Joining the likes of The Parrots and Hinds, Baywaves are the best new band emerging from the Spanish music scene. Amongst their hectic gig tour of the UK, I managed to sit down with lead singer David Alonso and bass player Francisco Bassi for a quick chat about their new single, their love of Wetherspoons, and buying fake IDs to watch a Biffy Clyro set.
Congrats on the new single! I think it’s very good and I am enjoying it a lot! I read it was based on a meme..?
Francisco- I am studying architecture, and in Madrid at least there are not many jobs for architects. So everyday me and my friend wander about what we will do when we finish studying. I was talking to a friend, and I don’t know how it came to my mind, but I thought about how tired I was of thinking and trying to decide what to do after my degree. I want to just let go and find an easy way forward. Then one day I saw a meme, I think it was from the Kardashians, and it said something like ‘I don’t want to care, but I will still care even more than before.’ And as soon as I read those lines it was like a trigger to write the lyrics which ended up being this song.
The music video for this song is really wacky, how did you come about the idea for it?
David – It was done in one day, we called our friend called Diego, and he proposed some ideas to us, and we ended up doing it in a day.
Francisco – we don’t like videoW of bands that take themselves too seriously (‘we are so beautiful and we are so talented’) and we didn’t have much time for this one. And this one we had to do it in one day, it had to be done. So he said ‘I have this idea, I think it suits you’re idea of not being too serious’ and so we got a bunch of friends who were happy to come along and we shot it.
Your EP ‘Only For Uz’ came out in 2016 and was mixed by Joe Walker (guitarist from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard). How did that come about and what was it like to work with him?
Francisco – It was by chance really!
David – Yeah it was much easier than it seems. We wrote to him and he answered us!
Francisco – We had recorded the EP in Madrid and we didn’t like the mixes we had. We had talked to SoundCloud about this, and we knew about this band called Foreign National (from Australia) and they had some stuff mixed by Joe. We asked them if there was any chance they could give us an email for Joe, and then once we got his details it was as easy as David said! We just wrote to him and he said ‘yeah we’re on tour and I’m going to mix it on my laptop’ and we just said ‘Mix it wherever you want to!’ For us it was just amazing.
David – And after that we played with King Gizzard in Madrid. I can’t remember how much later it was, maybe two years?
Francisco – We played with them last year about two, two and a half years later, because it was mixed in 2015, and then it came out 2016. It was really cool. For us, we didn’t realize how amazing it was until it actually happened!
You’ve been busy playing shows all around the world. What is it like going to all these new places, especially speaking English all the time? How have you found that?
H – It really depends on who you ask and the place!
When we first started in Spain, we noticed there were a lot of bands singing in English who didn’t really get a chance to go abroad until not so long ago. Before we formed this band, our drummer had got offers to play London, and not much was happening in Spain. Then the four of us joined the band and we started playing over here. So really it seemed quite natural for us to be singing in English, and we were set on playing shows abroad, and so it’s been happening for us since day one. I think the hardest thing is still getting on loads of planes with all our stuff and airports say “No you’re only allowed one bag for travel!” Every time we get to the UK it feels more comfortable. We’re used to driving our van on the left now, which is important so we don’t die! And we found this place which is pretty common here but we didn’t know about it. It’s called Wetherspoons! We have breakfast every day there and people laugh when I say this but it’s truly a life saver! You can wake up anywhere, hungover or not, with little money, and go and get a breakfast!
Do you have a favourite place you’ve played?
David – Maybe when we played in a high school.
Francisco – It was a dorm/student accommodation and they organised parties in the main hall for a couple of days and it was a really good show!
David – Yeah, there were a lot of young people, it was a good party.
Francisco – The venue we played in Bristol was quite cool too. We like these small venues where we’re all crowded together on stage.
Speaking of small venues, you guys were involved in changing the laws in Madrid with regards to young people being able to come to gigs. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Francisco – Well Carlos did that. In Spain people under the age of 18 can’t go to shows. There are bars at these venues, and they have to make money from selling alcohol, so under 18s can’t go in because theoretically they could buy alcohol. So, Carlos and I (we are younger than the other two) when we were like sixteen/seventeen we had fake Ids to go and see bands. I remember seeing Biffy Clyro ages ago and they were playing a really small venue and you couldn’t get in if you were under eighteen. Carlos, when he was seventeen actually, somehow got involved in this show or something in Madrid where they spoke about how absurd this law is, and lots of people came to show support. And then they got involved with a left wing political party that was supporting heavily the idea of getting rid of this law. The whole thing happened in about a year, and everyone voted in favour of abolishing this law, and now slowly the idea is spreading through Spain. So far, we haven’t seen a big change, but I think in about five years’ time you will.
Have you seen any difference in the audiences coming to your gigs in Madrid since this change?
Francisco – We are lucky because our audience is young, so people might be sixteen or twenty-three, you can’t see the difference.
David – I think the audience in the UK is definitely older than in Spain.
Francisco – Not a big difference in Spain yet, but I think it will get more popular as years go by and you’ll see the change in audience age much more clearly.
How does it make you feel about so many small music venues being shut down?
Francisco – We have seen it happening in Madrid, and also with bands from London who we are friends with. We were just talking about this today over breakfast. We don’t know why the venues are closing down over here – if its political, economic, the music, noise… We have very few venues in Spain anyway, but we’ve definitely noticed more of a change in London. Our friends are in a band called Horsey and they played in a fundraiser for saving a venue. But it happens far from us in Spain so we don’t really get how or why it is happening. But it’s still a really sad thing.
And finally, what can we expect coming up from the band? Is there any more music on its way?
Francisco – We have another single recorded, which should be finished soon. We have other songs and singles in the making too.
David – I think we have around six demos of ideas in the making.
Francisco – Back in the day we thought about sitting down and making an LP, but that doesn’t seem to be happening anymore so we will see. The single format is comfortable for us so we may keep on releasing our music in this way.
A huge thanks to Francisco and David from Baywaves for chatting to me. Make sure to check out their new single Over Time now!