Treefort 2023 Profile: Chile’s Sistemas Inestables

When Sistemas Inestables arrive in the U.S. for the first time ever later this month, they’ll be toting — and touting — a mellifluous blend of electronic-heavy post-rock — and some serious jet lag, presumably. Coming all the way from Santiago, Chile, the band is an extra-special component of this year’s Treefort Music Fest.

Sistemas Inestables are still fresh, having released their debut album, O, in August 2018. And they’re already off to a roaring start: In May 2021, the band issued a concert version of their first record; the ensuing November saw Sistemas Inestables release a follow-up EP, Oppidum.

The Bad Penny recently touched base with Santiago Corvalán, who plays bass and keyboards for Sistemas Inestables, to get the inside track on what they’re planning to deliver at Treefort.

[Go here for a primer on this series of Treefort Music Fest previews. Check back for new profiles of international artists playing the festival every day leading up to the fest’s kickoff on Wednesday, March 22.]

Artist: Sistemas Inestables
From: Santiago, Chile
Genre: post-rock
Treefort info: Playing Wednesday, March 22, at El Korah Shrine at 10:50 p.m.; and Thursday, March 23, at Treefort Music Hall at 6 p.m.

Why did you decide to play Treefort Fest this year?

SANTIAGO CORVALÁN: Well, first of all, we were invited to play at Treefort, so we thought that would be cool.

What excites you the most about participating in it?

CORVALÁN: Playing in a very large festival is always exciting, but for us this is the first time we go to the United States, so it’s pretty exciting just for that reason.

Is this your first time playing Treefort? If so, how did your booking come about? If not, why did you choose to return?

CORVALÁN: Yes, it is our first time at Treefort. We were playing at a festival/music market event at Lima, Perú, and Eric Gilbert of Treefort saw both shows we did. Then we asked him if he would be interested in having us and we started getting all set to make it happen.

Have you visited Boise/Idaho before? If yes, do you have any fun stories to share? If not, what have you heard about Boise/Idaho?

CORVALÁN: Never been in Boise/Idaho before. We actually haven’t heard anything about Boise/Idaho. We are traveling “expect less,” to be surprised.

Did you face any challenges or headaches in securing a visa to come here?

CORVALÁN: Not really. With Chile to U.S.A., it’s actually quite easy to get a waiver visa, so that didn’t bother us at all.

What expectations do you have for your experience here and at Treefort?

CORVALÁN: To give great shows, to get to know many other cool bands, to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

How would you describe your state of mind going into Treefort?

CORVALÁN: We are calm about it. Just trying to get more shows booked so to get to play as much as possible during our stay in the U.S. We just want to give great shows, and we are confident about it.

What other artists on the Treefort lineup are you excited to see? Are you friends with any of them?

CORVALÁN: Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a must. Very influential, very important for our taste of music. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is another [band] that we really like. We got to know Black Maracas at Lima, Perú, when this invitation happened, so happy to know it worked for them too. We don’t know any other bands or artists, but there are very interesting names and profiles on the website, so we definitely have to check them out.

What do you enjoy most about performing at music festivals in general?

CORVALÁN: There are two main things: people that don’t know you, and the energy of everything being big (big stage, big sound, big audience). That makes it a very important chance to give all up on stage.

What can Treefort attendees expect from your performance?

CORVALÁN: Well, they can expect for an intense performance, lots of change and long-lasting songs. Lots of powerful moments accompanied by very subtle breaks. And most important of all — the end of the show. Wait for that.

For more Treefort previews, check out:

• Treefort 2023 Profile: British Columbia’s Mother Sun

• Treefort 2023 Profile: Norway’s Orions Belte

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