The Death of Robert.
We had a little chat with The Death of Robert, the new retro-vintage sound band from Barcelona. Beginnings, inspirations, desires, struggles, joy and music. Just have fun reading it just the same way we did :)
When does The Death of Robert start?
What made all of you decide to start creating music together?
The Death of Robert started in September 2018. Lara (voice), Pablo (guitar) and Robert (bass) met through an app called VAMPR, basically a kind of Tinder made to find musicians. In VAMPR you can put different filters to match with who you are looking for: music style, instrument played etc. It’s really cool!
After we met through the app, we started rehearsing together. At the beginning we were playing covers: we did not know each other, we wanted to understand our own potential, our tastes and limits. After a few times, we started creating music from scratch. We got along quite well together and, more or less, we were in the same musical wave, so we took this chance and started exploring. Simon (drum) joined us early 2020 – we found each other through social networks as well :)
Why “The Death Of Robert”?
That’s a funny story… We had to meet Robert for the first time, to get to know each other and see if we could perform together as a group. The first month, he totally disappeared: sometimes he said he was sick, or that he broke his ankle or whatever parts of his body! Approximately a month later, we finally met and now we’re here, together.
We will never know what happened to Robert on that September 2018!
"We sound like something far,
How do you manage having a balance between all of your different points of view during the process of creating music together?
Mixing our ideas/opinions/points of view to obtain one only final product is probably the hardest part. We all have firm ideas and convictions: we might have contrasting ideas about how a piano/guitar riff should be like, or drum/bass beat should scan the song. Hence, when this happens, we take a moment, analyse that specific part and ask for everybody’s opinion.
Usually, the majority wins.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration and what message do you try to transmit through your style? What are your biggest influences?
This is a question kind of hard to answer to: we get inspired by so many artists, it’s impossible to choose a few. We always mention The Last Shadow Puppets, for the orchestral and dramatic sound of their latest album, as well as Nick Cave – his lyrics are one of our biggest inspirations. But if you listen to our music, there’s nothing that might be sounding like these two. We have our own genre, we think. We listen to Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, The Doors, Joy Division, Angel Olsen, Tame Impala, Sonic Youth, literally whatever we like. We get inspired by a lot of artists, without excluding anyone, and mostly, we experiment a lot. We are not afraid to change, to do something completely different every time. People never know what to expect.
What message do we try to transmit with our style? We have a kind of retro-vintage sound that can be – we think – easily recognizable in most of our songs. One of the comments we always get is that we sound like something far, more spiritual than earthly. And we are definitely passionate people, both as individuals and as a group: our songs describe all of those emotions, situations and relationships that gave us really strong feelings, such as hate, deception, love or anger for example. And these feelings are then further burnished by passion, sensuality, mysteriousness and vagueness.
Cover art for The Hater Poem single
"When you feel a piece is growing, defining itself and when all the instruments and parts are getting to a spiritual synchronization, that’s when you reach
How does it feel like to create a music group right from the start? What are the biggest difficulties and what do you enjoy the most from that?
All of us have had a few, short experiences in the past with other groups – nothing in particular or long-lasting though. Starting a music group from start is exciting and a bit frightening too: you don’t know the people you’re committing with, you don’t know how everyone will contribute to the creative process of composition, you don’t know what will be each of the group members’ reaction to criticisms or compliments. So when you start creating a song from scratch, it’s always a big discovery of yourself and the others, both from a personal perspective and as a musician.
It’s a process full of adrenaline and frustration. You might have a song you thought it was ready for months, and then all of a sudden you feel it’s lacking something, and you try to find the right ingredient to make it sound like you want. That’s when it gets frustrating, as you don’t know if it will ever sound like you wanted.
But adrenaline is even stronger than that: when you feel a piece is growing, defining itself and when all the instruments and parts are getting to a “spiritual synchronization”, that’s when you reach the orgasm.
Cover art for Mango single by @polumnalee
"Our listeners will definitely be able to experience something new and different in each of our songs".
In what kind of styles do you feel creating? Are you open to collaborations with other artists?
It’s hard to define ourselves, as we, again, experiment a lot. Something might sound really pop, as other themes more rock. Hence, if we had to choose, we’d say pop-rock baroque, with a lot of sub-genres influences like dream pop, post, punk and many more.
Of course we’d love to collaborate with artists, as long as we share the same vibe and passion for good music!
What do you expect people to think when they listen to your music?
We care a lot about three things: the lyrics, the creativity and the vibe.
We are extremely proud of how we work out our lyrics: sometimes they’re like a puzzle. You need to imagine the whole picture in order to be able to put each piece in its place.
Our lyrics are full of metaphors and wordplay, so they cannot be read with superficiality. Only through a deep reading and interpretation, one is able to understand what we really talk about.
Creativity: none of our songs sound the same, none of them have the same rhythm or beat, we use different sounds, effects and instruments in each of them. The style changes and adapts itself to the mood of the song, and it gets highly shaped from the song’s meaning. So, as we said before, our listeners will definitely be able to experience something new and different in each of our songs.
Vibe: we want our listeners to identify themselves with our music and its meaning, to feel our same vibe, interpreted perhaps in a different way, as music and feelings are always subjective.
Are you planning to launch a new album? If so, what kind of background or story will you try to transmit with it?
Yes! On May 15th, our first brand new album “Casablanca” will be published digitally. We will also have a vinyl version, which we are really proud of. We worked hard on this first album, to have it polished and accurate, from the aesthetic to the sound, so that it could look and sound just as we wanted: elegant and sensual.
Cover art for new album Casablanca by @polumnalee
What are your wishes and fears regarding the music industry?
Let’s start with the fear: we live in a country – Spain – where a big part of the population listen to Spanish music, while we sing in English. We fear it’s going to be hard to find a place here for our music. But we are as stubborn and tough as stones, so we will make everything to make it work – inside and outside Spain.
We really wish that getting into the music world or industry wasn’t that hard. You often get to a specific point because you know someone, regardless of your talent. And this needs to be said, it does not have to be a taboo. If this isn't revealed or reported, it will never change.
What TDOR outstanding?
Since we listen to a lot of different music, we are impacted and inspired by a lot of different ideas, and this is definitely reflected in our sound and way of composing, which we define to be pretty eclectic.
Interview by Katrin Vankova