E-Men: Industrial, Electro and Loneliness Come Together

The clock struck midnight as the bloated disco ball of Centro Arte Alameda’s murky, dim dance floor started spinning, spreading yellowed funky freshness in all directions. E-Men took up the darkened stage and played to the empty room — a perfect pit of loneliness.

Photo courtesy Nami-ko Manriquez Kajisa
Photo courtesy Nami-ko Manriquez Kajisa

However, you quickly got the feeling this was what they were going for and thrived on such dangerously awkward situations as playing late on a school night. E-Men’s sound can be described in many ways: poetic grunge, industrial solitude or straight-up shoe-gazing.

With classically-trained backgrounds, guitarists Rod Sáez and Daniel Cartes started performing when the punk scene was booming in Chile.

Photo courtesy Nami-ko Manriquez Kajisa
Photo courtesy Nami-ko Manriquez Kajisa

Understandably, they have gone through quite a few changes finding their sound. “We sort of kicked off as a rock band eleven years ago, but back then we were called Liverman Has Jumped. As we played and wrote more songs together, we went more industrial, adding bits of electro, until we hit the sound we have now.”

As for the original name, Liverman was an American man whose businesses collapsed and, unable to take it anymore, hopped to Chile, found a six-story building and jumped to his death. When asked if this was some kind of sentiment the boys could relate to at that time, Rod answers with a charming smile and unguarded honesty, “Well... yeah, but... we also needed a name.”

And now E-Men. Why the change? A comment on the times, Rod says. “When the year 2000 came round, we had e-mails, e-commerce, e-everything and so E-Men seemed to fit.” E-Men also has a far naughtier side to its meaning. Pronounced as it looks, in Spanish it sounds like the word “hymen”: a delightfully embarrassing word.

Photo courtesy Natalia Araya
Photo courtesy Natalia Araya

Pioneers of the English-speaking musical scene developing in Chile with acts like More Than Dancing, E-Men were here long before other Chilean bands started using English to their financial gain. “English was the natural language to sing in,” Rod states. “Four years ago, there wasn’t even an English-speaking scene and now there are loads of bands. Back then, we were one of the only ones doing it.”

These Chileno shoe-gazing industrialists are aiming to put Chile on the musical map and are hopeful that they can go international. “We don’t only have people who come to our shows as fans,” Daniel explains. “There are a lot of folks on Myspace and Facebook too, so it makes sense to appeal to that audience. Plus, if we travel out of Chile and take our music with us, we’ll find out if any of these virtual fans actually exist!”

With great production help from Nine Inch Nails / Marilyn Manson producer Sean Beavan and some mesmerizing artwork, E-Men have recently released their newest long player, Eye, on Still Alive Records. Find out more at http://www.myspace.com/emen.


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