Northwest is one of the most interesting musical projects in the independent scene. Their sound has been defined as ‘new and experimental’, ‘cinematic and ethereal’ and compared to acts like Portishead, Broadcast, Debussy and Robert Wyatt, among others. Their live shows and videos (with a flavor reminiscent of old soviet movies, pre-raphaelite pictures and elements of dance and theater improvisation) have demonstrated that Northwest are, little by little, crafting and curating a unique and promising universe.
1: Ignacio (half of Northwest) is sick of sending emails.
2: I’m 5ft tall.
3: In the list of the best-selling singles of all time, ‘Yes, Sir, I can Boogie’ by spanish band Baccara is in the 10th position according to Wikipedia, ahead of The Beatles and ABBA. That’s apparently a fact.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
For me more than an inspiration behind my music, there’s a very powerful drive. I need to make music in the same way that I need to eat. I don’t eat because I feel inspired, I eat because I need it. Of course I feel
inspired by a lot of people and things, but they come later in the equation. For example: once I’m already doing a song, then I sometimes think: “well, what would The Beatles do?” but not even always. A lot of
the time I’m not thinking, I’m just doing what my need is asking me to do. It’s something very irrational and hard to explain but following my earlier comparison to eating, I just eat and enjoy the process without thinking if there’s an inspiration behind, it if that makes sense.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started making music when I was around 5 or 6 years old. I would write lyrics and invent melodies with just my voice, because that’s the only instrument I knew how to play back then.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
We, as a band, love:
– All albums by The Beatles
– Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt
– The Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd
– Geoff barrow & Ben Salisbury – Annihilation (Music from the Motion Picture)
– Everything means nothing to me by Elliot Smith (it’s a song but by listening to it 12 times on a row it became one of our favorite albums of all time)
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I’m currently living in a town outside London, which I haven’t explored a lot but I would say the Tesco Supermarket and its “Reduced to clear” section where I can buy fancy cheese at half Price. Current favorite.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If you took away music forever and my hability to make it right now, then I would probably write books, paint or make films or even get into politics, but If I was born into a world without music I would be a completely different person so who knows…
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I pay for streaming music monthly and I’m also a Patreon user where I support a bunch of artists each month. But in the classical sense of buying (either an mp3 or a physical record), this was my latest purchase. Super cool noise-ambient EP by 222Crio319.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
We’re currently obsessed with the idea of collaborating with these two:
Ivan Čkonjević and Igor Dević
https://youtube.com/watch?v=39JXqGk7pCU from the Serbian record Label Етикета4 (Label 4). They have a really cool way of understanding music.
The portuguese artist Rudolfo Quintas, who mixes technology, sound and dance in a very beautiful way.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As performers, it’s difficult to choose but our latest concert of 2018 was really special. It was in a super cool theater in Portugal and we had the chance to reconect with some really cool people and artists we
haven’t seen in a while. And also, it was my last concert with long hair (before I shaved it all) and was a beautiful way of saying goodbye to that live show. We’re changing everything for 2019: the visuals, the
costumes, the set up, the songs… I manage not to cry haha but it was hard not to. As spectators, the last concert we really enjoyed was by the polish band Kirszenbaum
https://youtu.be/0kza2z1s3Rc, they’re really good live.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
On one hand is very important, even crucial I would say. Thanks to technology we’re able to record, produce, mix, distribute… everything by ourselves. I wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t for technology. Basically, thanks to technology we can all be punks. But on the other hand, sometimes is overrated and very distracting. Sometimes is nice to hear a good song in its bear bones, naked. Voice and guitar or something very simple and analog. Putting limits is a great tool for creativity.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, I have a brother and he’s also an artist so we are very supportive of each other.
Don’t miss out on Northwest’s Berlin show at Madame Claude on Friday, 19th of April 2019! Stream Northwest’s debut album ‘I’ here.
Photo © Ignacio Hergueta