Independent labeled alternative rock bands from Spain usually do not garner the attention in the U.S that say a band from California or New York tend to. Even the explanation of the band strikes as a hipster retweet but Vetusta Morla is nothing but an exception to this rule.
Vetusta Morla has been nominated for three Latin Grammy awards this year for their recent album entitled “Mismo Sitio, Distinto Lugar.” These nominations include Mejor Album de Música Alternativa (best alternative music album), Mejor Canción Alternativa – ‘Consejo de Sabios’ (best alternative song) and Mejor Diseño de Empaque (best packaging design or best album cover art).
Álvaro B. Baglietto has been the longtime bassist for Vetusta Morla and has seen both the highs and lows of working on an independent label.
“We have always done what we want to do,” Baglietto said. “And we have never had to really have pressure put on us by some record [executive].”
Baglietto and his bandmates, guitarist Juan Pedro “Pucho” Martin, drummer David Garcia, percussionist Jorge Gonzalez, guitarist Guillermo Galvan and keyboardist Juan Manuel Latorre have known each other since they were young. They grew up in the Tres Cantos neighborhood of Madrid, Spain, and formed the band in 1998.
“We love Madrid; it’s our city, it’s our base,” Baglietto said. “And hey, maybe will move to Miami, who knows, but we love Madrid, we love the way of life here.”
Baglietto and his bandmates said music is sacred, and since their creation, Vetusta Morla has been adamant about being independent from any record labels, media companies and celebrity management. Although this has made them into one of the most famous and acclaimed independent artists in Spain, Baglietto and the band don’t really think about themselves in the spotlight.
“We don’t think about those things that much, we don’t even really talk about it,” Baglietto said. “In the beginning, we just wanted to do music in a honest way and the best that we could.”
Vetusta Morla’s musical genre is generalized as alternative rock but Baglietto said that the likes and interest of the band and himself vary greatly.
“The music that I listen to changes all the time,” Baglietto said. “I used to love rock, reggae, jazz, blues.”
Baglietto says that the evolution of his musical tastes have led him to genres that he has never really listened to before and artists he never previously would have known.
“Nowadays, I am listening to a lot of rap or hip-hop and it didn’t happen before,” Baglietto said. “I like Kendrick Lamar and Eminem.”
With 20 plus years of experience under their belt, the band had a lot of time to work on different projects and album concepts. This includes everything from writing and producing the music for a video game entitled “The Rivers of Alice” all the way to writing and producing an album for an AIDs awareness program.
“For me music is like poetry with a soundtrack and it’s so important,” Baglietto said. “We have to make people think and make people feel and not say something that others have said before.”