Below is an interview with JT and Victor of OH LIBIA.
IU: Ken Stringfellow wound up producing and mixing your album OH LIBIA!. How did that come about?
- JT: We were contacted by someone at ‘le pop-in’ in Paris and asked to come up for a gig. At the time, we only had a few demos done and…we’re a little crazy you know, so, of course we agreed! And, two months later, we got in a car and went to Paris.
- Victor: We met Ken on February 12, 2009 at ‘le pop-in’ in Paris. He introduced himself and the next day when we met up, he asked us about producing our first record.
* IU NOTE: This drive they talk about here is over 1600 Kilometers and at least 10 hours driving time.
IU: How do you go about writing your music?
- JT: The inspiration for songs comes and goes. I may try to write something for months and nothing comes…and then I suddenly have a great period of writing a lot of great songs (having one of these times right now).
- Victor: I write the music and some lyrics and JT sorts it out and we put it together. I find that these songs I write…don’t have a meaning I know of at the beginning. It’s only when they are flushed out in my collaboration with JT and the song is done that I see the personal meaning to me and my life.
IU: What was it like recording your 1st Album – especially with a pro’s-pro like Ken?
- Victor: Once we and Ken decided to record, it was clear from the very beginning Ken knew exactly what he wanted to do and how to focus us to create how the album should sound.
So, in June, 2009, Ken came to Alicante to record our songs and stayed with us for five days. Each day was amazing. We spent mornings on the beach and then the other time recording. Ken really helped us to focus on the songs and helped us find our true sound - and that’s what you hear on the album.
IU: There’s a video of you guys playing a gig and I saw only 7 of you but there’s 8 in the band right now. How do you make that work?
- Victor: It’s difficult but we came to an agreement on how we rehearse. We have people from 3 different cities - Castellón, Valencia, Alicante- and we’ve chosen Alicante as the place where we rehearse because 5 members live there. JohnJoe– who plays keys – he lives in Castellón which is 2 hours away! He’s our road warrior!
IU: What are your hopes for OH LIBIA the band and your album OH LIBIA!?
- JT: I don’t have those ambitions or dreams of being the big rock star. I want to be able to make and record songs….something to be remembered by. I like that OH LIBIA is an Indie “underground band.”
- Victor: It’s great playing and continuing to evolve our live sound. And, as my good friend JT has said, there aren’t the ambitions of being the big rock star…it’s for love of the music and working together. I also want to say, it’s really great to hear from strangers we don’t know how much they love our songs.
IU: Introduce the members of your band for us JT….
Oscar (synth) is our noisemaker, so into John Cage and Brian Eno
JohnJoe (piano) is a great musician. A pro! He’s great constructing melodies and arrangements
Elena is from Russia and she plays xylophone, tambourine, theremin…all those uncommon instruments... she is also a graphic artist, in fact she's the one who designed the cover of the album
Tristram plays lead guitar, cool guitar-guy, so into stoner rock
John (bass) is a great bass player, so into stoner and classic rock as well
Paul (drums) is the heartbeat of the band, he's aces` and actually he is the one that calms everybody when victor and I try to kill each other :P – ahahahahaha.
About OH LIBIA:
OH LIBIA is a band from Spain whose first album titled OH LIBIA! was produced by Ken Stringfellow (The Disciplines, The Posies, Big Star, REM, The Minus 5, and many more) and released near the end of 2010.
To stream their album click HERE.
OH LIBIA Album Cover by ElenaOH LIBIA Debut Review on Independents Uncovered
English is not JT’s and Victor’s first language and while their English is excellent - and the interview was done in English, in fairness to them and agreed upon with doing this interview, I changed some of the words to fit typcial American English-speak while still maintaining the same meaning/inferences with what they said...and reviewed with them before publication of this interview. Also, I'm not guaranteeing my English writing skills are perfect either!