Orchestra Fuego Interview

Today, we are talking with Marcus from Tampa, Florida’s Orchestra Fuego, who is riding the success of their second album, Salsa Brava.

Who is Luis “Torpedo” Aponte, and why is he important to Orchestra Fuego?

Luis Aponte is our lead singer and Luisand I played together in the late 70’s, early 80’s in NYC when Salsa Music was at its peak. We had a band called Fuego ’77 and recorded with the great Fania Records. After we both left the music scene we kind of lost touch with each other only to find out that we both moved to Florida. We then found each other about 3 years ago, and reunited and formed Orchestra Fuego.

 

How did Salsa Brava move from initial thought to finished effort?

Salsa Brava was our second album and with a band called Orchestra Fuego, we wanted to capture our sizzling performances with a title that matched our style of performing. Salsa Brava in English is sort of “Tough Salsa” but better translated to “Invigorating Salsa.”

 

What sorts of logistical (and other) difficulties do you experience coordinating a ten-member band?

Well, 12 band members to be exact and not easy. I have set rehearsal times way in advance, but recently with all the attention we have been getting from either promoter’s, internet Radio stations, magazines and our music playing on Pandora and Jango Radio, it has become easier to schedule rehearsals. We have been blessed with some awesome musicians and are excited that the band is performing more.

Which performers most influenced Orchestra Fuego during the creation of this album?

Our energy has always started with Me, Luis Aponte and Jorge Tamayo our other lead singer. We compose and arrange our own music and just have a fun time thinking of new songs.

Not to mention that our other band members have a passion for playing Salsa music and it shows when we perform.

How has your style evolved and changed over the period since you released your debut disc, Encendido? How different is OF’s style from traditional (old school) salsa acts?

Encendido was our starting point and we had some great arrangers helping us out. I have a good friend, Arturo Ortiz who was the musical director for the Ricky Martin band during the Vida Loca days and he is just an outstanding musician and arranger. The style has not changed from Encendido to Salsa Brava; our level of playing has really increased. We have a new producer, Victor Romero and he really brings out the best of us. My thought when creating Orchestra Fuego was to bring back the show in performances. There are many good bands out there but they don’t put on a show, they just perform. We engage the audience and make them a part of our performances. The singers go out into the crowd, they sing along or dance with us. Our reviews state exactly that; we are “Showmen.” Well women too; we have two women in our band; Martha Delgado plays the Baritone Saxophone and Veronica Romero does backup vocals.

 

Fans of salsa may remember Marcus from Fuego ’77; how has the music industry changed over the last forty years?

Oddly enough, it hasn’t changed much. Latin music in the US has really taken a back seat. But in South American countries Salsa music thrives and we’re making some connections in Colombia, Peru and surrounding countries to bring our music to these areas.

What has provided more of your fans – Facebook / Instagram / Twitter or traditional word of mouth?

Facebook has really gotten the word out there about Orchestra Fuego; we are now using Twitter and other social media to continue to promote our band. We just need to find the right person to handle that for us.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

We are now in the works for recording our third album and it’s coming out sizzling! Our musicality continues to grow. We are also doing a music video to one of our songs in Salsa Brava album titled “Isla De Mi Querer”; it’s a song about Puerto Rico and Cuba and the beauty of both Islands.

How can listeners contact you and find your music?

Our website is www.orchestrafuego.com or www.orquestafuego.com; either address will get you to our website. We have photos, videos and all the information to contact me via email or my cell.

Do you have any thoughts for our readers at NeuFutur?

It has been an awesome experience being on NeuFutur and it’s a must these days to get the recognition to bring your music out to the masses.

Thank you so much for your time.

 

Brian Edblad Interview

Today, we are speaking with Minnesotan performer Brian Edblad. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

I’m a lifelong Minnesotan, I grew up in Duluth and have been living in Minneapolis for the last 25 years. As a kid I split my time between playing music and playing hockey. I got the music bug at an early age. My whole family was musical and my father used to have jam sessions in our living room and me and my siblings would sit at the top of the stairs listening when we were supposed to be sleeping. Then when I was about seven or eight my brother and I sang Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” at a small church up in West Duluth and I was hooked. Continue reading “Brian Edblad Interview”

Titan Slayer Interview

Today, we’re speaking with Titan Slayer. Hows life in Russia?

I’m afraid I can’t answer this question clearly, but I can say one thing – life in Russia is a tough thing.

I live in the geographic center of this country – in Siberia. Winter here lasts about six months, lots of snow, the average temperature is -10 ~ 20 C, but sometimes it could be below -35 C. Summer is hot, sometimes rainy, but it is always short. Continue reading “Titan Slayer Interview”

James Fearnley gives us a look into life, Cranky George, and the future.

Today, we are speaking with James Fearnley of Los Angeles’ Cranky George. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

I was about to say guten Tag, but then I’ve just found out that, while NeuFutur looks like you’re going to be a German magazine, I don’t think you are. Continue reading “James Fearnley gives us a look into life, Cranky George, and the future.”

An interview with Chip Gibbons

I’ve always liked music. When I was a child my mother bought accordion lessons for me and my brothers from a door-to-door salesman. Then my aunt gave us a old upright piano. Each of my parents could play one song on it. I started picking out songs by ear and then I started with classical lessons but I got tired of that after a few years. In college I bought a used Gibson guitar in a pawn shop and taught myself how to play it. I wrote my first song on that. After college where I majored in Biology/Pre-Med I moved from Virginia to San Francisco and started a career in computer programming. I didn’t do much music during this period, but started playing with a keyboard and synth module in the 90’s. I never performed. I just liked improvising and making sounds. Continue reading “An interview with Chip Gibbons”

Joseph Henry Gives Us a Minute

Hello, Joseph. What’s happening musically in New Jersey this December?

A: December has been quite enjoyable so far. I’ve had some low-key gigs around my hometown, performing in front of a lot of family and friends, which is always nice. With the the cold weather moving in, it’s been nice motivation to stay indoors where it’s warm and work on some new material. Something about cold weather and acoustic guitars just doesn’t mix too well. Continue reading “Joseph Henry Gives Us a Minute”

Pablo Embon Sits Down with NeuFutur

Hello, Pablo. What’s happening musically in Israel this December? What sort of plans do you have for the early months of 2017?

“Funky Side of the Road” has been keeping me busy and focused for the last 8 months, just the creation of the album idea took me about two months, but having a lot of fun with it. My usual activities right after releasing an album is to engage myself in specific music learning activities which will assist me in developing and driving a new concept for the next album. This is what I have in mind within the next few months. The same process happened earlier on before this album, during which I had explored new areas in Jazz Fusion and Funk Music genres to support the production. Continue reading “Pablo Embon Sits Down with NeuFutur”

Nikki Shae Stops By

Can you give us a little background information about yourself as a performer?

I started singing as a little girl and my mom recognized there was something different about my voice; I didn’t have a normal little girls’ signing voice.  There was something more there.  So she asked me if I wanted to sign up for singing lessons and of course I said yes right away.  At this point I was about 7 years old and I loved singing but I was so mad at my singing teacher because she was making me sing these childlike songs when all I wanted to do was sing the songs on the radio.  Which is funny because that’s still all I want to do haha, just now my own songs are on the radio. Continue reading “Nikki Shae Stops By”

Sitting in with Pekkanini

Hello, Pekkanini. How’s Uppsala this December?

Hi, James.

Yes, I was born i Uppsala (not far from the capitol of Sweden, Stockholm) but I’ve moved around quite a bit and in the last few years, I’ve lived in Gothenburg on the west coast. The weather here this time of the year use to be cold with some snow, but not this year. Well, cold of course, but no snow so far, which is a blessing. 🙂

Readers may be familiar with your work in “Ensamma Hjärtan” or Danielsson & Pekkanini. Can you give us a bit of information regarding your back story?

When I came to Gothenburg in 1975, the independent music scene of the city had started to develop a lot and I came in the middle of that. I was in my early twenties and together with my new friend Gunnar Danielsson I started the rock band ”Ensamma Hjärtan” (The Lonely Hearts). We got to be popular very fast in Gothenburg, recorded 4 full length albums and some singles and toured around, not only in Sweden, but also in Denmark and Norway.

The band ended in 1982 and after that Gunnar and I started a pop duo called Danielsson & Pekkanini. My artist name Pekkanini came from my first solo album I made in between. We got a national hit with that duo, participated in a whole series of TV shows, hosted by Gunnar and as myself as some kind of musical leader.

Guitars and Theramins is your latest release.  What is your creative process and what sources of inspiration (e.g. books, television, film) get your creative juices flowing?

In 2002 I got my first theremin, the world’s first electronic instrument, in my hands. You play it without touching, waving your hands in front of two antennas on a wooden box. That will make a tone to appear, you manage the pitch with one hand and the volume with the other. You can read all about that in Wikipedia. That inspired me to start to write music for this odd instrument. Since the early 80’s I had been composing music for more than 100 Swedish theater plays, so I had that musical luggage with me, as well. ”Guitars and Theremins” is actually my 4th instrumental album. It’s special since I now have my own band and that is also an inspiration.

What sort of performers have the largest influence on your music? Have the list of who is influencing you changed over time?

Sure. The reason I started to play when I was a kid was, of course, The Beatles. Then came all the other new music from the UK and US. At that time it was Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Doors, The Yardbirds and a lot of other bands. Later came Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Yohn Mayall and all the American black artists. In the late 70’s and early 80’s I was so inspired by Bowie, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Lou Reed and others. Also film music has been a huge inspiration. I had a long period in the 70s when I listened a lot to hard rock and metal, as well. For the last years I have come to like the classic American big jazz bands and crooner singers a lot.

What sort of plans do you have for the start of 2017?

Right now we’re rehearsing with the band in order to have a fairly big repertoire for the spring. I’m working to get gigs, mostly here in Gothenburg. I have also started to write some new songs for the band. Two of the musicians, the guitar players in my band, are old friends that played in ”Ensamma Hjärtan”, the drummer is also an old friend but we have not played together until now, and the bass player I know since 5-6 years, he’s an old metal bass player.

Let’s talk gear and technology. What does your current recording and music production set up look like? What sort of upgrades do you want to add in the future?

One of the guitar players in the band, Tommy Natta, owns a studio which is mainly analog, with a lot of very good old analog recording gear and microphones, so everything is recorded in an analog mode, but are mixed down digitally. Tommy always look for better equipment, of course, and maybe in the future he will combine the analog gear with more digital recording.

Guitars and Theramins has ten distinct tracks, all with a different overall sound and influenced laced throughout. What is your favorite track off of the new album?

It’s difficult, you know, it’s like saying you have a favorite child, almost. 🙂 But if I have to choose I’d say ”Down” because of of the relatively complexity in it, and it’s still a rock tune. But also ”To The Heads” because it’s a tribute to Talking Heads who were such an inspiration in the early 80:s.

How can listeners find samples of your music and additional information about yourself?

First of all they can find me on my website: www.pekkanini.se and Facebook of course. All my albums can be found on iTunes, Spotify etc. but I also have several Soundcloud sites were you can listen to and/or download some of the music for free.

Thanks for speaking with us tonight. Do you have anything else that you would like to tell NeuFutur?

Maybe this: Don’t be afraid to look for the more unusual music, but I guess you already do since you read NeuFutur!