El relevo alemán: Additional notes when listening to La séptima extinción

An interview with El relevo alemán


How has the composition process of La séptima extinción been?

JC PEÑA -In fact there are some songs that came out right after we recorded the previous album, five years ago if I’m not mistaken. So, from then on, it’s been quite a long process.

CRISTINA ARROYO -Our former drummer, Zutoia, lives in Berlin and we used to take advantage of the moments when she comes. We recorded about five songs there, then we recorded another two and finished the process, if I remember correctly, last summer.

JC PEÑA -The main peculiarity of this record is that, due to circumstances, four drummers play there: Javier, who is our drummer now, Zutoia, who played with us for a long time, me, who recorded several songs of the album and well, Cristina, who made a percussion there. But that doesn’t take away any kind of coherence from the album, besides it ads a lot of grace to it because each drummer has his own personality.

JAVIER OTONES -I think that in the end what it gives is richness to the record. A whole album with the same person playing, at the end, has an own style that -no matter how dynamic the album is, no matter how dynamic the songs are- you don’t get if you put different people playing the same instrument in different songs. So, I believe it does contribute to it.

What are the songs of La séptima extinción like?

CRISTINA ARROYO -It is an album that I think reflects very well our live, our live concerts, and captures very well the spirit of the band.

JC PEÑA – I think that the songs are a compendium of what we have been doing since the first album, especially since the second one, because it is true that in the first one we were still there looking for a path, a little bit. I think that there are very dark songs. They’re very pop songs -it’s not mainstream of course-, but they are quite… In general I think that what we do is nothing experimental. There is enough melody, it is quite accessible within what we believe that a band of guitars should be, in which the electricity predominates and certain, or enough, forcefulness.

CRISTINA ARROYO – It does not have many artifices because we do not like them either and, as José Carlos said before, it has many edges.

What is the title of the album?

JC PEÑA – The title of the album is a macabre or gloomy joke, which is more macabre and gloomy considering all what we have experienced in recent months. The sixth extinction is supposed to be what is already causing human action in the world right now, in terms of mass extinction of species and such. Then the seventh would be our turn. It is a macabre joke that has been always in the tradition of the group, from the beginning.

What gear or technical configurations have you used to achieve such a sound?

JC PEÑA – Well, for us gear is very important, since the beginning, in large part due to Javier Ortiz and Estudios Brazil’s influence, because that’s where we saw and really appreciated the difference. Then, about guitars, I played basically with this Hiwatt here -it is a Hiwatt of the year 72- and with this Vox here, from year 65. With this, I basically recorded all guitars. It is true that we used in one or in a couple of songs a prehistoric amp: A Gibson from year 47 that I have home. It’s a combo and it also worked very well. About pedals. Actually I only use a Memory Man and some pedals, some fuzz Dwarfcraft that are quite martian and quite extreme. About drums we… if I’m not wrong… Well, the rest will talk about it, right? But as for drums, we recorded with a Premier Signia which Javi has there as well, although it’s not this one and, on the bass, we played with the usual Rickenbacker and an Ampeg B25, I think, which we’ve been recording with lately.

How was the recording of La séptima extinción?

JC PEÑA -We have recorded in Estudio Brazil, in Rivas, Madrid.

JAVIER OTONES – The truth is that I had never been recording in Brazil and the truth is that it was even more comfortable than I expected. Well, both Javi and his team made me feel super comfortable.

CRISTINA ARROYO -Once you’re there, everything goes a smoothly.

JC PEÑA – Because we have a good relationship with Javier Ortiz, who is the owner and the technician. Right now I think that we cannot conceive of El relevo alemán without the relationship that we have with Estudios Brazil and the sound that we have captured in the records. In fact, I can listen to the first album, the second one, and be just as happy as then and that, I believe, is thanks to Javi’s timeless approach to sound.

How do you recommend listening to La séptima extinción?

CRISTINA ARROYO – I think that in each listening, maybe, you can find a different dimension of the group and the sound, but I believe that, in general, the album is quite catchy and it captures quite faithfully what we do live.

JAVIER OTONES – I think it’s an album, knowing what El relevo alemán is about -as we’ve discussed on other occasions-, that is quite accessible.

JC PEÑA – I think it’s an album that has a lot of edges but is generally quite accessible. It has a lot of melodies and it’s true that it has a lot of electricity and a lot of force, otherwise it wouldn’t be us, but I think it’s actually quite melodic in a good way. Obviously we don’t do mainstream music, but I think it’s perfectly enjoyable for anyone who is interested in what alternative rock is, whatever you name it.

CRISTINA ARROYO -I recommend to lock yourself up at home and to enjoy the album at full volume please.