"We are probably the only real rock n’roll Indie band from Venezuela," said singer and guitarist Willbert Álvarez with a laugh. Though all four members of Luz Verde are from Caracas, the group does not label itself a Venezuelan band, nor does it define its sound as 'rock latino'. Instead, Luz Verde could be called a Barcelona indie rock band, so instrumental (no pun intended) has the city been in the group’s evolved sound and brand-new album.
That latest CD, Manual de Buenas Costumbres, was released in late 2008 and produced by Roger Rodes. "The album represents all we have been through in the four years we've been in Barcelona," drummer Eduardo Benatar told Metropolitan. The CD is based on the band’s experiences while struggling to establish themselves in Barcelona’s music scene, something they have achieved with applomb. "At our first gig we had two people," said Willbet Álvarez. "We've come a long ways."
Songs such as 'Debería Beber Más Seguido…' (‘I Should Drink More Consistently…’) speaks to the sort of wild nights for which Barcelona is famous. These same wild nights are captured graphically in the band’s music video, 'Luna de Papel', which was filmed in an abandoned Barcelona flat and involves the popular teenage game, Spin the Bottle. Video director Juan Carlos Vega selected an international cast of actors from the group’s Myspace fans, threw in a lot of spirits and made what has become a very popular MTV España music video. The album also includes guest appearances by other local musicians such as Danny Lippitt on the harmonica and ‘Michel’ on the violin in the song 'Carcovia'.
Willbert Álvarez, Eduardo Benatar, Carlos Mendoza (guitar/vocals) and Pedro Misle (bass) first tested the musical waters as Luz Verde in 1995 in Caracas and have been playing together ever since. The group is still comprised of its original members, save one piano player who stayed behind when the band decided to relocate to Barcelona. Over the last 14 years, the group has released the award-winning album Cinema Cero (2000), a second album called Rocanrol (2004), and now Manual de Buenas Costumbres.
Though the group’s move to Spain was professionally fuelled, it was also politically motivated. Due to Venezuela’s censorship and its currently precarious political climate, Luz Verde collectively decided that Europe was a better base for them when it came to promoting their music and leading their personal lives.
Luz Verde will continue to promote its new album throughout the summer of 2009 with concerts both in Spain and in Venezuela. With several shows here in the city in July and August, there will be plenty of opportunities to see Luz Verde’s musical musings on Barcelona.
Luz Verde will be at Apolo2 on July 10th 2009 and play in Carrer Mozart during the August festes of Gràcia