We Are Standard hail from sunny Getxo, a town located in the North of Spain. Having gained a dedicated following on home shores the band have decided to venture into the murky waters of the UK music scene with their up-beat indie post-punk sounds! Deu from the band caught up with Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby via e mail and discussed the groups latest self titled album, working with Andy Gill and how the band name ‘We Are Standard’ is linked to football…
Cat On The Wall: ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? Some of our readers have yet to discover We Are Standard. Can you tell us about yourselves? How did you meet? Is there a story behind the name We Are Standard?
Deu: We started off when we finished our studies in Pamplona, Juan, Londonboy, Bruno, who left the band soon after, and me, Deu. We got back to our hometown, Bilbao and we decided to start a new band, mixing rock and roll with dance elements, such as the use of two sets of drums to achieve new rhythms or rhythms that could be closer to a dance beat. The story of the name is that when we were finishing our first demo and we still didn’t have a name, that night, our team, Athletic Club Bilbao won 1-7 against Standard de Liege, in Belgium, so we adopted that name as a memory and a tribute to our football team.
COTW: You worked with Andy Gill on your new album. What was it like to work with him in the studio and how did this collaboration come about?
Deu: We called him and invited him to come to Bilbao and watch one of our gigs in the fiestas of Bilbao. The day after we went to have lunch and by the end of the lunch, we were already planning the recording sessions. Everything went pretty easy and Andy came 3 times to Bilbao before us going to London to pre-produce and help us with the finishing touches of the songs. We learned many things with Andy. He helped us with the lyrics, the melodies and recorded the drums like in the 80’s, every drum element recorded separately. He is one of our heroes and we loved to work with him. We spent almost 8 months recording it, so it when through hard times, but we’re happy with the result. London is a great city to record, very inspiring.
COTW: When composing songs, what’s your creative process as a band? Do you have separate roles or do the songs just evolve?
Deu: We all bring songs that evolve together in the rehearsal room. But sometimes we just jam together and record everything we play. We listen to it after and choose the best bits to play them again and start to build up the song, repeating the process until we get the song finished.
COTW: What inspires you creatively?
Deu: Other bands (from The Beatles to Nirvana, from Neu! to LCD Soundsystem, from Johnny Cash to Nick Cave), art, architecture, fiesta, the sunlight, good times, cities, our lives…
COTW: When did you first get into music? What was the first record you bought?
Deu: I started playing quite late, when I was 17, and suddenly everything became music, all I saw was music, all I wanted was music.
My first connection with music happened when I went for a summer to England, I was 11 and the kids in the farm that I was living played Michael Jackson’s Thriller all the time, so I recorded it on a tape and brought it back to Bilbao. That’s when I started to listen to music. After that lots of punk music, Bilbao was an industrial city falling apart in the 80s and it looked like a punk city from northern England. Besides, there were many punk bands around in those days, to mention La Polla Records, Kortatu, Hertzainak and MCD. This is not the sunny side of Spain.
COTW: Is the live performance important to you? How do you know when you’ve had a good gig?
Deu: The gigs are the most important act for us. We like to record, but the gigs a pure joy and that’s how we celebrate them. It’s a fiesta for us. We like the people to join in and party with us, so much that many times we tell the audience to come on stage to dance with us, but not just 3 or 4, I’m talking about the stage full of people dancing and playing our instruments. We like it when it gets crazy. And that’s how you know if the gig’s gone well, you have to see the audience get wild. That’s a good gig for us.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
Deu: We’d like to tour in the UK and the album is coming out now in Japan too, so why not a Japan tour too? We’re also making new songs for the third album and we got many gigs in Spain, so… we got a lot of things to do!!