Viaje Epico Hacia La Nada (V.E.H.N.) is the fantastic name of the new LP by award-winning rock band Love of Lesbian. Throughout their career, Love of Lesbian has carefully crafted thought-provoking lyricism set to the mighty beat of rock en español, and in V.E.H.N., they take it up a notch.
While the band was pondering on the album’s theme before recording, they decided on the idea of “el paso“—“that step, or passing,” a.k.a. that moment when you have to decide on that next ‘paso’ or step. Through contemplative lyricism, V.E.H.N. digs into our psyche and those moments that alter our course of actions.
“That moment can also be physical and aesthetical,” they recently explained. “We saw it very clearly when we were at a concert in Tijuana and were very close to the Mexican border. We realized that the idea of that next step and the border had a lot to do with the origin of a movement and the destiny of a movement that generates a border, a step from what was before and what is the destiny. That’s when that concept and that idea was created, and little by little as we were working on the songs and so on, a more global idea came, which was the epic journey towards nothing.”
One of my favorite tracks from V.E.H.N. is “Catalunya bondage,” with Columpio Asesino. What a dope track! The quirky abstract sounds used in the intro add a nice touch to the rest of the song, which spins into get-up-and-dance rock en español featuring Columpio Asesino’s stand-out vox.
Then there’s the song, “El Sur,.” If you’re a fan of Bunbury, you’ll appreciate this iconic collaboration. Both artists form an integral part of Spanish rock history, and I think we need more of these collaborations, and more of this style of rock en español, meaning each song has its signature style of rock and doesn’t stagnate in regurgitated rock en español sounds.
Having formed more than 20 years ago, Love of Lesbian has more than a dozen recordings as part of their discography. They debuted with the album Microscopic Movies (1999), which is in English and reflects the rock sounds of that era. When it comes to their band name, they explain how it came about:
“Santi Balmes’ previous project was called Love of Lesbian. The controversial name of the band comes from an anecdote of the singer, who unintentionally recorded a pornographic film of lesbianism where his baptism was filmed before, the reason for which his family relations suffered a temporary crisis of identity.”
I recently spoke with members of Love of Lesbian, and my mind lights up hearing the words, “El origen es mucho más íntimo” (“The origin is much more intimate)” as a response to a question I asked regarding songwriting.
You can listen to the full interview on Lumpen Radio.
Here’s a bit from our conversation:
Let’s start with the name of this album, how did this idea form?
We consider an idea when we start thinking about recording an album. The final songs should coalesce into the concept and that concept was the idea of ‘el paso,’ and we realized that this idea was too small, too conceptual. So we considered it on a more global level so each of the songs has the genetics of ‘el paso,’ that step that leads you to making a decision that leads you to another place. (See remainder of answer above).
What a great concept and great name. When you put your art into the world without any expectations, as you say because everyone will interpret your work differently, what motivates your music making?
The simple fact of being able to share in that musical space with others.
How do you choose the tracks that will include videos?
If it was up to us we would have a video for every song; we like being in videos. It’s part of understanding something about the song or the record, its story, and how the songs were possibly formed.
You’ve been doing this for 20 years now…
Well, our career can be described in several parts. It was a very difficult first stage for us. There were many expectations with little results. And it’s not that people didn’t enjoy our music, mostly it was with the media and the press who didn’t care about us.
You can hear the entire conversation, en español, this afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio, WLPN, Chicago.
About Love of Lesbian
The result of a band without a singer and a singer without a band, Love of Lesbian was formed by Santi Balmes (vocals, guitar and keyboards), Jordi Roig (guitar), Joan Ramon Planell (bass and synthesizer) and Oriol Bonet (drums and programming), and began to play in autumn of 1997. Later on, Julián Saldarriaga (guitar, sequencers and backing vocals) joined the band. Currently, the line-up is completed by Dani Ferrer (keyboards). For current updates, visit LoveOfLesbian.com