Welcome to Razorcake | Punk Music Podcast Welcome to Razorcake | Punk Music Podcast

Interview with Aztlan Underground
Razorcake Podcast By Jimmy Alvarado and Todd Taylor

By Staff
Tuesday, May 05 2015

LISTEN HERE: Aztlan Underground Interview MP3

It only takes seconds into an Aztlan Underground tune for listener to know they’ve come across a group unafraid of working outside the usual comfort zones. They take the spirit of open defiance bred in the barrios of East Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, draw fuel from the 1980s hardcore punk and hip hop scenes, and infuse spiritual inspiration from the continent’s native cultures and religions. What results voices the frustrations of peoples marginalized and dehumanized in lands to which they have been physically and spiritually connected for more than 20,000 years. AUG drew from a diverse musical palette over the course of their three albums, each building on its predecessor while pushing in a new direction—from straight hip hop augmented by native instrumentation, to an electrified fusion of punk and rap, to soaring soundscapes that alternate between poetic beauty and a withering brutality reminiscent of early Swans.

For their efforts, they’re considered one of the linchpin bands of the ‘90s “Chicano Groove” scene; have garnered several honors, including four Native American Music Awards nominations in 2010 for their self-titled third album; taken active roles in their communities, both as artists and residents; staged nearly two decades of annual Farce of July concerts featuring like-minded artists, poets, and performers from the worlds of punk, hip hop, rock, and beyond; performed on at least three continents; were personally invited to open for the Southern California stop of Steve Ignorant’s “Last Supper” tour; and had one of their songs listed among the ethnic studies materials identified as objectionable and effectively “banned” by the Tucson Unified School District, alongside other dangerous and subversive materials as Drown by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. And that’s only scratching the surface.

I once referred to them as “the real dope” in a review and I stand by that assessment. After two-decades-plus of existence, they remain challenging, subversive, and uncompromising. More importantly, they walk the walk—something increasingly rare today, even in the underground.

While the punters slice, dice, and sub-sub-categorize parts of the underground into irrelevancy, lifers like AUG continue to push beyond terms like “hip hop,” “rock,” and “punk” and offer glimpses of the possibilities that lay beyond for those willing to commit their lives to their art and working toward a better world for all oppressed peoples.

–Jimmy Alvarado

To download the file to your computer, right click the link below and select "save target as..." It's a hefty file, so it may take some time to download to your computer. To play the file without downloading (it depends on your computer's configuration for playing music files), just click it. Your media player should recognize what to do with an mp3. (If it doesn't, you're on your own.)

 LISTEN HERE: Aztlan Underground Interview MP3

If you have any problems or helpful suggestions you can contact us through the website here. In the subject put “Podcast.” Hope you enjoy listening.

Included tracks:
Iconoclast, “Battlefields / Things of Beauty” Self-titled 7”
Aztlan Underground, “Lemon Pledge,” Sociedad=Suciedadcompilation
Aztlan Underground, “Indigena,” Decolonize
Aztlan Underground, “Be God,” Aztlan Underground
Aztlan Underground, “Decolonize,” Sub-Verses
Aztlan Underground, “9 10 11 12,” Message to the Dominant Culture
Aztlan Underground, “AUG to the 9,” Decolonize

Razorcake Podcast Player

·AK INK #16

 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

 Send to a Friend Send to a Friend

If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to help us out, let us know.

Get monthly notifications of new arrivals and distro and special offers for being part of the Razorcake army.

Razorcake/Gorsky Press, Inc.
PO Box 42129
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Except for reviews, which appear in both, the
contents of the Razorcake website are completely
different from the contents of Razorcake Fanzine.

© 2001-2015 Razorcake/Gorsky Press, Inc. Privacy Policy

Razorcake.org is made possible in part by grants from
the City of Los Angeles, Department
of Cultural Affairs and is supported
by the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors through the Los Angeles
Arts Commission.
Department of Cultural AffairsLos Angeles County Arts Commission

Web site engine code is Copyright © 2003 by PHP-Nuke. All Rights Reserved. PHP-Nuke is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.