Things in a Lifetime of Adictox
Six years ago, in the corridors of the School of Communication, I learned about the punk movement in Santa Clara thanks to a classmate of mine. geek from the classroom. She dreamed of going there, staying overnight at festivals and experiencing it live.
That same year, Gabriela (the girl) and Pablito (El Pollo) began to fantasize. —through social networks, as they were separated by a provincial distance. So the conversations floated, she in Havana and he in the center of the island map, until they met at a rock festival in Pinar del Rio. Some time later, they went together with his band to a music festival in Calgary, Canada. By that time it was already 2017 and Adictox had been on stage for nearly seven years.
Pablo Riverón, known as El Pollo, was an old acquaintance in Santa Clara. Since he was a child, the guitarist and singer was excited by music to the point of causing slight disturbances in the classrooms. As a teenager, he followed the same music that his older brother consumed. He also drank from the neighborhood, from the downloads with friends and the (scarce) imprint left by his one-year stay at the Vocational School of Art, where he studied trumpet. Music was his definitive route.
"It's that rock and roll is what I'm passionate about. The relationship I have with him is like something sexual," reads a reference to Pablo's visit to Estereocentro radio station in Santa Clara.
His debut as a musician had happened with Eskoria, a group led by the late William Fabián. William was discouraged, he could not find any instrumentalists and foresaw the disappearance of the band. The panorama changed with the arrival of young Pablo and Karel Fleites to that precursor band of Cuban punk that seduced for years a huge public that followed them all over the country.
After the death of founder, vocalist and guitarist William Fabián, Eskoria was dissolved.
"William was a rock star. Without wanting it, he was. For me he is the biggest rock star in Cuba. As a person he was a madman; he did with his life what he wanted," Pablo recalls.
He admires and remembers the leader of Eskoria so much that he included his pieces, some time later, in Adictox's repertoire.
The Adictox wave arrived in April 2010, a fruit of Santa Clara's geek roots, conceived by two of the former members of Eskoria. The sweet aftermath of not forgetting. The band was founded by Pablo Javier Riverón on vocals and guitar, and Ricardo Javier Triana Mass (El Ricky) on drums.
El Pollo and El Ricky brought the rhythm of the last formation of Eskoria. Ricardo Espinosa Manzo (El Yoyo) joined the rehearsals on guitar and backing vocals, and a couple of months later Landy Chaviano joined on bass.
As they have told it, their first concert dates back to October 19, 2010. That same year, they participated as guest band in the Metal City Festival of Santa Clara.
Although Adictox presented itself as a punk band, its director has stated that it is open to multiple tendencies: "Whatever idea it is, we invent it in rehearsals, and whether it is metal or whatever, we play it if we think it is good for what we want. We just want to feel good".
On the street!!!, the band's first demo, came with an intro and 11 pieces. Except for the version of The KingAll the songs were composed by the quartet. The album was recorded in Havana, at La Paja Records, between September and October 2011. Ciro Díaz Penedo, director of La Babosa Azul and guitarist of Porno Para Ricardo, was in charge of the recording, mixing and mastering, while Juan Raúl Fernández, creator of the Cuba-Metal portal, designed the cover.
The band did not suffer any changes of members since its beginnings. Their fury made its way through several Cuban national festivals. They broke the stage at Ciudad Metal (Santa Clara), Atenas Rock (Matanzas), Rockasol (Cienfuegos), Patria Grande ... plus the cultural projects of the AHS such as the Romerías de Mayo, among others.
It did not stop. More tours came to other places: Trinidad, Jatibonico, Sancti Spíritus, Cienfuegos, Havana, Matanzas. They shared stages with bands like Arrabio (Trinidad), HUHO (USA) and Previous Tenant (Canada).
"Once we went to play in Havana, in something of the 'Habanera' Rock Agency, which claims to be Cuban, but only has bands from the capital. We were invited to play there by a friend, and he confessed that he had been scolded for inviting a band to play with him. punk. Needless to say, no band punk was on the staff of the 'Cuban' Rock Agency".
In 2014, the quartet brought to the ears of their audience a new album entitled. 2, with nine themes. Puta Vida, Wings of Desire, Don't be Kontrolled and Things in life were among the most well-known.
El Pollo screams. The lyrics come out, crazy. The fingers on the strings are just as outrageous. The noise has its own poetry.
I am not afraid of death
I am not afraid of life
I am not afraid of police forces
I am not afraid of curves
I am not afraid of straight lines
I am not afraid of your father
Even if I have a shotgun
I am not afraid of the judge
The truth is that I am not afraid of any of them
I am not afraid of ruin,
I am not afraid of pain
For this purpose, we always
I carry aspirin
The leader of Adictox wears blond, violet, blue, green, red hair. Almost always, a rosemary flower entangled in his left ear.
"I identify with the punk movement in our country; especially in the central zone -Sancti Spíritus, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Cienfuegos- we had a lot of union among the bands. There is a project, Solidarity Rock, which united us all through Canadian friends. That's how we got stronger during those years and we made several tours".
They were seen in stadiums, bars and festivals in cities in Mexico, Canada and the United States. They would return to Cuba to fill the new concerts and then return abroad. The photographs posted on their profiles show that in all phases of departure and return, El Mejunje was the great terminal, the limbo, the home.
In 2018 Pablo and Gabriela went to live in Valencia. Without announcing scandalous endings, the band was left in. stand by.
Four years passed on the scoreboard. In the heat of June 2022, El Pollo returned to the same home for a short period of time, which now seemed different to him. Even so, the nostalgia insisted on reliving that Adictox season at El Mejunje de Silverio. The concert was announced among the people of the city. El Pollo was desperate to get back on the mic. The energy of the faces was nostalgic. Hugs. More hugs.
Like a few unsuspected coincidences, I saw them one Sunday at the end of July at the pink facade of the Casa de la Amistad on Paseo Avenue in Havana. I found Gabriela and Pablo together with Irwin Cao (DeadPoint) and a group of friends from the center of the country. Pablo wanted to climb the bars of the venue, closed due to an estimated excess in the capacity of the concert. I knew the pianist. I told him, when he came to pick me up, that with me they were all going in. Once inside, the longest-lived bodies in the beer line identified the Santa Clara people.
At 9:00 a.m. at the Casa de la Amistad they picked up the chairs and plastic tables. We went out. We walked all the way up Zapata Street. There was an attempt to take the night at La Madriguera. Two very young bands were playing.
"I remember very good times in Cienfuegos, of those festivals that I am sure are no longer held. The coma nights," he laughs. There was a madman who one of those nights was there to rob some Yuma friends who had been friendly with the whole picket line. First I talked to him. Afterwards, I didn't understand. The bottle, rum and all, I broke it over him. That's a lot of stories.
From La Madriguera we left in a jiffy. The final point of that coincidence was G's park. "A few days ago I passed by here, but this was empty. I couldn't see anyone unloading. Four years without coming to Cuba feels," Gabriela told me.
The following Wednesday a plane brought them back to Valencia. I was able to take, barely, a couple of pictures. What the low battery allowed me to do. The kidnapping of the minute they look at me. Hugs and goodbye, on 19th street.
I go home crumpling my voice with the three lines that the chorus repeats. The sixth of the second disc: "Cosas de la vida. Things of life. Things of life... Things".