Los Chicos Pay Tribute To Their 'Rock'n'Roll Heroes' Radio Birdman Ahead Of Aus Tour

20 September 2018 | 12:08 pm | Rafa Sunen

In the lead up to Los Chicos' Australian tour where, aside from their own shows, they will be supporting their idols Radio Birdman, The Music got Rafa Sunen from the former to tell us just what Radio Birdman means to them.

We come from Madrid, Spain. Madrid is far from Sydney. Really far. And when we were kids it seemed like it was really fucking far. It looked like it was on another galaxy. Somewhere not accessible. Somewhere that belonged to the mighty heroes of our energetic dreams. These dreams were lit up by cassettes. Ultra powerful tapes where the music of these extraterrestrial humans was recorded by ultra nerds from the undergrounds of our city. There was a tape in particular. It was like gold. We would melt its plastic, playing it over and over again. There wasn’t much we knew about them. They sounded like no one else. They were as wild as a violent summer storm. They were like waves crunching inside our ears. We would listen to them at night, lights off, in our room, dreaming about the Man With The Golden Helmet, Crying Sun, Murder City Nights, i-94 and Descent Into The Maelstrom. Their name was like a cloud of smoke. It felt like an army, like a soldier of rock and roll. It was Radio Birdman!

We were also so lucky to have The New Christs playing over in Spain quite a lot of times. We would go to their gigs. Burn our shoes dancing. Those records are some of our all time favourites. We got to meet Rob once in a village up north.  We were really drunk and then had to sleep in the car, but the next day we still felt in ecstasy!

We NEVER thought we would see Radio Birdman playing live. Then it happened. They played Serie Z festival in the south of Spain. And there we were. And fuck me, I’m not kidding: a tear falls from my eye while I write this. It was like being in our dreams, like inhabiting the world we would imagine when we heard them on that old cassette. They were flying, they were bloody fantastic! 

We waited next to the stage, trying to get to them. We wanted to shake their hand and tell them they where great. We needed to. We wanted to tell them they had to keep going. Tell Deniz that there was a whole underground solar system where he was as big as Elvis! Tell Rob that we thought he was the best frontman and singer, better than Sinatra! Power of will is everything and we got to meet them. We chatted with them and it was the first time we realised that if you’re a cool guy, you’ll always be a cool guy, no matter what you’ve done, how famous your band is, or the oysters you’ve eaten! And they were the coolest. We talked about Blue Oyster Cült, New Christs and, of course, Birdman. We left the backstage on our way to our car saying goodbye, and yes, our eyes were wet. 

Many years after that we had the chance of playing a gig with The New Christs in Madrid. It was the last day of their tour and they had a free day when we played with them. It was super packed, the sound was over the top and people went crazy. We played a Sonics’ cover which went over really well. Brent, Dave, Paul, Jim, they are so absolutely brilliant and great fun to be around - we love them! Backstage we drank beer, and talked and talked with Rob about music and life.

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After that we did our second Australian tour and The New Christs did a gig with us. We insisted: no way they were gonna play before us. NO WAY!! But they had their mind made up. Talk about cool guys who don’t behave like stars. They are a pure example of authenticity. While we were waiting for their show, I was talking with someone and Deniz Tek entered the room. My mouth fell to the floor. The friend I was talking to said ‘yes, it is him!’. My friend could see I looked astonished. That day I laughed and talked with Deniz and Anne, and played in front of them, burning my heart on stage. This was already beyond our teenage dreams of getting to discover who the guys from the cassette were. Even better, they were the nicest, smart rockers. They were and still are the coolest!

After this our paths just crossed again. The New Christs came to play and we hung around, laughed, drank, and ate patatas bravas, calamares and orejas! Then Radio Birdman also came and we went to see them. Then it happened: We were offered to play with them in London. I’m not lying when I say it felt like one of the biggest if not the biggest achievement of our career. The concert was so great. We had great fun backstage. Wine, beer, stories, music, family, coffee. LIFE!

Deniz Tek played Madrid and he got me on stage for the backing vocals of Murder City Nights. I got there floating instead of walking! While I was singing I ordered my brain to record everything, every second. I could feel the whole thing happening in slow motion. I wanted to enjoy every millisecond. And I surely did.

Now we are about to do something that goes beyond any of our wildest dreams. But it’s even better than that. Because it’s REAL. It’s life. It’s fantastic, and incredible, but it’s real. We are crazy about playing our new songs in front of the men from Radio Birdman, but also to show them to our friends. To talk about how’s the family? How’s the coffee from Montana going?  How’s the paella from Dave? How do the Blue Mountains look in Spring? And that’s the best thing. Getting to see your friends again in the best possible circumstances. They are rock'n'roll heroes and they are rebels, and we are amigos.

Los Chicos Australian tour with Radio Birdman kicks off next week. Scroll down for a look at all of the dates and venues.