Guille Milkyway, the name behind LA CASA AZUL, is without a doubt the effervescent artist, the one who has managed to knock down the walls of commercialism, to bring bubblegum, sunshine-pop, europop, and all those styles that prowl around the most beautiful melodies and perfect arrangements, to everyone’s ears.
There is no possible comparison; his identity is singular and unmistakeable: Guille Milkyway has broken down boundaries between styles (take, for example, that “Yo también” with a rumba accent that won the Goya for best song), and over the course of LA CASA AZUL’s five studio albums there have been such solid, addictive and irresistible songs as “Superguay”, “La Revolución Sexual”, “Todas Tus Amigas” and “Cerca De Shibuya”. With the dance floor in their line of sight, but without forgetting the raw, skin-deep emotions, and the musical fantasy as their motivation, LA CASA AZUL has gone beyond the independent circuit and become the headliner in some of the most important festivals, they are number 1 on sales lists, and a household name for any music fan worth their weight in gold.
Their last album, “La Polinesia Meridional” was released at the end of 2011, was widely acclaimed, and the reaction of their fans was immediate - it was released at number 19 on sales lists, number 1 on iTunes Spain, a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and has been mentioned in the most important media.
Guille Milkyway: Composer and producer
Sunshine-pop producer Guille Milkyway found in the five members of LA CASA AZUL the perfect performers for his sunny melodies that mix the spirit of 60's A&M productions with 70's disco music and the most refreshing Europop from the 90’s. We're talking about perfectly crafted pop music, full of small details in the shape of arrangements. LA CASA AZUL have the knack to catch you from the first listen with their songs, making you play the main role in so many stories dreamt by all of us, where the main ingredients are love, happiness, friendship or even anger.
First news from the Barcelona-based band LA CASA AZUL (“The blue house”) come in the shape of a demo tape: splendid electronic pop songs, with very well formulated arrangements -quite surprising for a debut band- and very catchy choruses. Just with the broadcasting of this demo on some radio shows the band won a noticeable number of followers.
The five members of LA CASA AZUL don’t play live, they prefer the quiet atmosphere of the recording studios; it’s always their producer and songwriter, Guille Milkyway, who takes the role of introducing these superb pop hits live onstage.
The first live show takes place on August 20th, 1999, playing with other Elefant bands: ME ENVENENO DE AZULES, NIZA and VACACIONES. In November they play Zaragoza in a party hosted by Spanish fanzine La Indiferencia, with NIZA and LOS FRESONES REBELDES. The crowd attending the gig already knew by heart and sang along songs like “Cerca de Shibuya”, despite they hadn’t been released yet officially.
Another important show was their appearance in Barcelona, in a party to celebrate Elefant’s tenth anniversary. They played with LOS FRESONES REBELDES, VACACIONES and MARINE RESEARCH (ex-HEAVENLY).
On February 2000, Elefant releases a CD-Single by UK band SUPERCUTE, featuring a song -“Jamie Theakston”- remixed by LA CASA AZUL. There’s also a remix of the same song made by another Elefant band, LA MONJA ENANA.
Their most outstanding gig so far takes place in May 2000, in the awards delivery party of the radio show “Viaje a los sueños polares”. They receive three awards: best new act according to the show directors, the same according to the listeners, and best 1999 demo, chosen by the listeners as well.
The first song they ever released is the demo version of “Cerca de Shibuya”, included in an Elefant compilation given away with the November 1999 issue of Spanish magazine Rockdelux. Their debut mini-album comes out in October 2000, featuring six songs that combine Europop dancey beats with the spirit of old A&M sixties productions, so you could also define their sound as a cross between THE ARCHIES and PET SHOP BOYS.
Whilst LA CASA AZUL is working on songs for their debut album Guille Milkyway is far from inactivity: he produced bands like MIRAFIORI (Madrid) and COLAJET SET, a new band formed by Felipe (LOS FRESONES REBELDES) and Ana (LA MONJA ENANA). Guille recorded also a single under the name of MILKYWAY.
As an advance of the album release, two new songs are included on the Elefant compilation “Modapop”: “Jamás te he olvidado” and “En noches como la de hoy”. They play two Elefant nights to promote the comp, in Madrid and Barcelona, along with CAMERA OBSCURA, NIZA, ENTRE RÍOS, NIZA and LES TRÈS BIEN ENSEMBLE. LA CASA AZUL play in front of a massive dancing audience which surrenders to their arsenal of pop hits.
Finally, in December arrives the long-awaited long player by LA CASA AZUL, “Tan simple como el amor”, almost at the same time they take part in the tribute to FAMILY album, covering “Viaje a los sueños polares”.
The album receives great reviews, among them a very good one in MOJO magazine (UK), from the April 2005 issue.
LA CASA AZUL start the year playing the parties celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Flor de pasión” radio show (Radio 3), directed by DJ Juan de pablos, great admiror and fan of the band since its first steps.
They play the fifth and last edition of the “Es pop mamá” festival (on February 14th) in Barcelona, as well as the Soft Pop Tour festival in La Coruña (on March 5th); during these two shows, and from now on, Guille Milkyway is helped live with the backing vocals and cute choreographies by two members of the all-girl band LAS DONETES.
On March 27th they play to a raving audience at the Otros Mundos Pop festival in León.
The five members from LA CASA AZUL make their first TV appearance: they play “Música uno” and “Zona Disney”, both on TVE, lip-syncing “Superguay”, the first single taken from the album. In “Zona Disney” they get a feature and an interview as well as the performance.
During the month of June, the band and their producer travel back to Madrid to shoot the footage for the videoclips of “Como un fan” and “El sol no brillará nunca más”. Both clips are directed by Domingo González.
In the summer that year they play at Contempopranea festival (Badajoz), in Gijón and also the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), playing in this last space one of the most memorable concerts done by the band to this date, with a crazed audience from the very first song. During these shows the crowd could watch the visuals specially prepared by Domingo González to go with the band’s live performances.
The new theme song for TV show ZONA DISNEY (TVE/ DISNEY CHANNEL) is written by Guille Milkyway. Since there is pop music, the kids have been listening to great pop tunes/toons, from THE MONKEES to SUPERGRASS. “Vente a Zona Disney”, which is also the theme song for the show in Portugal (with its own version in Portuguese), is performed in its TV version by Yanira, Natalia, Jimmy, Sergio and Gonzalo, the five teenage hosts of this popular show, but will soon be covered too by another bunch of happy and joyful teenagers: LA CASA AZUL.
By the end of the year they incloude a song on the soundtrack of a Spanish comedy entitled “El asombroso mundo de Borjamari y Pocholo”, featuring a cast including Santiago Segura and Willy Toledo, two of the most famous current Spanish comedians.
The movie is about two posh kids from the 80’s who don’t want (or don’t know how) to grow up, and so the soundtrack features a selection of the main pop hits in the Spanish 80’s, the years internationally known as the “movida” in Madrid. Besides from that, the soundtrack includes a few more songs composed for the occasion by musician Miguel Malla (MASTRETTA), and a guest slot by LA CASA AZUL with the song “Chicle cosmos”, taken from their debut mini-album, “El sonido efervescente de La Casa Azul”.
On February 4th, the band hosts the official first ever public broadcast of their new videoclip, “Como un fan”, at the Ocho y Medio Club in Madrid.
“Como un fan” (“Like a fan”) is nothing but a clear statement coming from a band like LA CASA AZUL, deeply fascinated by pop culture in its most colourful shapes.
The video, shot during the previous summer, starts introducing the five members of the band, one by one, and then we meet them in different day-to-day situations: playing sports (skating, at the swimming pool, playing tennis); at home (having breakfast, reading, listening to music); in highschool. Afterwards, we see them perform at an imaginary TV show (Canal HI-FI), surrounded by many crazed fans, mad about their songs, who dance over circular platforms as seen so many times in the footage from the 60's. The tribute to the aesthetics of pop's golden age is complete with the wink to the BEATLES’ “A hard day's night”, with the
band being chased around the city by their fanatic followers.
In July, Guille Milkyway flies to Japan in order to take part in the Elefant parties that are being organized there as a part of ExpoAichi 2005. LA CASA AZUL plays along with NIZA (who have reformed for the occasion) and DJ Polar in the two Elefant parties at club Cay (at Spiral Hall in Tokyo's Shibuya district), on July 23rd and 24th. The feedback from the Japanese fans is amazing, and hundreds of people dance like crazy to the music played by LA CASA AZUL.
Before these successful concerts, on July the 17th and 22nd, Guille spins some records along with DJ Polar in two other Elefant parties (one of them organized with the help of the Apple Crumble store), which are held at the clubs CHU! and Aoi Heya in Shibuya.
In the Fall of 2005, David, Sergio, Clara, Virginia and Oscar are the stars in a new sparkling pop story, once again directed by Domingo González. On the video of the song “El sol no brillará nunca más” we can see the five band members playing in a TV set, and this footage mixes with other images showing a love story at a party. The surroundings (the TV set, the house where they throw their party) is the dream of a pop music lover, and the images are like brightly coloured fireworks. A new visual tribute to the best pop music of all time.
In October comes out "Como un fan", a new EP consisting of two new pop gems in technicolour (“Viva (un poco más) el amor” and “Debería plantearme cambiar” ), plus the title song, taken from the album ("Como un fan") and a wonderful cover version of an original track by Spanish cult pop band FAMILY, plus the videoclips of "Superguay" and "Como un fan", two teenage pop explosions directed by Domingo González.
“Como un fan” climbs directly up to number 10 on the top singles list in Spain on the week going from october 24th to the 30th, 2005. The public have received with joy the release of this new single, which on its first week on sale features among the most asked for along with such bands as DEPECHE MODE or FRANZ FERDINAND (and many others we don’t dare to even mention). The single stays amont the top selling records for four weeks in a row.
"Como un fan" ranks among the best singles of 2005 according to influential Spanish magazine Rockdelux, and so does the videoclip of the title song according to the same polls.
Whilst their fans wait impatiently for a new album, the band offers an array of new live performances in Spain, where they haven't played since 2004. With these shows, both the band and producer Guille Milkyway give a perfect ending to the excellent results of the debut album. In these shows, Guille plays all the hits, and also more intimate songs on the piano. The first shows in Zaragoza and Valladolid have a big success, and tickets for the date in Madrid are sold out since weeks before. Hundreds of raving fans singalong to every song and enjoy the live versions sung by Guille.
In March comes out "Villa Flir", the new, Guille Milkyway-produced album by legendary Spanish pop chanteuse KIKI D'AKÍ.
On the compilation "We heart rock" (Sonic Art Union), featuring all the recordings released by John William Davies under the names TEEN ANTHEMS, STEPS PISTOLS or SUPERCUTE (he released a CD-single on Elefant Records under this moniker), is included the remix of the song "Jamie Theakston" by LA CASA AZUL.
On May 3rd comes out the reissue their debut album, with renewed sound (mastered by Xavier Alarcón), new artwork and many extra tracks. The original album featured eight songs, and the featured tracks on this reissue will rise to twenty-one. Besides the eight original songs, this reissue includes the band’s first three demos: the first one, “Te invito a mi fiesta” (recorded between 1998 and 1999), which features the first version of their classic tune “Cerca de Shibuya” and several previously unreleased songs; the second one, “Canciones ligeras” (1999), which features Jeanette’s version “Si no voy a esperar” among others; and the third one, “Galletas” (1999). Besides of this, the album features three bonus tracks: the cover version of the 80’s hit by MECANO “Quiero vivir en la ciudad”; the revised version of their classic song “Chicle Cosmos” (revised in 2005 to be used in the soundtrack of the movie “Borjamari y Pocholo”); and the song “Tantas cosas que arreglar” (initially released in our compilation “Momentos perdidos”).
For the new cover we used the beautiful illustrations drawn by Duprez, who perfectly captured the unique mood and universe of the band, and their philosophy of eternal fun and happy pop scapism.
Korean label Happy Robot Records, which had already released "Tan simple como el amor", releases the reissue in Korea in May. This new Korean release comes along with three live shows by CORAZÓN and LA CASA AZUL in Korean land, between May 14th and 18th.
To begin with, both bands play on May 14th at the Naini Island Festival, a free entrance open air festival that goes on during two months in an amphitheatre in Naini Island.
The next show takes place on May 16th as a part of the Latin Music Festival, coorganized by the Spanish Embassy in Seoul and the Spanish Department at the University of Korea: a benefit show for orphan children and teenagers. LA CASA AZUL and CORAZÓN are the special guests at this festival held at Inchon Memorial Hall, a thousand people capacity pavilion in Koryo (University of Korea). On this festival, hosted by two renown TV presenters from public broadcasting channel KBS, and recorded and broadcasted by nationwide public channels KBS and EBS, there are different contests (there's even a prize given by the Real Madrid Foundation!), concerts by Korean bands and, finally, the guest star shows by CORAZÓN and LA CASA AZUL.
The last show is a new free entrance show by both bands on May 18th, at the University of Yonsei Auditorium.
Just back from Korea we receive fresh news that show how popular LA CASA AZUL is down there: cosmetics brand DHC Korea chose the song "Galletas" to be featured on a tv ad. You can see it by clicking on the following link.
Once back in Spain, the new shows keep growing more and more successful: on June 24th they fill up the Apolo club in Barcelona, on the 29th they play with LADYTRON at the Contemporary Arts Museum in León, and on the 30th they are chosen to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Ocho y Medio club in Madrid.
In July, LA CASA AZUL includes the song "Prefiero bailar" (taken from the album "Tan simple como el amor") in the "Peachy little secrets" compilation, released by new label from Singapore Fruit Records.
The compilation features fourteen Asian pop bands (among them MY LITTLE AIRPORT from Hong-Kong, the new signing on Elefant Records), as well as six international bands where, as well as LA CASA AZUL, we find Australian band THE LUCKSMITHS or American band MY FAVORITE.
On July 29th LA CASA AZUL play Contempopranea festival in Alburquerque (Badajoz) and in September they play the Lemon Pop festival in Murcia, in a concert that is broadcasted live through Radio 3. These two festival shows are the last ones this season, since Guille is already busy in his studio, recording the tracks for the new album by LA CASA AZUL, due to be released in 2007.
At the end of 2006, Spanish video production company Malvalanda released a double-DVD featuring the work of 18 Spanish filmmakers who work in the videoclip field. The title of this compilation, which apart from the videoclips includes interviews and comments with the directors, is "Eclectia". As you can tell from the name itself, the list of artists featured is quite eclectic, going from ASTRUD to the commercial latin-pop of Bisbal or the rockist ways of Andrés Calamaro. But we are of course especially interested in the interviews and comments with two of the directors that work regularly with Elefant Records: Gabe Ibáñez (with "Canción de todo va mal" by LE MANS) and Domingo González.
Also by the end of the year LA CASA AZUL include a cover version of the song by (with "Como un fan" by LA CASA AZUL). José Feliciano "Feliz Navidad" on the Christmas compilation "Cuentos de Navidad", fourth volume of the series "Teoría y práctica melódica" released yearly by Spanish label Jabalina, where they appear along other Elefant artists as CORAZÓN, MIRAFIORI or LA MONJA ENANA.