Imagine that you’re growing in a small town in the province of Cadiz in the south of Spain. The sun shines most days of the year but as a big music fan, there is not a lot going on. One venue in town plays host to a few local bands and as a teen, you avidly attend as many gigs as you can. You see rock, punk, ska, metal bands galore but you dream of one day being up there on stage yourself. That was when Pablo, lead singer of St. Alex, realised he would become a musician.
Fast-forward to his mid-twenties and Pablo hit the big city. Madrid. A couple of solo demos under his belt and looking for a serious band. Well, perhaps not so serious. He meets like-minded musicians; drummer, Fran and bassist, Gonzalo. Although they take the songwriting seriously, they have never lost sight of the need to experiment, mix it up and have a lot of fun. “We play music because we love to. We make music for ourselves, really.” Pablo told me when I spoke to him recently.
They have had a great time since starting the band a couple of years ago. “We always value our concerts depending on how much fun we’ve had playing, so I would say our best was last April in Zaragoza. There were very few people there because our show was scheduled at the same time the local football team was playing a match. But we played really well, I almost broke my guitar and we had a blast”
But what about the band? Pablo told me he doesn’t really feel a part of any scene. “Our music is not mainstream enough but at the same time, it is not underground enough if you know what I mean” But after giving it a few listens, many would say that they might feel more at home at one of the underground indie venues in Manchester. They’ve got that very British 1990s indie sound about them. They sing in English and he cites bands and musicians such as Feeder and Elvis Costello as big influences.
I think we might have to even try to persuade them to come and play in the little old UK. But for now, their new full-length album ‘Fiction’ is coming out in April. “We are very excited about it since we’ve been holding the release for a few months now. We are focusing on playing [elsewhere than] Madrid right now. We’ve played too much in Madrid these past months and it’s always more fun to go to [other places]. For now, we have two shows scheduled in May: the 25th in Albacete and the 26th in Valencia with our friends Chill Addicts”.
But most importantly, the band stick to two very simple but equally important rules: They don’t ever wear their own band’s t-shirt on stage and the never play a show wearing Bermuda shorts…. Good job, if we ever do persuade them to come to Manchester, they might find it a bit chilly!
Follow them on twitter @stalexmusic to keep up to date with their releases and gigs or to send them a message telling them to come and gig in the UK! Thanks to Pablo for taking time to speak to me and help me out with some other questions about the music scene for me post-graduate project examining equal opportunities in the alternative music scene in Spain.
Keep reading, keep sharing, keep listening – loud!
(C) Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga, 2018
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