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He meets us at the Fénix hotel, where he stays every time he comes to Madrid. Why? Because The Beatles settled in it when they performed at Las Ventas in 1965. And it is that, under those almost two meters still of athlete and the toupee in which only gray hair betray age, a romantic has always been hidden. "A romantic in Germanic style: the self above all", says Loquillo (Barcelona, 1960). Or José María Sanz. It's hard to tell. His latest album, La vida es de los que riskan, recovers his intimate concerts in theaters during the pandemic and now starts another tour (outstanding appointment: on June 17 at the Backstage Fest in Madrid) that, returning to the ego, is called...
'The King'. Well of modesty there. [Laughs] Let's see, at this point already... It is the second year of a tour that is preceded by three years of a succession of events that begin the day our individual freedoms are suspended, a week before the rehearsals of the tour of The Last Classic, and all the concerts that were prepared fly through the air. All the investment of two years of work and all the economic investment fall, because let's not forget that we do not enjoy any type of subsidy, we are our own company. Faced with that situation, apart from the downturn, the bad body and the disaster that the pandemic was for everyone, I make a decision that is to move forward, to move forward. This is what Churchill said: "In the worst situations is when you have to invent a different trick." So I set out to do a contemporary poetry tour. I knew what we were up against, that it was going to be a suicide mission, but it was either that or die. Did you ever think it was over? It was an act of faith, of absolute romanticism that is to defend Gil de Biedma, Atxaga, Luis Alberto de Cuenca, Jacques Brel, Aute... Defend them at the worst time and in the worst situation. It was epic and epic has always been in Loquillo's DNA. We face everything. While the Spanish government campaigned for safe culture, the regional presidents only reduced the capacity of theater, cinema and music. It was a contradiction that will go down in history. From the month of August began the madness of the rulers, the fear of what they will say from the media and fell one bolus after another. So until the final defeat. Is it the craziest time the Fool has been? Well, from there I came out with a nodular goiter that affected my vocal cords and that I was recommended to operate. I refused. Instead, knowing the gravity of what I was facing, I called Alonso Peña, Sabino Méndez, Igor Paskual and told them: "It may be my last album, let's do it." And during the second part of the pandemic, we were isolated in the Empordà recording Diary of a truce.
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The final interview.
Loquillo: "They have vetoed me and I have ridden some cojonudos chickens"
- Writing: ANA DEL BARRIO Madrid
Loquillo: "They have vetoed me and I have ridden some cojonudos chickens"
In the studio with Loquillo: "I said to myself, if death comes, it comes, but I'm going to leave a last recorded album"
- Editor: PABLO GIL Madrid
In the studio with Loquillo: "I told myself, if death comes, it comes, but I'm going to leave a last album recorded"Loquillo.Photo: Ángel NavarreteDid you really think it was going to be the last album? Yes. I'm already perfect, but since then, I wake up every morning thinking it may be my last. Have you told everything you had to tell? I think that because, quite simply, life is like that and because I live with a person who has been facing death for 12 years [when his partner, Susana Koska, was diagnosed with cancer] and I know what the difference between life and death is. I am aware that it can end any day, but as long as there is a bad host in my body and I continue to face the world, as a good only child, I will continue making records. In fact, I just finished recording a new album of contemporary poetry dedicated to Julio Martínez Mesanza. That is, in the stretch since I was diagnosed I have recorded Diary of a truce, Life is of those who risk and Europe. Not bad. It is the rhythm of a spirited twenty-year-old. They are also two different characters, that of poetry and that of music, and having transmuted the character from one place to another in a situation as difficult as this one fills me with pride. I'm very proud of the work I've done and the people I've done this work with. At the worst moment, in the worst situation and when the culture of this country needed it most, in the face of the silence of the authorities and in the face of the silence of so many colleagues who have remained on the sidelines, without any criticism and who have only appeared when this had already been resolved. Is there a lack of solidarity among musicians? Totally and absolutely. It was a shame that it was the technicians who spoke out. That gives an idea of what guild we are. I envy the cinema because the cinema when it comes together achieves things, but in this business of music the knives fly and everyone goes to theirs. Yes, there was a lack of solidarity and the technicians taught a lesson. Fortunately, part of the Statute of the Creator has been approved and the Law of Patronage has been extended, but much work remains: to equate salaries, to equate earnings with years of work, to equate the laws that exist in most countries around us with what happens here. What cannot be is that if an artist works one year and the next does not invoice because he is working on a script or a new idea, the same value is applied. It doesn't make sense. It is essential to fix it if we really want the culture of our country to be independent of the State and not be thinking all the time that the State has to pay us for things. Have Spanish artists become accustomed to living off subsidies? Don't hesitate. They have become totally accustomed. There are people who study for that, to know perfectly where to scratch one. A lot of grateful stomach and, what bothers me most, the discourse of the supposed independent who sleeps with a certain party to get their subsidies. It has been proven that this has been happening for a long time, that it seems to me lawful for everyone to seek life as they want, but I would like there to be fair play and there was also the possibility of working in a different way. We risk, I have paid out of my pocket for the two documentaries I have produced and this album by Martínez MesanZa. It's not for the love of art, it's because I think it's necessary. Does that independence come at a price? Yes, right. Look, the SGAE Author Foundation and the Cervantes Institute have ignored the contemporary poetry project that Alonso Peña and I have been carrying out since 95, with the last two albums dedicated to two National Poetry Awards: Luis Alberto de Cuenca and Julio Martínez Mesanza. Well, let's continue in dissent. What remains of José María Sanz in Hurricane Loquillo? Everyone imagines through the songs what that man who interprets them is like and everyone has their idea. There is a Loquillo for every person in this country, but I have always thought, and I maintain it with 62 years more and more firmly, that José María Sanz is the guy who goes on stage and Loquillo is the one who goes down. The opposite of what you might expect. The Loquillo that comes down from the stage is that he is the one who puts the character by montera to defend himself from reality. José María Sanz is the one who feels that he is at home on stage. The one you see up there is him. The artist who thinks that it is the other way around, that the character is the one who acts, is deeply deceived, believes his own lie. It's like Baudelaire's phrase: The devil's greatest trick was to make us believe that he doesn't exist. That's what I've done with José María Sanz. Seriously, what caliber is your ego? As I said I am a Germanic romantic, I rule, but I have a very fat contradiction. Do you know what it is? That my albums are collective: there are composers, there are musicians, there are publishers. I am individual, but at the same time I am collective, what is going on in my head? But on the other hand, yes, I think I'm getting closer and closer to the total character. What do you mean by total character? It's something that excites me a lot. Last summer I finished the El Rey tour at my personal and physical best, with the best rock band I've ever had in my life and, by acclamation, we continued a second year and ended up in Paris. Do you know what I will do next year? A tour in theaters, which I haven't done for 18 years. To finish this year in style and do the exhumation of the character, transform myself from rock to theater and, instead of exploding, contain. It is a bestial exercise and a luxury. You have quoted Luis Alberto de Cuenca several times. Has that friendship and collaboration with a right-wing poet taken its toll? Of course, a lot. I read in a left-wing newspaper of national circulation that the critic of my concert defined Luis Alberto de Cuenca as "the maximum representation of the fascio de pata negra". On the other hand, I have not read in any Spanish center-right newspaper calling Luis García Montero a "communist." "Shit," to add. It's funny, right? It seems to me as absurd one thing as the other because both are great poets of this country regardless of their ideology, in the same way that it seems cojonudo that Ismael Serrano has a political commitment and Sabino Méndez has had it. I think that's good for democracy in my country. Don't have it? I think that when you manage to annoy left and right is that you are on the right track. I would say that the right is less bothered by you, it has adopted you a little... I don't know, I can tell you a lot of anecdotes about right-wing people who hate me. I do not know. I love France and in France when an artist positions himself politically it is cconsidered an act in favour of the Constitution and democracy of his country. In this country it is unfortunately singled out and that is very dangerous. You are 62 years old, you train every day and you are like a bull. Sex, drugs and rock and roll has basically been reduced to rock and roll. Chanel, cocaine and Dom Perignon in our case. I have been a professional basketball player, I grew up with a first-rate physical education, my friends are the elite of Spanish basketball of several generations such as Germán González, Epi, Iturriaga and Esteller ... I've always been an athlete and, when you're two hours on stage, you have to be in a physical situation commensurate with the audience that pays the ticket. It is an act of respect to the public and also to you. There is one very important thing: I have lived all the stages that are supposed to a man at the age that corresponded. I didn't leave life dissolute because the body couldn't stand, but because I got bored. It's that clear. At 50 years old, being with the windows down during the day is ridiculous. I already did it and it's over. There are stages of a man that a man has to overcome and, if he does not overcome them, he becomes a Peter Pan. Unfortunately, in the world of music what most inhabits is peterpanism. Don't allow yourself to look back? When I left The Troglodytes at the age of 45, I left the group after having played with the Who, being the only band that has played with the Who and the Stones in this country. The only ones. I left because I saw my future and my future was to play at 80s souvenir festivals. I decided to take a different direction and invent a new character that was, above all, an adult character, corresponding to my age. With The Troglodytes I could not define the character because they became a kind of tribute group of himself. Then, since there was no interest in changing that dynamic, I left. It's that easy. Are the 80s overrated? Have they been idealized? When they ask me about La Movida I always say that before there was the Weimar Republic and, if we go back to everything, we go to the University of Jena with Schiller and all that, right? And surely we can go further back. Pum, pum, back, always back. That they ask me about La Movida is as if Serrat was asked about Nova Canço. The Movida for me was three years and ended in 83, but, well, we can hurry up to 84. What came next was something else, but we forgot something: at that time you left Madrid and the roads were dusty, getting to Galicia took you almost two days in a van and the girls who were dressed as Alaska in the subway and on the bus were called whores. Does no one remember that? Or is it that they think that everyone at that time was modern? It has now become fashionable to say that there was more freedom than today. Look, those who say that in the Transition and in the 80s there was more freedom is because they lived very well under Franco. Point. Because if I start talking about what the Transition was like in my neighborhood, with the strikes in the factories... Excuse me? Who is saying there was more freedom? In Barcelona, which was the most advanced city in Spain and even in San Francisco there was talk of what was happening here, it appears in the Harvey Milk film even, every day feminists, gays and lesbians demonstrated for their rights. If those people hadn't done that job, fighting For civil rights, we would not enjoy these current freedoms, unthinkable then. So those who say that before there was more freedom to make them look at it. What they are doing is historical revisionism. When did we live better? With Carrero Blanco? Maybe those who say that lived very well because they were the elite of Francoism, but I assure you that in the neighborhood of El Clot that did not happen. You were kicked out of the basketball team for going with painted eyes. For example. Have you felt threatened by cancellation? What goes. I am 62 years old, I do not have the nerve or the intellectual training of Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the punk vibe of Carlos Boyero or the libertarian point of Fernando Fernán Gómez. I admire all three of them because they have never ceased to be irreverent and politically incorrect, even though on many things I disagree with them. Now I do notice that this is missing. And I'm not referring to rebound just because, for me transgression is not saying "poop, ass, fart, pee." Transgression is questioning the status quo, that is the Bible of the dissident. I think it's almost an obligation for creators and no matter the ideology. I have nothing to do with Robe Iniesta and musically it's not my vibe, but I want it to stay that way because it's different and I like different artists. What I do not like is the blandiblú, the complaint because yes and the offended that have drilled us in the last two years. You have to laugh a little at everything. A group like Siniestro Total should come out now or, better, Sinister should come back, that Julián [Hernández] would go out to make a lot of songs turning this whole rock upside down. It is necessary, it would be healthy. Goodness is confused with beatism. You don't get caught there, I suspect. We are surrounded by a wave of blesseds. That you don't like sex or think sex is bad? Okay, all right, man. That you want to go up the mountain to be in communion with the stars? Well, go, man, what else does it give me. But don't tell me how I have to be. The matter is very easy if you have read Ray Bradbury or Orwell. I do not belong to the State or, as it was said in The Prisoner, I am not a number, I am a free man. What have you learned from these years of reinvention? I have learned a lot, for me they have been the most intense years of my life and I hope I do not have to pay a physical price for them. The pandemic tour of empty and silent Spain has been the most exciting thing that has happened to me in my life. Breaking the silence is not paid. The personal intensity I felt in those moments, everything that went through my head, you can't explain why no one is going to have that feeling. Only those few who dared to hit the road can share it. The rest know nothing. And on a personal level, immense happiness. An epiphany, that would be the word. Having done the right thing, defending your craft, going out to play against all odds, even without vaccines, knowing that we could catch the bug at any time ... For me it has been the greatest thing I have done in my life without a doubt. And the previous 40 years of work deserve that.
- Final Interview
- Interview Chimpún
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