Martin Guevara of Latino psychedelic rock band Capsula talks David Bowie and musical evolution
One decade after they formed in Argentina, garage-rock power trio Coni Duchess, Ignacio Villarejo and Martin Guevara Solimo received rave reviews at 2009's the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Capsula, thats name derives from David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity," makes no effort to hide their love for the glam-rock icon. In 2012, the band re-recorded "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars," releasing its album/LP and documentary film "Dreaming of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars".
In late August, the band paired with Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti to release its studio album "Solar Secrets" — a more streamlined collection of swirling guitars, acid-charged vocals and raw rock 'n' roll a la Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" and "Queen Bitch."
Capsula's been preparing to make rounds in Tempe and Scottsdale, promoting its latest and most psychedelic-heavy album, “Solar Secrets.” The State Press spoke with Martin Guevara, Capsula's guitarist and vocalist, about touring worldwide, working with legendary producer Tony Visconti and what it means to evolve from garage-glam to psychedelic rock in 2013.
State Press: Let’s talk about your new album. “Solar Secrets” is like a night-and-day difference from 2012’s “Ziggy Stardust.” I think you’ve said earlier it’s an album for guitar lovers. What inspired you to make such a different album?
Martin Guevara: When we did “Ziggy Stardust,” it was kind of not a side project because we did very “Capsula” things. It has our sound, it has our soul, you know?
It was in the process in the evolution of the band. I think it was like growing and developing our sound. And I think (in) “Solar Secrets,” you can see all that growing and all that developing of our sound, of living these last 15 years on the road. So I think that’s mainly what you can hear on the new album.
SP: You guys are working with Tony Visconti right now, which is really cool. You actually named your band after a David Bowie lyric and now you’re working with his former producer. How is that?
MG: Having the opportunity of working with him, I think it was the greatest experience we’ve ever had. Personally, I suppose that he’s amazing. He’s a master in terms of living, of life. His life is so intense, and at the same time, he’s so close to you. When we’re working together, when we’re producing, you can see all these ideas (of) what he was doing at the studio. When we’re working at the studio he always had the perfect work to tell you, "OK, we’re going to take that this direction on the song or that direction, or into a new opening, a new level of your own music." That’s what’s really crazy. We still can’t believe that we were working together. It’s really like a dream come true.
SP: You’ve been touring worldwide. You’re playing these huge rock-and-roll sounds in some fairly small venues here in Arizona at The Sail Inn and The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale. How crazy are the shows?
MG: We think here it’s like some kind of magic of the desert that I’ve only really seen it onstage. I think here in Arizona people love music, but in a different way than in other places. They really feel the music, so for us, it’s amazing. We’ve been playing the last weeks on the east coast and it was amazing, but we said last night, we played in Tucson, and we can start to feel that energy in Arizona, that magic of the desert that we feel.
SP: It’s kind of hard to describe your sound. It’s at times, like David Fricke of Rolling Stone said, “garage-glam on a platter,” but the new album is kind of dark. “Solar Secrets” reminds me of some psychedelic that hasn’t been around in rock music for 40 years. Why did you guys decide to make an album like that?
MG: We’d been working for a couple of weeks before getting into the studio with Tony and it was more than preparation. It was playing at the rehearsal room, recording, being like, "OK, let’s see what can we do in other songs, which ones of that song can be really a challenge for us, for changing our sound. OK let’s go to another place, to somewhere that is kind of different than what people are expecting of us." Taking the risk, taking the challenge of getting to new places, new atmospheres, new harmonies, some new vocals and new sounds from the guitars. So yeah, I think Tony’s part of that.
SP: How did starting in Argentina and then moving to Spain and coming to the United States and doing worldwide tours influence you guys?
MG: We have that idea in our minds that for a band, staying in a city is like dying. A band needs to be on the road, to be touring, to know new cities, to show your music to different crowds, to different audiences … OK, let’s see what’s happening in different cities, in different places, how they are feeling and listening and feeling our music. So I think it’s like the essence of the band — being on the road and showing our music to the most people we can.
SP: What is your favorite song you’ve produced or performed off of “Solar Secrets?”
Martin Guevara: If you listen to it on a vinyl record, the last song on the first side that is called “The Fear,” is one of my favorites this time. Every day, it’s changing. Today, it can be “The Fear.”
Capsula will be performing at The Sail Inn on Nov. 27 at The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Friday, Nov. 29.
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