HAVANA._ Fanny Tachín is not a very conventional blonde. As a Pan-American karate champion and the leader of two heavy metal bands, this 21st century Cuban woman cannot be pigeonholed. She loves a challenge, and Tachín learned how to play the bass simply to prove to anex-boyfriend that she could put together her own band.
In just four months, she recruited a guitarist, keyboardist and drummer, and with vocalist Giovanni Milhet they began rehearsing in 2001, choosing the name Hipnosis (“hypnosis”): it was just one word, catchy, and worked in both Spanish and English. Her group combines different metal styles, including heavy metal, trash metal, doom and Gothic. They play covers of metal classics, and even have a version of Mozart’s “Confutatis.”
Onstage, Tachín is skilled at transmitting the roughness of her music genre, but face to face, she is feminine, sensual and even lirty, and her makeup gives off the scent of cinnamon. Attracted by more than her feminine wiles, The Havana Reporter interviewed the bassist of Hipnosis and Suffering Tool about the challenges of being a woman in the world of rock, especially in a salsa-loving country like Cuba. Tachín is very popular among veteran and newcomer rockers, and laughs and greetings broke into our chat at the Maxim Rock club, a former theater and now the headquarters of Cuban rock since the closing of the Patio de María.
WHAT IS LIKE TO BE A CUBAN WOMAN ROCKER?
“It’s normal; it’s a question of attitude, not gender. I like to work, set myself new goals, take it to the limit. Along with Hipnosis and Suffering, I did punk rock in a friend’s band, that is, three projects at the same time—I didn’t have time for more. But I like to create, and work hard. To last as long as the Rolling Stones.”
WHAT ATTRACTS YOU TO THE HEAVIEST TYPES OF ROCK MUSIC?
“Heavy music goes with my personality. In brutal rock, for example, the singer’s technique is different—it’s guttural, rough. And people may say I’m crazy, but I find a certain beauty in that, even though some people think it is just noise. I compare metal to sports. I feel intense emotion when I’m up onstage and see the audience vibrating, jumping, yelling. It’s like winning another gold medal, like scoring a wellperformed kata.”
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO PERFORM?
“Incredibly, we have quite a few followers. Santa Clara is one of our main stops. There are festivals like Brutal Fest, where Hipnosis sounds soft, as hard to believe as that may be. That’s why I created Suffering Tool, so that I could try out the most extreme sounds.”
HOW DO YOU SEE ROCK MUSIC IN CUBA TODAY?
This is a good time. For a while rock stagnated, and all of a sudden, a whole bunch of bands with very young kids has emerged, to guarantee the future and defend this culture. A lot of them come to my house to ask me how to put together and lead a band. ”
WHAT DOES EL PATIO DE MARIA MEAN TO YOU?
“That was like our home, and we rockers were a family. The Patio’s spirit survives, to a certain extent, at the Maxim, although it’s missing a certain angel, to put it one way. I have wonderful memories and I really miss it. Other people tell me the same thing.”
AND WHY DON'T YOU HAVE A TATTOO?
“Because my mom won’t let me,” she confesses with a burst of laughter, as she prepares to go onstage.