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From American rock to new oldies

Today we have an appointment at the Radiopolis studio, located on the Torneo avenue in Sevilla. This facility is set in a small tower and, inside of it, there is a tight building full of stairs. Some of the members of My Yellowstone, homonym of an American natural parc, are sitting next to the announcer. They drink some gin tonic while they talk, laugh and remember. On their way out, they accord some words to Poplacara.

The adventure began through an email. Daniel Vizcaíno, “Dani Kussa”, and Francisco José, “FJ Curra”, have known each other since they were little. At that time, Dani was living in Barcelona. He was already in a band, but he wanted to do something more. FJ Curra was playing Spanish rock, but also wanted to create something different. He wanted to give American folk from the 60s a try. He mentioned Ryan Adams, Dani heard it and the project started. The name had to “sound American”. Just like that, My Yellowstone arose. They like it but think that “people don’t remember it and write it wrongly on the posters”. They were influenced by Nick Cave, Neil Young, Bowie (from who Dani Kussa is a big fan), among others. My Yellowstone has played in Latin American countries and in the United States, specially thanks to Here&Now, the album that allowed them to go on tour in Spain. Their last release, Jewels, is now coming out of the oven. Little by little, the songs made with Jordi Cruz come to light. They consider that “working for him is a blast”. They desire to make a vinyl LP and are currently composing it.

You (Paco Bajo) and Dani are in multiple bands. Why is that?

Paco bajo. ̶ I think it’s not a conscious election. It’s something that occurs. Imagine that My Yellowstone had two flights per weekend and a lot of tours. I wouldn’t have any time to be in more bands (…). I’m with seven of them and I have like four concerts per month. It’s the same for Dani. In fact, it’s worse for him, because he has lived exclusively from music for years. He has been in cover bands and those are the ones that earn the most money, at least in Sevilla and its surroundings. ̶

FJ. ̶ I have been a one-woman man (Paco laughs). Always. Each time I started a new musical project, I have devoted myself a hundred percent to it. I finished the last one, Marvin Green, and fully started with My Yellowstone. I like to play my own songs, not the ones from others. Besides, I want to spend time with my family and fulfill other aspects of my life. When a band becomes professional, some other projects that are less important, can get off the table. Then, you work to a hundred percent on that project and see the positive results of it. At the end of the day, the bands that live only from music in Spain are just a few.

There are at least two persons that are in multiple groups at a time, is it easy or difficult to get organized?

FJ. ̶ We find it hard to meet up. We send the set of songs that we’re going to play on Saturday to each other and we prepare it at home. (…). All of us study our own part well. The looseness and the trajectory of each one also helps a lot. They just come and do it perfectly. When Dani plays live, he drags us with him. We all get motivated.

Paco Bajo. ̶ But we also rehearse. He’s sugaring the pill. (laughter). ̶

Jewels is your last work. What surprises does it have? What is the highlight?

Paco Bajo. ̶ There are only four songs. We tried to highlight them all. It’s very different, maybe not so much compared to the previous one, but it’s surely different from the first one, Here&Now. (…). This one is more electric. It reminds remotely to The Strokes. I think the songs are easy to listen to, they are catchy and less raw, above all. (…). They have more spins. ̶

Dani Kussa chose the title. What does it refer to?

FJ. ̶ He’s like a proud dad. It refers to… “these are four great tracks”. They are four jewels (…). They are all good because we’re a band that works on songs that we know are going to work. If we see it doesn’t, we directly stop spending time on it. We like them. We see each one of them as a possible single. In fact, we doubted a lot. Maybe Disgust came out as the first single with the videoclip because, well, it has the rhythm that use to work and it’s very fresh. ̶

Paco Bajo. ̶ At the beginning of all, I think Dani didn’t even had the lyrics clear, Russian Roulette was called Jewels. Then we had to change the name. You didn’t even remember it until two or three months later (FJ laughs). Me neither. ̶

Why did you choose Jordi Gil to produce you? When did you come up with that idea?

FJ. ̶ We were longing to do so. We had always heard from this guy and knew he worked with the big ones. He has a lot of experience… even with k-pop. He always gives you a plus. (They speak a little bit among themselves). There are a lot of quality bands that record there. We had always heard something. He told us: “I would like to be the sixth member of My Yellowstone”. We really didn’t believe it. It’s the first time that we tried different sound types and recorded with several amplifiers and he didn’t even have the eye on the clock. He was comfortable and enjoyed it. ̶

When do you start the next work?

FJ. ̶ Some people were interested to know if we get to sign with a label from Madrid, but we were told it was difficult. Yes, it’s true that the industry is changing, and everything works very fast focusing on singles, launching something from time to time to maintain the band a little bit in the spotlight, so that people don’t stop following you. (…). It seems like singles are taking the leading role. There are people that said that this product blew their mind, textually. ̶

Paco Bajo. ̶ Dani gives the voice to the band. And if not, he’s the one that brings the idea, nearly the whole song. (…). Every now and then, a new song arises. There can be enough of them in one year. They just emerge, without any fixed goal. He has an amazing mind. Some time, we even left the rehearsals without rehearsing, but with a new song. ̶

Their songs talk about sex, drugs and love. Other subjects like the discontent with the government (Disgust) or the refugees (They are coming for us) also sneak in. They haven’t stopped playing, but they confess to be a little bit pickier about the concerts because of their families or economic issues. The next one will take place on the 11th April in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz). They create independent rock inspired on the Americana music genre, classic rock and even glam rock. Even if the group has experienced some changes, it has some consistency, according to Paco Bajo, that already was a fan of My Yellowstone before he became a member of it. “We make new oldies”, he says, recalling FJ Curra’s words. “What we do sounds a little bit old”, he clarifies. Their music comes out naturally. They run away from fame, they don’t have any manager or any favorite festival to perform at, but they wouldn’t mind being on the Mad cool line-up. 

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