Ibiza is the Homeland Girl of Celtic voodoo. “Fifty percent Argentinian and fifty percent Spanish. The perfect cocktail ”, as she defines it in an interview.
José David Cruz (vocals and guitar) and Luis Iglesias (bass) are half of the Homeland, and Adrian Nievas (guitar) e Carlo Lemmi (drums) the Argentine side of a band that will open in 2023 with shine againhis recording debut.
The Argentines in Spanish rock
A first look at the memory of Argentines in Spanish rock undoubtedly includes to die Already Gathering as pioneers in the 1970s, a Tequila as a link in what was then in the 90s the rodrigueswith Antonio Birante coming and going between the end of the last century and the beginning of this one.
But if we are more specific, and go to Ibiza, the previous list is completed with the adventures of Grandpa Miguel next to its namesake Sing it Already Kubero Diaz even in the seventies, which included a brief stint in prison for the hitmaker as My things.
Nor should the recordings in the Balearic island of discs be forgotten hymn of my heart of Los Abuelos de la Nada, the debut of idiot Y vice slap from The twists and turns; Nor was the legend of DJ Rosario Antonio Fiorito, a pioneer of house and electronic music since the 1980s in the quintessential Mecca of the genre.
The history of Celtic voodoo
The story, of course, begins with the transfer of Carlos and Adrián from Argentina to Spain.
“I arrived about 18 years ago, aged 32, since my father-in-law used to live here and we wanted a change. And we also had all the credentials, ”he says. Carlos, a native of Mar del Plata. “We started from scratch, again. And when I wanted to remember, I rediscovered the path of music on this side of the ocean”.
The way of Hadrian, on the other hand, is more casual. “I have been in Spain since 2005. And I came to Ibiza by chance in 2006, behind a skirt (laughs). The truth is that in Buenos Aires I was not feeling well, and when I left I realized what was happening to me: I can’t stand living in big cities,” he says.
“I came to Europe and have always lived in small towns or small towns. It seems a bit boring at first, but in the end you find peace. I am a working-class-bourgeois person, and coming here was lucky, apart from the fact that I have Spanish family in Pamplona and in San Sebastián: my grandmother had emigrated to Argentina at the time,” she says.
“I love the island of Ibiza, and a few years ago I came across these characters. The love for music united us, and I was able to collaborate on his previous project in some substitution”, completes the guitarist, more than convinced.
the spanish singer
José, for his part, makes everything clear: “I have to clarify that the only Ibizan member of the group is Luis. I’m from Madrid, and has been coming to the island for about seven or eight years. In Madrid I played with different bands, and when I arrived I even started from scratch, because I didn’t know anyone either. Searching, I found a handful of Argentinian musicians, including Carlitos, and we became friends.”
José’s story does not escape the typical tales of how a rock and roll band was formed. “At the beginning they wanted to create a project to make versions of Argentine rock and Spanish rock classics. And with that first group I started to approach Argentine music, and I learned a lot about its rock culture,” he points out.
“We spent a couple of years with this lineup, until about 2018, but then their own songs began to come out, and Carlitos and I wanted to take the leap and continue on that path. Adrián joined, who had already done some collaborations with us, and we went looking for a bass player, which is the hardest jewel to find for any band. We tried several which didn’t fit until Luis appeared to stay.
Y Louis, for his part, completes the story in a concise and graphic way: “Ibiza is a very small place, and we kept tabs on each other: they both knew about my plans and I knew about theirs. Somehow, all of us musicians here form a kind of family to support and help each other.”
the first songs
-When you listen to the Vudú Celta themes that you find on the Internet, you notice influences of a classic American rock that is more popular in Spain than in Argentina, such as Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty.
Joseph: -It’s true. Ultimately, everyone contributes their own influences. The cornerstone when the four of us got together was rock that had Spanish in it, plus we obviously know that Anglo-Saxon rock is the father of everything. But I’m more interested in music in Spanish because of the lyrics that excite me the most. So yeah, the idea was to play in Spanish with that North American influence.
One of the leading groups here of this style, which I don’t know if it is so well known in Argentina, is M Clan, the group of Carlos Tarque. They sing in Spanish but recorded their first album in Memphis to have that American sound. Our path goes like this. But we are open to other sides, since having components that come from the Argentine rock tradition, other nuances open up. In the album, which is not fully released yet, there are parts that for me are similar to Argentine folklore.
-What you say is interesting, because in Spain there are many rock bands who still prefer to sing in English today. And you, from the very beginning, are planted in another place.
Joseph: -What you say is true, but it is something that happens less and less. Although people know other languages, listening to songs in their native language excites them differently.
Luis: -It is easier for what you want to convey to arrive if the channel in which you express yourself is the same on both sides. In Spain there is a lot of music consumed in English but the message is lost: for example if someone says “I like a song by Pearl Jam” I don’t think they are valuing his lyrics. And that’s on top of the fact that English is somewhat easier in terms of rhyming or how it gets a singer to vocalize.
“We have a lot in common with Argentine rock”
-There are two names that stand out in what would be a tradition between Argentine and Spanish rock: Tequila and Los Rodríguez. Do you think Celtic voodoo can sneak in there, in that tradition?
Hadrian: -We’d like!
Joseph: -I feel we have a lot in common with the music that is produced there and could connect with that audience. There is also an interrelation: when we listen to Los Rodríguez there is a similarity. These are themes that have a very traditional seal but with an Argentine imprint.
There’s a group in Spain called Santero y Los Muchachos that takes a lot from Mexican rock and does something that can be found in one place or another. And there are also groups like Leiva or Pereza who stayed with Calamaro and Fito Páez and managed to penetrate Argentina. We hope we can do it.
“Electronics reign here”
-For many, the words Ibiza and music have always been synonymous with electronic music and rave parties. Is that so? What is it like to be a rocker in Ibiza today?
Hadrian: -When I arrived in Ibiza I didn’t know anything about the island, not even its fame. I have to say it has earned a reputation as a party place, and it is well deserved. But there’s another part of Ibiza that you don’t know until you live here. There is a very beautiful area of the countryside, with people more rooted in the countryside than in the party.
And there’s a very bohemian vibe, which is what made Ibiza famous in the 60s and 70s. Then, in the 90s and 2000s, there was this movement towards e-culture. But very famous rockers still live: I have a friend who recently jammed with Robert Plant. But it is true that today rock is less striking and electronics are the masters.
Joseph: -Rock here, even if it has its audience and its space, is more difficult than doing it in the Peninsula. Not just because of the audience, but you have to add the effect of insularity. For example: next year we have a tour planned to play in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, and you have to add the boat or the plane to get to the Peninsula. You have to fight it more.
On the one hand it is good, as it increases the spirit of the group and to move forward. But on the other hand you have to try harder.
Luis: -Electronic music has earned its place and I think the public has nothing to do with it. Even if there were no clubs, I don’t know if Ibiza would be a rockier place. The two or three existing concert halls survive as fast as we survive as a group: out of passion, because they believe in what they do and they like it.
I’m convinced that whoever has the rooms doesn’t keep them because they fill them with gold. These are people who have to plan very well so that attendance is reasonable. But I think no one starts and hangs up an instrument for money or fame, they do it because they feel like they want to learn how to do something, pass something on or just have fun. So because of that altruistic side, there are groups like us.
-I was thinking of a guy like Kevin Ayers, who knew how to live in Ibiza and who made great songs but didn’t have the sales and industry recognition for his talent.
Luis: -There is a feeling of people related to art who have set foot in Ibiza and heard something and stayed here. Sometimes as a retreat, like seeing life in a different way, with another rhythm of life, more tiring. There are many things here that you take for normal and then, when you see them from another place, you evaluate them very differently.
Joseph: -In Madrid, for example, they drive at a different speed, with a different vortex.
– This year is over. What are Celtic Voodoo’s plans for 2023?
Joseph: -As I told you, we have a recorded album that hasn’t come out in its entirety yet. We have released two singles to show little by little what we have recorded, and we will release two more before the end of the year. And the full album is out in January, so 2023 will be the year to showcase and champion that album. In the end, it’s a wheel that never stops.