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Sergio Chotsourian
Sergio Ch
Background information
Birth Name Sergio Chotsourian
Alias Sergio Ch.
Born 1974
Occupation Musician, Label Owner, Producer
Genres Desert Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental Rock
Instrument(s) Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1993 - Present
Labels Man's Ruin Records, Small Stone Records, South American Sludge, Argonauta Records, Oui Oui Records
Associated acts Los Natas, Santoro, Solodolor, Soldati, Ararat

Sergio Chotsourian (Often known simply as Sergio Ch.) is a musicians based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of Los Natas, Chotsourian established himself as a key player in Argentina's stoner rock scene, emphasized by his guitar playing that mixed heavy metal, Latin rock, psychedelic and free experimentation. His style of playing would expand into other bands following Los Natas' hiatus, namely the psychedelic rock project Ararat, the doom metal band Soldati and his own solo endeavors.

Since forming his first band in 1993 at 17, Chotsourian has contributed over a dozen studio albums (Eight of which with Los Natas.) between four bands and his own solo career. Along with performing with several bands in the Argentina stoner/sludge scene he owns a record label in South American Sludge.

BiographyEdit

Los NatasEdit

  • For further details, feel free to view the Riffipedia page on Los Natas.

Natas would be founded in 1993 by the trio of Chotsourian, Miguel Fernandez and Walter Broide. Initially performing stoner rock in the vein of Kyuss, the band would quickly release a three song demo in 1994 entitled En Busca de la Especia. Work would begin on a debut album, ultimately leading to the band self-releasing Delmar in 1996. Word about the band would catch the attention of one Frank Kozik, who would sign the band with his label Man's Ruin Records and release Delmar in the United States circa 10 July 1998 with extra songs. This would further expose Natas to a worldwide audience, beyond their growing South American audience, as the band had largely performed in Argentina and Chile to this point.

For the band's follow-up album the trio would record in the United States circa January 1999, while also performing two shows in the California area with Nebula and Gammera. Preceding the recordings the band would meet Brant Bjork and Scott Reeder in Palm Springs and perform a short set on New Year's Eve 1998 with Unida in what would be their first performance. Tim Green (The Nation of Ulysses, The Fucking Champs, Cherubs) would engineer the record while Dale Crover (Melvins, Altamont, Shrinebuilder) would handle production and additional instrumentation. While the band's sound still had a stoner rock nucleus their sound also evolved to incorporate progressive, psychedelic, space rock and various other elements.

Ciudad de Brahman would see release via Man's Ruin on 24 September 1999 to positive reception, solidifying them as a top South American act in the stoner rock scene. Following a tour of Chile and introducing a new bassist in Claudio Filadoro, Natas would return to the United States for a West Coast tour with Gammera amid consistently performing in their native Argentina. The band managed to remain fairly prolific with other releases such as 1999's Unreleased Dopes (A compilation album featuring unreleased songs and demos) and two extended plays in El Gobernador (1999; Also released as a split with Viaje a 800.) and Livin La Weeda Loca (2000; Also released as a split with Dragonauta.). However by the end of 2000 the band would be made aware of a Detroit, Michigan horrorcore/gangsta rap group known as Natas, who had been around slightly longer as they had started in 1992.[1] To avoid any kind of legal conflicts the band would opt for a slight name change for future releases.

With their third bassist in Gonzalo Villagra, the band would opt for a slight name change and thus be re-christened as Los Natas. The band's first release under that moniker would be a split 7" with Dozer as work began on a third record. With Billy Anderson as an engineer and producer at Abasto Studios, Corsario Negro would be released on 26 February 2002 via new label Small Stone Records. The band would perform in Argentina and Chile in support of the album, before embarking on their first European tour the next year, sharing the stage with the likes of Colour Haze, House Of Aquarius, Astrosoniq, Rotor, brant Bjork, Magnified Eye and Circle to name a few.[2]

The next two years would see frequent shows in Europe and Argentina along with two albums via Finnish label Ektro Records: Toba-Trance I (2003) and Toba-Trance II (2004) which experimented on the band's growing "free rock" theme with a wide arrangement of experimental ideas such as songs resembling scores from film soundtracks, drone, psychedelic rock, Indian raga among other explored sounds.[3][4] The band would also release a full 90-minute album of re-recordings known as Munchen Sessions released on 9 May 2005 via Elektrohasch Schallplatten, collaborating with Stefan Koglek of Colour Haze notoriety.

Los Natas would work again at Abasto Studios with Billy Anderson, releasing El Hombre Montaña via multiple labels on 3 June 2006 to generally positive reviews.[5] The band's touring of Europe would continue in support of the album, followed by a 2007 appearance at Pepsi Music Festival among a host of sizable acts before touring Europe in 2008.

Los Natas would begin work on their seventh album recording at Monsterland and El Attic Studios circa 2008, with Patricio Claypole handling engineering and production. The band's seventh album would be formally announced,[6] with the band opting for more of a "movie editing" approach to the recording process and a more aggressive musical approach.[7] El Nuevo Orden De La Libertad would be released circa 26 May 2009 to positive reviews, even attaining #2 on The Obelisk's top ten albums of 2009.[8][9]

The band performed frequently in Argentina to support the album throughout 2009, following up with an extensive European tour in 2010 surrounding an appearance at Roadburn Festival. The band remained active in their native country through the rest of the year, notably performing at Pepsi Music 2010 which was headlined by Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against The Machine.[10] In 2011 the band would perform on a less frequent basis but bandleader Chotsourian would also establish his own label in South American Sludge, one of the first releases being a re-release of the long-lost Rutation demo from 1998. The band's last known live performance would be the inaugural South American Sludge Fest on 11 June 2011.[11]

In 2012 Los Natas announced through their Facebook page and Argentinian edition of Rolling Stone magazine that the band was being put on indefinite hiatus, naming family matters, mental and physical health of its members as reasons for the hiatus.

AraratEdit

  • For further details, feel free to view the Riffipedia page on Ararat.

Ararat was founded in 2008 by one Sergio Chotsourian (Los Natas, Santoro, Soldati), initially as a solo project and more in the vein of instrumental psychedelic rock. Working with brother Santiago and session bassist Nicolas Mallo, the band would record their first album and quickly sign to MeteorCity Records. Mostly instrumental barring one song written by José Luis Armetta, Música de la resistencia was released on 9 September 2009 to positive reviews among the stoner scene.

In 2010, Ararat would recruit veterans in the Argentina music scene to conceive a full band for live performances along with composing a second album. With veteran drummer Alfredo Felitte (Banda de la Muerte, Buffalo) as their drummer the band began work on Ararat II, releasing it via Oui Oui in 2011. Tito Fargo (Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, Gran Martell) also joined the band in 2010 on guitars and synths as they began to perform their first shows, mostly in the Buenos Aires area.

Performing sporadically and eventually mutating into a power trio, Ararat would begin work on their third record. On 5 March 2014, Cabalgata hacia la luz was released via Oui Oui Records, with a video for El camino del mono released in support. The band remains active in the Argentina scene, beginning the works on a fourth record.

SoldatiEdit

  • For further details, feel free to view the Riffipedia page on Soldati.

Chotsourian would form Soldati (Eng. Tran: Soldier) in 2014, two years after Los Natas had disbanded. Though the band would be founded in early 2014 by Sergio Ch. but would not play out live for the first time until 19 March 2016 at Club Plasma.[12] The band would also record at Death Studios and release the eponymous Soldati EP on 9 March 2016.

Following the live debut and EP release the band would play more shows in the Argentina area. Along with performing with locals among the likes of Dragonauta and Buffalo the band would support various touring acts such as Stoned Jesus,[13] Eyehategod[14] and Baroness[15] among others. The band would release four digital singles between 2017 and 2019[16] as work would eventually begin on a debut studio album.[17]

On 25 February 2020, following an appearance at Motoclub Bar Fest,[18] Soldati would announce that they had signed with Italian label Argonauta Records to release their debut album. This debut album would be recorded on analogue tape by Patricio Claypole at Estudio el Attic.[19] In a statement to promote the album, Sergio Ch. would speak about the band's name and the ethos of the band:

[On the band's name] "Maybe we feel we’ve been fighting all our lives for freedom, happiness and mind peace. Growing our children, surviving South America and blasting our heads with the sound and vive that makes us feel good, alive and free at least a couple hours a week. That’s what we live and stand for."

[On the sound] "Musically I just undusted my old SGs guitars, 3 stomps and my 70s amps I used for Los Natas for more than 20 years. No changes. Just keep on the audio and the legacy I created back in 1994, maybe where I left it, at the doorstep of Los Natas’ album "Nuevo Orden de la Libertad". Not so stoned, not so hanged off, more straight forward in your face, with riffs and words. Just pushing the limits to get to our own truth. This is our debut full length album, where I think we could resume all the war inside our heads, it’s a beast on its own character and warmth. It’s also about love, hate, good and bad shit that hapens to us every day. Trying to get in balance and live just for today. The present time. The golden balance of time.

 
— Sergio Chotsourian, Argonauta Records [20]

Doom Nacional would see release on 24 April 2020 via South American Sludge in South America and Argonauta Records in Europe. Doom Nacional would attain praise from several critics such as The Obelisk,[21] Distorted Sound Magazine[22] and Doomed & Stoned[23][24] among others.[25][26]

Solo Endeavors and Other ProjectsEdit

Chotsourian would form a side band in Santoro circa 1998 along with famed Argentina vocalist and frequent collaborator José Luis Armetta. The band's Last.fm page describes them as "a rocknroll band that comes from a lonely land, where nature gives to the people a certain feel of dust, wind and solitude. Santoro invites you to listen to the music, continuous songs featured as one only composition, involving a powerful need for speed, psych and freedom.".

Santoro self-released a demo before recording an eleven-song album and releasing it in 2001 via "I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison" Records. The band is no longer active, possibly once bassist Gonzalo Villagra had joined Los Natas. Chotsourian would form a side project known as Solodolor in 2006. Alongside José Luis Armetta (Dragonauta, Eight Hands For Kali, Massacre, etc.) and Gustavo Rowek (V8, Rata Blanca, Nativo, Ian, Rowek) along with established American engineer Billy Anderson, the quartet could be seen as a supergroup of sorts.

The band would record between 2006 and 2007 while Los Natas was recording their sixth album El hombre montaña. The band's output would be three songs, released twice in split releases with Los Natas circa 2008 and 2010. While the band was largely a studio side project the band did manage to perform live with Los Natas circa November 2010.[27]

Starting in the early 2010s Sergio would compose solo works, starting with contributing to a soundtrack to the 2012 film Los Salvajes with his brother Santiago. In 2014 Sergio would announce his first solo album 1974 and release it in 2015[28] along with various singles, including La Sal y el Arroz, the first collaboration with his daughter Isabel.[29]

A second solo album in Aurora would follow on 25 September 2016[30] to positive reviews the likes of The Obelisk[31] and More Fuzz.[32] Sergio would perform solo showcases largely in Argentina to promote his new solo works as other releases would be composed, such as a psychedelic 30+ minute songs in El Hombre Con La Camara circa 2017 and a collaboration with Gabo Ferro in 2018's Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa.

Sergio Ch. would release two new solo albums in 2020: From Skulls Born Beyond and Death Row Live Foreva.

Personal LifeEdit

Chotsourian has been married at least once and is a father of two children. His hobbies outside of music include travel, swimming and fishing.[33] His brother, Santiago, is also a musician and has performed with Sergio for Ararat and some of Sergio's solo works.

BandsEdit

  • Los Natas - Guitar, Vocals (1993 - 2012)
  • Santoro - Guitar (1998 - 2001)
  • Solodolor - Guitar (2006 - 2010)
  • Ararat - Guitar, Vocals (2008 - Present)
  • Sergio Ch. - Guitar, Vocals (2010 - Present)
  • Soldati - Guitar, Vocals (2014 - Present)
  • Moonshine - Guitar (2019 - Present)

DiscographyEdit

With Los Natas (Selected)Edit

With AraratEdit

With Soldati (Selected)Edit

Solo WorksEdit

Other ReleasesEdit

  • Santoro - Santoro (Studio Album) (2001, I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison Records)
  • Solodolor - Solodolor / Los Natas (Split with Los Natas) (2008, Buzzville; 2010, Pop Art)
  • Sergio & Santiago Chotsourian - Los Salvajes (Soundtrack) (2012, Oui Oui Records)
  • Sergio Ch., Araujo & Romeo - El Hombre Con La Camara (Collaborative Album) (2017, South American Sludge)
  • Moonshine - Moonshine (Extended Play) (2020, South American Sludge)

GearEdit

GuitarsEdit

  • Gibson SG Standard Electric Guitar[34]
  • Gibson SG Special[35]
  • EMG-H2A Pickups[36]

AmpsEdit

  • Peavey Deuce VT Series 212 Combo
  • Marshall 1960B 4x12 Cabinet
  • Peavey Mace 100-watt Head
  • Sunn O))) Concert Bass
  • HiWatt Lead 100

[37]

EffectsEdit

  • Pro Co Rat Turbo
  • MXR distortion + (late seventies model)
  • Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff Pi
  • Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
  • MXR M101 Phase 90
  • MXR M-161 Commando Phaser Pedal

[38]

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Natas on Wikipedia
  2. Los Natas Official via Wayback Machine
  3. Allmusic
  4. Sputnik Music
  5. Lollipop Magazine
  6. The Obelisk
  7. The Obelisk
  8. The Obelisk
  9. The Obelisk
  10. / Last.fm
  11. Last.fm
  12. Soldati Facebook
  13. Soldati Facebook
  14. Soldati Facebook
  15. Soldati Facebook
  16. The Obelisk
  17. The Obelisk
  18. Soldati Facebook Event
  19. The Independent Voice
  20. Argonauta Records OfficialLOS NATAS’ Frontman Reveals Album Details Of New Band Project SOLDATI, accessed 10 September 2020
  21. The Obelisk
  22. Distorted Sound Magazine
  23. Doomed & Stoned
  24. Doomed n' Stoned Latino America
  25. Metal.it
  26. La Habitaction 235
  27. Last.fm
  28. The Obelisk
  29. The Obelisk
  30. The Obelisk
  31. The Obelisk
  32. More Fuzz
  33. / Stonerrock.com via Wayback Machine
  34. Equipboard
  35. Equipboard
  36. EMG Pickups
  37. Equipboard
  38. Equipboard
V·T·E Los Natas
Members Sergio ChotsourianWalter BroideMiguel FernandezClaudio FiladoroGonzalo Villagra
Studio Albums DelmarCiudad de BrahmanCorsario negroToba-tranceToba-trance IIEl hombre montañaNuevo orden de la libertad
Selected Other Releases En Busca de la EspeciaRutationEl GobernadorUnreleased DopesLivin' La Weeda LocaTormenta mental y ParanoicoLive En GinebraMünchen SessionsEl Universo Perdido de Los Natas Vol I y IIDeath Sessions
Associated Bands and Artists Billy AndersonJosé Luis ArmettaSouth American SludgeAraratSolodolorSoldatiSantoroSandiabloAudionPoseidóticaBuffalo
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