The past few weeks have been pretty busy for me. I have a number of things I’m working on as well as a number of things that were recently published in LA Weekly and in Remezcla. Check ’em out below!
“With Subsuelo, we wanted to do something different than just a regular dance club,” he says. “We wanted to incorporate elements of live performance, of theatricality that was a little bit different than just playing at a big club. We also really wanted to keep the feeling of a house party, which is how I ended up in Boyle Heights in the first place.”
L.A. is currently the only city in the country hosting two MLS teams — the L.A. Galaxy and Chivas USA, who share the Home Depot Center stadium in Carson and play each other this Saturday. The former was established in 1995 and is one of the league’s first teams, while the latter was founded in 2004 and is the sister team to Mexico’s Club Deportivo Guadalajara, aka Chivas de Guadalajara.
Each team recognizes three groups per team as official supporters: the Galaxians, Angel City Brigade and the L.A. Riot Squad on the Galaxy side; and Legion 1908, Union Ultras and Black Army 1850 for Chivas USA.
Jacken, your brother Big Duke’s still playing a huge part in Psycho Realm despite being paralyzed from the neck down.
J: He does a lot of stuff behind the scenes. He helps out with the merchandising and still helps out with the concepts. He actually got into production now. He produced a track called “Metal Rain” on Stray Bullets. He’s working on two or three records that he’s producing entirely.
When you’re paralyzed, that’s a condition that’s rare for anybody to come back from. For now, he’s using technology to get around it. That guy’s Superman. I’m glad that technology is where it’s at and it helps him let out his creativity. He’s working on beats, running websites, and designing merchandise. I tell him he does more work now than he used to do when he was walking.
You were quoted in another interview two years ago as saying that chicha music leads to “late-night drunken violence and suicide attempts.”
I don’t think I said that! [laughs] Say that again [quote is re-read]. Oh, OK, they probably paraphrased something I said but it’s kind of true. A chicha concert in Lima is not necessarily a happy thing. The ritual is that you bring a case of beer [and] put it on the floor. It’s kind of a family thing at the beginning. You’ve got the kids, you’ve got the wife, and you’re all around the crate of beer…and you drink and you drink and you drink! There’s a lot of drinking going on. By the end of the night, it gets a little bit of hardcore. Sometimes there are fights like on Saturday nights in tougher neighborhoods all around the world; people work all week and they’re a little harder edged. Chicha is ghetto music originally. The cliché in Peru is that the really hardcore chichador slits his wrist at the end of the night. I don’t know how often that happens. It’s one of those mythic things.
How does that tie in with the album, Todos Somos Ilegales? Why or how are we all illegal?
That’s the heart of the album. It’s a concept record about the border, but that’s just the focal point of these contradictions. The border signifies so much. It signifies the economic situation where businesses can move freely across the border and suck the blood and life out of people, but people can’t. People gotta be policed and hunted down and shot down by KKK-style vigilantes and it focuses on so much of that. Undocumented people in this country are kept in the shadows and kept in fear. They’re invisible. The idea about We Are All Illegals is solidarity. If you’re gonna call them illegal then you better call me illegal too, motherfucker!We’re all illegal. The foundation of this country is genocide, slavery and stolen land.
One of the great stories in this book is of a team from Riverside from the Casa Blanca barrio. This team was comprised of various World War II veterans. All of them may not have been World War II veterans but there were definitely some that [were] and when they would play teams that were mostly Anglo, they would wear their military belts on the field to display to their opponents that they were deserving of equal rights, that they were deserving of full civic membership. They would show these belts while they were playing to show that we served in the military and we gave our blood overseas so we deserve full citizenship back home. These discriminatory polices and segregation that we live through on a daily basis is something that should not be tolerated. Baseball provided this venue for a lot of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans in particular, to display political messages and social messages.