I fell upon Nacho Silvestre recently after interviewing a French singer songwriter called Billy Boguard, he met Nacho in a bar in Kentish Town and after a good chat, agreed to have Billy stay with him in Spain and use his studio to record his latest EP. I duly sent Nacho an email asking if he'd like to get in touch and carry out an interview for our 'Introducing' feature, he agreed so a list of questions were sent over to him for completion.
It wasn't until after a few days that I realised that we'd already been in touch with him back in September 2014 to carry out an interview....DOH!
Despite this, Nacho answered the questions all the same, luckily, I had written these questions whereas Mark Wincott had pulled the last set together so there was little duplication! What you see below is part 2 of the Nacho Silvestre interview, think of it as all the questions that we didn't ask in September!
So, to summarise, Nacho Silvestre is a singer and songwriter from Castellón, Spain. He comes from a musical family, and he started his musical career as a drummer at the very young age of nine. In 2006 he formed his current band, Smoking Cotton, who have released three albums to date and have made the official spot of his hometown, featured on Fitur (Madrid International Tourism Fair) in 2013 and broadcasted on the major part of the national TV channels. We met up with Nacho to complete the questions that we didn't get time to ask in September when we last met, here's how we got on....
You started out playing drums at the age of 9, who at the time were your drummer idols? Did you ever think that you would only ever be a drummer?
Absolutely, at that time I thought I was going to be a drummer for the rest of my life but then I turned 16 and I realized I wanted to write songs and compose melodies so I started playing guitar. My favorite drummer when I was a teenager was JoHn Bonham (Led Zeppelin).
Tell me an interesting fact about your hometown
My hometown is Castellon (Spain), I live here when I’m not on tour. Music wise, there’s not much to do here, I guess it’s just not the right place to build a music career. However, I do have my own studio and it allows me to work on new songs and projects.
You moved to America and played your music in ‘renowned venues’ throughout New York and California, which were your favourite places to play and why?
I only performed in a couple of renowned venues in the US, on the other hand I busked on the tube many times haha. The Bitter End in New York City was my favorite venue by far. Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Tommy James are some of the legends that played there back in the old days. The staff are so nice and the back line is great, that’s why many musicians like me enjoy playing on that stage.
Did you manage to do much sightseeing when in America? If so, what was the best thing you saw/place you visited?
I loved California, I’d like to come back again and drive all the way up from San Diego to San Francisco. It was so cool meeting internationally recognized musicians and sleep at their places in LA. I keep very good memories of every single moment in Cali.
You met a French guy called Billy Boguard in a pub in Kentish Town and 2 weeks after doing so, invited him to Spain to record his EP in your studio, are you this hospitable to all musicians?
When I first met Billy I realized he was committed to make a living with his music and that created a strong link between us. I love working with people who have passion and enthusiasm for what they do.
Pop Folk music has moved a long way from Traditional Folk music where storytelling seemed to be the main theme, how has your perception of folk music changed over the years?
When I was in my early teens, I used to think of folk as a monotonous style used by poets to take their story to the next level by adding some background music on it, simple as that. It was a few years ago when I realized that folk is much more than just that and I started to listen to great artists that inspired me to write songs. Perception of kinds of music changes a lot especially if you start playing at an early age like it happened to me.
You’re from Castellón in Spain, if we wanted a night out there, where would you suggest for drinks, food and lastly a place where we could check out some great music?
Well there’s a bar with live music everynight called Pub Terra. Besides that, there’s a bunch of cool venues offering live music in a daily basis like Four Seasons and Veneno Stereo, some of the bands are international and renowned so there’s always a chance to see good live music. It’s a nice city to take the first steps as a musician, although it comes to a point when you have to leave in order to spread your music around the world.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Home sweet home.
Which is your favourite musical artist or band that you discovered in 2014?
Prides, a Scottish synth-pop band formed in Glasgow.
Who do you think will do well in 2015?
I believe Nick Liam will do great in 2015, I was lucky enough to meet him during my last tour in London and he’s doing an incredible job with his new songs.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a deaf gorilla that can do sign language?
Hahaha. I’m a dog lover no matter what.
You have played your music to thousands of people across various countries, where do the audience react best to your music?
Nothing close to “thousands” so far haha! United States and England do have the most respectful and grateful audience.
How does Nacho Silvestre relax?
I like reading philosophy books and going to the movies.
I see you have one gig booked in for March 2015, can we expect to see more live dates and more importantly, UK live dates throughout the year?
Absolutely, I have more dates about to be confirmed and I will announce them all very soon. Of course I’d love to come back to the UK, it’s one of my main goals for 2015.
Ed Sheeran recently based his phenomenal success on the popularity of Spotify, which social media platforms have assisted you the most?
As an independent musician, both Soundcloud and Youtube have helped me out much more than Spotify has. I mean I don’t make any cash from Spotify or digital downloads actually, most of my income comes from selling merchandise and CDs at my gigs.
When did you last do something illegal?
When I was a teenager I did “tofu” with my friends, which is smoking weed.
You sing in English, when you think, do you do this in English or Spanish?
When I lived in the US I got to think and even dream in English and when I toured in the UK it happened again. I’m not a bilingual person but something happens in my mind when I’m around English speaking people for some time.
Imagine you are hosting a dinner party, you can invite 3 people (alive, dead or fictional), who is going to be at the table with you?
Ari Gold (Entourage TV series)
Bruce Wayne (Batman movie)
Tell me a fascinating fact about yourself?
I believe in the “Do It Yourself” philosophy. Along the way I’ve learned you've got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
We don’t tend to hear about much music from Spain, please can you tell us a couple of artists or bands that we should check out?
I highly recommend you to take a listen to Junior Mackenzie, Day Of Rising and Jacobo Sierra.
What is your favourite movie?
We love your sound, it’s light, refreshing and generally very likeable, how long did it take you to achieve this mix?
It took me years to be able to write songs that could be likeable for an average music lover and they fulfilled me at the same time, you should take a listen to my first songs haha. Even nowadays it’s hard for me to find this mix when I get creative.
I see lots of artists and bands these days are releasing their music on audio cassettes instead of CD and MP3, what are your feelings about the cassette tape and do you think it will ever gain popularity again?
To be honest I don’t think this phenomenon is having an impact in the global market. It’s cool to have an old vinyl player with a couple of thick speakers and all, although the reality is that 95% of music is played through £10 headphones or a small laptop speaker. As an independent and emerging artist like me, it makes no sense to me releasing my music on audio cassettes or vinyl.
When can we expect new material from you?
I’m planning to release a new album in 2015. For more details you guys can keep an eye on my social networks (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram)
I think the following quickfire questions were already covered in September but, being the polite, professional guy that Nacho is, agreed to complete them again (I think there are some new ones in there!)....
Coffee or Tea?
Email or Text?
Sneeze or Hiccups?
Coke or Pepsi?
I couldn’t tell the difference to be honest.
Lyrics or Poems?
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Sunday roast
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Car or Motorbike?
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert de Niro
God or Google?
We'd like to apologise for pestering Nacho twice in the space of 3 months and thank him for agreeing to complete the interview, we look forward to seeing him in 2015 sometime....In the meantime, here's a list of his social media channels that you can spend a few minutes browsing.
To keep upto date with future shows, click HERE