21 April 2023 // Wendy Morrill
The shoegaze revival has been going strong despite all that artists and music fans have been through over the last several years. The genre’s resurgence has been welcomed by aging 90s college radio DJs and modern teens alike… and maybe even some algorithm-guided Spotify olds.
A new festival dedicated to shoegaze, dream pop and related genres of music is about to hit the backyard of one of Soundwaves’ aging 90s college radio DJs still in love with shoegaze and dream noise. That would be _____ mood.’s Wendy Morrill on the one hand and the Automatic Noise Festival on the other. Ahead of the festival’s 2nd edition taking place in Amsterdam in April 2023, Wendy talked to international shoegazer Antonio Zelada.
Antonio Zelada is the founder of Automatic, an international record label and gigs organizer dedicated to promoting shoegaze. Automatic is home to the Automatic Noise Festival and releases by The Ocean Blue, The Radio Dept., Asobi Seksu, Astrobrite, Xiu Xiu and others. Antonio is also the founder of shoegaze band Resplandor, which you’ll also find on the Automatic label.
Hi Antonio, thanks for making time. I love the album Tristeza – it was one I listened to a lot last year!
Thank you for your kind words towards our album. I’m delighted to do the interview.
You are well connected in the international shoegaze scene and based in The Hague – not exactly a global metropolis of music – I say that with good humor, by the way! How have you built and maintained your international network over the years?
In Lima, where I am from, there was no shoegaze scene, so I founded Automatic and began to bring bands related to the international shoegaze scene and related musical genres to Lima. At the same time, Automatic released the records of some of these bands for South America, which generated a very nice scene and friendships with the bands. That’s how I met Robin Guthrie just before we started recording our album ‘Pleamar’ at that time.
You started out in the late 90s, at the dawn of the Internet age, looking back over all those years, what’s been most important for Resplandor to succeed?
Be constant and believe in what you are doing.
What’s been the most influential shoegaze song for you? Can you describe the moment it hit you?
The first thing that comes to mind with your question is the whole ‘Just For A Day’ album by Slowdive, a whirlwind of emotions, to this day.
You’ve worked with Simon Scott of Slowdive, who’s been working with some amazing sound artists and bands in the new shoegaze scene. What was most surprising about getting to know him or working with him?
I met Simon when we opened up the Slowdive show in Lima in 2017. All of them are incredible. I’ve known Christian Savill circa 2002 by email. His project Monster Movie and us were on the same label, Alison Records from Germany, at that moment. It was amazing to be able to chat with them and hang out. After that I decided to contact Simon to work on a single and the mastering he did really blew my mind, so we worked together on ‘Tristeza’. He has also remastered the 15th anniversary edition of ‘Pleamar’. He is fascinated by mastering Robin Guthrie’s mixes and I think with him and Robin we have made a great team. I would like to have Simon at the Automatic Noise Festival. Actually, I invited him but Slowdive was scheduled to play in Australia.
_____ mood. has joined the Keychange Pledge, an international campaign to raise awareness and make positive changes toward gender equality in the music industry. Is there a woman in the music industry doing work that you admire?
I definitely admire several women in the music industry. One is Rachel Goswell. She’s a mother, wife, entrepreneur, plays in Slowdive, The Soft Cavalry and other projects, and is always concerned with different causes.
Rachel does some really neat things and it’s a joy to watch her on stage. Is there a non-music person that is influential to your music?
Krzysztof Kieślowski, Win Wenders and Stanley Kubrick, among others
Is there an up-and-coming band that you’d like everyone to know about?
A band that everyone should know is Life On Venus. They are amazing and I am very happy that they are currently in Automatic and we are going to release their new album on vinyl.
The Automatic Noise Festival – what is it, how often does it happen, and where?
Automatic Noise Festival is a festival focused on shoegaze, but also with other related musical genres. I started the festival in Rotterdam in 2019 and now, after the pandemic, it has returned with an edition in Amsterdam. I would like to keep it every year.
In 2013, Resplandor opened for The Cure in Lima – what was that like?
The fact of opening for The Cure is simply amazing. It was our first show in a stadium and Robert Smith is an incredible person who brought us a bottle of champagne backstage. He wished us luck before the show and when we were playing he was next to the stage watching the performance.
Have you seen The Cure play other times?
Yes, of course, the last time was at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam last year as part of the Lost World Tour. They were amazing, the end of the last encore was with ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, you can imagine enjoying the whole show and dancing.
What do you think of Robert Smith’s recent words and actions regarding Ticketmaster, ticket pricing and the resale market for concert tickets?
As I mentioned above, he is a person who cares about people and what he has done is not strange since he cares about his fans.
What is the strangest comment you have ever received about the album Tristeza?
There is a person involved in sound, but not in shoegaze and when he listened to some tracks from the album he told me that there was a permanent buzz-like noise from an airplane – LOL.
LOLOLOLOL. What can fans expect from Resplandor in 2023 – any plans you can tell us about?
Next month we are releasing the 15th anniversary edition of our album ‘Pleamar’ and playing some shows around. Last year my son was born and I love spending time with him and even though he comes to the gigs with us, I’m going to take some time to go on a longer tour.
Thanks to Antonio for sharing his thoughts and for creating an amazing new space for shoegaze bands to make noise – the Automatic Noise Festival! Stay tuned for more live shows and an anniversary release from Resplandor this year. In the meantime, listen to Resplandor now on Bandcamp and add them to your social feeds. Surely you’ll hear them in an upcoming episode of _____ mood. too!