A Chat with This Week's Carbonated Artist of the Week
For such a sweet mellow guitar pop band, Spain’s Cola Jet Set can fight pretty damn hard. The Belle and Sebastien-esque Barcelonians squeaked by with the victory for MTV Iggy’s Artist of the week, so we chatted them up about their first English language EP Lesson One: Listen & Repeat, The Beatles, and Barcelona.
Congratulations on your big win! How do you feel after such a close race?
Pretty exhausted, after so much clicking, voting, and writing and calling friends our fingers can’t go on anymore. For our next gig we should hire The Wrecking Crew. Besides it’s good to check that our Mexican friends never give up. Thank you amigos!
What were the highlights of NYC Popfest for you?
The organizer’s taste was close to ours so it was like fishing in a fishbowl. We enjoyed especially Orca Team, Saturday LGTM, Lisa Bouvier, Pushy Parents, Outerhope, Burning Hearts… The Pooh Sticks rocked harder than anyone else but that was hardly a surprise. God are they tight! As players ourselves the highlight was the audience and the warm reception everybody had from them. As tourists, Brooklyn was a real discovery, the place and the people are so natural and friendly. And meeting personally people you knew by email or music, like Ben from Onward Charits or Roque Cloudberry… I could go on for ages, this week was one of the best of our lives.
How close would you say the lyrics on your English language EP are to the original Spanish?
We were lucky to have Paul Bevoir to do the job. He’s one of the best pop lyricists ever. In “The Dream Of My Life” he mostly translated the original words but in “The Land Where We Can Dance Forever” he did his own development and gave the song a new life, which we liked enough.
What would you say is the best thing about the Barcelona music scene?
This one is easy: the best thing about it is that you can get away without being part of it. We are too much retro for some indies and too much indie for the retro people. We are no bandwagon to any scene. This said, from Barcelona we love MegaAfonía, Doble Pletina and Papá Topo.
Can you tell us about Los Fresones Rebeldes?
We are to some extent LFR under another name. We come from them and are not ashamed in the least about it. Same recipe: songs you can sing, classic Pop handmade with guitars and drums and having fun with it all.
We hear you have a lot of fans in the UK. Why do you think that is?
What can I say about such a lovely wise and discerning audience? They take us at face value, they don’t mind who we are nor where we come from, just come to see us and dance! Same can be said about New Yorkers. I suppose that nobody else is doing our thing right now, for good or bad. And we are not dying to copycat the latest UK/USA indie trend though we may like it.
Who are some of your favorite musicians from the ’60s?
Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Hal Blaine, Brian Wilson… I’m sorry for being too obvious. Let me please include Edwyn Collins and Robert Grima from Los Negativos who taught me some basic guitar tricks which I still use.
You’ve had a lot of line-up changes. What keeps the band together?
Our loyal audience in Spain and abroad, our record label Elefant “EMI of Indie,” and the excitement we still get from our latest songs and weekenders’ life on the road. We still enjoy traveling together, a bit like The Beatles in Help the movie. Almost all ex members are still close friends and would help us if needed.
Where do you guys get all your adorable vintage outfits?
New retro and thrift shops, and keeping an eye to modern collections with classic looks that come out now and then at Zara, H&M, Blanco… whatever suits us ha ha. We were fortunate to be sponsored for a while by El Ganso and Vialis. In our beginning there was no dress code until we noted our audience dressed better and that made us think.
What’s your recipe for the perfect indie pop song?
1 You have to say something nobody said before, in words or music.
2 If you sing sincerely about you, you are singing about everybody else.
3 Make the song easy to sing, like the ones that got you into this business with its ups and downs.
What’s next for Cola Jet Set?
Recording and to the weekend road again! Thank you MTV friends!