Levitation Magazine adore Las Cobras, aka Sofia Aguerre and Leandro Rebellato, who are an amazing South American based duo. They are signed to Fuzz Club Records and released their experimental sun-kissed yet dark and hypnotic fuzz-laced debut album Temporal in 2017 then the beautifully ethereal Selva in 2020. Both albums are very special and highly recommend to any serious music collector. So here goes...
How did you two get together and when did it all start?
We have known each other for years, we are from the same town, one day Lean invited me to a Mad Professor show, I was going through my darkest stage but said yes anyway, we have been a couple since that day in October of 2013, same day Lou Reed died, very special and emotional time. I remember Lean made a cover of Heavenly Arms and sent it to me, it was very touching… Also he had a band called Ufesas (check them out) and I was kind of a fan hahaha… Some years later we started making music together, first some covers of Donovan, The Jesus And Mary Chain, among others… We have similar tastes and interests so we thought it would be a fun idea to use our Friday nights to record and play some songs. Our link was musical since the beginning, I think, maybe our principal connection. We started to make and recording music in the summer of 2016, in the blue room, my old room. When you live in a desert town where there's nothing to do, nothing new to see, no new faces or places to go, playing music in a house with friends is the most gratifying thing you can do, we really enjoy it, sharing real feelings and deeply connecting with each other...
What is your song-writing process?
Friday nights, after work, we got together in the room, we connect the bass, guitar, synth and mic, put some music on, take some stuff to warm things up, and start recording the tracks and sounds over and over and then lyrics come to us... It's like the words are in the air, there to catch... you just have to be aware and keep an open mind. Sometimes I take the mic and sing above the base on rec and that's it, there’s a song. Because we sing about the moment, our feelings on that moment, the night, the storms, nature, smoke, dust, breathing, the dawn, the feeling of the sun on your face, darkness, states of mind, our relationships, our love... Nights can be very long in the town and things just happen. We really don't have any rules at the moment of the recording, we just do it spontaneously. We record and produce everything ourselves, so there's no middle man in our music. The major feature of this is that the songs were composed and recorded during the same night, so we did not rehearse the songs before recording them, improvisation and spontaneity is very important in our sound. .
What are your musical influences?
Our musical influences can go from 60`Rock and Roll, Afrobeat, Tropicalia, Candombe, Psych rock, Stoner, Post punk, etc...
My favourite bands are Spacemen 3 and Suicide but my favourite albums are Tranza from Caetano Veloso, Screamadelica from Primal Scream and Their Satanic Majesties Request from The Rolling Stones Their Second Request from The Brian Jonestown Massacre goes too... And I love a rainy day listening to Chopin.
Where are you based and is that where you originate from?
We are from Canelones, a little dead town in Uruguay. Now we live in Montevideo but our homes are back in town, so we go every friday to make some noise, till monday mornings to go back to the routine. There, at the house, is our blue room, where we made Temporal. And last year we built, with the help of our friends Darío (the main constructor), a space to rehearse and record our new music at the back of the house on an old, dirty garage.
As a duo do you ever have session musicians join you on stage? We are not a duo per se, I mean we mostly record everything just the two of us, but in the process our good friends Dario and Diego are a really big part of it. And when we play live they play with us, it would not be possible to play those songs live without them.
Do you prefer playing live or recording in the studio?
It just a different vibe, playing live has its rewards, but I get a bit nervous and anxious though, I am generally a bit shy and try to avoid crowds, but on the other side you get to know a lot of nice people and have a lot of fun and adrenaline rush. So I guess being just the two of us in a room creating music from scratch is a bit magical, we just get more freedom and comfort to experiment with sounds and different states of mind with the door close, red lights and the cats…
Where would you most like to play if you could play anywhere? Maybe a dessert? Nah really, Austin Psych Fest, LEVITATION or the Fuzz Club Festival would be awesome.
What are your future plans?
We are now mixing our second album, nameless yet, so there’s that… We were very lucky that we found Fuzz Club on the way and they released our first album, so we thanks to them! We would love to tour Europe this year, that would be insane. We`ll see…
**The nameless album was then called Selva and released in 2020.
Are there any bands you would recommend we check out?
There are many Latin bands that sound amazing nowadays of all kind of styles: Mountain Castles, Hablan Por La Espalda, Los Nuevos Creventes, Vuelveteloca , Boogarins, Cholo Visceral, Vago Sagrado, Colour Horror, El Color Ausente, Los Pirañas, Hipnoascensión, Los Zalvajes, Hijo de la Tormenta, Athame, Liquidarlo Celuloide, Parahelio, Holocausto Vegetal, Hijo Agrio, Jum, Matad, Mihaly Meszaros, Supersónicos, Tropico Duclos, Alucinaciones en Familia, Sr Faraón, Jhona Lemole, Cadaver Exquisito, PCE, Uoh! Camposanto and of course Mueran Humanos and Föllakzoid, just to name a few… And you should listen to the sixties Uruguayan psychedelia: El Kinto, Totem, Dias De Blues, Eduardo Mateo, The Moonlights, Limonada, Los Shakers, Los Mockers, PSIGLO, etc...
Photo credits: Lois Artigas, B. Chechi and Diego Arrighetti