Opening the Primavera Sound Festival at Parc del Forum is not easy, and pulling off a notable performance is even more difficult. The Madrid trio Fira Fem came to Barcelona to conquer one of the toughest arenas, one of the world’s finest festivals. Born in 2009 with an experimental vocation, their two albums to date have turned them into one of Spain’s best twisted pop bands. Fira Fem combines post-rock with tropicalism in Aedificatoria (Aloud Music). Their second, self-titled album, features more post-punk with a hint of pop.
Is the Primavera Sound an excuse to introduce Luis, the new drummer?
Óscar: The idea is to present him in all our shows and so we have something to talk about (laughs).
Pablo: In fact, I played at the SOS festival a few weeks ago. I’ve heard you get on very well…
O: Luís is responsable for the albums’ design. He’s also been involved in the composition of some of our songs and recordings, so it could be said he’s family now.
Fira Fem, Bourbaki… You like abstract names. Where do you get them from?
Manu: Bourbaki is the name of the electronic music parties I organize, and although the rest of the band always comes I organized them myself.
O: Fira Fem are ramdom words that at some point we thought sounded well, though they don’t mean anything.
You were responsible for opening the Primavera Sound, a mission you have successfully accomplished despite the responsibility it involved and the schedule. Is that why you asked your fans to choose your first song?
O: In fact, that was the idea of Sergio from Aloud Music, our label. We did it just to see what would happen, out of curiosity, but then we played the set we wanted.
M: Opening the Primavera Sound is already part of our evolution. In 2011 we played at the MySpace stage and playing on the ATP stage in 2014 is an improvement.
You also have an electronic music performance scheduled?
M: When bands can’t play an electronic music show they usually go acoustic. When we have those limitations, we choose electronic sets and include more tracks from the album.
O: The penultimate song today, for example, began as an electronic experiment that has ended up becoming a new song, so it was created the other way around. And what’s the title?
O: ‘Dandy’, and it’s dedicated to Pablo.
What do you like most, a regular concert or an electronic set?
M: As Machín said, it’s two different loves.
O: It’s like choosing between a boxer or a slip, or between knickers or tangas. It’s hard to decide.
Speaking of knickers? One of the hits on your second album is ‘I fucked Fira Fem before they were famous’. Is that a tribute to the girls you met before the band?
O: Not exactly. ‘Ffucked’ can mean many things. In this case it’s more ?I screwed up’. Many times at the beginning it’s very easy to screw things up..
Your first album was much tropicalista than the second? Is that an evolution?
P: From the outside it’s a quite coherent combination of each of them. I think the second album reflects their personalities very well. Sometimes we’re about to finish writing a song when Manu comes up and says it could be improved this or that way, and that could be his only contribution to the song, but his personality is also expressed nonetheless.
O: I think we have made progress and that our evolution is rather clear.
M: Since we know each other we have absorbed a lot and I think that is rather apparent. Can we speak of an evolution in electronic music?
O: As far as electronic music goes… it’s been there for a long time but it’s starting to show only now. It’s like the economy, it changes at some point, but the results are seen after a while.
M: When we say we make electronic music is not exactly dance music. We use its sounds to write stuff because we find them interesting.
O: What we want to evolve towards durability. It is easy to fall for trends, but trends disappear fast and we want our songs to age well.
M: Everything temporal makes us feel vertigo. We want to try not to be victims of the latest trend.
So far you have received good critics and you have appeared on the cover of MondoSonoro…
O: We can only be thankful for all the support we’ve had from the start. When in 2011 we were invited to the Demoscópicas parties, we were just a project. Now we’re a band.
M: We also started to collaborate with Red Bull back then and that’s when we started to become known as a band.
Your favourite hotspots?
O: Fusion VIP, a couple exchange club.
P: Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Conde Duque area in general.
D: El Circo de Malasaña.
M: The Teatro Lara and the Sala Siroco, where I spend many hours.
M: Demagogy Steve Aoki.
P: Poor, homeless people.
You can’t stop listening to…
M: ‘Water Jump’ by Daniel Avery.
P: ‘Everyday Robots’ by Damon Albarn.
O: ‘Ramona’ by El Dúo Dinámico.
D: ‘Make Some Noise’ by the Beastie Boys.
You never thought you’d end up?
E: Combing my hair every morning and I do it a lot lately.
M: Devoting so much time to music-related things. Music and parties eat up all my time.
O: Loving you so much (laughs).
D: Being bearded?
*Pictures by Cecilia Díaz Betz