Though it’s hard to believe, it’s been seven years since Tomás Moreno Romero, “Tomasito”, made his last solo album. Now he’s back to remind us he’s still kicking around, in compás of course, with “Y de lo Mío ¿Qué?”. Once again he’s surrounded himself with the regular sidekicks (Veneno, Germán Coppini, a member of “Los Delinqüentes”…), and what’s more, from start to finish he’s doing exactly what he feels like, the advice given to him in his youth by Lola Flores, never before taken so literally.
A new record, and “Nuevos” Medios…
Yes, you can’t imagine what an ordeal it is with the record companies. These are hard times, and Nuevos Medios promised me absolute freedom. Mario Pacheco is great, and flamenco people know it. I made this record, and signed to make another with the same company. Mario puts up with a lot, especially with flamenco musicians…lean times, good times…he started this, and it’s a guarantee.
Seven years during which time you’ve become a father, and you haven’t slowed down…
Yes, well, becoming a father was a long time ago, the most immediate thing is that I just returned from Dakar with Raimundo Amador and his people, soaking up that music and culture, learning. Seven years without recording, but I’ve learned a lot, I’ve seen the world and that’s always important. In any case, I didn’t really have enough verses for a record, and until we got all the material together, it takes time.
On this record, you’re you, although listening to the earlier work, it’s hard to imagine that that wasn’t also you…
I know, but all the earlier material is out of stock, it can’t be purchased, I never got any royalties, they wouldn’t let me do it my way, and I actually liked those recordings. At one point I told the record company I was sellling the records in my house…they were mine!…how was I not going to sell them?! Everything was a big problem, so that’s that, now I’m with Mario Pacheco and everything’s fine. With the others it was a big hassle, they change personnel, there’s no communication with the producer, the promotional clips are made by people who don’t know anything about music. As far as the music that was recorded, that was me and it was fine, the thing is I wasn’t so into the guitar to be able to compose…and you have to make a record that serves some purpose, that people take to it. I know I’m more for live performance, but records are made for a reason, and nowadays, with nothing of mine on the shelves, it’s like I never did anything. Mario talks about this in the press release, “that’s how it is in this country”.
Veneno and your old buddies are back.
Yes, they’re all great, Veneno is a real treat, he sends me his lyrics. Then there are some others we picked up along the way, not so well-known, like Germán Coppini from “Golpes Bajos”, the person who does palmas for “Los Delincuentes”, the people from “Muchachito Bombo Infierno”…there’s a little of everything…blues, rock, alegrías, fandangos, pop songs…everyone puts his grain of salt. I tend to compose the music based on his lyrics. We collaborate in live performance, he’s a must.
“At one point I told the record company that I was sellling the records in my house…they were mine!…how was I not going to sell them?! Everything was a big problem, so that’s that, now I’m with Mario Pacheco and everything’s fine. With the others it was a big hassle, they change personnel, there’s no communication with the producer, the promotional clips are made by people who don’t know anything about music”.
And I have the feeling that if it weren’t for the new record company, your version of AC/DC wouldn’t have come out.
Well, I don’t know what happened, but they didn’t include it at the time, and I had it recorded from eight years ago. Anyhow, the people in the group are friends of mine from Myspace, and they don’t seem to mind. This is a record that has to have pieces like this because it matches my philosophy, period.
How far back do you go professionally with Tino di Geraldo?
I think we’ve known each other ten or twelve years, maybe more. He’s an incredible musician and producer, and a great person. I remember in the beginning I was embarrassed to play in front of him or show him my things, me not knowing anything about music. I don’t even count the compás, and I don’t do what most people do with the rhythm, so I was really scared. But then there was no problem. Also, since he’s from out-of-town, from Asturias, I think he’s better able to analyze and understand objectively the way music has to be done here in Jerez. I honestly don’t think I could talk about myself as favorably as he does…and he gives good advice. He told me to include a taranta, the third piece, “Lola and Candela”.
Tino is very easy-going, I was delighted when I found out he was going to produce something for me, it’s been a long time… On this occasion, I sent him things as best I could. All alone, recording with my little mixer at home which is very small, the kids right there, no way to move around…and a simple format, because if you start adding a lot of instruments, there’s no way to produce it.
And the title?
It’s the fourth piece, at first, we were going to call it “The Universe in my Hands”, which is the title of the ninth song, but it sounded too formal, it wasn’t appropriate at all, so then we chose the fourth piece. And don’t think we belabored the whole thing, I hadn’t recorded in seven years, but this was made in just two weeks, at a single go, with rehearsals of course. And then the time it took Tino to get it all together, naturally, but the bulk of the work was done in two weeks.
What music do you make, and whom is it aimed at?
It’s for everyone. I play flamenco rock, but also heavy rock, American country…I’m international, I like Brazil…music is universal, I’ve gone on stage in New York and given a few turns with a Fender…and it sounded good!
But there’s nothing specific in the day to day stuff, I like everything, and I don’t just sit there rehashing the first thing that comes into my head. I listen to what I can catch, if anything at all. Look, if I compose music now, it’s mostly for my kids, they love this, but I get involved all by myself with my guitar, that’s enough for me.
“I play flamenco rock, but also heavy rock, American country…I’m international, I like Brazil…music is universal, I’ve gone on stage in New York and given a few turns with a Fender… and it sounded good!!!”
Now you get inspired with your neighbors in Moratalaz.
Yes, we see each other a lot from one day to the next. Plumbers, electricians, construction workers…we get together in the bar and I bring them my recordings. They’re wise in their way. They tell me to trust them, that they also know how to do things…they’ve got a good thing going. Then it turns out you start digging around, and if someone doesn’t listen to AC/DC, they listen to Rancapino, reggae, Camarón….
I don’t live in Jerez, but there’s good stuff up here too…although the weather….
You came to Madrid with Diego Carrasco.
Yes, he told me to go to Los Canasteros with him, and while I was at it, I did a month in the military at Campamento and Colmenar Viejo, but in Gómez Ulla they did some tests and I got off because I told them I had problems with my hip…hey, don’t look at me like that, it’s true, I’ve got one higher than the other…no problem for dancing, but if I had to carry a rifle and run for a half hour, then yes.
A Madrid resident now, and a fan of the Madrid soccer team, as was evident on one of your record covers…
Yes, but don’t talk to me about Cristiano Ronaldo…let’s talk about the record.
Back in Santiago what did they think about what you’ve been doing since you were a kid?
Well, they would crack up, they didn’t expect much from me…but what I knew then, and I know now, is that music is inside me, and I can see myself at 60 doing what I like, performing, which is when I really come alive.
Lola Flores urged you to be free…anyone else?
Yes, my parents. They asked me what I wanted to do, and I was always sure I wanted to dance. So my father said, okay, dance for me, let’s see…and he liked it. They always defended me, and I’m very grateful for that, when others see you like some kind of weirdo…they must have seen something in me. And they were always there, in the beginning when I was dancing, later singing, and later playing guitar and putting it all together.
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