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World Music Features

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

By Tad Hendrickson
Published August 25, 2008

Ever since they burst onto the Buenos Aires music scene back in 1985, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have gradually gone worldwide with their blistering fusion of rock, ska, hip-hop, reggae and traditional folk music.

The Grammy-winning band has scored several hits over the years, with their infectious anthem “Matador” even appearing on the excellent Grosse Point Blank soundtrack (alongside classics by The Clash, David Bowie, Pete Townshend and more). In 2002, LFC took a break to pursue solo albums and side projects, but now they’re back on track, recording a brand new album and playing a string of select live dates. We caught up with Señor Flavio—straight from the band’s studio—to get the rundown on the next curve in the Cadillacs’ storied career.

So how did the secret show go in Buenos Aires?
We wanted to start this new chapter of LFC in that way—with a surprise show. At first, we thought of doing it in another Argentine city with a closed show. But eventually, we decided to do it in a public place in Buenos Aires.

What’s the secret of working with such a large group?
There are leaders. It couldn’t work otherwise. In all groups, there should be some sort of a leader, but with LFC, there are leaders— not just one. That’s how a rock band should work: as a creative group working together with a common consensus.

It’s great that you’re all back together again, but how did this come about? A lot of talking? A few phone calls? Divine intervention?
We had seen each other a lot, in both public and private, before we started to talk about it. We had also played together recently for an acoustic project on my radio program for an independent rock station called Radio Atomik. It was heard by a lot of people and was downloaded a lot as well. And a couple of years ago, we recorded a song for a tribute album to Andres Calamaro. LFC is and will forever be a band of friends. If we’re good, it works, and if not, it doesn’t. And we’ve been good friends for a very long time!

What was the biggest reason for the reunion?
We had clarified before that we were going to come back. Apart from that, we never did a “farewell tour” or a big “last show.” We just simply stopped playing for a long time because we wanted to do other things with our solo projects—such as my Flavio Mandinga Project, Vicentico’s solo releases, and so on. So it was obvious that this was going to happen.

How does everything feel so far?
Well, there was no moment where we saw each other for the first time after a long while. We had seen each other constantly, sharing the stage in one way or another. We had invited each other to record a