They say he doesn’t know if the old rockers never die, but he does. The king of Spanish rock, Miguel Ríos (Granada, 1944), He tried 10 years ago, but this 20201 he came back with a new album, ‘A long time’, and more concerts. Like the one he offered in July at the Jardins de Pedralbes, in which he proved to be in good shape. Meanwhile, all these years he has been acting for solidarity causes. To return to society all that it owes you. The last one, his participation in the album ‘La Marató’ with his exciting ‘Hymn to Joy’ in its Catalan version, for which he had to tame his Granada accent.
It is a luxury to have Miguel Ríos on the album of ‘La Marató’. When it was proposed to you, did you accept without hesitation?
Yes Yes. I was already surprised that I did not go out … I thought: what is it? (laughs) When they asked me to do ‘Hymn to Joy’, I thought: maybe it has a good translation, in which the spirit of the song is not lost. And when I heard it, it seemed wonderful to me. Above all, do not put “that men will be brothers again & rdquor ;, because“ un sol batec & rdquor; is beautiful. A single heartbeat. I loved it. It seemed to me that it was a novelty. And rehearse it and imitate the accent … They even sent me a ‘demo sung’ by a guy to say “els ‘homas’ & rdquor; and all that. Because my accent was from Granada (laughs).
He says that he had already sung in this language before.
Yes, but it will be many years. Because I have many. This month it was 60 years since I walked into a studio to record an album. And it was a more commercial thing. The Nova Cançó was emerging, the songs were more like a singer-songwriter, and they said: “We are going to open a market in Catalonia.” They suggested it to me and I liked it. What happens is that I understood less. Now I know more about what the thing is about.
And he understands that Catalan is protected in Catalonia. In the presentation of the album, he said that he had understood 95% of what was said in that language. That’s a lot.
Catalonia is managing to preserve Catalan, firstly, because people have the desire to express themselves in their mother tongue, and that seems to me as a bitch, but it is also transferring to other media. Because in the ‘newscasts’ of the rest of the nation we hear people speak in Catalan and they translate below. And that does incredible good to the psyche of the human being, because that allows us to make an effort to understand what they are saying.
“People have the desire to express themselves in their mother tongue, Catalan, and that seems like a bitch to me”
The song had to be ‘Hymn to Joy’, which has been ‘that for years, a hymn. And exciting.
This song covers everything that ‘La Marató’ wants. It’s a bitch that we have to keep asking people to collaborate, when Social Security would have to take care of everything & mldr ;. But while it does not arrive, happy to contribute.
This year it focuses on mental illness. It was already foreseen before the pandemic, but with this there has been a rebound, especially among young people, it still justifies it more.
And now there is less repair in confessing that it is not well. Like when a leg or kidney hurts. And admit that that doesn’t make you less human, it humanizes you. What happens is that this message was not understood by society. And this is the one that, unfortunately, as there are so many people affected, is now realizing that it has to be a general call and that more attention must be paid to that kind of thing.
More and more singers, such as Dani Martín, Camilo and several ‘ex-triumphs’, say that they have gone to therapy. And that message is very important.
It is that who has not been to therapy is nobody & mldr; (laughs) No, keep in mind that we are a very high risk profession. We are very up and down all the time. We depend a lot on what we receive from outside. Either you have a very furnished head, or else you need help. Because you have to understand why a record doesn’t work, when the previous one was an amazing success. All that kind of stuff. And musicians, artists, we are, in general, such insecure people & mldr; I’ve been assisting myself with that help for a long time, and it seems to me that it is money very well spent.
Take part in the 30th anniversary edition. Nothing less than 30 years of solidarity. What do you think?
When Àngel Lacalle, the director of the album, invited me to do it, they told me everything that had been going on for so long. It is wonderful. And it is also very important that our patrons, that is, the people who buy our records and tickets, see that we give back what they give us. That you are not just a cash register.
Since he announced 10 years ago that he was retiring, he has participated in many solidarity causes. Like the exciting video to help musicians during confinement.
Yes. I always go when they call me. On the 13th I sing in Ávila, in a concert for the victims of this summer’s fire. Whenever I can, I feel like being altruistic. Although there we are going to sing for money, because there are many people who make a living from this: the team that we assemble to make a gig.
“I don’t know if old rockers never die, but retiring, no. I’m like the Cid Campeador of rock”
Is that after a gig there is a company.
Exactly. But when you get the chance to do it free of charge & mldr ;. As Fito Páez says: “I come to offer my heart.” In that absolutely wonderful song that is titled like this. “They say that everything is lost / I come to offer my heart.” We could put that in next year. I think In Catalan it would be very good. “Na na na .. el meu cor & rdquor ;. What would it be like?
Something like: “I come to offer my heart”.
(Sings) “I come to offer my heart.” It’s a kind of farm. It has to be on the next album of ‘La Marató’, yes.
You announced your retirement 10 years ago. But it has returned. So it’s true that old rockers never die.
(Laughs) I don’t know if they die, but retiring, no. I am like the Cid Campeador of rock. On the 27th we played at the Tarraco Arena in Tarragona, a concert like the one we gave in July in the Pedralbes Gardens of Barcelona. By the way, I really liked the criticism that Jordi Bianciotto made of him in El Periódico. And the title ‘Miguel Ríos: acoustic, but electrifying’ I loved.