Catalan-pop band Antònia Font: “I believe our music will be well received in the Mediterranean market”

Pau Debon, the singer of the band, tells CNA the evolution of the group and how they got here. From Majorca to Catalonia, and later to Galicia and the Basque Country, Catalan-speaking Antònia Font has broken its two-year silence with a new album ‘Vostè és aquí’ (Here you are) and a tour throughout Spain. With a new distinguished style escaping from the stereotyped three minutes and ten-song album, they have experimented with new formats and sounds. Debon assures that after sixteen years together and nine albums, now he would like to play in festivals throughout Europe.

Clara Roig Medina

March 8, 2013 08:02 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan-pop band Antònia Font has returned to the stage to promote its new album ‘Vostè és aquí’ (Here you are) around Catalonia and the north of Spain. With a new distinguished style escaping from the stereotyped three minutes and ten-song album, they have experimented with new formats and sounds. Singer Pau Debon assures that after sixteen years together and nine albums, they are now at the top of their game after a long silence that left their audience anxious as to their comeback.

After sixteen years of work and a two-year break, Antònia Font has come back with a new album and a tour throughout Spain. What is the band up to now?

We are now where we always wanted to be: doing exactly what we want without thinking about the public or the record companies. Luckily, this is what our audience expects of us, to be honest in our work.

How did you arrive here?

We started as a street-based band aimed at making people dance. From here, we have developed into a more adult pop band. We have learnt the profession and we now control the whole production process.

The band, though, stopped for two years before returning to the music scene. Why is that?

After ‘Coser y cantar’, an orchestrated record that despite not including new songs meant a lot of work, we needed a rest. The tour with the orchestra was also very tiring. Waiting long hours at the airport when you are physically exhausted is not the best moment to get on between five guys. We stopped to take some fresh air, because it’s important to know where your boundaries are so that we could bring out the best of ourselves again.

What is the role of each member of the group in the creative process?

The composition and lyrics are all in Miquel Oliver’s hands. We arrange the songs he gives us to our instruments. However, Antònia Font wouldn’t sound as it does even though the song was the same. In the end, a band is a human group, and everyone contributes with their own personality.

How would you describe Joan Miquel Oliver’s character?

He is very methodical, stubborn in his work and obsessive with the ideas he has. Everything has to be perfect. He is thinking 24 hours a day about what he wants to create, and that is why he does what he does. Not everybody can do it.

Have you ever disagreed with him?

Yes, some times, but very rarely. Although we are his friends, he never shows us what he has unless it has been very thought out and well defined. He has an idea about how it should sound, but he lets us work. This is our way of working. This is Joan Miquel Oliver’s project and we contribute with our way of playing the instruments. After all, this is his own world and his own way of thinking.

How do you prepare the songs?

I put the songs that Joan Miquel has recorded in the car. I sing them while I drive, and that way I finally learn them.

The format of the new album is very different from what we have seen so far: 40 shorter songs. Why is that?

There are songs that could perfectly be lengthened to be a conventional song, but there are others that would be unbearable if they were four minutes long. This is also a different album conceptually. In this case the themes have no relation between them. There is no point in trying to analyse it.

Do you feel part of a new generation of Catalan-pop bands along with Manel, Amics de les Arts or Mishima?

We like the fact that this new generation is original. I missed that about two years ago. However, the press lumps us together because we sing in Catalan and we play pop. Apart from that, there is no other similarity. Each of us follows its own path.

Are you planning on going outside Spain?

We have looked at this, but we haven’t gone out much because it’s very difficult. If you want to take a van and play in some bars, yes, you could do that. But that is not what we want. To go to a festival you need contacts. Right now we are focusing on the north of Spain, Galicia and the Basque Country. Europe, we’ll see…I would really like to do so. Moreover, I believe that our music would be well received in the Mediterranean market, Greece, Italy or Portugal.