The Ratazanas (Foto: Joao Henriques)
It all began in 2005. Me (André, drummer) and Luís (keyboards) rehearsed a few homemade experiences. Nothing too serious. It was just a fun way to spend some days in the summer. Later that year we decided to put a band together. That’s when The Ratazanas were born. Although we were having a great time and enjoying relative success with the band's initial formation, Luís and I weren’t satisfied with the musical outcome of the songs. We wanted to sound closer to the old school Jamaican groove. Therefore, much of 2006 and 2007 were times for renovation that lead to the exit of most members and to the search for some “new blood”. That’s when Edu, Petrov and Rosicky entered the group. Since then, we’ve also been having some spiritual guidance, saxophone riffs and shakin’ piano rhythms from João Morais as a special guest.
Having finally gathered the musicians we were looking for, we closed the gutter door and spent a few months boiling early reggae in sewer waters! We studied deeply Jamaican reggae and came up with a whole bunch of new themes. By the end of 2007, we started crawling out of the sewers to play two shows with The Aggrolites (in Lisbon and Granada – at the famous All Reggae to the People) and one with The Slackers in March 2008, two well known bands in the present world circuit of Jamaican revivalist scene. This would eventually gave us the necessary confidence to work even more seriously and more enthusiastically.
That’s when, by the summer of 2008, we came up with the idea of asking Nicolas Leonard and Sérgio Raimundo (both from the Moon Invaders) to be the producer and co-producer of our forthcoming album. They liked the stuff we were putting down and accepted the challenge. We made the recording sessions by late September, at Freddy Loco’s private studio back in Charleroi, and the album will come out by April 2009 on Grover Records, one of the finest ska & reggae labels in Europe! “Ouh La La” is the chosen name and we hope you’ll like it at least as much as we enjoyed working on it. With all this activity going on, we will also have the enormous privilege to play two shows with 70s reggae diva Susan Cadogan, both in Lisbon and Girona, for the Rude Cat Festival 2009