Friday, February 11, 2011

10 Questions

Hail Voyagers! A brand new installment ready to be unleashed! I've had this in storage for a while now, providing heat to the containment unit and all surrounding matter. Now you're about to find out who: Barcelona's own JORDI, of Stay!

" Stay is an indie psych pop band from Barcelona formed in 2001. After the release of two demos, Stay (2001) and As Another Girl
(2003) the english label Matchbox Recordings released the third EP , So Slow (2004). That release and a more personal sound, very careful tunes and guitar work truly influenced by Britpop and madchester scene, made possible a record deal with Wild Thing Records (Madrid) in 2004. Starting To Lose Control (WTR, 2005) is the first LP and two singles were extracted from this. The band keep on their influences but also have a look to late-60’s American sound and vocals work from bands like CSN&Y or The Byrds. Good reviews permitted the band to play in important national festivals like Primavera Sound 06, Bilborrok or on the TV program Conciertos de RNE3. "

Recently they've had their cover versions of "2,000 Light Years From Home" (Rolling Stones)/"Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" (Strawberry Alarm Clock)/"Chicago" (Graham Nash) on the forever-cool Fruits de Mer label. Damnably great interpretations, too:

Finally, Passport To Freedom, was released just last year on Subterfuge.

So, what's Jordi thinking? Read on:

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."
Hi!, personally I don’t like very much the term “psychedelic music” in order to classify music styles because of its wide meaning . Some people use this term very often as a label and sometimes there are misunderstandings, especially when you play in a band trying to make your own sound and they have previously created big expectations. I think that psychedelic music could be every experimental sound played under extreme states of mind related to drugs or not.(Editor's Note: My emphasis added.)

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?
The most psychedelic instrument is 12-string electric guitar, for me. If you play it you can’t prevent from being hypnotized by all of their harmonics since the first time. It is more easy to play than people think, even easier than the sitar ...

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?
5th Dimension (Byrds). They are the best American band ever, great LP and meticulous songs. Soft psychedelic music that flows like water...

4. What was the first song you remember listening to in an 'altered' state?
Sugar Spun Sister (Stone Roses) or Brimful of Asha (Cornershop), I don’t know which one was the first song. It was in high school days, about 12 years ago, now I am 32!

5. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?
Alchemy (Dire Straits). Amazing, A timeless story...Really paranoid, Every musician seemed to be stoned, euphoric and they played really good. Brilliant never-ending guitar, drums, Hammond, keyboards solos....

6. Who are your favorite Spanish psychedelic bands? (Any album recommends?)
The Sunday Drivers (album:Little Heart Attacks). They split up last year. They had great success in France as well.

Sidonie (album: Sidonie (2002)). They are still alive.... In the beginning the sound like Nuggets and brit psych...

Automatics (album: Space Rock Melodies). They played in the 90’s. Really good brit pop and madchester-like tunes. They sounded like Ride.

7. If you could cover an entire album, even if you may be the only one who ever heard it, what album would it be?
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Byrds). In fact, most of the songs included are covers but it’s one of my fav’ albums. McGuinn and G.Parsons are wizards there. In Spain, I have the feeling that both are undervalued, I don’t know why...!!

8. Syd or Roky..? Why?
I prefer Roky because he gives me energy to live in every song he made. I think he is more methodical and straight than Syd and his first tunes are more intelligible than Pink Floyd first era. Moreover,I like his neo-country skills when he plays the acoustic guitar. I prefer McCartney than Lennon...However, most of the other guys in the band prefer Syd and Pink Floyd than 13FloorE.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

Really difficult question !!!millions of songs but for instance:
Eight Miles High (Byrds)
SF Sorrow is born (Pretty Things)
Love you to (Beatles)
2000 Light years from home (Rolling Stones)
Guess I was dreaming (The Fairytale)
The Light of Love (Humble Pie)
Suzie Q (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Forget all about it (Nazz)
My friend Jack (Smoke)
Pictures of Matchstick Men (Status Quo)

I like very much recent psych bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre and even Wilco, and all the late 80’s-early 90’s brit bands but those were the parents!

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question:

Jordi: Ok, If you let me I’ll ask 3!, what do you know about 60’s or recent spanish psych-pop/beat/ rock bands or scene? What are your best psych bands in the present, now? Knowing my psych influences, any new bands to recommend me?? thanks!!
All the best!

-valis: Great questions Jordi! OK, I'll take 'em in order:
1. 60s Spanish bands seems limited to Los Broncos, Los Cheyenes, and a few others; there were certainly Spanish-speaking bands who embraced psychedelia -mostly from Mexico, Latin & South America, as far as I'm aware. (I know the Love, Peace, & Poetry series didn't have a Spain volume.) As far as the NOW, mentioned early -and I emphasize early, Sidonie, as great. (They've since gone a new Spain-centric direction, and that's ok.; Dhera Dun are good, The Gurus,The Winnerys, (weren't The Gallygows from Spain?), and so on....Spain's always seemed to embrace power pop more than psychedelia -to me. (Added two hours later: ROSS! "Glass Onion World" is an all-timer to these ears, and Los Negativos, of Piknik Caleidoscópico, fame...)

2. Best psych' bands in the present? I could be typing well into the weekend amigo.
Asteroid #4 seem atop their game and as good as any band in any era of this great genre; The Grip Weeds, too; Secret Colours, Pond/Tame Impala, Helicon, a Spanish-adopted revival by The Chemistry Set, Cotton Club, Oblisk, and on and on and on....see this: Best of 2010 for a LOT more. (And 2009 & 2008's lists are still available on the blog, too.) There's just so many worthy bands right now, yours included! It is a new Golden Era.

3. With your tastes, given your answers, I'd strongly recommend the newest Darker My Love release, Alive As You Are, on Dangerbird. Pure Byrdsian delight, especially the latter era. Every song reveals a layer of magic and is a prize to behold. Actually an astonishing album, start-to-finish.

Also, The Sun Blindness,from Australia. Their Far Arden album really channels an era out of time's flow perfectly. It's still available to download here.

Try those and let me know what you thought, ok? And best to the band in San Sebastien this weekend! Thanks Jordi!


Jeffman said...

Humble Pie's 'Light of Love' is a capital choice. The vibe of that song, for me, sums up all that is great about psychedelia.

Gary said...

Great questions, great responses, great band!

Cliff. said...

Enjoyed reading Jordi's answers and whilst reading your answers to the questions he put to you, found myself thinking, "You've not mentioned 'Ross' Valis," wasn't at all surprised to see you got there in the end.

Cannot fault your recommendations mon ami. One of these days I'd love to hit the Spanish festival season with a vengeance, I can but dream I guess!