Pablo Román, leader of Granada group Elastic Band, answered our questions ahead of their show at Sidecar this month
Metropolitan: Where did your name come from? Is it a reflection of your music or just a fun play on words?
Pablo Román: It was a sound effect that we widely used in the first demo; later it became a way of understanding the band.
How was the band created?
We wanted to prove that it was possible to create pop music by moving away from the traditional rock pattern—so we replaced the electric guitar with a mandolin. We then found certain limitations at the creative level that moved us to add other elements, such as samplers and synthesizers.
Why did you decide to write and perform in English?
If we played folk music like flamenco, we would surely perform it in Spanish. But pop music has its roots in Anglo-Saxon culture, so we believe it’s more aesthetic and rhythmical to do it in the native language.
Can you explain the title of your new album, M oo D? Why not just Mood?
When you spend so much time recording an album, you cannot avoid going through different moods personally and professionally. I consider that M oo D is a clear reflection of that, hence the title. M oo D (written that way) only corresponds to the brilliant album of Elastic Band!
The Eighties are clearly a big influence for you—what’s their appeal?
We were biased against this decade aesthetically, but these prejudices gradually disappeared and our resources increased. Nothing is more positive in the Eighties than its lack of prejudice and breaking with traditional patterns from previous years.
What do you think of the indie music scene in Spain? Is it overshadowed by bands from the US and UK?
The scene is becoming more interesting, but not having the right infrastructure forces Spanish bands with possible international impact to disappear. In the past, our groups did not have to compete with foreign bands, but current globalisation has exposed the lack of skill of the Spanish industry for exporting music.
Keeping your creative independence is clearly important to you—how do you see the future panning out for the group? Is it possible to stay independent in today’s music industry?
It is increasingly difficult to distinguish between mainstream and indie bands. So far, we’ve tried hard to keep our identity because we believe that is more attractive to certain audiences concerned about this.
Elastic band will be performing at Sidecar on February 24th