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Interviews

Andalusia’s VIVA BELGRADO comment on their breathtaking new album

A mixture of post rock and screamo, one of the most emotionally intense combination in music, continues to expand and confound the assertion that the post rock / post hardcore genre is non-developable or practically dead. VIVA BELGRADO is undeniable musical proof that you can still find a lot of variety in this field. Mixed with their native language, the band’s version of atmospheric post hardcore is energising and tranquil at the same time. Varying degrees of aggressive hardcore dynamics, screamo intensity and ambient interludes create beautiful and resonating soundscapes that are simply fascinating. This will make you go to the beautiful South of Spain even more! Listen and scroll down to read my short interview with the authors of this masterpiece!

“Flores, Carne” was recorded by Santi García (STANDSTILL, DAITRO, TOUNDRA) at Ultramarinos Costa Brava Studios, and mastered by Victor García.

Hey guys! I had this plan to start off with an outside-the-band subject, but I am simply lost in admiration for your debut LP “Flores, Carne”! I’ve been listening to it over and over and I have to say, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite records this year, alongside VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET’s “Den sorgligaste musiken i världen”, and a few more. How are YOU proud of this release?

Thank you! The writing process has been hard, specially because two of us have been living in different away from Córdoba the last year. We had the studio dates already booked so we were afraid we weren’t gonna be able to finish the album we wanted to do, but finally it came out well. All that stress we passed through and seeing the album finished and reaching tons of new people makes us feel very proud of it now. Of course, there are plenty of things we would change from the recording, even some of the lyrics, but we believe we have learned from the experience. By the way, VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SA MYCKET are amazing. We played with them in Berlin last May and they were astonishing and such nice people.

Listening to this effort, it’s clear that the assembly of the work is an interesting process. The opening track serves a bunch of references to post rockish / post hardcore compositions in the vein of ENVY, but the rest of the album is definitely more varied. It features well-crafted arrangements, different dynamics, and brilliant production. How did you manage to create such a coherent, yet flexible record? How was your creation process?

Maybe it is because we are not closed to listening just a few music genrers and we like tons of different stuff (dubstep, flamenco, rap..) that we are able to get inspiration for different arrangements and dynamics and not repeating always the same patterns. A lot of the sound production is responsibility of Santi García, who engineered the record. It was very clear for us that we wanted to make the record with him because of his work with bands like DAÏTRO or TOUNDRA. We are also fans of listening full albums rather than songs, so we love to treat albums as a full entity rather than a collection of songs. Because of that, we pay a lot of attention to order of the songs and the possibility of linking them together.

About the creation process, as we are not as good musicians as we would like to, we are forced to work a lot at home. So, although some ideas come out of improvisations during band practise, there is a lot of work done at home and a lot of idea sharing through internet. I guess our method is quite similar to other bands: we start with a riff we like and we develop it until we’re satisfied.

VIVABELGRADO band

When do you typically have sparks of inspiration for writing?

It depends, sometimes we can be around 3 months without writing and then write 3 songs in a row. As I said, we are not good musicians so we believe in hard work rather than in inspiration. We also try to be hard to ourselves and always keep looking for that “different” chord. With lyrics its kind of the same, but for me it involves much more focus. I try to collect ideas during my normal day-life by writing them down and when the time to finish a song comes I force myself to develop it and make it coherent.

Lyrics-wise, what do you mainly want to express with these tracks?

Although as a band we believe in DIY, we are pro-feminists, gay-positive, anti-fascists and vegeterians, our lyrics do not talk about politics. We are quite emo in terms of lyrics and we like to use a highly poetical and metaphorical language sometimes even hard to understand in Spanish. This album in particular deals with how to cope with lost, the pain it involves, and how to create something positive out it.

The record is being released via a bunch of amazing DIY labels from all over the world! Can you introduce each of them and tell me a little about how you decided to work with them?

To be honest there some labels we didn’t know until they decided to work with us. This release has been coordinated by Walking Is Still Honest Records, a close friend’s project who’s been helping us since we started the band, so it was him who knew all the labels. In general terms, we were open to work with any label that likes the album and shares a similar view with us about music an DIY. Anyway, here are some details:

Walking is still honest Records, Andalusia, Lost State Records, California, Koepfen Records, Germany, Ancient Injury Records, Massachusetts, Upwind Productions, Italy, Sad Panda Records, England, Book House, New Hampshire, Dingleberry, Germany, Samegrey Records, Ukraine, Unlock Yourself, Russia.

What’s next for VIVA BELGRADO? What are your touring plans and what else can we expect from you in 2015?

We’re planning a split with a close band, but we don’t want to reveal anything until we’ve set all the details. Apart from that, we’ll tour Europe again in April, try to play as much as we can in Spain all along 2015 and hopefully write new material for a future album release.

Ok, so I guess we’re ready to wrap it up, guys! Can you give me a summary of what records and artists have you fallen in love with this year?

In no particular order:

LA DISPUTE – Rooms of the HouseLA PARADE – Voces del ExilioNO MORE LIES – In the Shade of ExpectationJOYCE MANOR – Never Hungover AgainVI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SA MYCKET – Den sorgligaste musiken i världenSPORT – Bon VoyageACCIDENTE – Amistad y RebeliónHUMAN HANDS – s/tBATÔN ROUGE – Totem.

Well done! Cheers for your time. The last words are yours!

Thanks a lot for having us and congratulations for your awesome work :) cheers and take care!

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vivabelgrado@gmail.com
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