Javi Punga: No Pause and No Haste
Howdy, dudes and dudettes! Time to meet another one of our great Buenos Aires influencers. Javi Punga ( Javi Punga Turbo Band) is proof that true influencers are more than just the music they make. For you to have an impact on people’s lives there needs to be something more to who you are than simply songwriting and performing. Even though Javi describes himself as a “manboy”, a certain maturity can clearly be traced in his work, along with a soothing wisdom born in the sheer simplicity of his songs. Pleasant and distracting but contemplative at the same time, Javi’s music is worth your time, especially if you need someone to subtly suggest to you that everything will be alright.
Hey Javi! Please introduce yourself but try not mentioning music.
My name is Javier Cereceda, born in La Plata in 1979, lived in Pehuajó, Carlos Tejedor and Azul in different times of my life. I am a Buenos Aires province citizen but I sometimes fantasize about being a mountain kid. I love Patagonia and the mountains. I currently live in Villa Luro, BA. I have a bachelor’s degree from the National University of La Plata, in Journalism and Social Communication. I am also a teacher of Popular Communication Technicature, working on my master’s degree in communication PLANGESCO and developing my final thesis in Discos LAPTRA, label which I am a part of. I like to produce messages in different languages and support communication. I am an illustrator for graphic and audiovisual media. I am pretty much an autodidact and like Kim Gordon contemptuously says, a “manboy”. I am a vegetarian cook. Lover of artistic and conceptual experimentation, comics and travelling.
Can you describe your creative process?
I have notebooks, a shortcut in my phone to the film camera, photo camera and voice recorder, I am always aware of the ideas that may come up and I register them systematically. The process can take years and without pause, but also without haste. Then I do a plan and think about steps and goals. I like to think in dates to make stuff dynamic. Anyway each creative process is never individual, but comes from an interaction with another person, so there is always a lot of teamwork and conversation, agreement, dialogue. There’s also a lot born from that very interaction. Not everything can be planned, like the moment a group idea comes up. Group work is enriching and entertaining.
How and when was your love for music born?
Since I was a kid I made up songs and I liked music in general, from memorizing jingles to fantasizing about classic symphonies, music has always trapped me. I’ve had instruments since I was very young even though in my family we had no musicians. I think I demanded from my mother telepathically from the womb that I was to be given an instruments!
How would you describe your style?
Plantense (from La Plata) Indie with Low-Fi mutations, lately turned a bit Hi-Fi.
Name three musicians or bands that we’ve probably never heard before definitely should.
My friends and I know this music but I think they’re not very popular:
Ans. Andur – “Puhuvad tuuled”
Alex G King – “Gizard and the lizard wizard”
Mort Garson – “Plantasia” album
What can you say about the indie music scene in Argentina? What advice would you give to people who are just starting their musical journey?
About the scene, I can say that stuff is going on all the time and there is a big network of self-managed bands and labels doing interesting and cool stuff. You just need to investigate a bit and see what’s going on to see that everything is super related, and that there is a lot of cooperation. It’s really gratifying to see the growth of the quantity and quality of bands, shows, festivals and self-managed spaces even if it is so hard to do.
For those who are starting, I think the best is to play as much as possible, keep a calm spirit, try to do things the right way, keep steady and not losing constancy. Don’t be afraid to play live, to share.
What instruments do you play?
Electric and electroacoustic guitar mainly. I play drumming without bass drum, just a tom, a tambourine, a ride and a side drum. I am fairly good with bass guitar and keyboards when I have to sketch the songs and I program rhythm bases. Sometimes I enjoy more effect pedals… Other times I turn loose of the cables and look for a clear, sharp sound.
What do you want to communicate with your music? Is there a general idea or is every song a different concept?
I almos always speak about the same: how each one of us is a mini-God and the universe is one big mantra – sound frequency translated in energy/love… And in that context, I speak about fraternity, mental power and inner force, always camouflaged in everyday stories, set phrases and winks to pop culture.
What are your plans for this year, music-wise?
Currently, besides playing like Javi Punga and with the Javi Punga Turbo Band, I also play guitar and sing in Las Bermudas and Playa Grande, I play drums in Juanitzo y el Lobo and I have an acoustic duo called Motocross Dúo. In this first half of the year we are finishing recordings with these parallel projects and I am sketching a new album with new material (successor of El Rey EP and Éxitos del Oro), while I organize the monthly Turbo Fest where we play with new bands from BA and the rest of Argentina.
Enjoy this interview? Head over to Drooble where you’ll find more inspiration and amazing musicians!