“Ebri Knight”: All music is political

Interview with the Catalan musical group “Ebri Knight”

Let’s start with the beginning. When and under what circumstances was your group formed? Where did her name come from?

Just the past April’s 22th was our 15th anniversary. On 2005 we did our first show. At the beginning the band was a bunch of friends meeting to make some music like the one we used to listen. We were really young and had a lot to learn.

The name is a play on words with the sound of “Ebri”/”Every” and “Knight/night”. Ebri in Catalan means drunk, so it reminds us the party, the bar, where all the traditional music belongs. And also the Knight reminds us the fight, the struggle.

How does the audience in your country accept you? In which other countries have you performed concerts? Where and when was your biggest concert? Which other bands did you play with?

We play mainly in Catalunya, our home; we have a lot of audience here. But we’re starting to work also in the rest of Spain. We already played in France (North Catalunya, Occitania and Basque Country mostly), Germany and Switzerland.

We did more than 550 shows so it’s really difficult to remember all the bands and big venues we played in. Talco, Mad Caddies, Berri Txarrak, Obrint Pas, Desakato,… Impossible of remember all of them!

The biggest concert probably was the 2019 Festiuet Fest in Catalunya, with around six thousand people there.

There are many social messages and positions in your songs. You sing against fascism and for the struggle for more just world. What could you say to the people who say that art should not be mixed with politics? How do you define your positions?

Everything is politics, all music is political. Even if you don’t want to sing about fight you’re positioning yourself, living means taking sides. We really think that we have the chance to help to change the world using our music as a media to spread political thoughts. And nowadays that we see the far right and the fascists growing all over the world –again and again- it’s time to act.

As Joan Fuster said “Any politicy we don’t make will be made against us”.

In the band we have different positions in the left political spectrum, but all of us are anticapitalists, antifascists, feminists, internationalists and intedependentists of the Catalan Countries.

In nowadays of commercialization and mainstream mass culture, you use local instruments and local sound. How important is it to preserve the native traditions in time of cosmopolitanism?

For Ebri Knight it’s essential to claim our roots, to preserve the popular knowledge. That’s why we use traditional instruments and local melodies and songs. Even more today when the cultural globalization tries to finish with the smaller cultures, we have to fight for them.

Catalonia’s struggle for independence has become even more acute in recent years. What is your opinion on this? How do you imagine being a Catalonia in a perfect way? Part of Spain, part of the EU or completely independent?

We’re independentists and also internationalists. We know that the independence struggle in Europe is commonly associated to the fascist and right-winded movements, but in Catalunya it’s associated to all the political spectrum and especially to left. We have the chance to make a new country breaking with all the problems we have now; corruption, social inequality, capitalism,… We want a new country where the people are in the center, not the money, not the markets.

Ideally we imagine a free Catalonia associated with the other Catalan Countries regions. And being part of Europe, but not THIS Europe. Part of the Europe of the nations, not the states, not the markets. It’s important to understand that the fight for a free Catalunya is the fight for solidarity, with every national region in Europe and in the world.

Your country is one of the most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. What is your overall situation? Is the government assistance enough f the sick and the people left without a means of subsistence?

We’re all good, the pandemic reached in the middle of the production process of our new album, and we’re still working as we can.

Probably the Catalan and Spain Governments are doing the best they can in the overall situation if you’re a big company. But it’s definitely not enough. As usual they’re prioritizing the markets than the people. It’s not enough because there’re lots of people that can’t be entitled to the social aids.

We know that many of your concerts planned for 2020 have been canceled. What do you plan as a musical activity during a pandemic?

It’ll be a really difficult year, we don’t know when will be allowed to play again live and that’s stressful. But we keep working in our homes, playing and composing our new album that will be released this next autumn.

And finally, what have you heard about Bulgaria? Have any of you visited our country and what impressions did you have left? You can say something to the Bulgarian audience.

We’re sorry to say that no one of us have never been in Bulgaria. If you ask from Bulgaria to any Catalan probably they’ll think in Hristo Stoítxkov and his time in FC Barcelona… Don’t know if it’s a good ambassador.

Joking aside, we’d like to visit Bulgaria when we can finally get out and travel, and obviously we’d love to play there! We hope you like our music and feel free to contact us for anything.

Big internationalist hugs from Catalunya!