Imperial Jade, a band that comes to us from Spain, is a group that has a unique and hypnotic style, taking cues from the Classic Rock stylings of days gone by, they have infused that Guitar Rock sound with modern tones and lyrics that bring their message through.
They are a true “Rock Band” born in the Maresme province, Barcelona in 2012 by five young friends and rock and roll lovers. The band is formed by Francesc López (Drums), Alex Pañero (guitar), Arnau Ventura (voice), Hugo Nubiola (guitar/keyboard), Ricard Turró (bass) and their music is characterized by its sound that bring us back to the times where rock music ruled the world: the 70’s. In November 2015 the band released their first record “Please Welcome Imperial Jade” which was acclaimed for the specialized press, setting it on numerous top lists of best releases of the year.
Now, on the Epictronic label, Imperial Jade takes the world stage, and bring their passionate sound and music stateside, and beyond. With the release of their new album “On The Rise” worldwide this December 21st 2018 Digitally with a full CD release following on January 18th of 2019, they look forward to the album hitting the US Record stores “en force” soon after.
In commentary, The band stated: “Imperial Jade has the immense pleasure to announce that we have just signed the release of our second album “On The Rise” with the record label Epictronic Records, Italy. We are very pleased and excited for this new stage in our music career, we know the waiting has been long but it is completely worth it, we already got it!”
It is with an equal pleasure the IndiePulse Music Magazine brings to you our first exclusive interview with Imperial Jade, and it will be just as riveting as their album, whose title “On the Rise” could be a just phrase for their career on the world stage.
IPM: When we at IndiePulse Music first got to hear your album, we were blown away, it is simply a beautiful production and draws the listeners into your world. With that being said, what was your inspirations to create such an album?
Thank you!! It really means a lot to us! We have been working really hard on it, and we are very excited of it finally being released since it has been more than three years since the release of our first record. Even though this album is a bit different from the first one I think we still get inspired by the same things that used to inspire us when we started, but maybe we see things a bit different now, as I think we all have changed both personally and musically over time. Sometimes we write about things that happen in our personal lives, or as a band too. Just trying to give our vision on the world in the best possible way… Sometimes we just make a story out of a fictional character.
In the musical aspect I really think we get inspired by all the music we listen to, we try to keep an open mind and listen to a little of everything. I personally think it’s very important to listen to new music constantly, discovering new artists is always very inspiring.
IPM: The Video for the track Heatwave is a full ride on the way back machine, I can hear a bit of early Deep Purple and some of 10 Years after, but it is not a “retelling” of established style, I really see a new and fully developed sound, I love the videography, Old-School meets New, what was it like to create this vision?
Glad you liked it! The production, edition and direction of the video was led by our singer and front-man Arnau Ventura, who had never done a project like this before, and nailed it. As children we all had spent hours on YouTube watching our favorite bands play in those retro tv programs such as ‘Beat Club’, so we wanted the video to look as much as possible as those old school tv programs where our favorite bands of the 60’s and 70’s performed. Good you mention Purple and Ten Years After as we consider both huge influences on our music… We actually played right before ten years after a couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to know them and all! Alvin Lee wasn’t there sadly, but the guy in his place does an awesome work and they were all really nice to us. With Purple we shared stage at the 2016 Barcelona Rock Fest, and we can tell they still have a killer live act.
IPM: Tell us about the band, and of your chemistry, … what makes you sick?
Well we are just five friends who love music, and most of all rock and roll. It is as simple as that and we are very grateful of it being that simple. The band was founded in 2012 by Alex, Fran and Arnau (guitar, drums and vocals) who soon found Ricard for the bass place, by that time the band was called Blackway. It wasn’t until two years later that I (Hugo) joined them. I was a close friend of them since the beginning and they felt like they needed a second guitarist, lucky me! We recorded an EP (“It’s What We’ve Got”) as Blackway and a year later we decided to record our first LP. Right before doing it we decided to change our name, and “Imperial Jade” seemed to fit nice. For us it was like starting again, from zero and with a decent full-length debut album, “Please Welcome Imperial Jade”. What I think is most important on our chemistry is that we are all decided with this project and we are really fighting for our goals.
IPM: Let’s talk about “On the Rise”, the album has a lot of Rock, R&B, Freestyle tones, and use of the sustained chords by the guitarists is phenomenal, how do you see this in relation to your fans and audience abroad? I assume the response is riveting!
I think that on this album we are really finding our sound, our style (which we would like to think that is quite diverse inside of what rock and roll is). We also try to break borders, of styles and that stuff… When we were recording, we were aware that we were doing a different thing from our first record, and wandered how our fans (the few we’ve got) would react to it. But they all seem to like the new record even more than the first one, and that’s great! I really think as long as you do what you like and what really comes out of yourself you can’t go wrong.
IPM: much of the new album is “shrouded” in mystery, in fact, we at IndiePulse have only heard a small sample and as stated, we are impressed, but I have to ask, can you possibly elude to what we can expect, and what can the fans expect if they get the opportunity to see you perform live?
We love playing live, and we consider that live performances say a lot from a band. In our case we work hard to bring our songs live in the most faithful way, but I think you have to give something else to the audience… The energy, of the song and the moment, let them know how you feel or how you felt at that moment… When I am watching a band playing live, I love to watch the members having a good time, you know? Maybe that’s why we also try to keep open parts in our shows, to improvise, to play, create something new maybe, and have a time of our own. That’s the easiest way to connect with the audience.
IPM: Where have you performed so far this year and what was the responses?
Well since the year has just started and the album has just been released, there’s not much to say about this year… But we have certainly done a few things since the release of our first record. We opened for Rival Sons, one of our main influences from today’s music, we also had the chance to open for Europe on their way through Spain, in Barcelona and Madrid… We shared bill with the world’s top bands in Barcelona Rockfest and Resurrection Fest… We can’t complain with the responses from the audience. Most of the people coming to us after a show at a festival or bigger concerts are hearing us for the first time, and hearing their words really keep us motivated and decided to keep making music. The next step now is playing abroad, see what people think of “these guys from Barcelona”…
IPM: Speaking of Live Performances, any tours planned, and if so, any tour dates coming to the US?
Oh man, how much would we love to come to the US to perform!! That would be a dream come true. If you had asked me a couple of months ago, I would have answered it is something very difficult to do, almost impossible for us. I still think it won’t be easy, but now I can say we are working on it, so I hope it is as soon as possible… But I won’t lie, it will take some time. With our first record we didn’t even think about that, as the album wasn’t edited abroad from Spain. I guess with “On the Rise” we’ll have to start thinking in visiting the countries where the album is being released, though it might depend on how the audience of every country reacts to our music… So, if you like Imperial Jade, share it as much as you can so we can come to the US (or any other country) as soon as possible!!
For our fans in Spain, we will tour the country as we did with “Please Welcome” and we have already scheduled the first concerts in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao though I can’t say the exact dates by now.
IPM: Tell us about your work with the label Epictronic Records, we have had the pleasure of reviewing some of the other artists they support and they are a truly “One to Watch” label, and I am sure they will be just the ones to bring your music to the world in a huge way, how has their support nurtured your development of this album?
We were contacted by Epictronic when we were just going in the studio to record the album, in the spring of 2018. It was a huge relief to know that such a label was interested in a band like us. We knew we were doing a good job with the music we were recording, and we were afraid of not having the means to release the album in the countries where this music is most listened, to share it with as many people as possible… That’s what really impressed us of Epictronic in the beginning, they are working in the US, Canada, all Europe and Japan and their offer seemed just perfect for us! They are doing a great job so far, I wouldn’t be answering this interview if it wasn’t for them, and what’s most important: we feel they are working in a very close way, we are getting nice feedback from them and that’s why communication between the band and the label has never been a problem. I think that is a very important aspect to keep a healthy business relationship.
IPM: there are other bands that are creating music with a classic rock feel, but they tend to call themselves “Stoner Rock” or “Doom Rock”, which is not “bad” but I feel it marginalizes a bands ability to create new and innovative music. With this being said, I would not classify your sound as either of those, but, what Genre of music would you say your album falls under, “IF” you had to classify it at all?
I guess that would be just ROCK. In the most generic possible way… When we listen to some of our favorite bands like Zeppelin, Floyd or The Beatles we don’t listen to a specific genre. All those bands from the 60’s and 70’s where just making music, no matter what genre it is as long as it feels good, and I think that is what really made them so good to this day. In one song they could be playing the heaviest riff ever made and the next song was a mellow acoustic ballad. So, in this album that’s what we tried to do, well it actually came naturally… It is still rock and roll, because that’s the esthetic we’re into, but it has a little of all the music we like and listen to: Country, Jazz, Pop, Blues, Soul, Latin…
IPM: Let’s talk about the world view, as a band from outside the USA, you see things going on much differently, our news here tends to sterilize things and do allot of “fluff” news or dissuade the investigation of what is going on out there. I would like to feel that artists, like yourself, have an opportunity to spread good will and enlightenment, possibly creating a bridge between cultures. Do you think that the music artist has a place in the world’s political arena as a voice for positive change, and if so, can musicians today do what needs to be done to make the path to a better world possible?
Musicians, and all the other artist, have the power to speak their minds. And I think it is very important that artist keep doing so with total freedom. At the end of the day you won’t find the truth on those tv programs or the mainstream media, they will just show you what they want you to see. It happens the same here in Spain… We’ve got artists that have had to face jail or exile just for speaking the truth, while in television anyone can say that dictator Franco was a good old man who died in his bed and did lots of good things for his country (Spain’s still one of the countries in the world with more common graves of disappeared people, all of them victims of the dictatorship). So, you know, I don’t really think we can change any of that, only the people up there, with enough money and power can really change this situation, but as long as we’ve got normal people speaking their minds out, there will be somebody listening to something real and not the lies they want you to believe.
IPM: to lighten the mood, jhow do you feel about the new love for “The Black Wax” here in the USA, Vinyl has made a huge comeback and records are becoming king again, will the new record be available on Vinyl?
It’s great that vinyl is coming back in my opinion! The only reason CD’s were better it was because it was smaller and you could put it in the car, right? Nowadays everybody’s got a cellphone or a USB to plug in the car or take anywhere else, so it makes perfect sense to me to go back to the original format.
I have always been a fan of vinyl, my father had lots of them at home and I remember discovering some of my favorite records on vinyl. It was very important for us with this record to have the vinyl version and we can now say On the Rise will be available on vinyl!! They will be ready to go in a few weeks, as it takes some time to make them but we received the test pressing vinyl a few days ago and we couldn’t be happier.
IPM: Any “From the Road” stories, any stranger than fiction, can’t make this stuff up moments to share?
We’ve been on and off the road for a few years now, since we started, and we have had lots of good, and not so good times while touring. Of course, we also have a handful of crazy stories but it doesn’t come to mind one that doesn’t endanger the privacy of my bandmates… (hahaha). So, I’ll just leave it saying that we have lots of fun working on the road and I really think we are lucky to be five friends playing in a band, because coexistence in small places like a van or a hotel room can be very difficult, but is something we don’t complain much about.
I think we all feel grateful of being able to travel a little, even if it is only through our small country, while playing our own music –sometimes in the strangest and most interesting venues- and knowing people who really love music and who are really working hard to bring good music to their town. We really hope Imperial Jade keeps us doing this kind of stuff, and if it’s possible in other countries.
IPM: Any final thoughts you wish to share with our readers?
Well, if you’re reading this and haven’t heard of us, go listen to our new record “On the Rise”! It’s on all digital platforms including YouTube, so it’s free! We hope you LOVE it, and if you do share it with all your friends; and if you don’t with all your enemies, but please share!! To those interested you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all that stuff… Stay tuned because we have got lots of news for the next weeks! Thanks a lot, to Indie Pulse Music for having us.
For more information and news about Imperial Jade please visit their label and follow them on Facebook-
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