segunda-feira, 5 de setembro de 2011

Victorialand with Spell 336 - An Interview

Paul Lopez e Martin Huerta são os responsáveis pela ternura magica contida sob a alcunha de Spell 336, que conta em seu currículo com o magistral debut homonimo e o ep Reverse, ambos, recheados de trejeitos shoegazer clássicos, texturas absurdamente dreampop com um apelo denso e soturno, tudo equalizado de forma atual e altamente instigante.

Convidei Paul Lopez para conceder uma entrevista ao TBTCI o que de fato acontece e ilustra bem o quão necessário se faz a qualquer amante de Cocteau Twins e shoegazer a audição para enfim tornar-se o mais novo refém desde mundo pessoal do Spell 336.

***** An Interview with Paul Lopez from Spell 336 *****

Q. When did Spell 336 starts, tell us about the history...

Spell 336 began in 1991. Myself and my band mate Martin Huerta became friends in high school right around 1984. At that time we formed our first band. Martin had just started to play the guitar and I was the drummer. I started playing the drums when I was 10. This was in 1979. When me and Martin started to play music he was not singing at the time. A couple of years later I quit the group and it was then when Martin began to sing vocals and his musicianship on the guitar started to flow. After we graduated from high school in 1986 and 1987 respectively I lost contact with Martin. He had moved to Los Angeles and I stayed in our hometown. During this period I became close friends with Martin's younger brother. This was around late 1990. Martin was coming for a family visit and came by my home and we re-established our friendship. Martin was working in Los Angeles at the old Tower Records store. During his visit he brought some promotional CD's of Lush, Cocteau Twins, Tones On Tail to give to me. We had been fans of 4ad and of the various bands on their roster for quite some time. Martin stated that he was still playing the guitar and I had just started to play the guitar as well in addition to the drums and I had began to write lyrics. I remember telling Martin that I had some lyrics in a notebook that I kept with me. Martin had some songs as well and it was then that we decided to take this seriously and do something with what we had. I have old practice cassettes of our first rehearsals and I was amazed how easy it was to play with Martin. During those rehearsals I wrote 'Silence.'

Q: Who are your influences?

That really is a tough question. I really like all forms of music. Pop, Soul, Jazz. The list goes on. Martin's influences are all over the place as well. If it is a piece of music that I like no matter what the genre is that can be an influence for me. I think my band mate shares the same thoughts. Earlier I was listening to some 10cc, The Cars, and some Astrud Gilbreto. See what I mean??

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…

These choices will not be in any particular order. So here goes...

1. What's Going On-Marvin Gaye
2. Pink Moon-Nick Drake
3. #1 Record-Big Star
4. Kind Of Blue-Miles Davis
5. White Album-The Beatles
All of these albums are on my all time list. But on any given day I may change my mind. Every one of those records deals with loss,protest, isolation,etc..These are things that everyone at some time has experienced. But the main thing is the music and these recordings are pure art!

Q. How do you fell playing live?

In a live situation I always get nervous. A little stage fright but it disappears the moment that we play. Over the years I am not quite as bad as I used to be. I consider that a personal best for me. As a band we really enjoy our shows. The songs that we have recorded in the past always takes on a different feel live. We always try to duplicate the studio in a live setting. But the majority of the time we do the opposite and we have always felt that we sounded better. We have shows coming very soon and I get excited at the fact that most of our new material has not been performed before an audience. We may improvise to some extent but to finally hear those songs in a live show is something that we look forward to.

Q. How do you describe Spell 336 sounds?

Someone once told us that we sounded 'Atmospheric.' I guess that can be up for interpretation? Our sound ranges from Shoegaze to Dreampop. We tend to use every available gadget when it comes to the sounds that we create. We try not to use so much but it can't be helped. Most of the time we come up with the sounds that are constantly in our brains and we have been very successful in translating that either in a live setting or recording. Maybe 'Atmospheric' is a good term for us after all?

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the new album?

We are always writing lyrics and music and everything that we bring to the table is never discarded. We use everything. The last couple of songs that we have put out in the past few weeks shows what we are doing now but we still enjoy the Shoegaze sound. There really is a fair amount of recordings in the can. The cool thing is that these tracks sound as if it was recorded yesterday. But the truth is that we have come back to these songs to add new parts, lyrics, etc...Our process is somewhat simple. I come up with lyrics and music and Martin does the same thing. Then we work on it non-stop and if it feels good we record. One thing that we are proud of is we have a lot of material to play with and it gives us a fair amount of comfort knowing that we always upgrade and improve on what we have. When we record we always do it late at night. I always feel that our best work is recorded in the dead of night. 'Silence' was one of those tracks that we recorded late at night. I think when you hear 'Silence' you will feel the same vibe that we had when it was being recorded. I used to keep a notebook near me when I slept so I could write things down that could be used for a song. But the last few years when I write it feels like Automatic Writing. I can't force anything to come out. I could be anywhere and a lyric or a riff will pop in my head and I scramble to write it down before it disappears. It is all collected then put together and recorded.

Q. What´s represents the Shoegazer classic era to the band?

Classic Shoegaze era? I would have to go with the Cocteau Twins. Their music is so important to me and during that specific time frame is when I began to take my music to a different place. 'Victorialand' by the Cocteau Twins was a record that I was always listening to and it helped me when I needed it the most in terms of my songwriting. 'Silence' was written during that time frame. You can always list MBV, Slowdive, etc.. But the Cocteau Twins defined that era for me and gave me the inspiration that I needed. I hope I was successful??

Q. Which new bands do you recommended?

There are so many bands out there. But on a personal level I really love, Bliss City East, Drowner, Morpheme, Spc Eco, Data Unit, Music For Headphones,Stellarscope, Folie Adieu, Lightfoils, Deepfieldview, Brief Candles, Arafura, Ghost Box Orchestra, The Thief and The Architect, Her Vanished Grace, Starfire Connective Sound, Herod Layne. The list could go on forever!! Check back soon for a new update.

Q: Which bands you love to make a cover version?

I am lost on that one? We did a cover of 'Hypnotized' by Fleetwood Mac recently. But I am sure down the road we may do another. But we are very picky about who to cover next. But I am sure it will happen in the future.

Q: What´s the plans for future....

We just want to get our music out there and we will continue to record and write. We also plan to start playing live very soon. Hopefully before the end of the new year we will start doing some shows in California. But we plan to do this as long as we can. We enjoy what we do and as long as the inspiration is there we will never stop.

Q: Any parting words?

A big thank you to everyone who has supported Spell 336. The list of names are endless but you all know who you are. Thanks for taking the time to listen to us and it is always appreciated and never forgotten. Cheers!!!!!!!!
Thanks Paul!!!!