GigGuide: You’ve got the makings of a supergroup here. How did that happen?
Chema: Well, everything happened very naturally... Zac and Warren helped me with the recording of the first single tracking the drums, and Dylan did the mix. So, they were involved practically from the beginning.
Last March, when my brother came to visit the island, we decided to play as our former band, latiendaderegalostóxicos, so we asked Zac and Warren to help us. That night we had a great time, and talked about (how we should) keep on playing together. When we were thinking about a guitarist, Dylan was the first name on the table. The first day of rehearsal he came along with Barbie, and we became a quintet.
You’re self-described as “Hispanic-Taiwanese pop.” Can you explain a little more what the important elements of your music are? How would you introduce your music to the uninitiated?
Plain pop, as a fun and hedonist genre without great pretensions, but with a lot of potential at the same time. We are not trying to write music history here or invent the next big thing. Just trying to write beautiful songs with beautiful melodies. That is tough enough already... Regarding the Hispanic-Taiwanese label... seems fair as we sing in Spanish, but the 80% of the band is Taiwanese hahaha.
I know you have spent years crafting your songs here in Taipei. Are you a perfectionist? What is your creative process? What satisfies you most as a musician?
Hahaha I would say that my illness has more to do with the inability to finish things up. From that point of view, seeing how one of my songs is finally complete is one of my biggest pleasures. I have no special creative process... Probably the same as every other musician. Usually I play around with some chords and, when I hear something I like, I try to work with it.
You’ve DJ’d at Underworld for 4 years. What are your feelings on the bar and that whole situation?
It's a really messed up situation, with a lot of angles... I think it's a socio-political issue due to the lack of laws and respect, washed down with a lot of bad blood. But it's also a generational matter. It's sad to say, but somehow we let it happen...
When I started DJ'ing four years ago, the place was packed on weekends, but even on weekdays you could come and meet a lot of friends. During the last two years, customers began to fall and people started to leave right after the gigs. I think that we were very passive about this situation and they caught us off guard and unarmed...
For this creepy neighborhood gang was as easy as shooting a dying dog in the head.
How do you compare the music scene back home with Taiwan?
The Taiwanese scene reminds me a lot to the Spanish scene back in the 90s, with a great number of young folks making music with a lot of passion, but too focus in just a few styles. Always looking back to the American and British scenes.
In Spain, during those days, even the use of English -misuse in most of the cases- became a hallmark for the indie scene, resulting in a very bored scene full of replicas. Very few bands used Spanish, precisely those that have left a bigger legacy: Surfin' Bichos, Los Planetas, El Niño Gusano...
Don't get me wrong, I don't think the use of English is just bad. Probably is the perfect language for rock. But the truth is, as more indie bands started to sing back in Spanish, the scene got much more interesting. Now you can find bands in Spain doing very different stuff, each one with its own personality. Some of them, such as El Guincho, succeeding abroad “despite” singing in Spanish.
Then there's a few very specific Taiwanese issues. The size of the island doesn't allow the bands to do long tours, there's not many small venues for new bands, and the military service is still a band killer.
Why the name Duda Deportiva?
It refers to that moment in the life of every Spanish child when he has to choose a football club to follow. A decision you make when you're not even able to tie your shoes yet, but it will stick with you for the rest of your life. You can change your political party, even your wife, but never your club.
Barcelona or Real Madrid?
Barça, of course. I want those white vikings to lose even in training.