Pens Eye View Featured Artist

BlueDolphins1The story behind the chance meeting of fellow musicians Alfonso Rodenas and Victoria Scott (better known as The Blue Dolphins) is a good one, finding each other in classic nostalgia at a club on Sunset Boulevard. Rodenas, a two time Grammy award winner originally from a small village in Spain, and Scott, sharing a hometown with the palace of Henry VIII, somehow found love in Los Angeles, and with their discovery a collision of unique and proud experiences, both musical and otherwise. It's given birth to a sound the couple describes as "a rich and complex mixture of roots, eclectic and singer songwriter pop/rock." The two have been quite busy together, creating records such as their debut full length My Favorite Word is Today and the 2013 EP, In Between. Today however, we're here to discuss The Blue Dolphins' latest works, including the new EP, Walking in the Sun.

The story behind the chance meeting of fellow musicians Alfonso Rodenas and Victoria Scott (better known as The Blue Dolphins) is a good one, finding each other in classic nostalgia at a club on Sunset Boulevard. Rodenas, a two time Grammy award winner originally from a small village in Spain, and Scott, sharing a hometown with the palace of Henry VIII, somehow found love in Los Angeles, and with their discovery a collision of unique and proud experiences, both musical and otherwise. It's given birth to a sound the couple describes as "a rich and complex mixture of roots, eclectic and singer songwriter pop/rock." The two have been quite busy together, creating records such as their debut full length My Favorite Word is Today and the 2013 EP, In Between. Today however, we're here to discuss The Blue Dolphins' latest works, including the new EP, Walking in the Sun.

Victoria told us more on what we should expect from the album – she said, "It's bright (even the bummer songs), melodic and emotion driven, hopeful and tender. Writing process – some songs were picked out of scraps of ideas from the last couple of years, others were written on the spot. Sometimes I'll come up with a lyric and a rough melody then I'll take it to Alfonso and he'll take it further along. Other times Alfonso will write a track and then we work on the lyrics together, or alone. We edit each other; it all depends on what the song dictates. Not having a label, we were working to beat ourselves. That is, do our very best for ourselves."

You should click to http://thebluedolphins.net to get into Walking in the Sun and prepare for a new record due out this fall titled Come On! Check their schedule too – this band will be bounding around the world, from the U.S. to Europe to Asia. But first, keep reading! There's still so much more to learn in all the answers to the XXQs below.


XXQs: The Blue Dolphins

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Alfonso Rodenas (AR): Our sound is a rich and complex mixture of roots, eclectic and singer songwriter pop/rock. We both have tons of influences from the last 40 years of music history. We'd like to think there is a timeless quality to our music and that it is far away from 'calculated authenticity' with a very powerful, clean and brilliant sonic aesthetic.

PEV: Although calling Los Angeles home now, what kind of music were you all into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

VBlueDolphins5ictoria Scott (VS): My Dad had an amazing record collection including; Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley and Little Richard to name a few (my sister and I ruined those records). As a teen I got into Prince, Soft Cell and Carole King. Later Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Astrid Gilberto, Acid Jazz. Classic Rock was the last The Doors, Bob Dylan and Janis. I don't remember my first concert honestly but I remember being at a concert at a pub called the Grey Horse in Kingston, seeing a band playing there, being mesmerized and thinking 'This is it!' That inspired me to become a live singer, feeling that energy and freedom.

AR: I grew up listening to the great music of the late sixties, early seventies. The American and British bands and soloists who paved the way for the following generations of musicians, with their amazing, inventive and vibrant musical aesthetics. Later on I listened to everything that was out there, but I think those classic albums were the foundation of my music. My first concert was 'Tequila' the most brilliant Rock and Roll band in Spain back in the Seventies, they were like the Rolling Stones. I saw them and I knew automatically I wanted to be a Rock & Roller.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in LA, when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

VS: There is a very cool, kind, brilliant and supportive community of songwriters and artists in Los Angeles and we stick together. There are also some amazing music industry professionals that we get to work and hang out with. You kind of start as a small plant here and become a big tree. Then there's the cauldron that is Hollywood, wherethere are jaws in which you can be eaten – there are a lot of mercenaries in Hollywood. It's the toughest place you'll ever play as an unknown. Once you've gone through that, playing anywhere else is an absolute pleasure and you feel ready, trained...

PEV: What can fans expect from a live The Blue Dolphins show?

AR: Positive vibrations and loving energy, a happy attitude and a bonding human and musical experience. Great sounding songs that come straight from our hearts and an amazing band that joins us on stage.

VS: A very good time!

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

AR: Having the best time ever and inspiring our audience to enjoy the same.

VS: Feeling the zone and staying there.

PEV: How has playing in The Blue Dolphins been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?

AR: The main difference is that we are a couple and the band is nurtured out of that special relationship; it is the source of everything in the band. We make songs together at home, we rehearse at home, we plan everything together and dream together and the band is part of our relationship.

VS: More synergy, more joy, also more challenge because it's so personal. We are in constant 'grow' mode.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?

AR: We're now in our forties and at this point in our lives we are full of experiences of all types that we hope that anyone can relate to. We don't need anybody else's life to write about, these are universal themes. We have fallen and risen and learnt many lessons, that when we were young were only in songs or books or movies. We are very happy to have arrived here with this amazing and beautiful baggage of life experience.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you've arrived where you are today?

AR: Yes we think about it often. It's like a dream come true; we used to dream about the things we have now. Back then we wouldn't have believed it if someone had told us what was going to happen in the future. It has been tough at times but faith overcomes everything and we try to make our lives an example of, 'You get what you want, if you believe in it", no matter where you are coming from or how many barriers you had to jump.

VS: I saw a video of myself strumming on a guitar in a coffee shop yesterday by chance and I thought 'Crikey, we've done a lot in the last three years'. It's been a big spiritual ride; I wouldn't have done it any other way.

PEV: What's one thing we'd be surprised to hear about the members of the Blue Dolphins?

AR: We met in a rock club in Sunset Blvd. We are a couple; Vic is from the same UK town as Henry VIII's palace, Hampton Court. I am from a little, little village in the middle of nowhere in Spain and I have two Grammys working with other bands. We hike every morning. I don't know – there are many things...

BlueDolphins4PEV: What can fans expect from your latest project, an EP entitledWalking in the Sun, the follow-up to your 2012 debut full-length, My Favorite Word is Todayand 2013's In BetweenEP? Tell us about the writing process behind this work.

VS: It's bright (even the bummer songs), melodic and emotion driven, hopeful and tender. Writing process – some songs were picked out of scraps of ideas from the last couple of years, others were written on the spot. Sometimes I'll come up with a lyric and a rough melody then I'll take it to Alfonso and he'll take it further along. Other times Alfonso will write a track and then we work on the lyrics together, or alone. We edit each other; it all depends on what the song dictates. Not having a label, we were working to beat ourselves. That is, do our very best for ourselves. We may have been tougher on ourselves than a regular label (laughing).

AR: Walking in the Sun is a very uplifting and energetic production, full of enthusiasm and positive energy. It was a monumental exchange of energy between us; it is like our creature, our baby, fruit of pure love and devotion.

PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song or album is complete and you can sit back and listen to it in full?

VS: "Great, now we're ready to start writing an album."

AR: It is very rewarding and you feel happy and totally exhausted by the effort. I am a perfectionist and never happy with my endeavors, always thinking about changing things till the very last second and this doesn't allow me to enjoy that much. I am most happy while creating, but as an artist you have to reach an agreement with yourself and decide when to stop the infinite polishing of your art. I would love to be rougher, but no, I am not.

PEV: What would you say is the biggest challenge for musicians trying to make a name for themselves?

AR: The biggest challenge is to realize that this society is filled with the biggest artistic output in human history. We are getting to this amazing point where everybody is a creator, an artist of their own, where new technologies help to create and propagate that art. I don't think it's about trying to make a name for yourself or anything, it is mathematically impossible for all the amazing art to be seen. So I think it's best to enjoy the process of creation and follow your bliss.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

AR: We'd love to play South America and the Far East, Vietnam and places like that; we are working on a possible tour there right now.

VS: For me, the whole world. I think traveling is the best thing that anyone can do. I'd like to see all of the continents of the world before I die.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What's it like when you get to play in your hometown?

VS: Our friends and family are incredibly supportive of us; they cheer us on all along the way. We are their band! I try really hard to keep singing and not cry when we play one of our home towns. Casas Ibanez in Spain, Alfonso's village, will probably always be where we start our tours and it will usually be the best concert of the tour.

AR: It's amazing to return home, like Joseph Campbell's Heroes' Journey, especially because we've spent long periods of time away. Everybody wants to see us and stay with us and interact with us. We live very far away from our hometowns. Everybody loves what's going on with us especially our parents and close friends who know how much we have fought to be here.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

AR: Writing, reading, hiking, taking pictures, meditating, cooking, seeking the truth through the Internet.

VS: I don't have much spare time but spare time is my favorite luxury. I like getting up late, reading novels, lying about, seeing friends, sitting in the garden under our big oak tree. Walking on the beach.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

VS: Well this is difficult, because I'd like to do a few but the first artist that comes to my mind is Nina Simone. Her strength as a black woman, as an artist in that time. Her stature as a musician was amazing; the depth from which she sang makes her my Number 1 vocal hero. If I had the honor of recording a duet with her, I would learn all about that and become a better vocalist.

AR: Don't have just any one, maybe anyone of our music heroes. I don't think about it...all of them.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

AR: The Blue Dolphins, that is for sure.

VS: There is a lot of good ones – Us! My other personal favorites are artists from London and LA; Killing Cassanova, Sugar in the Gourd, Blondfire, Ayala, Giorgi & Leo and Raining Jane.

PEV: If playing music wasn't your life (or life's goal), what do you think each of you would doing for a career?

VS: I'd be a novelist.

AR: Writer, photographer.

PEV: So, what is next for The Blue Dolphins?

AR: We are going to release our new album Come On in September which this EPWalking in the Sun, is an integral part of. We are going to be gigging here in the US and in Europe this summer, possibly in Asia also.

VS: We've also started writing and collecting new songs for album number three. More music, more adventure.

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