Interview by Anthony DeLuca
U.F.-When was ADI officially formed? Who’s idea was it? What bands do you draw your influences from?
Robert Alvarez: First of all, I would like to thank you, Anthony, for giving us the opportunity to let UNSTOPPABLE FORCE readers know a little more about A.D.I
A.D.I was officially formed in 1984. Who’s idea was it? Well…. I guess that I had “something” to do with it, hahahaha Our influences at THAT moment were probably bands like DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN, JUDAS PRIEST, AC/DC, HENDRIX, etc. I guess these haven’t changed but some new ones have been added to the record, hehehehehehe.
U.F.-From where did ADI originate from? Where there any demos made in the early days… if so, have they been released?
Robert Alvarez: A.D.I was formed in northern Spain when I moved there from Switzerland where I grew up. There I met Santi, Manu, Iñaki and finally Juan. The rest is “history” hahahahaha. As for the demos… let’s say that yes, there are a few of them… not a great sound but yes great feeling, that for sure. And no, I don’t think any of it has been released!!! I’m sure there would be MORE THAN MUSIC in those early demos from our rehearsal place as you can imagine!!! 🙂
U.F.-Have any of the present members of ADI performed in other bands? If so, please describe these bands.
Robert Alvarez: Hmmm maybe we should mention a band where GUS was playing with. In fact he was the leader of the band. That band was called “3er Acto” they released an album with the very powerful TELEVISA in Mexico. I believe they recorded it in L.A. As for the rest, we were born being ANGELS!!!
U.F.-The debut album, “PACTO CON EL DIABLO” was an essential stepping stone for the band, introducing your brand of music to the world. How did you manage to get signed to WEA Records? Do you feel this record company supports the band enough, in terms of promotion and touring?
Robert Alvarez: Anthony, this is the BIG question, hehehehehe. As you say, our first album’s title was PACTO CON EL DIABLO which in english means “PACT WITH THE DEVIL”. Is there any bigger pact with the devil than getting signed by a Major Label???? hahahahaha.
As for what you’ re asking in reference to “promotion”, “support”, hahahaha I think that these words were not in THEIR vocabulary at all, that’s why we ended our contract with them. Something that usually never happens, right? Normally big companies throw you away like garbage. Well… in this case A.D.I wanted out and finally got it!!!
U.F.-The album “DIABOLICCA” contained many great songs (just as all the ADI albums do). One in particular, ” Al Otro Lado Del Silencio” is so emotional. Is this song dedicated to someone? What does it mean to you?
Robert Alvarez: Well, yes… this song means a lot to me since it is dedicated to my very best friend that died in a car crash. Of course I was feeling very very sad at that time and decided to write a song for him. Then this song became the song for all those that went to the “other side”. They even played it when the most popular Mayor of the city of Madrid passed away.
U.F.-Then, 1986 saw the release of “INSTINTO ANIMAL”. Any plans on rereleasing this now impossible to find mini-LP? What songs were on this LP, and which do you perform live?
Robert Alvarez: Hmmm I don’t think Warner is interested in publishing back this mini LP since the 4 songs that were in there then were included in JOVEN PARA MORIR.
- Todo lo que quiero
- No hay tiempo
- No puedo vivir sin ti
- Lo tomas o lo dejas
U.F.-Why was “A CARA O CRUZ” recorded in Conneticut, USA? Did this open a door of oppurtunity to reach a larger audience of fans? How did ADI arrange to repeatedly work with a great team of well known engineers?
Robert Alvarez: Very simple reason, “A cara o Cruz” producer and good friend of mine, Stephan Galfas told me about this great studio up on a hill where we could have all the privacy and LOTS OF SNOW!!! (Remember I grew up in Switzerland!) But we didn’t just get snow! we got the biggest snow storm in 40 years or so and couldn’t get out of the studio!! Hmmm wasn’t that bad though cause we just got out for a few drinks the night before and invited some friends to have a party at the studio with lots of Jack Daniel’s!!!
And yes, you’re right, we always had great engineers like Mark Dodson (Judas Priest), Brad Davis( King Crimson), Mark Dearnley(AC/DC), etc.. etc! how? Well.. let’s say that Warner would listen to us in some occasions, hahahaha
U.F.-Looking at the band’s line-up throughout the years, I notice many different drummers. Why was this such a problem for the band? What were some of the reasons for each drummer’s departure? Do you feel that ADI’s current line-up is stable?
Robert Alvarez: You know, I don’t know exactly the facts but I still wonder IF drummers play drums because they are crazy or it is that they become crazy because they play drums!!! (just kidding! or maybe not!)
Yes, this line-up seems to be very stable but you know a band is like a car if you tire explodes, well, you better replace it, right?
U.F.-Why did the band relocate to Florida, USA? Has this helped the band at all? Now that ADI live in America, will you perform/record any songs in English?
Robert Alvarez: Sure it does help!!! Can you imagine how many flying hours we do spare now?? I mean, from Florida it’s 5 hours to California, 3 hours to Chicago, 3 hours to NY, 3 hours to Mexico, 8 hours to Europe! well.. it’s pretty much in the middle of everything, hahahahaha
English words? It could be … maybe a couple surprise songs in our next album for all our English speaking fans!!!
U.F.-The latest ADI album “LO MEJOR DE… II” is a great collection of ADI classics and some new tunes. Seeing that this album is the same as “LO MEJOR DE… <I”, except for the new songs, I wonder why a new studio album wasn’t named, or new EP. Was there a problem with WEA records, or was this the way ADI intended this release to occur?
Robert Alvarez: I believe that I did pretty much answer this question earlier mentioning what happened between Warner and A.D.I, hehehe
u.f.-Are there any plans for an ADI live performance video? Speaking of performance videos, has ADI ever done any music videos for any of their songs? Any unreleased B-Sides or bonus songs lying around? Any plans on releasing such collections?
Robert Alvarez: Yes, there are videos. In fact there is a GREAT, GREAT ONE called A CARA O CRUZ that we filmed at a location right in the border of France and Spain inside an old factory designed by the famous Spanish architect GAUDI. I hope you’ll have the chance to watch it one day. There has been some B side songs like “Heavy Rock” for example!
U.F.-When did the ADI web-site officially come into existance? Has the site drawn more attention to the band? What are your future plans for the site (I see a cyber shop is already in the works)?
Robert Alvarez: www.adifanclub.com or angelesdelinfierno.com site was launched in 1999. We want it to be a place or reunion for all our friends all over the world. We don’t just want a regular band’s site but a friend’s site and it seems that it is working exactly as it was planned. We received over 3.000.000 hits last year and expect to double that number during 2001!!!
U.F.-What are some of your most memerable moments while on tour? Any stories come to mind which you would like to share with us?
Robert Alvarez: There are many, many stories as you can guess! hehe some of them could be told some others couldn’t!!!
There is one that comes to my mind right now! We were in Mexico City in one of those beautiful hotels at the Zona Rosa. It was very very early in the morning and all of the sudden EARTHQUAKE!!! My room mate Guillermo tried to wake me up telling me to have a look at the lamp that was spinning around saying: Hey Rob! This is an Earthquake!!! This is an Earthquake!!! But I was so hungover and to me the whole room was spinning around anyways! so I said: Well, you know.. I don’t care. I’ve been in another one just like this in L.A. a few moths ago. No big deal!!! And I went back to sleep. Then later on that morning when we finally made it dowstairs, the people from the hotel told us that all the European and American tourists that were there went down in their underwear and run outside the hotel very very scared and that they were all going back to their own countries that same day!!!
U.F.-What countries have yet to be visited by the band? Any plans on breaking into new territories and touring in such places?
Robert Alvarez: We’ve been all over the U.S., Mexico, South America, Spain, France, etc.
U.F.-What bands have you shared the stage with? Any bands today that you would like to tour with?
Robert Alvarez: Saxon, AC/DC, Motorhead, Iron Maiden! Don’t remember now, maybe some others. As for sharing the stage, we don’t mind sharing it with anybody well… maybe not Back Street Boys! hahhahahaha.
U.F.-Seeing that ADI is a Spanish band, it makes sense all your lyrics are in spanish. With the metal market as big as it is, one can see other foriegn bands perform in english (for example: BLIND GUARDIAN, ANGEL DUST, HAMMERFALL…). What made ADI decide to stick to spanish vocals? Do you feel this keeps the music more true to its origins?
Robert Alvarez: Spanish is the natural language for Juan. That is the reason. Plus, we started out in Spain and there it wouldn’t make sense at all for us to sing in English.
U.F.-Listening to some of your material, I can hear your guitarist, ROBERT ALVAREZ, has quite an interesting and talented style of guitar playing. What does his set-up consist of? Any effects boards used?
Robert Alvarez: Well… thank you for the compliments, hehehehe are you sure you didn’t know ‘I’ was gonna answer your questions???
My set-up is very simple. Great 1967 Gibson Flying V guitars, Mesa Boogie Triaxis preamp, Mesa Boogie 2:90 Power Amps, Digitech 2120 Multieffects., Nady Wireless, Dean Markley Strings and lots and lots of energy and respect for the audience. That’s all!
U.F.-Has JUAN ever taken vocal lessons, or is he self taught?
Robert Alvarez: I would say that Juan is a combination of both. He took lessons in the very beginning but he is pretty much a self taught person and I think he does pretty well, don’t you think?
U.F.-Why has it been such a long time since a new album has been released from the band?
Robert Alvarez: As I said before, Big monster companies don’t like when an artist wants to go so they make it as difficult as they can for you. It’s been a hard time but we finally are able to do what we want again. The thing is: WE NEVER STOPPED TOURING, can you imagine?? There’s not so many bands that would be able to do that, right? We really owe sooooo much to all our friends all over the world. See why I use the word ‘friends’ instead of ‘fans’ because that’s what they are for us as we are also for them!!!
U.F.-What are your plans for the band now? Is a new album being worked on?
Robert Alvarez: Yes, the album is written. We need to get in the studio as soon as we finish our 2001 tour and finally release it. I am sure you will love it!! It’s gonna be a great, great one. At least we’ve had plenty of time to work on it, right? 😉
U.F.-What was your impression from starting the recent tour in New Jersey at the metalfest? I saw you there (I was the only fan there who tried talking to you, but I didn’t speak spanish… you remember??). Will you play in New Jersey again??
Robert Alvarez: Well, my impression there, I think it was a “different experience” . That’s not exactly what an A.D.I show is about, hehe, but I guess that is the way metalfest is.
Yes, I hope we will go back to New Jersey, of course!! I know there is not only Bon Jovi fans over there, am I right? hahahahahahaha
U.F.-Any plans to play some of the major European metalfests (for example: Wacken, Dynamo…)?
Robert Alvarez: Maybe after our new album is released.
U.F.-How long do you currently plan on touring? How has the tour been going so far? Where have you gotten the biggest/best crowd response?
Robert Alvarez: Well… we played in Ecuador for 21.000 people in Quito, in Spain for 35.000, in Bogota, Colombia for 30.000 in Mexico for 22.000! but we also have played places like THE HOUSE OF BLUES for much less people or The Roxy in Hollywood and I do love to play in such places cause it’s like you can feel the audience and the audience can feel the band in a very different way!! I love both things.
U.F.-What can ADI fans expect to see while you’re on tour? What does your set-list consist of?
Robert Alvarez: These days, our set list consists of songs from all our albums. I guess that next tour will be more concentrated on our new release.
What can people expect? The same as always!! True people on stage with lots of energy wanting to make it happen from the very first moment to even aftershow!!! hehehehe
U.F.-That’s it. Any final comments, or something to add??
Robert Alvarez: Well, I just want to thank you again. I can see that you really do know a lot about A.D.I and I hope we will have the opportunity to meet soon in some concert, studio or for a few drinks!!!!
ROCK WILL NEVER DIE!!!