“La Chinga means a lot of things. We actually didn’t know what it meant when we chose it. We’ve heard it means anything from ‘fuck’ to ‘naked lady’ in some parts of South America. It could have meant burrito for all I know. We just liked the sound of it. We found out afterwards what it meant and it seemed to suit us because, like a lot of things in life, it can mean one thing and it can mean another, just like us. We can lean one way and then lean another.”
Carl Spackler is one of three members of the eclectic Vancouver hard rock band known as La Chinga. Since their self-titled, debut album in 2013 he has held the responsibility of bass guitar as well as lead vocals, while guitarist Ben Yardley masterfully takes charge of the six string and Jay Solyom trail blazes his way across the drums with enough force to send shock waves around the globe. Take the unique skill sets of all three of these beasts, throw them into a pot, and you get a hypnotically raw sound that will possess you to start rhythmically hammering away on your desk, steering wheel, or whatever poor inanimate object happens to be in front of you. This terrific trifecta are a walking embodiment of the word rock.
Their most recent album, Freewheelin’, will have you reminiscing of a rock n’ roll age many thought to be dead while at the same time, introduce you to a new unique sound that draws influence from many regions of the vast musical landscape. The fluidity of their name reflects the well-rounded sound of their work. Having known each other for over 15 years, Spackler goes into detail as to how La Chinga came to be.
“I’ve known those guys, the other two fellas in the band, going on 15-20 years from playing in local bands all around the scene,” he explains. “I was in another band and we had a really good gig lined up and it [the group] kind of fell apart. The gig was really good, and I didn’t want to give it up, so I hired the best drummer I think lives in the city, Jay, and then, for my money, the best guitar player probably in Canada, Ben Yardley. It was just going to be a one off where we split off, took the money and ran because it was a good payday but it turned out to be a lot of fun. We probably had three practices and then played the show and it went over really well so we have been playing together ever since.”
Having released their debut album, La Chinga in 2013, and Freewheelin’ in 2016, La Chinga is set to release a new album this year titled Beyond the Sky.
“I think it’s a little bit different than our other two records,” Spackler states. “It’s quite long, there are 11 songs and we were going to trim it down a bit but people said to just leave it. I think some of the songs are definitely the best, or catchiest songs we’ve ever written.” Spackler continues. “It has a lot of energy and a lot of the sonic qualities are very pronounced. We did it in a fancy studio so it sounds really big, there’s one song that sounds like ZZ Top in outer space with Hawkwind.”
Upon an introduction to La Chinga, one might be inclined to argue that giants still roam the earth, specifically three giants that arrived in a Plymouth Duster from outer space delivering earth shattering, intoxicating riffs. So much so, that at times, they can be a fire hazard.
“I’ve had my bass amp catch on fire once so we had to keep going with no bass, that was fun for me. I’ve been electrocuted on stage, not to death obviously but I’ve gone to touch the mic and then gotten a huge shock and it’s like that the whole show. When you’re singing it’s hard not to touch the mic and if you’re not paying attention you’ll get shocked but nothing too bad. We’ve had people running around on the stage doing crazy things but nothing’s ever stopped us, we just keep on going until we’re done.”
La Chinga play the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver on May 4.