Austria, a Latin Alternative outfit from Argentina, is a week into its current Southern California tour that will keep the six-piece band busy around town until the 18th. Bringing their latest album Nada along for the ride, the band's sound was described to me as Coldplay en Español. With acoustic rhythms and melodic keys, Austria fortifies their music with pensive lyrical sentiments. Formed in the city of Rosario, the band is taking their live show out of Argentina and into cities around the Southland for the very first time. Local Latin Alternative lovers can catch them tonight at the Juke Joint in Anaheim and also twice in Long Beach on future show dates.
Before that, the Weekly caught up with Austria singer/guitarist Lautaro Gonzalez de Cap to talk about the band, its new album, and the tour.
OC Weekly (Gabriel San Roman): What can you tell us about the album Nada that you're currently touring?
Lautaro Gonzalez de Cap: Most of the songs were written here in LA, which is curious because we live in Argentina. We came back and we were kind of disappointed because of the situation here. We started producing those songs in a garage in an abandoned house. Then, we decided to go into the studio and record them. We literally recorded most of the album in two days without sleep in Buenos Aires far from our hometown. We came back to Rosario and we recorded what was left and the vocals. What's interesting about the album is that we decided to call it Nada because in a way we felt that words were not enough to say what we wanted to say. Nada is about loss, love, being far away from home, taking risks and not caring about the future.
How does the lead single “Descender” set the tone for the album?
The song is like the doorway to enter the record. It would be the best song to get to know it. I think it is a very powerful song. The melody and the lyrics were born together. They were meant to be together. That's what's amazing about “Descender.” Also I think Martin Rougier's vocals are outstanding. Most of the songs we recorded the vocals in just one take with no corrections. We don't use auto-tune so you can tell there's a lot of emotion concentrated in four-and-a-half minutes. Even though we call the album Nada in each song you'll find a lot of energy and emotion. We call it “nothing” but people get a lot. It's an interesting adventure to listen to the record. In regards to “Descender” you have that very well expressed.
Austria has two singer-songwriters, yourself and Rougier, how does that dynamic play out?
It's very curious that we have two people writing and two people singing the songs. What's interesting about it is that we are very complimentary in a way. The magical moment is whatever happens when we get together. With the band, what happens is that the songs become alive. Franco Mascotti is very involved in producing too and even though he's not writing the lyrics, he gets a very clear idea of what a song should be like, not caring what the writer wants. It's a very interesting process and you can see it live. It's very strong to see six different people up on stage but with just one direction. All the songs went through the filters of each one of us. That's what's very enriching about the experience.
Where does the band see itself in the current Latin Alternative music scene?
We listen to a lot of Argentinian music, but we've decided to go our own way. I really like some other bands, but still, I feel like when you're doing something that's really comes from your heart, from your gut, and it's very genuine then you start separating yourself a little bit from what you have next to you. We have some really good friends in the music scene, however, we've always been always closed in our work. We don't look too much outside. The inside world of each person is much more interesting than the outside world.
How is the Southern California tour going, heat waves and all?
It's very exciting. First of all, a rock band should always be far away from home, moving from one place to another, not knowing the people you play in front of, and always putting yourself in an uncomfortable position. That's very important. The destiny of a rock band is to be moving away from home so that you can get an idea of what is your real position in the world. By the way, I know it's very hot, but there's a song in our country that says when the weather's hot, the music sounds better. And I think it's true. We like the weather here in California. We really enjoy it. There's people from all over the world so its very interesting to see how the music works no matter the language barriers. That's when you can tell when the music speaks for itself. That's a real good test for the songs themselves.
Austria performs tonight at the Juke Joint in Anaheim 735 N. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim. 7:30 p.m. 21+ For the band's other show dates, including in Long Beach on 9/9 at CityPlace and on 9/18 at the Airport Business Park, visit austriaband.com