Rockabilly International | Interview mit AL DUAL
RBI ist ja immer darauf bedacht, Euch mit den neuesten Fakten aus der Szene zu versorgen. So haben wir mal einem Musiker, ein paar Fragen gestellt.
Who is Al Dual? Tell us a little about yourself, about your career, etc.
I am a musician committed with my profession, dedicated exclusively to early eras of American music, the 40s, 50s and 60s. I started playing the guitar when I was a child, at the age of 11. It was at that time that I got my first instrument. During my adolescence I professionalized it a little bit, playing with many local formations in the 90s. „I never found a comfortable place in any formation“. That’s how the
years went by and a decade later I began to collaborate with great national artists and several indispensable genre formations of the country. This was how I spent ten years doing everything that I could until today. In 2015 I went on tour to USA „West Coast Tour“ for three months, where I met great local guitarists with whom I shared great moments and teachings, and that today I have a very good
relationship. The same year, when I returned to Spain, due to personal problems and wastage, I had to rest for a long time, rethinking about my career as a soloist and went away from the stage for two
years. That time of rest was vital to write themes of „Blue’s Back In Town“ as well as many others …. In that prolific time I was in the studio composing, I worked at all times of the day, I wrote more than seventy songs… It was a time of revolution and creation that will never happen again (during that period we released an instrumental album Surf of Oddities recorded previously in the year 2005 for Ritmos Primitivos label.) Already in the middle of 2017 and fully recovered, I sent some demos to Carlos Díaz from the label El Toro Records, who after a few days of listening it decided to edit us an Ep, that is how, months later, we recorded „Blues Back In Town“ my debut as a singer and guitarist that would see the light in October 2017. Under the skepticism of the Rockabilly high class in Spain, the Ep passed several fire tests, tests that exceeded by itself, the Ep is careful to the smallest detail (cover, photograph, recording, edition , mixing and mastering) a firm commitment that would take us to a privileged place.
Our Ep, was gaining followers and climbing little by little, its distribution and acceptance was gaining positions, obtaining very good repercussion outside and within our borders. Reviews, radio programs, specialized press notes came to us from the other side of the Atlantic. For the flow and energy that we had put into our work, we presented our musical proposal to the prestigious American Ameripolitan Music Awards, which were held in the city of Memphis, TN. There were awards with different categories. After a first public vote, we went to the second round, we went back to pass it, something amazing! We were nominated with great artists of the world. The ceremony was held on the night of February 13, 2018 at the theater of The Guest House at Graceland. (Memphis TN) The room was full of personalities not only from the Country, but from American music. After two hours of gala, the moment of deliberation would come in our category, moment in which paralyzed, we heard .. Best Soloist Rockabilly 2018. Al Dual !! The dream came true.
So you triumphs in the cradle of Rockabilly. What does this recognition mean to you?
For me this is a recognition to all the years of obsession and work dedicated to guitar, at all hours of the day that I dedicated tirelessly, every where you could find me playing… places and recondite spaces, buses, trains, airplanes, backstage , hotels … scenarios finally.
You have won in the cradle of the RnR. It is, saving the distances, as if a Japanese won in the Seville Flamenco Biennial, how were the reactions? What did they tell you in the backstage?
It’s very funny, because after the concert there, in Graceland, from day 11th until our return, they did not stop congratulating us, it was amazing, something like this has never happened to me in Spain or Europe, I’m talking about congratulations from specialists of this music , even creators and pioneers in the development and foundations of the Rockabilly were those who congratulated us in an abundant way, at all hours that we met with any of them, they congratulated us! We talked before receiving the award and after the performance… but once we received it everything got intensified even more. It is amazing to see as great stars of Country music and Rockabilly, show you love and congratulations for your work. It never happens here and it will never do.
You took with you a group of musicians to accompany you. Is your band for the next months or was it occasional?
I wanted to take musicians from Murcia, specifically from Cartagena, friends and teachers, with them I discovered the discipline of R & R many years ago. Tony Kesada was a member of one of the best bands of the 90s „Los Descapotables“ and Mariano Chacón (doublebass) another one of the indispensable musician of the Spanish rockabilly. They will be the band who will come with me during the „Blues Back in Town Tour“
You have told that you introduced yourself to the Ameripolitan fortuity, did you have any hope of winning? What were you looking for when you sent your record?
We introduced ourselves to the Ameripolitan Music Awards, like the guy who does it even knowing that is something impossible to win. The only purpose was to share and get more well known our music, but sometimes life give us awesome surprises and great things happens.
You were nominated in the category best Rockabilly Male Award with the Londoner Levi Dexter, who has been in the Hall of Fame, and the American and pioneer of Rockabilly Art Adams. They were a hard competence, so why do you think finally you were worthy of the award?
If I think about that our category was the best Rockabilly Male soloist in the sphere, it doesn’t matter if you played during the 50’s or in the revival period, in Europe or in USA… Even today, I can’t believe it, because of the competence… Art Adams is a well known musician from the 50s with a great career and Levi Dexter also is a great musician so it was a little difficult to win this award… but well… Not always things go the normal or estimated way … and it seems that our music likes!
Many American musicians say that the best RnR is now done in Europe. What do you think?
Well I don’t think that the best RnR is made in Europe, but probably american people see attractive our compositions with European airs, rudiments that are not used obviously, here in Spain we have many influences that make our R & R have richer connotations, but perhaps less faithful. Talking about Europe, Spain is one of the countries with best R & R.
Many people think that your main inspiration is Elvis but, what music does Al Dual drink?
Elvis was the greatest of all the performers, but many of the pioneers influenced us in the way of composing and playing… like Benny Joy, Eddie Cochran, Sammy Masters, Johnny Horton, Don Woody, Johnny Burnete, Little Jimmy Dickens , or Eddie Bond.
Why did you decided to specialize in this genre?
I think it arises from an initially deep and intrinsic feeling for this style. Like any root music lover, I was always reactive to American primal music, the love for this sound aroused this inclination for Rockabilly guitar and its great guitarists, as a central dogma, this trinity can’t go one without another: Gretsch + Echo tape + Analog Delay
In Spain, rock and roll is a very unknown culture. Do you think it is necessary to promote it in our country? Do you plan to stay in Spain or return to the United States?
I believe that any musical style should be encouraged equally and with the same means. In Spain there are about twenty Rockabilly festivals with incredible capacitance, the most important is Screamin‘ Festival in Calella (BCN) people from all over the world visit this great event every year (Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans). I think there is a beastly misinformation about what happens on the planet.
In this genre it is common to sing in English, have you considered putting lyrics in Spanish to any of your songs?
I think we feel very comfortable singing in English, I think it is a way to connect with more people and be able to transgress our borders.
We can see you always playing Gretsch Guitars… What is your relation with the brand?
I’ve always played Gretsch, since I was a child I loved the brand and only played it. Nowadays I’m the only official Gretsch artist in Spain and I have an excellent relation with the company.
Recently you have been induced to the Rockabilly Music Hall Of Fame… You are the first Spanish musician that gets into this Hall of Fame… What do you think about it?
Well this is another great surprise of this year, it seems that good news came all together. Being part of the Rockabilly Music Hall Of Fame is something that I never could thought but it had happened. This is another recognition to a life completely dedicated to RnR music and to all of these years of efforts. I have passed very hard moments with music and this makes me feel that everything has sense and this is my recompense.
The last work we found of Al Dual is the EP Blue’s Back in Town, is there something new prepared? Any surprise for upcoming concerts? Future projects in mind?
Yes, we are already working on the mixes of our next work for the label El Toro Records. It will be an Ep of 4 cuts with luxury edition, recorded live in the mythical American studios SUN RECORDS, studios that got birth to the pioneers of the R & R (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins) they recorded their biggest hits in Memphis , TN by the hand of Sam Phillips. And yes, there is a surprise for next year that we still can’t reveal, for us it will be another dream fulfilled ..