Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Interview with BALCANES

Balcanes is a four-piece from Leon, Spain. Some weeks ago the band sent me their 7" vinyl debut and it's nothing but a true winner record. Balcanes sounds like a dark and menacing product of ugly noise-rock, heavy doom and bleak industrial.

When and why did you start the band?
We started the band as the four of us shared the same curiosity for noise and eventhough we started to play togethre in 2010, it wasn't until few months go that we left clandestinity. On the first days we were something much more aleatory, we didn´t use guitars and we were not worried at all about doing songs. We have only performed twice and eventhough we have recorded two casette demos, the editions were very limited and we almost never left the place where we rehearse. We were "reborn" around a year ago when we decided to mutate into a rock band and we decided to start using guitars leaving any electronic device. We recorded the single not long ago and now we are still working on this same line. 

Do you have a specific message?
No, not any concrete message. We try to care about the lyrics as much as we can but the words we are using are not part of any speech at all. Same as the guitar, bass or drums, the voice plays a role in the sound and the words are subjet to possible mutations to fix inside the everthing but they do not have a special value. We decided to include them in the insert as we liked them at the end and because finding lyrics inside records is something that we very much appreciate. 

Do you play in other bands, do a zine, run a lable or organize shows?
We did some of that stuff in the past and still we try to orgnaize some shows of bands that we like in our town. Still sometimes is complicated to bring things up. Its important to be active in all that surrounds music so we learn to valuate the effort of the others when they try to help your band. 

Are there musical influences that you guys draw from or that you feel kindship with? What kind of music are you guys into these days? New, old or local maybe?
We are influenced for all that we hear and first of all we are fans of the music of other people, but when we face it in first person, we try to do it our way. Of course there are thousands of debts, we have listened to a lot of hardcore, punk, noise, rock, industrial music...the bands named in the review of the single are bands that we really like and we are truly happy of seeing their name close to ours but we also listen to things that haven´t got much to do with what we do. We also like to be feeded from bands that are personally close to us. 

Give is a short insight about the current state of spanish underground music? Which bands are worth to check out?
Spanish underground does not exist. There is only absolute scarcity. Often there is confusion with this term. Sounds dramatic but truth is that there is no solid scene, and the crisis and the general lack of interests makes the audience nonexistent. Its fair to say that recently some exiting projects have grown up in different cities and that between all the people that is really doing things a small subterranean net is starting to function allowing bands to make things differently.  Still, the truth is that they are only islands into oceans full of shit. Between the things that we think are worth nowadays we could name Fasenuova, the label Burka For Everybody, Juventud Juché, La Residencia, Akauzazte, the Matadero de Azkoitia.... 

Your lyrics are written in Spanish language. What are they about?
We write in spanish because we think in spanish. We don´t  need to pretend we are from somewhere else to make the music that we really like. None of us speaks fluent english to write lyrics, but even if this would be the case, in our opinion, it is kind of ridiculous to do it.  Few years ago we met in a gig a spanish band that had quite a success at the time and not only they sang in english but between each song they would also speak in the language that rules the world. We have never seen anything worse ever, so at that point we decided that if any of us would ever had the idea of using english in the band we would have to take the idea out of his head by punching him or something like that.

I know that Spain is suffering a highy unemployment rate. How are you dealing with the European economic recession? 
We live in a very small city from a province where everything multipies and eventhough the four of us have kept our job they are hard times and the general feeling is of pure impossibility. Our government is sentencing generations to emigration as the only way of surviving with dignity. Big Companies and Multinationals have come to our Country and have destroyed the possibility of prosper as a nation.  We are what many were before in our Country, cheap workers that only have humilliation left. It is sad to see the direction that everything has taken because eventhough Spain is not something to be very proud of, feeling expelled from your own country is something too horrible. This is why, the ones that we have stayed have the duty of shaking their skyscrapers and making them feel that there is something more in the game than their concience as they have already proven that they don´t have one. The common thing to say is that the ones expelled are the ones gilty of the dissaster. We need to fight against their arrogance and stop looking the other way. They will never assume their mistakes, and what is worse they try to convince us and convert a miserable life into our own failure when it is obvious that this is not just something to do with economical but ethical problems liberties and basic rights. They are using the crisis to subdue us even more to a politic, social and economical system that dynamites our future.

Are you record collectors?
We like buying records, but we haven´t reached the status of collectors. We buy the music that we enjoy with our possibilities. We do not get original editions nor complete discographys. Nothing too crazy, something that should be natural between the people that has bands and edits records. Unfortunately there are many rockers that in their shelves, close to the pictures of their girlfriend in bikini, have only their records exposed as if they were trophys. Those people are even worse than the spanish government.

Do you have any plans to tour Europe?
Yes, in fact we had the idea of doing it with the single but for different reasons we were not able to agree on the dates, time has gone and it ended in nothing. We hope that with the release of new editions we are able to do it and we hope that you will be there to see it. 

What releases do you have planned for the future?
We have many material and in our immediate plan is to record all that we can and after the summer, when is finished, see what we do with the result of this recording sessions. We are also prepairing few new sets to do live and in October, if all goes as planned and we have new material released, first we will do some dates on Spain and afterwars we hope to tour Europe.

Last words are all yours!
Thank you very much for the interview, for paying attention to us and keep it on with the blog,it is good shit.