On The Radar: The Parrots

On The Radar: The Parrots

Madrid-based trio The Parrots make a kind of psychedelic garage rock that Spain might not have been known for in the past - but the band are certainly ones to put on your map.

“There’s a really big generation gap between established artists and people who want to come up,” singer Diego Garcia tells Music Week. “It’s not like England where you hear lots of new bands all the time. Here it seems like the system protects the older acts and refuses to hear new stuff. They think we’re dangerous, and I kind of like it.”

Although Garcia claims he doesn’t know much about funding for the arts in Spain compared to the UK, he notes: “Even if there was funding for artists, I don’t know that I’d want to be part of it. I like to do my own thing as much as I can, and keeping your own point of view in all the things you do is important.”

Garcia describes Spain as a difficult country to grow up in, especially when it comes to to outgrowing adolescence and become a proper adult, and even more so as a musician.

But, as he repeatedly explains: “Difficult is good.”

“It’s difficult to make music,” he adds. “You have to fight really hard to get yourself heard. When we started, our point of view was totally different to established acts and the projects that were working here. It was a difficult choice to make something different in another language.

“But it’s what we felt was right, and I think it’s gone well. Difficult is good. I was ambitious and wanted to do something that could stand up in front of lots of other things.”

Forthcoming debut album Los Niños Sin Miedo (which translates to Children Without Fear) is an album about such difficulties - but it comes from a place of optimism.

Says Garcia: “The recording process was really fast. It had been a rough year; a year of changes. I needed to write things that reflected that, like becoming an adult in a difficult country like Spain.

“It’s more a coming-of-age album. It’s about leaving stuff behind, learning how to deal with that. I finished university and had a big change in my life; all of a sudden I figured out I could do what I wanted to do, which was play music.

To do that, there were lots of things that I have to leave behind, and in the process of learning how to deal with that, I came out with these songs.

“There were lots of things that had a big influence. Living in Spain is difficult for young people. It’s not very satisfying and there aren’t a lot of things we can achieve. So, it’s about leaving stuff behind to achieve what you want. It’s a pretty optimistic thing.” 

The album will be released later this month via Heavenly Recordings, which signed the band after seeing them at South By Southwest last year. “We had a really bad show, because I had to be our own sound engineer, as there wasn’t one in the venue, which was difficult,” says Garcia.

“But they liked something, I guess, and they kept coming to our shows. We started talking with them, and we felt like it was the right thing to work with them. They were really interested, and every time we had a show in the UK they came to see us.”

While much has been discussed about Brexit’s impact on UK talent, it’s interesting to hear Garcia’s views on how it will impact European acts. “We were at Glastonbury at the time and it was a pretty big thing there,” he notes. “I’m sad, I have to say.”

He adds: “But difficult is not a bad thing. I think that when people are on the ropes, you get the best or the worst from them. We’re going to try to do our best.”

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