Discovering Madrid based passionate punk rock act WILD ANIMALS in 2016 has once again taught me to appreciate DIY art, local labels and unbelievably creative artists who are the heart of creativity in music. KLUTE, a punk rock band from Ferrol, Galicia, Spain, is another breath of fresh air, whose writing often mirrors the edgy punk rock characteristics an blends it with more poppy and melodic inspirations. KLUTE’s writing isn’t as aggressive as a lot of contemporary hardcore punk and metallized punk rock offerings, but it’s still powerful, messy and fun, cathartic in its own way, HÜSKER DÜ and THE REPLACEMENTS’ inspired, and never losing momentum or the listener’s attention. Last month, we did an interview about the genesis of KLUTE, their local scene and the wider context of Northern Spanish alternatiive and independent music communities.
What led you to forming KLUTE and how does it fit your current local DIY music environment?
We are friends since childhood. The band was assembled when we run into each other after many years of living far away from our home city. The situation in Ferrol (the galaican Detroit, as people call it) didn’t give us any other options, so we had to emigrate to make a living. The 3 of us were in another band in the ninetees, called KRUSTY… we had to part ways for different reasons, but still used to get together and play whenever we had the chance (summer holydays mostly). Now, 17 years after KRUSTY disbanded, we all live together again in the same place so it was pretty clear we had to play and shape a new band.
The DIY scene nowadays is pretty much the same as it was back then. We are meeting the same people we met in the ninetees, only older, with families and kids and less hair in their heads, hahaha, but with the same drive to keep doing things and the same philosophy. The only difference is that we now live and enjoy it in a more intense and emotional way.
What do you advocate for? Is there a particular message you aim to convey with your work?
Our lyrics talk about emotions, experiences, memories…. Some of them are more explicit than others, but they are mostly in the same vein.
For your last 7’’ you have teamed up with a couple of independent record labels. Can you introduce to our readers?
I’m so glad you ask me that. Thanks to them we can publish our music and keep on going.
One of us collaborates with CGTH. It’s a small record label from Ferrol that is just starting up, full of hopes but with fewer resources, as it usually is in these cases. They are now working in very nice projects that will soon be announced. Before they became a label they were a collective called CGTH r’n’r Party and they organized concerts for about 10 years. And now they decided to take a step forward and start a record label.
On the other hand, there’s Sello Bramante. They are from Asturias, music enthusiasts that are also starting as a record label, but they already have some great bands in their roster. And as well as CGTH, they don’t limit to any particular style, their bands go from punk rock to power pop, post hc, garage rock, post punk, etc.
Monasterio de cultura is the third label we work with. They decided to back us up for this EP. They are well known in Spain, and are very active, co-editing, organizing concerts and promoting bands. They are from Toledo and are celebrating their 6th anniversary next month. It will be a great party, 8 bands from all over the country giving their best.
Finally but not least, we just released a very limited cassete edition of Loser with Custom made music, from Virginia Beach. They only edit in cassette and they also work with very different bands style wise. Even though they are in the U.S. they co-edit bands from all over the world.
Apart from these labels, what are the most interesting independent groups and spaces currently operating in the field of punk music and DIY art in your area?
There are so many squats and self-managed spaces, without them the scene would not survive:
Nave1839 (A Coruña) is very active nowadays. They always have great national and international bands. It’s a perfect space for concerts and other activities. The people who run it are incredibly kind and professional. One of our favorite places, no doubt about that.
Fundación Artabria (Ferrol) is another place we usually play at. It is also very active, and their philosophy is to support Galician Lenguage. They are constantly programming very interesting activities: concerts, theatre, cinema… It is run in a very familiar way, wich makes it a very cosy place.
Liceo Mutante (Pontevedra) is a place we weren’t lucky enough to play at yet, but is without a doubt one of the biggest references of DIY in Galicia. Very original, the place has something special and we have experienced wonderful moments there, like seeing the Catalonian band Aina. It was one of the best concerts in the area in years.
Distrito 09, another place we’d love to play at. We’ve only heard wonderful stories about it but didn’t have the chance to visit it yet. We’ve been told the concerts there are crazy and the crowd is amazing.
Does your local government support independent ventures like socio-cultural community centers, alt festivals, etc.? What kind of opportunities for cooperation and activism does it offer to young and creative?
Not in Galicia. In Ferrol, with the new government, there’s been a small change, but it’s still a long way to go. Politics in Spain is a very shameful subject nowadays.
How do you see the scene in a wider, regional context? Also, how does it link to the rest of the Spain?
There’s not a particular scene here in Galicia as there is in Catalonia. They have many reference bands and that makes a big difference. Many post hc and emo bands that come out of there with their very own sound. Every city in Galicia has its different bands and there are different labels, each of them with their own sound. As Coruña some years ago, with many emo screamo bands as Ekkaia Madame Germain, Ictus,…
Today there are so many bands that are worth it, but there’s not a proper scene as you would call it. Still, we help each other, organize concerts and collaborate in different projects…
Being Galician citizens, how do you view the Catalan independence movement in search of the independence of Catalonia?
The three of us have different views about it, but we share the opinion that it is a decision only to be made by the Catalonians and it should never be imposed.
Photo by Javier Saavedra
Alright, thanks so much for your thoughts! Lastly, what’s the next plan for KLUTE? What do you plan to accomplish in 2017?
Our plan is to keep doing concerts non-stop. And if things go as they should, we’ll go to the studio in April to record a new EP to be released next summer.
Thanks for your time. The last words are yours!
Thanks so much. We admire the good work you guys do and it is an honour to be a part of it.