Friday, 11 December 2015

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete; Intelligent Psychedelia.

Photo by Fernando Nuti.

Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto Gonzalez are Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, a psychedelic band originally from Guadalajara in Mexico. Their music has been described as a 'hot pot of shoegaze and Krautrock bubbled through a psych filter'(1), though they self-describe as 'pattern music'. They have released three studio albums 'On Welfare', 'Corruptible Faces',  and 'Chambers' and in April 2015 they released the excellent 'Vocablo No.1' as a split single on God Unknown with Cloudland Canyon. When contacted this summer they were kind enough to agree to a wide ranging interview.  

Q: You are originally from Guadalajara in Mexico and moved, via Mexico City, to California in 2013 (2). Would you see your music now as a synthesis of two places/cultures; coming from a place of overlap?

Alberto: Absolutely. We actually moved to Ensenada, a small city, in Baja California that is still Mexico but only a few kilometers south of the borderline so this synthesis you mention I see it as the influence of coming from two structurally different places. Guadalajara and Mexico City are chaotic cities that had an abrasive effect on us and Ensenada with not even a fourth of Mexico City’s population and its laid back way of life presented as an opportunity to seclude and really focus on being a musician. 

Q: Has moving to California with its accompanying culture had an effect on your creative process and expression?

Alberto: Rather than the cultural richness of the area what really had an effect was the way of life we adopted here. We live on a very restrained budget, we barely go out, we don’t have many friends and we basically live in the outskirts, close to the hills. This made our creative process more focused.

Q: I was reading an interview you gave to ourvinyl.TV (3) and was interested that you mentioned the importance of having a similar ideology to other band members and your disappointment in seeing other bands being inconsistent in their 'ethics and ideology' (3). How would you describe yourselves in terms of your own ideologies? 

Alberto: This is a question we make ourselves quite often because we keep shaping our ideology but in its core we just try not to think a lot in ourselves. We try to cooperate as much as possible with the entities around us to build a sustainable structure for everybody. 

Q: Talking about your album 'Chambers' (2014) Lorena commented that you felt more comfortable expressing yourselves by making music at that time (5). Would you see your music as a type of abstract art, a transposing of concepts/emotions into sound?

Lorena: Yeah, I do enjoy translating concepts and emotions into music.  What happens is that I always need more time to communicate my ideas and any activity that gives me enough time to think and elaborate what I really want to express is great for me. I also think with music I can ‘suggest’ thoughts rather than ‘impose’ them. 

Q: Earlier this year you released an excellent track 'Vocablo No.1' on a split single with Cloudland Canyon as part of God Unknown's Singles Club series. How did that come about?

Alberto: Thanks! We played with Mugstar in an all-dayer show in Leeds and some months after, the bassist, Jason Stoll who also runs God Unknown invited us to the series. We got super excited when he mentioned we would do the split with Cloudland Canyon as we love and deeply respect their music. Plus Kip Uhlhorn is always a great host when we have played in Memphis. We may record with him at his studio someday.

Q: In Relational Aesthetics the art is completed by the contributions of others, do you find that it is in collaboration and/or live that your music finds it's fullest expression? Do you enjoy collaborating with other musicians? 

Lorena: I think our music just can’t be complete without the listeners and the live show is the moment when we present our work to them. Working with other people is one of our favorite things. All our live guests are friends and musicians that we deeply respect and they change our whole perspective of our own songs. Through our different live lineups we’ve adapted the songs in terms of their own identity as musicians instead of forcing them to play them exactly as they sound in the records. This way each lineup sounds completely different and we get to collaborate in a true sense.

Q: Lorena, how have you found being a woman in rock music? Often in mainstream pop women's physicality seems to be emphasised. Have you experienced much sexism and gender stereotyping or have you been pleasantly surprised by your experience? 

Lorena: It’s been very nice so far. I don’t think people treat me any different in general and I don’t see others and myself through gender either so I definitely don’t contribute to that. I have felt in the past and in some cities in particular some kind of condescending/idealizing attitude towards me that I thought was gender related and my reaction, at that time, was that I tried to dress more like a guy but then I realized it wasn’t necessary because it was an issue beyond me, it wasn’t my problem and maybe I just needed to hang out more with people who shared similar points of view with me.

 Q: What cultural resources (including writers/thinkers/musicians) have you drawn on, and been influenced by, as musicians and people?

Lorena: It is really difficult to answer that question but I think I can sum it all up in Julio Cortázar, Rubert De Ventós, Albert Camus and Michael Azerrad’s ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’.

Q: What artists are you currently excited by?

Lorena: We are really excited by our friends bands like: Disappearing People, Adam Payne, Carlton Melton, White Manna, Late Nite Howl, New Candys, Has A Shadow, Spectres, Father Murphy, Ttotals, Bitchin Bajas. And artists like Julio Le Parc, Leandro Erlich, Urs Fischer.

(1) quoting 'Raven Sings the Blues' blog.
(2) Rathert, R. (2013) 'Lorelle Meets the Obsolete Interview with Lorena and Alberto.
(3) Tracy, D. 'Lorelle Meete the Obsolete-An Interview'
(5) Tuffrey, L. (2013) 'Listen: New Lorelle meets the Obsolete'

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