For Enrique Villarreal, better known as El Drogas (Pamplona, 1959), the pandemic has also made him change the repertoire of his performances. After four decades of frantic concerts in the pure punk and rock style, he has been adapting his bowling to theaters or houses of culture for a year, mainly, with a seated public and respecting distances, as established by the sanitary measures for culture. “I like that jar food that I have to make so that people are not very upset from minute one,” he acknowledges. But if something characterizes this active national rock legend, it is his critical sense from an openly left-wing position, reflected in the lyrics of his songs.
And with the usual parsimony of his words, loaded with deep and philosophical reflections as he likes, he speaks clearly in conversation with elDiario.es about the current situation in the country and the role of the left in matters of greater social significance. “I think we would have to analyze how the PSOE has functioned in this country since it took office with Felipe González, and how this type of political dinosaurs can still have influence in a society where very few people live as they want to live,” he says.
After a year and a half of COVID-19, does the drug have pandemic fatigue?
Yes, but it goes away relatively quickly if I think that health workers are more tired, because I think we should think more about that. I understand that it is logical because everyone’s jobs depend on this situation, but we must take into account the fatigue of the people who have been in the front row from minute one, and the physical and mental soba they have brought.
Perhaps at the beginning we had it very much in mind, with the applause, do you think that we have forgotten a bit?
I am a great defender of applause, that very physical way of recognizing the effort and work of the toilets, I defended it to the core. It is something very symbolic, but then even music equipment began to be brought out, putting on the ‘Resistiré’ of the Dynamic Duo or ‘No trugua’ by Barricada. It is the same to me, all that begins to settle. Then the saucepans came, the police giving the siren, and it was all for the toilets, but I think it was also for the people who were in supermarkets or more exposed areas.
Do you consider that it was a small group that tried to distort this support for the group?
It does not seem to me that Spain is a country with a level of imbecility as high as the ones we are seeing on different issues. We now have the issue of Cuba and they themselves are not going to talk to you about the king’s arms trafficking. We are missing a strong analysis of why the stories happen, then you can agree or not. Those who have invented master’s degrees are a minority, but they make a lot of noise.
Do you think that the left is being too conformist and does not make the analysis you are talking about?
Yes, they should be more forceful. I think we should analyze how the PSOE has functioned in this country since it came to power with Felipe González, and how these types of political dinosaurs can still have influence in a society where very few people live as they want to. It makes me very screwed up that there are hunger queues in a Western and European country, for example, so the left should have a clearer analysis with issues such as historical memory, the law of dependency, raising awareness banking, etc.
I have seen him critical of Podemos in several interviews, assuring that “he spends more time cleaning up the shit that the right wing throws at him than solving people’s problems.”
I’m still a bit visceral because I’m a little pissed off, but I like to criticize with my own criteria after analyzing what those who I think are on my side are doing. I believe that what we need is that all these issues make us stop and look at how we are living with our neighbors, both in the closest buildings and in the most distant countries. Unfortunately, the bourgeoisie has always had time to think, but now even I consider myself a somewhat bourgeois middle class, because the self-employed have almost no other balls to think as those people thought. I now have time for it, but unfortunately other people do not have it, because from the first moment of the day they have to think about finding a life and surviving alone. It is very complicated that when your stomach makes noise you have time to philosophize in the way that I can.
He has also harshly criticized the policies of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid. How do you explain that it swept the elections?
I understand that Spanish nationalism has always been very present, and it seems that this kind of nationalism transferred to the provincial – the Madrilenian – on foot has worked, going more to the viscera than to the brain.
Do you see it as extrapolated to the national scene or do you consider that Madrid has, because of that provincial nationalism you mention, its own ecosystem?
I am not very clear about it. I do not know how to quantify the people who would have really involved in a political change for this country, with a clearer federalism through modifying the Constitution. Nor do I know the degree of conviction that there is for the monarchy to finally disappear. I am a supporter of the Republic, I have always been republican, understood everything as the res-public, that health and education are public and popular.
After the departure of Pablo Iglesias and now with Yolanda Díaz, the policy that currently arouses more sympathy among the left, what does the outlook for Podemos?
I do not know how they are internally, but Yolanda Diaz is a person who arouses sympathy and a certain confidence when it comes to continuing to believe in what politics can be directed by politicians or politicians, something that has been very complicated until Podemos appears or the tides. It was a kind of third way, as it was spoken in the Basque Country. Or you were from one side or the other, but suddenly you find that there are people who want to find solutions, especially in dialogue. The movements that have been for dialogue suppose to begin to listen to people who were involved in platforms such as Gesture for Peace. In politics, those third ways are needed that mark concrete objectives and are carried out. Equality, for example, is not an entity that comes in a flying saucer. It is very clear that it will be necessary to discuss what is happening and why there is so much discrimination. In terms of feminism, not only do you have to look at salaries or the presence of women in managerial positions, but also in any other group, such as music, because society is reflected in all these fields. What is needed is positive discrimination and knowing how to maintain the personal independence of the discriminated groups.
Focusing on music, what does it mean for someone accustomed to giving mass concerts with the contact, touch and human warmth typical of rock and punk to have to do it with capacity restrictions, distances, people sitting …?
Well, the truth is that it already turns me on, because it has made me have to consider the repertoire. We have done enough bowling in theaters and houses of culture with different formats, although I do not forget that people will also want to listen to other mythical songs. Anyway, I like that jar food that I have to make so that people are not very upset from minute one, and that they can be able to observe what happens on stage, which jumping and drinking is complicated. With the presentation of the quintuple, where we had acoustics and piano, I heard the murmurs much more, but at the same time I liked it, I liked the challenge and the new sensation.
What are your main concerns or concerns?
With the topic of the pandemic and the confinement, in order not to return to the family more crazy than I usually return, I came across several writings that I had stored there, but I decided to continue writing, reading like a Cossack, although that is he usually says about the drink [ríe]. And at the same time, to rest from it, he would pick up the guitar and the piano, and so on all the time. In the end, it turns out that this last year I had about 300 pages of writing and eight finished songs, so I decided to put out a book in October and soon a vinyl will come out with them. All this has been the excuse to create the acoustic format of the concerts that will come with these new measures, with seven people on stage and four or more working around. It is an excuse to do things live.
On Saturday he performs in Castro Urdiales, do you know the municipality?
Yes, I have ever been passing through and I have stopped to eat.
What has motivated you to participate in the Sónica?
Especially that they have called us, there is no time to say no. It seemed weird to me, but there is little fear in any type of gig [ríe], we have no problems because we are going to leave our skin in each story, we take it for granted.