Índigo Drone | Revista independiente de música

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Índigo Drone

A couple of beers and a long night's conversation about music were enough for Índigo Drone to be born. Richard Campbell (guitars and voice), Stuart Ridley (guitars and voice), Paco Ramírez (drums) and Fito Martínez (bass guitar) are the members of the band, which was formed in 2017. Since then, the group has decided to work together in a project of creation and musical experimentation: using the ukulele as the unifying thread in their songs.

Their songs' lyrics, committed to society, set off from sounds like new wave and noise pop. In order to do this, they make use of irregular shapes which achieve a sound with an experimental and noticeable essence that resembles last century's British pop. A delight for the ears of those who look for an alternative sound.

We were able to talk to them and they have given us a very interesting interview, where they explain how the group was formed and even their opinion about the current music scene.

You're already a more than consolidated musical group. When and how did you become interested in music? Did you have any projects before forming the group?

Yes, we were all part of groups in the past. Paco played in Tigres Leones, Stuart in The Hungover Stuntmen and in Burofax and Fito in Capitán Sunrise. I was part of Rusty River and of The Freudian Slips.

How do you spend your free time when you're not working on music?

A lot of us work in the education field because it allows us more free time and holidays to write, record and play. Our dream is to live off of music but, above all, we love music and money is not the reason why we play. It's good medicine to laugh or any artistic thing.

How was the group formed and what's the meaning behind the name?

I started writing songs at home with Stuart for a few months. I then talked to Javier (owner of El Juglar, bar and concert hall in Madrid) y his friend Fátima (owner of Zhervo, a hair salon in Madrid). She recommended a lot of drummers to us and sent us contacts and links. In the end, we chose Paco to play drums. He recommended Fito for bass and forming the group was that easy. The idea was to mix something organic with something artificial and it's noticeable in our music, because it has a few synth, acoustic and electric instruments.

Indigo is the color of a natural plant and a drone can be two things. The artificial meaning of drone is the device that flies, but the lesser-known meaning is the one that refers to an infinite sound. Our intention was to focus on that second meaning, mixing the color indigo with a natural and infinite sound.



What are your musical inspirations?

Grizzly Bear, Pixies, Pony Bravo, LCD Soundsystem, The Beach Boys, Interpol, Blur, Deerhunter, Iggy Pop, Supergrass, Here We Go Magic, Maga, Snowman, Arctic Monkeys, Richard Swift, Mac DeMarco, The Sleepy Jackson, Benji Hughes, Buke & Gase and Balthazar and so many more.

Who's your target audience and what do your lyrics want to transmit?

Our target audience are fans of alternative pop, dance and rock music. Our lyrics are about society, the future, social media, hypothetical situations, mobsters and tribalism.

We have a song about the 43 students who disappeared in Mexico, but we're not as political or as extremist as the show Black Mirror. Our lyrics are fun and observe the world from our perspective, Stu's and mine. It's the first time in my life I've been able to write lyrics with other people.

We know your group has members from two nationalities, English and Spanish. What differences do you find between Spanish audiences and English audiences?

I think they're very differently culturally. But in the music halls I've been in (in the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain), the audiences have something in common. There's always an annoying drunk person in the corner trying to flirt or fight, respectful people who came to the concert, crazy people, shy people, egocentric people, stubborn people, and even poor people and rich people. We find an interesting mix because music always finds a way to bring people together. Maybe the British drink a little bit more. I think it's because they start drinking too early and they have peanuts or something light for dinner.

What sets you apart from other groups?

I don't know if other groups write the same way, but Stu and I start with different, difficult and new instruments. We wrote almost every song on The Salt March and 43 on the ukulele at the beginning and then we added lyrics, melodies, drums and other instruments. Harmony is very important in songs. There are many groups trying to put out blues music or surf rock music. We have a very varied sound, but I'd say we lean more towards alternative pop.

Would you like to collaborate with any artists? With whom?

I'd love to do something with the guys of Pony Bravo. I love their energy and their talent for composing songs which sound cheerful but also dark at the same time. I've been lucky to share a stage with them in Seville a couple of times.

We know you'll soon drop Chasing the Rabbit. What's this song about?

Chasing The Rabbit is about modern society and the way it moves. It's not a critic, but an observation. Everyone tries to chase something that's impossible, something that is so far away but so close. Sometimes some people sacrifice their personality in that process.

What's the most amazing anecdote you've lived in a concert or a tour?

Undoubtedly, the day I played against Kevin Parker, member of Tame Impala, in a battle of the bands in Australia. Kevin was playing drums with another group, The Dee Dee Dums, and the guitar was plugged into a big muff and two amplifiers (a bass one and a guitar one). It was so cool. In the end a group called The Fault won against mine.  

What do you think about the current music scene?

We're very excited about the style mixing and the amount of talent which exists all over the world. I think right now anyone can buy a sound card and put their thoughts into a hard drive without spending too much money. Right now, big record labels are losing control, which means more groups can work independently.

What's your favorite streaming service (Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube…)? Why?

Spotify is undoubtedly my favorite platform to download music and carry it anywhere with me. I think you need to be in all of them these days because they're all different and have their own tastes. I love Spotify's Discover Weekly playlist because it recommends groups I could be interested in. I'm scared they know what I like, but I can't complain.

Taking into account technological advances and the time we're living in, do you think physical albums will disappear because of the increasing popularity of streaming or will they still be sold?

There are people who need to have albums on their hands, but the market will forget about CDs in 5 or 10 years. Right now, we have Netflix, HBO, Spotify and even YouTube. As a consequence, CDs and DVDs are dying out. I'm not that sad about it because we're changing a digital format for another one. What does it matter? What's sad is knowing that there are fewer analog formats such as cassette tapes in which you could make mixtapes for someone. People still buy vinyl records and that seems to indicate that they'll exist for much longer than CDs.

After The Salt March, 43 Reasons and Chasing the Rabbit, what are your future projects?

I'd love to record an EP with Raúl Pérez, who has produced albums for Pony Bravo and Guadalupe Plata, but I think right now he's more into playing live to promote with us. We're new. We need to play everywhere because if you don't, you're nothing more than a product. Modesty and humanity can only be transmitted on a stage through music. It's a good thing we always have ideas and songs in our heads. We're working on a collection of 24 songs to play live which are very well crafted given that we’re a one-year-old group.

Which 2018 albums would you recommend to us?

Well, I'd recommend Virtue by The Voidz, Endless Scroll by Bodega, Goat Girl's self-titled album, World’s Strongest Man by Gaz Coombes and Arctic Monkeys’ last album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

Answers by: Richard Campbell