Cheko, most of the members of Che Sudaka are South-American. Were you guys already musicians before you came over to Europe?
Cheko (accordion, keyboard, samples):
"Yes, we played with various bands in Argentina and Colombia, but we only met each other in Barcelona. Our drummer (Anthrax, red.) is Catalan, but the rest of the band members are from Argentina and Colombia."

The place where you guys first got together is called the Plaza del Trippi.
"It was a sort of cultural meeting point where different musicians used to meet up. That was almost ten years ago. Unfortunately the laws in Spain have changed now, so it's no longer legal to play music in public places without permission and so on. Like almost everywhere else in Europe, things have become more and more restrictive, boarding on fascist. It's a great pity, because we've learned a great deal from playing the streets."

Is that chapter of playing in the streets totally closed now, or does it still happen now and again?
"No, these days we don't play the streets anymore. We've put in an application, but we've been waiting for it to be granted for a couple of years now. Every year just a few street artists are lucky enough to get the permit; you need the luck of the draw, because it's really nothing more than a lottery. Even though we don't play the streets anymore, we still use the format we used then when we play acoustic sets, like during radio interviews or when we play at smaller venues, for example."

What was the point when it became clear for you guys that you could take Che Sudaka to a professional level and start playing bigger venues and so on?
"It was and still is a question of hard work. The music industry has been going through a rough patch the last few years, so as a band you really have to invest a lot of hard work and energy to keep your head above water. For us, that means that we're touring virtually non-stop, playing around 120 concerts per year. It's the only way we know to keep the Che Sudaka name alive. There's no big secret behind what we do, just hard work and commitment. None of the band members in Che Sudaka is involved in other musical projects; we all give the band our 100%! We do everything ourselves, from booking gigs to producing our own records."

What does the Che Sudaka band name stand for?
""Sudaka" is a term of abuse that's used in Spain to describe Latin-Americans. We decided to use it as an honorary title. In a way it also describes our lives, because for a while we were all illegal immigrants, always living in fear of being caught and extradited. In the end, the only way to stay here was to get our status legalised. That's something we talk about a lot in our music as well. "Che" off course means "friend" or "pal" in Argentina, but in Mapuche (The Mapuche are one of the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile - where the make up 4% of the population - and south-western Argentina. Historically Mapuches were known as Araucanians or Araucanos by the Spaniards, but this is now considered pejorative, red.) it also means "people", so our whole band name would translate as "people from South-America"."

Che Sudaka are one of the most well-known exponents of the so-called musica mestiza scene from Barcelona, but you guys, being from Argentina and Colombia originally, are you known in your native countries as well?
"We've been to Argentina twice now. Both those trips we funded with our own money, but we felt it to be important as we feel indebted to our native countries. It's like we had to return with all the great things we'd learned in Europe. Our latest album is called ‘Tudo E Possible' and it's exactly that positive message of hope we also wanted to share over there. Our lyrics are like our GPS (Global Positioning System, red.) through life; we write and sing about what we would like the world to be like and we have to keep believing that change is possible. The keyword is networking; we have to unite on as many levels as possible and that way even the poorest and least powerful can become a potent force for the powers that be to reckon with. It's high time we rediscover that old sixties slogan: "Power to the people!""

Every four years the world goes football crazy. It's World Cup time again and Argentina being a football country I simply have to assume Che Sudaka are big football fans as well?
"(laughs) Yeah I'm afraid I have to confess. Personally I'm not really a big football fan, but some of the other band members are really into it. We've actually got our own betting system in the band; each band member had to put in twenty euro, guessing the victorious team and the right end score earns you 3 points, if you only guess the winning team you only get 1 point. The one who has the most points in the end, will take away the 180 euro prize money. (laughs)"