“Dead Sequoia is a cave-punk garage-punk band formed in Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2016”. This is how this quartet begins its official biography with a special salt shaker sublimated in its first long album, which only lasts 22 minutes for “eight songs loaded with fuzz, lisergia, psychedelia and punk and tons of energy,” they proclaim.
Such an artifact is also titled ‘Dead Sequoia’, resonates garage but not canonical, and its potential reaches beyond the tribal and minority. Apart from its lyrics in Spanish, so direct and yeyeístas, part of the merit of its unusual appeal lies in the work of its producer, the Argentine Martin Capsula. He is a good psychologist. He has brought out the best in us, “says the combo drummer, Ibon, whom we interrogate happily (hearing his album infects joy) with the excuse that this Saturday they play in Vitoria (The Garage, 11pm, € 10; plus The Massacres).
-How will the concert in Vitoria be on Saturday? Did you have monkey?
-We really wanted to play live. So when Pau, from The Garage (the venue where they will perform), proposed the bolus to us, we did not hesitate for a second. We don’t even ask about the conditions! It seems that the public will be seated and wearing a mask. We will try to get people up. Of course, maintaining the relevant security measures, ha ha ha …
-Despite the circumstances, there are people who resist standing still and have a lot to do.
-A few questions forced by the situation: How have you managed the bull run?
-The running of the bulls has been carried out relatively well. And I would say that we have already returned to the rhythm of our previous lives: face-to-face work, friends, beer on terraces … We have been rehearsing at the venue for more than a month and bringing out new songs.
-Didn’t you surf, since you have a song titled ‘Surfero de interior’?
-The only one who surfs is Ibai, the singer, and I know that he has already caught a wave in the Cantabrian Sea.
-And have you given any domestic bolus via networks, from home, in the pandemic?
-Nooooo. It was an idea that we discarded from the beginning. That requires an infrastructure and technical capacity that we do not have.
-What we did do one day in full confinement was post a whole bolus on YouTube for a few hours. It was unpublished material and it was fun to watch it at the same time as other 15-20 colleagues and fans who were commenting on it on social networks.
-What have you positive about this pandemic and its closure?
-I flee from good speech. The world is going to continue to be shit or worse. Although personally I am satisfied with my ability to adapt to circumstances. Also, I have had time to do things that I would not have done otherwise.
“And speaking as a spokesperson for Dead Sequoia?”
-As a band the running of the bulls has helped us to work out an idea and mess around with music publishing programs.
-AHA. By the way, Dead Sequioa, cool name. Very stoner, although you are not. Why did you choose it?
-The name refers to a centennial sequoia behind the Urkide school in Gasteiz. A mushroom killed her. It was 2014 and at that time we were a guitar and drums duo. Although the style was yet to be defined, at that time we sometimes did stoner. Then Sergio and Ibai arrived and screwed everything up, ha ha … Someday I will have my stoner band, ha ha ha …
-Jo, if it turns out as good as this, you would be on your way to being the best stoner rock or stoner rock band in Spanish. Well, that: do they label you stoner? The name suggests it, but sometimes you sound punk (‘Love me or kill me’), other Guadalupe Plata-style blouses more rock and roll (‘Amor de antro’), and at the end of the album in the style of brazen garajeros (‘Do us the favor’, that from the title you think it will be a cool song).
-The label stoner has not been given to us yet. But there is no consensus on what we do either: if it is garage, punk, garage-punk, rock, surf … We leave that debate to the experts, ha ha …
-Labels are necessary. They help groups.
-The labels are fine insofar as they encompass you in a scene and that can make certain audiences find and know us. But labels like something to curb don’t cool. I think we have a wide range of sounds and we are creating our own style.
-Yes, you do not stay in a revisionist group and too faithful to any style or label, it is true. Hey, Ibon, what new groups are cool? So we update the readers, ahem…
-We like classics like Los Saicos, The Sonics, The Morlocks … And again we like Lie Detectors, Los Bengala, Los Paniks …
-The first guiris and the second donostiarras, maños and baracaldeses.
-The Hives, King Khan, The Fuzztones or Iberians like Wau and Los Arrrghs are also cool !!!
-These are Iberian from Valencia. You give an air to them, for grace and more.
-Pablo Madariaga, from Los Nitxos, labeled us as a Valencian garage band. The Nitxos rehearse in the room opposite ours.
– And what inspires you when writing lyrics?
-All the letters are from Ibai. I think it inspires life. The day to day. With a certain touch of joking and joking.
-That the lyrics are in Spanish and not in English, despite your style, it is an extra, a bonus, a merit we do not know if recognized by the mass.
-Although we know that our fans are fluent in Shakespeare, singing in Spanish makes it easier for them to learn the lyrics. I’m sure they will thank us, ha ha ha …
-Jo yes. By the way, do you use the verb ‘follar’ in at least two songs on the album or have we been confused?
-Really? Thats weird…
-I’m sure we misheard. What are we thinking about? Hey, Ibon, why should the thousands of readers of this interview check out your latest album, ‘Dead Sequoia’? It is not worth saying that because there are 8 songs in 22 minutes, huh?
-Because we are going to kill him and then they will be able to show off in front of their friends saying: ‘I already knew these when they were nobody’. Haha…
-Good reason. Like when the Black Keys played in the Azkena hall in Bilbao in front of about 100 people and they say they were paid with beers. Years later they were headliners at BBK Live and played before 40,000 souls, they say.
-Well … Apart from that reason, readers will find in our album a good handful of songs that invite the cuckoo to move, with catchy choruses, guitar riffs as sharp as knives and a devastating battery.
-Yes, yours. Do you usually do live versions?
-We used to do more, but as we expand our own repertoire some disappear from the set list. We have covered Los Saicos, The Sonics or ‘Drácula ye-yé’ by Pajares.
-Yeah, I know her from Doctor Explosion. It wouldn’t hurt if you resisted her ‘You’re ugly, kid’, what are you going to do to her. It hits you. Oh, and before finishing, who are you? What are you working on, if you have played in other groups before …
-We are Sergio on bass (ex The Leznables Muskrat), Ibon on drums, Igor on guitar (ex Jumping Kiwis), and Ibai on vocals. We earn a living as a web programmer, architect, merchandising vendor and hydrogel to cascoporro …
-And do you have a girlfriend?
-We are all happily paired, except me, Ibon, who is available. I am a good match, so if there is someone interested you can contact me through the social networks of the band., Heh, heh …