July 28, 2021

Interview with Psychic Equalizer: “Art makes us free of thought, and that does not matter”

Photo: Edgar Robles

‘Revealed II’ is the title of the new work of a band that starts from the keys of the piano of Hugo Saddles and ends up shaping music that walks between the fields of jazz, progressive rock, metal or classical music. David Esteban contacted the leader of the training to find out as much as possible in this very interesting project that you will be able to live in the flesh the days July 16 and 17 in Reinosa (Cantabria) and Santander, respectively.

First of all congratulate you on an album as delicious as this one. It is truly a musical marvel within the reach of very few. The first question is obligatory: What has led you to “metallize” your sound on this new album?

“Thank you very much for your words David. We have been very happy with the result to be honest. Answering your question, I think it is a natural evolution of the band’s sound that could already be noticed in previous works, but which has now become much more latent ”.

I don’t want to be the one to hang a stylistic label on you. For those who don’t know you, how would you define the sound of Psychic Equalizer?

“I don’t want to put labels on either. This whole journey of Psychic Equalizer started from a very clear concept, although in itself it is not: not to obey labels. For example, with the album ‘The Lonely Traveler’ there were jazz media that criticized me negatively because it seemed more like a progressive rock record, while some progressive rock media completely denied me their attention by labeling it as jazz. Clearly none of them read the short bio and job description I attached. That said, it is true that in our new album, ‘Revealed II’, you can find touches of metal, folk, ambient, fusion and classical music. I think that perhaps the term progressive rock is the one that best suits this amalgam of influences ”.

By the way, what is the origin of the band’s name?

“” Scorpio Rising “from Death in Vegas. Psychic Equalizer was taken from the lyrics and it is a concept that I think defines our eclectic spirit quite well ”.

You are a band whose members come from different countries. I don’t know if you are all based in Spain, if not, how is the process of composing and recording such complex music carried out from a distance?

“Carlos resides in Copenhagen, and Adrian in London right now. It can get quite complex to do anything. Luckily, I do not dislike at all carrying the responsibility of being the one who organizes everything, in fact I really enjoy it, although sometimes it is so difficult. You have to arm yourself with patience and have very clear objectives. If neither of those two things are lost, it is “just” a matter of hard work. “

And, an obligatory question: How did you meet and did you come to be as a band?

“Psychic Equalizer I started it alone as a parallel project to my career as a classical musician. Throughout its almost ten years of history, I have had the collaboration of various musicians. At a point, when I already had the other three current musicians in the group, I made the decision that it was time to change the status of the project and transform it into a band. Adrian and I have been friends since adolescence, so it was not difficult to convince him to come on board. I met the other two members, India and Carlos, at the Royal Danish Academy of Music while we were studying our respective masters ”.

I think that the themes around nature, the environment, the future of humanity… inspire a large part of your music. In what other elements do you look for muses?

“That’s how it is. Over time, the four of us have reached very similar conclusions about the state of the planet and the future of humanity. There are many aspects of the present that we do not like, that even seem aberrant to us. I guess we’ve all found in Psychic Equalizer a way to channel that anger and despair. But beyond that, I think our muse is the music itself. All four of us are passionate about a great variety of its aspects and styles. Being able to make music together is what really inspires us the most ”.

You have toured internationally while here in Spain you are not very well known. Do you think that we lack a certain culture to value as it deserves certain artistic creations?

“To be honest, we haven’t been able to play live as much as we would like. The complexity of the project and of our academic and personal lives has always limited our possibilities a little bit. But today, I feel that we are much more in line in this regard and we are eager to bring our music to the live again. My vision of Spain, after having returned to live here after living abroad for several years, is charged with melancholy. I think that there are many more people than it seems (and in this I include the public, cultural managers, musicians and many others) who value high-quality proposals; But there is a whole bureaucratic fabric that is in charge, if not to crush, at least to make things extremely arduous to anyone who wants to get out of the sheep and the shabby standard of the top sales. This not only happens in the world of rock, also in jazz, in classical … It’s pathetic. This spider web is making an immense effort so that musical and cultural education are, in general, increasingly “putapenic”. Art makes us free of thought, and that does not matter. If we analyze it more thoroughly, the truth is that unfortunately this is not only happening in our country, but hey, I better not continue to roll “. (Laughs)

Precious passages are hidden on the album that could perfectly be part of any soundtrack. Do these inspire you when composing?

“Absolutely. This type of narrative component, which is normally associated with the world of cinema, is fundamental in my way of conceiving the composition of the music for Psychic Equalizer ”.

Cuts like “Destination Zero” or “Something Hurts” convey to the listener a certain halo of existential pessimism although later they return and are filled with light. Do you really believe that humanity lives in dark times but there is a corner for hope?

“Well, as I mentioned before, that’s how everyone in the band thinks, not just me. We live in a time of fascinating technological and scientific developments, but there are still those who think that because someone else has a different skin color, they deserve less than oneself. It’s stupid. Honestly, there are days that I don’t have the slightest silver lining. But I suppose that by nature I am somewhat enthusiastic and I always manage to get out of this depressive circle and therefore that is reflected in our music through that hope that you have perceived. It seems to me that the rest think in a similar way to me, although perhaps they are somewhat less dramatic ”.

Have you ever been compared to Nightwish? Tracks like “The Last Humankind” or “You Won’t Have My Faith” hide certain similarities with the Finns. Are you agree?

“Well yes, and from a position of absolute humility it seems like a fabulous comparison, especially to India, who has been compared at times with singers like Kate Bush or Tarja Turunen.”

Does it put pressure on them to catalog them as gifted musicians capable of performing sublime music?

Thank you again for your words! I don’t know if gifted or not, or if our music is so sublime or not, in the end there is always a component of subjectivity. We only try to do the best that we can do at all times. So the only pressure we really feel comes from ourselves. “

What is a Psychic Equalizer concert like?

“I prefer, if everything we have in our hands goes well, answering this question from the stage. What I can tell you is that we enjoyed it to the fullest ”.

Speaking of the direct. The pandemic situation seems to improve. Are there possibilities in the medium term to see you on stage?

“We are going to perform in Reinosa and Santander on July 16 and 17. From there, we hope to move forward and get more performances ”.

Excellent musicians, superb compositions, an exciting live show… what does Psychic Equalizer need to succeed?

“I recently had this conversation with Adrian. The key to success they say out there is the combination of hard work, talent and luck. But it gives me that there is a fourth component that has never entered the field of play before: viral videos of your pet. Should we make a video clip with a cat or dog as the main characters? Carlos has a cat. Maybe it’s a gold mine? The option of sextape we already discarded it, so this could be a more viable alternative, and less compromising too, of course … “

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