STATUAS D SAL : one of the most representative bands in the history of Balearic rock.
Ibiza is known worldwide as the Music Island.
It is not just the presence of international DJs, clubs and conventions that set the trend of global nightlife. Ibiza is an island of music from the 70’s because there is an active culture of live music, and the musicians are active. Not long ago this action took place only in a few small venues on the island. Away from the flashes, in the deeper side of Ibiza, the ibicencan Ibiza. Now, in recent years, live music is also present in the music culture of the main stream Ibiza, the one on the front pages, the turistic one made for the clubbers.
With so many music production studios (the talk is 400), with independent record labels, with all these native and adopted musicians, the music Academy, music schools, all those villages putting on concerts throughout the year, so many music events … With all that, Ibiza deserves the title of lsland of Music.
When I became aware of this artistic reality I loved the deep side of the island even more. It inspired me to give form to this space for writing and also to dedicate it to the musicians from Ibiza: IBIZA EN VIVO. To inaugurate this space I take the most expected summer concert. The farewell concert of the ibicencan band Statuas D Sal: one of the key figures of the musical history of the Balearic Islands.
In late July, more than one clubbing tourist noticed among the plague of usual club publicity, some peculiar banners announcing with a touch of humor a truly important event: the KLOSING FIESTA, FAREWELL, the final concert of Ibizas’ most esteemed band ever . In the archives of Ibiza, the date of July 27th of 2013 belongs to the music from Ibiza. No mainstream club stars’ big day will be as relevant to the local culture as that day at the Recinto Ferial. There, three generations of ibicencos sang by heart no less than thirty songs from this group who can be proud of their contribution to the cultural richness of this Island of Music.
Let’s review the broad outlines of their story:
The ibiçencan band was formed in 1992 by David Serra and Omar Gisbert after leaving their previous band, Falsa Alarma, and involving Chris Langley and Guachi in the rock band Estatuas de Sal (their initial name).
Various musicians joined and left the formation all along the two decades of its history. But in the last two years, the definite components were five. So STATUAS D SAL (their name lost its E along the way) were David Serra (vocals, bass), Omar Gisbert (guitar), Joan Barbé (guitar), Juanma Redondo (keyboards) and Fernando Hormigo (drums).
In their massive final concert, with open doors and charity fund rasing (it collected 1000 kilos of food for the needed) practically all the musicians who were ever part of the band came on stage, as well as many guest musicians from the local scene. The show offered the public an extensive compilation of highlights from their five albums.
Five records of strong rock, genuine lyrics, catchy melodies and powerful live sets have never left anyone indifferent, becoming the only band in Spain to ever win two nation-wide competitions: Imaginarock 1995 (Cadena 100) and Maqueta Vodafone Contest of 2007. Standing as the first Spanish group that released an album exclusively in digital format (Pies Dulces – Sony BMG).
STATUAS D SAL has made several tours around the country, including performances at the prestigious Doctor Music Festival and at the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid
I’m talking with David Serra, Statuas D Sal Frontman:
Statuas was your child, your project, created with Omar. In a recent interview you mentioned that this “divorce” was such in order to “not let the group die away”, instead, “be us to finish it”. Upon reaching so much success, why “finish it to not die”?
We thought about the experience of 23 years, with its sorrows and glories and all the lessons it has taught us all this time. We decided it was the right time to take care of our personal projects and retire Statuas D Sal embeded in good memories and feeling very proud and grateful to all we achieved. (Everything has its beginning and its end).
Statuas reached an interesting national dimension despite the difficulties. What was the biggest difficulty of working on this project? What added difficulties did you come across due to the fact of originating on an island?
Perhaps the first difficulty was to live so far from the music industries’ place to be (Madrid, Barcelona, etc.) due to the extra costs of lodging, equipment, transport, etc.. Basically, insularity has been a difficulty added to every bands difficulties like having to coordinate each members occupational compromises in order to find availability.
Is it the general economic crisis aggravated by the music industry crisis, due to piracy and sharing between users, influence also in the continuation or the success of the music?
That piracy doesn’t help the artist. But youtube, social networks, etc.. help to expose new talent. We are in a transition point where all these changes representing a crisis that will give way to a new concept in the music industry.
It often happens that a band dissolves, but that doesn’t undo what has been done and many times the sales increase. What attracts new fans and visitors is interactivity. What have you planned in order to continue to sell, or even just to keep in touch with your fans? What I am asking is: will the social networking remain active? Will Statuas stay interactive on the web?
Our complete discography is available in Ibiza store (M15) and on online platforms as itunes, myspace, etc … we also active on facebook.
How would you describe the music of Statuas? Which have been the fixed points, the music inspiration?
Statuas’ style has been melodic, energetic and very personal. Our musical references range from: The Police, U2, Pearl Jam, Immaculate Fools to Rádio Futura, Golpes Bajos and many other .
Who wrote the lyrics? and the music?
Lyrics are written totaly by me and in relation to music I could say in the first four cds I signed 75% of melodies and chords. In the fifth and latest album, there was more sharing percentage in the compositions with Joan Barbé
Do the songs describe aspects of your personal life? Have you ever spoken about betrayal in your songs? About love? Or about your friends? And about Ibiza?
All the songs are about my personal experiences and feelingstowards what surrounds me. Yes, we´ve expressed all of these issues, for example: about betrayal “Como un gato mojado”, about love “Fragile” among others. about friends “Me saca de quicio”, about Ibiza “Isla hotel” and a long list of other inspirations.
Are there songs that have never been released? that have been left in the inkpot? Are there surprises for your thousands of followers?
Yes, “Campo de fresa pà siempre” is our version of “Strawberry fields” (The Beatles) that I would have loved to include in one of our works, but due to disagreements with the publisher it wasn’t possible. Surprise wise… you never know, but if there were to be any I wouldn’t tell you… heh, heh, heh.
Statuas D Sal live in DC10 2004:
What do you feel when you sing?
Liberation, relief, connection, sharing, strength, love and fantasy all mixed with concern and commitment to give the public what they expect.
What good and what bad memories do you hold from your time at SONY?
Good was the adrenaline kick we got from the news of being the Sony / Vodafone contest winners. Bad was the record company’s breach of contract, which contained a number of commitments souch as: office management, artist promotion and music production as was in the contract signed ty both sides.
Statuas recorded a videoclip using only a smarthphone : “Payaso” from your latest album “Un dia es un dia” (2010). The technology helps creativity and pocket?
Technology is or can be a very good tool for creativity. “Payaso” videoclip is an example of low cost creating. Although creativity always starts from the head not from the machine. The rest is “collage”.
Statuas always worked with institutions till the last benefit concert to collect food for people suffering the slump and not reaches the end of the month. The PICK has had good success: 1000 kilos of food to Caritas. To the artist always asks for help with free performances. In Ibiza the Institutions help artists?
Not all Ibiza institutions have helped all the artists, but in our case, almost always they have raised a proposal have supported us in exchange for unpaid cache performances. It must be said that much remains to be done by institutions in promoting what has artistic / cultural concerns
There are many recording studios in Ibiza. At what level is the music produced in Ibiza? in your case about the rock? How is live concert music in Ibiza?
It depends on the producer, the artist and the studio, but in general it gets better all the time. Entrepreneurs should have more to bet on the live music as it is an alternative to canned music. But I will also say that no there is more live local music than in the last 15 years.
Are there many bands in Ibiza that deserve to take their music out of the island?
It’s not me answer that. The public has the last word. I will only say that I don’t know any band only playing their own music. They mainly do covers.
What advice do you have for young musicians starting and wanting to live from music?
Here in Ibiza one can’t properly live from music, except for foreign producers and djs. To be honest, giving advice is not my forte, prepare your set as well as you can and follow your instinct.
Last rehearsal in the Studio of Toniet Barbé in Sta. Gertrudis:
Your last musical rehearsals as Statuas took place in a Santa Gertrudis home studio. I’t happens to be Statuas rehersal place when you first started. It belonged to Toniet Barbé, a musician who died two years ago. How important wash he for Statuas? This man who opened his home to whoever wanted to play music?
Toniet Barbé was a great friend.He transmitted us his passion for music. He always helped us and he conveyed us his kindness and humanity
What do you like and don’t like about Ibiza?
Ibiza is my nest and my grave, I love it as my own life, so I reject all that hurts it: Land speculators, unscrupulous businessmen, corrupt politicians, cheap tourism and all that has to do with the attack and destruction of the land. It is clear that the island has a special charm in its countryside, the coast, my native language, its people, its ancient culture, traditional music, cuisine and all positiveness it can give.
One of the most exeptional bands is going. Certainly it is a very sad divorce for the islands rockers. But David Serra, and Joan Barbé are also founder of another mediteranean folk rock band, singing in catalan, that was born in 2005: PROJECT MUT.
My intention is to talk about them in another dedicated interview.
“Estatuas de sal” (Avispa-1995)
“La onda inestable” (2000)
“Siempre que ocurre lo mismo sucede igual, pero de distinta manera” (2006)
“Pies dulces” digital compilation (SonyBMG-2007).
“Un día es un día” (2010)
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