Band of ‘La Roulette de la Lute’: “We have the work any musician dreams of”

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In March 2012, now 10 years ago, Ka Band wheel of Fortune, The veteran and well-established Antennas 3 competition (it landed in Spain in 1990, has been broadcast continuously since 2006 and is leading in its time slot: it closed March with an average of 1.8 million viewers), thus the only The daily became the program for live music on Spanish television. Since then, Joaquin PadillaChema Bejarano and jose del valle He has what he says is one of the most envied works by Spanish composers. In mid-March, after recording three shows that run almost once in the morning, the three musicians sit in the noisy audience stands. roulette —Some benches with handwritten pages pasted on their backs, whose lyrics the public sings while the roulette turns — to chat with EL PAÍS.

The group’s keyboardist, Chema Bejarano, now begins without her unobtrusive sunglasses: “I had been working for Antenna 3 for many years, collaborating with producers, creating programs … I was 20 years ago. Came into the world of television as a sound technician and ambient music elder brotherYour home of life, your taste, where are you, sweetheart?… One day he gave us the idea of ​​participating in the program by forming a band. I called my teammates, who were quickly admitted. We came to do a test and we’ve been here tentatively for 10 years.

Music life had crossed its paths earlier. The band’s vocalist and guitarist was Joaquín Padilla. rock group iguana tangoBorn in the late nineties, but gained momentum when performing live elder brother in 2003. “In a week we were number one at Los 40. TV is what it has, for good and bad, it’s a brutal performance”, says Padilla. Bezzano worked there, he had already collaborated on other shows for the production company Zeppelin and in elder brother He worked as a musical background artist, and who, in turn, knew Jose del Val (the band’s drummer). roulette) to cross paths before work. The latter worked on the voice of the cooking show. “I’ve done everything but always related to the show,” Del Val says. “We musicians all know each other, and when you get a job, you pull from people you know and you know it will give you performances, it comes on time and adjusts more to the schedule. is”, continues Padilla. Because in addition to playing versions of songs from all genres and all ages, roulette These three musicians have to control their voice and adapt the songs to their limits.

TV, for Good and Evil, Is a Brutal Showcase

Joaquin Padilla

“I was missing the test we went through to get in. We had to create one song by Rocio Jurado, another for Dynamic Duo and another for Coti. What a fan, ”says Padilla. “We got up there, we set things up and there were directors, producers and six or seven people watching us. We played them one after the other, all a little dry. It was not the most dedicated public”, he laughs as he recalls the moment. “But we came very prepared, we came to stay, we had it very clear. The product was good, if they rejected it it was their problem”, completes Jose del Val.

To prepare the subjects to play in lucky roulette, The band hardly has time. Songs selected by the program’s director, Nacho Correa (“Do you think if we could choose the songs we would do one of Joselito, for example?” Joaquin Padilla when asked who chooses the songs) , so they arrive the day before the recording. These are prepared separately at home. They record three shows two days a week, and about 15 minutes before the start, musicians take their places at the top of the stands while the contestants practice roulette and explain how the game works. The first time they play a song, it is minuted, that is, its duration is measured, how does it start, how does it end, what action will the camera do every moment…” Between the program and the program we rehearse. try to do, but we can only do that when George [Fernández, el presentador del programa] Doesn’t notice or fuss much. But if George looks up, we know we’ll have to shut up and wait because we’re bothering him”, says Padilla.

Band of Joaquín Padilla, José del Val and Chema Bejarano, La Roulette de la Lute.  / peace burgos
Band of Joaquín Padilla, José del Val and Chema Bejarano, La Roulette de la Lute. / peace burgos

When the recording begins, it doesn’t stop except for the mayhem, so they have only one chance to do their best,” with the difficulty that it takes for a musician to stand for half an hour and zero to 100 Metallica. Beginning to sing,” says the singer.. They do not hide that there has been a failure or a mismatch. “But what do you want me to do when I have to sing a Nina Pastori or King Africa song”, Padilla continues. “The first week we came here, they put together a special for the April fair. Polka dot shirt, with a small cap and furless dress, to play Sevillana”, recalls Bejarano. “The only bad thing about this job is that, when you move on to another job, you can’t say ‘No, I’m not doing that’, because here you have already done everything” , completes the singer. “Rossio Jurado kills Joaquin”, continues Jose del Val. “He has been exposed, because the voice is the hardest. We are musicians, with an instrument you can imitate anything, you are going to give more or less hits, but the sound? It’s very complicated,” she continues.

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“It’s a hostile environment for a musician,” Padilla says. They are well aware that they are not doing any concerts, but entertainment television. Even the public doesn’t make it easy. The day EL PAÍS arrived on set, the audience applauded with one of the band’s songs, clearly out of sync. “Imagine you’re here playing a ballad and it’s 70” Rogue Kicking and hitting the stands… Once or twice we had to stop because it was impossible, we had to tell them not to clap and not to make noise”, recalls Bejarano.

It’s a Hostile Environment for a Musician

Joaquin Padilla

roulette It has also given him excellent media exposure. For better and for worse. “Actually, we get along well because Joaquin is the one who sucks at everything”, laughs Jose del Val. “The problem with the world in general is that we believe that the world is what it appears on the network. if you have 100 boys that’s something to dislikeCan’t forget the one you find on the road every day, Who others don’t see, Who hugs you, Invites you… The love we find on the street is cruel. And the artists who play their songs because they know how much we have to spend”, says Padilla. He himself talks about a signature collection campaign that someone started on the Change.org website. To ask them to change the singer of the program. “They have collected 490 signatures. Nearly two million visitors in Spain visit us every day! Yesterday 3,700,000 people watched us for at least a minute. But there are 400 who have a lot of free time and who do not want to move because the light goes up, but because they take me away”.

To touch roulette let them live “What it gives is stability,” Bejarano says. “And it gives us some very important, time-consuming. In two days we have performed and we have time for bowling, classes… We are sorry to say that but we have a very comfortable gig, very grateful. For me, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Maybe not the best paid, but the prettiest. It’s wonderful for so many millions of people to play live on television”, Bejarano continues. he creates roulette with the musical background of sixth night, Where he works every Saturday till three in the morning. In addition, he arranged the music, background, title, music for the series, jingle… “And I read too and since I have four kids, life doesn’t give me much,” adds the keyboard player. Jose del Val teaches, plays live, studies… “It’s really something else,” he says. Joaquín Padilla has a music project with his wife, Chus Herranz, Entrelazados, with whom he has just released an album. ,roulette It gives me time to play, rehearse, make a living as an artist”.

This is my best job so far. Maybe not the best paid, but the prettiest

Chema Bejarano

From their extensive experience in the music world, the band believe that music is more alive than ever, but their diagnosis is not so optimistic for their industry. Is it easy to find a place in music now? “Among the Colombians? There are only Colombians, Shakira, Journey, Camilo, Juans … I like them a lot, but it’s hard to find a place,” says Chema Bejarano. “It’s complicated if you don’t do that style. Style has monopolized. In the eighties there was a type of pop from La Union, Mecano, then rock from La Frontera, Latin touches from Radio Futura, Tam Tam Go … now the city It transcends everything, and means that either you were already there or you are there, or if not, there is a void for the rest beyond genres that have their own specialties like heavy metal or flamenco. . What I used to call pop is now classic pop, Alejandro Sanz, Mali… Now we are something else. It’s complicated for those who don’t”, says Joaquín Padilla.

We have played around 6,000 songs. 6,000 songs broken!

Chema Bejarano

They don’t keep track of how many songs they have played on the show, but as they celebrated their 4,000th song in November 2019, they estimate it to be around 6,000. “6,000 songs destroyed!” Chema makes fun of Bejarano. So many years and so many songs can force them to leave their mind roulette, “But it’s the best work that any musician watching us at home could probably dream of!” Chema Bejarano says. “Our profession is very unstable. A musician dreams of being called on a tour or gigging at home in January, February, March, April…. We don’t have that pressure because we always have work. Between the fact that we had a great time, we got along very well, the schedule is good, it gives you peace of mind, it pays you salary… why should I leave it?” Padilla says. “However, man, maybe if they tell us we’re going with Jimmy Fallon…”, he ends with a laugh.

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