Four different drummers, a major squabble with their record label, and a nine year break, Divididos have had quite the trajectory since their birth in 1988. A three piece hybrid of rock and folk, the so-called ‘steamrollers of rock’ came crashing onto the Argentine music scene in the mid nineties, and released their last album just over a year ago.
It was the death of frontman Luca Prado from cirrhosis of the liver in 1987 that led to the disintegration of the ska band Sumo. Prado himself was a fast-living, enigmatic character with a huge following; after his death, graffiti of the words “Luca’s not dead” could be seen scrawled over many a wall in Latin America and even as far as Europe. At this point, the band was enjoying the fruits of more success than it ever had.
After the loss of it’s central figure, artistic differences began to arise, eventually leading members to split in to two, smaller bands; Los Divididos and Las Pelotas. Both names were coined from an expression Prado himself used when talking about the possibility of a rift; “Divididos, las pelotas”, which can be roughly translated as “split, we would be bollocks”.
Despite this forewarning, Divididos went on to achieve an great success, and, though their first concert may have been held in a small pub in Flores, are now heralded as one of Argentina’s most influential rock bands. Ricardo Mollo (vocals and guitar), Diego Arnedo (bass guitar) and Gustavo Collado (drums) released their first disk ’40 Dibujos Ahí en el Piso’ in 1989.
Their most acclaimed album however is ‘La Era de la Boludez’, or ‘The Age of Ignorance’ which, going straight to number one in 1993, sold out 20 thousand tickets in the Velez Sarsfield Stadium. It is this record that marked their heyday more than any other.
However, in 1995, after pressure from their record label to hammer out another album- the deal was to produce one every two years- they released ‘Otroletravavaladna’. A bit of a mouthful, the title was a play on words, spelling out otra letra vale nada, or another word means nothing. A the title suggests, the album didn’t do very well, and the band split from their label Polygram.
Not that this held them back. In 2000, they travelled to Abbey Road’s infamous studios to record ‘Narigón del Siglo’, Big Nose of the Century. Back home, their hits were soaring to the top of the charts, winning prizes left right and centre, including the platinum Konex award. Their single ‘Spaghetti del Rock’ was even voted best song of the decade by readers of Rolling Stone.
Nine years on and we hadn’t heard a peep from them, till, in 2009, they released their last album, ‘Amapola del ’66’.
Genre: Rock, with a folkloric twist.
Names of band members: Ricardo Mollo (vocals and guitar), Diego Arnedo (bass guitar). As for the drummers… The original drummer Gustavo Collado lasted two years, but a few artistic differences later he was replaced by Frederico Gil Solá, who was replaced by Jorge Araujo, who was replaced by Catriel Ciavarella. Arauju lasted the longest, with nine years in the band to his name.
Dates active: 1988 to present
In their own words: ‘Recorded music is information. Live shows are a place where you embrace emotion’
Most famous song and it’s best lyric: ‘Spaghetti del Rock’, ‘Que ayer no es hoy, que hoy es hoy, y que no soy actor de lo que fui’. Today is not Yesterday, today is today, and I’m not a master of the past.
Famous for: their cover of the Door’s ‘Light my Fire’ on their first album, ’40 Dibujos Ahí en el Piso’.
Best to listen to: on a long car journey.