by Tracie Morales
EXCLUSIVE: The B- Side Players inject reality into every song – weaving social issues such as immigration, civil rights and nonviolence in the music from their latest album, Fire in the Youth, released July 10. Lead vocalist Karlos ‘SOLRAK’ Páez told Weekly Report about the band’s latest video, Nuestras demandas, showing confrontational scenes from real immigration marches that ended in clashes between demonstrations and police.
The video shows Latinos marching together, carrying signs demanding immigrant rights and equality.
“I believe our job is to keep the people fi ghting’” Páez said. “Music is the weapon of the future.”
Since forming in 1994, the eight-member band has built a reputation by infusing Spanish rock with reggae and jazz beats that accompany socially and politically conscious lyrics, often tackling issues.untouched by mainstream.artists.
Páez, a Tijuana native who moved across the U.S.-Mexican border to San Diego, said he saw the struggles of undocumented immigrants that would later shape his perspective.
“We’re talking about people who contribute billions to the economy and they’re not getting real wages and benefits’” he said.
Páez emphasized the band’s music is intended to fight inequalities without advocating violence or coercive language. Instead. he pointed out, the band supports education, consciousness and awareness as “weapons” for battle.
“We just want to inspire,” he said.
Páez considers “Fire in the Youth~ the band’s most serious album. The members treated this project with care, exploring ways to include traditional folkloric sounds with hip, modern beats, he said. “It’s a timeless record that’s really going to represent the B-Side Players,” he said.
Readers may locate and watch Nuestras demandas by visiting www.bsideplayers.com.