July 26, 2016

Image Credit: Marina de Luis

We caught up with Victor and Alex from Barcelona-based band, Acción Diplomática ahead of their set at our next UO Live event at Urban Outfitters Barcelona. We chat Prince Greatest Hits, the diverse music scene in Barcelona and pre-performance routines.

How did you first decide to form Acción Diplomática?

Víctor: It started as my solo project. It began last year after I finished touring with Ciudad Lineal, another band I used to play in. Alex recorded the guitar from ‘La Piedra Blanca’, a song that appeared in AD’s first reference. We prepared a couple of shows together and eventually he became a band member.

Alex: At first it was really interesting to collaborate with Víctor given the contrast that came from introducing guitars to an industrial soundscape. It gave me a lot of freedom so it was easy to go on with the process.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up and how has that influenced your sound now?

Alex: I don’t know if it had a real influence on me, but my first records were a Prince Greatest Hits, a U2 Greatest Hits (80-90, the good ones) and a Queen Greatest Hits.

Víctor: I used to listen to cds from my father’s collection that really got stuck in my head. ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ from Pink Floyd for example. I remember buying ‘Revolver’ from The Beatles as one of my first cds. Later I bought some hardcore and post-hardcore records and started to listen to some other stuff.

What do you love about the music scene in Barcelona?

Alex: I think it is a very diverse scene: it’s not limited to one style. There’s lots of good music of different styles. Not everything is good but there are plenty of great musicians here.

Víctor: I agree. The bands or projects I like the most are the ones that try to push the boundaries of a genre or a style, usually embracing diverse influences. We operate freely, not linking ourselves with anything permanent.

What’s your favourite show you’ve played to date?

Víctor: I really enjoyed our first show together as a band on Dead Moon’s Record Store 2nd Anniversary.

Alex: Yes, it was great to see how the songs worked live after all the work we did together in the rehearsal space.

Do you have a pre-performance routine?

Alex: I drink a Ginger Ale before all of my performances.

Víctor: I usually smoke a lot.

What are your musical influences?

Víctor: Brian Eno.

Alex: Nick Drake.

What’s the best live show you’ve ever seen?

Víctor: There’s hundreds of shows that come to my head but I remember seeing Nick Cave playing “Push the Sky Away” a couple of years ago as a beautiful moment. And of course, my first hardcore show: Tribute to Nothing, a band from the UK, when I was a teenager.

Alex: If I have to choose I’ll probably go with My Bloody Valentine and Neil Young. And in my teenage years I went to see Wolf Parade two consecutive days while I was in L.A.

Do you have a creative process – if so can you walk us through from initial idea to finished track?

Víctor: I usually come up with a riff, a beat or a melodic idea. I go to the rehearsal space and try to put some vocals in an automatic-writing way. Intuition brings you surprises from time to time.

Alex: I usually enter after that process. Once Víctor has something to work with I start to add some parts that could fit in. In that process we usually rework some structural parts, nothing is completely final until we put things together.

What is the most rewarding thing about being in music?

Alex: Playing music itself I think. Creating something from nothing.

Víctor: Meeting people. Smoking cigarettes in fancy places.

What’s next for Acción Diplomática?

Alex: We are preparing an LP that will come out at the beginning of 2017.