>Teenage Fanclub. Aprende inglés (del bueno) con Harlem

“There has been good music from every period of rock’n’roll”

Teenage Fanclub ultima la grabación de su noveno álbum, y alguna de sus canciones sonará el 19 de septiembre en Miranda de Ebro. El grupo escocés, que combinó sabiamente melodías arrebatadoras y distorsión en discos como Bandwagonesque y Grand Prix, compartirá ese día el escenario del festival Ebrovisión con Half Foot Outside, The Gurus, Teenage Fanclub, Fangoria y Dorian. Le big brother, OSCAR CUBILLO, ha intercambiado unas palabras con Norman Blake, uno ee sus cantantes y guitarristas. Aquí las tienes.

Where are you right now?
We’re in Norfolk, England, recording our new record at a studio called Leeders Farm. It’s owned by Dan Hawkins, whose a friend.

Which are your influences? American bands, british bands…
Both. Punk rock was at the height of it’s popularity when I was a young teenager and I mostly listened to british groups like the Clash, Buzzcocks and Wire. I was also a fan of the Glasgow band Orange Juice. They we’re a big influence in terms of what music I listened to at that period. They were into the punk rock aesthetic but loved the soul music of Curtis Mayfield and Al Green. They also introduced me to American garage bands like the Seeds and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Some of my favourite records are by garage bands. One particular record that springs to mind is the Remains’ album. A classic.

Why do you like to sing so melodic?
We initially modelled the band on Sonic Youth. We loved them and were lucky enough to get the opportunity, early on, to play with them. We’re still friends. Through them, and also through Dave Barker, who put out our first album, we met Don Fleming. Don produced our Bandwagonesque album. When we were in the planning stages of that record, he heard us sing harmony and suggested that we should concentrate on that aspect of our music, as there weren’t many people singing harmony at that time.

Is it usual in Britain because of the traditions of the pubs?
There’s certainly a big folk scene in Scotland. We are all fans of traditional music and there has recently been a resurgence in it’s popularity. There’s a festival in Glasgow every year called Celtic Connections. It’s runs for three weeks and has musicians from all over the world performing there. I’m sure there will be many basque musicians who are familiar with it.

The guitar player of the The Mars Volta said that in Northern Britain the audience don’t like to listen acoustic soft songs in its shows. He called “wild ones” to the people of Glasgow. It seems funny. Why do you think about this? Is it true?
I guess that it would depend on the show. If you go to see The Mars Volta, you’re not expecting a quiet show, whereas if you go to see Jonathan Richman the audience is going to be much more restrained. Horses for Courses is an expression that springs to mind, but I’m not sure how that translates. Glasgow in general has a good reputation as far as audiences go.

Are you happy with the recent shows of Bandwagonesque ?
The Bandwagonesque shows were a lot of fun. It was great to have Brendan O’Hare back on stage with us.

Do you consider yourself a classic band, a band that the people knows and which has big influence in another new bands?
We’ve been around longer than most bands, maybe that makes us a classic band? It’s always nice when people tell you that they have been influenced by something that you’ve done.

How do you see the british pop rock scene?
There are always interesting things happening in the british music scene, but I tend to think that there has been good music from every period of rock’n’roll. I’m really happy that Glasgow is now firmly on the map as a city that consistenty produces good music.

Tell us something about your last album, entitled Man made?
We made the album in Chicago with John McEntire from Tortoise. We took one guitar each and used John’s equipment, so I guess there was some risk involved in that. I don’t know if you could call it experimental though. We’ll always try out new arrangement and instrumentation on our records. I just bought a Philicorda organ from ebay which I think will feature heavily on our new record.

How is gonna be your concert in Ebrovision?
We’ll possibly play a few songs from our new album if we get an opportunity to rehearse them. We always have a great time when we come over to play. Our second home.

In the festival plays Mando Diao. I love them! Do you like them?
Yea! I’ve heard a few of their singles. They’re excellent. An exciting band. They remind me of my beloved garage music, which is never a bad thing.

Do you know any spanish pop-rock band?
I’ve noticed that there’s a real enthusiasm for pop music over there and the quality of the bands is fantastic. That’s why we love coming to play so much. I’ll certainly be watching some of the other performers. We’re good friends with the guys from Jet Lag and labels like Elefant are really inspiring.