Delafé y Las Flores Azules: "We don't bring light technicians as […] we can fill the stage ourselves'
The Catalan band Delafé y Las Flores Azules is one of the most unclassifiable groups in Spain. Their style is a mix of hip-hop, pop, indie and rock, and their concerts are an exhibition of movement, music and colour. After ten years on the stage Delafé y las Flores Azules release their fourth album, “De Ti Sin Mí/De Mí sin Ti” (You Without Me/Me Without You). The disc has two CD’s in which the band performs the same songs in two different melodies. Compared to their latest albums, this record is a more melancholic, nostalgic and less electronic product.
Barcelona (CNA) \u2013 Delafé y Las Flores Azules is one of the most unclassifiable bands in Spain. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, pop, indie and rock and their concerts are an exhibition of movement, music and colour. After ten years on the stage Delafé y las Flores Azules release its fourth album, \u201CDe Ti Sin Mí/De Mí sin Ti\u201D (You Without Me/Me Without You). The disc has two CD\u2019s in which the group performs the same songs in two different melodies, and it is already having a great response from the public. Compared to their latest albums, this new CD is more melancholic, nostalgic and slightly less electronic.
Imagine that you have to place your music on a shelf in a music store. Where would you place it?
Òscar D\u2019Aniello: I would place our music in the \u2018Pop\u2019 or \u2018Rock\u2019 sections. Although we have a quite distinctive style, we are still pop music. I do all the phrasing and Helena is the \u201Cpoppy\u201D part of the group.
Where does that distinctive style come from?
Helena Miquel: From when we began as \u201CFacto, Delafé y las Flores Azules\u201D, because Òscar and Marc Barrachina (former member of the group) got on really well at the musical level. Both of them had heard a lot of black music and pop rock, and they found a meeting point where they could mix pop and hip-hop, soul and funky styles. Òscar always says that he lacks the ability to sing, so he started with all the phrasing thing. It was all a matter of coincidences, shortages and abilities.
What is the role of each of you in the creative process?
H.M.: The creative process has always been the same. There\u2019s always one of us that does the instrumental part. Now it\u2019s Dani Acedo, but he\u2019s always in touch with Òscar, who writes the lyrics. Sometimes the starting point is a lyric to which Dani has to make the music for, but sometimes it\u2019s the opposite. Then, after they finish all the little details, it\u2019s my turn to do the vocal harmonies, choruses and voice arrangements.
Why you are still Delafé y las Flores Azules if you are three again? (The group was called \u201CFacto, Delafé y las Flores Azules\u201D until 2010, when Marc Barrachina (Facto) left the band)
O.D.: It\u2019s not good to mutilate band names. As a moral issue, when Marc left, we removed the Facto part. But you\u2019re breaking a brand. Furthermore, if you make the first word disappear you go from the F bucket to the D one. It\u2019s a new start. At the beginning it had a meaning: an act (Facto) of faith (Delafé) with a melancholy touch (y las Flores Azules). But now it means nothing. When Dani came, we didn\u2019t even think about adding something back to the name. Delafé y Las Flores Azules is now our brand, and it shouldn\u2019t change.
But do you still identify yourselves with the names?
O.D.: Of course. Delafé is an alter ego, but I think that the Delafé of the first CDs had more sense. This CD is not as \u201CDelafé\u201D (faith) as the records were before.
There\u2019s a clear change of style on this album. What has made this change?
O.D.: We have gone through a lot of things in these ten years. Everybody changes. The first record was very descriptive, by that time I had just came back to Barcelona after spending a lot of years in England and it was like seeing the bright and dark sides of the Mediterranean culture. The second CD was an ode to everyday life\u2026 The third CD is a bit histrionic, with songs of different styles. It\u2019s a record made of changes. Now, for our fourth record, we have developed the less electronic songs of our last CD. We wanted a darker album, a sadder sound\u2026 for personal reasons.
\u201CDe ti sin mí/De mí sin ti\u201D is a double disc with the same songs but different styles. Do you think you have worked double?
H.M.: We had to flip the songs, so it was a double work because we had to disconnect from the version we had just done, and it is difficult. I think we did a good job though. Besides, we have worked very well with Dani.
O.D.: And with Paco Loco, the producer. We spent fifty days in Cadiz where he has his music studio. With only one CD we would have spent twenty days, so it has been quite funny working there. We have stuck together.
What is the feedback that you have received from the audience?
H.M.: So far, very good. We have done a few concerts in important cities such as Bilbao, Girona, Barcelona, Madrid\u2026 I\u2019m noticing an excellent response, but we have to wait and see how the rest of the year goes. We have just published the record, but the feedback is excellent.
O.D.: We are still at the beginning, when you start a tour it\u2019s not the same as when you finish it. During the last tour we performed 115 concerts so you can\u2019t compare these first concerts with the last ten of the previous tour. Furthermore, after two years performing live, everything runs smoothly, you have everything very interiorized. I compare the end of the last tour and the beginning of this and I think: \u201CWe are doing well, but we are still lacking something\u201D.
What is lacking? Something physical, musical\u2026?
O.D.: It\u2019s all a \u201Cnew songs\u201D thing, I need to learn where to breathe. Besides, every year we are older, so it\u2019s harder from the physical point of view. This tour, we do a whole hour of non-stop music. If you want to get ready for this you have to run 12km every day. You need to know where to breathe, where you can do a little break\u2026 And these are things that you only learn after repeating them a lot of times.
H.M.: We have to spare ourselves. We need to interiorize the show in all senses: playing the songs, learning how to be as good at the end of the show as good as we are at the start\u2026
In the end, this way of performing is what creates your personal style. Is this your way of adding value to your concerts?
O.D.: We don\u2019t use lots of coloured lights like the big bands, we don\u2019t use lightening, and we don\u2019t bring light technicians because we think we can fill the stage ourselves. We are fans of the big frontmen, like James Brown or Fugaci, who were able to fill the stage without using lights or any special effects. People value it. My legs are full of bruises from previous concerts. Besides, I notice as the years go by. I\u2019m 36 and I\u2019m not like I was when 32. I have two hernias, I had surgery on my knee and I have also a cyst on my foot because of dancing. Our concerts are a risk sport. When I went to the doctor and I explained him what I do he is like \u201Cyeah, but you are a singer, right?\u201D Then, when he came to one of our shows, he told me: \u201Call right, this is not what a singer does; this is what a monkey does\u201D.
What would be of Helena without Òscar? And of Òscar without Helena?
O.D.: I don\u2019t know. Helena is a very important part of my life. It\u2019s been ten years since we met for the first time, and we have spent 10 years together in very different formats. I don\u2019t know what I would be without her, probably a totally different person.
H.M.: Everyone that shows up in your life, leaves a mark. If we hadn\u2019t known each other, we would be other people.
We have seen Helena in the Spanish film \u2018No habrá paz para los malvados\u2019 and Òscar in the documentary \u2018Ciao, Pirla\u2019. Does Delafé y las Flores Azules have an audio-visual future?
H.M.: I wish. We have always taken good care of all the things related to the band. The staging, the photographs, the music videos, the covers\u2026 it\u2019s a thing that we like to look after and make highly coherent. The documentary is something that has arisen from a personal experience of Oscar and so we decided to include it and we are very happy with the film. The thing about my movie is different, it\u2019s a gift. I have done two movies, a pair of short films and I want to keep doing so. But I'm not in this cinema world, which is very closed.
You have always sung in Spanish. Are you planning on doing so in other languages?
O.D.: I would like to try Italian or Catalan as well. We recently uploaded a song in English. It was the first song I ever wrote in this language, but I\u2019m not interested in it. I speak English, I understand it and I love English music, but I have crappy English, and it isn\u2019t attractive to native speakers.