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Interview with Imperial Jade | ''Renacimiento'' means ''Revival''

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Imperial Jade is a rock band born in the Maresme province, in Barcelona in 2012 by five young friends and rock and roll lovers. The band is formed by Francesc López (Drums), Alex Pañero (guitar), Arnau Ventura (voice), Hugo Nubiola (guitar/keyboard), Ricard Turró (bass) and it is characterised by itssound that bring us back to the times where rock music ruled the world: the 70’s. In November 2015 the band released their first record “Please Welcome Imperial Jade” which was acclaimed for the specialized press, setting it on numerous top lists of best releases of the year. Throughout 2016 Imperial Jade toured all through Spain presenting the album by giving numerous gigs booked by themselves, what brought them to open for the Californian band Rival Sons in Barcelona and the Swedish EUROPE in their two concerts given in Madrid and Barcelona among other great bands such as Ten Years After or Michael Monroe. In 2017 the band decides to bet hard on the recording of two new singles in analog tape at Music Lan Studios, then mixed in Nashville, USA by sound engineer John Netti: (Rival Sons, Europe, Black Stone Cherry, Bon Jovi…) and mastered at The Room Studio by Gorka Dresbaj. All through the year, Imperial Jade keeps playing gigs at different venues and appears for the first time live on TV at Los conciertos de Radio 3 of RTVE (Spanish TV channel), also playing in the main stage of Rock Fest BCN sharing stage with bands like Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Airbourne or Alice Cooper, heading numerous small festivals through Spain and playing in renowned festivals such as the Afro-american music festival Enclave de Agua being the first hard-rock proposal of the festival in its ten editions. The band will release their new album "On The Rise" on 21 December 2018 via Epictronic/The Orchard. The CD will be available starting the 18th of January 2019 via Aural Music Group.

 

Hello guys !

 

«Imperial Jade» were formed in 2012. What were your musical whereabouts before? Did you play at any other bands? How did meet each other and came to create your band?

In 2012 Alex, Fran and Arnau (guitar, drums and lead vocals) decided to form a band. Alex and Arnau where studying together in the same school and were friends of Fran. They needed a bass player and soon found Ricard. They named the band “Blackway” and started rehearsing and playing gigs around. It was two years later, in 2014 that I (Hugo) joined them. We were good friends and I was a huge fan of what they were doing, by that time they felt like they needed a second guitarist and asked me to join them. That year we recorded and EP called “It’s What We’ve Got”, featuring five original songs and a year later we decided to record our first LP. By that time we also decided to change our name, we felt like it was a good moment to do so, with the release of our first LP and we didn’t feel comfortable anymore as “Blackway”. So Imperial Jade sounded good and the album was finally named “Please Welcome Imperial Jade”.

 

How would you describe your music? Do you think that the term «Revival Band» is true to your musical direction?

It could be! I’d just call it rock and roll, in the most generic way. We’ve come to the conclusion that most of the bands we like play many different styles, so we try not to close ourselves in a very specific style.

 

 

There's a 70's vibe in your music but with a modern approach. How did you come up with this sound?

I think it just comes naturally. We all have a huge influence from the music of the 60’s and 70’s as it is what we all have listened during our childhood/teenage years. But of course we also have listened to the music of today, and we can’t help but get influenced somehow.

 

What are your influences?

Our main influences are the classic rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s such as Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Free… We also have been influenced by some of today’s bands like Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement or Blackberry Smoke, but we listen to all kinds of music and get influenced in one way or another by everything that we listen to. We love jazz music, blues, soul…

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What was the local scene like when you started? Did you encounter any problems or did you have any support in your first steps?

It was more or less the same as now… It is difficult, we are playing a music genre that in Spain doesn’t have a huge audience plus we are singing in English… Also we feel like not much is done to promote music and culture by our government. But the truth is that there are lots of good bands in Barcelona and in Spain, it’s just that these bands don’t get the recognition they deserve.

 

 

Your first LP «Please Welcome Imperial Jade» was released Nov 2015. What was the reception?

It was great! The truth is that we had zero expectation on what was going to happen, I think we didn’t even know that something would happen! But the specialized media here in Spain reacted very well and we had the chance to tour the country and play in many different places in front of people who were really digging our music, and that’s the best of rewards!

 

What were your feelings when you opened for bands like Rival Sons and Europe?

That was huge! With Rival Sons we opened for them just in Barcelona, in 2016. They are one of our favorite bands from the moment and we got to meet them, so we were super excited. Their show was awesome. With Europe we opened for them in Madrid and Barcelona, we had the chance to play two venues full of people and the audience reacted very well. 

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In 2017 and 2018 you played with bands like Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith and Airbourne. How was that experience for you?

Awesome! As I said before when we released our first album we didn’t know what was going to happen, and thanks to it we got to play in festivals with some of our favorite bands. As you said we shared stage with bands like Aerosmith and Deep Purple, can you imagine? In these kinds of festivals most of the times we don’t get to do a sound check so it is a little scary too… But in the end these kind of stuff is what really keeps us motivated to go on.


Your new album 'On the Rise' was just released. Tell us your feelings about it. Did you have a different approach in the recordings compared to your previous releases?

Yes, we feel like we have worked more on this one. We have experimented more with sound and I think that is reflected in the album, as every song is different from each other. We have taken our time to work on it with no hurries, and we are very happy with the result. “Please Welcome” was a very good album and we are very proud of it but on this one is a step forward and that’s what it’s all about.

 

 

What are your plans for supporting the new album?

We are currently scheduling a tour in Spain to support the album and we are planning to go abroad, maybe tour Europe and who knows…? We are ready for anything and decided to do what it takes to bring our music to anyone who wants to listen. We still have to see how the audience reacts to our music.

 

 

What do you think of the rock scene in Spain?
Well as I told before there are still lots of good rock bands in Spain, though we have few opportunities here. To name a few, our friends JARPS, who have released a new and awesome album, ’77 also from Barcelona, The Electric Alley or The Wizards are all great bands from Spain.

 

 

Thank you for your time. Please send a message to the listeners of Black Velvet Radio.

Thanks to you Black Velvet Radio and to the listeners for keeping rock and roll alive! It really means a lot. And don’t forget to check out our new album “On The Rise”, available on all digital platforms! Hope you enjoy it!

 

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Chris Mouskos , Stamatis Bourdos , Marios Rigopoulos

 

Black Velvet Radio

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