Tuesday, September 27

Abraham Boba: “It seems that with digital platforms you can no longer listen to records”

This Thursday, August 18, the León Benavente group visits Eivissa to perform at the El Dorado Live Shows concerts, at the Santos hotel. A day later, on Friday, August 19, they will do it in Menorca, in Es Claustre. It will be the Balearic journey of a tour in which they present their new album, ERA and that, in a summer format, reviews songs from the four albums and the two ep’s, which have been coming to light since 2013, the year the group was formed. .

Songs like ‘Gloria’ or ‘Ser Brigada’, which the public of the Balearic Islands, like that of practically all the capitals of the peninsula where they are going to play, is waiting like rain in May. And to find out more about the group, and about their visit to the two islands, we spoke with the group’s vocalist, lyricist and keyboardist, Abraham Boba, in a talk about music and the philosophy that drives them when creating.

Abraham, what does it mean for you to play in the Balearic Islands?

Well, the truth is that we really want to because I, especially, have been a big fan of the Balearic Islands for years. I think it is one of the areas in which I enjoy the most. It is a place with a lot of magic, very special and it is an opportunity to go to concerts. The other time we went to Eivissa it was a festival, this is more of our concert, in a small format, and we really want it. Also, now in August, which is when the Balearic Islands are at full capacity, we feel like going to spend a few days there. We will take the opportunity not only to go play, but to get to know Eivissa and Menorca better. We are already counting the days to go.

Let’s talk about his last job: ERA. Why this title?

Because it is a short, sonorous word, which basically refers to what ceases to be or to what is transformed, to what is no longer and, obviously, to a change in time. And it seemed to us a word that perfectly encompasses everything that was wanted to be told in its ten songs.

They encourage the public to listen to the album in its entirety and not by songs, as is usual since the emergence of the internet in the record market, why?

Well, every time we consider making a new album, we always try that, without being conceptual, they are a bit of photographs of that moment. We are interested in there being a specific order in which to listen to the songs, a way to enjoy the album, which is how we propose it. Obviously each one can take the songs separately or do random orders or whatever they want, but we come from a generation in which we have grown up listening to records that way. I still do it, although it seems that now with digital platforms you can no longer listen to records. And in the case of this latest album, by ERA, without being a conceptual album, there is a kind of common thread in all the songs that has to do with the passage of time in its different forms. And I think that each of the songs is better understood by seeing them from the set.

Every time we consider making a new album we always try that, without being conceptual, they are a bit of photographs of that moment

abraham boba
Leader of Leon Benavente

How does this change in the music industry affect you?

The industry has been changing for a few years. Really, there is no formula that seems to be the best or the worst. I think there are so many ways to distribute music and the listener has so many ways to consume it… Lately, it does seem that on platforms it is more common to release single songs, singles, which basically is the same thing that was done decades ago , when there were no records. This ends up being cyclical. I imagine there will come a time when people are interested in records again, if not now. In addition, today there is also part of the public that listens to music and continues to be interested in it. Just as there are musicians who are interested in releasing individual songs for no reason and others, as is our case, who would rather like those songs to coexist within a specific context. The album itself is neither better nor worse. I think it’s an option that everyone chooses to distribute their music.

One of the themes of ERA is ‘Say no to nostalgia’. Aren’t you one of those who believe that any time in the past was better?

In our generation there is a certain iconography that refers a lot to other times, to nostalgia, and that can be a source of wisdom. But what of course does not interest us is anchoring ourselves in looking at the past, repeating formulas and not moving forward. What keeps moving us to do new jobs is trying to find new paths in each one of them and even putting obstacles to ourselves in the way we are used to doing things. And, in that sense, anchoring yourself in what you’ve done in the past, in the time you’ve lived, I don’t know if it’s a mistake, but it’s not what interests us the most. On an artistic level, I think there are many paths still to be explored and, above all, that ability to surprise oneself and to continually try to learn and search. To me, personally as an artist, that is what interests me. I’m not usually very interested in the careers of people who are still doing the same thing now as they were 40 years ago.

They have been presenting this new work on small stages since January, as they are going to do in Eivissa and Menorca, but also in large festivals. In which format do you feel more comfortable?

The truth is that for us they are still concerts, that is, playing the songs for more or less public. Of course, when you play in a room, the people who are going to see you know what they are going to see. They are the people who pay a ticket and know the group, it is, in fact, your public. But festivals also have something, you are playing for a larger audience, for people who may not know you and even if you have been playing, as in our case, for almost ten years, well, perhaps they have never had the opportunity to see a concert. . They still see it and it surprises them, and from then on they begin to follow us. We have always been a group to present our albums in theaters rather than at festivals. The question is that the place where you go is good to play, that the group is well treated, that the music is well treated, that the public is well treated…

They say that León Benevente is probably the best live group on the national scene. What do you think?

Totally successful. No, no, this is not a competition. It is true that we are a group that, from the beginning, have worked hard on our concerts, both at the staging level and at the technical level, and we try to do everything possible to go one step further on each new tour and I imagine that and, well, the energy that comes off on stage and the communion that usually exists with the public at concerts, is what has caused many people to say that, which is what we like the most full of pride

In addition, you also have a lot of experience as musicians. All have been playing, previously, in other formations. You, for example, have played with Nacho Vegas and have done solo work. Does this also influence knowing what you want to offer live and getting the right sound?

Yes, totally. I think there are also people within music who like to get on stage more, there are people who like it less and other people who prefer studio work or composition, which also interests us a lot. However, when the songs begin to come to life is when you get on stage and experience that communion with the public.. Since the beginning, we have given many concerts and we like to play a lot. It’s a shame that this country is so small geographically, because in the end you can’t be playing non-stop either, going to the same cities over and over again. But it is true that we are a group that I think if we spent a whole year touring, giving concerts every day, it would make us very, very happy.

And on this album, moreover, the roles have been reversed. How has it been?

Yes, it is also part of the group’s philosophy. As I have told you, every time we consider making a new album we try to find new paths. And for that many times playing with limitations is just another tool. When we made this album, before we started writing the songs, we talked about giving a little more weight to the electronics with Edu, who is the one who normally played the bass on the songs. Also, Leo started to get more involved with the machines and Luis is also good with them. This is the luck of having people in the group who dominate different instruments. Luis, who was normally playing the guitar, but who has been a bass player all his life, well, he took up the bass, and there was that change of roles. César, the drummer, started playing with drum machines. I, who am a pianist, started using an acoustic piano. In the end, they are tools to search for different paths.

I read in different publications that do indie, rock, alternative rock, post-punk, garage rock. What would you be called?

Well, I think that the genres in music today are more dispersed every day. But what we have always been is a rock band, more or less sophisticated.

His lyrics always talk about situations, current affairs, everyday life. What themes have influenced you in ERA?

I do not know. I think there is no subject that, throughout history, has not been touched on in a song. More than the topic itself, what ends up interesting me as a writer is the way you refer to that topic, the words you use. I’m not very interested in songs that play word games in which practically nothing is understood. It is true that there are songs in which a more or less poetic language can be used, but what has always interested us as a group are songs that talk about the things we live in our day to day.

There are songs in which a more or less poetic language can be used, but what has always interested us as a group are songs that talk about the things we live in our day to day

abraham boba
Leader of Leon Benavente

And in reference to that day to day. Does the international situation we live in affect your music?

It is clear that in the world if there is no crisis, there is another. In other words, it is clear that the human being is an expert in tripping over the same stone several times. And many times our ability to learn and learn from mistakes leaves much to be desired. But hey, I’m a musician, not a talk show host. I think I’ll read until here.

What book would you recommend for this summer?

Right now I just finished ‘The Book of Tears’ by Heather Christle (Editorial Tránsito, 2020). It is an essay on everything that has to do with the act of crying, it is very interesting.

A movie or a series…

I don’t follow many series. I do consume movies continuously, but I’m more into classics. The other day I rewatched John Ford’s ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ and loved it all over again.