Hey Negrita are an awesome Americana-laced indie-rock outfit based in London.
Fronted by singer and guitarist Felix, the band has recently released a new
single, Can't Walk Away, which is a sublimely catchy song that precedes their
forthcoming album, The Buzz Above.
Here Felix chats to Steve Rudd about their new material, touring and some of
the reasons why their sound has been so influenced by Americana music in all its glory...
Hey guys, how are things?
Hi there, things are good in Hey Negrita land. We are all still on a high following
our first US tour and SXSW performance. Hugo's got a new girlfriend, Gus just got
married and I've been enjoying some quiet drinking time.
You have recently released a new album and single. Can you tell us a little about those?
Well, we released We Are Catfish in October last year.
The Buzz Above is out in July and the first single of that album, Can't Walk Away is out now.
The Buzz Above is a slightly more reflective, melancholic record than Catfish.
I wrote the album after a very painful break-up and I think that comes through in the recording.
There are some nice upbeat numbers on the record as well, so it's not all doom and gloom.
Some of the tracks were written whilst I was living in the US 5 years ago, getting my
life together, but most of the material is new.
The subject matter is very varied.
Charlene is an old song I wrote after an overdose in a bed and breakfast on the
Cromwell Road and Nine To Five is about going on a date with a high-powered estate agent.
You can't really get much more diverse than that.
What first inspired you to produce such a lush Americana-esque indie-rock sound?
My flatmate in America was a 6 ft, 55-year-old, long-haired, bearded cowboy-junky
who had played with Gram Parsons, Little Feat and Taj Mahal.
He taught me countless John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker songs and turned me onto
the Allman Brothers.
My favourite band has always been the Rolling Stones, so I guess that their
more rootsy albums, like Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed made it relatively
easy for me to get into more authentic country and blues.
Has the band set-up always been as it is now, or have other band members come
and gone before the current line-up was settled upon?
Hugo and I started as a duo about four years ago. We actually recorded Catfish
with me singing and playing a bit of acoustic guitar and Hugo playing all the other instruments.
Neil joined us on drums in April last year and Gus joined this January, adding electric
guitar, banjo, lap steel, mandolin and a third vocal harmony.
Do you find that many people in England mistake you for an American band?
Sometimes. We actually try to use a combination of the best of both British and American music.
It was interesting playing in America, because they pick up on a very distinctive, English vibe.
I think the Americans will always see us as a very British band and the Brits will see us
as a bunch of rednecks.
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Hi Edwina, how are things?
Hi Steve, really well thank you!
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