IMPERIAL JADE is a Spanish band that I just recently gotten into. Read this interview and keep checking them out. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-Just to have a good time and play some music. The band was found in 2012 by Alex, Fran and Arnau (guitar, drums and vocals) who soon found Ricard to play bass. The guys where just teenagers so I don’t think they had any plans for the band in the beginning except from playing a few gigs. Me, Hugo, I got in the band two years later in 2014. By that time we called ourselves “Blackway” and it was that year we decided to record our first EP… I think that’s when it all began to be more serious.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-We just grab a little from here and there… I think with this second album we are really coming up with our own sound, but it is something that has come eventually. We are huge fans of the music from the 60’s and 70’s and that is of course our main influence when it comes to songwriting, but we listen to all kinds of music and we try to keep our minds open while composing.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Usually someone comes with a new idea, normally a riff or a chord progression and we see where can we go from there. Sometimes one of us has got a song more or less finished and we just have to try to add the melody and lyrics. For us that’s the hardest part, the lyrics. Writing a song from nothing is never easy but if you also want to really say something, or make the words fit correctly on the music you’ve made then it gets more and more difficult.
Recording it’s always fun in my opinion, you get to hear the songs finally in the way they were meant to be, after months of hearing them in the rehearsal room knowing some of these tunes are somehow incomplete… And finally releasing them which seems to be the easiest part but it also takes a lot of time, for bureaucracy and all that stuff, so it can somehow also be frustrating. But in the end it is completely worth it.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-In my opinion when someone releases an album is for a reason, I mean, you’ve got to consider the whole album as the piece of art that it is. I don’t know if the fact that people can record at home will kill the album, it is the responsibility of the artist not to do so. I’d like to believe that artist still know the importance of a good album, I think they do, especially when it comes to a genre like ours. We’ve got plenty of good albums coming out this year, so I wouldn’t worry much about that.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-It is true that younger generations expect to get the music instantly and free, but that has been around for a few years now and though it has changed the music industry a lot I think we can get along with that. People are still listening to music and that is what really matters in the end. There’s an important part of the people who still likes to buy the album and most of all these people usually loves to buy it on vinyl. It is clear that it’s not like in the old days where a good band could sell millions of copies, but that’s the way it is… We still can tour and people still likes to pay for a good live show!
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-It is going quite good! We still have to see how people reacts to this second album but by now everybody seems to be digging it. We hope it gets to a bigger scale and we can see different opinions… To a lot of people, especially the media from put of Spain, what surprises them most is the fact that we are Spanish! But the truth is that there are lots of awesome bands here!
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Well, for this new album we mixed a couple of songs with Rival Sons’ mixer John Netti. He works from Nashville, Tennessee. We just had to send them the files and he streamed the work he was doing in real time, so we could hear the songs being mixed from our homes, that was quite awesome. You can hear his work in the songs “Heatwave” and “Dance”.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Sure it does! We owe lots of things to music and we are all very grateful for it. We have gotten to know lots of interesting people, open or sharing bills with some of our favorite bands of all times, plus the fact that music is a great way to canalize our ideas, thoughts and feelings. It sounds a bit lame but it is really how it is.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Sure, as we were saying before, as not so many people buys the record these days, we have to keep playing live and staying visible for our fans, even more in the world we live where you get information all the time. If you are not on social media 24/7 you are on risk to desappear. So playing live is the best to give the audience something real and something that hopefully they will remember for a long time.
What plans do you have for the future?
-For the imminent future we have scheduled a tour through Spain, we will release the dates very soon. We are of course planing to go abroad, we should tour Europe as soon as possible but it’s not easy. We would also love to tour the USA but being honest i think we first got to be heard more in these countries. We are also planing to release a couple of videos in the next months. I gues the only plan we have is keep working on this project and hopefully whach it grow.