Interview with Sebastian Portillo for BACKSTAGE MAGAZINE
Sebastian, how do you describe your music?
I usually don't think in terms of styles when I make a record. I'm more focused on playing what I can connect emotionally with. Of course I got my influences. I was listening a lot to Michael Jackson. When I moved to England, Norman Cook and Jamiroquai were heating up the dance floors. That music changed my perspective. I became less focused on the vocals and started to work on my instrumental skills. Nowadays, I'm listening more and more to US artists but to tell you the truth, there's so many great artists out there that I can't name them all and they all affect musicians in a unique way. When people ask me your question, I try to evade it because, when I write tunes, it doesn't matter to me as long as it makes musically sense and if I have a story to tell.
Can you tell us about the new record?
The new record goes back to my songwriting roots. I'm always very personal on records and I like that. "Chants of the Fallen" is not different with respect to that but this time it is based on my personal ethical beliefs. Most songs are related to a fictive society and reflect on virtues. It's going to be a concept album.
Things are very far and there is only some overdubs missing. I was already working on song ideas while touring with "From Here to the Stars". It's the first record on which I will have played almost all instruments myself - except the bass. For the album, I wrote about 25 songs of which I then chose 12 to put on the record. With me on the drums and Simone on the bass - she's a kick-ass bass player and tracked almost all bass lines on previous records - we tracked all of them together first. A lot happened jamming until we found the right vibe. Since then I was building the rest on top tracking separately in my studio.
How far are you with the recording process?
...to be continued in the next issue of the BACKSTAGE MAGAZINE...