Sergent Garcia Talks Salsamuffin and Change: "The World Is in a Global Crisis"
Rebellion, it's inevitable -- whether as simple as hiding a cigarette habit from parents at 15 or as monumental as overthrowing a government in the Middle East.
But when Bruno "Sergent" Garcia joined a revolution, the multinational musician wasn't entirely sure why. "My view of the world is much clearer now," Garcia tells Crossfade, chuckling. "When I was younger, maybe I just acted out for a sense of rebellion. But after traveling all around the world and seeing how different people live, my ideas are [more evolved]."
As lead vocalist of French alt outfit Ludwig Von 88, Garcia rallied for all things "Bière et Punk" in the late 1980s. But since the late '90s, under the Sergent Garcia alias, he has championed a global social revolution using a unique blend of Afro-Latin rhythms, reggae, and dancehall that he calls "Salsamuffin."
Recorded in France, Spain, Colombia, and Cuba, Sergent Garcia's latest album, Una y Otra Vez [Time and Time Again], was released in March 2011. And like its predecessors, the record echoes the musician's commitment to a better planet.
"The world is in a global crisis," Garcia says. "There's tension, too much conflict, and too little dialogue. I think that we're at a time when we, as a global society, have to ask ourselves where we want to go."
Hence "Acho Bai Bai," a track off Una y Otra Vez that calls for a shift in the geopolitical landscape and a major reevaluation of societal priorities. "I wrote this song for two reasons," Garcia says. "I was feeling that the world needed change. Not only political change but also a change of ideas."
He adds, "The planet has faced more destruction over the past 100 years than it had in 250,000 years. We have to think about what we're leaving future generations -- contaminated rivers, contaminated oceans, contaminated air. If we continue down that path, we're going to hit a brick wall. We're all going to die."
However, Garcia is optimistic. "The real revolution is inside everyone," he says. "Music just happens to be a part of the revolution. The revolution has to happen on the interior before it can happen on the exterior."
Sergent Garcia. Saturday, May 4. PAX, 337 SW Eighth St., Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m., and tickets cost $20 to $30 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-640-5847, or visit paxmiami.com.