We are pleased to offer you in this article an interview with a Spanish band that offers Symphonic prog sounds, whose debut album “I Just Wanna Break Even” is a double of over 100 minutes of music. We welcome The Flying Caravan.
> Hi, how are you?
Antonio (guitar): Hi Jacopo, it is a pleasure to be able to chat with you. Well, we are really fine, enjoying what has been a fantastic year full of good reviews and a great reception of the album on radio and other media in many countries, and this despite not being able to perform due to the pandemic we are enduring.
> You are a band born from the idea of Antonio Valiente, how was the band formed?
Antonio: Since 2000 I had the harmonic skeleton of the songs ready, but it was very difficult to find musicians who would commit to such an ambitious project. So over the years the band has become gradually completed, first when I met Juanjo Sánchez (keyboard) in 2004, with whom I also formed different musical projects to perform live, and later in 2014 with Izaga Plata (singer) with whom I wrote the vocal melodies and lyrics. Later Pedro Pablo Molina (bass) and Lluís Mas (drums) joined us. Lluís´arrival was crucial to develop a great pre-production of the album and to face a recording with all the elements well defined.
He has also been in charge of the mixing and mastering of the album and together we have carried out its the production.
We have also had the invaluable collaboration of Manolo Salido (sax), Juan Carlos Aracil (flute) and Jorge Aniorte (vocals) who contributed a very fresh sound to the recording.
The album was recorded in Altea (Alicante) and the sound engineer was Dani Montiel.
The album cover was made by the Alicante illustrator Mario Domínguez.
> The proposed genre is a Symphonic-style Progressive Rock, where does your passion for these sounds come from?
Antonio: In my case, I got acquainted with progressive rock through a guitarist friend with whom I formed my first band at age 18, when I started to take my first guitar lessons. He introduced me to Camel, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Jethro Tull, etc. Since then I have been captivated by this style, and already in that musical project we started to develop such sounds. Then I discovered other more contemporary bands like The Flower Kings, Spock’s Beard, Karmakanic, Transatlantic,… I have always felt very comfortable with the freedom and compositional flexibility offered by progressive rock.
> Your debut album “I Just Wanna Break Even” was released in January 2021, how would you describe this work?
Antonio: The album is the reflection of all these years listening to my favourite bands and albums of the genre that have become my main influences. The long songs full of rhythm and key changes, featuring both sung and instrumental parts, some ot them slower and some faster, bring together my musical references since I was 18 years old. So, somehow, the album is something that has come out naturally, and therefore I would say this is an album inspired by the classic sounds of progressive rock but made in the present day.
> Long-lasting tracks and a long suite divided into several parts, what are the themes of the album?
Antonio: The subject matter of the album is eclectic, we deal with themes ranging from the search for identity, the occasional need to sometimes start over, love, the evolution of knowledge and even a small tribute to The Band and their The Last Waltz in our song Flying Caravan.
> Your music is full of tempo changes and long instrumental sections, how does the composition of the pieces take place?
Antonio: When you deal with a song you do not usually have a defined approach, you just go along doing it and the song takes you all along the way. It is the song that determines the rhythm, the parts and even the duration. I usually begin by developing a harmonic skeleton that transmits something interesting, and from that point the melodies and lyrics come to life. I always look for that feeling in the combination of chords that express emotion. It is true that I feel more comfortable doing long songs because they give me more possibilities to develop all the musical potential.
> Many of your fans and readers are wondering if there will be a chance to hear your music live, do you have any plans for that?
Antonio: Well, we hope that 2022 will be a better year for live performances and that the pandemic will give us a break. Of course we would love to perform the songs on stage, which is what they were conceived for, and enjoy the audience in the concert halls.
> Yours is a very interesting debut album full of ideas, do you already have plans for any future record releases?
Antonio: The truth is that we are already finishing the new songs for the next album. We hope to be able to record it throughout 2022, although we cannot talk about concrete dates yet.
> The music market has changed a lot in recent years, how difficult is it to establish yourself with a more sought-after musical genre like yours?
Antonio: Well, if you get into music and on top of that you do progressive rock, you are then willing to fight all your life for a romantic but impractical idea, ha ha ha. The truth is that we are aware we are swimming upstream, which is not going to be easy, but what is easy after all? Usually, things that really matter are not. On the other hand, we feel ourselves privileged to be part of this wonderful world, and that is what really matters.
> What advice would you give to a young band entering the modern music scene by offering Progressive sounds?
Antonio: I would tell them to go ahead if they are doing it out of conviction. There is nothing more rewarding than doing what you identify with. Whoever listens to their music will notice that and, unlike those who just follow fads, they will never have anything to regret.
> As usual I leave the last question free, to allow you to talk about any topic of your choice not touched on in the previous questions.
Antonio: We would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to reach your readers with this interview and say that this past year 2021 has been a fantastic period full of great albums and bands, which shows that progressive rock is very much alive and knows how to reinvent itself year after year.
I thank The Flying Caravan for their availability and for the pleasant interview, wishing them the best in the continuation of their musical career.