INTERVIEW: Las Robertas
I got into contact with the brilliant Costa-Rican all-girl lo-fi group Las Robertas recently and they very kindly answered some questions I sent them, band members Ana María Valenciano, Monserrat Vargas and Mercedes Oller responded to the questions, names henceforth initialed.
This year you released “Cry Out Loud”, twice, a brilliant example of lo-fi at it’s best, have you been pleased with the reception of the album?
A.V: It’s always a hard thing to be pleased with what you do in your life, but we have been more than pleased of the reception of the people. It’s overwhelming the fact that we did something from our heart and for fun, and people liked it the way it’s been. More than pleased we are thankful with everybody that liked the album and the band.
How has the rest of the year panned out? Has it gone as expected?
M.V: We’ve being playing some local shows over the year, we never really expected any of the things that have happened this year when we started, not even recording an album within the first year, we never expected this response, and we are incredibly thankful.
There are a lot of girls involved in the lo-fi scene, with Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast as well as yourselves, do you think there is a certain something about lo-fi that attracts girls?
M.O: there are a lot of boys involved as well, bands with girls and boys and only girls. I guess this the way all music should be played, where everyone can take part of it. I don’t see it as only this genre, there are tons of metal bands with female singers!
It seems the genre has exploded in the last couple of years, do you think the scene has grown too much? Is there a danger of it going stale?
A.V: We don’t like to close our boundaries because of a movement. Of course is a big movement at this time, but it will evolve into something else, and the band will evolve too. We don’t see it as a movement, we focus in the music, and we believe that music will never be stale.
Major labels have been quick to try and jump into it as well, if you look at The Vaccines, signed to Columbia, for example, they sound like they’re ripping off lo-fi and packaging it in a more pop-friendly way, how do you feel about bands like these?
M.V: It’s natural, I guess that big labels are always looking for the next big thing, so anything that’s fashionable, “different” even though it’s been there for a while, they will maximize and put “out there” for everyone else that’s not as familiarized with that specific genre to digest. I don’t see it as a negative thing, I don’t have problems with people playing music; it’s a great thing when it’s done for the right reasons though, it transmits.
Do you think that being from Costa Rica has been a massive influence on the style of music you make?
M.O: Well, of course living here inspire us, but not massively, we don’t play Costa Rican folk/typical music. All of us have different influences and that’s what the music is all about at the end, life in Costa Rica is very calm, chill and surrounded by beautiful nature.. haha but I don’t know if our music could be described as that.
What are the plans for Las Robertas’ future? Playing Primavera this coming year must be exciting!
A.V: Las Robertas future is as uncertain as everybody’s life, so we try to focus on the moment and what we are doing right now. Of course Primavera is fucking exciting and one of our wildest dreams. So, we are very happy about it. For now we will focus on our American and European tour, the rest doesn’t exist yet.
Are there plans yet to do tours of the UK & Europe?
M.O: Hopefully yes, next year after Primavera, and we’re psyched about it.
What about album number two? Is that coming along soon or is it something more further off?
M.VL Right now we’re on the writing process and looking for dates and venues to play overseas, hopefully we’ll be recording before this little tour we’re planning.
Thanks to Las Robertas! Go buy the album “Cry Out Loud” now!