The Cultural Other is a group on a musical mission with a simple objective; to deliver powerful, hard hitting and laconic rock music which will excite, entertain and be recognised in its own right both in the studio and through exhilarating live performances. Although still in the preliminary stages of creating a name for ourselves, The Cultural Other are determined to establish a reputation through our musicianship by striving to create a musically diverse and evocative repertoire of material. We are not currently signed with a label but are now in the process of recording a six track EP which we aim to have released by Christmas 2013. Bio: The band’s formation owes a lot to serendipitous circumstances, as a chance conversation between bassist James Campbell and drummer Kuba Mlezcko at a coffee bar in Guildford in October 2011 led to musical discussions and the forging of a strong rhythmic relationship after some initial jam sessions. Finding the missing piece to the jigsaw came about a few months afterwards through an inquisitive request from Kuba, approaching guitarist Andrea Venerus with his very ‘best’ Italian. There were no communication difficulties when it came down to creating music however, as after an initial practice it became clear that our three separate and distinct personalities were beginning to engender real musical chemistry. Collectively, our ‘secret weapon’ lies in the cultural makeups and origins of the band members. Drummer Kuba Mlezcko’s Polish-American roots, guitarist Andrea Venerus’s hot-blooded Mediterranean flare and bassist James Campbell’s hot headed Hispanic temperament accentuates the band’s distinctive musical ideologies, with lyrics which seek to explore the labyrinthine nature of the human condition and represent a podium for our staunch political affiliations simultaneously.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements: During our time playing together, we have dabbled and experimented a great deal and now are attempting to produce a musical product which is reinforced by a sturdy hard rock and melodic edge albeit there is room for spontaneity and unconventional rhythmic timings, for example. To date, we are confident that we have been able to successfully produce an all-enveloping ‘wall of sound’ in our performances and continuously provide a lot of space to our musical arsenal through a resilient rhythmic section.
Lyrics, themes and concepts: Through our lyrical content, we are seeking to shed light on current political and social issues which are still prevalent on a global scale. Two of our songs in particular, entitled, ‘Threnodies’ and ‘When the Storm Breaks’ are very politically motivated, the first critiquing the Polish martial law implemented in 1983 by the Polish government to crush political opposition which led to the deaths of hundred people and the incarceration of thousands of political activists on unjustifiable grounds. Lyrically, ‘When the Storm Breaks’ is based on James Campbell’s observations of the Cuban state, having lived in the capital city of Havana for a six month period and perceiving the Cuban government’s strangleholds on the general populace first hand. Notwithstanding, the lyrical allegories and metaphors contained within these particular songs attempt to represent global dissidence and the need for expedient action to support all oppressed peoples, not only those suffering at the hands of the Cuban dictatorship or the Polish authoritarian government of the 1980’s.
Through composing lyrics in not only English but Spanish, Italian and Polish, we are endeavouring to reach a wider international market and unify our fan base by minimising linguistic segregation and broadcasting our message to all. In other songs, including ‘OETA’, our lyrics centre on particular cultural mythologies, legends and oral traditions which are still important to communities in Latin America, Spain, Poland, Italy amongst others and we are attempting to empower particular syncretic societies by giving their culture prominence as lyrical ‘ventriloquists’, acting as mouthpieces for their plights. Ultimately, we are three individuals who feel strongly about the importance of cross-cultural communication between peoples of diverging cultures and languages and begun this project in order to demonstrate that we can be agents of cultural mediation, channelled through a wide range of musical styles and influences.
Inspirations: We draw inspiration from a plethora of musical genres and artists but predominantly are collectively influenced by hard rock band from the 90’s, including Deftones, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, Tool and Soundgarden to name a few! Each of us instils our own musical blend into the overall product; guitarist Andrea experiments with a lot of blues and jazz styles as well as rock and metal whilst James and Kuba reinforce the rhythmic backbone of the band by feeding off Latin inspired rhythms and expressive bass lines for Bossa nova and sango styles in particular, as encapsulated in a song which will be released on our EP in due course, entitled ‘Play Dead.’
Reception: Throughout the summer months of 2013, we have played in a variety of venues in London and the south of England and our performances have continued to be well received by both the dedicated and the curious; we are very pleased by the feedback given by members of the audience after shows who comment on the ‘interesting and different’ qualities of our music, which has been very encouraging for us as we are still trying to forge a following. Our priority is to cater for every audience we play to by really putting on energetic and invigorating shows with the intention to leave an impression on the gig goers of the night. Furthermore, our focus now is to continue performing as we have a busy month of gigging coming up in October; the more exposure the merrier!
Future plans: In the foreseeable future, we are also considering an international tour to countries including Italy, Spain, Poland and even South America although for the moment we are directing our attentions on making a great sounding EP, which we hope will be representational of our musical ethos and ambitions for this project. Our next shows during October are at The Purple Turtle in Reading on the 4th ,The Hobgoblin pub on the 5th in Staines, 333 Mother Bar in Hoxton, London on the 12th and The Brunswick Pub in Brighton on the 24th ; we hope you can come down and spread the sound of C.O!