Nacho Silvestre is a singer-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 caught up with Nacho in Camden for a sneaky drink under the willow tree and had a good chat about Supergroups, job interviews and embarrassing records, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
My name is Nacho Silvestre, acoustic pop-folk singer and songwriter from Spain.
You formed the band ‘Smoking Cotton’, and now you are a solo artist, why did you decide to do this?
When I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to play music for the rest of my life. Smoking Cotton stopped playing live because music was not the main interest of the other band members. It’s totally understandable since developing a music career in Spain is very difficult. All the major European labels are in the UK, so it´s very difficult to get exposure in Spain.
You recently played Soho-spice of Life and the 12 bar club and other London venues, what was your experience of playing in the UK like?
It was fantastic, I had such a great time performing at those unique venues. Spice Of Life was absolutely packed and still had a great atmosphere, incredible. I love playing in England because the venues are great operators and know how to improve the acoustics, and my British fans love the music.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself” – My friend Roberto Bua
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Tough question, I’d say “Thriller” by Michael Jackson is a masterpiece.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (Only living members please)
Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) on drums and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) as a bassist.
Favourite quote or lyric that has always stayed with you the moment you heard or read it?
“I write more lies than you could ever tell” from the song “You Don’t Really Mean It” by Day Of Rising.
Beautiful guitar sound in ‘I Don’t Trust Myself’ how did you come up with that riff and what inspired you to write the song?
“I don’t trust myself” is actually a John Mayer cover, I’m a big fan. Somehow, I wanted to pay tribute to him so I came up with the idea of recording a cover of one of my favourite songs.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
Probably it’s “Still Not Getting Any…” by Simple Plan. I don’t know what I was thinking when I got that album, really.
Who designed the artwork for ‘A Hundred Miles Away’?
I did indeed. I knew what colours and tones I wanted to use and I also wanted to keep it simple and minimal. I don’t remember how I found that hot air balloon on the front cover but I felt like it could fit perfectly with the concept of the record. I’m not really good at design but for some reason people have loved it so much. I’m so happy to have created something people love.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. I’d have loved to become part of that revolutionary tune. The song set off the grunge phase of music, which produced some incredible albums. The fact of getting a song out there that has changed many people lives must be pretty awesome.
First gig you ever went to?
My dad’s blues band. I don’t even remember how old I was, probably a little kid. Music is in my blood.
Where did you record your EP ‘Hundred Miles Away’ and what made you choose that studio?
I recorded it in my bedroom actually. That way allowed me to take the time enough to change things in the way I wanted them to be. When I worked in someone else’s studio, I was always in a hurry to get the tracks recorded but I’ve realized it’s not a good idea to rush when you’re making a new release. If you do, you’re probably regretting it. You don’t want to trust the first impressions when you’re producing music.
In a job interview the possible employer asked if you have any questions, what three questions would you ask them?
How far can I get in your organization?
How many people quit their job each year?
Are there any team building activities?
How has social media aided your music?
Absolutely, it has boosted my career since I became a regular user on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. It has helped to get my music out there and connected me with interesting people who helped me improve my music. Not to mention the chance to create strong engagement with my fans.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Ari Gold (Entourage TV series)
Bruce Wayne (Batman movie)
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Junior Mackenzie, Matt Gallagher, Alex Rainsford, Nick Liam, Jonny Breakwell.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Walter White (Breaking Bad)
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
I’ve already started working on my next album, it’s going to be way different from what I’ve done so far. Also, planning another tour in the UK in 2015.
Nacho was getting the taste for the beers and before long, he was going to start slurring his words, before we reached the 'point of no return', we threw in a few quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, always coffee.
Coke or Pepsi?
Beard or no Beard?
Drum machine or the real deal?
Maybe both, they can get along very well.
Mac or PC?
Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger?
Live show or recording studio?
Whatever sounds more genuine
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Car or Motorbike?
Acoustic or Electric?
Shower or Bath?
Book or DVD?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Tattoos, it’s not 2006 anymore haha.
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert De Niro
God or Google?
Google, I don’t believe in imaginary friends.
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We'd like to thank Nacho for sparing his time to chat to us and we wish him every success in the future, maybe one day, he'll venture down to sunny Devon for a few shows (hint hint!!)
Interview by Mark Wincott