Friday, 9 September 2016

Eight questions with Roberto y Amigos

(c) Megan Seekings

1. Who are Roberto y Amigos, and what does the name change from Roberto y Juan signify? (a short introduction)

We're a not-so-Spanish-sounding band from Oxford who want to get people grooving and singing along to our bass lines, beats and folky-soul melodies. We draw our influences from John Martyn and Nile Rodgers to bands like Portishead and more souly outfits. We started off as a duo with acoustic guitars and flamenco influences. Now we've found some rhythm and groove the name change signifies that our drummer George is now just as much a part of the group as Jonny is, while leaving the options open to also collaborate with other musicians.

2. Your ‘Monster Love’ EP is one of my favourites so far this year, when was it recorded and where? The launch show in the beautiful surroundings of Art Jericho with our very own Oli supporting as Count Drachma was hugely successful, how did you find that show and the experience of organising it yourselves?

Monster Love was recorded by Robin in our Shed Studio in Oxford over late 2015/early 2016. For us it contained quite a lot of old material that we had been playing for a while and hadn't got recorded. The launch show was just great. It felt like all of our friends and family (+ more!) where there in support and we were launching something we were proud of and had worked hard on. Loved the arty surrounding of the Art Jericho as well and would recommend as a venue to any other bands wanting a little launch show.

3. We love hardworking artists and loved your video diary about the EP and the show - when can we expect more videos?!

Yes we're planning to get some more videos up soon to keep our followers up to date. Especially some live acoustic performances of new tracks. Nice to keep it intimate and personal with our musical lovers.

4. Who is your audience and how do you connect with your fans? Any crazy, fun, exciting stories are very welcome.

Well we sometimes have people back to our studio to have a little boogie party (there is no age discrimination (in the most normal way possible)) so in September when we support HPE come and say "Hi" after the show and we can get on down.

5. As a pretty collaborative band, are there any local artists you’d love to work with on a track? Or perhaps any dream collaborations on a bigger scale?

We really dig Esther Joy Lane at the mo. Her voice is pretty entrancing and her sound would work well with our trip hop-y strand. Would love to get writing a tune together with her maybe with two lead vocal parts. We love Portishead and Massive Attack.

6. Moving from recording to playing live, what does your dream gig look like? Any artists you’d love to play alongside?

Two drum kits, a brass section and a permanent female vocalist who got the audience to dance like crazy would be pretty sweet... + an interval/break for pancakes and creamy snacks.

7. We hope you’re looking forward to supporting at the homeplanetearth O2 Oxford show as much as we’re looking forward to seeing you play, how will you be preparing for the show? Any new music to premiere at the show?

Seriously we can't wait. Already thinking about costumes. We'll be playing our new track Home in Your Heart which was premiered on BBC Radio 6 Music a month back and might have some other tricks up our sleeve too. It'll be one of our last gigs as a three piece because Jonny (guitar) is off to uni in September so we intend to have a bash.

8. With Jonny off to university, what does the rest of the year hold for you, and looking towards 2017?

At present, the three of us are collaborating with a range of other musicians and vocalists to make a full length album ready for the autumn and, though without Jonny, the next year we'll be working on gigging with our new set of tunes, incorporating a female vocalist and more electronic sounds and synths. Can't wait!

Roberto y Amigos play upstairs at O2 Academy Oxford on 16th September supporting Homeplanetearth on the hometown date of their UK tour- tickets here, support also comes from Polar Front and Little Red.

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