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No Te Va Gustar: "Our Life Is Music, That's All We Know"

What's there not to love about Emiliano Brancciari and the rest of the guys of NTVG?
What's there not to love about Emiliano Brancciari and the rest of the guys of NTVG?

"We've got a name, but you're not gonna like it."

That's exactly how Uruguay's Latin Grammy-nominated rock band came up with its well-known moniker, No Te Va Gustar, or You're Not Going To Like It.

"It was like a joke between the band," explains drummer Diego Bartaburu. "The band first started [in 1994] with three members around 16 years old. They had a gig and needed to choose a name for themselves.

"Two of the three members came up with a name. I don't know what it was because I wasn't in the band at the time, but it was awful," laughs Bartaburu.

"When the third member asked them about the name, they said, 'You're not gonna like it'."

And thus, NTVG was born.

See also: Julieta Venegas on Becoming a Mom and Her Infatuation With Brazilian Music

In the two decades since adopting its amusing handle, this eight-piece band's sound -- a distinctive fusion of rock, pop, reggae, traditional Uruguayan folk -- has consistently evolved. But one thing has remained unchanged: a shared musical passion.

"We are a curious group of people and are always listening to new music and are always influenced by different sounds," admits Bartaburu.

"Every album is a refection of what we feel at the moment. It's also about our life experiences. On El Calor del Pleno Invierno, [or The Midwinter Heat, the band's latest album], we incorporated a more electronic, powerful sound with deeper drums."

 

One of the "life experiences" that influenced the album's "powerful sound" was the sudden loss of keyboardist Marcel Curuchet, who died following a motorcycle accident last July in New Jersey, just months before the completion of El Calor del Pleno Invierno.

"It was a very difficult death. It changed all of our lives," recalls Bartaburu.

"The first concerts were very hard, but stopping wasn't an option. It was a tragedy but we had to keep on going. We always remember him and dedicate every last song [performed in concert] to him."

Just as Curuchet's death hit the band hard, there was also good news: NTVG had received two Latin Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song.

"We're very happy and very grateful because it's an accomplishment," smiles Bartaburu. "A lot of people are watching you. It calls attention and provokes curiosity for people to listen to you."

So yes, the past year has been a roller coaster for the band, but NTVG is determined to fight through these "Maldito Momento[s]."

"Our life is music," Bartaburu says, "and that's all we know to do."

No Te Va Gustar. El Calor del Pleno Invierno tour. Saturday, October 12. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $30 to $35 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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