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Interview von: arne mit Alberto & Esteban, am: 30.03.2012 ]

Freunde instrumentaler Rock-Musik sind bei TOUNDRA genau richtig. Die spanische Band besteht seit vier Jahren und legt mit „II“ ihren zweiten Longplayer vor. Die Musiker begnügen sich mit einem schlichten wie direkten Songwriting und gehen in dessen Umsetzung voll auf. Intensität und Tiefe erreichen die sieben Stücke der Platte, ohne dass TOUNDRA dafür Komplexität vom Zaun brechen müssten oder „II“ auch nur im Verdacht stehen würde, kopflastig ausgerichtet zu sein. Wo andere Post-Rock-Kapellen am vermeintlichen Anspruchsdenken ihrer Hörer-Klientel weit über das Ziel hinaus schießen, finden die Spanier in ihrer Reduktion und Bescheidung genau das richtige Maß.


Musicscan: Please state your name, and what you do in the band at first, and tell us, what Toundra have currently been up to?

Toundra:Alberto: Hi! I'm Alberto and I play bass. There's also Esteban and Víctor on guitars and Álex on drums. We've been composing and preparing some demos for our upcoming new album, at Westline Studios.

Musicscan: How does your band feel about the development of having instrumental hardcore-rock-metal become the “new” thing in indie-music? Where do you see the place for Toundra in the grand scheme, and what makes your band stand out from your artistic point of view?

Toundra:Alberto: For us it's kinda strange. We started as a 100% DIY band, but suddenly many people were interested in releasing our material. Years after that I think we're managing it pretty good, we played on some DIY small venues and also on big festivals. Last year we played on a pop festival, a hardcore festival and an indie festival, and I think we did a great job reaching a lot of new people.

Musicscan: What did you guys do differently with II, that you hadn't done previously to keep things progressing and interesting for yourself? Were there any particular adjustments or things that you wanted to improve upon from a technical aspect of writing?

Toundra: Esteban: We need to keep working on our own progress album by album. We could not do the same album or the same songs every year. We need to change our ideas, our compositions and our way to play our instruments.

Musicscan: Do you feel that II is a pretty good representation of bands sounding as of right now, and do you think you captured the intensity of a Toundra live show on record?

Toundra:Alberto: The record is close to how the shows sound, but many people tell us usually we sound so much wilder live. Anyway the album feels a little old for us, can't help loving more the new songs, but still think we did a great job on II.

Musicscan: A more general one: Where do you see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound?

Toundra: Esteban: Every member of the band has a lot of different influences. There are bands that I love that the rest of the guys hate… hahaha… but the goo thing of this is our common respect… sometimes this is frustrating… and that line you talk about it's between our idea of pogress as a band and the many influences we have.

Musicscan: Out of my view your new album is perfectly balanced in all aspects. Has this been something you were heading for? Has it been your aim to create this intense and organic wall of sound?

Toundra:Esteban: We just worked hard, but didn't have in mind if the album was good or balanced. It's difficult to say while you're working on it, even when you have the job done in your hands you need some time and listen to realize is good enough. About the sound thing, we picked Santi García (worked with Daïtro, Mihai Edrisch, Muletrain) and Carlos Santos (worked with Ictus, Adrift) because they know how to make you sound huge and epic. So, I think we choosed well!

Musicscan: Was it different writing this new album, now that you are more skilled with your instruments?

Toundra:Esteban: We're not the best musicians on the earth… hahaha… I think this album is darker than (II). It's more punk, more heavy and we are going to do more experiments in the studio. The only thing you need to have a good band is having a great drummer. We got it, so now it's time to experiment with the rest of our instruments, hahaha.

Musicscan: Would you agree to say the new songs are more focused as well as being a little more controlled? What was your main focus creating the new songs onto? The atmospheres are accentuated even more clearly…

Toundra:Esteban: I think you're talking about (II). This album was the album that defined us as a band. The first one was written in the first three months of the life of this band. For (II) we took our classical rock influences and we mixed them with that a atmospheres we needed to create.

Musicscan: Do you feel that Toundra have found its “own” sound already, or are you still evolving and searching for it?

Toundra: Esteban: I think we have some distinctive aspects, but still more to come.

Musicscan: Every band has a vision of how their album should sound like. Listening to II right now: Would you say that this was a successful mission, or would you even say that Toundra was able to surprise itself? If this is the case in how far?

Toundra: Esteban: We are so proud of (II), but we think we can do it so much better. If we see there's a point where we can't do better songs than we did in the past… we would not keep playing anymore.

Musicscan: When you strip down your sound to its core, what would you say is the essence of the band?

Toundra:Esteban: Toundra is a punk rock band… that's the real essence of this band.