Spanish duo Bala are a hard band to pin down. Playing an incendiary fusion of grunge, stoner rock and even metalcore, theirs is a racket far louder than you’d imagine two people could make. They’ve recently released their third record Maleza through Century Media, which also happens to be their first for the major label. We caught up with the band to ask a few questions about their formation, influences and where they go from here.
You formed with the aim of making as much noise as possible - that’s both very vague in a way that’ll allow a lot of experimentation but do you ever feel trapped by the expectation that saying you just want to make noise could cause?
Not at all! We don't care about expectations. We just want to have fun (and make noise).
This is your third album but your first for Century Media. Has anything changed between your last record and now?
Well, being in a label such as CM is a dream come true for us. So...yes, some things have changed. We came from a small label from Galicia so this step has changed many things: work with a larger team, having bigger goals… But music has the same spirit and energy.
What’s it been like to work with them?
Awesome! We are super excited. We have just released our album a few days ago but we´ve been working hard on every step so...let's see!
You draw on a lot of different influences - grunge, punk, metalcore in moments. What is it that drew you, or still draws you to those sounds?
We like many different types of music, but to make our own songs we opt for intense and heavy styles, which help us discharge energy and release everything we have inside.
How do you approach writing with such disparate influences?
We don't worry too much about writing, we just let go of everything we have in our heads and guts.
Has that changed much since your debut?
Not really. It is true that our first album was not so intense, it was more "light" and as time went by we changed the sound until it gained intensity and force ... But the spirit is the same.
You recorded this at Ultramarinos Studios in Barcelona as well as having the mixing and mastering done there. What is it about the studio or the team there that keeps you coming back? How they work, or how you work with them?
Yes. Everything there was super easy. We love the vibe with Santi and Borja, the engineers there, and we love to work with no pressure and organically, with a lot of truth. They are always helping, giving their opinion but respecting us, so...perfect match!
Obviously the world has been shut down for much of the last year and around the record release - have you found yourselves looking for new ways to get word out about the album?
Yes, for this reason we opted to release a greater number of singles and show good audiovisual content. It was necessary to adapt to the current times.
How have you stayed motivated while you can’t tour and play shows?
It was hard sometimes but… Thinking about them!!!
Are there any newer bands/acts at the moment that inspire you or that you think people should know about? Especially from your local scene?
Of course! Tons! Grima, Lady Banana, Cuchillo de Fuego, Niña Coyote eta Chico Tornado, Cró!...
What’s next for Bala in 2021 and beyond?
Playing as much as we can and crossing fingers for all this shitty covid situation to end as soon as possible!!!