GÜRU are a rock band from Barcelona in Spain consisting of Paul Sastre (Vocals and Acoustic Guitar), David Palau (Lead Guitar and Vocals), Jordi Vericat (Bass) and Toni Mateos (Drums) and are our latest Sonicbids competition winner. When we first checked out GÜRU’s high energy music we were really impressed and were therefore delighted when David from the band agreed to complete a full in-depth feature interview for Song Revelation. Read on to find out about what inspires the GÜRU sound, what David’s career highlights have been and what its like living in Barcelona.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
GÜRU, HARD ROCK, AOR, STUDIO MUSICIANS, PRODUCER, SONGWRITER, GUITARIST.
Q: What is your musical background?
I just started playing guitar at the age of 10. I studied music reading & theory, modern harmony, so by the age of 15 I was absolutely fascinated about the recording world and production. My first job was in a recording studio at the age of 18, it was as an assistant at first, but I was growing up really fast and in 2 years I started producing and engineering a lot of recordings.
At that time I had an intense period of making music for commercials and movies. That was amazing for me, I learned a loti read a lot… I was like a sponge at that time and was 24 hours a day into music…When you’re young your absorption capacity is unlimited.
Fascinated by sound, I have combined my passion for composing and producing with my work as a studio musician. I have toured all over the world with many big artists that helped me grow as a person.
I have built my own recording studio called Divertimento (where GÜRU was recorded), worked for television and recorded more than 400 records
I have worked as a guitar instructor at ESMUC for 2 years (Berklee in Barcelona). Now I just do some masterclasses as a teacher.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
I’ve been promoting GÜRU’s release through the internet (a hard ‘time-demanding’ thing…) and touring with the band in Spain; doing a lot of shows to reach every important city and crowd.
I’ve been touring with an important Spanish singer as a Musical Director and guitarist with more than 100 shows in Spain, Europe, Latin America and USA; producing a Universal Records DVD release from this artist for worldwide release.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Many things have influenced me since I was a kid. I remember my first “cassette”. It was: “The turn of a friendly card” by Alan Parsons. I was 13 years old so that music opened my mind and brought me a high level of imagination, music was like painting.
After that I started listening bands like: Camel, Genesis, Toto, Police, Pink Floyd, Yes…Big bands, big ideas, big sounds… The 80’s touched my life…Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Journey, Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai. At the same time, I was classically trained, so I tended to mix Rock with big scores.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
There’s some interesting bands out there, I’m not that much into ‘actual’ sound, simple because I don’t like it…I just have to admit that some bands have impressed me like: Work of Art, Pride of Lions and Mitch Malloy to name a few.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Of course…there’s a long list of dreams…jaja !!! It would be amazing touring with Bryan Adams, Toto, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Steve Vai…Do I have to continue…?
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Work of Art, Skillet, Heart, Yes, Toto.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I usually tend to write music in first place, when there’s some melody in my head or some musical picture of sound in my mind…that’s the first flash of light. Then it comes the time to put some lyrics, to know what the song is gonna talk about and last of all there comes an intense process of work; producing and recording in the Studio.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Melody…I’m Spanish, so when I was a kid all that I could understand from American music was the melody, I fell in love with the sound, the harmony…
that’s what you whistle when you walk, right? But I have to admit that as long as I was learning English I could discover a new horizon of my favourite artists. There’s lyrics that makes you cry and melodies that make you shiver…
Q: Where are you based?
I live in Barcelona, Spain.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
It’s really difficult to pop out from Spain as a rock band, due to the cultire…People tend to think that Spain is only flamenco, toros (bulls) and siesta (nap)…jaja!! That’s cool, but we do more things than that…and here’s is GÜRU to show what kind of rock is made in Barcelona!
Q: What are you currently working on?
I work as a Musical Director/Producer/Guitarist for a very famous artist in Spain called David Bisbal (3 Latin Grammy Winner artist, 6 million selling, etc.…). I also work with other Spanish International artist like: Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Bose, Mecano, Serrat and Kike Santander.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
There have been some special moments in my life musically speaking, some to remember:
Bon Jovi’s opening artist in ’96 (These Days Tour)
Rock in Rio 2004 (Alejandro Sanz)
Madison Square Garden (Alejandro Sanz)
Central Park New York (David Bisbal)
Playing with Noa 2003
House of Blues (Orlando, Las Vegas)
Opening band with GÜRU for (Jimi Jamison, Y&T, House of Lords)
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
I’ve been composing for the second GÜRU record, so I hope to work in my free time to release a new CD next year. As a professional I have a world tour with the most important composers in Spain (Serrat / Sabina)
I hope to speak with you guys in a year just telling you about the new record !!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I will be playing in Madrid as a Musical Director for Ted Poley’s (Danger Danger) concert. I have to get ready a band for that concert.
I’m also doing some concerts with GÜRU in January.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Just laying and walking by the sea, hanging out with my friends and my wife. I go to see other bands. Anything but travelling, airports, migration lines…etc.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I used to have a winter holiday every year my wife, we like to go any place with cold and snow .No cell, no Internet just being away from the real world and walk, talk,…no time worries and no schedule to follow.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Be honest, be disciplined and be talented. Study as much as you can and learn from older people. Money and fame will come along the way.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I’ve been in love with music since I was born, so anything I do is real music and part of me. Welcome to my personal project…Welcome to GÜRU !!
Editor’s Note: GÜRU are a rock band with attitude, sincerity and a high level of musicianship. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s international bands to watch for 2012 and beyond.
If you’d like to check out more of GÜRU’s songs or get in touch just follow the links below: