I spent the whole concert day with Las Migas, hosting them, in the hotel, backstage, transportations and restaurant. And these are the impressions I got in Revel Café sharing a good bottle of Spanish wine with them. Simple Spanish passion and fun!
Please start with the presentations of the band members, instruments and your influences.
ALBA: My name is Alba Carmona and I’m the vocalist of the band. I really like flamenco and latin music so they are an important part of my influences.
ROSER: My name is Roser Loscos and I play the violin. My biggest influence is bluegrass jazz and when I was in the music school, Miles Davis and his solos were important to me.
ALICIA: I’m Alicia Grillo and I play guitar. My education is in classical guitar, but I have listened flamenco since I was a child so it is basically what I do here.
MARTA: I’m Marta Robles, the other guitarist, and I have many influences but I think what all of them have in common, is the guitar. Apart of that I would say Brasilian music, classical guitar, flamenco…
Marta, you are the one who composes the music?
Marta: Yes, I compose some music for Las Migas, and maybe I am the one who have composed the most in all these years until now. Also it is obvious because I am with Las Migas since the beginning of times.
Who is still from the original Las Migas, from the first group of musicians back in 2004? Was it difficult to face all that many changes and find new members?
Marta: I’m the only one who has stayed in Las Migas since the first group came together. Finding new members has never been a difficult question, because it has always been in a very natural moment when a change was needed. All the changes that occurred have been beautiful changes for me because we have grown to be better. The difficult part of the changes are always to face with the future and the hard work you need to do to reach stability again. Changes have been positive.
What is the reason behind the only women requirement for the band members? Don’t you want men in the band?
Marta: This is not true… We want men so much [laughs].
Alba: Well, it was a coincidence that these four people who found the band studied in the same place and they developed a kind of music and sensibility that were more closer to girls than boys. But actually we have also some men in our band as Kiko (sound technician) and our percussionist that comes sometimes with us. It’s an atypical band only with women, so I think it is an advantage at some points… We love men, too [laughs].
Who of the old flamenco legends would you like to share a stage or collaborate with?
Alba: Lola Flores, Camarón de la Isla, Paco de Lucía… all of them are incredible artists. It is a pity that they are not here with us anymore… but it would be a pleasure to play with all of them.
Marta: I really would like to perform with Carmen Linares, one of the best flamenco voices ever, it is incredible what this women can do on the stage. Simply powerful.
How did you evolve from “Las reinas del matute” to “Nosotras somos”? Which album got better critique?
Marta: Well of course you evolve all the time when there are two years between both albums and when there has been many changes in the members of the band. The sound also evolves but I think Nosotras somos we recorded in live and almost without any post-production, with an independent label. And Las reinas del matute was recorded in a different way of production. I am happier with the last album because we have more motivation, energy… I think with the previous members we were already a bit fed up of each other. Now everything is fresh and it’s being great wherever we play. It’s like a new project.
What do you feel when you showcase flamenco music all over the world? Is it like a responsibility to carry on and show the Spanish culture through the music wherever you go?
Marta: It is something that makes us proud, and when playing outside Spain, it is like a big event for us, because it is different and you see how people enjoy. The reception is always good and you notice how big it is. Flamenco is sentimental.
Alba: It is kind of responsibility because we have to do it well and perform with quality. It’s not good if you don’t try to do your best in what you do. The Spanish culture has to be in a good place outside of Spain. But actually we feel more responsibility when we play in Sevilla or Andalusia, because this is the real capital of flamenco, so people are more expert and look at your performance with more criticism.
Roser: When I joined Las Migas my parents were a bit surprised but now they are a big fans of the band. When we play in Catalonia we see that people also like [what we do – editor] so for me it is nice to show our art everywhere.
What are the main topics of your lyrics?
Alba: Mostly about love, emotions and melancholy. The lyrics are adaptations from books or we have friends who write the lyrics as David de la Chica or Antonio Romera, two very nice professionals.
Do you want to write more in Catalonian? I have to say that “La lluna” and “La plaça del diamant” sound really great. You have also composed the soundtrack for the Catalonian theatre performance “Unes veus”.
Marta: We always have in mind to write in Catalonian, because two of our member, Alba and Roser, are originally from Catalonia. Alicia and I are from Andalusia but we are living in Barcelona for so long ago so we understand Catalonian culture perfectly. It is amazing when you play for Catalonian audience and they are amazed when we do flamenco in their language also.
Alba: The experience in the theatre was incredible because we also act and made the music. It was a strange performance, but very entertaining.
What has been the most significant show for you?
Alicia: I think the most special with me in the band (I’m the last one to join) was in Sant Feliu when we played together for the first time. It was a proof that we were on the right path and they chose the good one. Also like the girls said before when we play in Andalusia or Sevilla, the audience is more exigent there.
What is the origin of the name of the band?
Marta: Well, actually I don’t remember well [laughs]. It came because of the bread crumbs, and also you can link it with a typical dish from Castilla, Andalusia and Extremadura called Migas. If you put an “a” before Migas is also Las amigas (the female friends), so it’s something connected also [laughs].