Los Fabulosos Cadillacs: the “Latin Rock Titans” hit the road again for the Ruido Fest

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For Señor Flavio, co-founder of the Latin rock band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, life is “compartir música, roncanrol — surf y skate es sagrado para nuestra familia”.

“It’s rock ‘n’ roll to share music, along with skateboarding and surfing,” he explains. “That attitude is sacred to our family, and in a way it’s a metaphor – sharing is key.”

One of Latin rock’s undisputed titans, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs will headline Saturday night’s 8th Annual Ruido Fest, taking place Friday through Sunday at Union Park. Founded in 1985 in Argentina, the band specializes in ska rock, with elements of funk and tropical Latin influences. (Maldita Vecindad from Mexico, who performs Sunday night in Ruido, is also famous for ska rock.)

“Los Fabulosos are like the stones of South America,” said Max Wagner, co-founder of Ruido Fest, the alternative Latin showcase and owner of promoter Metronome Chicago. “They don’t come to the United States often, so it was a logical choice. They belong to the Mount Rushmore of Latin rock.

The group recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, a milestone that its members do not take lightly. Although the LFC had years off, as it did from 2002 to 2006, it continued to exist and run.

With bassist and vocalist Senor Flavio (born Flavio Cianciarulo), the band was founded by lead vocalist Vicentico (born Gabriel Fernández Capello); other current members are Sergio Rotman on sax, Fernando Ricciardi on percussion, Mario Siperman on keyboards and Daniel Lozano on trumpet, as well as Señor Flavio’s son, Astor, and Vicentico’s son, Florian.

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs pose with their Grammys for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song in the press room during the 17th annual Latin Grammy Awards at T-Mobile Arena on November 17, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Although the pandemic has cut short their tours somewhat (the band was supposed to perform last year in Ruido but had to cancel for logistical reasons), the Cadillacs of Los Fabulosos, as their name suggests, are creatures of the road. (Señor Flavio, who came up with the band’s name, was inspired by The Clash’s cover of “Brand New Cadillac” on their 1979 album “London Calling.”)

“There will always be a desire to go back to Cadillacs,” he said. “We never separated. When we stopped, we didn’t know if we were stopping for a year or two or five. But the door was always open to come back.

Of the continued good fortune of the Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, he said: “First of all, we thank the public, who allow us to [exist] in a way, and I thank my fellow musicians. We grew as people and artists. Life is beautiful and can be very fragile, and we could be gone tomorrow.

“It’s not easy to stay a group for so long… We can’t force this situation. Sometimes the status of staying together as a family may be desired, but may not be achieved. In my case, I come from a dysfunctional family, very broken in many ways. So I go back to what I said, I just have to thank life and the public, for the fact that the band can continue to be here today.

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs bassist Flavio performs during day three of the Vive Latino Music Fest at Foro Sol in Mexico City, March 17, 2013.

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs bassist Flavio performs during day three of the Vive Latino Music Fest at Foro Sol in Mexico City, March 17, 2013.

Another recent milestone is “la fecha de nacimiento” (dates of birth) of Señor Flavio and Vicentico, now 58, born two days apart in July 1964.

“Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, and I guess astrally that bond makes [our bond] more interesting and takes on greater importance,” said Señor Flavio. “Not only that, but we were born in the same hospital! We had a life of brothers musicians, brothers of art, brothers of existence. So there are a lot of very interesting spiritual and artistic commonalities.

The Cadillacs’ most recent studio record was “La Salvación de Solo y Juan” (2016), which chronicles the saga of two brothers’ upbringing under a strict father. Señor Flavio calls it “our rock opera”. This is our most important album of recent times. For me it is still very new and offers a lot to discover.

Allmusic hailed it as “probably the most ambitious of his entire career. Instead of playing it safe, they chose to carry out a labor of love. The record won two Latin Grammys: for Best Rock Album and also for the best song, for the piece “La Tormenta”.

The singer of the Argentinian group Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Vicentico (right), jokes with his colleague Flavio Cianciarulo, during the presentation of their new album entitled

Singer of Argentinian band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Vicentico (right), jokes with his colleague Flavio Cianciarulo, during the presentation of their new album titled ‘La Salvación de Solo y Juan’ during a press conference in Mexico City on 17 October 2016 .

Regarding sharing, Señor Flavio cites The Clash’s “London Calling”, a testament to the punk rock era of social and political rebellion, as a gift to rock – Latin and otherwise.

“It’s more than my favorite album,” he said. “There are bands that transcend being your favorite, that end up being like a [catalyst] in your life. The Clash for me is that. It’s a very open work, especially for a band that was understood as, in quotes, a “traditional punk rock band”, [but this disc transcends that]. It is one of the emblematic works of the 80s, without a doubt, an indisputable cultural reference of our generation. For us, it set us on fire. It set me on fire. It’s like a university of street art and life.

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