May 9, 2012
Straight from the pages of the upcoming special Brasil edition of RAGGED, we’re thrilled to give you an exclusive early look at our feature story with We The Kings! From Brasilian barbecue to impromptu acoustic jams in the park to exploring Lollapalooza Brasil, we took advantage of every opportunity the beautiful streets of São Paulo offered. Read the band’s thoughts on the trip below and follow along with the 6-part webisode series, “Olá, Brasil!”. The full issue of RAGGED featuring extras from the trip and additional photos with We The Kings will be available as free download here starting May 17, and Episode 1 of “Olá, Brasil!” can be seen here!
WE THE KINGS KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT TRAVEL; the Warped Tour staples have been around the world a few times over since the band started bring their sunny power pop to the masses seven years ago, but their latest trip south of the equator as part of RAGGED’s musical foreign exchange program have left them smitten: “There’s no place like Brasil in the entire world,” says frontman Travis Clark, “and the fans are such a big part of that.” and Clark and his bandmates (drummer Danny Duncan, guitarist Hunter Thomsen and bassist Charles Trippy) know what they’re talking about—the band found themselves amongst WTK fans at nearly every turn during their weeklong stay in São Paulo. When they weren’t recreating a modern-day A Hard Day’s Night blazing a trail through Brasil, with hundreds of fans in their wake, the band were getting to know the culture with Brasilian ambassadors and native rockers Tipo Uísque. “We got to hang out with them for five or six days,” Clark says. “They took us around into markets, we saw the architecture and ate the food—we fell in love with Brasil.”
Just a few days after the band’s departure from Brasil and back on American soil (well, nearly—the band headed to Helsinki, Finland, nearly just as soon as they arrived back in the States), RAGGED spoke with Clark more about their adventures in south america including what he thought of their foreign hosts, the most excellent local culinary traditions and the crowds at Lolla Brasil.
Brasilians speak Portuguese, which is supposedly one of the most complicated languages in the world. Did you experience any significant language barriers?
We all picked up a little bit of Portuguese. it was really cool for us to try to communicate with the people of Brasil. We always feel bad because all we know is English, and we wanted to learn a little bit of Portuguese. even if we messed up the words, [the fans] loved that we were putting forth the effort.
After traveling there and coming back, what is one thing you would export to America from Brasil?
We went out to eat for lunch and dinner almost every day, and there’s this thing called churrascaria -— it’s Brasilian barbecue, and it’s the best food in the entire world. You have this spinning wheel, half the wheel is green and half is red. As long as it’s on green, they’ll just come out with all these different kinds of meats and vegetables and cheeses—anything you can imagine. It’s like a buffet, but it comes to you. it doesn’t stop until you turn the wheel to red.
What does Brasilian culture have on American culture?
The fashion down in Brasil is incredible. All the girls are, one, extremely beautiful, but the way they dress themselves…it’s so unique. A lot of the guys’ clothing is very progressive, the colors and the way people wear stuff. I felt like we looked very American. What was cool was that the Brasilian people loved our style, because it was kind of a taste of where we came from. And it was a mutual liking, because we loved what they wore.
So Brasilians are more adventurous in terms of fashion?
I don’t know if they’re trying to be adventurous, it’s just the style that was given to them as they grew up. I don’t think they’re trying to dress cool. I just think they are cool. They would take a normal shirt and cut it up, and it’d look really cool. One of the guys in Tipo Uísque would cut the collar off his shirts. He helped me with one of my shirts. I was able to take that back to America with me—that Brasilian style.
What did you know about Tipo Uísque before you met them?
We wanted to go into it with as much knowledge of them as possible, in a respectful way. We wanted them to be good, because we wanted to enjoy them—and they were incredible. It was fun that we got to have this experience with a band from Brasil who were successful and who were very cool. They taught us a lot about Brasilian culture and music. They taught me a samba song on guitar that I’ve been addicted to playing because it reminds me of Brasil. They were so nice and so humble, and very talented. It was so cool to see a band who is coming from such a different territory than us.
What was it like to see them perform at Lollapalooza?
That was really cool. They performed on Saturday, and we’d been there for a couple days before, so I was picking up a lot of Portuguese. A lot of the stuff they were saying between songs I was able to understand, which made me feel Brasilian. They had a really awesome crowd. To see Tipo Uísque -— especially at Lollapalooza —- it was so massive, people came from all of these other cities that were six or seven hours away.
How are Brasilian fans different from American fans?
In the states, we get to tour five or six times in every city, throughout the year. Fans think, If I don’t go to this show, I’ll catch them the next time they come around. In Brasil, fans are traveling 12 to 15 hours if we don’t come to their city—they make any effort they possibly can, and they’d rather die than miss our show. When we flew into São Paolo, there were dozens of fans waiting at the airport with signs, Brasilian flags, jerseys, chocolate and candy. Even if it’s for a couple seconds, fans show up just to say hi and hug you and say how much they love your music. For them, they don’t know the next chance they’ll have because we don’t live in Brasil and we don’t have the ability to tour there six or seven times a year. They make it count when we’re there. The fans in the States are incredible, they just have a different mindset. I feel like I’m spoiled; if I want to see a band play, I know they’ll be in Florida within the next couple months. If I had the mindset of a Brasilian fan, I would drive from Florida to New York City just to see them for a second.
Tipo Uísque will be traveling up to New York to visit you guys in May. What should they do when they visit the Big Apple?
I can only hope we show them the time they showed us in Brasil. New York is the greatest city in the states. It’s the perfect city for someone outside this country to come to. I hope that we get the chance to take them to our favorite food spots in New York City, to meet the people and know the aggression of the subway, and see all the beautiful parks. To see summertime in New York City—when people are done with winter and they’re ready to enjoy beautiful weather.
What are your top five favorite memories of your trip to Brasil?
One was my first conversation: we were ordering pizza, which they’re world-renowned for. I spoke everything in Portuguese, and the guy asked how long I’d been living in Brasil. I said I was from the States, and he told me my accent was perfect. That was the greatest compliment. Tipo Uísque was helping us so much with our Portuguese.
Two, the very first Brasilian barbecue place Tipo took us to.
Three, seeing Tipo Uísque and the Foo Fighters play at Lollapalooza. I will never forget that.
Four, we went to a soccer match, and soccer is religion to them. There’s no comparison that the States has, as far as sporting teams goes.
Five, everything about Brasil. Coming into the airport and having fans wait with signs and pictures.
Full RAGGED Download Coming Soon!
posted by Staff