Forum Senior Member
Joined: March 04 2008
Location: Retirement Home
Posted: July 09 2011 at 15:31
Ábrete Gandul is a Chilean band which was conceived in 1999 as a initiative of guitarist and singer Mauricio Dell (a.k.a. Dr. Octava). Having written several compositions, Mauricio talked with an old drummer friend, Antonio Arcea, with whom he had common ideas, and they decided to form a band.
Bass player Pablo Garcia joined them along the road and with this "Trio" they made a studio record, which is based on Dr. Octava`s compositions five compositions.
I got in touch with them and the band together answered my questions.
Your biography has been covered in your ProgArchives profile so let's bypass the biography details. But why did you choose that name and which bands were you influenced by ?
The band's name emerged as a way to represent the message we want to convey. Gandul is an old Spanish word that was used in Chile in the 50s and that means lazy, idle, apathetic etc. Therefore the name is a call to the lazy to open their minds to new ideas.
Our biggest influences are very personal, each band member has their own preferences and styles, but King Crimson is a big influence for us all, and the classic bands of progressive rock, zeuhl, avant-garde and RIO.
However, the approach that we give all this to sound original and contemporary, is explanined by the personal contribution of each member so that sounds the band as it sounds. The diversity of preferences, experiences, generations and tastes of each band member makes the sum generated by what we are today.
How was the music scene in your local area when you started ?
To some extent, we were always in a position of rupture of the cultural system, beyond the political and social contingent. Hence also the name of the band: Ábrete Gandul, a wake-up call we do to the general public.
In Chile, something really weird happens. The space for progressive rock bands and avant-garde, haven’t grown, almost no space in the "Medias", however, has been a huge boom of musicians and bands that are doing interesting work.
Unfortunately, this evolution of the musicians in Chile, it goes together with minimal changes in the "Media". The reason for this is due to several things, firstly, there is a cultural problem that involves mainly professionals in the media ... lack depth knowledge of music and there is no provision for the dissemination of artistic expression out of the ordinary.. ..; also lacks the people..... the public, be a little more daring and curious when deciding what music would want to hear .... We would wish more awareness and openness to other "musical things," apart from what you always hear on the radio. On the other hand, the economic aspect related to record labels .... the only music that is edited is super sale .... Not at risk and are not willing to promote art, view music as a business only, they forget that music is essentially an art and is above the trade.
Over to your three albums. Your debut album was ¿Bichos=Dichos? from 2000. Please tell us more about this album.
The first album ¿Bichos=Dichos? It was the product of several positive matches. We were born in 1999 in a project that brought Antonio Arceu (drums), Mauricio Dell (Doctor Octava: voice, electric guitar and midi), who led the membership in the first stage of Abrete Gandul. We began by assembling a repertoire of songs that mixed jazz, rock, avant-garde elements of folklore. Thus, with the purpose of recording the first compositions recruit another old friend on bass, Pablo Garcia, who had already played with Antonio Arceu and Rodrigo Maccioni in another progressive project (El Quinto Dual). The studio recording was finalized in early 2000. We had such limited repertoire recorded in studio when we participate in the Festival “Experimenta 2000”, which was recorded in excellent technical conditions, which we take to supplement the study material and produce the first album.
And then there was a five years long break. What happened ?
After ¿Bichos= Dichos? studio recording, Pablo Garcia decided to leave the band and was replaced on bass by Rodrigo Garcia. We also incorporated Rodrigo Maccioni in electro acoustic guitar and flute. With this team, we began to live performances, including spaces and humorous elements of improvisation and audience interaction. Thereafter, we apply ourselves to continue composing and perform live shows in Santiago circuit, sharing the stage with other major local bands like Akineton Retard and Subterra
In early 2002, there was the departure of Rodrigo Garcia and Doctor Octava, but decided to continue the project with Rodrigo Maccioni. So, we recruited Pedro Santander on bass, Jaime Acuña on keyboards and Rodrigo Pinto in Electric guitar, and we started working on new repertoire, mainly composed by Rodrigo Maccioni, which is what shaped the material of the second CD “Cuentos para Dormir”, published in December 2005. Throughout all this period of Abrete Gandul’s the new proposal, we have been playing live a lot in different stages of Chile, participating in festivals, and sharing the stage with important bands like Exsimio, Autómata, Jorge Campos (bass in Congreso and Fulano) Horeja, Alejandro Silva, La Desooorden and so on.
Your second album was Cuentos Para Dormir from 2005. Please tell us more about this album.
For our second album "Cuentos para Dormir" was a much more systematic approach to meeting the goal of having that second record. Visit and quote various recording studios, sound engineers, etc.. We rehearsed specifically for studio recording, we get partial funding once they had entered the studio with the help of our sponsors Hugo Ilabaca of Kraftwerk record store, but ultimately, both records in our study were predominantly independent.
A new break followed. This time for six years. Again, what happened ?
In late 2006 there is the departure of guitarist Rodrigo Pinto, so the current formation in quartet continues working on a new stage of the band, preparing new material for the third album, although the previous compositions were also incorporated into our live performances.
We started to operate from the compositions of guitarist Rodrigo Maccioni and keyboardist Acuña Jaime. Usually one of the two composers brings a structured idea and over that idea each member makes proposals for arrangements. In some cases the final product of the subject is close to the composer's original idea, but in others cases, it became completely different with background mutations, input and inspiration from other members.
Your third and most recent album is Enjambre Sismico from earlier this year. Please tell us more about this album.
The concept of our third album was heavily influenced by the earthquake in Chile in early 2010. This catastrophe marked us all across the country, and we will never forget it. Likewise, the concept of “seismic swarm” (“Enjambre Sísmico”) fits nicely with our call to open the minds of the auditors. Coincident with this drama, we had the opportunity to be the support band for Tony Levin Stick Men just one week after the big earthquake in a large theater in Santiago.
As in the composition and work periods in the first 2 albums, we had to reinvent the band for such work not only by the member changes, but because the addition of new sounds and technical resources, the cornerstone of our concept of progressive rock and avant-garde music, that is progress ... And that is precisely what we will continue doing.
What is the availability of your albums ? Where can they be purchased from ?
Our third album is being distributed worldwide by Alt-Rock / Fading Records Italy. In USA is Wayside Music. In Europe it is available at many retailers.
The second album is still available in some dealers around the world and also through our site on facebook.
The first album is out of stock at the moment.
For those of us unknown with your music; how would you describe you music and which bands would you compare yourself with ?
We define ourselves as a musical daring without prejudice, a radical evolution from one album to the next. We consider ourselves permanently in progress. We favor the collective sound rather than individuals.
In some cases, we can fit into the concept of progressive rock, in other avant-garde music, rock in opposition, and even jazz.
Comparing with some bands we admire seems a little arrogant, we prefer to leave that to our fans. However, the closest may be in the line of King Crimson.
Besides of the new album, what have you been up this year, what is your plans for this year and beyond ?
In addition to continuing playing live concerts in Chile, we have already started working on new ideas for an upcoming album. We do not know how many years we are going to take to edit it, but we will work on that goal.
On the other hand, we are interested in participating in any international festival of progressive rock and avant-garde music anywhere in the world, and we hope to realize that in the coming years. Unlike our first 2 albums, "Enjambre Sísmico" has full coverage in progressive rock circles and media, and for that reason we hope to open many more “gandules” of the world with this third album.
Chile is a very, long country with a huge desert in the middle and huge distances between the cities and towns. How is it to run a band in Chile ?
Chile certainly has a difficult geography and distances very large, for that very reason, most of the cultural and artistic events are concentrated in Santiago, the capital. Most of our presentations are in Santiago.
However, whenever we can, we give concerts in other cities, where the reception and the affection of the public to our musical approach is very intense. For this, we generally get the support of small local producers or cultural departments of universities, in order to reach greater diversity of people with our message.
To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?
We love being reviewed and criticized. We like controversy, so you think freely.
Thank you to the band for this interview
Joined: May 19 2005
Location: Mexico City
What a cool interview. Listen to Abrete Gandul, they are a very good band!
Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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