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The most hermetic member of a group, Los Planetas, especially hermetic has decided to release a solo album, Florent y yo. The most mysterious of a group plagued by dark corners has composed a collection of luminous songs. The wildest of a group whose intimate relationship with drugs is no secret is today a smiling father who chats over a beer on a terrace in Malasaña, that Malasaña where they reigned in the 90s and of which there is nothing left. "I've always had a point of shyness and that gives a misleading image of me. It seems that I'm on my fucking ball and I just want to finish and go home, but I'm not like that and I wanted to let out that more social part, "explains Florent Muñoz (Granada, 1968), before breaking to talk about everything. Yes, that's too.
In the background you live more comfortable. Always, yes, yes. Jota and I created Los Planetas and there I have everything. I do my part, I do many songs for the group, although not all of them enter, and I have always left in them a space for Jota to write the lyrics and make them his own. I've always had that vision of creativity. I've never had that ego that many musicians have of "now I want to have my band and be the frontman who distributes the cod". So, my position in Planetas has been comfortable, but at the same time a lot of responsibility, because my job was to give a texture or a sonority to all those ideas and songs that Jota brought and cover them. That was and is very demanding because it creates the constant doubt of whether it is already there or the song asks for more. Always ask for more.
But you're the guy who invented a sound that changed Spanish music. Maybe, Maybe. I will not be so vain to say it, but there is something. I have always been a seeker of sounds and textures, that's why I love electronic music, because I discover there a very interesting world to create another type of environment. That nourishes me when it comes to, as a guitarist, capturing sounds. I work with sound like the painter with colors. Classic rock and roll is there and it's really cool, I don't deny authenticity, but I enjoy using that to take it to another plane, to create those deep and repetitive songs, so lysergic and psychedelic. That's what I tried to do with the sound of The Planets and it must have gone well [laughs]. Did you know that you were inventing something that was not done here?
The truth is that it does. Both Jota and I were aware that what we were contributing at that time nobody else was doing in Spain, we always knew that this vision was ours and it was going to change everything. Realize that in the early 90s there was no internet. There were fanzines, music magazines and little else. If anything, the typical colleague who goes to London and brings you a lot of records, but there was not that immediate reaction that a band has come out in Glasgow and everyone knows it. Finding that music at that time was like finding treasures and mirrors to look at, it was something that radiates you and gives you the opportunity to assimilate it. We try not to copy it, but to be inspired and along the way we invent something else.
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Antonio García, singer of Arde Bogotá: "I would never forgive myself for making music thinking about playing in Los 40"
- Writing: RAQUEL R. INCERTIS Madrid
Antonio García, singer of Arde Bogotá: "I would never forgive myself for making music thinking about playing in Los 40"
Loquillo: "Those who say that in the 80s there was more freedom is because they lived very well in the Franco regime"
- Writing: IÑAKO DÍAZ-GUERRA
Loquillo: "Those who say that in the 80s there was more freedom is because they lived very well in the Franco regime.Yes. We were not aware of the importance it was going to have in the future, but we were aware that it was important at the time, that Los Planetas were a new vision, a new attitude, a new way of understanding music for being a super young group that we barely had musical baggage or anything. The important thing was the end, not the means or the technique. We didn't entertain ourselves in learning classical songs to know how to play. We started creating, period. We knew we would attract a lot of attention. And here we are 30 years later.
You see. Jota and I were so convinced that we said: "Tronco, this is going to be done and see what we do." Little by little we discover that in Gijón there is a group of our roll like Penélope Trip, who is in Bilbao, in The Communist Tenant and, suddenly, a very interesting scene begins to emerge without having any connection between us. We didn't even know each other, but a paradigmatic change was already taking place in what music was. The break with the 80s and the birth of indie, indeed. Yes, we were very aware of everything, man. The record is surprisingly cheerful. It doesn't square against that darker image of you.
But that image is not true. As in Los Planetas the role I play is very demanding, when creating that sound and that environment, what happens to me is that I need to be very concentrated, perhaps self-absorbed. Besides, I interpret the concerts as a celebration, each one for me is different even if it is the same song. So, when it seems that I am in my world what happens is that I am enjoying myself like a dwarf. It's like the one who's fishing. He sits still for two hours and you wonder what the fuck sense that will make, but the turkey is enjoying himself in his world. Do you enjoy the same now that you have to show your face? Now it's different. Becoming a frontman was a very, very powerful challenge for me because it's much more comfortable to be where I am in Los Planetas, it's my comfort zone. Now I value Jota even more because I see that it generates a constant insecurity: 'Am I capable?' What will they say? This can be a tragedy." I imagine it's natural to think that at my age, with a career already made, why do I get into this fucking mess (laughs). But I refused to let those songs die in a drawer or on a flash drive nowadays (laughs). The first time I played these songs live, the experience was magical, man. It was like going out to play at Calderón... Well, now to the Metropolitano, but I'm an old school athletic and I skip the automatic. The degree of demand that a footballer has at that moment is when you know if it is worth or not. Everyone plays football, everyone plays guitar, everyone sings. But that more demanding point is what makes the difference. And when I saw that I could, I enjoyed it like a dwarf. Have you and Jota been the cañí version of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards? No. With Jota I have always had a relationship of super colleagues, we have always understood each other. Jota is very much his, you have to know him and know how to take him, but I also have mine and he has been there. We did not know each other as musicians but as colleagues and for us there have been two sacred things: our relationship and music. Let's both go to death with this. There's always been a very powerful understanding, I guess like Richards and Jagg.er, actually. Many moves, many ups and downs, but there you go. Yes, yes, yes. And that communion we, for the moment, preserve and pamper it. That does not mean that sometimes we need to go for free and I make this album or Jota takes his by putting music to the filmography of Iván Zulueta. Well, phenomenal, man, you also let go I celebrate, there is no settling of accounts or stabbing. He has supported me a lot with the album. We are friends, with Planets or without Planets. Actually, it led you astray, you were going to be a respectable lawyer.
(Laughter) You see, Jota's scumbag was a disastrous student. Very smart, but with zero commitment. He left Political Science as soon as he could, but I got a very good degree in Law. Then he took advantage of me because I finished the race and I knew how to drive him: "Not there, Jota, that's a lot of years in prison" (laughs). And he listened to me: "It's true, man, that you have studied." However, professionally he took me: "Over here, Florent, with this we are going to succeed." And I said, "Well, come on, whatever you say." He was Don Quixote and I was Sancho Panza. One wandering in the stars and the other with his feet on the ground.
However, with drugs the one who lost the most foot was you. You are the protagonist of one of the key albums of Spanish music, 'A week in the engine of a bus', which is a plea from Jota to his friend, who is out of control. Well, I, to begin with, found out about all the hustle and bustle with that album just like you: when I read Nando Cruz's book [the album is from 1998 and the book about his recording, from 2011]. Seriously? Yes, because Jota is not a person who explains too much his stories and motivations and I thought that those songs would be about some girl or something. Well, minus Line 1. Line 1 did know that it was about me because the handwriting was very clear and, in addition, I gave it the title, which is the bus that took me to the areas to buy drugs. It is, along with 'Desorden', my favorite song of Los Planetas.
I don't know what that says about you, but it does say about me (laughs). There Jota comes to comment on the disaster life I led at that time of heroin. Well, I don't mess either, the powerful and incredible life I had at that stage. It was nothing disaster, that's a cliché. It was chaotic in the sense that you're alone against the world and for me, because I'm talking about myself and not a book or a Netflix series, that's inspiring. What happens is that Jota suffered it, which is what, in quotes, can fuck me a little more: that my way of living had an impact on the people who loved me. But I tell you that I was not aware at that time and did not know that 'Second Prize' or 'Disappear' were dedicated to those circumstances of my life. Nor of the problems you were causing in the recording in New York?
No. It was a very powerful time, the truth, since May leaves the group, Eric and Banin enter, this ambitious project arises to go to New York to record. One month we were there and I felt that everything was against us. Not even our manager supported us, man, although then he says yes (laughs). It's Paco López, to whom I send a hug. We had everything against us and yet we persisted in the idea that this record was important. And I, well, I had my other things too. It was a very intense time, really. In fact, it is being doneiendo una peli sobre eso [Second Prize, by Isaki Lacuesta]. I guess it will be between reality and science fiction, but they have material (laughs).
The indie of the 90s was an especially beastly movement when it came to drugs.
Yes. We all went to party there and in 2002 the euro came in and the party was over (laughs). The euro ended drugs and ended everything. But the 90s were the last gasp of freedom. You could smoke, there were no closing hours, there weren't so many fines. There was a modus vivendi where no one thought the drug was illegal or that you were doing something wrong. For me, in my generation we lived the last throes of freedom in Spain. Then it has gone to less, to less, to less... All that has been lost. Yet rock and roll always subsists because it is counterculture. I understand it that way, like the Velvet. It perfectly fulfills the function of telling young people what the truth is. That's the function of rock. I sense that you feel it was worth it.
Yes. Although I also say this knowing that my history with drugs has ended well. It is not an example for children, perhaps, but I defend using them for creative gain. It can open windows, stories... I don't regret it at all. You are welcome. Tell it to Keith Richards, who is the banner of "I've done everything I've wanted in this life, I've played with the boundaries of good and evil and I'm still here." I feel the same. Were you aware that you were playing on the edge?
Yes, totally aware, all the alarms were going off there (laughs), but it ended well. Here I am, I am a father, I am clean and healthy... It's been a great journey.
Why did you leave it?
Heroin gave me a lot, but at the same time it can steal a lot from you. It has a clarifying and existential factor that no other substance gives you. I do not say this because I still crave it, not at all, but opium, which is not Bayer but a natural thing that no one has invented, provides extrasensory knowledge that, if you control it by using a method of consumption, can be very interesting. But, of course, there is also your body, your health and your head. If you go overboard, you can go to the other neighborhood or stay freaked out, gred, in ruin or in jail. It's like driving a Ferrari: if you control it, enjoy it, but be careful that you have a car. When you do what you do now, you will remain in the books. What motivates you?
I have a lot left. I'm a constantly creative person, I don't get into a hot tub to remember what I've done. I am a relentless seeker and that is what keeps me alive, the search for knowledge through art to understand a little more the world I live in.