Wild Honey

Guillermo Farre

Wild Honey is the music project of the Spanish charismatic singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist Guillermo Farre. Starting his very interesting and innovative career back in the late 00's, Guillermo has given us three LPs up to now, the debut Epic Handshakes and a Bear Hug (2009), his great sophomore effort Big Flash (2013) and his recent and astonishing Torres Blancas, which was released last April (2017). The new album is a real beauty, written in Madrid and in Spanish lyrics for the first time, and is inspired by Farre's love and admiration of Stereolab. While in the case of Big Flash, the Spanish musician had collaborated with Stereolab's Tim Gane, this time he worked alongside another Stereolab band mate, Sean O'Hagan, whose orchestral arrangements added further layers to Wild Honey's cake-like compositions. The final outcome is a shiny pop gem, that awaits for you to hear and explore.

That's all from us, here's the very interesting interview of Wild Honey to the Basement...
 


 

Torres Blancas - Wild Honey (2017)


 


The Basement: Hello Guillermo, so happy to have you here for an interview. Congrats for your wonderful new LP ! Let's suppose that we just met. Please, introduce yourselve to us.
I’m Guillermo, a musician from Madrid, Spain. I’ve been doing music for quite some time now, always interested in 60 psychedelic music, great pop music from all decades and everything around the production of a record (effects, different kind of instruments, etc.). I’ve just released my third record, called “Torres Blancas”. 


The Basement: You are coming from Spain. How did you start playing and composing music at first place ? 
I started playing music in my early teens. Thanks to the The 90s punk explosion (bands like Green Day or labels like Lookout records made me discover all the punk rock band from the late 70s) made my friends and me start playing in bands, write fanzines and all that. I’ve been doing music since then. 


The Basement: When did you start the band and what is the meaning for  "Wild Honey" ?
Playing with other people in bands is an amazing experience as you get to build something with different points of view, learn from each other and, above all, spend time with your friends. But I decided to start writing and record songs on my own as I wanted to experiment with my home studio and make decisions faster. What started as home demos that I didn’t know if anyone was going to listen to, suddenly turned into my main project, Wild Honey, and I’ve released three records and a bunch of singles and EP during the last 7 years. 


The Basement: Your album was recorded with Sean O'Hagan, from The High Llamas and Stereolab, and with Frank Maston. How did you met those two musicians ?
When you write and record music on your own it’s very easy to lose perspective. And I get bored with things pretty fast. That’s why I always enjoy working with other musicians that can bring their own ideas to the songs, other kind of arrangements, etc. I contacted both Sean and Frank by email, and the main reason of why I decided to write them is because I love the music they make very much. The emails I wrote them could be easily considered fan mail, with the twist that at the end I talked about my project and about a possible collaboration. Both experiences turned out great and I think that they really had an impact on how the record sounds in the end.


The Basement: Let us know more about the process of making the album. Production and all the arrangements...
Usually all songs start with a possible song title. Then I need a good idea of what the songs is going to be about and after that it’s a process where the lyrics, the melody and the arrangements start coming up in no precise order. One interesting arrangement can influence some of the lyrics or the other way around. In the end, when I have a quite solid idea I like doing several versions of the songs with different rhythms and feel. At some point there’s one of those versions that ends up working much better than the others and becomes the song.


The Basement: Was there a central idea behind the record before making it ? If yes, what was that ?
While making the record I wasn’t aware that I had a central idea. But once I had most of the lyrics I realized that most of them revolved around how the speed and the amount of the changes of my life changed dramatically. When you’re in your 20s, almost every week or every month something new happens in your life. Suddenly, In my thirties, in what felt like the blink of an eye, I’d spent more than ten years working in the same place and living in the same city with my couple. I had an urge to change things but through this record I can see how I had also decided to enjoy this new speed of life and everything that surrended me. Torres Blancas is the name of a building in Madrid, it’s a weird and unique building that belongs to the brutalism architectural movement, that defines very well that state of mind: it has always been there, I never paid much attention to it, but it’s something great an amazing in the city that I live in and that it’s worth celebrating.



The Basement: What are your influences ? What have you been listening to a teenager ?
I think many people would be surprised by the scope of the music that I usually listen to. Wild Honey, as a project, has a clear identification with psychedelic pop and especially with the music recorded in the US West Cost during the late 60s. Wild Honey is the name of a Beach Boys album, so as a statement of what I intended to do at the beginning with this project it’s quite clear. On the other hand, I’ve tried not to sound as a revivalistand I have an obsession with sounding contemporary. I really like certain aesthetics or music eras, but I’d love if people in 20 years listen to Torres Blancasand in a way to them it sounds like a record that came out in 2017.


The Basement: In "Torres Blancas", we can hear synthesizers, drum mixes with drum machines, harpsichords, pianos, acoustic guitars... Can you specify the kind of music you write ?
As a musician I think that I don’t master very well any instrument but I can manage with most of them. I write song on the guitar or on a piano and most of the instruments in the record were played by me. I also played with friends of mine that are amazing musicians, like Javier Lorente who played bass and Jose María Rubio who played drums and did an incredible job.

 

The Basement: Mission accomplished in some way for you with this LP ? Are you satisfied with the final outcome ?
It’s almost a cliché to say that your last record is the one you like the most, but in this case it’s exactly what I feel. Writing and recording music is always a bittersweet experience to me. I enjoy the process, but in the end there’s always a feeling of disappointment with the result, and I hate listening to music that I recorded some years ago. With Torres Blancas it’s the first time that I finish a record and I can listen to it and feel proud of the result, maybe writing in my mother tongue has something to do with it.

 

The Basement: Do you have more tricks for us in the near future ? I mean, this is a truly interesting LP, what do you have in mind for your future sound ?
I haven’t thought about that yet. Usually when I start writing new music I always have in mind to be more synthetic and experimental but I end up going for more traditional structures. I’d like to have some time to play with textures and rhythms and forget about lyrics and ideas. 


The Basement: How’s your life in Madrid ? Do you have any other jobs except from being musicians ? How do you spend your free time ?
Wild Honey is a hobby. A hobby where I put all my passion on and that is really important in my life, but I don’t make a living with it. I work on the television industry , acquiring and programming movies and series for several tv channels. It’s a job that has nothing to do with my music, but in some ways it’s creative and I’m in contact with all that’s been created in cinema and television and it’s always something exciting. Besides writing, recording and playing music, what I enjoy the most is watching movies. If I could, I’d spent eight hours a day in a cinema theatre just watching movies.


The Basement: Do you listen to new music ? Propose us any hot artists you think we must know about.
All the time. I think I’m addicted to the feeling of discovering new songs and musicians. Some of the songs that I’ve loved the most recently are: Fazerdaze’s“Lucky Girl”, Toro y Moi new single “Girl like you” or Maze’s “Missing numbers”.


The Basement: Are you going to play in any gigs in your country or abroad ? 
Yes. I’m now putting the live band together and starting the rehearsals. We’ll play around Spain right after the summer. We don’t have any plans yet to play abroad with this record but we’d love to!


The Basement: Any long term plans ? What are your ambitions for Wild Honey ?
I think that my ambition has always been to write and record music that I could be proud of. I’d love to record a new album this year with a Spanish musician friend of mine called Remate. I met him when I was looking for a piano teacher and he’s such an accomplished pianist and musician. We’re very different but we get along very well. We recorded a song together last year and I’m really looking forward to start working on a whole record with him: 

 

 
 

Thank you Guillermo !!!
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