We’re a little bit proud to have an interview with the wild and successful Freak Fandango Orchestra. Jürgen Klappmesser was so kind to answer our questions. Enjoy this ride.
Please introduce yourself to our listeners.
We’re the Freak Fandango Orchestra, a band from Barcelona, Spain. We make some kind of speed-folk with Balkan and east-european folk music influences. Basically we mix everything together what we like and see what comes out: if it sound fun, it’s good. The band is together since 2006 and has been constantly growing spiritually and in band members. Actually we’re 8 band members, so around 2100 we will surpass the 100 members limit.
What’s your focus with your music?
I guess this might have changed a bit over the years but in the end we want to have fun with the music and our main goal is that the people who listen to our songs have a lot of fun too.
At the beginning we just wanted to make music for ourself, but since the band grew and our music is reaching more people you have to get more serious about what you do, if you want it or not. This can be both positive and negative. But still after all the time our main focus is just to have a good time and bring some joy to the people.
How do you define and measure your success?
I would call it a success that after 8 or 9 years playing music together we’re still doing and enjoying it. Also success as a musician is measured if other people than your mothers like what you do. So the more people listen to our music the more successful you feel.
In the end, for most artists, vanity is an important factor (for us it certainly is!), and it’s nice to see that people all around the world are listening to our music. Maybe the thing we love most is when we get messages from fans telling us how much they like what we do. A lot of people tell us that our music makes them smile and in some way making people smile is the biggest success one can achieve. Ok, maybe getting rich and famous isn’t that bad either but I guess for that we should make another kind of music.
What Creative Commons license are you using and why have you chosen it?
Our songs are released under CC-BY-SA license. We like the idea of this license. You can use the music as you wish to create other open projects. It’s a way to promote the use open licences. This is the theory. The reality is a bit different. Actually very few people really know about the CC licences and how to use them. While most of the people respect the attribution, the Share-Alike clause is almost always ignored. Normally we don’t insist on it, mainly because we don’t have the time to write everyone and explain them. So maybe in the future we’ll discuss if we switch to CC-BY. Just to make things easier.
Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?
I’ll pick one track of every album.
It’s not a typical Freak Fandango song, but still I like the sound and the arrangement. We changed it afterwards and gave the song a swing groove but I still like the old version when I listen to it. From our second Album, without any doubt: Requiem for a Fish
This is by far our most popular song. It has been used in thousands of videos and some of them went quite viral. I would say that like a 1/3 of our virtual fans came to us through some video that used this song.
It’s funny because it almost didn’t make it on the album because we wrote it just some weeks before going to the studio but since it was easy to play we decided to record it.
From the latest album: Mundo Caníbal
It captures quite good the energy we want to transmit with the band. And since your blog is a blog from Switzerland there is a extra fun fact (ok stay calm it’s not that much fun, but still…): A part of the lyrics are in Romansh, a language only spoken in the alps of Switzerland and north-eastern Italy. Our former trumpeter was from small village in the swiss mountains and wrote a part of the lyrics. Just don’t ask us to translate it, because actually we can’t, since he went back to Switzerland, there’s no one left in the band who knows the meaning of it.
Why do you give away the music for free?
As artists we want the people to listen to our music. So we allow everyone to download our songs and share them. Once the songs are on the internet they develop a live of their own and you can’t control it anymore. You just can sit down, watch and see what happens with your music. We think that this is a beautiful thing. Discover that people in China are using our music in a video or that someone in Colorado, USA made a ballet with one of our songs is just priceless.
I mean, it is great and often necessary that someone pays you for your music, but there are so many other things that you can give an artist in return. Sometimes a little bit of attention is enough to encourage us to keep on producing. A follow on a social network, a comment or an email are always welcome. At the end we make music for the audience and if there are people listening and enjoying it we’ll keep on doing it as long as we’re able to.
How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
In Spain we have lot’s of contacts to other bands and artist. We play concerts together and meet at festivals. Some of them release under CC but most of them don’t.
Worldwide we’re connected with a lot of CC bloggers and podcasters and it’s very interesting to see what is happening and what is changing in the world of the music industry.
Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
Yes, we’re working on new material and hopefully we will release some songs in 2016. So stay alert 🙂
What did we forget to ask?
When will you finally save the world?
Oh, I’m glad that you asked, this year it’s a bit complicated, I guess it has to wait until next year!
Thank you very much for the interview. We enjoyed it.