León Benavente doesn't hold his tongue: "The album is a concept / and you don't understand anything", spits out Abraham Boba in the song 'Viejos rockers old', valuing the immersive listening of that long sequence of music known as an album. Outburst of pissed off boomers? "No, we're just laughing at ourselves," the group's singer and organist says, although he becomes serious to suggest a pattern of behavior to the listener. "It would be interesting if, at least for the first time, the album was played through its 43 minutes with nothing else to do, to understand why that is."
"The personality of the group is clear from the first album, but we want to take steps to make albums as different as possible"
This supergroup made up of former members of the gang Nacho Vegas (and artefacts like Schwarz and Tachenko) are back with their fourth album, the self-produced 'Era', a title that points to “the passage of time and the idea of a new beginning”. Songs conceived in a pandemic, starting in October 2020, with which León Benavente assumes changes in the internal order: Luis Rodríguez leaves the guitar and returns to the bass; the bassist-keyboardist Eduardo Baos expands his functions in electronics and programming, the drummer César Verdú powers the rhythm machines and Boba adds the acoustic piano to the Farfisa organ. "The personality of the group is clear from the first album, but we want to take steps to make albums as different as possible", emphasizes Abraham Boba. Machinations to overcome fatigue? “On the contrary, it is that we have never felt comfortable being comfortable,” adds Baos.
nostalgia at bay
'Era' enhances electronic fabrics, following the path of its predecessor, 'Vamos a volarnos locos' (2019), and the group sees it as the album in which "the rock band component and electronic music are more mixed ”, indicates Boba. With extremes of philodisco cadence like 'Canciones para no dormido', which, he points out, represents another step forward with respect to past songs like 'Estado provisional' or 'La vida errando'. In 'Say no to nostalgia' they make it clear that they are not among those who consider that the best time in the history of music coincided precisely with their adolescence. "We always look to the future with a little faith," says César Verdú. “What moves the group is the interest in what is new that we are going to do, rather than recreate ourselves in the achievements of the past”.
"You end up being a number, and that is counterproductive. Today many songs are made just to generate content"
They are a secular rock band in times of predominance of soloists, trend that they attribute to the “complication” involved in setting up a human team, even more so with the pandemic, to “rehearse and put together a project from scratch.” And after all, the soloists "are more manageable," observes Verdú. "The labels notice and invest more in them."
be a number
The industry now imposes an accelerated pace of news delivery to keep pace on algorithm-driven platforms, and there they, although they try to go to their ball, confess a certain daze. "The system forces that rhythm, and it's stressful from the moment you see that your own record company looks at the listening numbers on the platforms," explains Abraham Boba. “You end up being a number, and that is counterproductive. Many are made today songs just to generate content.
"This new concert is conceived in a way that is perhaps not 100% abrasive, as others in the past were, although that part is still there"
When we talk about news, we are not only referring to music, but also to publications of any kind on Instagram or TIkTok that maintain tension with the potential audience. “You have to create content and it is ephemeral information that ends up disappearing and that does not contribute anything to your music. It is not our way of dealing with things”, argues Boba, who, however, sees in her company “respect” for the path chosen by the group. “They cannot force us to do something that we are not going to feel comfortable with.”
Tour with changes
Last weekend they began a tour in Avilés, an itinerary that will take them to the Barts room on April 9, as part of the Cruïlla Primavera cycle. Changes are coming in its traditionally invasive, even apocalyptic, staging. "This new concert is conceived in a way that is perhaps not 100% abrasive, as others in the past were, although that part is still there," announces Abraham Boba. “But we like to play with the songs and experiment with them understanding that they have a life of their own outside of the record. As a result of the premiere in Avilés we have been told that it looks like another group's concert, and that is what we are looking for”. His way of being on stage has also changed, he points out, because “there are parts of the concert that go another way, more static or reflective”.
And to all this, just two years ago they parted ways with their, despite everything, friend Nacho Vegas, who was, they say, the one who "structured the group". They see their stage with him as "an apprenticeship", which left them forever with the idea of “considering the song as the most important thing”. That, and "getting together to play in a venue, and live, not creating songs just in your room: that's what makes us define León Benavente as a rock group".