Tough to pin down as any one genre, the Mandalas talk about their musical style of bringing acoustic and electric together.
The main actors of this stylistic adventure are Ramir (vocals, guitars and samplers), David (backing vocals, beat box and good vibrations) and Uris, aka JFK, (keyboards). With a do-it-yourself attitude they have delivered 4 LPs, Things Left Unsaid (1999), The Golden Shore (2003), Hydra Rising (2006) and Soulstice (2008). Their latest offerings featuring a clash of styles that included soul, pop, folk, funk and psychedelia, joined with old and new, electronic and acoustic.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?
It's difficult to explain in words what we do in music but we like to join rhythms of electronic music with acoustic and electric instruments. It has been mentioned that we do folk-hop, electronic soul and funk, but the best we can say about Mandalas is - listen to our music and find out what we do!
So, how did you get together?
We all worked during the 90s with an alternative record label; David as tour manager with JFK and Ramir playing in different bands. When the label crashed we parted but David and Ramir decided to start a new project at the end of 1999. Needing a keyboardist, we contacted JFK and he decided to play but with the unique condition of playing live piano. Later we found out it was a bad deal - you can't believe how heavy it is!
Who are your musical influences?
Beck, Asian Dub Foundation, EL&P, David Bowie, The Beatles, Sly & The Family Stone, DJ Shadow, Coldcut, Eels, Beastie Boys, Roni Size, Black Sabbath, Goldie, DJ Krush, The Flaming Lips, Super Furry Animals, Hot Chip, Saul Williams, Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Soulwax, James Brown, Parliament, George Clinton, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Primal Scream, Four Tops, 4Hero, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Quantic, James Taylor Quartet, De Facto, Gnarls Barkley, Medeski Martin & Wood, DJ Food, Kid Koala, Nightmares on Wax, Up Bustle & Out, Ninja Tune Crew, Mo' Wax Crew... And we don't like flamenco.
What subjects do you tackle in your lyrics?
Mainly about relationships and all that involves - love, jealousy, friendship, sex, misunderstandings... The best and the worst can happen between men and women.
Your music is available through Movement (available on PlayStation Store); how are the Internet and downloads changing the face of the music industry?
Nowadays a band can get access faster than ever to their potential fans, promoters, managers, etc. In the past a band like us could play and promote itself in a local area only. Now we are connected to the whole world. Everything is quicker but it doesn't mean it's easier... Alternative artists must do a lot of hard work in promoting themselves.
What do you think of the general perception of music from your country?
There is a potential underground scene of bands that are touring and spreading that music, and we think that many of these bands will be known soon. Spain has been known for flamenco music and other folk tunes but we are ready to offer other kinds of musical flavours. In our case we have fans from China to Mexico due mainly to the Internet.