teen punk group mourn sings about cereal and salvation
We talk to the Barcelona-based foursome about being young and obsessed with PJ Harvey.
On the surface, nothing about the Barcelona-based punk rock quartet known as Mourn suggests that its members are all younger than 21 — not the fact that their idol is PJ Harvey and not their song "Boys Are Cunts." On the scuzzy, very PJ-sounding track "Silver Gold" from their self-titled debut album (just released on vinyl via Captured Tracks), front woman Jazz Rodríguez Bueno wearily wails, "Deliver us from heaven." It's not the kind of lyric you'd expect from an 18 year old. But Bueno and her bandmates Carla Pérez Vas (18), Antonio Postius Echeverría (19), and Bueno's younger sister Leia (15) aren't ordinary teenagers. They are earnest, enthusiastic music fans with excellent taste in vintage rock and technical skills to match. Jazz, who has been known to write her best songs while bored in class, talked to us about finding inspiration in cereal and her hopes and dreams for Mourn.
How did you four come together as Mourn?
Carla and I had [written] about ten songs and we thought it could be cool to record them, so we decided to find a drummer and a bassist. It was easy. I've known Antonio since we were twelve and Leia is my little sister and I don't know anyone who's better at the bass.
How did you each start playing instruments?
Carla started playing the guitar when she was 11 because she liked singing and wanted to accompany her voice. Antonio started playing drums when he was 8; he's always been a nervous kid, so he enjoyed making noise. And when Leia and I were 11 and 14, a music school opened in our town so we decided to learn the bass and drums. Then when I was 15, I started learning the guitar at home and enjoyed it a lot more, so now I play guitar!
What inspires you to write songs?
Everything! I wrote a song about eating cereal.
Your first record dropped last month. Do you have plans to tour?
We're coming to the States later in March! We'll be playing New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We're also touring France, the UK and Spain at the moment, and in November we'll play at Iceland Airwaves.
Have you seen PJ Harvey in concert?
I saw her at Primavera Sound, in 2012 I think. She was amazing!
Who else influences you?
I like Sunny Day Real Estate and Archers of Loaf; Antonio and Leia are into hip-hop. The four of us have similar but different tastes.
What Spanish bands or musicians do you like?
Anímic, Nueva Vulcano, El Petit de Cal Eril, Me and the Bees, Beach Beach, Madee, and a lot more! Tomeu Mulet from Beach Beach does our album artwork actually.
I read that in Spain, there's a law that means parents have to accompany their kids to concerts if they're under 18. Does that mean that parents are forced to have good taste in music?
I've been very lucky to have my father accompany me to all the shows I've wanted to see, and he has good taste! If he hadn't come with me, this year would have been my first year going to concerts. I can't imagine that! In Madrid, minors can't go to any shows, even with their parents. That is fucked up. It's a real shame.
Where are some places to see good underground bands?
Barcelona has lots of venues! There's a bar called Heliogábal — it's small but really cool. I saw Crooked Fingers there!
You and Carla are studying animation and photography, respectively. Are you as passionate about those areas as you are about music?
Yes, Carla is in love with photography! She has her first exhibition this Saturday and she's very excited. And I love making movies. I'm learning to make animations right now.
What are your hopes for the future, Mourn-related or otherwise?
We want to keep playing as much as we can and for as long as we keep enjoying it. We don't know if our future will be Mourn-related (that would be awesome) but it will definitely be music-related.
Text Hannah Ghorashi
Photography Berta Pfirsich