“Arrebato” Spanish for – rapture, fury.
On the one hand, La Sociedad de la Sombrilla (LSdLS) is a rock band from the capital city of Bogota. It formed in 2013 and they have released two albums and multiple singles ever since. On the other hand, Radio Paila (RP) was born in Boston, MA, but later moved and based itself also in the city of Bogota. The band formed in 2016, and it is now looking to expand reaching higher grounds in Latin America.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Godi Gaviria, Radio Paila’s frontman and the project’s producer, to talk about the release. We wanted to understand the process behind Arrebato and how two promising, up and coming bands, worked together to deliver such single.
Q – Stereotheque: How did both bands meet?
A – Godi: We have been talking for years now, and last year we finally had the chance to share a stage in Bogota. We had a great time at the Auditorio Lumiere, where we also shared with other amazing bands.
Q: How did Arrebato come to be? Who had the first idea?
A: After that same show I remember talking to Juan Pa (LSdLS member) because I wanted to produce a song for them. I had the idea to just limit myself as a producer, but then Juan Pa said: “… what if we do a ‘featuring’?” The idea came at the right moment so we were excited to work on it and bring both bands together.
Q: Why did you agree to the project?
A: We agreed because it is something that not a lot of bands have done, and right now in Latin America is not common to see two rock bands playing together. Then we found out that the project is even more valuable than we thought.
Q: Who did the first demo?
A: Juan Pa from LSdLS brought a riff and we went on from there. We all (both bands) featured and collaborated to make it happen. It was a great and educational process: both bands worked at every level of the production.
Q: How did you all handle the decisions? Handling 8 musicians is not an easy task.
A: The most important part was that we all respected each other’s band. The respect was mutual, which later translated into friendship and camaraderie. We created a space where you could talk and be heard, to the point that we were able to have a certain level of bullying around and be cool about it. We just had fun and laughed so much!
Q: How did you work in the studio? How did you capture both bands in the recording?
A: Studio time was really interesting. What I wanted, and my goal, was to capture the takes as if both bands were playing together at the same time – there was no space for 8 musicians in the live room -. The energy and intention are different when you record all musicians at a time, and one by one. We decided to record in blocks, chunks. We made both drummers perform at the same time in two different drums sets. That is how we were able to set a solid base and record with the right energy and intention on top of it.
Q: In the mix, sometimes you hear like one band is playing, then both bands. Was that deliberate?
A: Yes! That is how I wanted it to be. The whole mixing process was really complex. We found ourselves with great takes but many elements running at the same frequency levels, which made us search for a darker color because it was way too bright and uncomfortable for the listener. Going darker made Arrebato more “piercing” and overwhelming (which we liked) and made it easier on the ears of the listener to enjoy.
Q: What else did you work on in mix?
A: Well, we conducted a very careful treatment on the vocals, and as I said, the drums as well so we could find their right space in the mix. With the guitars, I wanted to create a “wall of sound” so it was layers upon layers. We also had some tremolo guitars that are being used for movement – not everything should be loud, textures always help the big picture. Those tremolo guitars needed almost no EQ and helped the overall balance of the mix.
Q: Both bands have their own distinctive sound, where you able to find a middle ground?
A: Yes, I think we found a middle ground. La Sociedad de La Sombrilla inclines towards the minimalist side of the spectrum, while we in Radio Paila are inclined towards the “layers and layers” side of the spectrum. We in RP want to sound epic, in your face, while LSdLS has a more “nasty”, distorted, and ambiguous sound. We were able to bring both worlds halfway in Arrebato.
Q: How would you describe the experience of working with two bands for the same song?
A: It was like the “experience.” We had to combine two sharp and strong personalities into one production. Respect helped all the way, from the creation, all the way to rehearsals for the release gig. We had to leave our egos aside, and build the right environment for us. We did not have any conflicts of interests: it was a brotherhood.
Q: You guys performed the song live on the release concert. How was that experience?
A: It was something epic! Since the beginning of the project, we would get together to create the song so as time passed, it became easier to listen to each other and rehearse. Off course it is not simple to have two bands performing together, but we took the right amount of time to make it sound epic!
Q: How do you see Arrebato in today’s Latin American Rock scene?
A: I see Arrebato as a song that is here to stand in front of you and look straight in your eyes. A song that is bold, daring, and a song that is here to make you uncomfortable. In Colombia and Latin America, Rock music tends to be softer, more “rosa” or goes full Metal. That was not the message we wanted with the song: what we want to do is “poguear” (moshpit) and bring all that raw energy from Rock n’ Roll back on stage. We were missing the middle ground between the Metal and Soft rock music out there. We are bringing the essence of Rock music: grunge, hard rock, we want to crash things and make people feel like it too.
Q: What was the one thing you enjoyed the most from the whole project?
A: I would say the great friendship and brotherhood we developed between all the guys is the best thing I am taking from Arrebato. From this song I take many great moments, we were all laughing and enjoying music together. What we harvest can go very far!
These days, La Sociedad de La Sombrilla is back again in the recording studio preparing a new EP. Radio Paila is also composing and recording new material. Both bands are constantly performing around Bogota, so make sure you follow their social’s to catch them at their next gig. Beware of these two bands, they came to stay and we will all listen to more music from them.
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