asia are quite big. How do you prepare yourself for the potential intercultural differences?

Caramelo: After growing up in different continents, I think we have become global and open for culture of other counties than those who have always been living at one place and country.  In addition, we already had the chance to give concerts in Vietnam.

Paco: Of course, Indian culture is something completely new to us, but first we are very excited. Especially the cultural differences make the world a fascinating place. We are looking forward to all the new impressions and we think that the differences will rather inspire us.