ciclos iturgaiz. you’re invited to the party
First of all, the record’s sleeve looks innocent, but then it makes you restless ... Is Guateque a record for little boys?
No, not at all, it’s a record for little girls. We like them more! Ha ha ha! It’s one of those sleeves that makes you horny and restless, yes. It makes you nervous. A garage and two little girls. And the back sleeve’s even worse!
A confession: we rehearsed the songs at my house and my daughter, who’s just a few months old, started dancing to Ciclos Iturgaiz. Can you believe that? What’s more, my wife laughed! Seeing that really frightened me. We’ve created a monster and it’s started going against us!
The seat with wheels on it is still a talking point.
Because seats with wheels on really stir you up inside. Nobody wants to sit there. You know why. They’re very sinister and Gothic. In films with abandoned hospitals in them there are always seats with wheels on them thrown down on the floor ... God, that’s frightening!
Like coffins. We took one along to a concert, we’d made it at home, from cardboard, well painted, it looked real. We put it in the back of our van. What are we going to say if the Civil Guard stops us? Don’t worry, mate, we’ll say we’re a theatre group and that’ll be the end of it. We had a laugh, but it was a bit scary at the same time.
We like putting sinister things out of context. People feel uncomfortable.
We’re very attracted to darkness. We’re huge fans of El Desván del Macho.
Prostitutes, Ana Rosa Quintana, Basque chefs, flags, Otegi, priests, processions, the peace process... The record looks like a newspaper’s calendar, but at high-speed electronic rhythm ... Are you a “chat show-electronic-pop” group?
Ah, celebrities, they’re another of our favourite things. We love you, but watch out! Not anyone will do. The characters in Ciclos Iturgaiz are well-known, but they’re very grey and nobody stands up for them, they’re people like Maria Escario.
“Chat show-electronic-pop”? Ha ha ha, that’s a good one! We’re poppy by nature, in any style or tendency. And it’s true, we reflect situations in every day life that we haven’t created, always
turning them around a bit, mixing them up with a bit of malevolence, sometimes to hurt, sometimes just because they’re too much and then we see what happens. Ha ha ha!
Your previous record (¿Tienes webcam?) is in the same line. Is there really any difference? Has your group come of age, perfected its style, all those things people say about second
Yeah, yeah, the spirit’s just the same, it’s a really extreme project: we write the lyrics as if they were bombs that’ll make us fall apart laughing and maybe frighten us a bit too. If that’s what
we achieve, great.
Compared with the first record, the lyrics are more solid, less brutal than on the the first record. Always with a techno-amateur spirit. We wouldn’t dream of becoming more sophisticated or sounding like Air, for example. Part of Ciclos’ charm is its sound. We’re happy with what we’ve done. Even though it’s Ciclos Iturgaiz, we’ve spent a lot of hours doing it and we reckon it’s got our typical maliciousness but the sound’s a bit different. Come of age, ha ha ha ... I’d say that’s no longer possible.
Are you going to play live? If you do, will you take some bodyguards with you?
Yes, but we’ll chose them ourselves. We don’t want to play a lot. We don’t like playing just for the sake of it, that wears the toy down. We like playing at festivals we like or with our friends’ groups. Places where there’s a good feeling. We’ve got some set up already.
We’ve already given a few shows based on the last record. In Zaragoza, Madrid (twice), Gernika Youth House (Coffee and Biscuits. Aren’t Leire and Ibon great!) and at Bilbo’s Big Week (at Pinpi’s stand). All a great laugh and a great feeling. There was a bit more tension at Bilbo. Some plastic bottles flew through the air and some people at the stands were angry about our lyrics. What were they expecting, party papers and jokes about gays and people who don’t speak properly? We made some jokes about Euskaltel before one song, and our lyrics about an exploitative capitalist company weren’t to everyone’s liking. Some people who get paid by Ardanza didn’t like what we were saying and told us to “Stop taking the piss! Stop that right now!” they shouted at us. That wasn’t a joke!
That was an amazing concert. Loads of people, some fans jumping up and down, a lot of tension, everyone astonished: nobody walked out. And we got cockier and cockier. We said more and more savage things between songs. It was the first time Ciclos Iturgaiz had been conquering the public space. Wow! But we do reckon we’ve had our say at the stands.
Bodyguards for Ciclos Iturgaitz? Ha ha ha, we’ll ask Mayor Oreja if there’s an special offer, he knows a lot about that. How may people have lined there pockets with that story! The struggle’s been a cushy number for many people, not just for Ciclos Iturgaiz.
You may think we’re taking the piss, but with lyrics about current affairs, all in a natural way of speaking, fast electronics, rhythms ... We think you’re 21st Century bertsolari (improvising poets).
It’s an honour for us to hear that. In the 80’s bertsolaritza was a popular activity, the climax at all festivities. Fun, funny, short, direct bertsos. Nobody got bored, everybody talked about them later in the bars, in the street or back home. Txirrita, Lazkao Txiki, Mañukorta, Zeberio and many others made you laugh, they were funny. More than anything else, THEY WEREN’T BORING, which is the best thing you can say about anything offered in public. And that’s exactly what’s happening now, only fanatics go to bertso sessions and they’re half bored there, but they don’t want to admit that, it wouldn’t be politically correct to do so.
Even Mikel Urdangarin has admitted that bertsolaritza is boring nowadays, and he’s an ex-bertsolari. It’s not the bertsolaris’ fault, it’s just a reflection of the times we live in. The same thing’s true of Durango Fair: everyone goes there every year and, apart from that, nobody buys Basque culture (and all production is put back to that date). Art and culture cannot be tied down to a specific date. The same’s true for bertsolaris. There’s a moment of euphoria once every four years when BEC fills up. Between the championships, it’s a desert. Sorry to go on but, in spite of what some people think, we love Basque culture. Often the things we say in Ciclos aren’t what we think, it’s just to stir things up. It’s stimulating that people don’t really know what we think.
We can’t think of anything else. To conclude, Guateque is one of our favourite records from 2012. Would you like to add anything?
Many thanks for the compliments! And, just so you know, we’ll probably be playing with Un Pinguino en mi Ascensor in Bilbo. We’re planning to do a mini tour with them. We’re really keen on that: even though we came across them late, we think they’re marvellous.