The Three: 30 years after the first time

The Three: 30 years after the first time

Francisco Molina: “I was lucky enough to be able to play in various bands until I ran into Álvaro and Titae. In the other bands, one played covers and the odd own song very similar to The Police, the Stones, the Beatles or Serú Girán. With Álvaro it was very different, because from the beginning he considered himself in this position of making a riff in such a way that it would not sound the same to such a group. The only person with whom I have had an aesthetic conversation about music, the year 83 or thereabouts, was with Álvaro. And I think that conversation marked us forever. There it became clear that we couldn’t so blatantly copy Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard or Stewart Copeland. We really wanted to play, but we wanted to be creative. I celebrate having met Álvaro, because that conversation gave me the tone to know that I had a partner there to leave Concepción shitting and go to Santiago ”(laughs).

Ángel Parra: “Álvaro was always clear that his songs were good. And it was a special moment when they invited me to participate, because it was not so obvious that a trio called Los Tres would transform into a quartet overnight. For me it was a surprise, a beautiful surprise. We rehearsed a lot, we played everywhere, on stages where there were pure right-wing people, on stages where there were pure left-wing people, wherever. We didn’t ask ourselves anything, we came and did it ”.

F. Molina: “We started playing in ’82. We had a previous career of playing a lot and that was the constant in the way of working with music. From 82 to 90 we played a lot, almost every day at my parents’ house, and we developed that sound together with Titae. But we had no idea of ​​the details of a recording studio. Álvaro was trying to investigate how the voice of Elvis or Gene Vincent, the pedal used by Andy Summers, sounded, but it was information that was difficult to have. The only thing that was clear was that we had to sound like we always did, with a sound close to rock and roll and particularly to the Stray Cats. For my part, I had a video of Buddy Rich in which the drums sounded impressive and with Álvaro we watched him until we were exhausted. The Frank Zappa live in New York we knew it by heart. We listened to folk, Los Jaivas, Congreso, Alice Cooper, Frank Sinatra, AC / DC, Mel Tormé … We had all that suitcase at our disposal. Concepción was a music-loving city and I think that transversality in the tastes of the Penquista community is in that album. I remember that the first track we recorded, at a DJ’s house here in Concepción, was In Jamaica And, when we listened to it, we realized that it sounded quite good, we realized that live people loved it. Then we took that same cassette to Gabriela FM radio in Concepción, we inflated our balls, Álvaro called for them to pass it on, until suddenly they played it, and they kept playing it, and that was the end of the world for me. Let’s go from here, let’s go to Santiago ”.

Ángel Parra, Francisco Molina, Álvaro Henríquez and Titae Lindl in a 1991 photo session. Photo: Gonzalo Donoso.

Álvaro Henríquez: “I remember I really wanted to record. And eager to produce. At that time I did not know how to produce well, I only had references from the groups that I liked, so I communicated that to the engineer, Jorge Esteban, and he did a good job. Very cool, a very talented Chilean engineer ”.

Jorge Esteban: “I had done other jobs with other groups, I felt part of the scene. Had recorded before For the archaeologists of the future, of Congress, and In the bunkerby Fulano. Too Looking for Chileans, from Sexual Democracia, the seventh best-selling album in Chile. He had done live sound for Los Prisioneros, mixing and mastering their greatest hits album. He was in a good time and a good place. At that time, when I came back from the US, the Chilean undergound scene was heavily influenced by the new wave from the United States and England, and there was organic music in Chile, but with a more folkloric character. Los Tres was the first rock group with an organic sound that I found in Chile ”.

A. Parra: “That first album could be made thanks to the fact that I had known people at the Alerce label and at the Filmocentro studios. The Three were very unknown and I feel super happy to have been able to collaborate in that instance by bringing the band to a record company. We were too alternative, too independent, very young people who didn’t trade much. We were proposing a music that really went beyond all the aesthetic canons of the moment, so they weren’t so caught up in it. Think that at that time that group sounded Diva, Aleste, La Ley … We were in another one ”.

F. Molina: El Ángel was the key to this recording, without him we would be telling another story. He moved the machine. I remember that when we already had part of this music, El Angelito would suddenly come to Concepción to play jazz or with his aunt Isabel, and we would listen to him and we would think ‘whore the hueón capo, he plays incredible and he dresses super well’. “He’s half rockabilly,” said Álvaro. It will have been about three years since that until we entered their world, a musical world in the capital, professional ”.

A. Parra: “In the study there were plenty of people with personality. And I remember that in Filmocentro there was an Otari recorder, various digital artifacts that began to be used within organic and rockabilly music with folk elements, and I think that combination turned out very well. Álvaro’s voice in We are fools not heavy, which is with a changed pitch, for example, or the delays that the voice has in incomplete loves. That shows that The Three were always willing to experiment in the studio. It was something more intuitive, Jorge Esteban knew more about what he was doing. We were going through a special moment of our lives, you can see the youth of those years, but what commanded is that we played very well. And in the studio, the first take, he was ready. The solo of The first time I touched it one “.

A. Henríquez: “The album was recorded relatively quickly and that was it: the magical moment when the things one dreams of become reality. When you hear your song for the first time recorded from the control room it is a unique experience. Then you get used to it, but the first time is extraordinary. I am proud to have made all these records and to be able to continue making Yein Fonda, they are things that fill me with energy ”.

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J. Esteban: “From the musical point of view it was a group that was already completely mature. Obviously the group develops over the years and they are doing other searches, but they already had certain things clear when they arrived at the studio: that they were going to play all together, for example, completely the opposite of that queue that remained from the 80s where everything was I recorded separately, with a metronome and all that. They, instead, looked at the origin of blues, bluegrass, rockabilly. We used environmental microphones, old microphones, tube equipment, I was able to apply recording techniques that I learned in the US Unfortunately, in Chile tapes were reused and masters were erased, which is a capital sin, but if those bases existed it would sound like a live recording. And on that we did guitar and voice dubbing, nothing more ”.

F. Molina: “All the albums by Los Tres were recorded live. And in the first one are all the national heroes, because many of the drums on that album are inspired by others that had come out before, such as those of Tilo González de Congreso in Travel the crest of the world, Los Jaivas not to mention. Also something from Charly García, Down on the waterfront del Yogi (Alvarado) and Los Prisioneros. It was music that was present and that we were analyzing and listening to all the time. For example, the beat of In Jamaica I got it from The voice of the 80s scored by Miguel Tapia. It is camouflaged, but if you look closely it is almost the same. Why didn’t you come was also part of the repertoire, but it was The century ends. There was another one called Two strangers that it was very The Cure, very copycat and I don’t think we ever played it again ”.

A. Parra: “When the album came out it went unnoticed. Some journalists realized the weight that our music had, I remember that Iván Valenzuela made a review there and that Alberto Fuguet also caught on with Álvaro’s music, but it took a long time. They found us cheeky, because we were well conceited, in a good way, we knew we played well and that helped us to be very sure of our music, we weren’t expecting the critics’ tenderloin.

Angel Parra

There is an anecdote that is quite incredible. A year before, when Amnesty came to Chile, we went with Álvaro and my sister to the Sheraton (hotel). We were in the house and we said ‘these hueons what have they believed, if we are the best, we go over there and knock on the door of the room’. There we met Sting in the cafeteria and we handed him a cassette of The Three, he looked us up and down and didn’t catch us even going down. It was a lesson in realizing where we were standing. We also gave Peter Gabriel a tape and there was the Los Tres album, the demos. Sting must have thrown the tape, or maybe he plagiarized us, I doubt it (laughs), but we seriously went to tell him ‘this is the best thing to do in Chile’. That was the level of security that Álvaro had with his music and I followed him everywhere, happy with life, because I found him absolutely right. But just like the other day we had to go to play at the Seriatutix on Colón Street, which was full of right-wing people who hated us ”.

A. Henríquez: “At the moment we have not contemplated a celebration of that album, but they are things that can be. You have to weigh them. We are already in the wave of birthdays, each year that passes is a birthday of something, of Blood in the body, of the Fome, after the Unplugged And i do not know what. As I was saying, I am super proud of what we have done and very happy that we can play again now, of being able to do what we do best ”.

A. Parra: “I have swept the sun I think it’s the song that defined the group at the time. It has a special meaning for me, because I had brought some country music from the US that had those chords. Without trying to earn credit, I influenced Álvaro with that music, and Pancho’s drums plus Titae’s double bass in that song, plus Álvaro’s lyrics, summed up everything we were as a band.

It is an album that took the weight it has for the quality of the songs, for the conviction with which it made, for how brilliant the lyrics are and for our way of playing, of making music, in an era full of hi fi sound, of the digital. I think that people are beginning to understand what is Chilean, they find in Los Tres a possible window to that reencounter with our character. Our expectations with that album were the highest, we really believed that we were going to be very famous, that we were going to go very far. Things came true, because we never got smaller and we had it very clear ”.

F. Molina: “I returned to Chile five years ago, after 13 years away, and finding myself again with that affection of the people, over different generations, surprised me. I thought it had already happened. I am excited and surprised at the same time by the generational change. Many do not know who I am and everything is fine with that, but suddenly I got into a taxi and on the radio I listen to Los Tres and at first, when I arrived, it was like, ah? Still? Especially when that first record is playing. All this is for the followers of the band, without that affection we would not exist ”.

* Roberto “Titae” Lindl, bassist of Los Tres, did not answer calls or inquiries for this article.

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The Three: 30 years after the first time