Talking Food Porn With Los Amigos Invisibles

PHOTO: Band Los Amigos Invisibles feasting on Venezuelan deliciousness at Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills.

Los Amigos Invisibles might be the most sexually-charged band you've ever heard. For 22 years, the Grammy award-winning Venezuelan funk/disco band has somehow managed to make fans sing along to explicit lyrics like "En cuatro, en cuatro, en cuatro" out loud and with pride. That's the magic of Los Amigos. Their humor, sarcasm and "life's a party" attitude make their graphic lyrics and ever-present sexual innuendos seem benign. Not even your inner Gloria Steinem can't help but dance to Los Amigos Invisibles.

After sex, food is this band's second biggest inspiration (they did name their 2000 album "Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space" after all). I sat down at Coupa Café, a Venezuelan restaurant in Beverly Hills, with José Luis Pardo (AKA DJ Afro, guitar), Mauricio Arcas (percussion), Juan Manuel Roura (drums) and Armando Figueredo (keyboards) to make and eat arepas and talk about porn and music (seriously!)

I am from Caracas! says DJ Afro

Formed in 1991 in their native Caracas, the six members of Los Amigos Invisibles moved to New York City 13 years ago. Now the members live all over including in Brooklyn, Miami, and Orlando, but one thing keeps them close to home: Food. "Food is such a big part of our culture. Food that you grow up with is the food that you always miss the most. I came here [Coupa Café] and I knew exactly what I wanted. I don't even have to look at the menu," says Armando, as he orders the traditional Venezuelan stuffed arepa "pabellón" and some very phallic looking "tequeños" (fried wheat dough stuffed with melted queso blanco).

Venezuelan treat "tequeño," but mine is not pequeño.

Whether listening to their songs - many with "appropriate" titles like "Ponerte en Cuatro" or "El Disco Anal"- or sitting down for a meal with them, sex is never far from the conversation with Los Amigos Invisibles. "It has to do with being Latin from the Caribbean. We are hotter and more sexual. When we started, it was misunderstood as machismo. It took some time for people to understand that we're actually making fun of it. Plus, it's who we are," clarifies DJ Afro.

Armando is a danger in the kitchen.

If you walk into an Amigos Invisibles recording studio, tour bus or green room you are undoubtedly going to see pornography on the walls and ceilings, they say. "Watching people having sex is exciting! Some people deny it but it's only 'cause they're prude. People rather watch people kill each other than porn!" says Armando. When asked if they censor themselves during their writing process he says "Yes, we censor ourselves. We'll take it to the point where it's still funny, but not distasteful. If you are afraid to say it in front of somebody, then you don't write it."

Heating the arepa.

Los Amigos' new album "Repeat After Me" is their first one with songs written and sung by them in English. "We thought it'd be fun for the record to be kind of a Spanish/English class. When you're taking a language course that's what the teacher always says: 'repeat after me.' So that's the idea behind it," explains Armando. In typical Amigos fashion, there's a song called "Sexappeal" which goes: "You look so sexy in your pantyhose...it makes me think you're a superstar and I am one of your freaky fans...they make me feel so weird, so wrong 'cause I only see how weak I am to your sex appeal."

Stuffing la arepa.

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