Interview - Principe Valiente

Four years after the acclaimed album Oceans, the Swedish post punk band Principe Valiente are back with a new album.

- Welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Barricades
Fernando: Hi and thanks. Well, this album is the fourth from us. Me and guitar player Jimmy began to write the demos already in 2018, one year after the release of “Oceans”, and from then as much as we could between touring and private and family life.
This time was a different approach due to the pandemic, and we had to record most of it from our homes. Lyrically it is quite the same stuff I’ve written about before, subjects like love, hope and fears, but in a more mature way. More, I don’t know, gentle? But the frustration is also still there but a bit more controlled, I also wanted to blend in more female vocals than before, and that worked amazing. We already did that on the track “The Fighting” from “Choirs..” and also Rebecka did some vocals on “When I Learned To Crawl” from “Oceans”. So I had this urge to explore that a bit more this time. In general we wanted to achieve a more clearer sound but still keep the mix between shoegaze elements and postpunk. And we got of course great help to get there from Adam K. Stilson who mixed the album with us.

- How would you describe your sound?
Fernando: We got the description “dark pop” at the beginning of the band'slots history back in 2011. And they are actually still appropriate words. As we love the shoegaze sound, elements from 90’s brit pop sometimes (early Suede & The Verve) and also 80’s post/punk and guitar music with lot’s of delay and reverb pedals, and some synth wave too together with my voice, it becomes a beautiful and interesting thing I think. I try to be as honest as I can in everything I do musically. Always been.

- What do you write about?
Fernando: As above, mostly about relations, inner theories, love, hope and fears. Sexuality.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
Fernando: At the moment, Future Islands. Amazing band and singer. Also Tim Hardin, is quite relaxing and also inspiring in a more chilled way.

- Your favourite live performance so far?
Fernando: If you mean with someone else, that’s difficult. The first time I saw Radiohead I guess? I think it was in 1995 (I was 17 and I don’t remember how I got in), right after their release of “The Bends” – wonderful experience. And as I also was a Suede fan I liked Johnny Greenwood’s special headbanging which reminded me a bit of Bernard Butler’s moves.. But I have of course a lot of great live memories from festivals and also festivals when we’ve played as well.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
Fernando: In the early years at a show here in Stockholm actually, we were playing in a small pub club. During “The Night” the instrumental part, I went down from stage to the audience with the bass and just kept on playing on the song in the crowd. Then I suddenly felt a really hard kick in my ass haha. I turned around and a guy stod there drunk as fuck. I kissed him in the mouth just to shock him a bit, it just happened during milliseconds in the moment you know, and everyone started to laugh and dug us way more for that pacific reaction. We played through the whole song too.
After the show my brother, who attended at the show, told me that guy was there with him as they both are chiefs. He was in the Finnish national chief team and a quite known guy over there. He went after the incident thrown out by the guards because being too drunk. My brother told me after that he didn't quite remember that moment. It was hilarious and it gave the show a little more excitement of course.

- Your favourite albums?
Fernando: Hm.. This is really difficult as you may know so you get here the first four that come to my mind at this moment.
The Cure – Disintegration (unexpected huh?)
Tricky – Maxinquaye
A Swedish singer/songwriter named Stina Nordenstam – Dynamite
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Fernando: Paul Banks (and speak some Spanish with him) and/or Brett Anderson. And really ask what happened with Bernard back in the days.
We’ve met Peter Murphy though when we opened for Bauhaus in 2013. But we just said hello briefly and shook hands backstage. No time for beer.

- What would you ask for backstage, if you were the most important band on earth?
Fernando: Some nice cashews and maybe mini carrots instead of that brie and white bread all the time haha. And maybe a private helicopter who picks me up from the after party or venue after the show. I’ve had some difficulties finding my way back on the early ours later in the past. The band has been picking on me for years now because of that.

- What are your plans for the near future?

Fernando: Well, right now that the new album is finally released, come out and do some touring again. After the pandemic and all. I’ve also begun to write new ideas already and we have a few really good things going on in my opinion. But mostly get out there and play live again for now. We have a German tour planned for September and we also just got confirmed we’re going to support The Sisters Of Mercy for some shows here in Sweden, Norway and Denmark in May. So we are really looking forward to that.
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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