Los Albertos interviewed at BoomtownFriday, 19 August, 2011
Boomtown Fair – Invisible Circus Tent – 13 Aug 11 – 22:00
C: You’ve been around for a while… how long have you been together for?
MC: Nice start, make us feel old! We’ve been around since 2002, but in 2005 Chez and Des joined, which kind of changed the direction a little bit.
C: How have you changed since 2005?
CH: I guess it just got a bit more punkier, and a bit more… drunker maybe!
MC: Since Chez and Des joined, I think we kind of feel like things got a bit more… things changed a bit. It came together.
CH: and about two years ago we got a new bass player. The original founding member, he decided to take his life in a different direction, which is cool, and we got a new guy, Adam.
MC: Lots of love to the original people, but we definitely feel at the moment that this is our place. We’re in a good place.
C: So are you busy at the moment?
CH: As busy as we want to be I think. Last year was particularly manic for us. I think we all burnt the candle at more than two ends, so we had a bit of a sabbatical over the Winter, doing our own thing. Got back into it this Summer, doing what we want to do instead of taking anything that comes our way.
MC: We really had to do that in the beginning. Some of the band, for eight years, were doing 150 plus gigs a year, and not always good gigs. If it’s what you love, you just say yes to everything. We’d done that for eight years, and we got to this point where…
CH: It takes it’s toll!
MC: It does… on your relationships, your life, your vices which help you deal with these things. We had six months off, which was a really healthy thing to do, and now we’ve come back and we’re not doing it as much as we used to do. But we’re choosing the right things to do.
C: What made Boomtown the right one to choose? Do you enjoy it?
CH: We’ve done Boomtown for years, since before it was Boomtown.
MC: We’ve known Chris and Lak (the organisers) for a long time, for various reasons. We have friends in common. Hand on my heart it was my favourite festival last year, and I had an awesome Glastonbury! The music line-up is fantastic.It really is. It’s got reggae, ska, punk, dubstep, techno, drum n bass, rock, hippie music…
CH: It’s very very eclectic
MC: and also, the people are interesting and nice.
CH: The set design is amazing. It looks like Shangri-la from Glastonbury. They’ve worked really hard on it.
MC: It doesn’t have the pretentions of some other festivals which require you to dress up in certain ways… It has the realness of a festival which says ‘turn up and do what you want to do’, but it has the imagination of those other festivals. No disrespect to them, they’ve been good to us.
CH: We’ve been really lucky, we’ve been invited to play at a lot of amazing festivals, but there’s something about Boomtown, it’s got that little sparkle to it. Maybe it’s the Bristol/ Brighton thing.
MC: Maybe it’s the free party scene, where it has its roots, and a lot of our band have their roots there too.
CH: It’s fresh. Lak and Chris are really quite young in the festival organisation scene, and it shows. They’re not stuck in their ways.
MC: And it has changed. It’s nice to have lots of different people here now. But I’m a music teacher, and I have some students here, and I do worry that I might bump into one of my students!
C: And where do you go from here? What does Los Albertos have planned?
CH: The next one is Shambala, but we’ve got a couple of gigs in Brighton as well. We’re doing PupAid, it’s in Stanmer Park in Brighton. On September the 15th or 16th. We’re playing after the dog show! And there’s a fiery foods festival…
MC: But we haven’t really thought past Monday. Maybe on Tuesday I’d like to go to an Esso garage and find some Chinese meat on a stick. Oh, and we’re going to Bestival, to play in the Spiegeltent.
CH: We’ve been trying to get Bestival for about five years. We’ve got contacts with Rob da Bank, and eventually we got the gig. We’re really looking forward to that. But in the future future, it would be nice if we could actually write some more songs. We’ve got a couple of bits and pieces in the making, but it would be good to maybe get a single out, make a video…
MC: We’re looking to record in October. With the music industry as it is at the moment, it’s all self funded, which is cool. It means you have to be good at doing the gigs to earn the money to then pay for that. Record companies don’t invest. We’re looking to record. It’s an investment. It’s a vision. It’ll happen. But first we have to come down from all the festivals, and then in October we’re looking to record. We’ve got two or three songs in the set at the moment, and another four in the making, and a couple of covers, but I think we’d rather do a really good four or five track EP than a shonky eight or nine track album. It’s easier to fund and it’s easier to promote.
C: Do you have any advice for up and coming bands?
CH: Be an accountant!
MC: Blag blag blag blag blag blag, tell people you’re much better than you are, blag it, and in the end it’ll happen! Go for it… that’s how it works.
C: Is there anything else we need to know about Los Albertos?
C: Thank you very much.
Band members: Martin Andrews – Drums. Mark Crawford – Guitar, Voice. Des Crawley – Trumpet, Melodica, Voice . Chez Harper-Grimble – Saxophone, Melodica, Voice. Tim Herman – Saxophone and Voice. Adam Moog – Bass.
Interviewer: Claire Higgins, 2011