The Obelisk Questionnaire: Berto Cáceres of Spinda Records

Berto Cáceres of Spinda Records

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Berto Cáceres of Spinda Records

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I basically make people aware of the music that other people do – as simple as that! Sometimes by releasing an EP or an album and trying to get them in as many shops as possible; sometimes by booking gigs; sometimes by knocking on media’s doors and being a pain in the ass asking them to review such and such, to interview this or that band; but always being very persistent – that’s the key!

Spinda Records started ‘cause of two reasons: I used to have a 9-5 day job in a marketing department in a completely different industry, but then I became a father of two and my priorities drastically changed, so I wanted something that I could do at home and see my little ones more than usual. Music had always been something very important in my life, so I felt the need of give it back something in return. And running a DIY label from my basement seemed like a good idea as I could be helping local bands to put out their music whilst being at home and see how my two girls were growing.

Describe your first musical memory.

Well, music was always there, since I was very little. I perfectly remember my mum singing Tom Jones and Nino Bravo (a Spanish singer from the 70s) or me joining her while singing the soundtrack of the film ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’. Then there was my older brother who used to lock himself in the loo with the acoustic guitar to play 80s Spanish pop music. I never understood at the time why he had to do that, but it is obvious that he was trying to get some natural reverb.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

This is pretty much impossible as there are so many. I will mention just a few…

The Summer of 96 when my life changed forever thanks to the older brothers of my friends, who shared with us dozens of mix tapes with many bands from the Seattle scene, britpop, German power metal, California punk rock and melodic hardcore, Spanish ’90s rock and hip-hop. My friends and I spent the whole Summer in my dad’s garage listening to those cassettes on the boombox, learning the lyrics and taking the decision of growing our hair as our new idols.

Then it was a mind-blowing experience when in 2007 I had the chance to see Héroes del Silencio live in a venue for an audience of 75k people. They were my favourite band by that time, they split up in ’96 and they were back 11 years later for just a bunch of gigs in different countries. I cried a lot that night.

Another good one took place in January 2018, when I got in my hands the second reference of Spinda Records, although the first one to arrive. It was ‘Slowgod II’ by Spanish stoner-doom band Grajo. The feeling was like ten times better than when I was going to my local retail shop to buy records.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

About a decade ago, when I realised that friends won’t be there forever. They come and go, as I do too. The key thing is to try to get the most out of those moments that friendship brings to your life. It’s simply about enjoying the moment. If it last, it’s amazing, but don’t get disappointed if it doesn’t.

How do you define success?

It depends on the context, but regarding running the label, I would say that success happens when you take a band, there is a great relationship with their members, establish some goals and work hard together to reach them. Then if you manage to finish the month with good numbers it’s even better, ‘cause that means that you can continue another month doing what you love.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

When I was attending to a very famous festival in Spain and an aerial dancer fell to his death. I was there, about 10 meters away from him, and the situation was difficult; one of those moments you never forget.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

This is about dreaming, right? I’d love to start a Music Center in my hometown, including a record shop, some rehearsal rooms, an analog recording studio, a small live music venue, and some space for me to keep running Spinda Records and having my own vinyl pressing plant. I live in a corner of Spain where nothing of this exists so it would be awesome. Anyone interested?

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Art is about expressing yourself with your own language, and feeling.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

To keep road-trippin’ the world with my family. That would mean that we’ll get to know many different cultures and their people, living experiences together and having lot of time to speak to each-other on the road – and life is all about having quality time with your loved ones, no matter if it’s on the road, in a gig, when playing table games or while walking down the street on your way to the supermarket.

Héroes del Silencio, Tesoro, El Último Silencio (2007)

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