Thursday, August 30, 2012

Barcelona’s Famèlic Family

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Exploring live music in Barcelona led to overhearing every once in a while about a group of crazy dudes from a place called Vic. I first heard about a collective called Famèlic when speaking with the Barcelona band Mujeres. The name Els Famèlics is Catalan Spanish that actually means “the hungry” rather than the false friend, “the family.” It seemed like an elusive group of kids playing music and doing things their own way, similar to a lot of D.I.Y. collectives in the U.S., which is something rare to find in Spain. The members live in Barcelona, but have shows in a suburb called Vic, because it’s much harder to book venues in the city. They also operate an independent record label and have releases from the bands L’Hereu EscampaMates Mates,OhiosRegalim, and they work with Vic Goddard & the Subway Set. In addition to these groups, they’re also working with some of the best bands in the country. Eduard Vila and Aleix Vila are two members of Furguson, a band that THE BOMBER JACKET recently interviewed, and are also co-founders of the collective. TBJ spoke with Sergi Egea, the third co-founder who manages a lot of Famèlic’s ventures, about the group and music in the Barcelona area in general.

Album cover for L’Hereu Escamapa
Mango Nebula: How did Famèlic get started?
Sergi Egea: It started as a game. We were a group of friends promoting gigs in our city. One of them was the debut concert of L’Hereu Escampa, and after seeing those guys, we were amazed and decided to release their demo and everything became a bit more professional.
Is Famèlic a record label exactly?
Famèlic is also a record label, yes. I think the fact that makes us a little bit different is that it’s 50% music and 50% friendship, at least until today. Tomorrow, we’ll release the new EP of Justin Bieber declaring his spider phobia and everything will turn back.
Watch the video for L’Hereu Escampa’s “Consol, Condol” below.
What is the group’s mission?
We think that our bands want to play shows around and have fun. We’re working hard for it.
Are you a D.I.Y. collective? What are your thoughts on D.I.Y.?
We are accidentally a D.I.Y. collective. I mean, we come from a place where if you’re not doing your own thing, you can’t do anything. I think D.I.Y. is a great thing when you don’t have any other option, but in an actually normal situation you’d have to could choose.
Are there a lot of D.I.Y. collectives in Spain? If not, why do you think so?
There are a lot collectives doing D.I.Y. style… Most young people in Spain think that music is not a job, just funny entertainment. And I think that this is the reason why such great underground music exists and there are lots of bands here, but at the same time, it’s the reason that keeps us from progress. Of course I think that people like us have to exist, but professionals also have to exist to get better conditions.
Watch the video for Mates Mates’ “El Pinsà” below.
What are your opinions on music in Barcelona and Spain in general?
Barcelona is having a very good season of music. Delorean or El Guincho are the most clear examples that success internationally is possible, but after them nobody has done it properly. There is so much talent in Barcelona and it would be a pity if bands like AlimentBeach Beach, Furguson, L’Hereu Escampa, Mujeres, Za! (and a big etc.) don’t  get a chance.

Mates Mates – Vida Animal
Besides the bands on the record label, what bands are associated with Famèlic?
We promote a festival every year where we honestly invite bands that are on our wavelength. Beside the bands that I already mentioned are bands likeBorealsOcellotEsperit!PiñataVàlius,UniversZephyr LakeHurricade and many many more…
Do you tend to have concerts and be more active in Vic or Barcelona? And why?
In Vic. We actually live in Barcelona, at least most of the time. Vic is really close to Barcelona and I’m sure in many big cities Vic would be considered a suburb. It’s easier and cheaper to have concerts there, but on other hand, less people can come to the concerts. In Barcelona it’s more risky, but when it works it’s also better than Vic.
Watch Ohios play live at Sidecar in Barcelona below.
If you have shows in Vic, do you face any of the noise problems that a lot of venues face in Barcelona?
Barcelona has a very big problem: there are too few venues where you can play. A place existed that booked concerts every single day for 100 people, and no more. It was perfect until police closed it. In Vic it’s even worse. We only have our lovely second home: La Jazz Cava.
What is La Jazz Cava?
It’s a bar with a stage made in an old cave on the medieval wall of the city. Like the cavern on Liverpool.
What is a typical Famèlic concert like? In what types of venues do they happen at? Who goes? What does it smell like?
I’m going to answer you with a video:
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at a show?

Cassette of Regalim – Batxillerat Songs
Crazy things mostly happen after the shows.
Do you guys put on any festivals?
We’re packing everything to go to Sant Feliu Fest right now. Our bands played and will play this summer in a lot of Catalan festivals! It’s amazing!
How did things go for Famèlic atPrimavera Sound?
Better than we thought. We did a showcase during the previews. A lot of people came and we sold stuff to people who didn’t know our bands. Mission accomplished!
What’s up in the future for Famèlic?
Celebrate our first anniversary, release more stuff and try to go further. The boat sinks.
Listen to Regalim’s Batxillerat Songs below.


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