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Today we are on a secret mission – we want to introduce you to a promising but rather little-known band. So stay tuned until the end of the piece, it will be worth it.
Spain, beautiful Spain – what goes through your mind at first? Right: Summer, sun, beach. Some romance, hot lovers, Techno in Ibiza. Moreover, sun-burnt Brits and, inevitably, Germans on Mallorca…
But wait, that cannot be all, can it?
Well, not entirely… One small band of indomitable Synth-Pop-Lovers still holds out against the mainstream. We are talking about the band AFTER THE RAIN and in our opinion, this high-quality troupe deserves more attention, and that’s why we will introduce them now to you, dear reader.
Who is behind AFTER THE RAIN?
It all started with the desire of producer and keyboard player YUN L. DIAZ aka YUNBERZERK to enhance his compositions by adding vocals and to enter the stages of this world. Therefore, Yun was looking for a singer on a music website through an advertisement in 2011. He got a reply from JOSE ICARO aka ICARO. They both hit it off really well, the chemistry was right and after Jose could clear a bit of his schedule, both of them started AFTER THE RAIN in 2012 to bring their sophisticated synthesizer sound from Madrid into the world.
For live performance, the group got support from ZIGOR LOPEZ.
In the studio, Yun is primarily responsible for compositions, programming, and playing instruments like guitar and keyboard plus singing backing vocals, whereas Jose is doing vocals, keyboards and additional programming, but all songs arecreated in collaboration, which is why a lot can change from demo to release, perfect teamwork.
But there is a problem which also other synth pop bands face: The synth pop “scene” (so to say) is extremely small in Spain, except for small subcultures in Madrid and Barcelona. To become more popular and get more bookings, the band would need to attract a growing international fanbase.
We think this is very unfortunate, because we really like their music- it is full of emotions but upbeat enough for the dance floor. It is a wonderful mix of peppy and modern sounds, enriched with quotes from past decades and a good shot of the 80s. Plus: a voice which will let your heart melt. In this mix, you can also hear influences of Dark Wave, Avant-garde Pop and prosaic rock. You could put it very simply: After the storm follows… AFTER THE RAIN.
The lyrics are based on current events, personal thoughts and experience, and yes, love and heartbreak. However, the last theme should not dominate their music too much, as Yun tells us with a slight hint of irony during the interview.
In 2016, their well-praised debut album “Kings without a crown” was published on the Spanish label Amuza. Only two years later, they published “The Other Side of the crown” with ScentAir Records, plus a few outstanding singles like “Tired Hands”. Technically, it would be high time for some new stuff but as with many things during the last year, Covid19 delayed these plans. However, there are things planned for 2023. The band already worked on a new Single named “Vicious Minds”(see live video here) which they’ve already revealed to a live audience. Besides, they want to tour as much as possible in 2023 to promote their new album and their big dream is to have a gig in Berlin – “We love to play live”, states Yunberzerk.
Call to action for all bookers & organizers: Book this band, give them a chance! AFTER THE RAIN already has a lot of experience as a supporting act and have opened for artists such as DE/VISION, MESH,THE INVINCIBLE SPIRIT, PROJECT PITCHFORK and MIDGE URE.
We know times are difficult all over the globe, so it’s time to take a risk! You can contact and book AFTER THE RAIN through Facebook and Instagram, and via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to action for all readers: Check them out on Spotify and Bandcamp and listen through their discography, you surely will not regret it.
We have linked some music videos for a first impression, for example “Running To The Sun“, “A Pleasure Like You“, “Heroes (David Bowie Cover)” and “Foreigner“. These videos can all be found on their ATR Youtube account.
We were able to exchange a few words with Luis, called YUNBERZERK, and want to share it with you. This conversation was conducted by Dany and Gini.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Nice to meet you Luis, thank you for making some time for us tonight: How are you doing at the moment?
YUNBERZERK: Nice to meet you too, I’m ready to start:
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Are you ready, chill, some drink in hand? I have Kilkenny Irish Red Ale in front of me. What are you drinking, some Spanish beer?
YUNBERZERK: Oh, I ‘m drinking some kind of pretend German beer, but I don’t think it is really from Germany, it is too cheap. Nothing compares to a real Weizen-beer. One of my best memories was drinking a Paulaner in the streets of Berlin, it was glorious!
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: German beer, nice! Were you in Germany for concerts?
YUNBERZERK: Unfortunately not. I was there for the holidays with my wife. But I need to come back, the mood, everything, nothing compares to Berlin. Maybe you don’t know what you have, but here in Madrid most of us see Berlin as a “temple”.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Let’s get into it – You said you were looking for a singer via a music website at the beginning of your project. So you were into music before ATR (AFTER THE RAIN). Were you actively playing in any bands, or was ATR your first gig?
YUNBERZERK: Well, my parents are musicians (not professionally) but they play some instruments. My dad is a fanatical fan of the Beatles, all the movements of the British, also Blues and Rock in general. I grew up with a small home recording studio, so I was always doing things, either tracks for my dad or my small project “NOT PROMOTIONAL”. When my daughter was born, I decided to do some new serious songs so… yes, I can say that ATR is my first and only band.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: The birth of your daughter inspired you to get into music more seriously?
YUNBERZERK: Yes, definitely! We have a song called “Shining Star”- this is the very very first song of ATR, talking about the birth of my daughter. For that song and for “Lost without you”, I was looking for a singer.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Did you write the lyrics to these songs and is Icaro “only” singing or is he also writing songs with you?
YUNBERZERK: At the moment I’m the songwriter and composer of the band, without impositions, all natural. He was a professional musician way before me, he is seriously playing with some well known Spanish band. He also has 2 albums released which were composed by him. However, inside ATR we decided that we follow this process for now. On the last EP, there is a song called “Somewhere only with you”, that was written by him.
I have to say that I’m the composer but we decide together how the song should sound like, we meet together and talk about everything about every song, so I can say that all songs are produced by AFTER THE RAIN. The process from the demo to the final piece can vary, though. I think this is the best way for us, having no single boss or leader.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Real teamwork, nice! Was Icaro in a lot of bands/projects before ATR? And in which ones exactly?
YUNBERZERK: He has released two albums as ICARO, and he was also playing several times in a Spanish band called AZUL Y NEGRO and another band, called SILICA GEL.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Now comes the bad question of all bad questions: How was it for you since 2020 and Covid19? Have you had any gigs in the last few years? In Germany there were some concepts with outdoor concerts in 2020/2021, how was that for you? And how was it for you to have a real concert again this year?
YUNBERZERK: Well, when Covid hit we were finishing our last EP, so we were working on new material, and weren’t looking for any gigs. At that point we were not damaged by it. I think we worked very well during that time, maybe too slow but really well. We mostly collaborated via email or WhatsApp and we finished 5 songs (as an instrumental mix) during that time. We haven’t finished the album yet, we still have to record the vocals, so we are not looking for gigs today. We want to first finish the album, but in 2023 we want to play as much as we can. In general, 2021/2022 was chaotic. Suspending a lot of gigs, because here they were not outdoor but mostly in clubs, and these were closed during the crisis. It was cruel for the band, promoters and fans.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Can you share any secrets about the new album yet? How many tracks, is there a new influence, anything?
YUNBERZERK: It’s not finished yet but I think there will be 11 tracks. We are continuously searching for new sounds, playing new instruments like real bass, more guitars. We are not closed to anything, that’s why one day you may hear that one of our songs sounds like a real polka with a real accordion, hahaha.
The concept of all the songs is finished, the instrumental versions are finished. We only have to do the vocal sessions. But I can share one secret: I am not a fan of Spanish lyrics, I don’t really like that. But this time, I will sing one of the songs in Spanish.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: We heard there will be a new single EP this summer, is that one finished yet? Did you have a chance to play it live already?
YUNBERZERK: No, there won’t be an EP this year. We are thinking about what we will do for our 10 year anniversary this year in 2022. We want to do something special, but nothing pretentious. In the last two gigs we played a new song called “Vicious Mind” that will be the new single, but I don’t think it will be released in 2022.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: That means the only chance to hear the new song is to hear you live? Do you have any gigs planned soon? Even though you said you want to focus on your album, you also said some promoters call you to book you?
YUNBERZERK: That’s how it is now. But in 2023 things will change, we will do a release show to present the new songs and want to play as many gigs as we can.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: That means you will celebrate your 10-year anniversary in 2023 instead?
YUNBERZERK: No, but it is only an idea to do something special, nothing too big. You know, when music is only a hobby you have a lot of things to do that delay your real passion. Maybe we can’t do it and there will be only a post saying that we are 10 years old.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: You have a normal job and need to find time for your music next to your job, family, kids, etc?
YUNBERZERK: Unfortunately, that is true. I am grateful that both of our family understand what it means for us, and the sacrifices we are making for something that we love. I can say, and for sure in the name of Icaro too, that ATR gives us life.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: You said it is hard to have growth in Spain because the “scene” is quite little- do you plan to tour Europe in 2023 or will you focus on shows in Spain?
YUNBERZERK: The scene in Spain is dead, for us and for everyone. This is a country of the funny, the typical tropical, no place for alternative proposals. I think that we will play in Madrid and Barcelona as well, but our big dream is to play in Germany. For example, as I told you before, Berlin is a temple that we have to go to one day in our lives, but to do it we need promotion and that is the problem. We know that when we publish something new there in Germany many of you are interested, we appeared in the magazine Side-Line, we are on the list of the GEWC and on so many internet radios, but we need the last push to know someone who wants to take us there. I can only say that they wouldn’t regret it, but we must take into consideration that there are several crises right now, and all of that makes it very complicated. You know a band called CULTURE KULTÜR? We are very good friends, they have been successful for years, I think we would want to do it the same way. I don’t know what they are planning at the moment, but they are good friends, and it would be a pleasure to do something together sometime.
SHARPSHOOTER-PICS: Thank you for your answers! On our part, our question list is done. Is there anything that you want to mention in the interview or that you want to talk about?
YUNBERZERK: It was very fun! Thank you for “wasting” your time on us, hehe. No seriously, we are very proud that you chose to interview us. Now I will go and watch “Stranger Things’ ‘ with another beer. Cheers!