Summer Of Surf

9 January 2013 | 5:45 am | Troy Mutton

“We use to say we are road surfers because we are awful real surfers. We all have been trying to learn [to] surf a couple of times."

You'd be hard-pressed to find a band more suited to the warm Australian summer than Spain's Los Coronas. Hailing from Madrid and widely recognised as one of – if not the – best instrumental band to arise from that country, with a unique blend of summery surf-rock, the kind we tend to associate with Tarantino films these days.

And in some slightly broken englais, Los Coronas guitarist David Krahe is looking forward to bringing the group's Spanish melodies and swirling surfer vibes down under, and offers some insight into what we can look forward to. “A mix of the desert's flavour of the south of Spain and the quiet waves of the Mediterranean Sea,” he begins, before clarifying, “That doesn´t mean we are a quiet band on stage… As we know that Down Under you've got bigger deserts and waves than in Spain, we'll turn to our bull's heart to play in order to call the attention of the Aussie public.”

The ocean and the sand of their homeland is a constant source of inspiration, although they're certainly not limited to long walks on the beach. “Especially at the beginning,” Krahe offers on the sea as an influence. “We wrote songs like Supertubos (Portuguese beach and its typical wave), Maremoto (tsunami in Spanish), Soul Surfer, Terrible Wavers, etc. Actually we have added more references to Los Coronas' conception, personal references and a lot of Hispanic cultural references: I give you an example – Los Rumbaleros, it's a pun of the word 'Rumba', which is a flamenco style, 'bala' and 'pistolero', which means 'bullet' and 'gunfighter'.”

Spaghetti western vibes abound throughout Los Coronas' music, and when you discover their actual location in regards to the surf – and their abilities in the water – you begin to understand why. “We use to say we are road surfers because we are awful real surfers. We all have been trying to learn [to] surf a couple of times. There's a big tradition in the north of Spain, but we are living a few hours far away from the coast, so just our sound technician is a real surfer, the rest of the band are satisfied if they remain standing on the board for two seconds!”

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It hasn't always been smooth surfing for the group, who began playing live in 1991, a few years before instrumental rock of the '50s and '60s returned to the collective conscious, thanks largely in part to directors like the abovementioned Quentin Tarantino. “In Spain there were no instrumental bands for the first five years we were playing. In 1995 Pulp Fiction was premiered and [there was an influx] of instrumental rock'n'roll in Spain and I think all over the world as well.

“It represents the come back of surf music, like a Phoenix. If people in Australia are going to a surf music festival, nobody's asking, 'When's the singer gonna jump into the stage?'. But believe me, we've been hearing that question for years… So they were hard times, but we kept playing and we released our albums on our own label as well, Tritone Records. I think these facts have sent a message of some kind of credibility and tenacity to our Spanish public which today is very useful for us.”

The group have released four records and two compilations, with the upcoming New Year's shows (finally) marking the end of the cycle for their latest effort, and signaling the beginning of a new one. “It's gonna be funny for us because we are gonna travel to Australia to show El Baile Final, a record that we've recorded four years ago. While we are Down Under our new album Adios Sancho is gonna be released in Spain. A good New Year's present for Aussie people would be to present some song of our next album, although everything's gonna be new for them, meanwhile we must rehearse our new songs. It's gonna be the first time we play live one song of our next album!”

Los Coronas will be playing the following dates:

Friday 11 January - Sydney Festival, The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney NSW
Saturday 12 January - Sydney Festival, The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney NSW