Published Jul 30, 2008One of the leading groups in the growing "alter-Latino movement is Spanish electronica duo the Pinker Tones. Their mix of syrupy dance floor beats with cheeky traditional Spanish flavours has made them a favourite of fans from all over the world. The Pinker Tones are amongst a new generation of musicians that play the game from both side, running their own independent label PinkerLand Records while staying connected with their fans through an active blog, pictures on Flickr, and regular posts on MySpace. Although their independent status has been boosted since being picked up by alternative-Latin music label powerhouse Nacional, the Pinker Tones have been very successful at independently selling their music in multiple ways. From XBox, to Nike, Skullcandy and Hollywood, the Pinker Tones have helped push their music to another pop culture level.
Now the Pinker Tones are enjoying the grind that comes with pushing a new record. Wild Animals is a leap forward into the future of alternative Latino music taking their already recognized and popular electro Latino flavour and expanding it with more elaborate and ambitious production values. Currently the Pinker Tones are conquering the west with their freaky-Latin-electro sound as a part of the very popular Vans Warped tour and busy at work on many different musical projects, including producing friends like Pecker, dubbed the "Beck of Huesca. One half of this Tropi-lectro super-duo, Mister Furia, took some time out of a hectic tour schedule to talk about globalization, selling-out and tornados.
I hear the Warped Tour ran into some weather problems recently, what happened?
Yeah, we've had our first tornado experience which was very interesting. Fortunately, no one got hurt on the tour but it was just a bit scary. It was definitely interesting to watch and actually the tornado didn't land until later in the night so we actually got to watch it in the sky from the bus.
While on this tour, youre reaching many American cities that have never heard of you and vice-versa. What has been the crowds reaction to your music?
Well it's quite surprising when you travel that far, from one continent to the other, you never know what to expect. We've spent a lot of time on the East coast and the West coast, Austin and Chicago, but there are a lot of places that we've been to for the first time and we've had people drive six hours just to see us. That's something very encouraging when you're so far from home and all that input is very useful, emotionally. If there's one thing that's positive about globalization, I'd say it's the possibility of having kids from different corners of the planet sharing music. That really helps us, bands who are working from more of an independent side.
And it seems like you guys have really learned to tap into newer audiences through the internet. How important is it for you guys to have a presence online?
We've grown up with MySpace and also with an audience that's very different than the music audience of twenty years ago. The way of consuming music has changed and there's a new generation of music listeners and we have to rethink many things. If you stay on top of what's happening technologically, you have more of a chance to survive. Also, with all the search tools nowadays, its easier for people to access what they want to hear, instead of what some company wants them to hear. Ten years ago in Europe, what NME said, was sacred, and the holy message of the year. That has changed enormously, everything is relative. The world has changed a lot and very fast in the last few years.
And now youre getting associated to the alternative Latino movement in the U.S. Do you guys see yourselves as being an alter-Latino group?
We didn't feel like we were part of this alter-Latino movement until we came to the States and saw that the whole Latin alternative scene was really into what we were doing. That's when we understood why we were being placed in that alter-Latino box. At the time, there was a very similar approach in what was going in electronica in Spain and what's going on in Latin America, fusing advanced, contemporary electronica with roots sounds and being very eclectic and open about the mixes.
You guys have also been very successful at partnering your music with corporate entities, something that still holds a sort of stigma amongst musicians. How do you respond to that criticism?
There are many artists that portray themselves as being independent when they have in reality sold their soul to a major company that basically owns everything they do for the rest of their lives. That's something we have chosen not to do. We have our own little label that's called PinkerLand Records and from there we license directly to partners all over the world and we have built up slowly but surely with a lot of hard work and a small team of very efficient people and we've done that all on our own without any money from a major. So, in order to do that, you have to sometimes accept offers from Nike or whoever. The money you're going to get from this, you can produce another album and keep the band alive for another year. We've always had absolute creative freedom; we've never worked with people that seem unreasonable to us. Everything we've done, we're very proud of and we have nothing to be ashamed of.
Not only are you guys busy at work with your own music, but youre taking the time to work with other artists from Spain, how did you hook up with Pecker?
We worked on the production of his second album, it was fantastic because we liked the demo that he gave us, which was really great and we also became best friends and now we've invited him on tour with us and we're mixing his new album on the road. We're very involved with him and we're like brother. It's become a very good friendship. When you get to work with people that you really like, it's just a good thing. We've also mixed Salvador Santana [son of Carlos], it's really good, we're really happy and he's really happy as well. And the next project is a remix for Plastilina Mosh and a few more to come from the tour.