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Spanish Love Songs

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Before their european tour and their show at Obenuse Fest of Zurich, we had the chance to chat a bit with Dylan, the singer/guitarist of Spanish Love Songs.

rose Hello Dylan. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I know you're quite busy at the moment (said in an adorable, hunky accent français). How would you describe your band to someone that never listened?

Thanks for having us! That’s always so tough to answer. I’ve recently started joking that we are so-cal emo. I would tell someone that we play earnest music. If they’re into that, they should check us out.

You recently signed on A-F Records, and Uncle M is releasing your album in Europe. That is pretty amazing. Can you explain a bit about how that all came together?

We have our friend Gregory (who runs an amazing management / booking company called Midwestern Anxiety) to thank for both labels. He sent the album to Uncle M right after we finished it, and I actually had my first call with them when I was visiting Gregory last August.

On that same trip, a group of us (including my poor mother) were hanging out in Antwerp and getting drunk, when someone brought up Anti-Flag. While we all reminisced about them, Gregory’s wheels started turning. The next day he somehow found the email for A-F’s label manager and sent the album over. I got a call from A-F the day I got back from Europe, and they were onboard immediately. And once they came on, I think we seemed like a real enough band for Uncle M to want to work with us.

I still can’t believe any of it happened. We’re incredibly lucky.


From an outside perspective, it seems like things have been coming together very quickly in the past year or so. A lot of new people – both in Europe and the States – are discovering your band. Everybody was talking about you at the Fest. (Editor’s note: Your set at Pre-Fest was sick, hope to see you in Brooklyn or Philly!) You’re coming back to Europe soon. What’s your perspective on all of this as a band and as musicians? Was there a moment – maybe a specific show, or when you were making the new record - when you realized, like, "Fuck all this touring and all these hours spent writing music are starting to kinda pay off"?

What a great follow-up. Yeah, we have no idea what’s going on, but it’s incredibly cool. We try not to get our hopes up, because we’ve found that if you keep your expectations low, every little thing will exceed them.

I don’t think we’ve had a payoff moment yet. Instead, all of these things—signing to bigger labels; filling out shows; meeting new fans—are really a motivation to work harder, because we haven’t toured as much as we should, and we haven’t put out enough music. We’re starting to see that maybe we could be a real band, whereas before we sort of treated this like a hobby that let us do cool shit occasionally. We really don’t want to let anyone down now.

That said, our sets at Fest made us feel like the most special band in the world. Having that many people come out for our silly band left us in shock.


You just played Musink festival; that is really great, congrats. Can you tell me a bit about that?

We still don’t know how we managed to get on, but it was an incredible day. The crew took amazing care of us, a lot of people came out early, and we got to watch some of our all-time favorite bands perform. Nothing to complain about there.


Your new album is called "Schmaltz". Did you know that it can mean “duck fat” in German? (Ed. Note: I have informed my esteemed colleague of the colloquial American English usage). What’s up with the title? What does it mean to you?

I was definitely thinking of the colloquial meaning when I titled the album. The title is meant to poke fun at us in an ironic way. There’s a sizeable amount of people who find the style of music we play to be overly emotional and uncool, so schmaltz seemed to fit perfectly.


I think “Joana, in Five Acts” is a total masterpiece. You seem to be defining your sound and developing in to your musical identity. How is Schmaltz different from Giant Sings the Blues?


Thank you! I think you answered the question already – on this album we were able to really define what this version of SLS sounds like, and write the best songs we could. It helps that I wrote the album over the course of about 4 months, as opposed to 3-4 years (and 3 different bands) with Giant. It feels more cohesive. A lot of that comes from finally understanding our band.


The design of the LP looks quite different than the Buffalo Buffalo EP, as well as from your first LP Giant Sings the Blues. Who did the new design, and what made you go with the look of Schmaltz?



Our amazing friend/artist Christopher Kettner (@alanthewizard) did all of the layouts (& the last EP as well). It’s funny, because we did the same type of cover for the original CD version of Giant, but it was when no one listened to us. So to me, we didn’t change things up too much. But on this one we poured over every detail to make sure it looked the way we wanted.

As for the overall look, it all ties into that picture of my grandfather on the cover. He’s the subject of one of the songs, and the image of him looking for metal in the park just felt like a great encapsulation of life. And then I made poor Kettner handwrite everything because it looked cooler. He’s the best.


How did you end up with the least research tool friendly name of "Spanish Love Songs"?


There’s a lawyer in LA who has his name plastered all over bus ads – “Juan Jose Dominguez.” And I joked that we should call our band Yo Soy Juan Dominguez. Everybody hated it, but liked the idea of something in Spanish. And somehow we ended up at Spanish Love Songs. We gave zero thought as to how people would google it, because we didn’t think people would ever want to google us. Worst decision ever.


Still, it’s amazing how few people think to try spanishlovesongs.com.


Is social media indispensible to a band? How do you handle your online presence? Do you communicate with fans of the band when they reach out to you? Do you like having the ability to?


It is absolutely indispensable to us. Gabe and I handle just about everything, though I’ve started treating them all like my own personal accounts (especially twitter). We make it a point to try to respond to every person that reaches out, because our band has only grown through kindness of people and community. We’re not flashy. We’re the band that your friend tells you about and you go “how have I never heard of them?”


I love being able to communicate with people around the world, or that people can come online and tell us we suck. But managing all the accounts and generating content for them can be exhausting at times. I think I was made to be in a 90s band.


Would you ever Crowdfund an album? Tour? Merch, or something like that?

I don’t like to say no, but probably not. I’ve done it before on movies, and I really did not enjoy the process. I know that our band only lives off the patronage of others, but I don’t want to have to sell you up front on an album, and I definitely don’t want to have to give you constant updates on it.


I think we would crowdfund if something catastrophic happened and we needed help continuing the band in that very moment. But other than that, eh.


Do you guys have a system for settling disagreements on tour? Like rock paper scissors, trivia contest, airing of grievance – anything like that?



I think the established process is to tell me I’m right and then ignore me for a few hours while I fume. Everyone else gets along pretty okay. I can get a little dickish when I haven’t eaten or when I’m taking something too seriously. We’ll usually hug it out before a show starts though.


What are in your opinions the best/worst parts of touring? Especially touring Europe.


Best: seeing new places; eating lots of food; getting to play music every night; meeting new friends.


Worst: being broke; being 6’7” (200cm) tall and not able to sleep in van; losing my voice if I don’t take care of myself; baby wipe baths.


What bands or records got you into punk/rock/hardcore - call it whatever you want - as a kid/teenager?




Over the course of my young life, my older brother gave me 4 albums that got me hooked on punk: Dookie by Green Day & Smash by the Offspring when I was 6, and then Dude Ranch by Blink 182 & Blue Skies Broken Hearts Next 12 Exits by the Ataris as I got a little older. I think he also gave me an AFI record as well. I was a weird little kid.


Do you approach a show differently, whether it's say, a bigger festival or a smaller venue?


Not really. We’ve noticed that we’re not used to bigger stages, so we’ve been trying to move around more when space permits. I’d love to eventually run around and get the crowd amped up like we’re the E Street Band or something.


Dylan, you're working as a video director – do you do the band’s videos or do you bring in someone from outside to do that?


My directing partner and I have done all of our videos. We would love to bring more people in to help (especially on the crew side), but we just don’t have the budgets.


Gabe and yourself seem to be pretty handy with that sword in the "Bellyache" video – should we avoid getting too close during your set at shows? Definitely don’t try and crowd you off the mic, right?


I think it was more that we’re big dudes than handy with the swords. But no, we’re big softies. Come get close and say hi.


One last word for our followers?


Thank you so much for listening! We’re so excited to see you all again soon. And go to a show at Le Trou if you haven’t yet!


Huge thanks to Ambrose Tardive for helping with the editing and corrections of the questions.

Interview : Ludo-core

Plus d'infos :

Label : A-F Records et Uncle M

MySpace : facebook.com/SpanishLoveSongs

Site Web : spanishlovesongs.com

Site du label: a-frecords.limitedrun.com uncle-m.com


Interview cliquée : 1643 fois



Chroniques du même artiste :

Spanish Love Songs

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"Schmaltz"


Date de sortie : 2018

Note: 5/5

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