El Buen Hijo is one of the most charming groups of the moment. With anthems like ‘Although Pene’ or ‘El Muro de Aljucén’, included in their debut for Sonido Muchacho ‘Pan, Pan, Pan!’, (2021), the twee-pop and guitar sound of El Buen Hijo is becoming a gap, as demonstrated by the almost 5 million streamings obtained by what is actually his biggest hit, ‘El hombre del tiempo’. El Buen Hijo’s new album, ‘Viene y va’, arrives to consolidate the Madrid-based band. The singles ‘Un Buen Lago’ and ‘Me Lapidaría’, or tracks to discover like ‘Perfecto’ or ‘Con Seguridad’, are already among the best of his brief career.
Formed by Marco Frías (guitar and vocals), Alicia Ros (bass and member of Cariño), Daniel Rodríguez (guitar, and member of Chavales), Daniel Daniel (guitar), David Chamizo (drums) and Miquel Cañellas (keyboard), El Buen Hijo will present ‘Viene y va’ on a tour of theaters in Spain starting on Friday, November 3. We spoke with Marco and Alicia about their new album.
How has your last year been?
Marco: It has been a quiet year, El Buen Hijo is not a group that has many concerts, we do some tours, but we are a group that has time to think about things and do things calmly. It has been a year of considering the second album and trying to do it as best as possible.
In the approach to the second album, what ideas were included and what were not?
Marco: We wanted to turn the page, not stay in what we had been doing and try to give more nuances to the songs. We know our own limitations and we do not pretend to be what we are not, because we also produce the songs ourselves. We wanted to give more nuances to the songs, to have other types of trips, to work harder, in short.
I have the feeling that there is a background of shoegaze guitars that runs through the entire album, sometimes subtly, other times more directly. Is that so?
Marco: In the end we are a guitar group. I played the guitar like the typical person who doesn’t know how to play the guitar. Over the years you learn chords and the compositions evolve. The references are clear in some songs. In others, we have been doing a little research, we have done field work of listening to songs and being guided by them.
Give me an example of a song or group that has inspired you on this album.
Marco: In the last song on the album, ‘What doesn’t happen to me won’t happen to me’, we had Le Mans a lot in mind, the type of guitar they used and the way they played it.
It is a group that is not so claimed.
Marco: We claim them a lot. Furthermore, it is a group that, in El Buen Hijo, we all like, which is difficult in a band.
Any album that you particularly like?
Marco: The namesake, the one on the cover with the clouds, is the one that sounds most similar to the song I’m talking about.
Is ‘En un lago’ a song you are especially proud of? “Now I am certain that I am interested in you” is a phrase that your fans quote a lot. How is it born?
(Alicia enters): “It’s a corny love story, it’s based on my own feelings.”
What lake do you have in mind? Or is it more metaphorical?
Alicia: Yes, it’s a metaphor about jumping into the pool, jumping into love.
The video is very nice, where do you shoot it?
Alicia: In Almería, in the Mójacar area, and also on some beaches reaching Murcia. It is not a lake, but it is the place we imagined to be able to immerse ourselves.
Marco: The Mediterranean is a big lake. Like the Caspian Sea, which is a lake.
I love ‘Perfect’. It amuses me how well some handclaps look in a song.
Alicia: The clapping came naturally to us to play in that part of the song, we decided to add them and we studied well a rhythm that would go well with the drums.
Marcos: The lyrics say “they play some claps” and they had to sound yes or yes.
Are these songs written at the same time as those on the previous EP, then simultaneously?
Marco: The chronology is linear, what we compose we take out. We have never kept anything back. We are breaking down songs. We take out the ones we like and put the ones we don’t like in a closet and they never come out.
Alicia: We have an album that will never see the light of day. Except for that album, we always release what we are doing.
«We have an album that will never see the light of day»
Do you have an unreleased album? The cursed El Buen Hijo album?
Alicia: I don’t know if damn, it just didn’t convince us and we said, there will be one that we love coming out.
Is it after the debut or before?
Marco: It is after the first EP, but before the first album and signing with Sonido Muchacho.
‘I would stone myself’ is another of your titles with an unusual verbal conjugation, like ‘Although penis’. It’s hard to stone yourself.
Marco: We like to play with words. With ‘I would stone myself’ we asked ourselves precisely what way a person has of stoning themselves, and Alicia proposed taking a small stone and hitting oneself on the head with it. The title of ‘Me lapidaría’ really came to us improvising, millions of our lyrics have come from improvisation.
Does the album have an optimistic or pessimistic message?
Marco: The album is a journey to enjoy between optimism and pessimism, that “it comes and goes.” The album goes back and forth, literally, there are happy songs and other pessimistic ones. We wanted to round that out. The album is neither happy nor sad, it is both.