Pil Trafa, the musician best known as the lead singer of Los Violadores, died at his home in Lima, Peru. He was 62. A Facebook post from his band Pilsen revealed the cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest. Find the full statement below.
Born Enrique Chalar in 1959, Trafa formed Los Violadores in Buenos Aires in 1981. The anti-authoritarian band—the name translates to “The Violators”—drew influences from the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Buzzcocks. One of the first bands to openly disparage the Argentinian dictatorship, they had to perform early gigs as “Los Voladores” to avoid censors. Early tracks like “Represión” (from 1983 debut LP Los Violadores) and “Uno, Dos, Ultraviolento” (from 1985’s Y ahora qué pasa, eh?) would become foundational to Latin American punk rock.
Trafa would form his second band Pilsen in 1992 after Los Violadores’ first breakup, releasing albums in 1993 and 1994. He also released two solo albums: 2004’s El monopolio de las palabras and 2015’s Último hombre. Los Violadores would reform and disband several times over the years, with Trafa the only constant member of the band’s evolving lineup. The last Los Violadores studio album was 2009’s Rey o Reina; they released a double live album in 2011 before separating for good.
Over his four-decade career, Trafa released 22 albums between his solo and group projects. He also co-authored his biography Más Allá del Bien y del Punk with Juan Carlos Kreimer; at the time of his death, he was working on a second volume called El Punk Antes del Punk.