We caught up with electro dream-pop outfit Balún, who play LPR this coming Friday, October 9. Check out our interview with the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Puerto-Rico band below and come see them live at LPR on Friday along with All Boy/All Girl, GADADU and Rick Warren!
LPR: What is the inspiration behind your unique sound? How does language impact your music?
Balún: Our sound synthesizes the personal experiences and interests of everyone in the band like folk music from Puerto Rico, shoegaze guitars, music from labels like classic 4AD and Warp Records and dreamy minimalism framed within a Caribbean landscape. We think of the voice as another instrument that with words enhances the particular sound world of each song. Lyrics in our songs often start with nonsense syllables that gradually turn into introspective narratives.
How has living in New York affected you as musicians and your music?
Living in NY has enabled us to rediscover music being produced outside Europe and the US specially the emerging Latin American indie music scene as well as music and instruments from other cultures like African rhythms and Indonesian interlocking melodies. We’ve also met a lot of great musicians from different scenes here that have also inspired us not only with their sounds but also with their work ethic.
More on New York: are there any other bands performing around NYC that you think our readers should check out?
Empress Of, ensemble, et. al, Helado Negro, Xenia Rubinos, So Percussion, Willie Burns, Xeno & Oaklander, Yvette, Future Punx and Henry Cole.
Do you prefer performing live, or creating in the studio? Is there a difference behind these processes?
Both are fun and challenging in their own way but working in our home studio gives us the flexibility to obsess over details and getting our sound “right”. On the other hand, it’s also pretty gratifying to see how those songs translate in a live performance and how people respond to them. During this past year we’ve had a chance to test the songs from our upcoming album in a live setting and this has influenced how we approach them in the studio. We’re lucky enough to have had a recently successful Kickstarter campaign which will allow us to enter the studio and put all these experiences into practice. We’ll have a new album in 2016! Stay tuned.
Does Balún have any pre-show rituals?
Our “very exciting” ritual usually starts with us packing our gear and calling an SUV because we all live in the same neighborhood and like to travel to the shows together. Raúl likes to drink a couple of beers, José does some carbo-loading, Angélica drinks a lot of ginger tea and Nora binges on stress mints.
Could you survive with your band on a desert island? Who would be kicked off the island first?
Maybe, but we would have to eat someone. Nobody would be kicked because he or she will be eaten first.
If you could tour or collaborate with any other musician, who would it be?
In a perfect world, we would love to collaborate and also spend time on the road with Tim Gane from Stereolab.
Further to the above, what’s your dream bill for a tour (with or without Balún)?
Balún Fest 2016 includes: Juana Molina, Stereolab, Bjork, Empress Of, Xenia Rubinos, Helado Negro, Camila Moreno, Natalia LaFourcade, Alex Andwanter, Julieta Venegas, Gepe, Federico Durand, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, SVPER, Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing.
Balún plays LPR Friday 10/9 with All Boy/All Girl, GADADU and Rick Warren!