Linda Guilala: the scintillating Noise Pop from sunny Spain

Linda Guilala: the scintillating Noise Pop from sunny Spain

If you’ve recently discovered the shoegaze/dreampop band Linda Guilala, you’ve probably wondered where the band’ name originated.

The Guilala is a monster of a 1967 Japanese Godzilla style film called The X from the Outer Space. The Guilala is a large gray bug-like creature was given the name, Linda, “ because it sounded good for us.”

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You’ll find that the band often make choices that are good for them, and as a result we see music that is carefully crafted and created.

Follow me to discover the band, their history, to listen to their beautiful music and many other information about hem..


TRAVEL WITH US TO MEET THE BAND AND THEIR MUSIC

As you progress through their discography, their evolution is notable. But what sets Linda Guilala apart from other bands in their strong beginning, and their ability sustain the creation of constant pleasing music.

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The usual progression that we see with bands is a average start, then approaches a climax, and then dwindling down as artists begin to experiment with sounds that might not work for them. Often bands have difficulty evolving whilst experimenting with new sounds; often the product is not cohesive or often unlistenable.

Experimentation is difficult, because success is not always ensured. This idea is at the essential meaning behind the word and action of experimentation, failure is always a possibility. Just like scientists can fail in their own methodical experiments, musicians can also experience the same phenomena.

As a result of this, I have found that I find it difficult to be satiated and fulfilled by all of an artist's discography. Often as their style develops they may move away from a sound that worked best for them.

This is not the case with Linda Guilala. As you take a tour through their discography there are no disappointments, throwaway, experimental failures, or filler songs. They are able to successfully able to experiment with different sounds from their favorite genres, taking their favorite pieces from each and combining them to make a beautiful amalgam of pop melodies and fuzzy guitar.

You would think that the band has some type of formula that ensures a superior product. But quite the opposite, as they state, “Ivan uses to write the lyrics and Eva uses to write the music and melodies but we don't have a unique process in composing songs.”

I think that the band has been able to produce all of these quality tracks for various reasons, first most obvious, their sheer talent and musical acuity.

This individual passion and talent are the parts of the equation that have ensured their quality music. But above all, they make music that they themselves enjoy,“ We don´t think too much about the audience, the most important for us is that we like our songs so we are little selfish on that.” They want to make music that they enjoy listening to and in addition the band knows how to make mistakes, and quickly corrects them.

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I spoke with Eva about the band’s recent experience with trial and error. Usually the band composed, records, and produces all of their songs in their home studio. In their 2009 Album, they worked with a professional studio and they were not pleased, “our experience was so bad and surrealist that we decided that we would record all our future works by ourselves.”

Eva told me that the experience was anything but professional, and almost everything that could go wrong, went wrong. She describes the time spent recording here “exhausting,” and she elaborates,

“The truth is that it was a so exhausting experience for us that when we had finished the album we decided not to record in a "professional" studio anymore. When we were able to get all the tracks together we sent them to JM Rosillo who finally managed to mixed them the best he can and we are very grateful for his work. We know that all of this is not usual but it was our experience and we don't like to repeat it again. So the positive side is that it helped us to work by ourselves and to learn many many things.”

Ultimately the experience brought the band has learned a great deal from trial and error, and ultimately this has made their music better.

I love the band’s unique style that has been influenced by all of the traditions of my favorite genres, as they stated in our interview,“We really love many shoegaze bands but we also love post- punk, 80s electronic music, C86 indie pop, [and] 60s psychedellia.”

All of these influences are evident in their stylistically driven work. They combine these traditional sounds with this own unique blends of fuzzy reverb and ethereal vocals. Their constantly evolving style seems begins in 2010 with the album Bucles Infinitos, evidently influenced by C86 tradition.

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Their older music has more of that sort of classic upbeat jangle bounce often juxtaposed against melancholy lyrics. Take for example a song from their first album, a song called, “Sudando Soledad,” which means “Sweating Solitude.” The song is light and airy with pop beats in a major key. But the lyrics are anything but light, happy or airy.

When Eva sings, “Pija de mierda no me dejabas llorar, estabas enferma, y me querías contagiar,” she is singing “you piece of shit dick, you won’t let me cry, you were sick, and you want me infected.” When the band describes this album you get the feeling that they feel as though this was not their most memorable work, as they can’t remember much of the process in their own opinion they said,

“We started to make songs together at the end of 2005 when we were in another band called Juniper Moon, so when this band split we continued working on new songs and we recorded and mixed two demos at home which included most of the songs of this first album.

It was released in 2009 so you can imagine that it was a very, very long and tricky journey for us. We had a lot of problems with the recording sessions and other issues external to the band that made the whole process hard. So we don't have a good memory about this album and I think that it is reflected in some way on the songs.”

They may not have a great memory of the process, but through the obstacles they were able to produce such an enjoyable debut album that had great audience and media approval. This fuelled their confidence and desire to continue,

“[this] gave us some positive energy and make the things a bit easier to keep on working on new songs.”

They followed this first album with the EP Paranormal. They continued to experiment with their sound evoking otherworldly vibes with the 2011 Paranormal EP.

“When we recorded this EP the band was just Ivan and me and we continue making songs at home with lots of virtual instruments. This time we would like to reach a noisier sound. We wanted to mixed drum machine sounds with noisy guitars and vintage organs and keyboards. It was recorded and mixed completely at our home studio.

It is in some way a thematic EP with four songs, the lyrics are about feelings but with a sci-fi approach using images of terror and paranormal themes.”

They took a bit of a break and returned in 2014 with the fuzzy album Xeristar. This album falls back on shoegaze tradition, incorporating more hazy guitar as opposed to the airy jangle of their earlier albums. On this album the band changed their usual song writing from focusing on the studio sound to the live sound.

They elaborate, “We used to write the songs at home and then played them live, but now we composed thinking also on the gigs and how we would like to sound live.” The emphasis on the live music still translates well to the studio recording, with the retro hazy guitar and retro melodies.

Their album that followed in 2016, Psychonautics is more of a conceptual album with various interludes between the 20 track album. This album appeals to the audience not only with the music, with the emotive lyrics. The band describes this album as such,

It is a twenty track album but half of the tracks are interludes that connect the songs. We had been working on the main songs for a long time and after recording and mixing them we built the whole album working a lot at our studio with the different loops, noises and instrumental parts.

Then, when all the music was finished, I started to work on the artwork. We tried to do an experimental and more conceptual album, like we were on a trip through all our feelings and worries, like a recovery journey from all the fears, traumas and disturbing experiences that we have lived.

In that continuous journey there is barely a second of silence, not even between tracks so it is an album created to be listened from beginning to the end as a whole work.

You can hear their use of experimentation with various sounds during these interludes between tracks. Each interlude is a segue into each carefully constructed track.

Their most recent release is their two track single Primavera Negra, which means “Black Spring.” Their juxtaposition in their album title translates to the music as well. The continue with their airy retro melodies, and they delve more deep into the pedal heavy distortion of classic shoegaze.

In the interview when asked for some of their favourite band recommendations, their answers speak volumes to their influences, “Arista Fiera, Hooray for humans, Dois, Kokoschka, Cala Vento, Martes Niebla, Monte Terror among many others.”

Right now we the band is composed of:

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  • Eva (vocals and keyboard),

  • Ivan (drums)

  • Mari (guitar)

They stated that they don't have plans to change the band composition. As for the structure of the band Eva does the mixing, Ivan writes most of the lyrics, Xavi Alarcon is the responsible for the mastering process of our last album and singles.

When asked about their unconventional song writing the band replied, “We don´t think too much about the audience, the most important for us is that we like our songs so we are little selfish on that.”

Linda Guilala please continue to be selfish and gratify your own ears because you all clearly have high standards for your music.

THEIR INTERVIEW

The Band

Noise Artists (NA): Where are you from? Where are you living now?

“Ivan is from Ponferrada and Eva is from Ourense and we are living in Vigo, Galicia, in the North-west of Spain. Now Mari is playing the guitar with us, she is from Pontevedra.”

NA: What is your day job at present if any?

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  • Ivan: Handyman

  • Eva: Music







NA: Do you dream to live from your music or is it a passion you do not want to spend your full time on?

“We know it is very difficult, we´d love to live from our music but it is our passion too.”

NA: Could you tell me how the band meet and decided to do music together?

“We were in a band called Juniper Moon. When it split off Ivan and I were living together and we started to make songs together and that is the beginning of the band.”

NA: Can you tell me the inspiration behind your band? You can detect the influences of shoegaze and have a very unique sound. You took all these influences to make your own music, your own sound, which is not easy. Could you tell more?

“We really love many shoegazer bands but we also love post- punk, 80s electronic music, C-86 indiepop, 60s psychedellia.”

 

NA: Was there a vision of sorts or did you know what you wanted to do when you started up?

“We just started to write songs because we love to make and play music.”

NA: Do you have any other musical side projects apart from this band?

“Not at this moment.”

NA: Could you tell me more on the band composition? Do you have plans to add new members, or is there possible departure scheduled from existing band members?

“Right now we are Eva (vocals and keyboard) Ivan (drums) and Mari (guitar) and we don´t have plans to change the band composition.”

The Creative process

NA: Who writes the song and the music and how do you get to the final song? Is it a community process, do you have leaders in composing or arranging music?

“Ivan uses to write the lyrics and Eva uses to write the music and melodies but we don´t have a unique process in composing songs.”


NA: Do you listen to the advice of your band mates? What would you do if they said a song was shit but you liked it?

“Yes, we listen to the advice of each other. If there are different opinions we try to reach a common or comfortable position to all of us.”


NA: There’s a degree of unconventional song writing with you guys. Was it kind of intimidating going to record knowing people might not be engaging with the songs in terms of hooks and such and trying to deliver an engaging sound on record?

“We don´t think too much about the audience, the most important for us is that we like our songs so we are little selfish on that...”


NA: Talking about the lyrics: who write them? Is there a common thread in them, a theme?

“Ivan writes most part of the lyrics. We don´t have a common thread but they are usually very personal. As more personal, more universal they are.”


NA: Do you labour over your lyrics? Is that something that comes easy?

“We use to work hard on them, but sometimes is easier.”


NA: Do you have a message that you want to get across in your music? If so, what are some of the messages you want to spread?

“We use talk about our feelings and worries at the time that we write our songs, so most of them are somehow autobiographical.”


NA: Did your listening habits changed over the years and does it affect what you write?

“Of course they have changed, right now we are listening to more electronic music. We love to include many different styles and influences on our music.”


NA: How is your recognition going worldwide? Is it growing? Are you happy with it?

“I think we have more and more fans with the years. We work very hard on our songs and our live sound so we are very, very happy that all this work is reflected in a growing audience.”


The path to music

NA: Is it easy to find producers and studios where you lived for indie-rock?

“Sure, there are a few studios and producers but maybe they are more rock than indie...”

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NA: Your recorded sound is very good, which is not easy. Did you engineer the sound yourself, or did you have a sound engineer with you? If yes could you tell us more about him/her?

“We compose, record and produce our songs, Eva do the mixing. Xavi Alarcon is the responsible for the mastering process of our last album and singles.”


NA: Was it a community work to try to have the best sounding music possible or mainly driven by the sound engineer or by the band?

“We all try to have the best sounding music possible but sometimes is more difficult than others.”

NA: Can you tell us how the recording process was?

“We try to work as much as possible on the songs before recording them. We prefer to have everything clear before starting to record a song.”


NA: Could you let us know some important technical tricks you learnt during the process that could help other musicians not as experienced?

“Technical tricks are important and often help a lot but it is also important to try different unconventional things that can work to you because every band and sound is very different.”


NA: How did the recording work differ over time?

“We always try to improve our sound and we use to try different techniques in each recording and so we know what we must and mustn’t do.”


NA: Is the recording material yours when you are out of a studio or do you borrow/rent it?

“Yes, the material is ours, we record our songs at our home studio.”


NA: Any interesting anecdotes on some recording session you would like to share?

“We recorded our fist album in a “professional” studio, our experience was so bad and sub realist that we decided that we would record all our future works by ourselves...”


NA: Did getting the live experience across on record create any pressure for yourselves in the recording process?

“We try to compose thinking about playing songs live, but we don´t mind to record a few songs that would be tricky or impossible to play live.”


NA: Instruments: are you mainly a Fender band? Could you tell me what inspire you to use fenders rather than other brands?

“We are not a fender band at all. Right now Eva plays a keyboard through a Fender amp but she used to do it through an Epiphone or a Farfisa amp and now Mari plays a Fender guitar through a Roland JC amp but she also played a Squire guitar before. Though the standard Fender sound can sound really good, we prefer to find a more personal sound.”


NA: A question for a future paper I have in mind: if you use often a Fender Jaguar, could you tell me more about what makes it good to play (sound, neck, …). I find there are lot of noise artists that are using this guitar and I am interested to know why.

“I think that there can be different reasons to choose a Fender, it is a reliable brand, their material use to be solid and sound good. And there is an aesthetic part, though is not so important it also matters.”


NA: Do you have one favourite instrument or do you change often?

“We all have instruments that we can play better than others but we love to experiment different things on that instruments.”


NA: Tell us what you are looking when trying to achieve your sounds? Do you experiment a lot or have a clear idea of what you want?

“We love to experiment and find different sounds on each of our instruments.”


NA: Who is the more knowledgeable with pedals? You use them a lot, to great effect.

Sure, we don´t mind to use lots of pedals on the guitar and keyboard to reach the sound we like.”


NA: How many concerts a year would you do on average and what would be the size of the venue?

“I don´t really know how many but we do big and small venues, festivals.. We just love to play!”


NA: What are some places around the world that you hope to take your band? Do you have any plans at present to tour in other countries?

“We would love to go back to Germany, UK, Italy and Portugal. We would love to play in many countries as we can, we´d really love to tour all over Europe, America, USA and Japan. Who knows, maybe someday...”


NA: Is there any reason in particular that you want to go to these places? Is there something about dream pop/shoegaze in those places that makes you want to go there?

“Yes, there are great Shoegazer bands in many different countries and thanks to globalization we have fans all over the world and we love to travel and play.”

 

The Scene

NA: Spanish Shoegazing is not very well known internationally. Could you tell us more about it?

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“There were Spanish shoegaze bands since the 90s, Penelope Trip or Mercromina are great examples.”


NA: Is it easy for a Spain indie bands to be known internationally? Do you have any example?

“It is very difficult, even more singing in Spanish.”




NA: Has the scene changed since you began, and if so how?

“Yes, it has changed a lot, the audience, the conditions for the bands, the record sales... everything is changing continuously.”


NA: Is there any band(s) you want to recommend in the indie/shoegaze/post-rock genres (or other) from Spain (the more the better)?

“Arista Fiera, Hooray for humans, Dois, Kokoschka, Cala Vento, Martes Niebla, Monte Terror among many others.”

 

Economics

NA: Could you tell us a bit more about your record label and your relationship with it?

“Our records label is Elefant Records, they are a wonderful label and lovely people!”

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NA: How did the funding worked for the LP? Did you invest a lot yourself? Was your label supportive in that respect?

“We recorded our music but our records label support us editing our albums and singles.”


NA: Do you make a decent revenue from your music or is it still very much a hobby?

“It is still a hobby.”


NA: How do you sell your recordings (shops, online, …)?

“Our records label has worldwide distribution so we are lucky and we can sell them in many records stores and also online.”

The Future

NA: What is the next album due?

“We are working on new songs, we don´t know the release date or format yet.”


NA: Any other project (ie movies soundtrack, …) or plans

“No, at this moment we are just working on the new material of Linda Guilala.”


NA: Do you plan to continue music for a long time or are you tired of it?

“We would like to continue for a long time but you never know...”


Other

NA: Anything else you want the reader to know?

“Thanks a lot for the support. Hope to meet you all in our gigs!”

 

Other bands

Provide some bands from your country, that would be worthwhile listening.

Penelope Trip, Mercromina, Manta Ray, Automatics, Arista Fiera, Hooray for humans, Dois, Kokoschka, Cala Vento, Martes niebla, Monte Terror, Berlina...

 

WHAT is your music about?

Could you tell us what you music is about, what you want to do with it, …?

 It is about our feelings, emotions and worries. We just want to learn something new everyday.



Musical Work

Linda Guilala musical work to date is:

Mucho Mejor, Single, June 2018

Primavera Negra, EP, January 2018

“It is two track single with a lees noisy sound and more dreampop and ambient atmospheres.

“Primavera negra” is the A side and the lyrics are about how to manage the feeling of happiness when all the circunstances around you are not the most favorable ones.

“Ausencia es presencia” is the B side and it is about the universal feeling of wishing to vanish or dissapear and how sometimes the absence or lack of someone is even more important than his presence.”

Psiconáutica, Album, June 2016

“It is a twenty track album but half of the tracks are interludes that connect the songs. We had been working on the main songs for a long time and after recording and mixing them we built the whole album working a lot at our studio with the different loops, noises and instrumental parts.

Then, when all the music was finished, I started to work on the artwork. We tried to do an experimental and more conceptual album, like we were on a trip through all our feelings and worries, like a recovery journey from all the fears, traumas and disturbing experiences that we have lived.

In that continuous journey there is barely a second of silence, not even between tracks so it is an album created to be listened from beginning to the end as a whole work.”

Xeristar, Mini album, March 2014

“It is a six track mini-LP with real intense drums, tons of feedback and thundering guitars, retro keyboards and pop melodies. It was recorded and mixed at our home studio, but with this album we started a different way of composing the songs for the band. We used to write the songs at home and then played them live, but now we composed thinking also on the gigs and how we would like to sound live.

Lo siento mucho” was the first single of this album and it is about the inescapable and endless bad fellings that somethings can do to us and although we try hard we will never feel better:

Lo siento mucho (I am so sorry)
No te quiero engañar (I do not want to deceive you)
No va a pasar (It will not go away)
Va a dolerte siempre (It will always hurt you)
Lo siento mucho (I am so sorry)
No te dicen la verdad (They do not tell you the truth)
No va a pasar (It will not go away)
Va a dolerte siempre (It will always hurt you)

Paranormal, EP, December 2011

“Yeti”
It deals with the loneliness and the cold:
Y que nadie sepa si existes en realidad (And nobody knows if you are real )
para que nadie pueda hacerte daño nunca mas (so no one can ever hurt you again ...)
Con el hielo y con la nieve es mucho mejor (With the ice and the snow everything is much better)
Es mucho mejor, protegerse el corazon (It is much better to protect your heart)

“Un Millon de Zombies Mas”
It deals with the feeling of alienation and loneliness in the middle of a crowd:
Todos los dias son tan iguales (Every day is the same)
Siento el vacio un poco mas grande (I feel the emptiness a little bigger)
Sigo buscando algo (I am still looking for something)
que pueda calmar mi ansiedad (that can calm my anxiety)
Camino sin rumbo a ninguna parte (I walk aimlessly to nowhere)
Visito otra vez los mismos lugares (I visit again the same places)
Yo no he elegido ser otra zombie mas (I have not chosen to be another zombie)
perdida en la ciudad (lost in the city)
con quinientos zombies mas (with five hundred more zombies)
en el centro comercial (in the shopping center)
Lo sabes bien, tu eres igual (You know it well, you're the same)
otro zombie mas (another zombie more)
Lo sabes bien que solo estas (You know perfectly well that you are alone)
con un millon de zombis mas (with a million more zombies)

Bucles Infinitos, Album, October 2009

“We started to make songs together at the end of 2005 when we were in another band called Juniper Moon, so when this band split we continued working on new songs and we recorded and mixed two demos at home which included most of the songs of this first album. It was released in 2009 so you can imagine that it was a very, very long and tricky journey for us. We had a lot of problems with the recording sessions and other issues external to the band that made the whole process hard. So we don´t have a good memory about this album and I think that it is reflected in some way on the songs...


We had recorded and played almost all the instruments because the songs of the demos were made with lots of virtual instruments and we would like to give the songs a more natural feeling.
Finally our first single was “Nadie se dara cuenta”. It was well received by the audience and the media so this give us some positive energy and make the things a bit easier to keep on working on new songs.”

 

More about the Band


Where can people buy their music

Bandcamp

iTunes

 

Some good videos to watch

MV Linda Guilala 

You Tube

Vimeo


Their presence on the web

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Their blogspot: History

Concerts

Thanks to

“Thanks to all the people who support us in any way.”

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