SLAP GURU is a Spanish stoner blues rock band. Answers by Valerio, singer and guitarist, the Italian guy. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
– Luckily our vision of music didn’t change so much in these years. We still like to rehears jamming a lot, mixing hard rock, prog, blues, doom ad psychedelia. In the last 2 years we were exploring heavier sounds and our approach writing the songs was more open, experimental, I can say more free.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big? That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
– I’m italian but the rest of the band is spanish, from madrid. I had to go to live there from October 2017, that was the only way to make the project survive. I think that in the northern european countries the hard rock/metal/stoner scene is so much better than in the latin countries, where is really difficult to create a good underground scene.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
– We didn’t tour the world yet but would be amazing . I hope that one day it will be possible. We played in Spain, Portugal and Italy. This Autumn we’ll present the album touring in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and France. The idea of the tour is really exciting, we love the tour life and doing concerts, we play for it.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
– We are receiving good feedbacks from different listeners, (from blues fans to death metal fans), and i really like this. The reviews of our first album “Cosmic Hill” were good and was interesting how many different influences and references people found out in our music. I always search for feedbacks, is difficult to have a clear idea of what is exactly your music, I need external opinions.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
– Sometimes it happens during the songwriting process; if there is a nice riff and if I find out the right vocal interpretation I can feel that it works immediatly. Then we know that Jose (drum) and Javi (bass) will do a good job with the rhythm section, they are always able to catch the right mood.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
– The difference between analogue and digital is that analogue sound is more or less how you feel it in the nature, instead the digital sound is the sampling of the analog one. Through sampling, the original sound wave is reconstructed using converters that convert it into a binary sequence. To a sound existing in nature it corresponds more or less a sequence of digital BIT, even if it is not always possible to obtain the perfect one. For this reason you can have the sensation that analogue is warmer than digital (that can result a bit cold sometimes). We decided to print also on an analogue support like the vinyl, our music find his roots in the 70’s and had to be as warm as possible, also with his “imperfections”. For the same reason all the amplifiers that we used to record are valved and more than 40 years old.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
– That is the most beautiful thing of being a musician that plays the music that he loves. If there is something good in the new technologies is the possibility to reach people in other countries, with different languages and different cultures. Music is universal.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
– Lyrics are quite important to me. I try to explain some experiences of life, mostly of them connected to my spiritual vision of the nature and others to some philosophical meanings of life and death. The title of the last album makes clear that my approach is quite pagan, i don’t want to teach anything to anyone, i don’t have messages to get forward. I prefere to create suggestions on which to discuss.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
– I totally agree with you. I love the physical format of music and i always buy vinyls or cds. Our 2 albums were printed in both formats. With “Diagrams of pagan life” we thought about the artwork during one month with a friend of us, Michele Agnoletto, a very good artist that interpretated our ideas with original and imaginative paintings. I hope that one day people will return to appreciate the physical format of the albums. Something similar is happening with the vinyl in these years. Let see if it grows.
What does the future hold?
– The release date of “Diagrams…” is the 18th of October. On the 20th we’ll start our European tour, we cannot wait for it. We hope also to tour in Scandinavia next Spring or for some festivals next Summer. Let see if it will be possible.