Santiago from São Paulo

WHAT IS IT YOU DO AND WHAT’S YOUR THING?

I’m Santiago, they call me Sant. For over 14 years I’ve pretty much been working on a clothing company that I started when I was in high school. I’ve just started a bar; Underdog with a different kind of style than we are used to seeing here in São Paulo. It’s a mix of punk; I’m a big fan of red-neck stuff from the states, and I mixed that up with some Argentina culture – I was born in Argentina. I play in 2 bands and I have 4 dogs and 1 girlfriend! The clothing is just an excuse to do the other things that we do and to create an environment for underground culture.

HOW HAS THE PASSING OF TIME INFLUENCED YOU?

I think maybe the pressure is bigger when we turn 30 because you start to get worried about money, family and stuff like that. You get to see people turning 30 with you who already have kids and work in banks and, I don’t know, other kinds of conservative stuff. I feel I am going further in the opposite direction. The dreams I used to have when I was a kid about motorcars and skateboarding and being a rock star and stuff I now have the tools to realise. I feel like I’m enjoying life, I’m 34 years old and I still have the same thrill that I used to have 15 years ago. It hasn’t changed and it’s a good thing for me so I’m getting old but I’m still passionate about, and staying true to, what I always liked and still not doing it just for the money.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HEROES AND IF YOU HAVE ANY, WHO ARE THEY?

I have a lot of heroes, all my life I was very obsessed with things. When I was a kid it was like 40 degrees and I used to go to school in a full Superman outfit almost passing out from the heat. And everything in my bedroom was Superman. And then I changed everything to Spiderman and baseball and motorcycling instead. I was really obsessed with everything so that kind of helped me out with what I do today because now I’m working on designing clothing and a company that has tattoo artists, skate and surf boarders and bands that we support. It’s kind of a mix of stuff that I look up to. It’s funny because all that I listened to was Sepultura – a heavy metal band from Brazil and when I was a kid I had all their posters all over my wall and now he is my friend. He comes to my shows. So my idols are now my friends. But of course I still have Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra and all these guys. And my dogs, maybe. Although yesterday they ate my motorcycle seat.

Santiago 2

WHAT GETS UP YOUR NOSE?

I don’t like the way that culture goes, especially in Brazil, and especially if you turn on the TV. I don’t like the way a lot of things are made these days, a good reference for me is the ’20s and ’30s when everything was handcrafted and handmade and focused. Ipods and cell phones? I feel like you have to keep getting a new one all the time and for me that’s bullshit. I think that as technology progresses it takes away any personal touch.

WHAT ARE YOU NO GOOD AT AND DO YOU HAVE VICES?

I feel like I do lots of things but none of them perfectly. I suck at giving people tasks to help me out with stuff because I think they are not going to do it the way I would in my professional life. So I am not very good at delegating things, I try and do everything. I go to the supermarket to buy stuff when I should be thinking about different cooking strategies. I do a lot of small jobs that I think I shouldn’t do. Because I’m losing a lot of time on the small things.
Vices; I was always obsessed with surfing – for 15 years – I kind of surfed professionally with sponsors and every week I would go to the beach but now with the bar and the clothing company and the dogs I hardly get to surf anymore, perhaps once a month.

HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN AND WHAT SPOILS IT?

I like to be with my friends playing rock or folk. Pick up a guitar and get crazy with instruments. Every once in a while I go to this shitty karaoke in São Paulo – it sucks there’s no one in there. It’s really bad. They have lots of these shitty songs but in the middle of the lists they have lots Metallica and metal bands that aren’t supposed to be on Karaoke machines and I’ve never understood why they are. So I like to go there and it’s like one of the few places that I know is open all night, it’s like a casino but it’s really small and you lose time and you get out and its 11 o’clock in the morning and my voice is fucked up. But I like to do this kind of stuff. And travelling but not like travelling with the band or with the intent of going somewhere but just getting in the car and travelling 2000 kilometres. Last year I went alone to Uruguay on my motorcycle with camping gear and a sleeping bag on the back and this kind of stuff I really like, just keeping it simple.

WHAT YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

I just started the bar: Underdog. It’s going pretty well. We got a thing going catering for these people who like this kind of thing. We are just thinking about maybe opening for breakfast or lunch which they don’t do in Brazil. São Paulo is a really big city but at the same time there is a lack of a lot of things. There is no place to go to get breakfast apart from the traditional padaria where you can get coffee and bread. So we have this goal, not to get bigger on the bar because I like the way it is, small, but maybe some different stuff that challenges me as a cook. Because of the last 14 years here I have had a lot of partners but in the last year I stayed alone on the bar so I put more of my personality into it. But now my friend is working with me and we have these really fucked up ideas to execute in the next 2 or 3 years from now. The Weird company is going to get weirder and the bar will have more drinks, more food, will be open more hours and maybe we will open another one on the other side of São Paulo or Brazil.

DOES ONE QUOTE OR SONG SAY IT ALL?

Soundtrack is hard because I feel like my life is a mix of ‘thrash-metal-concert’ and ‘the beach’. I hate the older stuff but I like to listen to Rod Stewart once in a while. But I think what’s really walked side-by-side me in life is heavy metal. I grew up listening to Megadeath, Metallica, Pantera and all these tracks. So a mix between these and Robert Johnson, Elvis and classic Sinatra stuff could maybe be my soundtrack. Nothing technological. I hate DJs, I hate everything that is computerised. I hate it when people with no talent at all, just connections in the music industry, are more successful than those studying 5 years in music and don’t have a job.
And finally:

Live fast, die young.

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