It's simply too easy to make music these days. With Garageband, Protools, effects pedals, CD DJ's, and a whole host of other assorted bullshit, ability is no longer a prerequisite for making music. It just so happens, in 1RONIC, lifetimes of dedication, hours upon hours upon hours upon hours of practice, and countless hundreds of gigs all over the world have sharpened this band to a raw, tight, aggressive diamond tipped fiesta sword. This shit is real.
1RONIC is an instrumental three piece from Sydney, Australia. We use two Spanish guitars and a cajon (Spanish box drum.) We are heavily influenced by Spaghetti Westerns, Spanish Flamenco, Mexican Mariachi, Delta Blues, Gypsy Jazz, Chilled Reggae and Heavy Fucking Metal. Our first album, "The Power of Juan" featured more electirc guitars than this album, and a heavier sound. It sold 1000 copies internationally, and as an independant band we were proud of that figure! This album is more chilled, with more emphasis on reggae, gypsy and Spanish guitar sounds. But always at the very core of our music, underneath the DNA, giving weight to every molecule of the music, are the blastbeats of thrash metal. We couldn't ditch it if we tried.
The idea is that each song paints a picture, tells a story. You can be the judge if we've succeeded or not! Close your eyes- what do you see?
The album is called "Back on the Streets" because the songs were all written (or at least born) whilst busking. The immediacy of people walking by, and needing to do something instantly to grab their attention, and the rhythm of the streets as people paraded up and down our turf (Sydney's Bondi Beach) provided the heartbeat for this music. On the street we take requests, we invite audience members to join us on percussion instruments and guitars, we improvise, we party. This is the lifeblood of 1RONIC. This music wasn't written on a computer. It was written on the footpath, sitting on milk crates, drinking Captain Morgan's rum out of the bottle, three amigos laughing their heads off, with a point to prove to the world. We're not afraid to call ourselves true virtuosos, genuine artists, who have dedicated our lives to very narrow focus- our instruments and our music. We sweat and bleed this band, and we were sweating and bleeding when we wrote these songs (you come hang out with us on the streets for six hours and you'll be bleeding, sweating, dancing and laughing too! Or you might be crying, fucking, vomiting, singing or fighting. But you damn sure will know you're alive!
The "keep it real" approach has permeated into the recording of this record. Most of the songs are recorded live, with three guys sitting in a room, playing their instruments. There's a few small mistakes in the playing. We could have, but we didn't edit them out. This music is real. That's how we play it. That's how it goes. Many of the solos are improvised- no song is ever played exactly the same twice. For better and for worse. There's nothing perfect about 1RONIC. We constantly seek perfection, we strive for it, but we know it is unobtainable. It's this push and pull between the real world and the spiritual, the ideal, that is at the very core of art. We think it's noble enough to dedicate our whole lifetimes towards.
The first six tracks on this album were recorded in two days, live, in the band's apartment on Bondi Beach (bass and extra percussion were added as second takes, also with three guys playing live!) We left the raw edges on intentionally. We wanted people to know that yes, there are still proper bands out there, that spend every waking minute practicing, playing nad talking about the band's next steps. You can hear chairs creaking, foots stomping. You can hear some of the freshest, most alive and unique music on the planet. You can doubt us- but you'll eat your words eventually. I promise.
"The Lowdown Hoedown" is an exception to the album's tone- written on the streets, it was recorded by tracking in a "proper studio." It is not our favourite song on the album and will be re-recorded live in the future. We've learned that we have no interest in doing ANYTHING other bands do. We will write our own script every single day. We operate entirely on our own terms. In recent years, the model for musical success has been shattered. We've just created our own. So far, it's working. When we sell CD's at gigs, we let the fans choose the price. Any price they want. As much or as little as you think it's worth. We give all our songs for free download, but invite you to purchase if you wish. Otherwise, no worries! Just listen and rock out!
"Symphony Number Juan" (aka "Gypsy Symphony" or just "The Symphony") is another notable exception. This track showcases a different element to 1RONIC- straight up metal. We've always loved Metallica, Tool, Pantera, Slipknot, Dream Theatre, Korn, System of a Down, Black Sabbath etc etc and there has always been a "two faced" element to this band- we combine the Spnish flamenco/fiesta party music with the metal. We've never seen this as a paradox or contradiction. To us, it's as normal as breathing. We just do what we do. We do spend alot of time thinking, talking and planning- but when it's game time, three guys pick up their instruments, get in the zone and just fucking rip it up. Every day. No exceptions. No slips in quality. No bad gigs. Yes sometimes we're sick, or tired, or our fingers are covered in blisters and cuts. But we just remember that this is our dream come true, our favourite thing in the whole world to do. And we give you EVERYTHING we've got. EVERY time.
We've already seen so many other bands come and go over the years, washed up like waves. You can see it in their eyes. They wouldn't die for their music. We would. And for each other. Next time somebody tells you they're a musician, look into their eyes. Look right into their eyes, into their very soul. Can you see anything in there except their music? If you can, then they're a fraud, a pretender, a wannabe. They won't last another year. They should quit right now.
Come to a 1RONIC show. Grab any one of us, anytime before, after or during the performance. Look into our eyes, right into our souls, as long and as deep as you want to. As long as you can handle. See that fire burning? That's fucking real.