Los Angeles-based collective Salt Petal is invigorating audiences and critics alike with a tropical surf-dance sound in a category all its own. A cross-border combination of Argentinian folk, Brazilian tropicalia, cumbia and up tempo surf rock blurs ethnic and musical boundaries, bringing to mind Blondie, Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, and 60′s rock and roll. The band’s sound is one of the freshest to come out of Los Angeles, showcasing deep South American rhythms with vibrant indie pop harmonies and textures.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Salt Petal about influences, their new project, the digital music world and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
We’re based in Los Angeles, CA, but our members are from San Francsico, CA; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sapporo, Japan; and São Paulo, Brazil.
We are influenced by the tropicalia movement of the 60s and 70s because it pulled together rock, psychedelia and traditional South American rhythms. We love the raw, exciting sounds that rock can have and the dancey, hypnotic melodies and rhythms of South America.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
We are always playing and listening to music soo it’s a natural extension of what how we live. We try to always come back to what’s naturally fun about being musicians when we get bogged down by the business side.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Each release relates to the time period when we wrote the songs and contains a variety of different emotions. They’re kind of like soundtracks of moments in time for us. This one has some longing, defiance, and musings about the wild sides of love.
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
Yes, there are lots of challenges, but we also don’t really know what it was like before digital music except for stories about wild profits from record sales. It seems easier to get a little attention but harder to get big, massive audiences these days because there’s a glut of music and people don’t have one specific place to look for it. Lots of tiny streams instead of the big river that radio or MTV or record stores used to be.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
Anything else before we sign off?
Thanks for taking the time to ask us questions! We’ll be touring a bit in June and July, hope to catch you at a live show. Our favorite part of being musicians is playing live. See you soon.