Faced with a music scene led by artists like Bad Bunny, Quevedo, Karol G or Morad, daring with a rock project can seem like musical suicide. But Arde Bogotá is doing quite well. The Murcian group has been going against the tide of the music that is in fashion for six years now with their Spanish rock project, and they have demonstrated it with their two albums: La Noche (2021) and the recently released Cowboys de la A3, released on past May 12. Formed by Antonio García (vocals and guitar), Dani Sánchez (guitar), Pepe Esteban (bass) and José Ángel Mercader (drums); Arde Bogotá is characterized by a rock sound with which they seek to move away from the indie label, and lyrics in which metaphors and adrenaline abound. This summer the group from Cartagena presents their latest work on a tour throughout the country. They closed the White Summer Festival last night.
Arde Bogotá is born one night in a bar from a conversation about Spanish rock
A.G: Yes. Dani and I met in a bar and we started talking about music and rock.
You have a very clear sound and identity. Was it hard for you to agree?
A.G: Yes, I would say that it cost a lot. We have similar and even common references such as Héroes del Silencio, Arctic Monkeys or Foo Fighters; but then some very far from each other. There was a time when we kept making songs to see where the band was going, and we did a first concert with ten songs, nine of which we discarded. It was hard to find something where all the instruments felt represented.
And now you are on the same page?
A.G: I don't think we're all on the same page, but that's good because each one brings something different. But yes, we know each other much better and we know Arde Bogotá better. Time and work take their toll and we begin to better understand who we are when we are together.
If you had to sum up the creation process of the A3 Cowboys in one word, what would it be?
A.G: Strenuous, but in the good sense of the word. We made the album while we were touring the previous one, so it was days of spending the whole weekend playing, returning to Cartagena, and the next day locking ourselves in the studio to compose. This coming and going has been reflected in this project, it is a travel record.
You are playing the songs from this new album for the first time. What feelings do you have?
A.G: Nice sensations. We really wanted to perform these songs, since it's been many months of thinking about the project. For us the work is not complete until the songs are played to the public and we see the reactions.
Metaphors are very present in your lyrics. What are you looking for with this language?
A.G: Well, a good question, because we could also make lyrics without metaphors that simply say “I love you” or “I hate you so much”. I like to mask the message in a very musical way, since the mates are doing something beautiful on the instruments and the lyrics have to be on the same level.
Some songs have a more nostalgic tone, like the one that gives its name to the album, Cowboys de la A3.
AG: With Cowboys de la A3 we say that it is a trip to the past. When you are away from your people for a long time, your feelings of nostalgia and belonging are heightened. With this we come to the metaphor of the Cowboys of the A3.
How do you think you have evolved from one album to another?
D.S: To begin with, we have freed ourselves a bit from the cover of indie, that word that is everything and at the same time is nothing, since nobody knows how to say what indie is. We have reaffirmed what we have been saying for a long time, that we are a rock band.
Is the latter more cane?
D.S: I think the previous album is also rock, but this one goes a step further and is more characteristic. It is more cane, yes. Above all because of the way of composing with the instruments and of saying things. The previous album is also rock, but this one goes a step further and is more characteristic.
It is said that rock in Spain is in danger of extinction. Do you like to be told that you are going against the tide?
DS: Yes to me. It is clear that it is not the fashionable genre, I like to go against the current, and on top of that we have done well. I also like to think that we are here for the songs, for the genre as well, but above all for our songs.
You are doing very well with the sales of Cowboys from the A3. You are in the rankings along with Karol G, Bad Bunny, Quevedo...
J.A.M: It's impressive to see that a group that does rock has released a second album and sells the same physical albums as other artists that do more mainstream or urban genres. It is very difficult to add records, not only physical, but also in streaming, urban artists have many more reproductions and are more consumable, perhaps.
D.S: It makes me very envious to see the rankings in the United States, because there is music of all kinds, in Spain we are only capable of looking at one genre.
You have festivals scheduled this summer all over the country. Are you more into festivals or concerts in the hall?
A.G: I couldn't tell you which of the two is better. The festival is also a place to go to flirt, to drink, to socialize... However, in a concert people go exclusively to see that group, and as an artist, in a concert you will give yourself more. The festival is a party and the room is a ceremony, ceremonies can also be festive, but they are very sentimental, and parties can be sentimental, but they are essentially celebrations.
On November 3rd you returned to Barcelona to perform at the Suite Festival. Have you ever played Razzmataz?
DS: Never. We are really looking forward to it because it is a great room, it is a mythical one. It's ugly to say it, but it's probably the concert we're looking forward to the most. In Razzmatazz many bands have played that have influenced us. It shocks us a lot to play there.