20 songs, three producers and three times a completely different sound: The Basque punk rockers Berri Txarrak release an unusual triple-album for the 20th anniversary of the band.
As long as the world turns, standing still is not an option. Berri Txarrak has never chosen the path with the most tailwinds. A rebellious sound with a clear, hard edge wrapped in poetic lyrics and filled with appeals for freedom and justice. The very fact that Berri Txarrak sing in their native language in Basque, is a clear statement and indeed a very loud one. Lyrics that unite fascination and fear, snapshots, which create an image while emanating a thousand other thoughts in all directions.
“We definitely wanted to create something special to commemorate our 20th anniversary, so once ‘Haria Tour’ was over, we started writing new songs. It’s been a long creative process, always with the leitmotiv: “20 years, 20 songs” in our minds. We truly believe music is a non-stop search, so this time we went further and divided those 20 songs in three parts: three recording sessions, each one with a different producer, three ways of understanding rock music, three totally different approaches that only agree on the fact that the song is what this is all about.”
Creativity as a weapon against indifference and against ignoring the reality, issues that affect all of us. Direct and unadorned - this is what actually constitutes the Punk Rock genre: Berri Txarrak shouts out what they do not want to accept.
"Our lyrics are not only about the situation in the Basque country, we see always look at the context of the western society in which we live," says the band. "The songs are not just songs about our country, but on the general problems in society, such as disinterest and apathy related to politics and cultural themes, songs about the prevailing superficiality and the fact that we make decisions based on our fears like the fear of losing the job, or the fear of being alone."
So, in 2014 we’ve been working with three producers who happen to be special for Berri Txarrak. In chronological order: Ross Robinson, Ricky Falkner and Bill Stevenson.
#BTX20URTE01: ROSS ROBINSON @ Venice, California-USA (March-April):
After the positive vibe during the recording sessions of the last album ‘Haria’ (2011), we decided to take the BTX-Ross Robinson artistic partnership to the next level. This legendary producer (At The Drive-In, Slipknot, The Cure, Sepultura…) looks for the purest emotional and spiritual aspect of music and he’ll use all his experience to get that extremely thrilling take you didn’t even know you were able to perform.
#BTX20URTE02: RICKY FALKNER @ Estudios Reno, Madrid-Spain (July-August):
We decided to write a bunch of special songs for the 2nd EP of this tour de force, leaving all our fears and prejudices behind, style-wise. We hired Barcelona-based indie producer Ricky Falkner (Standstill, Lori Meyers, Love of Lesbian…) for this mission. We were sure that he’d be able to face these songs with a different approach. Darkish lyrics for a pop-inspired EP.
#BTX20URTE03: BILL STEVENSON @ The Blasting Room, Fort Collins, CO-USA (September):
Bill Stevenson is definitely one of the names you’d think of when it comes to understanding punk rock’s history. As a musician he plays/has played the drums for Black Flag, Descendents, All, Only Crime and even The Lemonheads. In the studio, he’s undoubtedly become one of the most important producers of American punk rock biggest acts: Rise Against, NoFX… always side by side with engineer Jason Livermore.
Formed in 1994, Berri Txarrak (which means ‘Bad News’ translated in English), boasts a discography currently featuring 8 records and a documentary film, each of them a milestone in the band’s unstoppable progression. Berri Txarrak has since set out from the Basque rock scene to conquer the world through constant international touring.
While touring all over the world Berri Txarrak have not only been supporting , bands such as Rise Against, Sick Of It All, or Pearl Jam on their European and South American tours, but also played a number of headlining tours in the Europe, the US and Asia. One of these tours lasted 3 years, with over 200 concerts throughout the world and accompanied by filmmaker Ibon A. Totorika, a documentary was made depicting what the band went through on this mega-tour, which was shortlisted on several film festivals including London’s Portobello Film Festival and Zinemastea in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
These Basque punk rockers also had the honour of having worked with producers such as Steve Albini, or Ed Rose on their previous albums, but also with Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) as Matt Sharp (The Rentals, Weezer), who were guest vocalists on some tracks they released in the past.
Berri Txarrak are:
Gorka Urbizu, Guitar & Vocals
David Gonzalez, Bass
Galder Izagirre, Drums
1997 Berri Txarrak
2007 Zertarako Amestu [DVD]
2010 Denak Ez Du Balio, Singles 1997 - 2007