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June 2020

Baywaves: "Now the EP is done, we can talk about the album"

Baywaves are Spain's latest export, a self-described ‘Hipnopop' four-piece that are hiking the trail blazed by close friends and fellow Madrid residents Hinds.
Published: 9:45 am, May 21, 2018
"This is a lot more relaxed than usual!" says Baywaves bassist Fran Bassi, just before the band's gig supporting Hinds at The Fleece in Bristol. "Usually we have to take the train or the subway with all of our instruments, but this time we've actually got a car, which is great.

"It's strange for us, coming out of Madrid and playing bigger UK shows. I don't think it's weird for Hinds though; they've been doing it for a long time!" He laughs. In fact, he laughs after almost everything he says, bouncing from topic to topic.

"At SXSW we did 11 shows in six days! Or was it five?" He ponders, looping back to how much more relaxed the current run of gigs is. "The craziest day was the Saturday; we did three shows in four hours. You have to get out there and play and cope. It sounded quite okay for the public we think. We hope.

"Supporting Hinds though, it's great. We've opened for them a couple of times already in Spain, and we're really good friends, so it feels natural for us to be with them. Still super weird to play such a big venue here in the UK, though."

"pull" text="We're lucky to have so many good bands in Madrid at the moment

Are Spanish audiences different from UK audiences? Fran thinks for a moment. "They're definitely different. In Spain, people tend to dance more and get a little bit crazier. But in the UK if you have a good show it's amazing, people come up to you afterwards and say, ‘That was amazing, thank you for playing!' It's a different vibe during the show and afterwards, but both are great."

The Spanish music scene is a topic close to Baywaves' hearts. "For a long time in Spain, there wasn't much going on, or at least not much that was led by young people. I would say the cause was mostly the economic crisis ten years ago, that was what kick-started bands like Parrots and Hinds, and they opened the door.

"Those bands showed us that it was possible to do it as a Spanish band. We all thought, ‘Oh shit, we can play abroad?!' And that just caused this domino effect. We're lucky to have so many good bands in Madrid at the moment; hopefully, it will last a long time.

"I don't know if it's just because I'm looking for more young bands now, but there are so many more around. When I was growing up, the only Spanish band that would play abroad were Delorean, an electronic band. Now there are so many types of music being played, from electronic to 90s grunge, which is a really good sign."

Baywaves aren't just observing from the sidelines though. "When we were growing up you couldn't get into shows, because they were all 18+. So our guitar player Carlos helped run a campaign to change the law and let younger people in, and it worked. They passed the law in Madrid, and now it's in effect across Spain, so now new bands are getting to see other young bands and getting inspired by that."

Aside from touring and campaigning for reforms to Spanish law, Baywaves have also been busy in the studio. "Our new EP is out a month today! For us, there's a real change in the sound. People that listen say it's still undeniably us, so maybe it isn't so immediate as we think, but it's there. We experimented more with samplers and synths, trying to get texture not just using guitars so for us it's really different, we've opened the door with this EP.

"We thought we had to grow our horizons with this one, so even if it doesn't sound so different, we feel that in the future it will mark the start of a big change. We mixed it with Hans Krüger, who mixed Delorean and John Talabot, and that's impacted the sound.

"Now the EP is done and mixed; we can talk about the album," he says tentatively when asked about future plans. "We don't know if it's going to happen soon, but we're ready to do it. It'll depend on how much touring we do, how much time we've got, but we're ready to think about it, you know?"

"pull" text="Everything has been so unexpected

And after the album? Fran pauses, looking for words. "The thing is that from the beginning everything about Baywaves has been so - and this might sound really cliché - everything has been so unexpected.

"We put out an EP, and we played all the festivals we grew up dreaming of playing in Spain, and then we played End of the Road here in the UK, and now we are playing with Hinds... I wouldn't know what to say. I really hope we get the album out, but from that point on, I don't know. I don't want to say anything because it's always better than expected, I don't know!"

Taken from the June issue of Dork - order your copy below. Baywaves’ new EP ‘It’s Been Like’ is out now.

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