“That day in Reus, I thought everything I did was of no use

“That day in Reus, I thought everything I did was of no use

BarcelonaJaume Pla (La Bisbal d'Empordà, 1977), Mazzone of Music, concludes twenty years of his musical career with a concert at Apolo 2 on Saturday (8:30 p.m.), as part of the Empremtes cycle. It's not a final goodbye, but he doesn't want to celebrate with any calendar. Like a cyclist after a mountain stage, he needs a break to regain his senses. With extreme frankness, he talks about the crisis of creativity and frustrated hopes, but also about the joy of devoting himself to a craft capable of achieving the best emotional effects.

How do you imagine Saturday's party?

– Well, very emotional, I guess, because the theater is about to close. It has been 20 years that Mazzone has been on stage without interruption. In addition, it seems that the atmosphere will be very intense, because the tickets have sold well.

How do you imagine the day after this party?

– Comfortable, I think. Obviously if everything doesn't go well, like it or not, I'm going to have a bittersweet feeling. But if things go as they should, I'll feel great, because even though I'm having a good time right now, I need this vacation.

What is it that you need?

— During this year, at some concerts I didn't really want to play, and it didn't happen to me very often. Suddenly I thought: If it gets suspended and I charge the same amount, it doesn't matter to me. I noticed something was up. In terms of composition, it was a bit stagnant after that Ludwig (2021), a record that required a lot of work, between collecting all of Beethoven's material and choosing which parts to work with. After this album, I didn't know much about what to do anymore; The response wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing either. I was a little tired, but not physically tired like bands that need to stop because they've worked too hard or toured too much. What's more, I felt like I didn't have enough strength to write new songs.

Have you ever thought that maybe on disk Ludwig Has it become clear that you need some kind of conceptual or dialectical excuse to be able to compose, because you no longer compose as naturally as before?

– maybe. Meat, bones and all included (2017) was also a record on which there was a premise: to play all the songs with guitar and voice. And a Stupid desire (2019) The idea was to form a rock trio without overdubs, it was like direct. They are imperceptible places, but they were really there. from Ludwig, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. Yes, maybe you need to find a little motivation, and it's true what you say, maybe what I would like to resume now is the spirit of the past, making songs for the sake of making songs, with joy and joy. Curiosity and a desire to play, not professional obligations. In fact, I can kind of see this happening, because just saying I should rest actually brings the thoughts into my head.

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Guillem Gisbert was able to take a break from Manel by creating an album under his name. How will you rest from Mazzone, who sets a record for Jaume Bla?

-It's a good question, because I have a lot of doubts. For example, Guillem Gisbert, or people who are a little bit on his level of popularity, can afford a little more, because he may not be like Manel, but he gets a lot of attention. In my case, the project could be completely unrelated. Let's see, it all depends on the feelings you convey, the moment and everything, because it's not mathematics… I haven't listened to Gwilym's songs much, so I can't judge either, but how does she stand out from the others? Usual brand? Because if I didn't make completely different music, it would also be weird to give it another name.

He chose different producers for the recording, as if seeking to differentiate himself from Maneil through sound, though the sound remains his own. I think it's complicated.

– Yes, I was thinking of cases like Liam Gallagher, where you hear him sing and you hear Oasis.

Although the level of songs is not the same.

– No, of course, Noel Gallagher is missing.

Do you have a backup plan other than music?

– Well, the truth is, no, but I've always been very frugal, and I'm very frugal with my expenses. It's funny, because my first song that sounded like enough was I do not have the time. It's one of those things where you say it in the first person and people think that because you're speaking in the first person it's about you, but they don't have to. In this case, I always preferred to have time rather than money. I can afford a few months, a year, to withdraw from these savings.

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Didn't you specify a specific horizon?

-I like to do what I love, whether it's composing music or not. Anyway, I hope I don't have to do things. I mean the decision is not because I need to pay the mortgage, but because I love making songs. At least for a while, because obviously you can't live like this your whole life.

During these twenty years, have you enjoyed more moments of ecstasy than moments of hope?

-Yes, I would say yes. I associate moments of ecstasy a lot with live performances, which always give you very strong emotions. On the other hand, I didn't enjoy hope very much because I put hopes on some records that may not have been fulfilled, or were only half fulfilled. So, the euphoria was satisfying, and the hope sometimes disappeared a little.

For not living up to some expectations you set for yourself?

– Yes. For example, when I finished Ludwig He was quite satisfied with that, and thought that maybe it would give more play, that people would engage with it more, and that it would be funny to see this fusion merger. It was still slightly half baked. Well, it's been a long time since I've felt privileged in terms of being able to make a living through music, but it's also true that for some albums things have been a bit stagnant. I've had this feeling of repeating the same wheel: When a record comes out, I kind of know what's going to happen, how far it's going to go, when it's going to end, and when I'm going to make another record again. This monotony affects me too, and is one of the reasons I made this decision.

In addition, it is agreed that the situation causes many figs to be placed in other baskets. In other words, now recruitments go to certain groups and this is at the expense of veteran bands and artists like you.

– naturally. Every year more people join the train and fashions change. For example, guitars are rarely worn now. Well, I would almost say that in many shows there aren't a lot of musicians playing instruments. There are a lot of taped bases, a lot of dancers, a lot of lights… I don't think that's good or bad, but it doesn't help me. I also believe that everything is cyclical, even if it is no longer the same way, but is reinvented. Like when grunge came along and claimed Neil Young. Nirvana is no Neil Young, but some things can be similar. Who knows if in three or five years things will change and guitars will come back. I don't know, I hope so.

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What is the best memory of these 20 years that makes you feel the most proud?

– There are a few. The most severe of these occurred mainly at Apollo. I remember the album tour concert very well Euphoria 5 – Hope 0 (2009). There are concerts where I feel like an intermediary between the audience and the music, because I spend my time in a different way and I don't think about things like “now this song will come”, “remember to step on this pedal” or “remember to say this between songs”, but it's like a state of trance. It also happened to me last year at the Apollo at the farewell concert of musicians Miquel Sospidra and Alex Bo. This is what I'm most proud of. There's also weird stuff, like when we covered The Velvet Underground, Sister Rayat the BankRobber Festival where each band played for half an hour: We decided to play only this song, which is already close to twenty minutes long.

What memories would you like to forget?

— This is quite clear to me: a concert in Reus from the album tour 7 songs for an endless night (2016). There were only eleven people in the audience, and I thought: 'Auster, I've played at the Palau de la Música, at Primavera Sound, at Mercè, at Música Viva, I have a bunch of records released, and it's as if I'm at first , as if nothing had happened.” I was like, “Maybe I should fold.” At the time I saw it very much that way. Meat, bones and all included, which came out very quickly, saved me a little bit…it was a very quick record. Sometimes the urgency puts pressure and makes things go wrong, but in this case the urgency was good because I got a lot of songs out and it was like starting the second phase of Mazzone there. But that day in Reus, I thought everything I had done was of no use.

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