Interview By Melissa Ghezzo With The Spanish Melodic Hard Rock Band Be For You (B4U)
Who is “BE FOR YOU”?
Basically, BE FOR YOU is an ensemble of five guys that love playing Hard Rock music and spending time together. First of all we are friends, close friends, then we are musicians, and we have some common musical influences but, in some way, every one of us has his own preferences (that they are quite different between them, believe me). So with this background this line-up keeps together since 2010, we have recorded two albums and we have done a lot of live performances inside our country. But if we go deep into our origins BE FOR YOU started our journey back into 2006 when Chus, Edu and I met in a Metal/Hard Rock band without name with another two guitar players. Two years after, in 2008, Aira joined us and finally, when we were recording our first album, we ask for help to a friend of mine, Alfredo, for recording and composing keys for some songs and then we ask him to join the band as guitar player and keyboardist.
Your first album is “Beyond Love & Compassion”, How was this first work done?
We were younger and we recorded this one as well as we could… hahaha. Being serious I have to say that we did this album with a lot of hope and passion. We recorded all tracks in a local studio and it was a great experience but looking back now the final sound isn’t good enough and it’s a pity because we think that all songs work perfectly, we are going to re-record some of them indeed. But we are satisfied after all. The worst part of all of this was that I had diagnosed with a tough illness two months after we did the local release and that got me out of the scene for two years so we couldn’t make a properly distribution of the album and live performances. So sometimes it feels like this album was never existed for people outside our town and that is a little bit sad, don’t you think so?
What are the topics that this album deals with?
Well, that is a very short album, it has only 8 songs and the first one is an instrumental introduction and the last one is the Spanish version of one of the previous tracks. Sincerely I focus thoroughly in the lyrics I write, lyrics are not a minor matter for us so I try to run away from the typical Hard Rock topics when I compose. This album has lyrics about the deep black universe and what we feel when we stare at the skies (“K.O.S.M.O.S”), about how we are giving up this world (“Millenium”), about how love can turn to hate (“Love & Compassion”)… So we can say that sometimes the topics are more metal than hard rockers. I guess there is too much Nevermore and Savatage in my life, Hehehe.
“The Things I Never Told You” is your latest album that has been released this year, what does it talk about?
In matter of lyrics I think it isn’t farther away from the first one but in this case there is a concept that bounds all songs together. That doesn’t mean that “The Things I Never Told You” is a conceptual album because it is not, however the songs are about things that we keep for ourselves, that’s why we named this album this way, every song is a thing that we never told anyone. For example, “Hope Remains” is about how I was feeling when I was sick after the release of our first album and how I went ahead, “The Lesson” and “Shout” have to do with all the stress and confrontation that we live in the political and social scenes nowadays. “Nothing Lasts Forever” speaks about a toxic relationship that is something that common people find very difficult to reveal to other ones or “Those Sundays are gone” that is about all the sadness you feel when you see how love crumbles down piece by piece and knows that there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. Finally the album’s title track is about how those things nail into you because all things have to be said in a concrete time or the chance will be lost forever. Happiness all around! Typical Hard Rock! Yeeeeaah!
What joins the first album with the latest one?
Us. That’s it. You can put both albums together and try to find similarities and I think that it could be really hard to see that we are the same band. That is not a bad thing indeed and that isn’t a matter of the lyrics, the quality of songs or the way we play them, it has to do with the compositions and the overall sound. The first album is a Melodic Hard Rock record but it has a sound related with the American Rock and maybe it has a lack of homogeneity, some songs seem way too different to others. Our brand new album is different in many ways; for example Alfredo, that joined the band when the first album had been ended, has done the major work in composition. The songs are still way different between them but now the overall sound that we have found make them fit perfectly, in this point the terrific work done by the great Alessandro Del Vecchio has a lot to do, of course, and that enriches the final product. This album is basically Melodic Hard Rock but there are clear Metal and Progressive influences into it and generally its sound is quite more European than American. One last thing, everything sounds way better, guitars, keys, vocals and choruses, but the improvement in the base that holds everything, that are drum and bass, is killer.
What makes you different from who, like you, choses your musical genre?
OK, we have to start from the principle that stands that is extremely difficult create something totally different today, especially when we talk about Melodic Hard Rock that is a genre that remains quite static along the years, it changes but the changes are not so significant at first sight. And this is not a bad sign itself because people search what they already like and run away from things that they consider too different, that is typical among the Rock listeners. We don’t try to be different to the bands we like to listen but we also like put something from each one of us in each song and I think that is the reason why for having a personal sound, a musical personality. Chus (drums) likes a lot The Beatles, Coldplay and U2, Edu (bass) likes funky and all that bands with a lot of groove, Aira (lead guitar) loves Aerosmith, Mr. Big, Van Halen and nineties music, Alfredo (guitars, keys) goes from Lacuna Coil to Ten, Hardline, H.E.A.T. and all that stuff closer to the music we play. In my case I listen to almost everything but I really love Nevermore, Sentenced, Anathema, Europe, Harem Scarem or Pain of Salvation. So if you put all these influences together in a Melodic Hard Rock project you can find hints that remind you that, yes, it is basically Hard Rock but there is a much more beneath this surface and maybe that is the reason why the reviews of this album always refer to “Metal”, “Progressive” or “Pop” sounds as something innovative.
You are Spanish, why have you decided no to singing in your own language?
Mmmmm… There are many reasons I guess. For example, Insane Voice Labyrinth is an Italian based team and all of you write your stuff in English because not everybody understands Italian but is likely common that people from other countries can understand English ¿isn’t it? So for us is the same, we want to be understood the more people the better. Another reason is the language itself because I think that Romance languages are trickier than Anglo-Saxon languages to compose Rock songs that need shorter words and simpler structures to be forceful. The genre has to do too, for example, the language of Flamenco has to be Spanish and for Bossanova needs to be Portuguese… But Rock was born speaking English, you can do excellent Rock in any language however in English Rock and Metal sounds fucking awesome. The last and maybe the most important thing is that I love singing in English and I find easier write lyrics and express myself in English for BE FOR YOU so...
What are the differences between the Spanish metal scene and the rest of Europe?
This is difficult to answer because we only live in Spain and this is the only scene we know. I mean I could answer you about how we see the Metal scene in Europe (which is not a homogeneous scenario) but I don’t really know how it works in other countries. It is obvious that in northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Norway, etc.) Metal scene is very strong. Germany and Greece have strong health too and the Italian Metal scene has grown enormously since the late nineties. Here, in Spain, there is a huge Rock scene too but it is mainly focused to the Spanish crowd; the language, sub-genres, topics… It is difficult to stand out singing in English in Spain when you are Spanish; it’s funny because if you are not Spanish I think is easier. But in Spain there are as good bands as in the rest of Europe, even in our little hometown (León, Spain) there are terrific Rock/Metal bands. Even so this is a tough scene for a band like us to stand out.