The Liquorice Experiment is a 21st century band with 60s beat influences, primarily defined as moody. Their sound emerged from a lost garage somewhere in 1964. Based between London and Valencia, British music has largely influenced their work. After releasing their first album “How Many Lies” this year, they are planning a tour across Spain by the end of the year.
24/7 VALENCIA: Can you tell me more about how the band was set up and how you all met?
BRUNO OF ‘THE LIQUORICE EXPERIMENT’: The first formation started in 2017 when we were all living in London. Brian (bass) and I were friends from university and decided to move abroad together in 2015. Once we settled in the city, we wanted to start a music project together.
One day, at a festival, we came across Alex (singer/percussion) where he was taking pics. Casually, he was looking for people to start a band too. After that, we met with him to start rehearsing.
We needed a drummer and by then I was going out with Rachel (drums) who was into 70s rock music, so I asked her to join. We played several gigs across East London and recorded a few songs like ‘Circa 66’ or ‘Last Trip’. After Rachel left, we played with more people for a while until we moved back to Valencia in 2019 and Carlos (drums) and Jesus, the actual members (guitar), joined.
How did you choose your band name?
When we had to name our band, we came up with a few ideas. Finally, we decided to add the word ‘regaliz’ in English. The idea came from a Spanish band called Pan y Regaliz. We also added the word ‘experiment’ because at that time we were testing our music knowledge, so we thought it was a good idea to combine both words.
Who are your biggest musical influences and how has British 60s music influenced your work?
Each of us has our own taste, but we share bands like The Kinks, The Stones, Easybeats, Count Five or Them and we dig different music genres like surf, R&B, garage punk and psychedelia. British music is a large piece of our influences. It’s plain to see. When we used to live there, we were part of the collective of bands inspired by the 60s that were gigging around the town. Unavoidably, they were part of our influences too. We felt part of a movement where we were supporting each other, in order to keep the scene and music alive. We are friends with bands like Green Seagull, The Embrooks, Odd Men Out, The Pacers, Baron Four…
You are wearing a ‘Love’ T-shirt for this interview. They are one of the most legendary bands of the 1960s and were led by Arthur Lee. What does ‘Love’ mean to you?
When i discovered ‘Forever Changes’… I was astonished by the beauty of the album. ‘Love’ is heartbreaking lyrics and raw sound and something that never lets you down. It always touches me.
What do you feel sets your band apart from other bands in your genre?
There are outstanding bands doing things very well out there. It’s true that there are not many doing this genre in Valencia. So, we should use that situation for our own benefit. Anyway, we do what we do the best way we can, and we love to share it with everybody that comes to see us onstage. For someone who hasn’t seen us play live… we offer powerful and intense performances and, as they recently stated, we play frenetic freakbeat with amphetaminic guitar-laden pieces on the edge of punk.
What have been your biggest challenges as band within the music industry?
Ironically, it was during our London period that we struggled the most… to keep the band together. For a long time, Alex and I were alone after Rachel and Brian left and we couldn’t afford recording sessions. Despite that, we never considered breaking the band up. Somehow, we found a way to keep growing as a band. For instance, we did a lot of home-recording or looked for free recording sessions with students. We also were doing gigs around town every month, to try to promote ourselves as much as possible.
Luckily, now the band is steadier and we feel more settled. If I had to mention a challenge now, I would say that nowadays… with social media… independent musicians have a lot of work that needs to be done. When you want to step up, you realise immediately that you need supporting with strong management. Being an independent band requires a good organisation of their members.
What has been your most memorable gig?
There are many, but I remember a New Year’s Eve gig where everything was ethereal. I felt a special connection with the band and the audience. People were specially committed to music, and I felt that my guitar had a lot of influence on the crowd.
Can you tell us more about your most recent album “How Many Lies” which was released in February 2023? What inspires the lyrics you write?
We recorded this album almost a year ago, and it is the result of our unification as a live and recording band. I wrote all these songs when the lockdown was about to be over because for almost a year, we just couldn’t find the motivation to create new songs. Our lyrics are mainly about social and personal situations.
What are your future plans for the band, do you have an upcoming tour?
Yes. We are planning a tour across Spain by the end of the year. Right now, we have dates in Madrid and London to promote our first album. Our next gig will be in Ebroclub festival (Miranda del Ebro) on the 28th of April.
Report by Sabina Redfern
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
‘The Liquorice Experiment’
More information: https://liquoriceexperiment.bandcamp.com/
Streaming link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/71kUFKzRaXmihtNdMZZjak
Short documentary: https://youtu.be/KM57pgLO8UQ
YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/y9vi-NYaE54