Berri Txarrak

10th Annual Punk Song Vox Pop Winner

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Record Label: Roadrunner records

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Home Base: Lekunberri, Basque Country

Genre: Rock/Punk

Category Entered: Punk Song

Work Submitted: “Folklore” (from the album Payola)

Artists Featured?: Tim McIlrath from Rise Against, Steve Albini (producer of the album).

Label: Roadrunner Spain


Influences: David Bazan, Weezer, Black Sabbath, Rise Against

What’s the meaning of your band name? Berri Txarrak means ‘Bad News’ in euskera –basque language-.

Describe your nominated work: “Folklore” is punk-rock song included in our latest album Payola, which was produced by Steve Albini. Lyrics talk about prejudice of people about listening to songs not sung in English. Basque is a minority language only spoken by 1 million people, but there is a very interesting rock scene there. This song features guest vocals by Tim McIlrath from Rise Against.

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 10th IMA’s? It is the first song of the album, we didn’t think about it very much, we never thought we could be nominated.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? No, we’re just a three-piece band with no samplers or something like that. We like the organic sound, our album sounds like three guys playing rock in a room. No tricks.

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? We did the whole album in 8 days and strictly analog. So editing our mistakes became a pain in the ass. If you listen to it carefully, there are a bunch of mistakes here and there, but I guess we decided that imperfection is kinda cool.

Did fans help you fund this project? We love our fans, but at the time of this Q&A, they still don’t know anything about this nomination. Can’t wait to update our websites.

Who’s sitting in your audience? Many different people I guess.

What makes your fans unique? Some of them are able to drive many miles to see us, even if they have seen us like 15 times a year. After 17 years as a band, that’s something we are really proud of.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote? “Roscoe” by Midlake, to quote just one. “Let Spirits Ride” by Black Mountain.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? NRBQ

What is your dream show lineup? Our friends in Lisabö, Deabruak Teliatuetan, Leihotikan, Anari and Kerobia

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? I can’t stop listening to Dananananaykroyd’s “Black Wax!”

Any close calls or mishaps while on tour? I lost my laptop and my iPhone in our last Asian tour. I hate China Air crew, yes I Do, they stole my Mac!

Do you have any rituals before you go on stage? We just hug each other and shout something as if we were a rugby team.

Should music be free? I don’t think so. Since a songwriter who’s playing in a bridge asks for some coins, musicians should earn at least something out of their talent.

How has digital affected your career? Internet has broken many physical borders and getting in touch with your fanbase is quite more easy than some years ago. Besides, it’s made possible to be nominated in this Independent Music Awards… so welcome to this digital era!

Are digital singles vs. full albums the future of music? I must confess I do not know what the future of musical industry will be. And I don’t trust people who are so sure about this issue. I still love owning my LPs.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is… really fucked up, but full of new exciting possibilities.