Dreeamss. Dreams, dreams, dreams. Armando Zamora is the king of dreaming, indisputable and proved to the max with the release of his encapsulating EP The Reichstag Fire. So when we awoke from our music coma, we sent him the questions, he sent us the answers, and now you're reading Third Introducing Armando Zamora...
I started playing music when I was about 12. I played the clarinet and picked up the guitar about a year later. I ended going to a performing arts high school and I played guitar in the jazz band. Being surrounded by such talented musicians all the time really changed my perspective on music and widened my horizons in terms of my openness to music and my taste.
The Reichstag Fire
I wrote the song when Donald Trump was elected president. The Reichstag Fire was the event that led to Hitler's eventual fascist regime. A lot of my friends were comparing Trump to Hitler and it made me wonder what our Reichstag Fire would be. I think ultimately the song is about hope while being totally ready for everything to fall apart. I think the rest of the songs share a similar feeling of a faded hope that things will be better when they probably won't be. Making the album cover was really what made it clear to me that the album was dealing with that dichotomy.
Right now my favorite to listen to is Teaching You How To Swim. Its very different than the other songs and I feel like maybe that's a musical direction I'd be interested in exploring more. My favorite to play depends on if I'm playing alone or with my band... Alone I love playing Reichstag Fire and with the band The Answers is a blast to play.
There's something very Florida about the songs. I can't quite pinpoint it but they make sense being played at the beach. It might get drowned out by all the Pitbull and Kodak Black but I'm sure someone will be sitting close enough to hear me wonder when the world will end.
The Reichstag Fire is a late night record that helps you lose track of time. The EP could be 20 minutes long or 20 hours long for all I know. I'm still not sure. It tends to go on repeat for me. The only thing I can establish is the following; it's got flow. So, let's take a leap into the unknown here with the following comment; Zamora's music is definitely unique. Isn't everybody's? Nope. And therefore the difficulty; how to describe it to my friends down the pub?
There's two ways to go. First of all, that this is an historic moment as the world's first ever acoustic Shoegaze release. But that doesn't cut the mustard. It's not Zamora's attitude or style. Instead, I think Zamora is doing something very similar to what we've seen from Damon Albarn over the last few years. The whole record is a meandering theme, with an oppressed leitmotif running throughout, and though your spirits are never raised by the music, it enables the thinkers to think, and the dreamers to dream.
"I think the music has a very specific mood that isn't something people want to always experience but its a reflection and consequence of how it was made. It does unfortunately limit how many people will listen to it and how often they'll listen to it but I have some hope that it becomes someone's rainy day or contemplation music"
Zamora is wholeheartedly realistic about this EP release. It's not going to be for everybody. The energy remains on a drip and the theme is very one dimensional. But then that's also the point of the record. It's a picture, so to speak. And there are highlights too. Again, Zamora gets his analysis spot on; leaving the best til last, Teaching You How To Swim is the strongest contender of the record.
It's quite the dream of a song. Beautiful plucked guitar, and for the first time on the record, an upbeat swinging underpinning the guitars rhythm throughout. The lyrics also remain rather poignant to The Reichstag Fire theme. "Teaching you to swim, has been the best for me". It's where I would imagine Zamora would further explore if he was to release another short format record.