A few months ago, a new musical group was formed in southern Spain. The band includes members from two of the best known acts in Andalusian progressive rock history, Cai and Iman. The musicians adopted a name that signifies the fusion of their ideas, Caemán. Progressive Rock Central had the opportunity to interview drummer Diego Fopiani Macias, one of the founders of Cai and co-founder of Caemán.
¿When and how did Caemán come to fruition?
It was an idea of our friend Paco Barroso, the person who conceived the return of Iman and Cai to the stage. Both bands played at various concerts in the area, including Festival MUA in Jerez, Festival del Lago Borno, Teatro J. Maria Peman in Cadiz.
Has the band made its live debut yet?
¿Are you planning any recordings?
We have several pieces in the Works, but we’d like to make sure all ideas coverage into a similar sound, ethnic jazz. That means music from here’ (he laughs).
How would you describe this union of musicians from two of the most important and creative bands in Andalusian rock?
In reality we are four musicians with a great deal of experience, and we don’t pretend to invent anything. Why musicians from Cai and Imán?, simply because of personal and musical chemistry.
Which are the main influences or sources of inspiration for Caeman?
Well, after 30 years, each one of us has followed a different social and musical path, but we all coincide in following a musical direction focused on jazz and ethnic music. When I say ethnic, I mean a little from here in southern Andalusia (not Andalusian rock or flamenco). I don’t like using music categories, but we’ll see what comes out.
How do you compose the pieces?
Each one of us composes separately. We write the songs and pass them around via email on MP3, and later we give it shape during rehearsals.
Are you still in touch with former Cai keyboardist Chano Domínguez?
I’m still in touch with him. We see each other a couple of times a year. He lives in Barcelona and I live in Cadiz.
Is there any chance that Chano will return for reunion?
I don’t think so, maybe if Cai got a very appealing economic offer.
Spain’s economy is not doing very well lately. How’s the music scene now in the Cadiz area?
Very, very bad. High profile groups or artists are reducing their size to trios, duos or solo projects so that they can fit into smaller venues. Very poorly paid.
What was the first big lesson you learned about the music business?
If we talk about business, it’s always been a bad business for musicians. But I did learn that as in other professions, you have to withstand the bad moments and reinvent yourself and go with the times.
If someone were to go to Cadiz province for the first time, what places would you recommend?
As you know, the province of Cadiz has some wonderful places. First, I would recommend a trip early in the morning through the hill country (sierra). The second thing would be to have lunch at a venta [restaurant] and eat tapas or traditional courses. I would try local embutidos (cured meats) and stews. The third thing would be to take a walk along the [Cadiz] Bay and watch its beautiful sunset. I’d like to remind you that Cadiz is over 3000 years old. Its monuments are ancient and the area has a lot of history. A lot of civilizations came through this area.
What venues, flamenco social clubs or theaters would you recommend to listen to music?
Well, I can tell you about Cadiz city which is the place I know the best. If you like jazz, we have “Cambalache Jazz” which is 25 years old. Every Thursday, musicians from Cadiz and other parts of Spain have a jam session.
If you want to listen to flamenco, go to La Peña La Perla de Cai.
What restaurants would you recommend?
In Cadiz there are a lot. If you like to eat seafood, you should go to Romerijo at Puerto de Santa Maria. You can get traditional local food at any restaurant in Cadiz.
Editor’s note: Paco Barroso later confirmed that the October 5th concert will be recorded in audio and video formats.