Shock interview with Jose Luis Gordo

October 20, 2012

Shock interview with Jose Luis Gordo

Guerssen Records are going to release this
WILD FUZZ monster around November. This is really an amazing find as far as
underground psychedelia goes. Do you still remember when we did an interview
with ‘Cerebrum’? Well, they are in the same league and thanks to the label I
did an interview with one of the members of ‘Shock’. 

‘Guerssen Records’ announced a few days
ago a major find in Spanish ‘underground’ and I was really excited to check
this fresh discovery. I was absolutely amazed what an acid fuzz monster this
is. There is nothing known about you guys. Let’s start at the beginning. Where
were you from and what can you tell us about your music backgrounds?
We were from Madrid, Spain, but one of the
members, although born in Spain, was of Belgian origin. Our musical background
goes back to 1963-64, we were following the latest musical trends: The Shadows,
The Spotnicks and later The Beatles, The Kinks, Rolling Stones…
I’m sure, that you were probably in some
other bands before forming ‘Shock’.
Yes, we started playing in different bands
since 1965: Selvis, Spot, Cosacos, Boxer, Alta Tensión, Momia, etc. At first,
we only did cover versions of our fave bands, trying to imitate their sound but
soon after we moved forward new sounds and styles.
When was ‘Shock’ formed and who were the
members of the band?
Shock was formed in 1969-1970. The original
line-up was: Juan Robles Cánovas (drummer, later a member of famous Spanish
band C.R.A.G), Frederic Siret Depiesse (bass, he had dual Spanish-Belgian
citizenship), Juan Martín Rueda (rhythm guitar), Antonio Quintana Fernández
(singer) and José Luis Gordo Álvarez (lead guitar). Cánovas left the band to
join prog-rock band Franklin and Bernabé Hernández Ortega took his place.
What are some bands, that influenced you
back then?
We were very influenced by bands such like
Led Zeppelin and Santana.
Awhile ago I interviewed another great
Spanish band called ‘Cerebrum’. Do you know them?
Yes, they were a very innovative band, I
remember going to some of their shows, they were pretty good!  In those years in Madrid, Cerebrum, Franklin
and Shock were part of the Underground scene but each band had their own sound.
Let’s talk about material, that
‘Guerssen Records’ will put out. What is background of this recordings and what
can you tell us about this unreleased songs. Where and when were they recorded?
After many years of playing cover versions
of famous tunes which suited our style, we learned that we needed to start
playing our own kind of music, we wanted to do something different which would
produce a big impact on the audience. Since that moment, thanks to the
experience acquired and our big hopes, we started writing our own material. We
opted for an aggressive  acid, heavy rhythm sound without long instrumental jams
or any soul-blues influence. All of our tacks had a similar vibe and we wanted
to “shock” our audience.
In 1970 we entered the Sintonía Studios in
Madrid for the recording of a radio jingle. Once there, we managed to record a
professional demo which turned to be a finished LP. Ten sung in English original
tracks were recorded. The owners of Sintonía liked so much the recordings that
they offered us a deal for the release of one album on their label: Espectra /
Sintonía, famous for being the Spanish label of artists like The Equals. The
Shock album was going to be the first LP by a Spanish band released on the
label. The album was never released but I kept a copy of the master.
What would you tell us about
concerts. Did ‘Shock’ played any live shows? If so what were the reaction from the
Shock live shows before the album recording
consisted of well-chosen covers from bands like Led Zeppelin, Santana, Guess
Who, Free, Steppenwolf, Hendrix…We combined those covers along with with
self-written tracks and we noticed a good feedback from the audience. We played
all the main clubs from Madrid: JJ, Picadilly, Cadena Consulado, Galaxia 2001,
Caravell…We also played in Zaragoza (Papagayo Club) and León.
After the album was recorded, we didn’t
play any more shows cause the label wanted to preserve the repertoire and name
of the band for an important album launch party. We prepared a new show
featuring all the tracks in the same way and running order as they appeared on
the intended album. We played a few shows under another name with the intention
of test the new material on the audience and the reaction was positive,
especially when we played tracks like “I want to laugh”, “What’s
your name”, “Mister Harris”, “I’m being mad”,
“Every Sunday”…Sadly, the awaited album launch party show never
What were some of the other bands, that you shared stage together?
Before the recording of the album, we
shared the stage with names like Sirex, Juan y Junior, Bravos, Módulos,
Were ‘psychedelic’ drugs part of the
No!! We never considered necessary to be
under any drug influence to create or play music.
What would you say is the main reason,
that you never released an LP back than and how do you feel know so many years
later with the upcoming release of your material?
We’ll never know it for sure. In my opinion  I think it was due to commercial reasons and a lack of understanding
between Espectra / Sintonía (owner of the rights at the time) and EMI (the
label which later signed us for the recording of a 45).
The release of the lost Shock album more
than forty years later is really surprising! 
We come to live again after all those years, It’s really amazing. For us
it’s like a dream come true. We’re very grateful to Guerssen and all the people
who are showing an interest in Shock. Without their motivation and knowledge,
this miracle would have never happened and Shock would still be another
mysterious Spanish psych band.
Were you in any other music related
project after the band disbanded and since we talk about this, when exactly did
you disbanded?
No, I wasn’t. The only member who continued
in the music scene until a few years ago was our drummer Bernabé Hernández. He
was a member of a professional band for many years. The main reason for our
rupture was the Obligatory Military Service, which altered and killed our
career. Another reason was the economic crisis from 1972-73. There was less
work for live bands and the live clubs were turning into discotheques with DJs
instead of live bands. When we returned from the Military Service, our
situation was precarious so we called it to an end.
Are you still in contact with other
members of the band?
Yes! I’m in touch with two of the members,
Juan Martín (rhythm guitar) and Bernabé Hernández (drummer). I lost track of
the other members (Frederic Siret and Antonio Quintana) many years ago. I’d
love to track them down, give them a copy of the Guerssen album and try to
reunite all the group again.
Thank you very much for the interview.
Would you like to send a message to It’s Psychedelic Baby readers?
Thanks to you for your support and for
giving us the opportunity to re-emerge from oblivion and share our story and
music. I wish there had been more people who understood and felt music like you
or the Guerssen guys at the time. We would have a large musical legacy and
other musical ideas would have not been lost forever.
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012
© Copyright
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com / 2012
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