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By: Daniela Patrizi
There’s plenty of good music around and the New Year starts with the release of the fourth album by the Spanish post-metal/post-rock outfit Toundra, aptly titled IV. Daniela Patrizi asked bassist Alberto Tocados some questions about the new record and the quartet’s creative process.
(((o))): Hi guys, many thanks for taking time out to speak with us. Where are you at the moment but, most important, how are you?
Alberto: Hey there, we’re great. Excited about the album release and the upcoming shows.
(((o))): Can you tell us some basic things about Toundra? How did you guys all meet?
Alberto: Well, we knew each other way before Toundra was born. When I started the band with Victor we already wanted to have Esteban [Giron; guitar] with us, since he was one of our closest friends from that time and he was looking for people to play with. When people started to leave the band due to work reasons we asked friends to fill the roles, like Álex [Pérez; drums] and David [López; guitar], both old friends from other bands.
(((o))): How do you describe your music style and how you think it differs from other band’s sound?
Alberto: I usually just say ‘instrumental rock’. Many people also say we’re just ‘too wild’ for post-rock. Both concepts instrumental and wild sound accurate to me.
(((o))): What are some of your musical influences? And, in general, what most influences your creative process?
Alberto: Our favourite bands are usually hardcore bands or classic rock bands. We like King Crimson, Converge, Pink Floyd, Capsule… For the creative process we usually jam around one idea, a guitar riff, a rhythm…
(((o))): How’s the music scene in Madrid?
Alberto: Great! There are lots of bands at the moment. We saw a couple of new bands who say we’re one of their influences, and it feels cool but… strange.
(((o))): IV, your new full-length album, will be released at the end of this month so I suppose you are very excited. I read that it tells the story of two foxes that need to escape from the forest where they live because of a huge fire. I also suppose that the song titled ‘Kitsune’ is related to the Japanese myth of Kitsune. Can you tell us something about the album? How long did it take to you to write it and what was the theme, sound or image you wanted to convey?
Alberto: We came up with the idea thinking about politicians destroying our jobs, opportunities, and the high cost of renting a flat… They’re like the huge fire and the forest our hometowns or the place we want to live.
(((o))): IV is an eight-track instrumental work I. Would you mind talking a bit about the writing process? Is each artist responsible for his own instrument?
Alberto: Yes. Everyone is responsible of his own instrument part, but everyone is allowed to encourage the others to in order to achieve a certain feeling or sound in the song. The writing process of this album was easier than the previous ones. I think it’s because we had David creating songs with us for the first time.
(((o))): How would you describe IV as a record?
Alberto: It has so many ingredients so it’s difficult to describe it as a whole. You’ll pass through a lot of different moods while listening to it.
(((o))): Can you tell us something about the album cover? Who realized it?
Alberto: It was made by Chelsea Greene Lewyta, a great illustration artist. She also made the art for II and III. Her work is amazing.
(((o))): The amount of dynamics and sounds you guys pack into a track is impressive. What are the benefits do you feel to existing as quartet?
Alberto: Everyone knows his role in the song, we work as closed team and I think everyone notice that while listening to us. While listening to the album you can actually tell easily who’s the core and who’s a guest musician, something we wanted to make clear since the great acceptance of ‘Requiem’ a track of our previous album, where many guest musicians helped us.
(((o))): Talking of your favourite bands, who did you grow up listening to and who do you listen to now?
Alberto: We grew up listening to punk-rock and hardcore mainly, but like everyone else we listened to a lot of classic rock albums like Sgt. Pepper’s by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin’s II, Animals by Pink Floyd… We’re very obsessed with the classics lately, but we also listen to These Arms Are Snakes and Fugazi a lot in the van.
(((o))): Any bands you guys are listening to at the moment which people should be checking out?
Alberto: Capsule and YOB. We also like Trono de Sangre from Madrid, great stuff.
(((o))): 2014 was a really good year for music. Can you tell us your favorite albums of the year?
Alberto: Young Widows – Easy Pain and Ty Segall – Manipulator.
(((o))): I know that you will tour in Europe to support the launch of the new album. What can people expect to see at your live performance?
Alberto: A wilder version of what they listened to on the albums. There’s a lot of energy in the shows you can’t record on an album…
(((o))): And finally…do you have a message for our readers?
Alberto: Thank you for taking your time to read this. Hope to see you in the shows!