I+D Music: Aldo, it’s your turn, we need more info for your PR sheet. Your answers when you get the chance:
When and how was San Leon born? What was your original formation like? And, can you tell us something about the highlights of your career so far?
San Leon: EGM was the first name San Leon adopted back in 2005, moment when I started working with Sofa Experience in Barcelona. I was always a very dedicated singer as well as the one that would grab a guitar at any party and start playing.
Bernat and Wilson gave me the punch I needed to start this project and so we recorded an EP. From that moment on I focused all my energy in looking for the right formation for my band.
Borja and I studied together and he offered his help. Right away the rest of the former members of Extraperlo came on board and that was the moment I decided to go down to Paco Loco’s studio in Cadiz and record the first EGM album.
EGM played at a fair number of festivals including Summercase, a tour with Ian Brown and more or less we played all around the country. The video for “Beautiful” won a few awards…some of them international!
I+D Music: How does San Leon come to mind?
San Leon: SAN LEON comes to mind as soon as I realize that most of the band members were unable to carry on with the project as I wanted it to be, where total dedication was a must. That happened due to two main reasons.
The first was the fact that their own band, Extraperlo, was finally taking off and secondly, it just wasn’t the right people willing to follow and give it all for my ideas.
Slowly but surely we started the change over of the formation. Then we had to think of a brand new name for our band. We wanted something that would strongly link with my own life and more over with the borderline use of sanctity and the beast that exists in many cultures. San Leon (like in the borderline village between France and Spain from where I come from) is a beautiful village in the border of Mexico and the USA. In this little village, people haven’t stopped suffering the constant attack of hurricanes and tornados that have devastated most of the infrastructures as well as the will of their habitants. Despite of this these people always manage to maintain the optimism high as well as the strings of their ‘guitarrones’ tuned, which keeps their moral up against depression. A little bit like my lyrics I believe, right? Life and Death…happy songs wrapped in a dark and viced atmosphere.
I+D Music: Where did you find the perfect elements for San Leon?
San Leon: Arnau Obiols, Miquel Mestres, Jordi Moraleda and Andres Perez formed San Leon together with me.
Arnau -drums- Micky –electric guitar-, Papas - electric guitar - and Jordi -bass- have all played in different bands but always together, and it was a little bit of a lucky strike…First Arnau and Micky came in and then it was Jordi. Papas was our latest addition for our live sets.
I+D Music: What are the main references that gave shape to your identity?
San Leon: Camaron, Ray Barretto, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Fela Kuti, Gainsbourg, Bequer, Kerouac, Rimbaud, Robe Iniesta, Wes Anderson, David Hamilton, Godard and Fritz Lang!
I+D Music: Could you recapture which were the steps (shows, promo, tales worth mentioning) that San Leon keeps in its books?
San Leon: We have made the first free sky dive video in history. From day one we have played in France, UK, USA and Spain. We have also toured around Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina with our acoustic set and have also recorded with the TV Personalities as well as toured around the UK and Spain with them.
I+D Music: What are the plans for San Leon from now on? Meaning whether you are more focused on a new studio album, touring, EPs..?
San Leon: We would like to release an EP on vinyl before the record comes out, a limited run if possible…we want to be on the road, plane or bus and get to every single person all around the world. We want to keep 4 B-Sides to be able to carry on releasing material between album and album…bonus tracks, Itunes exclusive downloads…etc, in other words, count with your support as our label!
We have also just bought a double decker bus, which we intend to use in our tour around Spain.
I+D Music: You have our support and we love the double decker!
Now, Can you tell us more about the album ‘Bits & Pieces’ please? Facts about certain songs, for instance, ‘Love, Speed and Picasso’ is dedicated to your mother, right?
My mother passed away in February and around the same period I lost a few people that were very close to me. Then I decided to launch myself in a trip around South America. The authenticity of the lyrics that make ‘Bits & Pieces’ goes beyond any others from my past works simply due to the fact that I have been spiritually stabbed, what an irony.
This album talks about the people around me…’Love, Speed and Picasso’ talks about my mother, briefs her life in 2 minutes. Talks about tragic deaths. ‘Boxes’ also talks about my mother and all the fucking boxes I had to pack to empty her life off this world. I have also dedicated songs to my broken relationships, a trip to India and how we tend to embrace Eastern culture as a way for salvation. I dedicate a song to my grandmother and her wise advice; ‘Queen & The Golden Rush’. I talk about Clio..the beauty that was at the show, is one of the people I relate to the most in the entire world,’..broken souls broken hearts…short but long life..’ her father was a close friend of Gainsbourg and Truman Capote and always had fascinating stories to tell. I talk about my sister in ‘Witches’, far from her being a witch the title comes from the fact that she was born in Bruges, Belgium. I talk about summer state of mind in ‘Little Words’, of all those little things that make us happy but also bring us down…things that can only be part of the summery hemisphere of our minds, ’..Summer Minds..he finally kissed my girl..’. When a good friend of mine got off with my ex-girlfriend this past Easter and it all became a huge deal..ha ha ha!..but then we all got over it, I forgave’..it was just a kiss but it was the harshest..’. I talk about when we took a cousin of mine to see a hooker, believe me man, he needed it!,’..a Turkish hooker for the kid..’ of the house where I was born and brought up…Little Words.
‘John Doe’ is the metaphor of a lost man, that nameless corpse we all hide deep inside,’..a little John Doe inside us..’ . We all have skeletons hidden in our closet and that is the metaphor of the dark side within us. Many of the lyrics are ways to escape, allegories to the ‘want-to-live-happy-but-its-hard’. ‘Birds’ for instance…’Hysterical Eyes’, a simple love song and in ‘Bubble Song No 2’, where in a sarcastic way I explain how I would love to live between your breasts.
I+D Music: About the recording and making of the album, is there anything you would like to mention, Aldo? Working with Paco Loco and the rest of collaborations and musicians?
San Leon: This production breathes talent out of every pore and this talent comes in the shape of Paco Loco. His way of working with a band can only be defined with a single word and that is LOVE.
Apart from that I will never forget the experience of recording with Dan Treacy, of course..
I+D Music: Thank you Aldo.
San Leon: No, thank you !