With a career spanning over 20 years, three recent GRAMMY nominations, numerous accolades and Number 1 albums, and over 100 million streams worldwide, Love of Lesbian has cemented itself as one of the most recognized groups in the Spanish music scene. This group formed by Juli (guitar), Santi (vox), Jordi (guitar) y Uri (drums) has broken barriers and crossed oceans. The key to their success is attributed to the passionate and emotional drive with which they create and produce each of their songs. Recent collaborations with Bunbury and Gaby Moreno have further solidified their place in the music world and ROCKDABEAT (RDB) had the great opportunity to speak to Love of Lesbian about these endeavors.
RDB: Well guys I’m very pleased to be able to talk to you, my name is Paulina of RockDaBeat. We are in Chicago and I’m glad that we can talk with you. Where are you speaking to us from, Barcelona?
JULI: We’re a little bit scattered. I am in Menorca and Jordi lives in a small town in the mountains near Barcelona.
RDB: You have more than 20 years of experience and several msuic releases throughout your career. But, you have a new album, V.E.H.N (Viaje Epico Hacia La Nada) which was also number one in sales in Spain. Tell us what this album is about. What does it feel like being number one in sales, especially in the times we live in the pandemic.
JULI: As always we had sat the last and had been the last of the class, because being number one is something very rare.
RDB: How did you work on this record, how did you manage it? What emotions do you invite us to feel as fans with this album?
JULI: Well, maybe it was an album that came as a response to our previous album. And in that way of trying to answer what we wanted, what we had again after “”El Poeta Halley” IT turns out that we have responded almost unintentionally to a little a need that has left in us with this pandemic or this confinement. The lyrics were written before all this blockade and all this world situation and, as I said, it is almost unintentionally is giving us an answer or outlet to many feelings for the listener, who has approached the album analyzing the lyrics and feeling a little of that oppression that already awakens the album from the beginning, that has a little of a very sad start and a little melancholy, that little by little is giving way to an opening, towards a push, towards a desire to encourage people to make decisions, to arm themselves with courage to change their lives, to change those who are separated from your day to day, or your existence. So, a little bit of the idea is not new, time is what it is for each of us and we must not miss it and we must be strong and constant with our dreams and a little of that would be the idea of V.E.H.N.
RDB: As you mentioned, you worked on this album before the pandemic. Do you feel that there is a before and after of experiencing or living this pandemic?
JORDI: Of course there is a before and after, we are not oblivious to what has happened globally. It is true that a first part of the recording had been scheduled plus a second part, that was just when here in Spain we were on lock down on March 13. And I remember someone, maybe in a meeting, we talked about postponing it for a couple of weeks thinking that it would last a couple of weeks at most a month. Now it’s turned out that it has lasted almost more than a year and a half. But above all it has impacted the fact that perhaps something that as a band we had for granted, it was our job, to be able to go on stage, that there were people in front without any problems, without masks, without any kind of feeling of fear, and the danger that there was at some point in the pandemic. Suddenly that happen,s something that would simply be credible, would be worthy of a Hollywood script, and suddenly, everything you had changes and you realize the fragility you have so much in your daily life, in your work, and in something like what we love that is music. And what it costs to get it back. Perhaps it has served us, as if at some point along the way we had forgotten what it can really cost to be able to work on this.
RDB: A few months ago you did a face-to-face concert in Spain, when the regulations on the pandemic were beginning to be reevaluated. However, your had a full house. Then you had 4 nights of concerts in Madrid that were also a full house, what was the impact that these concerts had on you in these times?
JORDI: Well, two weeks before starting the tour for the new album, after five years, after an extensive tour that we had been doing with “El Poeta Halley” we got the proposal to do the concert for 5,000 people without security measures. Which somehow we knew it was a very brave bet, but at the same time very risky. It could go very well as it could also go very badly, but we firmly believed at that time that we had to take a step forward to show that the culture was safe. It was one of the slogans for the concert and we had to accept the proposal and move forward. It was very emotional to go on stage, to see again after a year and a half of almost inactivity, of being locked in at home, to have the feeling that it was something as complicated as going to have a drink, a beer, going out to the street and suddenly seeing 5,000 people wanting to enjoy, to dance to have fun, it was an enormous emotional charge.
RDB: In this album you have a collaboration with Gaby Moreno with the song “El Mundo” with that beautiful voice that she has. You also have a collaboration with Bunbury. How was it working with them? Do you have any anecdotes, were you already colleagues in music before, or was it the first time you worked with them? How did this process happen?
JULI: Well, in Enrique’s case, he’s someone we’ve been looking for somehow, or flirting with for a long time. We had coincided in concerts, we have talked, we have shared little moments, but we were always looking for each other with the idea of playing live and coinciding in a concert and collaborating on stage and due to scheduling issues it never happened. But, when we were making the album, “El Aire Del Sur”, it touched us in some way, and it was giving us signs, it was telling us that it should be linked to Enrique and his way of being. And then we proposed it to him, his reaction was immediate. It was a resounding yes and we all saw each other, we always talked about this with Jordi and we saw each other traveling to Los Angeles to record with him, or the idea of the video clip which we also wanted to do with some Mexican filmmakers called ‘Autum Leaves’ and we imagined each other in a desert of Mexico, in a beautiful church there and in the end the pandemic happened and we had to do everything in a small studio from Barcelona, and him from his home in Los Angeles. So, the collaboration has been all virtual.
Almost these entire two years we have had to work all via Zoom or with video conferences and it is a pity because it was part of the idea that caught our attention, that we really wanted to link that close and that friendship we have with Enrique’s band, with all his musicians and with Enrique as well. But, tmore than anything we have worked both the video and the song via we-transfer, Zooms and digitally, that has been a pity. I think that the day we meet, the day we can play it live is going to be like a culmination of all this history that has forced us to be separated. And with Gaby, because we met once with Camilo Lara, speaking one day our manager invited us to talk to him to talk about different things. And, talking about “El Mundo”, a song that when we recorded we already had in mind that Santi would do a duet with a female voice. The name of Gaby Moreno came up in that conversation and we said, maybe it’s the opportunity to do a “featuring” with a female voice and it became the opportunity to do this collaboration with Gaby. We did not know her, to date we do not know her personally, we had no relationship with her other than having listened to her in a song.
There is so much music that sometimes when you are asked about an artist as well-known as Gaby and you say that you do not know her, you accept your lack of knowledge despite constantly looking for songs, in this case from artists you do not know. And it was a very quick intervention, she said that yes, she sent us tracks, audio versions and we liked them and the truth is that it has been a pleasure also in this case to know her virtually and see her way of working from afar is already intuited as a professional artist. And of course, since we have begun to know more about her discography we have been able to appreciate how people love her and here in Spain there were also many people who did not know her and have been delighted precisely because of what you said, for the preciousness of her voice, because she has a tone and a timbre that, almost without disheveling, is already exciting. Simply by exhaling the air and putting a correct note ato it, it already entices. And these two things happen with Enrique and Gaby, who are people with whom we have worked with on this album and with who we have not yet been able to be in the same room or on the same stage playing.
RDB: They announced a U.S. tour for next year. How long have you not visited us and will we perhaps be expecting for surprises? Maybe Gaby and Enrique on stage?
JORDI: Well, in the case of the United States, let me remember a little. But I think it’s been about 47 years since we visited you. Well that is as a band, the first time. I think we’ve all been to America separately, but never as a band. Therefore, it is a baptism.
JULI: Sorry Jordi, we were at the South by Southwest in Austin a few years ago.
Jordi: That’s true
JULI: Both Jordi and I took it as an excursion. It wasn’t like a tour like the one we’re going to do now and that’s maybe why it doesn’t appear in our records like the two concerts we did, but yes, we were there.
JORDI: Yes, it was a rather fun experience. Personally, it’s true that maybe as a band it was a bit traumatic. Within the collective memory we have made a clean slate and for us right now, it is like traveling for the first time as a band and presenting our repertoire and making the corresponding presentations on the west coast. Very exciting to tell the truth, and it is something that we had planned because for about a year and a half but, like for everyone in the world, it has happened that because the pandemic we have had to undo our plans again and again, and one of them was to go to the United States.
RDB: I imagine that throughout your career you have been able to experiment and set foot in various concert halls, theaters, festivals, etc. Are there some moments that you treasure more than others throughout your career? Or is there a moment that you have lived on stage that you consider very special?
JORDI: Yes, of course! I think we could each mention some because there are a few. As a band there are things that have marked us.
JULI: The most recent, especially Jordi, is this year’s. The one in March, absolutely, and it is the most recent safe for everyone. We were all very excited, we were in a moment when there were no concerts with people standing. It was authentic madness, there was a scientific community involved behind it. We were doing interviews for international media, the New York Times, in every language on the planet. We saw and felt the pressure of all the world programmers, watching if it was going to work. We had friends who told us it was like listening to our concert on the radio, like when families gathered next to the radio listening to man’s landing on the moon. I remember Uri, our drummer was crying, Santi was excited and had a hard time talking. That was the most impactful moment and the most recent, surely.
RDB: Recently you were also nominated for a Grammy. How do they feel about being nominated, how do you process it?
JORDI: I, particularly, I already feel awarded. Unlike sports, where there is a winner and a loser, as in the case of a championship, for example. An award in the world of music is still a recognition. So the fact of being a finalist in three categories, that I think we would never have thought would happen to us. Being nominated in a category is something we already saw as difficult, that is something that is already perceived as an absolute award. The simple fact of being able to travel to Las Vegas and attend a gala where it is a world that perhaps we have always seen from afar. We are a band that still has that spirit of a band of high school friends who have come very far, but without losing that instinct and everything that is the language of great music, which is something we always have to accept, that we belong more to this type of language, but it is still strange to me.
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