Gigstarter team decided to engage in a delightful conversation with Rod Karcher, the lead guitarist of The Zlyppers. This band has captivated audiences throughout Spain, fueled by a genuine passion and talent. Rod understands the profound ability of music to forge connections and deliver heartfelt performances. In this exclusive interview, Rod takes us on his musical journey, reveals his inspirations, and shares his aspirations as a musician.
What inspired you to become a guitarist?
In my case, it's very strange because since I was 3 years old, the guy who took me on the school bus had a band, and I grew up listening to a lot of songs on our way to school. I was exposed to great artists like the Rolling Stones and all the good stuff. At home, we also listened to a lot of music, and when I was 8 years old, I started playing. I chose the guitar because it was the instrument taught at school.
The Zlyppers was formed in a jam session in Alicante, how did the idea of forming a band come up, was it easy?
It was easy because we already knew what we were going for. We picked any name, and if it worked, that was it. The musicians that composed the band had been working together for 8 years before we officially formed The Zlyppers
How has it been traveling around Spain and playing in different places during the last 6 years?
It has been very nice. We've traveled to places like Soria, La Rioja, Montoñedo, and countless others. The concerts, to be honest, are the least of it. What truly matters are the people, the experiences, and the connections we make along the way.
You also mentioned that José Luis Giera Tejuelo, a former Paralympic athlete, is the singer of The Zlyppers. How did that come about?
We had people in common who introduced us. There was a year when we had 40 concerts, and I reached the end of the year wanting to quit music because it was too hard. But we couldn't continue like that, and that's when we decided to expand the band. 'To play with us, you have to be a good person before being a good musician.' Jose Luis had remarkable abilities, and he joined the group. He is blind, and it took him a lot to make the 'blind' disappear from the stage. But in the end, he did it, and now it has been two years. People don't realize it; they applaud the artist. This is a great achievement both for him and for what the band represents. It's not a forced inclusion.
Tell us about your handmade guitar. What special features does it have, and how does it influence your sound and musical style?
It's a crazy guitar. One day, while talking to Mike Peterson, the CEO of MAP Guitars, he lent it to me. When you play it, your right arm starts to rest, making it very comfortable for long gigs or back-to-back performances. You can play the guitar in a thousand ways, and I love that versatility.
What are your long-term goals and aspirations as a musician? Is there a particular venue or event where you dream of playing in the future?
At home, 100% at home. I've been playing for 15 years more or less every weekend, it would make me very happy to be able to record at home for people who want to listen to it. I would also dream to have a music company that works at weddings.
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As an artist, what challenges have you faced in the Spanish music industry and how have you overcome them?
The Spanish music industry is impossible, you see it from afar. I don't dream about the music industry, I don't want to get into it and I don't wish it on anyone.
Soon you will release your song "Fácil" with The Zlyppers, what can you tell us about this song? What is the message or the story behind it?
José Luis Giera is a great lyricist and the song starts with "there's a monster in my room inside the closet" and talks about how when we go to bed and all those frustrations appear that don't let us sleep. Nowadays our generation doesn't have it very easy, we are people who know that we are going to work 12 hours, know more than 3 languages and still you don't stand out. The refrain says: "don't make it easy for me", we are used to fight and if things don't come easy for us we can face them.
Besides "Fácil", do you plan to release more singles or albums in the near future? Can you tell us something about your next musical project?
Yes, we have several songs. We have released "rock total", "fácil", "dios salve al amor", there are little things out there that we will be releasing. We just need to record Jose Luis' voice.
When did you join Gigstarter and what were the reasons?
I'm going to tell you the truth, I wanted to get out of the circuit of the same bars where you play. Gigstarter has motivated us to have good videos, convincing audios and great photos. I think I had 35€ left in my pocket and I invested them in Gigstarter. As soon as we started we got a gig in Galicia for 2000€, and from there everything went smoothly, in a way that I could never have imagined and all this brought more photos, videos and more products so that whoever is going to invest in us has less risk, so we show that the risk is minimal because we prove that we are really good. I think Gigstarter is the best platform that exists in the market, the person who enters gigstarter knows what he wants. Gigstarter for me is amazing, there is nothing like gigstarter. We have invested in other platforms that promised a lot but have not given us what Gigstarter has given us.
What was the most memorable gig you had with our platform?
The first one we had, in Galicia, in a city council event. The truth is that we didn't do very well, but the people enjoyed it a lot. It was a very good friendship that lasts even today. In the end that's what counts, 3 years have passed, and we still remember each other. I would come back just to do it really well, the sound failed a little, although people did not realize it but we as artists on stage did and the best concert is not the one you give but the level at which the public is, they love the music. We had an incredible time. We travel from Alicante to Galicia in our van where the whole team fits, we can afford to make this kind of trip.
There is something I would like to add and that is that in the future we would love to expand our performances to Europe, we will try to do it because right now we have all the means to do it. Although before that we want to become even more professional, we believe that the next step is to take a leap and become PRO+ on Gigstarter, we are very good at it and people like it.
We at Gigstarter would like to thank Rod for opening up about his musical journey and sharing insights of being the lead gitarinst of such an amazing band like The Zlyppers. We are happy to know that our platform is home to such wonderful creators as Rod Karcher. Make sure to take a look at The Zlyppers's profile by clicking here.
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