The sticker released his seventh studio album on October 16, Turn it around (Warner), a work made up of 10 songs produced by Tato Latorre that reflect the experience of 17 intense years on the road, with all that that entails. We meet at the Madrid Hotel Riu with Adrià Salas and Rubén Sierra, the vocalists of the group born in Moncada and Reixach (Catalonia).

They say they have recovered “the essence of the early years.”

Adrià: There is a lot of rumba on the album, which is what we did at the beginning. We have also had time to produce, from our homes, the arrangements of each one. That’s when what you have inside comes out. We had many themes to choose from and, in the end, we chose the freshest, the most ‘sticker’. After all, they are the ones that make us feel most comfortable. With them we bring out the rumba that we carry inside. In addition, in these songs there are essence and pop points. It is a fusion that enriches us.

The pandemic has brought the album tour to a standstill. How did it interfere with the preparation of the record?

Ruben: Except La Guspira, the rest of the songs we had prepared before confinement. The pre-production was from home, through Zoom, and the recording was different, because before we went to the studio all together. In this case, we went to fixed shot, we entered the studio one by one. The changes in the tour have touched us a lot. In March we started our tour of theaters in Europe, but we have had to postpone it to March 2021. And we have also had to cancel the summer, October and December tours. We were going to perform in Latin America, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico.

What a shock, and more for La Pegatina. They have always been very active.

R: It is the first time that happens to us. We have never stopped for more than two months in a row. Now our head does not stop thinking, imagining things …

A: In the end, with the culture sector always do the same: ‘Well, we’ll take a look at it’. We have always been the last in all crises, but then they want us to be the first to entertain people. We do a lot of charitable things, solidarity … but afterwards nobody really gives us a hand. Musicians help, but, on the other hand, nobody helps us. You see the crowded subway and then you can’t give a concert. You feel upset, outraged.

In the song How the flowers are made they make an ode to team play. The Sticker is made up of eight components. Is it difficult to agree?

the sticker

  • Adrià, Rubén, Ovidi, Ferrán, Axel, Romain, Sergi and Miki are behind La Pegatina, a Catalan ska and rumba group. Born in 2003 in Moncada and Reixach, the band triumphs in Latin America and even in China. In 2016, they announced La Gran Pegatina, a big band with seven new musicians. They were nominated for a Latin Grammy for their album Now or Never (2018).

A: Most things are decided by assembly, so we reach a middle ground. For the album, we made scores from one to ten of the forty songs that we had prepared and from there came a ranking. Obviously, all of us were left with songs, but it is playing so that the whole group is happy. It’s cool, because the group protects you, it takes pressure off you. Although moments of crisis are cool: we get together, talk and decide.

R: Each one does their bit. When one thing is decided, we all go to one. It is one of the most beautiful things about La Pegatina. For such a large band to work, we must avoid tripping ourselves. Things are decided slowly, but everything goes well.

This is sure to make your audience happy. There have been situations such as La Raíz, which announced its indefinite hiatus.

R: We have never thought of dissolving. The band gives us a lot of good things: we meet really cool people around the world, we do crazy collaborations, we try new things and we always experiment.

“We have never thought of dissolving”

They have collaborated with artists such as Eva Amaral or Rozalén. They say they like to bet on “female voices” because “they change the universe of La Pegatina”. What exactly do they mean?

A: The female voice reaches notes that the male voice does not reach. The timbre is different. I don’t know why, but women’s voices look great on La Pegatina. And we don’t see many female voices making music like ours either. Something new is created, a mix that we love.

The Kanka participates in I’ll see you when I want. They say they had this collaboration pending for years. It has finally materialized. It’s weird that they took so long, they have too many points in common, don’t you think?

A: We have known each other for a gazillion years and have met a thousand times, but we always coincide playing in the next door rooms. There has never been the opportunity to release a song like this. At times we have recorded acoustic together with groups like El Niño de la Hipoteca, but with El Kanka something was missing. He needed to be there on this issue. When we told him, he was freaked out. He’s got her hooked all day and, well, he kinda hates us for it.

All his years on the road influence the album. Any anecdote you want to tell?

A: Most funny things are countless!

R: Readers can watch The Sticker: The docu, or search La Pegachina. They look for, they look for … There are pearls there.

When they said they were going to recover their essence from the past, I thought of one of their first songs: Not to the war (2004).Are there limits to protest song in Spain?

A: We talked with Rozalén that in his latest album he touches powerful themes like the Civil War. When you address these points, you start to get a lot of criticism. Really, you are not respected. There are things that cannot be discussed openly through songs, but our duty as artists is to do so.

“There are things that cannot be discussed openly through songs, but our duty as artists is to do so”

Have you never censored yourself?

A: No. If we think something, we will say it. Perhaps, if you shut up, it is to respect a group. But we practice free speech to call for equality. Everyone must have a voice to express themselves. The mass always tries to turn off minority groups. If a movement stomps, as has happened with feminism, the opposite comes out with more force. If measures from the left are taken, those on the right jump. And the same way backwards. Although there are some who respect more than others … Freedom of expression has its shortcomings, like everything else.

Will The Big Sticker return?

A: Not for the moment. Maybe one day we want to do something different, we will move forward.

R: The good thing about The Great Sticker is that it had a beginning and an end. Whoever has seen it and enjoyed it during those six or seven months, that takes. They have gotten together again to make a song, but only at specific times.

How do they always manage to go on stage with a smile, despite having had a bad day?

R: First of all, we feel very privileged to be able to make a living from this. We are grateful for our work and our life. And the second thing is that, when we act, all the ills, the fever, the moves go away from me. It is a very special feeling. The day I stop feeling it, I will leave the stage. Acting with false energy is conveyed to the public. And that’s not cool.

A: The public notices when one of us is not well. For example, when Barça loses, our bass player plays angry. But acting is not only therapy for the public, as it is for us too. You go out and get feedback.

R: In fact, many times you are bad and on stage you miss it. Then you get to the dressing room and you feel bad again. You save a bit of energy for those two hours of concert.

A: Romain, our accordionist, had mononucleosis for a year and you saw him sleeping all day. But there was the guy, at the concerts …

These are hard times. In honor of the album’s title, how can we turn around the bad?

A: Projecting it. If you say that everything goes wrong, it will go wrong. On the other hand, if you are optimistic, things can change. It is easy, but also difficult. If you have a bad day, you have to give yourself the luxury of being bad, but not for a lifetime. You have to try. That is always the first step.