Wearing your idols literally on the credits of your album might be considered derivative for some, but for Capsula it’s the only way. This trio of self confessed gigantic David Bowie fans- would hire a Mr. Tony Visconti, producer of The Thin White Dukes’ greatest moments, to produce their new release Solar Secrets. Martin Guervara and Coni Duchess serve as the singing and songwriting duo that fronts the Spain via Argentina trio Capsula, and sure as hell are going big time with this release by trying to keep one bass note in the past and everything else pushing forward. Visconti brought along the 1968 Fender bass he played on the session for Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World to harken back some golden age flourishes, as it was used on most of Solar Secret’s tracks.
By infusing their other admiration for Lou Reed and Iggy Pop into a mix of hard rock bag of glam, blues and psychedelia that sounds modern yet still holds true to its past influences, Capsula is exciting without being over the top. With diverse tones on both acoustic and electric guitars along with dynamic vocals, this one had us hooked from the get-go.
Solar Secrets is a refreshing break from the direction many modern rock bands are going with banjos, synths and trumpets. Have you guys ever been tempted to take the band in a different direction musically?
Yes, every album is a challenge in terms of experimenting with different sounds. The most natural way to work the sound is trying to squeeze the maximum out of all the noises that a trio of drums, bass and guitar can make. We have lot of fun working like that. And then, sometimes we bring some extra instruments, depending on the songs like pianos, synth and percussions.
How has the band changed from 2011’s In The Land of Silver Souls? Did you consciously try to change some musical directions or sounds? What songs on Solar Secrets best exemplify where Capsula is in 2013?
When we write the songs we are trying to capture the spirit of the time we are living at that period. In the lapse between In The Land of Silver Souls and Solar Secrets (two years), a lot of experiences happened to the three of us, especially living together on the road, and touring.
You obviously experimented with a lot of sonic influences on this recording and I hear a lot of early Soundgarden in your music as well. Were you listening to any particular albums during the writing and recording process? What was the creative force behind Solar Secrets?
Yes, our playlist is changing every day. On the van, when we are touring, we can go from La Monte Young to the Queens of the Stone Age. Also we can go from some South American psych bands from the 60´s like Pescado Rabioso or Os Mutantes to Narciso Yepes or Mudhoney.
How did you hook up with Tony Visconti to produce Solar Secrets? As many people know he spent quite a bit of time working on the latest David Bowie record. Did he take anything from those sessions to what he was trying to achieve with Capsula?
It was a great coincidence for our luck as he had just finished David Bowie’s The Next Day. We freaked out when the chance of working together came true so we enjoyed every second of the sessions. There were a lot of things here and there that we could recognize from The Man Who Sold the World for example, using this as an amazing start to bring something different. He is a gifted musician and his palette of ideas was wide but his selection was accurate.
What are the benefits musically of being a trio and avoiding the “power trio” label?
We think being a trio is the quintessence of rock n´roll. Every new album we are learning to go more minimal in our sound. In Solar Secrets we had the unvalued collaboration of Kristeen Young on keyboards and backing vocals and Tony Visconti on baritone guitar. We think a mellotron or a baritone guitar would fit perfect on our live sound in case we have a fourth member.
I find it interesting that you re-recorded the entire Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album. How much has the work of David Bowie had an influence on the band and what are your thoughts on his comeback album The Next Day?
Bowie has been a huge reference for us since the beginning. When we met, each of us were listening to Ziggy Stardust and Transformer (Lou Reed produced by Bowie) on a daily basis, as those albums made us meet and stick together. He, Tony and Mick Ronson are a big influence for us as they are for a lot of other artists. We found Bowie’s gems spread all around and all Bowie different periods are great. We love all his moods and moves. From rad to dark, from dance to darker. When we heard that he was coming back with a new album we couldn’t be more thrilled as we love The Next Day.
Having formed in Argentina and later moving to Spain- what did those two countries provide for you in your musical growth? What is the main difference between venues and reception in those two as well?
Yes, we started the band in Argentina, but after a very short period we moved to Europe. We lived for some time in London and Berlin, but finally decided to stay In Bilbao of Basque Country Spain. When we started the band our idea was touring all year long, but the distances in South America driving from one city to the other was enormous, so we started to tour in Europe, as that is more easy to tour in terms of distances to do with a van. We love touring South America and we have a lot of friends there.
What are your thoughts on touring in the states? Have you played any significant festivals and what is your overall opinion of certain scenes, venues and bands over here?
We will start a tour in America presenting Solar Secrets next month. The plan is to tour the West Coast in October and the East Coast in November. We really love touring America as every city has something special that attracts us.
What else are you guys listening to these days that excites you?
Thee Oh Sees, Deerhunter, Savages, Suicidas, Kurt Vile, The Black Angels, Ty Segall.
You have a discography of older albums that many fans here in the states might not be familiar with. Can you please let us know five songs and their album that we most need to check out?
1) Sublime: “Caballos de Mar”
2) Yudoka: “ Trampas del Ajedrez”
3) Capsula: “Somnolencia”
4) Songs & Circuits: “Voices Underground”
5) Rising Mountains: “Magnetic Brain”