Spain’s Vetusta Morla Makes Its L.A. Debut at the Troubadour

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Vetusta Morla is a Rock group from Madrid, Spain who like their Andalusian peers before them made their debut in Los Angeles following SXSW. Pucho, David “El Indio,” Álvaro Baglietto, Jorge González, Guillermo Galván, and Juan Manuel Latorre played at The Troubadour last Tuesday to a loving crowd filled with many Spanish ex-patriots.

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The sextet visited a few cities in the U.S. and played a show in Tijuana before ending their North American tour in L.A. Morla played mostly songs off their latest album, Mapas, a collection of songs that sound like a mix of Wilco and Coldplay. After the show, I interviewed guitarist Latorre about the group’s origins and independent work ethic. Below is an excerpt from the interview, which can be read in full at Remezcla:

What about your latest album, Mapas? Was that also released independently? Did you ever consider reaching out to a larger label?

Mapas as well. Everything! Being independent gives us a type of freedom that compensates us because running a label is a lot of work and it can take time away from being a musician. There are times at the end of a week when you ask yourself, ‘what happened? I’ve spent all my time in meetings and filling out paperwork and I’ve neglected my guitar.’ It’s worth the trouble because, at the end of the day, you have lots of freedom to do things the way you want to. No one can tell you to do things a certain way, to release this song as a single, to make a video, you’re the one who decides all that. More importantly, you can personally hire the staff. You can’t run the label by yourself. You need people to help you in specific areas and the beauty about running your own label is that you hire those people yourself. If you sign with a major label, they’ll assign whoever they have. You may get lucky and work with someone you really enjoy working with, or you could be unlucky and the whole thing ends up as a disaster.

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Check out more photos of the concert on my Flickr account.

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About Afroxander

Afroxander is the nom de guerre for writer/photographer Ivan Fernandez, based in Southern California. His work has appeared in The San Bernardino County Sun, Modern Fix magazine, The People’s Dance Party blog, The Rockit magazine and other outlets. He currently freelances for LA Weekly, Remezcla and anyone else willing to send him out on an exciting adventure.
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