© 2010 Dani Cantó

Barcelona Underground: An Introduction

I think this project needs an introduction, I’ve been working for a long time in this project, but besides small talks on bars, there hasn’t been much more information about what I was really doing and the object of all this pictures and nights at the clubs.

I’ve been shooting the Barcelona Underground Scence since I arrived the city on late 2006. It didn’t make any sense at first but enjoying small format concerts on petite bars and clubs in a city I was beggining to discover. It was the Myspace era so it was quite easy to get to know new bands and be updated of every concert they will play. So, I used to go there with my camera and enjoy while I’ll take pictures of the bands.

Even though at that time I was not yet sure on becoming a music photographer for me this task was really serious. I tried hard to take profesional pictures, edit them and upload a bunch to my Flickr accounton the next morning. And obviously, send a couple to the band for them to enjoy, and upload them to their profiles. That took me to know some of the bands and make some real good friends, I was ‘the guy with the camera’, and I was pleased to accept that role.

At that time most of the bands that now have records out were only Myspace flesh, with a couple of songs, a self produced EP and a couple of concerts on their back. No one had ever paid atention to them, only friends and fans, but quite a few magazines were interested in talk or publish pictures of them playing live. I was the only photographer most of the times.

I remember one night, Alba from Extraperlo, telling me they didn’t think they have formed a band until they saw on my pictures that they were actually a band: on stage, playing, with an attitude. Until then, music was only a hobby. I was portraiting an unique moment of their musical careers: the very beggining.

After a year or so, I had photographied over 20 different bands, and less to say it seemed a lot for me, coming from a small village. It didn’t look like there was a sound or a common criteria on the scene, only a bunch of friends forming quite different bands every. It seems odd, but there were about 200 people responsible of forming about a hundred bands; most of them would share components and form different bands with quite different influences. If there wasn’t a sound there were at least an obvious scene going on.

A bunch of people, organizing concerts, festivals, labels, only for the love of music. Even though most of them were made for only fifty to hundred people, and the audience were friends from other bands, you could feel something was really going underground. Underneath a city that has become a boling point of cultures, but hardly recognises the talent of their own people.

So, this project has been going on, with its ups & downs, for the last 5 years, in wich I have photographied about a hundred of bands, most of them several time since they have started. Some of the bands have reached success from public and press, some in Barcelona, some even around the world. But the project didn’t ended up here, it could be ongoing forever, as new bands still flourish from the Barcelona Underground. As longs as there are new bands in need of a picture that explains themselves.

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