Interview with Babaloo – Punk Mambo

This was an interview I did in 1998 for Break Magazine, a college newspaper in Tallahassee, with Babaloo, a Boston-based band.

If you’re looking for a fun, freaky, and totally unique band to see, then Babaloo is the band for you. The music could best be described as a one-of-a-kind mix of punk, mambo, reggae, ska, and samba, and is sung in several different languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and Swahili. In addition to music, sometimes the band invites others to perform along with them, including magicians and dancers.


In order to fully appreciate what the band offers you must go to see them for yourself. [Babaloo performed at Yianni’s in March 1998]. You can even get a small sample of Babaloo’s music on their website:

Even people from as far as London are recommending for others to see the band. “The band is outstanding,” said Steven Wolfe, 32, an attorney from London who recently saw Babaloo perform in Key West. “They music is iconoclastic, they have high energy, and the audience participation was the best. I want to try to get them to come to London.”

Trumpet player Marc Chillemi referred to the band as the “Babaloo family circus”, where “fun and deception” occur. Apparently, Marc isn’t the only crazy member of this multicultural circus. The seven solid members of the band sat down and conjugated the answers to the following questions:

Q: How did your band form, and when?
A: Destiny in the Jamaican Plains where we were all living and hanging out in 1995.

Q: Your music involves different languages. How do you decide what language to use with which song, etc., or does it just flow out of you that way?
A: Precisamente.

Q: Would you say that your music has a particular theme or message, and what would it be?
A: It’s important to be nice, but it’s nicer to be important. What’s mine is mine, what’s yours we split.

Q: What is the best thing about touring? And the worst?
A: All of the traveling. The touring is the worst.

Q: You have said that you have “loonies of all kinds” that are attracted to your music. Have you ever had a bad experience with a loony?
A: We went to play a club in Bar Harbor, got in an argument with the club owner, and he threw a keg at our bass head, Slim “Family Man” Goodbody.

Q: Where are your favorite places to play?
A: Outside places, festivals, New York City.

Q: Which bands/performers have influenced your music?
A: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Mandy Moore, and Sam Mangwana

Q: With so many members in the band, do you find it difficult agreeing on things, and how do you handle it?
A: Paper, scissors, rock.

Q: What do you think is the main thing that keeps the band members together?
A: Pot.

Q: What are the bands goals for the future?
A: We only smoke blunts if they’re rolled paper.

Q: Is there anything you want your audience to know before they come to see you play?
A: One for $15, two for $20.


About Shannon Hart

Photographer, Writer, Artist

Posted on November 26, 2013, in Entertainment, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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