Marta Ren & The Groovelvets are based in Porto, Portugal with current band members: Marta Ren (vox), Hugo Danin (drums), Bruno Macedo (guitar), Sérgio Marques (bass), Sérgio Alves (keyboards), Manu Idhra (percussion), Fábio Almeida ( tenor sax), Nelson Ferreira (trumpet) and Hugo Marinheiro (baritone sax)
01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?
I started to sing professionally at 16 years of age, my first band “Sloppy Joe” were together, playing for 10 years, then came “The Bombazines”, I was already thinking of doing a solo album before the band finally ended. Three years ago, I started finding and talking to the musicians that I needed to make the album that I wanted to and I named them “The Groovelvets”, and then the adventure started!
02. What influences do the band members have in common?
Classic soul and funk, that’s what unites us. We also like other genres but what we really have in common is the love for that core music.
03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?
Almost every band coming from Daptone Records, Record Kicks or Timmion Records, I think the reason it’s obvious, they are releasing great classic soul and funk often with a modern twist.
04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?
In the 60’s in Portugal, most of the bands played a lot of covers with adapted lyrics in Portuguese. We also have our famous ‘Fado’ singers and our traditional Portuguese songwriters.
05. How would you describe the style you play?
Classic soul and Funk.
06. What are your live shows like?
Normally we have nine musicians on stage, giving it all they’ve got. They’re energetic shows, you have little spaces to breathe, but we came to get you right after you catch your breath.
07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?
I love music in general , if I like a song it doesn’t matter what genre, but my main influences are soul and funk singers or bands. We play a cover from The Doors and another by Lucille Mathis. I despise everything that’s not done with truth and soul.
08. What are your main influences outside of music?
I like arts in general , I studied graphic arts from my 10º to 12º grade, but I think what influences me more are the movies.
09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?
I always wrote my own lyrics and melodies, I think it’s important to really feel what you’re singing, the compositions came from different composers, some from the producer “New Max”, others from the bass player “Sérgio Marques” others from the guitar player “Bruno Macedo”, one from “Lino Matos” and other from “Eurico Amorim” former Bombazines. I mainly deal with life, with love relationships, frustration, unconformity, sometimes I write about friends stories or stories from movies that I relate to.
10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?
That’s a tough one… it depends, on Monday my favorite is “So Long” and “I wanna go back”, Tuesday “Let’s talk about the kids” and “2 kinds of men”, Wednesday “Release Me” and “It’s today”, Thursday “I’m coming home” and “Smiling Faces” and Friday “Be ma Fela” and “Don’t Look”. It’s so hard to say one, I have many, the first it came to my mind was “Try a little Tenderness” from Otis Redding.
11. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?
If you asked me that 10 years ago, I could answer, now I don’t really know. I’m very focused on my family my dogs, my rehearsals with the band, I always try to suggest new arrangements for the songs or live show.
12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Every record or show are big challenges, but I think the biggest is yet to come.
13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?
We try to rehearse every week, with or without shows. Playing live, it really depends on various things, but normally we have three/four shows per month, it depends on the season. We have a lot of interesting shows coming up in Spain, France and England and at this moment we have a new video for “Release Me”.
14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?
It’s the same I think in other similar subjects or arts, normally they cover with high-attention what they are told to do or paid to do, not what has real quality and new potential interest. It’s supposedly dangerous to cover interesting things, people could get clever with that and have their own new ideas!
15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?
The past days I spend listening to the new Red Hot Chilli Peppers album ‘The Getaway’.
16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?
Every record or producer has their own charm, I don’t really have a favourite. When I start recording I always feel like it’s going to be the first and last thing that I’m going to do in my entire life.
17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?
I expect to play this album as much as I can live, everywhere, all over the world, and make enough money to pay my bills and make the next record. Fortunately I have more than I expected , in Portugal a few new Festivals (not despising the other gigs, every gig is important and interesting to me) and I’m excited to go to Euro Yé Yé and Blues Kitchen and Brighton Weekender.
2002 – SINGLE ‘An Easy Night’s Day’,
2003 – EP ‘A Watchjob Apple’,
2004 – LP ‘The Profile Fillers Sing Your Destruction’, 2007 LP ‘Jimmy’
Powered by Max Banner Ads