San José, Costa Rica based new wave / post-punk 3-piece Caídas Libres, comprised of Mau Salas, Jose Solís and Bruno Cubero are on the verge of dropping their self-released debut album “Afuera y vacío”, a special day that will forever remain indelibly etched into their heart and memory. Check it out!
Thanks so much for the interview. Let’s start from the band’s early origins, what was the trigger for you to be a musician and start a band? how did you meet?
Mau: We have always been music fans and had this need to get involved in creative outlets. I met Bruno in high school and then met Jose at university. Many years passed before forming the band, although since we met we shared a common interest in music and used to talk about making something together.
Your early influences and inspirations and how did you come up with your name.
Bruno: In the past, we’ve had a very broad taste in music and defining our sound has been a process. The name of the band came from a lyric in one of our early songs wrote by Mau.
How is your approach to the song composition?
We have tried different ways to write songs, in the past we would jam for hours with no clear goal but now we have realized that if one person works alone on an initial idea it turns out way better.
How the songwriting process is divided between you three?
Bruno: Most of the time we would already have a demo of an idea (might include a basic rhythm, bass, synth and vocal melody) that is done individually by either me or Mau. Then we bring the demo to the rehearsal and go from there.
How important are the lyrics for you? Is it an outlet to creatively channel, in a cathartic way, your inner personal inner struggles and emotions or draws also from external sources?
They generally come at the end of the process of the song. In our lyrics, we deal with personal experiences and our point of view of different aspects of this chaotic society.
How much important and influential is and has been your background, San Josè, for your artistic development? Do you think there’s a Latin flair in your music?
Mau: San José can be considered an influence to a certain degree, but we don’t feel to be a direct motivation for the band. On the last couple of years, I have been travelling to another province (Guanacaste) due to work and this commuting has put San José in a new perspective. You learn to appreciate its density, more or less its daily mess, its cultural scene. Definitely, there is not a Latin flair in our music, save for the Spanish lyrics.
The most observant could know Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos, Telenoia, Last Dusk, Queridos Edificios, TVMVLVS TABIDVS and the, unfortunately, disbanded Desorden Siniestro… Is there any alternative music scene and a sort of community between bands/artists? Any tips about new local bands?
There is a clearly defined scene but due to the small population in our country, there is a very reduced circle of bands. Most of the scene is located in San José but there are some bands outside the city. Bands from other areas such as Cartago and Alajuela work tight in their own communities, but sadly they have played here to get more recognition.
Why your fatal attraction for the ‘Música oscura’ ? How your post-punk sound is developed over the years?
In the beginning, we didn’t get much into the post-punk sound but after a while, we realized that many bands we were listening to were from this scene (or were influenced by the genre), so we started feeling more comfortable playing it. We guess the dark aspect of music gives us more ways to explore closer themes to us.
What do you think of the resurgence in the last few years of a great number of bands related to the gothic dark sound of the ’80s?
It’s great that many concepts from the past are being explored in a new way, and we are excited about hearing new bands taking these themes and go a little further every year.
Do you draw on, or are you influenced by, any non-musical cultural resources (eg films, literature, visual art) in your creative process?
Bruno: We love films, we have used some samples of movie dialogues such as ‘Possession’ or ‘The Lobster’ in our gigs in the past. We also like design, literature, bits of everything that have helped us become more critical of our own compositions.
Are you open to collaborations? With which artists/musicians would you like/dream to collaborate?
Brian Eno would be our ultimate goal! But more related to us would be to collaborate with The Soft Moon and anything MJ Dunphe (ex CC Dust) is working on.
What are your favourite other bands/artists’ songs you’d like to re-interpret live or in the studio?
We like many songs but would love to play ‘Worship’ from A place to bury strangers.
Your album is finally going to be released. What were its origins, influences and developments that led to the final result?
Since we started the band we wanted to make a full album, so we talked about it since late 2017 but didn’t have a clear direction then. We set a goal to write enough songs with a deadline in mind and then we chose the best ones. Even though we hadn’t finished writing all songs, we started recording in August 2018. During the recording process, we finished some of the songs that were still incomplete.
Did you have an all-encompassing vibe/theme you wanted to portray with this release? Please, can you give us a deep insight into the album?
We wanted to maintain a dark theme throughout the album so we actually discarded some older songs and even reworked one as old as from 2016 to fit this vision. This was a fun process for us and became part of an interesting exercise. We didn’t use synths in the past until the writing process for this album.
What about your live experiences so far, what do you enjoy most about performing live? Can you remember your 1st gig as a band and your highlights so far?
We have played both clubs and house shows, and we have felt very comfortable in house shows, having people very close and that sense of communication is very valuable for us. Our first gig was in April 2017 actually in a small venue and the sound guy was great, so it helped our confidence. We really enjoyed it. Also one of our best gigs was to be openers for Lust Era. They sounded great and they were also awesome people to hang with.
Which are your current favourite artists/bands?
Besides the ones we already mentioned, there are Kaelan Mikla, Pinocchio, This Heat, Cruz de Navajas and Spellling.
Are you planning to release the album in some physical format?
Yes, we will definitively release it on cassette and are also looking at options to release it on vinyl in the near future, since it’s quite expensive for us.
Many thanks for being our welcome guest, just the usual question about your near, future plans and possible goals.
We haven’t played outside of Costa Rica so we want to tour elsewhere, in North and South America, and Europe. Also, we have planned to release a couple of videos to support this album and also very eager to write new music. Actually, we already have a couple of new ideas to work on.
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