- Jess Roberts – (New Breed)
- The Method – (NewBreed)
- Teaspoon – (New Breed)
- Frowning Clouds – (NewBreed)
- Big Boss Man – (NewBreed)
- DC Fontana – (NewBreed)
- Flight Reaction – (NewBreed)
- Screamin’ Vendettas – (NewBreed)
- The Pepperpots – (NewBreed)
- Alison & the Earthquakes – (NewBreed)
- Force 9 by King Mob (NewBreed)
- The Jaybirds (NewBreed)
- Wild Evel & the Trashbones (NewBreed)
- Shake101 (NewBreed)
- Elgazelle (NewBreed)
- Gizzelle (NewBreed)
- Jacco Gardner (NewBreed)
- The Strypes (NewBreed)
- The Rhythm Shakers (NewBreed)
With 300 appearances and counting, The Pepper Pots have moved audiences in concerts around the globe: Tokyo, Osaka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, London, Moscow, Helsinki, Vienna, Verona, Prague, Bern, Barcelona, Madrid… Their new big soul sound draws from the sound of Motown but with a certain 21st Century twist! Eron Falbo spoke to the band as part of their LBB8 appearance!
1. Who are the members of your band and what do they do?
Adriana Prunell - Voice
Aya Sima – Voice
Marina Torres – Voice
Luiggi King – Guitar
Ireneu Grosset – Hammond, Piano
Enric Fluvià – Bass
Joan Vergés – Drums
Tomy Muñoz – Tenor sax
Gerard Xifra – Baritone sax
Roger Montsant – Trumpet
2. Where are you guys from?
We’re all from in or around Girona, a vibrant small city near Barcelona in Spain.
3. How did you guys meet and what drove you to make music together?
Since Girona is a small city, everybody knows everybody else… We’ve all been in the local scene for ages. We’re all total fans of old school soul music, and that’s what’s kept us together all this time.
4. Where are you based?
We’re based in a small town called Cornella del Terri, close to Girona. That’s where we set up our own Black Pepper Studio.
5. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?
Certainly! At the moment that are some really good bands playing soul music in Spain. These include the Excitements, the Sweet Vandals and the Cherry Boppers.
6. What’s the 60’s and Modernist underground scene like where you’re from?
To be honest, I would say that we’ve got plenty to learn from places such as Germany or France, let alone the UK! The scene is growing all the time, but it’s nothing compared with other parts of Europe.
7. How would you describe the style you play?
8. What are your live shows like?
Well, we really love playing live, whenever and wherever, but we’ve had great tours in places like Germany and the States and played some fun gigs in the UK. Each time we’re on the road, we realise just how much catching up Spain has to do with the rest of the world in some ways.
9. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?
We listen to a hell of a lot of authentic American soul artists: Jackie Wilson, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Fontella Bass, Freda Payne, just to name a few… It’s no use denying that we’re massive fans of anything Motown. The artists and the productions of the Detroit label are a great inspiration.
10. What are your main influences outside of music?
We’re all great admirers of Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach. He’s got an amazing sense of savoir faire, a quality we really admire. On top of that, he’s a really hard and persistent worker.
11. How many official recordings have you done? How many released? Where can they be found? And who write your songs and what subjects do you deal with?
We’ve got four albums out: Swingin’ Sixties (2005), Shake It! (2007), Now! (2009), Train to Your Lover (2011) and 2 EPs: Waiting for the Christmas Light (2009) and Time and Place, featuring Eli “Paperboy” Reed (2012).
Most of them were released in Europe, Japan and the US. ‘Train to Your Lover’ also came out in Argentina and Brazil.
It normally starts with a very loose idea that one of the band has. We then work around it until we find what we’re looking for. On other occasions, someone may have a far more intricate and structured ideas. And the song almost writes itself. There are lots of factors at play. On the last album, Train to Your Lover, most of the songs were written by our guitarist, Luigi King.
12. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?
Well, I guess we might all come up with a different answer. Speaking personally as the drummer, I love ‘Fated Heart’ off our last album. If I had to choose a favourite song out of many, I guess it would have to be something like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On’.
13. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?
Like I said earlier, we feel that there’s much we can learn from other countries in Europe and the UK, but Barcelona’s become a bit of an underground hub and there’s been plenty of entertaining parties and all nighters recently.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard for us to get into, though. Firstly, time is always tight and we spend a lot of time on the road so when you get a day off, you just want to chill out. The other thing is the 120-mile round trip to Barcelona, which often puts us off.
14. What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Without a doubt, the EP which we recorded with American Soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed. Our managers thought we were a bit mad, since Eli is with a large record label and, I have to say, all the non-musical stuff was not easy.
15. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record?
Depends on the time of year. We tend to all rehearse as a band once a week, but we also have separate rehearsals among the different sections of the band: the rhythm section, the horns and the vocals. It all depends whether we’ve got any gigs, which will mean less time for rehearsals, or if we’re recording, in which case we’ll practice more. We often play one or two gigs in a weekend, but this also depends on the time of year. There’s plenty of work in Summer, by some of the Winter months it can get a bit slow.
We’ve generally put out a record every two years, with the exception of Time and Place, which came pretty much hot on the heels of Train to Your Lover.
16. What do you think of the music coverage in the modern media?
It’s a very weak comparison when you look at Catalonia or Spain compared to the rest of Europe or the UK. I reckon this is gradually changing though.
17. Do you rate any other current bands?
One of our current favourites and someone who is really making an impact is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Others include Lee Fields, Charles Bradley and Eli “Paperboy” Reed. They all came out of Brooklyn, a Mecca for the old school Soul revival.
18. Who and where would you most like to record with and why?
Ha! We’d jump in our time machine to land in the Motown studios in Detroit between 1960 and 1972, where we’d play with Marvin Gaye or the Temptations.
19. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions?
We’re looking at touring with Eli “Paperboy” Reed and showcasing our new record, ‘Time and Place’, live. We’re close to hooking up a couple of dates in May in Spain.
20. What can we expect from your Le Beat Bespoké performance? What have you got in store for us?
A lot of the music will be from our latest album ‘Train to Your Lover’, which we haven’t really debuted in the UK, so we’re looking forward to doing that. On top of that, we’re thrilled to play together with Soul princess Maxine Brown. This will be our third show with her and it’s always been a great privilege for us. We’re really psyched about Le Beat Bespoké 8. Hopefully it’ll be one to remember.
*The band were perfect and gave a stella performance on the Sunday night at LBB8, sadly Maxine Brown was unable to appear due to a last minute illness and we all wish her all the best! She was greatly missed! The Pepperpots did her very, very proud!
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