Spanish indie band The Dirt Tracks have released their great new single ‘Never Been To Mars’ in the UK rather than in their homeland amid a tighter and even harsher environment for artists over there. We had the opportunity to talk with the band after they came off their UK tour about the situation back home, their love of the UK and more.
Hello, welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for taking time to talk to us.
Would you please introduce the members of The Dirt Tracks and give a history of the band.
The Dirt Tracks has five members, we are: Karl (sampler), Masid (drums), Miquel (bass), Rafa (guitar) and Coma (guitar and vocals).
The band was initially formed in 2000 under the name of Oddshow. After many years of gigs and concerts, hard work, two albums and various line-up changes along the way, we created The Dirt Tracks… and here we are, with our brand new EP and back home from the UK-tour.
You have just released your new single ‘Never Been To Mars’ could you tell us about it?
The Single: “Never been to Mars” was composed while recording the other two. It is also the first song with the participation of all five members of The Dirt Tracks. We had played the riff during the rehearsals many times, and while recording, we decided to work it out. When we finished it, we felt it was the one to be released as a single as it describes us and our sound best.
You released your debut critically acclaimed album Puppets in 2006 how has the band’s sound changed between then and the new release?
We have some more years of experience, some better ideas, and our sound has grown up, so have we. With Miquel and Rafa, our new members, we have a new focus; they fit very good composing and have brought some good ideas with them. We have found our best sound, and the style may vary, but we already feel that we sound like ourselves.
There is a certain Muse and Placebo flavouring to your melodic rock sound what were your influences growing up and in the band’s sound?
Maybe, but indeed our music stretches across a few styles, most of our inspiration comes from British indie but every member of the band has his own influences, from nowadays pop-rock to seventies rock. Indeed, we have found out during the tour that people usually feel we sound like some band they like, rather than some specific band… this may be because of the great variety of influences The Dirt Tracks have.
You released ‘Never Been To Mars’ in the UK rather than your homeland Spain. Could you explain why?
We wanted the single to be released in the UK, because it’s from where all the music we like comes from. We love the music culture in the UK, the musicians and, of course, the people. We really think our style fits very good in the UK, and indeed it has been so.
In every country the new unmanufactured bands and artists are finding it hard certainly to make a living from their music if any at all from their releases. Spain is no different in fact in a worse state, why is this?
Spain is more concrete with regards music styles. In fact, the thing is, that music industry is changing, and this is an opportunity for new bands to work and “do things” in another way.
Opportunities for live shows there are also very limited I believe? Is it because no one gives new bands a chance or there are just not enough venues?
Yes, the Spanish music industry is not focused on live shows, if we compare with the UK, for example. Live shows are more for big bands, or big festivals, etc… For smaller bands trying to find our way, this makes it more difficult, but of course not impossible. We will have some live shows this winter around Spain.
Am I right in understanding that any backing given to Spanish artists is mainly for Spanish speaking ones only?
Yes, you are right, with some exceptions, of course.
Recently the president of Sony Music Spain, Carlos López was dismissed from his position with the label running their Spanish division from Miami. There is not a lot of sympathy coming towards label with the majority of new bands taking the DIY approach from the very start, but do you think that also is a symptom of the problem in Spain and will it have a big impact too on the country?
As we mentioned before, we know that the music industry is changing all along the world, so it does in Spain. You can think of it as a threat or as an opportunity, and we think it is an opportunity. So we are working very hard on growing every day and trying to do our best through our own way.
Could you see yourselves making a move outside Spain to the UK or elsewhere permanently?
Well, we could see us living in the UK; we really enjoyed our tour in the UK, enjoyed the people and enjoyed the country. Nevertheless not all of us are happy with that idea… Spain is a really nice country and Valencia a good city for living, and some of us do not want to leave the family behind, but we all would do if it was required.
You have just finished a tour of the UK, how did that go and has that again made you wonder about moving your base?
The tour was great, an incredible experience… Some of us would have liked to stay more, or just don’t come back. . Although it is soon for talking about the possibility of moving, we are still working hard on tours in other European countries and want to come back to the UK in the late 2012.
What is the next for The Dirt Tracks and what do you hope the next year brings?
Germany, Poland, Sweden and coming back to the UK… that’s what we are working in right now… The Germany tour will be in the late winter or spring, the rest of countries will be shorter stays… Apart from that, there are some summer festivals in which we plan to participate.
Many thanks for talking to us about the band and the situation in your country. Makes us appreciate the situation here a bit more. Would you like to leave with a last thought or message to your fans and the readers?
We would tell them to listen to us and like us in Facebook, so they’ll be informed about us coming again. It would be great to see them next time we are in the UK!! Many thanks to the Ringmaster, and to everybody who came to our gigs in our first tour, it was awesome!