Interview with Vera Wenzel | Revista independiente de música

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Interview with Vera Wenzel

1. First of all, tell us how Vera Wenzel was created... Why did you choose that name?

Before Vera Wenzel, I played with The Light, with whom we released a disc in 2004. When that project was finished, I found myself at home with my amp, the guitars and pedals, and I decided to start composing on my own, with the idea of founding a band in the long run. My first name is Eugenio like the comedian and my last name is Civera like the Levantine singer, so there are too many interferences. I thus decided to take my grandmother’s name because it sounded nice.

2.How do you define your music? What do you think makes you different?

I always try to make the songs of Vera Wenzel work as instrumental pieces so that when you take out the vocals, they stay. I really like to achieve atmospheric landscapes with my music, and arrangements and lyrics are very important to me. I don’t think that that’s a factor that distinguishes us, but it is definitely the trademark of Vera Wenzel.

3.What are your musical influences?

They are very varied, from Galaxie 500 to Destroyer and from Radio Futura to Ferran Palau.

4.How is a live show of Vera Wenzel?

Currently, they’re very quiet. For a year now, there has not been a band as such, so that all the concerts I give are acoustic, sometimes alone and sometimes accompanied by a friend with a guitar or an accordion.

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5.How does Vera Wenzel work when you compose the songs and create the stories?

I don’t have a concrete method, even though sometimes that’s a method in itself. Take the guitar, look for some chords you like, create a melody that evokes something in you and, with a lot of luck, find a first phrase that helps you to get the ball rolling. Sometimes, this is incredibly easy and sometimes it’s exactly the contrary.

6.You’re presenting La cosecha. How was the recording process of that disc?

It was a very long process, too long, even though I’m very happy with the result and time did have its share in that. FerranResines produced it with me during the holes in his schedule and that is a reason why it was prolonged a lot – but in return we had time to revise things that we had done in the beginning and which we didn’t like that much anymore.

7.It’s your second disc – so what do you want to “harvest” [cosechar] with this new disc?

I would like to be able to take another step. It doesn’t have to be a big step but it would be great to get to have a wider range than that which we achieved with the first disc.

8.A disc with 11 songs, what is it that you tell us about in La cosecha?

The song La cosecha[The Harvest], specifically, talks about looking back and celebrating your personal achievements. Looking at it with a little bit of distance, the disc in general talks about growing older, about accepting certain defeats, about knowing how to draw on the gained experience and about maintaining dreams.

9.Which differences to the previous disc, Verbena, do we find?

Verbena was a more direct disc, in some sense it was a more adolescent disc. La cosecha is a disc that might not fit right in, but there is more of a path to go – it gains with a second listening. I was always attracted to the songs you need to listen to three times in order to realise that you really like them. When it comes to lyrics and production, La cosecha is really superior to Verbena.

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10.Which of the songs do you keep? Which is your favourite song of the disc? Why?

I don’t have “one” favourite song. I like Deberes because it is a small song that is very big for me. I like Fuegosartificiales because it is very far away from the typical Vera Wenzel song and it has something of a soundtrack. I like Postales because it is a typical Vera Wenzel song with a landscape atmosphere. I like Domingo because it was the embryo of the disc and it has classical lyrics. I like Cuandodisparabas because it is a 100% pop song… I could go on like this.

11.A concert you will always remember...

A few years ago, in a time when there was a fixed band, we went to play in San Sebastián in August. All the bands had their private jokes that were no longer funny once they were taken out of their context, so I won’t try to transcribe them. But I will always remember being in a service area, dying of the pain of laughing so much.

12.A place (hall, room, festival, etc…) where you would like to perform…

The Vida Festival seems to me to be the most terrific at the moment for its line-up and format. If it’s fabulous to go there as one of the crowd, it has to be absolutely incredible as an artist.

13.An artist you would like to work with…

I suppose a whole bunch. The first one that came to my mind is Maria Rodés because I really like the choral singing she does for her songs and for those of others.

14.Future projects…

Record an EP with five songs before the end of the year. I’m very determined to change register without having to move towards the acoustic or the electronic.

Domingo from Vera Wenzel on Vimeo.

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