Mr MacKenzie publishes new EP | Revista independiente de música

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Mr MacKenzie publishes new EP

Paco García called me one Sunday evening so as to set up an interview to concur with the publication of the new album of his band, Mr. Mackenzie, the 27th November. The prior doubts of meeting someone new by phone faded away by the time the call was answered. A mutual friend, protagonist of an eventful story, was the person that joined together these two strangers from the very beginning. However, that obstacle would be solved due to Paco’s zeal and energy.

For those who don’t know them, Mr. MacKenzie are a pop rock band born in Montilla, Córdoba and formed in 2017. Just as Paco tells us, the band’s percussionist, everything came about as the result of the union of the guitarist Miguel Ángel Castro and Fran Espejo, currently singer and secondary guitarist. “Miguel Ángel had previous experience in thrash metal bands but he started being influenced by new musical references”, states Paco. “A coworker mentioned how his nephew sang fine and then he got them in contact” Afterwards, they recruited the other members, Sergio Ríos and Paco, officially establishing the band. But the age of the members is unlike. “Fran is at present 21 years old, I’m 29, Miguel Ángel will soon be 35 and Matías (the current bassist) is 30”. In other words, the youngest and the oldest joined forces. And this can be noticed in the musical culture of each one of us. “For instance, Fran enjoys Leiva and other groups of his generation”. After its birth, the band performed for the first time in the ‘Noche Blanca’ in Montilla, “playing versions of groups of the Spanish indie scene such as Second, Vetusta Morla, Izal… The central idea was at all times to make our own music, but this helped us to make ourselves known.”

Being acquainted with the origins of the band, it is sensible to want to find out where does the curious and flashy name of Mr. MacKenzie come from. “Migue had a band which adapted and reinterpreted punk and proto punk songs. They played songs by Misfits, Dead Kennedys, etc. and there was a song that they played in which a part said something about Mr. MacKenzie and he loved that shit. Then, he decided that the band was going to be named in that way, so the time Sergio and I joined in we already had that name”. “That name is now like a son to us” admits Paco. “The name will not be changed; it goes to the grave”. The first designs of the band were materialized in 2019 with their discographic debut, the EP titled ‘Introspección’. According to Paco, “the songs from ‘Introspección’ have as the connecting thread different human anxieties such as love and coolness, changes and the knowledge of what the future holds”. The EP includes some renowned songs of Mr. MacKenzie, such as ‘Diente de León’ or ‘Última Vez’. “We recorded this album in Montilla and we are really glad with the results”, although he admits that for their new EP they looked for “something else” to give them better quality in the production of their new reference.

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On 27th November, ‘Miscelánea’ was published, the second title by the montillanos. This EP has meant an increase in quality of the band’s sound, counting on Paco Loco’s collaboration on production. “We were contrasting different options in Málaga and we came up with the idea of Paco Loco. Next day we called and overnight we had closed that in December’s long weekend of 2019 we were going to the ‘Puerto de Santa María’ to record for four days”. The experience of recording with a producer of the standing of Paco Loco was one of the best they recall. “All we can say about these four days is nothing. Each one lived it differently, but I can tell only good things about Paco”, he explains. “He took us in and with him and his wife we couldn’t be better. I have to make special mention in that sense”. On musical terms he adds that Paco “was impressed we had the songs so well prepared” On his impressions, he highlights his producer’s nice personality, “you realize how humble and sincere he is. He is an eminence built up with every day’s work”. Regarding his routine he tells: “We woke up around 9/10 AM and Paco was already working on musical arrangements and in the recording, we worked until lunch time and in the evenings until 9 or 10 PM”.

Some will wonder how the compositional process is inside a band. In Mr. Mackenzie’s case “Miguel Ángel usually calls the shot in composition, but concerning the lyrics, we tend to be quite democratic. In ‘¿Para Qué?’ I wrote the lyrics, but the instrumental was an original idea by Miguel Ángel and Sergio Ríos. Later, each one adds his own personal touch through the arrangements of their instruments”. Paco remarks that “the album was recorded with Sergio Ríos since it was taped during December’s long weekend of 2019”. In 2020 the formation underwent a change, “During one of the quarantine videocalls, Sergio told us that he broke up with the band just because he wanted to give a new perspective to his music and to explore new styles. Then, it was the time Matías Puelma joined the band, Miguel Ángel’s brother-in-law. It was a smooth change, since he had previously worked in the band”.

This year has cut short Mr. MacKenzie’s projects to a large extent, the album was originally planned to be published before, “We had planned publishing ‘Miscelánea’ by the end of March, but the pandemic came”, declares Paco somehow annoyed because of the incoming year. “In January 2020 we played in FITUR, in February played in the ‘Día de la Marmota’ (Groundhog Day) in Sevilla, then 5th March with Borneo and by the end of March we were due to play in Poplacara’s party here in Montilla, but all was messed up” It is true that this year has submerged a great number of businesses into crisis, but it is undeniable the fact that this wound is more deep in an industry that already had scarce backing and unsafe conditions”. The band is currently working on their first LP. “In all probability we will record again with Paco loco”, although Paco García admits the process of being slow. “We cannot neither see each other nor rehearse. This year is for getting in order all the material we have”. Paco does not want to end the interview without a mention to all the human team behind Mr. MacKenzie: “We are a whole team. I would like to name Isabel Fernández, who has been responsible for the graphic arts, creating a painting inspired by all ‘Miscelánea’ songs and also Rafa García, in charge of the videoclips”. After the publication of their EP, the band insists on hard work over the rest of the year and sees with relative optimism the next year. “Our goals are to publish an album, promote ourselves and show our work”. With these premises this band faces an uncertain future, but they count on their work to get ahead.

¡Compártelo!