"Succes and failure is all part of the process, but it's also the ability to see beyond the issue."
Last week I had the pleasure of talking to Gonzalo Castex of the Latin Grammy nominated No Te Va Gustar for a quick interview. NTVG is celebrating and touring due the release of their lastest album "Suenan Las Alarmas". This very popular nine-piece Uruguayan band has not only enjoyed more than twenty years together, but this latest album also reflects the maturity that comes from all those years of playing together. One of the single's off this new album includes "Pegame Mas Fuerte" and the new version of a past song of their's, "Los Villanos" , which features Flor De Toloache and the vocals of Dr. Shenka from Panteon Roccoco! Great songs right off the bat, you can imagine how good the rest of the album is. Might I add that, "the artistic production was carried out by Héctor Castillo, the talented Venezuelan producer and four time Latin Grammy winner for ¨Ahí Vamos¨ and ¨Fuerza Natural¨ by Gustavo Cerati, as well as being internationally recognized for his work with Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Aterciopelados and David Bowie, within others. The mastering was done by Dave Mc Nair."
No Te Va a Gustar was formed around 1994 when the band members were just teens. Since then they have grown and toured around the world. What is interesting is that the music industry and the way music is distributed has changed drastically from 1994 to 2018. I had to ask Gonzalo what that transition was like for the band. "The truth is that it has been a huge change. I say it is better to go down the "passionate" road and to try to make the best possible. Music was listened to in a different way than it is today. It has been a positive thing to adapt to and we continue adapting. Only time will tell what is next." Not only is adapting one thing, but disc formatting is another and he added that that even though digital downloading of music is very popular, the band keeps putting out a physical version of their material. "One of the things I noticed with this change is the ability to discover new artists. It's easier. Also, it's easier to edit music! You can edit it anywhere unlike like back then. It's possible to listen to it in real time. Back then it was harder and took more time. Now it's all a smoother process." There is no doubt about that.
Twenty years later, NTVG is still making music and bringing in crowds. It's hard for a band, in general, to last so long, so I asked him how they have been able to keep this nine-piece band together for so long. "It's a journey. Definitely not impossible. Being that it's so many of us, we also have a lot in common. We love playing together and we love what we do! It's what we love doing and we love each other's company. It's a a change from playing at age 18 to 40." That's the maturity not only reflects on their relationship as a band, but it reflects on the new album.
Talking about the new album, I asked Gonzalo whether the political and love themes were intentional while making the album and he said, "well, there have always been themes like that within our albums. We don't incline one way or the other. We try to focus on things that are happening in the moment." To that, I asked him to walk me through the album cover and why they chose that (featured above). " We had thought about it for a while. It's a little bit of what we are going through. It's a sensation. A permanent alarm. Everything that is going on: politics, war, etc is red. A bomb! We felt like this album has strength and the album art has impact." It really make one reflect on it.
To end the interview, I asked Gonzalo how excited the band was to tour especially since they are playing at the Machaca Festival in Monterrey and he responded by saying, "It's a pleasure! Being away from home, we try to do the most possible. We put all our effort into it. We love playing our songs for different crowds especially in festivals. We can reach an audience that has never heard us before."
A big thank you to No Te Va Gustar and follow them on Instagram to see what is going on @notevagustaroficial.
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.