High Fidelity: Almost everyone has seen the 2000 film starring John Cusack, most have read the book by Nick Hornby from 1995, and many will have heard Elvis Costello’s 1980 track all of the same name. But have you heard of ‘High Fidelity’, the Spanish power trio currently emerging from the bars and concert venues of Madrid? They’ve already demonstrated skill and talent with their first album, ‘Stay True to Yourself‘ which was released just a couple of months ago. We had a chat about old music, new scenes and musical movements.
“We’re a power trio from Madrid, made up of me, (Pete) on guitar, Diego on bass and Mario on the drums. We all sing. I was playing in another band but left looking for something different and I posted an ad on social media to find other musicians. Diego joined first and together we recorded our first album, ‘Stay True to Yourself‘ in Goldfish Studios with Guille Laorga on production. Later Mario joined and, at the start of 2018, we released the album” Pete told me.
Although the band is new in its current line up, they have all been playing for a number of years. I asked them if at any point they had felt a part of a music ‘scene’. They told me that these days there is no scene to identify with. Instead, Diego seemed to believe that they are part of an underground movement. As a part of this movement, “It’s difficult to know how things work on a wider scale […] but there are many groups trying to do something new, punk bands playing outside of Spain, there is greater heterogeneity in music now” However, the other members were a bit more pessimistic. They told me that they saw the Spanish music scene getting worse and worse, with its big record companies killing creativity with their big business approach to music.
Despite all of this, on a local level, they told me it’s just a matter of getting to know other bands that you get on with and trying to organise some gigs together, without limiting yourself to any particular genre. “This [genre] doesn’t bother us. We love to play with any band and don’t care about what type of music they play” bassist Diego said. Mario and Pete agreed, telling me that there was a general good feeling between the groups and they get on really well with some brilliant bands, Go The Distance, Upside Down, Rising From The Abyss and Scratch Silence, for example.
When I asked them about why they loved music so much, the band told me that they had grown up listening to classic rock bands, such as The Beatles, in Diego’s case, while Mario cited Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Nirvana and Biffy Clyro as his major influences. It seems they all come from musically inclined families and they have never restricted their taste to any genre or location, loving equally Spanish bands as much as international bands. “My greatest inspiration has been my family,” Diego told me. “From the classic bands, that my parents showed me, to the rock and pop that my sisters would always put on”
And although they’ve only been playing together as a band for a relatively short amount of time, they have already some great gigs under their belt, particularly rememberable ones for the band were at the ‘Sala Barracudas’ and ‘Sala Alive’ in Madrid. What more, they have just released their debut single ‘Antolini’s Fall Theory‘ and it is metal madness mayhem. Screaming lyrics, full-on drums and epic time changes. From metal to punk in the same song, the rhythm and riff changes take us on a journey and the overlapping and contrasting singing styles of Pete and Diego fuse well. Their melodic punk sound resonates throughout the rest of the album, with tracks that will keep you dancing all night and that you’ll find you will be singing to yourself the next day.
For now, the band are planning to take this album for a spin and see where they end up, hoping to play some gigs outside of the capital this summer.
Once again a big thank you to High Fidelity for taking time to help me out with my research into the Spanish music scene. If you’d like to be involved, then get in touch.
Keep reading, keep sharing and keep listening
(C) Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga
For now, I’ll leave you with ‘Antolini’s Fall Theory’.