Fridöm spoke with We Are Augustines, this band from New York, formed by Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen. They played in Coachella in 2012, and were touring in UK with Kaiser Chiefs and Band of Skulls. Their album Rise Ye Sunken Ships , an emotional, conscious and no fears album transmit us those emotions and stories in a sublime way. Rise Ye Sunken Ships was released on march 2012. One of the vicinity of the New York band is with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, who have a song called "Juarez". Fridöm talked to Billy McCarthy, lead singer and guitarist of the band to learn more about their origins and relation with this border city.
Fridöm: How would you describe your album Rise Ye Sunken Ships to new listeners?
A pretty life affirming journey through music. Just some people who needed badly to say their piece about some things on a record.
Fridöm: Regarding your song “Juarez” – There are few bands talking about the situation in this city, how did you come with the song and what is the closeness of the band with Juarez?
I'm surprised and saddened that Juarez is not front page news in this country or an urgent topic in the music community. Over the years many artists, actors spent time there and many musicians have written about it. It's a mythological place to me. But behind that mythology is a reality that I'd been reading about until it ended up in a song I wrote. It's a never ending parade of tragedy and somewhat political topics that really hurt me to read. The violence comes from a trade that is a black market trade of which my country is involved in the shadows. And tragically the people who suffer appear nameless and with no connection to Americas conscience. I'm heartbroken that people can buy bullets from us in El Paso and since "it's legal" ,the reality of who is actually using them and for what evaporates. I love Mexico and will forever. It has given me so much, it's been a teacher through my life and I'm frustrated.
Fridöm: You guys were shooting the video of Juarez earlier this year, can you tell us more about it, and what was your feeling while being there?
It was tense. Ive been to Israel before and it reminded me of it. My heart was very raw and I felt that in the shadows were very lost people doing bad things to survive, but I couldn't see them in the daylight.
Fridöm: You were based in NY, a city with citizens from all over the world, also a lot of people from Mexico and Latin America, how has this influenced your music?
Well it's impossible to quantify that. But I'd say by osmosis. It just creeps into you. You can't imagine a world without culture.
Fridöm: Is there any special place you have, where you write your songs, or where you get the inspiration from, or can it happen anywhere?
Fridöm: You seem to be very adventurous and always on the road, what has been the most adventurous experience while travelling?
Juarez of course!
Fridöm: Some people like to paint, or read, do you have any special hobbies while being on the road?
We DJ in the van a LOT!
Fridöm: For some people freedom means to travel, to be independent or a spiritual journey, for you what is it?
It is simply opening your mind, heart and eyes to the world. It is a teacher.
Fridöm: What’s in your music playlist right now?
Lots of African and carribean music.
Fridöm: What suggestion would you give to any bands that have been knocking on doors and trying to make music their way of living?
Don't give up. Work on you, because if your art is speaking loud, then that's always better than words and it is ultimately the most important thing.
Fridöm: At the moment you are doing a tour in the UK, are there any plans for performing in Mexico?
It would be a total dream to play in Mexico! Please tell people about us!!
Fridöm: Finally, any message you would like to send to our Mexican readers?
You inspire us and you inspire the entire world. We love you very much.
Here's a behind the scenes for you :)