Genre: Punk rock
Years active: mid-1980s
Víctor Nattero and Juan Casanova (his cousin) got together with Pablo Dana
Montevideo agoniza (Orfeo, 1986)
En cualquier parte del mundo(Orfeo, 1987)
Traidores (Orfeo, 1988)
La lluvia ha vuelto a caer (Orfeo, 1992)
Radio Babilonia (Monitor, 1995)
En la profunda noche (Koala Records, 1998)
Traidores en vivo y en directo (A. N. Producciones, 2000)
Primavera Digital (Koala Records, 2002)
Traidores (or Los Traidores, in English, The Traitors) is a Uruguayan punk rock band founded during the post-dictatorship disarray of mid-1980s Uruguay.
Traidores was born in 1983 when Víctor Nattero and Juan Casanova (his cousin) got together with Pablo Dana and started practicing in their houses. The band was influenced by The Clash, Sex Pistols, and by British punk rock from the late 1970s in general. The group started playing live shows and grew in popularity, attracting a large following for the local scene in which they were based. Los Traidores headed up the first version of Cabaret Voltaire, a gathering of musicians, sculptors, painters, and other young artists from the alternative art scene in Uruguay. The band was included on a compilation of Uruguayan groups called “Graffiti” (Orfeo, 1985), along with the bands Los Estómagos, Zero, Los Tontos, Neoh 23 and ADN. Two of Los Traidores’ songs were included “La lluvia cae sobre Montevideo” (The Rain Falls on Montevideo) and “Juegos de poder” (Power Games). An album release show was held in the Teatro de Verano in Christmas of 1985. Even though the show was not heavily promoted, more than 5,000 people came to see it.
From there Los Traidores continued playing live shows and recorded their first album, titled “Montevideo Agoniza” (Montevideo in Agony) (Orfeo), 1986). The LP did not reflect the theme of its title, even though the record was considered too “heavy” for a first album for its existentialist themes. The band appeared on television, made a couple of music videos (“La muerte elegante” [Elegant Death] and “Juegos de poder” [Power Games]) and played several large open-air concerts: Veléódromo Municipal (4,000 people), Teatro de Verano (6,000 people) and closed the final night of the Montevideo Rock I festival (15,000 people).
In 1987 Los Traidores became a quintet, adding Caio Martínez on keyboards. In this configuration they released their second record with a more toned-down style that enabled them to reach a larger audience. The album, titled “En cualquier parte del mundo” [Anywhere in the World] (Orfeo, 1987), was recorded in Buenos Aires.
In February 1988 the band appeared again at the Montevideo Rock Festival and later in the year recorded their third album self-titled “Traidores” (Orfeo, 1988), which became known as the “disco negro” [Black Album]. They also released a live compilation from their appearances at the rock festival, including a version of “Montevideo agoniza” which had been banned years earlier. After this the band split up.
Three years later on October 25, 1991 the band got together again to play at La Factoría for a sold-out audience of 1,000 people. The event was recorded as a live album titled “La lluvia ha vuelto a caer” [The Rain Has Come Back to Fall Again]. They played the comeback concert as a quartet, with Nattero on guitar, Casanova on vocals, Marcelo Oliveira on drums, and a new bass guitar player: Daniel Bonilla.
In 1994 the group made a surprise appearance on the television show Control Remoto to announce that they were working on a new studio album called Radio Babilonia. For this record Daniel Jacques played bass and Andrés Arrillaga played drums.
In August 1995 Radio Babilonia was released to the public. It was the band’s first album released in CD format and it was a critical and commercial success. From this album they made two music videos: “Radio Babilonia” and a new version of “Flores en mi tumba” [Flowers in my grave].
In 1996 Victor Nattero moved to Buenos Aires and the band split up again.
The group got back together in 1998 to play at the International Rock Festival in Montevideo in front of an audience of 6,000 people. Also playing the festival were the groups Illya Kuryaki, Ratones Paranóicos, Man Ray, Pappo, Attaque 77, El Peyote Asesino and 2 Minutos, among others.
In April they played at the second Rock de acá festival with the bands La Renga and Fernanda Abreu, among others, in the Teatro de Verano.
In June 1998 Pablo Dana rejoined the band to play bass guitar after a ten-year absence. The band had regained its core three members from its first three albums and added Roberto Rodino on drums.
Los Traidores played four sold out shows in the Teatro El Galpón during July and August 1998 to a total of 2,400 spectators. From these gigs the band put together a live acoustic album called “Traidores en la profunda noche” [The Traidores in the Deep of the Night].
For the rest of 1998 the band played its acoustic show in more intimate venues in Montevideo and other cities in Uruguay. They also played several electric concerts, including one sold out show in the Teatro de Verano with the band Divididos.
The band subsequently broke up once again.
In July 2000 Los Traidores announced another comeback with new material. The founders Nattero and Casanova joined up again with Daniel Jacques and added Fernando Alfaro on drums. In October they played the Teatro de Verano, recording the session for their third live album called “Traidores en vivo y en directo” which was independently produced.
In August 2001 the band played another live gig for an audience of 1,000 in the nightclub “Black” with new material for their eighth album titled “Primavera digital” [Digital Spring]. The album took a long time to record; recording wasn’t completed until the end of 2002 and the editing was finished in 2003 on the label Koala Records.