Ozomatli: ‘We want to lift people and one way that we can do that, is with music’

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“We just want to celebrate life. We have our own struggles, our own lives but for us music is a joyous…it’s a beautiful thing. We think that we want to lift people. And one way that we can do that, is with music. I think we stand for reaching the gap between the people. We are trying to respect everybody, everybody’s culture and that we can all live together in this world. There is plenty of room, plenty of space, plenty of food to go around and we need to work to make sure that every person can have a full and meaningful life. We don’t like the barrier of the stage and the people. We like to be with the people. That’s why we mingle with the people on concerts.”


Še en pozitiven in energičen koncert. Folk je plesal in skakal, tako na odru kot pod njim. Kot eno tako vsesplošno praznovanje, kakšen nacionalni praznik ali nekaj podobnega. Za piko na I pa so Ozomatli poskrbeli še za presnenčenje saj se je cel bend skupaj z inštrumenti odpravil kar med ljudi. Respect!! Še en koncert, ki si ga morate nujno pogledat, če tega še niste storili na letošnjem Rock Otočccu.


Pogovarjal sem se z Raul Pacheco-em, kitaristom skupine Ozomatli.


Was this your first time in Slovenia?
O: Yes. Very first time, very first gig.


How did you feel?
O: It was great, it was fun. It is a beautiful place and the people are very warm…


Did you see any Slovenia? Maybe the countryside or something?
O: No. Not enough. Just driving in. We landed in Ljubljana. And we drove to here. And that’s it and we have to leave very early in the morning to go to Istanbul.


Well I didn’t want to interview you during the day, because I heard that you were a great live band. And now I am convinced that you are a great live band.
O: You wanted to make sure that it’s true?


Yes I wanted to feel the energy. And now I am wondering where do you get all this positive energy when all this negative energy is floating around you.
O: I think for us, for me…we just want to celebrate life. We have our own struggles, our own lives but for us music is a joyous…it’s a beautiful thing. So that’s just how we feel and how it comes out naturally. We think that we want to lift people. And one way that we can do that, is with music.


You are touring Europe now. How is it?
O: Fantastic. This is our third week. We will be done…Tomorrow will be our last gig. We started in Sicily, Zurich, different places in Poland, the U.K. & now here.


So what did you think about Slovenian people, Slovenian fans?
O: Beautiful. Yeah, Fun!


They were all pretty much excited…Where do you get ideas for your music, which is filled with so many different styles and feelings and energy…
O: Everybody listens to different music. There is ten of us. And we all have very different taste. We all like different things we all studied different kinds of music. So one of us likes a lot of Mexican music, one of us likes a lot of Caribbean music, one of us likes a lot of HIP HOP & Funk & Reggae. Some of us…A lot of us now listen to Middle Eastern Music and stuff like that. We try to incorporate all that.


How do you get along? Like ten people. That must be tough politics. 🙂
O: Sure, yeah, yeah. I mean sometimes it’s smooth and sometimes it isn’t. But it’s natural I think. For us the most important thing is staying committed to the bend to the ideas of the band. And if we ever question our selves. Then we rethink our lives, how we act with each other and try to make things better so that we can keep on going.


What do Ozomatli have prepared for us in the future?
O: Well we are making another record. When we go back home on 14 of July we start a new record. We will have an EP out in September and we will have a full-length record out in the beginning of the year. And in that time we will be able to come back to Europe again.


So, where do you have the biggest fan base in the world?
O:
Well probably in the states. We are from Los Angeles.


I read a lot about you playing on demonstrations. Do you like playing on that kind of happenings? Will you do some more demonstration concerts?
O: Yeah, yeah sure. We love to play on demonstration & political conventions. On the famous Democratic National Convention that you are talking and everybody else is talking about was fantastic. Bill Clinton, Barricades, Ozo gave them one song and cops pulled the plug and rubber bullets started to fly. But people were great and the feeling was great. We need that kind of energy.


So what do you and Ozomatli stand for?
O: I think we stand for reaching the gap between the people. We are trying to respect everybody, everybody’s culture and that we can all live together in this world. There is plenty of room, plenty of space, plenty of food to go around and we need to work to make sure that every person can have a full and meaningful life.


So do you always go “mingle” with the people?
O: Yeah we like it! It’s important for us. Very important. We don’t like the barrier of the stage and the people. We like to be with the people.


Yeah that all makes sense. Well, do you have any last shout out for Slovenian people?
O:
Slovenia is a very beautiful country; it’s extremely beautiful, the land and it’s very clean. I am coming from Los Angeles and it’s very different there. So Slovenia is really, really beautiful and so far everyone has been great. And we thank you all and we will definitely be back to Slovenia…


OK I just have one more question. What do you think about Bush?
O: He’s an asshole!! There are a lot of Americans who think he is an asshole.


So do all the Slovenians…
O: Good for them. They are smart!!


Thank You & Good bye!
O: Thanks. Good Bye


www.ozomatli.com


Mitja Okorn


foto: Bojan Okorn

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