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“We have something like a music scene in Galicia, but it’s difficult listening and distinguishing between bands from the capital as they sound very similar. We don’t play the same genre of music, but I think this is an advantage.”

This is Agoraphobia’s drummer Paula, talking about the unique challenges of being a band from Galicia in north-west Spain: “It is very difficult being a musician in Spain as you have to know that if you don’t sing in Spanish and play ‘Spanish indie-pop’ then you are going to have to fight really hard. We are playing a non-main genre in Spain, so we understand that our path is tougher than others – but we love it and it really is worth it.”

While she feels Galicia’s character in some of the region’s music – fresh and with an attitude – Paula still thinks there’s more to be done to develop Spain’s musical culture: “We aren’t used to people attending local shows so when we went to the UK and Germany we were freaked out at people coming to shows during the week, losing their time to see us. They were people of all ages too! In Spain, we need to give more value to music and to musicians. We have lots of festivals, but the main reasons to attend are not for the music but instead to party, drink, post to Instagram…”

Agoraphobia started out with the intention of just having fun, singing about irrelevant topics and finding their way with their instruments, but they discovered music added sense to their lives: “This is our thing; it is all we want to do until the end of our lives. We take this seriously, spending hours rehearsing and practising both individually and as a band.” Now, Paula says they want to sound like a bomb when they are playing together.

The band pride themselves on being honest in their music: “We used to write about ourselves – our life experiences. We decided to talk about things and situations we have lived through before in order to express our feelings through music in a realistic way. At times it is hard for us as it’s like taking our clothes off in front of external people, even among us as a band. We are like a family, but you don’t want everyone to know all your issues and life problems.” They also want to make sure the band is defined by more than just them being women: “We are women, we are musicians. We are a lot of things and so we fight to get a better situation in every part of our lives. We appreciate musicians taking flags and giving their voice to social movements, but our method to empower ourselves and those who are listening to us is to make things right with attitude and with all our heart put into it.”

Agoraphobia feel passionate about feminism, but believe they have their own way to live it and embody it: “We don’t like to focus the attention on us being a girl band, so we don’t use photos of us in our albums and not even in our tour posters until this year. At the start, people judged us for being girls and playing badly, but we decided to just focus on what we wanted to become. You’re going to be criticised by everyone for something, so our way to fight the situation is to follow our path without the fact of us being women. We are a lot of things and among them, we are women too. We want to normalise the situation this way.”

For Paula, the music is more important than the politics: “Music is everything to me. Not just because I’m a musician, it helps me to concentrate, calm down and place focus on the right things. Different styles can lead to different states of mind and that’s beautiful. I’m sure everyone associates certain songs to people or moments and when they listen to them, they remember that exact moment that they experienced.” They hope to give their live crowds that same feeling: “We just perform our gigs putting our feelings in front of the crowd and try to make them feel the same. Our music is noisy, loud and even aggressive at some points, so we love when people feel the sensation and start pits or pogos. It’s a liberation for us when we realise people are in the same state of mind.”

It’s no surprise then that Agoraphobia thrive on the road: “Touring is great as we are doing what we love – sharing our music and playing it loud. The opportunity of living this is wonderful; however, the downside is carrying all our things. We have big and heavy amps! That and more sleep would be the only factors we would change about our tour life.” While Paula can’t pick out one perfect gig, she fondly remembers the first time they played in Austin, Texas: “I remember the emotion of being abroad and thinking about how music resulted in us crossing the ocean to play in a festival like SXSW. It was something like a dream and I realised how powerful music is in that moment.”

With their second album on the horizon, Agoraphobia will soon be on more people’s radars: “We recorded the album a year ago which is insane and we shall be touring around Spain, as well as other countries. We are really excited to play our new songs to a crowd!”

See Agoraphobia live:

SAT 12 OCT @ Twisterella Festival – Middlesborough

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Cover photo via Facebook Download