"We wanted to create an album that celebrated people who added to mankind" – hmv.com talks to Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rodrigo y Gabriela are a duo unlike any other. Despite releasing entirely instrumental records, they've sold well over one million albums worldwide and play to sell out crowds all over the place.
Their fourth album 9 Dead Alive is their second concept record, with each of the album's nine tracks dedicated to, in their words "individuals who have passed on, but through their deeds and words still resonate in the 21st century". These include the likes of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Eleanor of Aquitane and Spanish guitarist Antonio de Torres Jurado.
We spoke to mainman Rodrigo Sanchez to find out all about it.
So your new album 9 Dead Alive is about to come out, when did you record it?
"We recorded it in October, right after we did our last big tour. We've had a few months to put it all together, a good break."
Was it a long recording process?
"We didn't spend long, 15 days in all I think, the mixing was in Los Angeles, that took a bit longer because I live in Barcelona and Gabriela lives in Mexico, so I was there, she was in Mexico and the record was being mixed in L.A."
This is your first studio album since 2009, what has kept you from releasing something in mean time?
"Yes, but we did a lot of other stuff in the meantime, we toured, we did some music for films, we did some shows with orchestras, we kept busy."
As with 2009's 11:11, you've dedicated each track to a different person, but it's a bit different this time right? Each track is personal celebration of a person who has passed away...
"Yeah, we wanted to share something valuable, we wanted to create an album that celebrated people who added to mankind. People who have really changed things, we wanted to celebrate them."
How did you go about picking the people?
"We divided it, I picked four men, Gabriela picked four women and we left one to pick between us. We both had a big long list, because obviously there's a lot of people to choose from, we tried not to choose obvious people, people who most guys already know, people who aren't necessarily famous outside their own lands."
It's a rockier record, was that a conscious decision? Was that the sound you were going for?
"Absolutely, we didn't want to repeat ourselves, we wanted to progress. We went with rock riffs instead of latino riffs and I tried to come up with ideas that would be compatible with Gabriela's strumming."
What's the plan for the rest of the year?
"We've got 18 months of touring, first in the States, then in Europe, we'll be on tour there for the rest of the year, then Australia and Eastern Europe and all around the world."
Are there any places you particularly look forward to playing?
"South America, I'm looking forward to going to Brazil. We also want to keep playing to new people, to go to new places in Europe, we want to get to as many places as we can."
Rodrigo y Gabriela's new album 9 Dead Alive will be released on Monday in hmv stores across the country.