Tuesday, November 29

Carlangas: “Latin music rules the planet but it has been ruling the field of Galician fiestas all the fucking life”

It is so difficult for Carlangas to decide on a bar in Santiago de Compostela to do the interview that he wants to choose them all. Finally, the conversation takes place halfway between Bar Charra and Modus Vivendi. Only a few hours have passed since the publication of the second single from his first solo album, a song titled The night falls in which he sings with his beloved Manu Chao. The first is titled the joke is over and saw the light in mid-October. The rest of the album will be published during the first quarter of 2023

After the separation of Novedades Carminha, Carlangas has decided to join the band Mundo Prestigio from Vigo to release their music. Before publishing the complete disc he takes the new songs before the public. The first appointment of this series of tests is this weekend during Monkey Week in Seville. And he warns: “We are going to start spinning at everything the machine can give because I can’t stand it at home.”

What’s the joke that’s over?

And which one is not over? It had been resting for a while but the volcano is erupting again. That’s why the joke is over.

Goodbye to the sofa and calm?

The truth is that at that time I was not very calm either. I was in another process, making a record. I already got the first pepinazo, the joke is over and I just released the collaboration with Manu Chao and that’s what I was: quiet, I’m not usually quiet.

All this after the separation of Novedades Carminha…

We were honest with what we did. When we saw that we didn’t have that spark at that moment, we decided that if we weren’t one hundred there was no reason to go out and play concerts, or do farewell tours or a record. Our realities within the group were different. I had a lot of people around who I wanted to make music with and who passed by my house. He had already released something with Baiuca and with Bronkio, who is the producer of two thirds of the album. And I said, “fuck, I’m going to get these people back together and I’m going to put something together.” It had themes but it is also a matter of energy. And when the energy is there, you have to take it.

You just presented a song with Manu Chao. Where were you on March 1, 1995 when Mano Negra appeared in Santiago to give a surprise concert at Sala Nasa?

I was eight years old and I was probably thinking of going to the Compos training stadium to get a sticker signed. At the time you returned home that day, I would be going to school.

But have you heard of that concert…

That concert was mythical and Sala Nasa is mythical. There everything is mythical: the host! I would give my pinky on a foot to have been to a Mano Negra concert. For me they were always a reference for how they handled energies. That is what a concert represents to me: setting up a party in which you involve all of God. It’s almost more of a ritual that has to do with a primitive dance than with anything specific to a genre.

And you end up finding Manu Chao here in Santiago

I wrote to you two years ago through a mutual friend. In that letter I tell him that all this energy that I had received from his concerts, how to set one up… Man, for me it is one of the greatest references: Mano Negra and The Clash. And Manu alone is a guy who is capable of somehow combining many styles of popular music and creating something super personal. In the letter he told her that I was seeing things by Los Chunguitos or Amara TourĂ© or Lisandro Meza and much more modern stuff. He does a contemporary production of many of those things and it’s something I also wanted to investigate. Since he took out his Clandestine Technology has changed a lot and now all that is seen from another point of view.

I told him all this in a letter. My colleague replies that the predisposition is fucking bad but that we would see if it happens. This same friend, two years later, tells me that Manu is going to be in Santiago giving a concert. I took a train and came to Santiago and called Ortiga on the phone to ask him to produce the song. I arrived on a Wednesday afternoon and we did a very basic pre-production to go to the concert that night and show it to Manu.

Had you been to record?

No. We had arranged to meet and teach him the song.

Did you know at that time that you were going to record with Manu Chao?

No. It’s just that I never take collaborations for granted. It’s something that has to result from a connection, from having a few beers and sharing with mutual friends. We can play and if it comes from there, great. And it came out. They liked the song. Manu came with more musicians. We were in A Susana, which is a village on the outskirts of Santiago, and suddenly at half past five in the afternoon they all show up with their guitars and we have a hell of an afternoon. In fact, we ended up in La Chantadina, in the Sar neighborhood.

What wave comes back to you after the premiere?

There’s a lot of people who wrote to me and don’t believe it like, ‘Holy shit, man. what happened here?’. He worries me that I did not receive any bad reviews..

Your plan now is to go on tour

Yes. I got together with a band from Vigo called Mundo Prestigio. It is a band that is dedicated to making rap beats. They work autonomously and now they will work as musicians of my project taken to the world of choruses and dance music. I’m super happy because Mundo Prestigio was one of my favorite bands right now and we’re going to start spinning at all the fucking machine because I can’t stand it at home.

You live in Madrid but many things continue to hook you to Santiago: here you meet Manu, here are some of your collaborators like Ortiga or Hevi. Things happen in Santiago.

Yes, but not only in Santiago. There is movement in general in Galicia. There always was, but now is when the most is coming to the fore. There were always things here. I am now working on a documentary about the festival for Sonora and I am realizing that we have always been leaders in the artistic field and in the musical field in particular. In the 80s he went out with Resentidos, Low Blows, Sinister, but that tradition always continued. The other day I was at the Sala Sirocco in Madrid watching Grande Amore and Mundo Prestigio and I was fired up and it was fucking crazy. Hevi is somewhat the benchmark for all of us: he produced records for me, he opened my mind and he is somewhat responsible for the stylistic and aesthetic turn of Novedades Carminha and all of that is now on my album.

What you say about the festival and the orchestras has something very Galician about it. Without being something typical of here, it is completely from here…

People think that the orchestras are only the Panorama or the Paris of Noia but all this comes from much earlier. It is already part of our culture and someone may wonder how a Galician can claim salsa, cumbia or bachata as part of his culture. Well, you can because we are an emigrant people who went to Latin America in the 1960s and brought back many records. It is part of popular culture; If you go to the parties in your neighborhood and there is Latin music there. And now Latin music rules the planet but this has been ruling the field of Galician fiestas all my fucking life. That is my culture. Parties sucked me a few, the truth.

Now we are here chatting in Modus Vivendi, a pub that is just below a music school where you went as a kid…

I am very from here. I’ve been away for half my life but I come back regularly. We just went through the Plaza de A Quintana and I can’t wait to play there again. I can’t wait to play there for my rock, for those who studied with me in high school. I started rock and roll here and they taught me how to start a group here.

That first guitar that Javi Bermejo lent you…

Javi Bermejo is a very important person. I was 14 years old and I used to go to guitar stores to look. And one day he appeared there and told me: “You sound familiar to me from the neighborhood and I’m going to give you a CD.” For several years every Thursday or Friday he would leave me a CD with compilations ranging from New York punk to Ry Cooder or The White Stripes. Bermejo also opened the world of table football to me, which is another thing that freaks me out. Table football was a common thread: we went to bars to listen to music and play table football.

How is music sold now?

The music is sold live. 90% of the business is live. Now the sale of records has minimal impact on the pocket of a band.

How many gigs do you already have agreed for those first months of 2023?

They don’t want to tell me. They tell me that the recruitment is going very well but my manager asks me to focus.

Before hitting the road, are you going to publish any more songs?

Missing a hit. I’m looking forward to releasing a song that I have that I think will work very well on the dance floor. The rest we will test on stage. We start in Seville. I feel like going and playing six or seven songs that no one knows yet and we’re going to try them out. We will do it at the same festival where Novedades Carminha started professionally.

In sevilla…

Yes, and it is also the 30th anniversary of Take a little song by Kiko Veneno, who will play it complete with Vera Fauna. And we go after them.

With Manu Chao on stage when?

I don’t know but I would love to.

What are you listening to now?

I’m listening to a band from Naples called Nu Genea, a band from Texas called Khruangbin. Of those here I am with a guy from Navarra called Ben Yart, who reminds me a lot of the Negu Gorriak in contemporary times. I listen a lot to Grande Amore and what falls between hands.




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