maika makovski    It's been two years since you released Kraj So Kóferot. Do you spend a lot of time working on songs or is it that you just didn't want to release this self-titled record any sooner?

No, I am not the kind to go over and over songs. The story with this one is that it was recorded a year ago and the fact that it wasn't released earlier has nothing to do with me. We wanted to publish it with the right people and that's why there has been a delay, but it has been worth the wait.

John Parish's name seems to have popped up out of nowhere. How did he come to produce the record? What it is like to work with him?

My ex-manager got in touch with him and sent him my previous records. He gave them a listen and told us that he wanted to hear the demos I was working on. A couple of months went by and I sent him all I had. He particularly liked the demos I had recorded at home and after a few mails and several telephone calls, we finally set up some recording dates. John loves music, not fame. He turns up at the studio in his green jacket and heads off home to his family when the work is done. He only gets involved in projects he likes, and he really gets involved. He's not an invasive producer either; he respects the musicians and what they are about. On the song “Friends”, for instance, he totally respected the arrangements exactly as they were on the original demo. In other cases, like “Game of Doses”, he is capable of developing a whole song from a single idea. We recorded a lot of the songs totally live. John would sit down on the other side of the glass wall, shut his eyes, and that was how he would choose the best version of whatever we were doing. And you know what? We would quickly realise that he was always spot on.

The album was recorded in Bristol and Bath. Did it help in any way to get away from your usual surroundings with this piece of work?

It has been an enriching experience. To breathe in that rock culture and work with engineers like A. Chant and P. Corkett was amazing. Corkett mixed the record and I have never felt so relaxed about it. He knew what I wanted it to sound like without having to ask me at all. It was incredible to work with musicians of the calibre of Jim Barr, Pete Judge and Billy Fuller, and that could only have happened there.

The album cover is great, it really sticks in the memory. Who painted the portraits of the band members?

Why, thank you. I did. I painted them with a lot of love, nothing less than the band deserved. Tell us about the band members. David Martinez is the drummer. We've been playing together since 2003. He gets the songs really quickly and never makes a mistake, he has great instinct when it comes to playing and adding to a song. He's very melodic, though he doesn't actually play a 'note'. JC Luque is the bass player and he joined in 2004. He's been terribly unfortunate with sound equipment (everything he gets has to be sent off to be fixed at some stage), but we love him the way he is and he's part of the soul of the band. Xarim Aresté is the guitarist. My crutch while we were getting the record ready. He joined in 2008 and by November we were in Bristol together. We miss him now but we have Basque Oskar Benas instead. Basque, thin as a rake, but boy can he work those six strings!

We are fans of yours. We have nothing to hide, we love your previous records, and, well, with this latest one - we don’t know why - we still feel the same way about your music. How can you develop and change so, without losing the essence of what you do?

I don't know, maybe the secret is in how well one knows oneself. And I'm not trying to offload some New Age philosophy on you here! I fell that the music goes with the person, and if it doesn't, it becomes a mere form, meaningless music and it's impossible to develop and grow from this perspective. And I believe that the songs need to be cared for, listened to and given what they need without forcing anything on them.

How are the live shows going? Have you many gigs lined up? We were in London and then the States after that. We've just started the Spanish Tour now.

We're really looking forward to playing for you!