ELPASO history in a suitcase.
My name is Benjamin Villegas. In December 2013 I published a book with Bandaaparte, a publishing house from Cordoba, Spain. During the presentation of this book in 2014, the people from Bandaaparte introduced me to Daniel Alvarez and I was asked to be the biographer of his own story.
Daniel Alvarez was born in Oxnard (California) and raised in El Paso (Texas). He studied Fine Arts at UTEP and in 1985 formed a punk rock band with his best friend Ricardo. They called the band ELPASO and Daniel became the manager, graphic designer, photographer and drove the old van they toured in.
The group, formed by chicano, mexican and 'white' musicians standed out from other bands of the time by singing in Spanish. They finally recorded their first and only album in 1990. That same year Daniel traveled to Europe, finally settling in Cordoba (Spain).
Daniel left that part of his life behind until he received a visit in Spain from his sister Rosa. They had sold the family home and she brought a suitcase with some old things that belonged to him. Inside it was all the material from his old band, just as he had left it: flyers, shirts, cassettes, all sorts of graphic material and the tape they had recorded in 1990 and that never saw the light.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO DO?
A book, the album and a documentary.
Daniel, Bandaaparte Editories and myself decided to publish the (anti)biography of this chicano-punk band including a mastered and remixed version of the original recording. To do this we are working with the record label Navaja Suiza and my audiovisual production studio La Perrera.
I had some interviews online with Daniel to prepare the book and saw that the story of the El Paso's punk scene was well worth a full-length documentary. In La Perrera we got down to work and in March of 2015 traveled to the United States to do some ground work. Soon after that, the film was underway.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW? DIY philosophy.
One of the principles of the underground movement at that time was the DIY philosophy. That's why we wanted to maintain full independence and control in the production of the film. So far, we have completely self-financed the project.
In order to complete the project as we need several things:
· Diffusion. We need to make a teaser to make the project more visible, wich can help us with some interviews that we are not able to close.
· More funding. Everyone who has worked on this project is an investor in some way, either with work, money or both. But at this point we need a little boost. And that's why we launched this campaign.
THE CAMPAIGN. Concept and rewards.
All of us at La Perrera were lucky to be able to film all of Daniel's material that was in the suitcase. One of the things that struck our atention was that all the material we needed to publish the album was right there. We could use the collages for the cover, the band pictures for inside, and the title: 'Rock & Lovets'.
A LETTER TO SUBPOP.
We also found a half-written letter originally adressed to SUBPOP, the iconic independent record company from Seattle. This letter told them about ELPASO and tried to strike their interest, hoping to get their brand new album published by them. We saw clearly that we had to convince Daniel to finish his letter and help him send it to SUBPOP.
You can help making you with rewards:
· The album (CD / mp3) - Date: you'll recieve it during the campaign.
· The book in Spanish (CD included inside) - Date: December 2016.
· The book in English (CD included inside) - Date: December 2016.
· Online access to the documentary - Date: One day before the release (scheduled for March 2017)
· Replicas of the original flyers in the format of a postcard.
· Original collages used for the album.
All the money we raise will be used to finish the documentary: 'ELPASO. A punk story'.
This campaign begins in May 2016 and will end with the premiere of the film, expected in March 2017. We will be sending rewards as soon as they are printed/produced. Digital formats will be immediate and tangible, so will the books, CDs and postcards on the scheduled dates.
We will be monitoring these processes and we'll inform regularly.
The other rewards will also be sent as soon as the copys are ready (old flyers, original collages, replicas of posters, etc ...)