Interview: Xtasy – Finest melodic rock from Spain

Xtasy – Finest melodic rock from Spain

Jorge Olloqui (g) is a very relaxed kind of guy. We reach him on the phone in the midst of the public shutdown in Spain and therefore under very unusual circumstances like in the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the upcoming record “Eye Of The Storm“, the third and really their strongest so far, offers a lot to talk about. This band from Pamplona, Northern Spain, totally delivers melodic and AOR sounds whereas in their home country the taste in rock music seems to be rather dealing with heavy metal or even harder stuff. But nevertheless, there is a small scene for hard rock and Xtasy are one of the leading acts.    

How are you? In these days of crisis it’s certainly way more than just a polite but mostly an empty phrase…

We are fine but it feels strange all over. And it starts to get boring as we are confined to our home. We had to postpone our tour here in Spain with Human Zoo from Germany as support act due to corona obviously. But we will be back whenever this situation is over. Spain has been hit hard and we hope to see some light at the end of the tunnel soon. At the moment, the only distraction is when teachers send homework for the kids which we supervise them doing. When it comes to the band we can just wait for things to change but our online shop is still open and we love to sign records that fans order.

Usually the third record of a band finally defines the sound or actually decides whether a band “makes it or breaks it“. Having that in mind, did you feel any particular pressure in the process of making “Eye Of The Storm“?

Oh yes, we absolutely did! This is also the reason why we opened ourselves to outside help in terms of songwriting. We worked with Erik Mårtensson from Eclipse and W.E.T. before who mixed our records from the beginning on but we felt that in order to make the next step, it would be a smart move so we went over to Sweden for some days and worked hard like Bon Jovi once did with Desmond Child or Metallica with Bob Rock. And I couldn’t be happier with the result. I think we managed to combine our strength with the expertise and experience of Erik. We felt very much welcome and had one hell of a time although it was a lot of work. We came to Sweden with lots of ideas and on some of them Erik added some different flavor. The recordings then took place here in Spain again. 

The songs are actually harder than on the first two records. Was it a conscious decision or did it just happen during the creative phase?

We planned it because we know that when we play live, the sound is harder than on record and we wanted to go further in that direction for sure. I guess it makes sense and we are very happy with the outcome.

There is a vinyl version of “Eye Of The Storm“ which is great. Are you a collector yourself?

I used to collect records, yes. With the last record it actually was the Japanese label which asked for a vinyl version and my first reaction was like “Are you crazy? How cool is that?“ Especially with the live situation where people more and more like to buy vinyls again and get them signed by the band.

Is there a key song in your opinion?

That’s an almost impossible question to answer properly as obviously all the songs are our babies, if you like. I haven’t thought about it actually as really all the material is very important to me. I usually come up with riffs and basic ideas and present them to the others. And then Silvia works on the melodies and lyrics. This usually is the way we work but on this album our second guitar player Chema Herrero also added one song that Silvia and I finished. In the early stages of writing a song I do all the instruments to have a proper demo version from which we finish the song and finally record it in the studio.

Ok, I perfectly understand. Speaking of my taste, my favorite actually is “Perfect Strangers“. What can you tell me about that song in particular?

Well, this song has got a very strong hook, I suppose. We changed the song a bit after Erik came in and told us what he liked and what not. I especially like the solo in the song. I’m glad you like it, too.

You once did a cover version of “How Much Love“ by Vixen, one of my personal favorites, as a Japanese bonus track. Did you receive any feedback from the band?

Yes, they like it. We had the chance to meet them when they played Spain at a festival. It was nice to talk to them as we like them very much. We had most contact to Share, the bass player and she is a very kind and nice person. 

Anything we forgot and you would like to address especially to the fans over here in Germany, Jorge?

I cannot say “Thank You!“ enough to you guys. We have toured Germany several times and always felt really welcome and we are actually planning to do more shows, so if anybody wants us, feel free to contact us. Furthermore, our label Metalapolis is German and apart from that I speak some German, too. Germany is our second biggest market and this morning I found out that we got a high ranking in the Amazon rock charts which is overwhelming. Thank you all so much, we really appreciate that. Well, watch out for more Xtasy because there is a lot of Xtasy coming…

Martin Stark

Pics: Metalapolis Records

Author: Martin Stark

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