Los Rosarios | Revista independiente de música

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Los Rosarios

From the drum machine to the spirit box.

Los Rosarios is a band formed by Javi Neria, Carlos Ferrari y Selu Baños. Their first album 'Caja de espíritus' was released in 2019 and produced by Maxi Ruiz Bandera, who is the owner of the Malaga-based recording studio Hollers Analog Studio. During this ongoing state of alarm, the group is working to shed a new light on their songs while maintaining the spirit that already characterized their music.

Javi Neria always knew (since the start of the 90s, when he started playing) that he wanted to give form to a hypnotic and repetitive rock. Although he lost some of his enthusiasm after the dramatic and sudden split of the band Miraflores, he quickly felt the desire to create music again. He bought a drum machine and a new synthesizer and called Ventura, an old friend who helped him with the first sketches. He also sent some sketches to Carlos Ferrari, the present-day band singer and with whom he shares a special connection. Selu, formerly a bassist in Miraflores, came to join the band later, when Neria saw their material start to take shape. The creation of a new band was beginning, that of Los Rosarios.

Although they first considered Spirit Box as a band name, they preferred the translation of said expression into Spanish (Caja de Espíritus), as this is the language in which their lyrics are written. They did not fully like the name, though, and Javi came up with the alternative Los Rosarios. 'Rosarios' stands for 'rosaries' in Spanish, and he chose that name in reference to the rosary he wears as necklace, albeit without the cross.  He explains the reason behind this decision: "I found it interesting, since rosaries, like spirit boxes, work as a way of establishing contact through prayer. While spirit boxes do so with spirits and entities from other dimensions, rosaries do it with God, so in the end we decided to name the band Los Rosarios and the album 'Caja de espíritus'."

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As a friend once told the band, their music is "as if Svenonius had gone partying with Scott McCloud from Girls Against Boys, and ended up in an after-party at Calvin Johnson's while listening to Suicide." However, and although the band is happy with said definition, Selu prefers to say that their music is "nothing but rock and roll" born as a homage to bands like The Stooges, Parálisis Permanente, Spacemen 3, Suicide or Ilegales. Javi mentions that the band has received great influence from the 80s and 90s' music, as these were the decades which inspired his passion for music in every sense. In fact, Javi already played and recorded his first albums with some bands during the 90s.

Javi points out that even though carrying out a musical project nowadays is like an obstacle course, the band has always been full of excitement because music "like a drug" to them. Their 2019 album 'Caja de espíritus', which has been very well-received, is proof of this. Although they initially were against releasing it on streaming platforms because of their preference for the "smell of vinyl", they finally decided to do so due to its good critical reception. Selu recalls the recording process as one of the band's best moments. He remembers going on holidays to record at Maxi Ruiz Bandera's Holler Analog Studio in Malaga, and describes it as a musical and personal experience which strengthened their relationship: "Four souls that gather to spend four days together just because of their love for music. Although we had created and rehearsed the songs together, those days were the culmination and litmus test for the group to see if we worked as a team, given that we had to spend many hours together. We enjoyed it so much, and above all, we really laughed a lot."

Listening to Los Rosarios is choosing “an unusual aesthetic path.” In this sense -as Selu points out-,  what differentiates a live performance of Los Rosarios from that of other groups is the use of a drum box instead of a drum set and a synthesizer which is “constantly buzzing like a bumblebee.” In fact, it is precisely the absence of a drum set what adds the mechanical overtones that make Los Rosarios a constant reference to other groups like the aforementioned Suicide or Silver Apple. According to Selu, the staging is another thing that characterizes the band’s live performances: they are quite simple, accompanied by the embracing sound of Javi’s guitars and with all the audience’s visual attention focused on Carlos.

The band is working in new songs and sounds at present, while preserving the spirit that characterizes them, however, because of the state of alarm caused by the global pandemic. Hopefully, “we will probably be recording new material again before the year ends,” Selu points out.

Javi comments that new homages to rock music and a “brighter” repertoire are coming. Besides, he has let slip that more artists will be joining the project, although he knows that it is too soon to talk about what could be happening after the pandemic. He highlights that there are “many more adventures to come,” nonetheless, so the band’s story has just begun. They are also aware that Seville is offering quite a hopeful music scene: many new groups with great talent are joining in alongside veteran ones which are carrying on with their musical growth. Seville’s music scene, as Javi notes, feeds on itself and benefits the city in musical terms.