La Mosca, the Argentine big band whose infectious, danceable songs — including “Para no verte más” and “Todos tenemos un amor” — became hits throughout Latin America, will livestream their first quarantine show, #Deramalloalmundo (From Ramallo to the World), on Saturday (Sept. 19).
The caveat: all nine band members will be onstage.
“There are nine of us, and we are all essential,” says lead singer Guillermo Novellis, speaking on the phone from Ramallo, the group’s hometown (ergo the name of the show).
Having a nine-piece band onstage during COVID is as surprising as, well, having a nine-man group at all (the name La Mosca, by the way, translates to The Fly). But La Mosca’s brash wind section is what always made the group stand out, in addition to its blend of ska, reggae and pop.
Billboard spoke with Novellis ahead of the show, which will be their first hometown livestream, and can be watched here at 9 p.m. Argentina time (8 p.m. ET).
There’s nine of you! And you’re all going to be onstage even as Argentina is in a COVID lockdown. What are the logistics of this?
We have a very big and ample stage to play with. It’s just us and our tech team. It will be a big party, but keeping all the social distancing parameters. Also, fortunately we live in a city in the interior of the country where the pandemic hasn’t really been felt. Still, the show has all the permits and supervision required by the authorities. We’re filming with all the lights and camera as if we were playing in front of an audience.
Why was it important to do this in Ramallo?
It’s the place where we grew up, where we all met each other, where we created the band. It’s our point of departure and arrival. From Ramallo we come and we go. It’s very symbolic for us. We’re a band that has toured over 30 countries, we’ve won many awards and gold albums. And this will be a multinational show that the entire world can see. We’re preparing as if we were playing a live show, with all the adrenaline and excitement.
You’ve had the same members since 2001, which is remarkable. What’s the secret to keeping the peace between so many?
We’ve created a group based on respect. Every decision is discussed. The set list, the rehearsals, we vote on absolutely everything, and the majority wins. That’s it. Obviously, we lobby each other and try to make our case. But we’re a group and we’re very supportive of each other. It’s like soccer. Maybe the guy that scores gets to be on the cover, but team doesn’t work unless everybody has input.
This is also your 25th anniversary, correct?
Yes. And we had a whole series of celebrations planned. But… We’re going to take advantage of tonight to run through our entire career. No one is going to be disappointed.
As part of the anniversary you’re also planning an album of collabs. What can you tell us about that?
We’re working on an album of our best-known songs featuring guest artists and adapted to our guests. For example, we’re doing “Todos tenemos un amor” in a salsa version, featuring Gilberto Santa Rosa.
You are personally known for your signature big sunglasses. Is that what gave the band its name?
No. The name came first. And it’s not about a fly. We were looking for a short, easy to remember name, and it’s also the name of a card game we play in this area. Afterwards, I shaved my head and put on the glasses. Actually, the glasses were the brainchild of our manager, Santiago Ruiz.
Are you wearing your sunglasses tonight?
Always. They have to be there.