Interview with Guitarist Eduardo Santamaria of Matalobos (Mexico)
By Mick Michaels
COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Eduardo! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.
CV: Do you feel artists
are often more aware and in touch with their inner emotions and
thoughts than non-artists due to the nature of their creative
personalities? And if so, could this be considered a benefit when it comes
to composing and songwriting?
Eduardo Santamaría: In my case, I think that one thing leads to another…personally it was always difficult for me to express my emotions or talk about how I feel, and when I found that passion for music, I realized that composing and writing served me as catharsis. I managed to express my emotions through sounds. I think that regardless of whether you are an artist or not, it is essential to recognize our feelings in order to have better mental health.
CV: For an artist to be
successful, do you think having an in-depth knowledge of worldly topics can
provide a stronger pallet of songwriting tools as opposed to the
artist who just writes based on personal experiences? Do you see any
limitations in your opinion?
ES: It is important, as a general culture, to be able to talk about any subject, reading, listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, it enriches your vocabulary or makes new forms of inspiration arise. In the end, what’s important for me in a song is to leave open to interpretations and that each person can relate the lyrics with their own experiences.
CV: The new norm has
turned the music industry on its heels and back again due to
the COVID pandemic. What do you see as a way bands will move
forward to promote themselves without having the availability to tour and
perform live as restrictions continue to be in effect worldwide?
ES: We have entered an important paradox with this pandemic…on one hand there are no live shows, but on the other, many people took refuge in music to calm their anxiety. I think that despite the fact that new proposals are emerging such as online festivals, they can’t be compared to the excitement of being in a live show. So there is no choice but to be patient and wait until we can hit the road again.
CV: Can the music world
survive without live performances in your opinion? Could such a scenario
jeopardize fan loyalty and interest?
ES: Yes, I think this year will be a watershed in the way live events are held and that what we are used to, must change. I think the most affected are those artists who are not that “big” and that losing a year worth of shows for them is practically losing all their income. With streaming, which is the way music is consumed today, the amounts of money they pay for playback is laughable…in the end, I am hopeful that live shows will return soon.
CV: For you, what has been
the greatest life lesson learned from the events of 2020?
ES: In general, that we have nothing for sure…that we cannot be stagnant and waiting for nothing to change…that from one moment to the next, everything can go to shit…so we must be prepared and in constant movement
CV: If you could go back
in time and start 2020 all over again, what would you do differently,
especially knowing what you know now?
ES: Probably save and avoid superfluous expenses, hahaha! I was affected in my job and there were difficult months where I struggled, so I would have to be more aware.
CV: What do you believe
separates your music from other similar sounding bands? How does the music
make a distinction and what are you hoping fans come away with after listening
to your music?
ES: Mainly our sound is marked by the roots of our country Mexico…especially in the acoustic guitars. So our music can be distinctive to European bands for example. I think that the fans after listening to us are mainly left with a feeling of nostalgia, based on the fact that no matter where you come from, all humans have problems and there is some unhappiness, and you realize that you are not alone.
CV: From your experience,
can specific songwriting styles or formulas pigeon hole a band over
time, possibly creating limitations, or does having a particular
style create a level of freedom and uniqueness for both a songwriter and a
band? Would having such a specific songwriting style be more appealing to
fans as opposed to a diverse approach in your opinion?
ES: The thing is that, as a musician, especially at the beginning of your career, one must be selfish in the sense that you have to like your own music, but paradoxically, when you launch it on the market, you want this music to be liked by many people. I think that as an independent band, we continue with that freedom, to be able to compose what we want and to be able to put all kinds of influences…because we do not have a large fan base that could be disappointed by the change in sound or a label that pressures us to make a “Hit.” But in the case of a big band like Iron Maiden, or Metallica, they are already at a level where no matter what they compose, even if it's the same formula, they will sell and people will keep listening to them…that is why they become stagnant.
CV: Do you feel music still holds a place in our current culture of social media distancing and instant gratification? Does music still have the same meaning as it once did in our world?
ES: Not at all. I think that, answering the first question, music continues to play an important role in people's lives, but not in the same way as before. Currently people are very dispersed and do not pay attention to music, context and content, they just listen for a couple of minutes and with that, they judge if they keep listening or not. I remember that before, buying a CD was not so accessible, in my case, so when I bought it, I listened to it over and over and over again , until I found something that I liked or I definitely discarded it…but I gave it the opportunity. People currently do not listen to full albums, that is why the music industry is choosing to release singles currently
CV: What's next? What can
fans expect to see coming from the band post 2020?
ES: More music…without a doubt these times are times of introspection, so we will continue to create. We hope we can get back on the road to bring our music live as well.
CV: Thank you again Eduardo for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
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