Vetusta Morla is one of Spain's most popular alternative rock bands. A simple Google search will prove that. Vetusta Morla recently released their latest album: Mismo Sito, Distinto Lugar. Not only that, but two weeks ago they released the music video for "Punto Sin Retorno", which was filmed at Hansa Studios in Berlin. The six members of the band can be seen in the video playing their perspective instruments, but as Guillermo Galvan (guitarist) mentioned in our recent interview with him, the goal throughout the album was to not sound like six people playing at the same time. At no point during the album does it sound like six people jamming out, instead it's a fantastic musical journey for the ears .
After listening to the album several times, in different places, and at different times during the day my fondness for the album grew and I've really experienced the roller coaster of emotions that makes this album. From the up-beat song, "Palmeras En La Mancha" with it's dramatic news broadcast introduction and the chanting of "¡Uno, dos!, ¡Uno, dos!" to the more calm "Punto Sin Returno" with melancholic undertones. It's definitely one of those albums that you want to keep listening to again and again. Each song is it's own theme, it's own style, and they are really catchy! This new album is different to their previous work, but it's the type of different that has taken them to the next level.
During a phone interview with Guillermo (guitarist), I asked him how the process of making this album differed from their previous work. It was very different. Guillermo said that, "we realized that we needed to change our whole process." That included their production and even their rehearsals. He also added that they tried to play with different points of view for the songs and "not be so direct." With that being said, I asked why they chose to name the album Mismo Sitio, Distincto Lugar since, although obvious, it can hold a different meaning for everyone. Guillermo was quick to to say that the title of the album is "a synthesis of the process. It's like going back and feeling things for the first time. At the same time, it has to do with the essence of the band."
On that same note and going back to me mentioning that I went through a roller coaster of emotions while listening to the album, my next question had to do with their decision to order the songs the way they did and whether there was a theme to them. Guillermo mentioned that there was no specific theme. They tried to present it like "a plate of food with different flavors." Each song is different to the others and there is no specific to it.
As the interview reached an end, I asked Guillermo how their their fans reacted to this change and the new material. My reasoning behind the question is that Vetusta Morla has been around for a while (since 1998) and it's no secret that they have a strong fan base, which continues to grow. He said, "we thought people would be concerned, but we were pleasantly surprised by people's positive reactions."
Vetusta Morla is set to start an international tour to promote Mismo Sitio, Distincto Lugar beginning in March. They will play in several different countries and even in the famous Mexican music festival, Festival Vive Latino, which Guillermo said was exciting for them. I asked him about touring and what he likes more about it and he said that touring "opens windows" and "it's always amazing to learn from everything."
A big thank you to Vetusta Morla! Go check them out and listen to the new album! Follow them on Instagram at vetustamorla.
When you hear music by Cóndor like the song "Titan", it's the kind of jam you listen to on your way to a party. That's exactly the vibe they were aiming for when they made their album Casanova (2016). It consists of ten songs which talk about nightlife and partying and it's certainly evident once you hear it. Cóndor is mainly made up of Jose Canseco (guitar/vocals) and Misael Vásquez (guitar/vocals), however, the duo added a bassist (Checho) and a drummer (Jorge) in the past year. This band from Juarez recently opened up for Great shapes at the Lowbrow Palace and the energy was there.
While in the cold, Cóndor and I began to talk about the band, their music and of course there were jokes involved. The band started out around 2014 with just Misael and Jose. They were two friends "on a mission" to make party music and have fun with this project. With parties in mind and their punk past behind, the boys started messing around with beats. They listened on a loop and finally added some guitar until they found something they liked. That lead them to go directly to the studio since it was just the two of them at the time and there wasn't a full band. During their time in the studio, they changed and polished their songs until what came to be the tracks on the album Casanova. (In 2017, Misael and Jose added Checho and Jorge to the band and that is what currently makes up Cóndor.)
Being that it's a band inspired by not only the fact that their music can be partied to, but also that it is inspired by bands like "Plastilina Mosh" and "Kinky". They want to take the likings of those bands and take it further. They hope to be able to play big festivals soon like in Mexico and the United States. They want this album and future material to reach larger audiences because it's "useless to keep the album at home and have only your friends listen to it." They are serious about the band and they are using the beginning of 2018 as a time to focus on making music. They hope to be able to release some material by the summer so they can finish the year con todo el power.
I want to thank the guys for their time! Great energy! Go follow them to keep updated:
The first time I saw Chrome Pony play was last year around April when they came to El Paso. They played at the Lowbrow Palace alongside Twin Peaks and Post Animal. What a fantastic show that was! All three bands brought great energy and the music was amazing! Even though I could talk about how great that show was, I want to focus on the Nashville, Tennessee band Chrome Pony. I recently did a FaceTime interview with the guys to talk about the band, conspiracy theories and the new material they are working on.
The band is made up of brothers Kyle (drums/vocals) and Tyler Davis (guitar/vocals) with JOTA ESE as the bassist. Kyle and Tyler started Chrome Pony in 2011 and then in 2014 JOTA joined the band. The two brothers grew up in Indiana and JOTA grew up in Illinois, but they "joined forces" in Tennessee and that later lead to what we came to know as Chrome Pony. Since then, Chrome Pony has released a few records and toured across the United States. Chrome Pony are joined by different keyboardists depending on the tour/shows which include Ric Alessio, Nate Davis, Ben Webber, or Matt Man. I asked them how it was to come to El Paso for the first time due to the fact that they did a lot of touring las year. "We went pretty far west." They also mentioned it was their first time in Arizona, they lost a license plate in the wind and they made good friends. The band also mentioned that Lowbrow Palace is a great venue and they liked El Paso.
I asked the guys whether living in Tennessee has influenced the band or themselves musically and to that they answered "yes". JOTA mentioned that Tennessee does play a role somehow. He also mentioned that Nashville has so many things for music including venues, bands, and so much more. "It's in the center!" He also added that a cool thing about Tennessee is that one can road trip to wonderful places like Atlanta, Chicago or New Orleans to name a few, for the weekend and be able to be back in time for work or whatever one does.
Chrome Pony has been working on new tracks to which they hope to release by the end of this year. Tyler said, "we started recording this summer (2017). We have been writing all year and we are narrowing it down." As we were nearing the part of the interview where we discussed conspiracy theories, I asked if their lyrics would contain any reference to a conspiracy to which they replied "two-tongued snake has .... some". Guess we'll have to wait and see!
Finally, I asked the boys what conspiracy theories they wanted to talk about. It was not a lengthy discussion. I feel like I ended up talking about a J.F.K conspiracy theory I saw, but they did mention some things. JOTA said that, "when I was in the sixth grade, I really got into the moon theory. (Moon-landing conspiracy) I was really interested by it." I think we've all questioned the media, the world, and reality at one point in our lives. Tyler also added that when he and his brother were younger they saw blinking lights above a field, which could not be explained by a particular reason. Wow, how creepy!
A big thank you to Chrome Pony for everything! Go follow them on Instagram: chromeponyjamz !!! And check out their music!!
I recently saw Fools Like Me at Love Buzz where they opened for the Chicago band, North by North, and they also happened to play three new songs for the first time. I got to sit down and talk with Eric (vocalist) for a bit about what they have done so far and what the band plans to do in the future. "Psychadelic lo-fi and dream pop could pretty much describe the sound of Fools Like Me". This band from la frontera is made up of Eric (vocals, guitar, sampler), Sergio (bass), Alex (synths), and Rudie (drums and pads).
I started off by asking Eric why they chose to name the band Fools Like Me. I mentioned that it's interesting that they chose a name in English, considering they are a band from Juarez and Spanish is their first language. Eric said he ultimately chose the name due to an interview he saw with Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips in which Wayne was asked how The Flaming Lips have been able to maintain their underground status. Wayne responded, "I do music for fools like me." Eric mentioned that that phrase really caught his attention and he kept seeing the phrase popping up randomly in his life including in one of his favorite songs by John Lennon.
In 2015, Eric worked and produced alongside Manuel Calderon of The Chamanas on what would end up being Vampires In My Head (LP). Since the release of Vampires in My Head, the band has been promoting their material. Last summer (2017), Fools Like Me released their first music video, Lost Paradise (below), which was filmed by Autumn Leave Films. Eric mentioned that the album started off as an experiment. He also mentioned that Manuel has been a long time friend of his and that they have collaborated before. "Two years ago, I had a few songs piled up and I didn't know what to do with them so I told Manuel about them. I was going through a rough time and I wanted to distract myself with music. We ended up producing the songs and loving them. I first wrote the album, got it produced, and then I formed the band." As mentioned, Eric wrote the album when he was going through a hard time and the songs "flowed and they just happened to be in English."
On another note, regarding the video Lost Paradise, in which one can see there are different versions of Eric, he mentioned that there is a part in the song that says "I am loosing my mind" and that is why there are different versions of himself throughout the video. The character in the video is loosing his mind due to his love for a girl.
I want to thank the guys and I invite everyone to go check them out and follow their social media. They are also currently touring!! Go check them out:
Facebook: Fools Like Me
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.