If I hadn’t searched the net I hadn?t heard of Quelonio. How hard is it to get your voice heard in the myriad of bands that are out there fighting for attention?
-In this style of music competition is very hard. Due to the economic limitation of the band, the Internet becomes an essential tool for the promotion of the band. But it’s to hard .
Being Spanish and playing heavy metal doesn?t seem like a sure way to success. What kind of reactions do you get from the national fans?
-Outside Spain or South America, we are quite limited by the language. Many Spanish groups decide to sing in English, but we don’t. The answer of the fans is normal. There is a big market of Spanish groups here in Spain. Unfortunately, it’s a style with a little promotion on radios or magazines and most of the groups are only known by their fans.
I can’t think of one single hardrock/metal act in the past 30 years that has made it big outside of Spain, if you don?t count Heroes del Silencio as hardrock. Why is it so hard for Spanish bands to make it in Europe/the World?
-As we said before, we think that mostly by the language. There was also a qualitative delay but that’s not a problem nowadays. The fact is that few groups have managed to cross borders. Baron Rojo was an example at the 80’s.
You have just released a new album. What kind of reactions did your previous album receive? How do you think this new one will fare with the fans?
-Reactions were very positive. It was the first album since 2002, we had a solid and permanent line up so the progress of the band was obvious. This album opened us many doors and we get more diffusion that we had before.
When I think of Spain plain heavy metal isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I think more extreme metal. Heavy metal lays somewhere in the 80s with bands like Baron Rojo. What kind of heavy metal scene is there in Spain?
-There are great bands in other styles with more diffusion. Angelus Apatrida is a good example. But we think there are lots of groups, with bad luck and with a little investment in them, that don’t have achieved higher goals. In this part of the country there are bands with great quality waiting for their chance.
Valencia might be more know for football (soccer) than music. What kind of place is Valencia for a metal band?
-It’s a difficult place. Here is more common disco music and variants. There’s a lot of metalhead fans but not many places to enjoy the music. Some years ago there were lots of great concert venues and many international bands made a stop here. Unfortunately, the situation had changed and now we must leave the city to see international bands and even national groups.
The crisis over the world makes that people come less to the concerts, not only in Valencia, also in all the country.
When you are a heavy metal band and have just started you look for reference points. What were your reference points when Quelonio first started?
-At the begining, bands like AC/DC were our reference. Later were some changes and also changes at the line up so the style of the band changed to a classic heavy metal.
The references of the members sometimes change, depends on who you ask, but the main references of the band are groups like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Avalanch, Angra, Sutagar, Baron Rojo, Gamma Ray and more…
How important is it to you that people outside of Spain understand you? Is the music more important than the lyrics in making people connect with you?
-It’s important due to the message we send through our letters. But not every people look for inspiration or a message in the music he hears. There are groups that is pleasant to hear their music although you don’t understand, or don’t like the voice or the lyrics … It’s not essential understanding the message to enjoy the music. We believe that our letters are very sincere and the message is important but if the language is a barrier, you can enjoy our music without understanding the lyrics.
Everywhere you look there seem to be a metal festival this summer. What kind of live scene is the in Spain in the summer?
-Every year there are usually 2 or 3 big festivals, like Sonisphere, with big bands. There are also some festivals in each city with a big group and national bands. And there are a lot of them in small towns, with local bands and smaller groups. Unfortunately, not so many as we would like … as metalheads and musicians.
How exciting will 2012 be for Quelonio?
-We hope to present the album in different cities and share the stage with other bands in national festivals. Now In Spain the situation is difficult and more difficult if we talk about rock music.
Any progress will be welcome.