Siderland: ‘At night, anything is possible’

Last month, our very own Joe B had the pleasure of chatting to indie pop trio Siderland, who will be performing the first ever fully Catalan-language song at Benidorm Fest, “Que esclati tot” (Let Everything Explode), in the second semi-final on Thursday 2nd February.

The group talked about, among other things, their timid first meetings, the interesting etymological meaning behind the band name, and one band member’s strange love from Eurovision 2002, as well as the inspiration for their song and Benidorm Fest itself.

The following interview was written by band member Albert Sort, and was translated from Spanish into English.

Thank you so much for chatting to us, guys! Before we start, could I ask who each of you is, and where you’re all from?

Siderland is made up of Uri Plana (31), Albert Sort (30) and Andreu Manyós (29). We’re from Barcelona.

When did you first meet, and how did Siderland come to be?

Uri and I (Albert) went to school together. Andreu and I met through a friend when we were 16 years old, because we both wanted to form a punk pop band. It was as if it were a first date: Andreu wore a plaid ska hat so I’d recognise him, and I wore a red tie. After a while, Vic Mirallas joined the group, and finally Uri. We experimented for a few years with rock until 2015, when we started to turn towards more pop and EDM sounds in Catalan. It wasn’t until 2018 that Siderland began as a project, with the release of our first single.

On your website, you mention that ‘Siderland’ means ‘Land of the Stars’. Where did the name come from?

There are two explanations: the ‘cheesy’ and the ‘pedantic’. The ‘cheesy’ reason is that we wanted a name that couldn’t be attached to any language in particular, but that contained a reference to the word ‘desear’ (‘to desire’), which is ‘desiderar’ in Italian. Playing around with the word produced ‘sider’, and then we added ‘land’: ‘Siderland’. The ‘pedantic’ reason is that ‘sidus’ or ‘sideris’ means ‘constellation’ in Latin, and ‘desiderare’, which means ‘to long for’ or ‘to miss’, takes its root from this word. Literally, it’s about the loss of stars. So, based on that, ‘Siderland’ would mean ‘Land of the Stars’.

You describe your music style as “Pop Nocturn”. Could you explain what this means for you? And who are your biggest inspirations in music?

We make pop, dance pop, party anthems and pop inspired by English-speaking songs you hear on the radio. We like to add EDM touches to them because we’re fans of DJs from the 2000s. The ‘Nocturn’ reference is there because our songs always mention night time or are framed around the night. To us, night time is a space where anything is possible, of promises and mystery, in contrast to daytime when everything is clear and visible. At night, anything is possible, for better or worse.

Now, I read something recently that said you guys have day jobs outside of music. Is this true?

Well, Uri is the only one who is a full-time musician. He’s a producer, so he’s in charge of putting together Siderland’s music. Andreu is a psychologist and has his own consultancy in Barcelona. And I (Albert) am a journalist, working for a radio station.

You’re going to be the first ever act at Benidorm Fest to sing a song completely in Catalan. What is the significance of showcasing this language through your songs?

For us, it wouldn’t make sense participating in any other language than Catalan because it’s our language and all our songs are in Catalan. It gives us a sense of pride but also a very big responsibility at the same time, because a fully Catalan song has never been seen in any RTVE preselection to represent Spain in Eurovision before. We want for the people of Catalonia, and outside of Catalonia, to have the sensation that they’ve seen a good show, regardless of the language. Hopefully we’ll raise the bar high enough that other Catalan groups follow in our footsteps.

Whose idea was it to apply for Benidorm Fest, and how long have you worked on the song?

It was actually the Eurofans who pushed us to enter. For months before the first Benidorm Fest they encouraged us to submit a song, and in the end we did, but only by chance, because we’d just released an album and had a song that fit really well. Upon finding out, just after the festival, that we’d been pipped at the post to compete because we were selected as a stand-in, we were absolutely gutted. For that reason, the following year we decided to try again, this time by composing a song created especially for Benidorm Fest. We started work on it in June and all three of us agreed on it very quickly, which doesn’t normally happen, and then in autumn, not long before the submissions deadline, Roger Argemí, a friend and frequent co-writer, helped us with a few of the melodies. So, while the idea for the song was almost completely decided upon in the summer, we were still rushing up to deadline day before submitting.

The title of the song is “Que esclati tot” (Let Everything Explode). Can we expect some explosions on stage? How are rehearsals and staging plans going?

Well, it would be absurd to bring the title “Que esclati tot” and have nothing explode! There will be explosions, one way or another. We’ve spent many weeks working on the staging. We’re really excited to arrive at the arena and put it all together. We’re working with a fantastic artistic and technical team, people with loads of experience in this type of show, and we’d like to take a few risks, we’re not going to give you a stereotypical ‘boyband’ image, there will be a lot of things happening.

Have you met any of your fellow competitors yet? And who, in your opinion, will be your biggest rivals?

Our semi-final is really level-pegging. Without a doubt, you can count on Vicco to reach the final and compete for the win because her song is a TUNE. And the rest are at such a high level, we wouldn’t dare predict who’ll qualify and who won’t. Everyone has options.

So, moving on to Eurovision, what’s your relationship with the Contest like? What are some of your favourite memories from the past?

We’ve always been avid viewers, although I (Albert) am the biggest fan. My first memory of Eurovision is Dana International in 1998, although the first Contest I remember watching and learning the songs for was 2002, with Rosa López and “Europe’s Living a Celebration”, and others like the Greek song “S.A.G.A.P.O.”! The best things I’ve seen at Eurovision are probably the opening of the 2011 Contest and we also have a special place in our heart for Marta Roure, who represented Andorra in 2004, the first time an artist sang in Catalan at the Contest.

Looking to the future, this year, Eurovision will be in Liverpool, one of the birthplaces of Britpop. Have you ever been to the UK in the past, and are you conscious of the music scene in the country?

We’ve been to the UK but never Liverpool. Of course, the Beatles are an idol, we love their music, we have their LPs and they’re amazing composers. The UK is one of the biggest producers of artists we love, from the most indie scenes to the more popular artists like Dua Lipa, Sigala, Clean Bandit etc.

Spain has a massive expectation this year at Eurovision after the exploits of Chanel in Turin. For you guys, what would it mean to represent Spain at Eurovision?

For us, getting to Eurovision would be utterly crazy. However, first we have to concentrate on Benidorm Fest, and be conscious that our objective is to produce the best show possible because we’ve spent so many weeks working for this, then we’ll see about the result. The bar is high.

Thank you so much for your time, Siderland. What would you like to say to your fans and the thousands of people who’ll discover Siderland through Benidorm Fest?

That it’s an honour being able to be a part of this adventure, we hope you like what we perform for you on-stage at Benidorm Fest, and that once all this is over, you won’t forget about us!

Give a listen to Siderland’s song “Que esclati tot” right here:

Let us know who YOUR favorites are in this year’s Benidorm Fest by voting for them in our polls below:

[democracy id=”163″]

[democracy id=”164″]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Support ESCBubble!

Like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter, to get all the Eurovision news as they happen!