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The secrets of Mar de Copas: Why they no longer sing “Ramera”, the ‘evil’ they did to them in the Soda Stéreo show and more

The secrets of Mar de Copas: Why they no longer sing “Ramera”, the ‘evil’ they did to them in the Soda Stéreo show and more

The secrets of Mar de Copas: Why they no longer sing “Ramera”, the ‘evil’ they did to them in the Soda Stéreo show and more

After touring Cusco, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Juliaca, Puno, Huaraz, Cajamarca and Trujillo, those responsible for the classics “Mujer Noche”, “Suna” and “Un Día Sin Sexo” returned to the Peruvian capital to continue their musical journey. On November 12 they will sing in Lima Este and on December 16 in Lima Norte.

─What does this tour represent for the band?

Mainly, the joy and tranquility of going back to work because these have been very hard years. If normally living from art you survive in Peru, you can imagine what it was like in a pandemic. Both the public and us wanted to see and listen to each other, and the energy we give and receive in each show is so much that we end up exhausted. We meet again will continue for a while longer and next year a new tour begins for the celebration of 30 years.

─Thirty years of enjoyment, but also of struggle, especially at the beginning when they had to use strategies to get a label to bet on Mar de Copas.

I don’t know if it was fate or luck, but just when we finished recording our first production, a good friend, Pedro Cornejo, started working at El Virrey. He helped us convince the people at the label to do a sub-label to test alternative markets with new bands. They released an edition of 200 cassettes, we bought them all so that they continue betting on us, then we gave them away at the universities. The same thing happened with a second edition. Two years later we put out another record and it was different because we already had a considerable number of fans.

─Who named the group?

The story is quite funny. Since we didn’t like the name that the group had at first (Ace of Cups), we decided to meet at the Nautilus bar, in Miraflores, to find a new name for it. Everybody brought an idea, I proposed Mar, because I liked the name of the Spanish group, Mar Otra vez, and Manolo proposed La luck. A thousand more names were shuffled, then, drinks come and go, we all fall asleep. When I woke up, I was the only lucid one, I had to go because I had work with Miki González, and before leaving, I said: The only thing we have achieved in this meeting is this list of 50 names and this sea of ​​cups”. And that phrase was noted on the list. A week later, one of the radio stations to which we took our cassette to see if they were interested in playing any of our songs, called us to ask us the name of the group because they were going to play one of our songs. Manolo gave the last name that we recorded on the list, we didn’t like it, but it stayed.

Members of Mar de Copas: 'Toto' Leverone, Manolo Barrios, Phoebe Condos, César Zamalloa, Wicho García.  (Photo: Diffusion)

─Mar de Copas was born during the most difficult years for national rock, in which people only wanted to hear foreign groups. How did they manage to get out of a scenario as complicated as that?

I lived that stage more when I worked with Miki, from 86 to 90 there was a boom in rock in Spanish, on the radio there was a lot of music from Argentine groups, Spanish…, but not Peruvian. In 1995, when Soda Estero performed at the University of Lima, we, who were going to play before them, they treated us as if we were the last wheel of the car. When we went out to do the sound check, they opened the doors for people to enter, we had to do it that way, with noise and with people entering. It was wicked. Luckily for us, everything began to change as a result of “Suna”, the fourth album that we released in 1999, we entered with great force, the interest in national bands had already grown.

─Although with “Suna”, the band began to play strongly on the radio, it was with the release of “Entre losarboles”, the second album, that it began to grow exponentially.

It’s true, the second album was important for us because we liked it a lot, much more than the first, and the vocals were so strong that the record company was encouraged to release a CD.

─Why did you stop singing “Ramera” in your presentations?

“Ramera” was a song by La secta that Manolo presented in a different version. There was the possibility of putting it on the first album, then on the second; but I rejected both times because I never liked it and it’s not because it’s strongly misogynistic but because of the lyrics, because of the name. When we put out that single it quickly became a hit, even women were singing it and asking for it. I remember singing that song with a bit of reluctance, until the Me Too wave started, then there was the case of a girl who was burned on a bus. The day he died we had a concert, when I started singing “Ramera”, the first thing that went through my mind was that news, I felt so bad that after the concert, in the dressing rooms, I told everyone that I was never going to sing that song. Luckily they understood and that was it.

─During these three decades, has it been difficult for the band to maintain validity and leadership?

It’s hard every day. Sometimes I run into people from my school and one or another tells me that I’m having a great time as a musician, that I’m doing what I like, and they’re right; but we don’t have a schedule, we work almost 24 hours a day because we dedicate ourselves fully to this, we don’t have companies, businesses, another career. We live from music, it is our sustenance, that is why our work is constant and non-stop.

─During the pandemic, Mar de Copas was involved in a controversy over the price of its tickets for the virtual concert, some users considered it excessive. Do you think that in Peru the value that he should have is not attributed to the artist?

I don’t remember that topic very well, but I think it had to do with the high costs of doing a live broadcast, you had to have the equipment, broadband, rent a special service, it was a very strong investment. There I understood that it was done that way because there was a great desire to do things well. As for your question, I think that the public has to do with the fact that the pandemic left us hit, people were left with a load of debt, and now that everything has gone up for ten thousand reasons, the situation is not the best; but I do believe that there is an appreciation and recognition for our work.

─How is the project you have with director Antonio Rodríguez going, to bring the story of Mar de Copas to the cinema?

Tony walks in 10,000 things, always moving from one place to another, and I think that right now he is about to finish the documentary on Uchpa. The last time I spoke to him was a few months ago to see how he was going to do a mix of a concert we recorded before the pandemic. Next year, precisely for the 30th anniversary of the group, we are going to take up the film again.

─In addition to the film, what activities are you preparing to celebrate these three decades?

We are going to launch a vinyl collection of the four first remastered discs with a special packaging. We already have the covers, but the vinyls are yet to come. When we have them we are going to do a record signing to promote it, also a new tour. We have overcome the strong slump we had due to the pandemic and now we are almost non-stop, trying to maintain the line and continue with We meet again. It is a very strong moment of work and projects. We are in a good moment.

Confirmed concerts in Lima


Friday 04: Electric Concert at the Yield Rock Bar

Saturday 12: Sea of ​​Cups We Meet Again East Lima

Saturday 19: Rock in the Park in the Arena Peru


Friday 02: Electric Concert at the Yield Rock Bar.

Friday 16: Sea of ​​Cups We Meet Again in North Lima

Source: Elcomercio

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