Four for the price of one

Els Amics de les Arts Each Wednesday at 6.30pm, El Punt Avui airs Catalan Connections. Marcela interviewed the popular Catalan band Els Amics de les Arts: Eduard Costa, Dani Alegret, Joan Enric Barceló and Ferran Piqué.
Welcome Edu, Dani, Joan Enric and Ferran! I know you're quite busy at the moment, so many thanks for coming.
Dani: We are at the end of our tour, it's a moment of a lot of work and lots of emotions too!
What is your relationship with English?
Joan Enric: I studied English philology, I was lucky to finish my studies in Edinburgh and I specialised in English literature. Then I became a substitute teacher of English and I taught all ages, from three to 18 years old.
Dani: I did an Erasmus in Venice, it was the place where I learnt more English, speaking and writing.
Edu: I spent two years studying in California, at Palo Alto. I discovered that the American English accent was much easier for me than the British accent. When I came back I started teaching science in English in a school in the Sarrià neighbourhood of Barcelona. I had to teach gravity, electricity, all in English.
Ferran: I am better at reading comprehension rather than speaking, I am good at computers and can understand computer programmes in English and I have never lived abroad!
Do you travel abroad a lot for your concerts?
Dani: Yes, we were lucky to go to Germany three years ago. It is a good feeling to see people who don't speak your language enjoying your music. We've also given concerts in London and Manchester.
Joan Enric: Going abroad is always a challenge. English is a universal language and it was a good experience to sing in Catalan and realise you get good feedback and people can be moved and enjoy it.
In fact you have a song in English!
Edu: We did one for the swimming championship in Barcelona in 2013, called the City between Blue and Blue, a way of seeing the relationship of the city with the sea and the water. We had a coach who helped us with English!
This year in June you celebrated something really important in your career.
Dani: In June it was 10 years since the Amics de les Arts was created in a student flat on carrer Muntaner with Travessera de Gràcia in Barcelona and it's nice to see how our lives have changed; becoming a band and making a living from our concerts was a dream. We are preparing big concerts, playing music with a big band, so there will be 20 musicians on stage in some special shows at El Grec and at Cap Roig festival as well.
How are you going to celebrate your 10th anniversary?
Ferran: We wanted to release two new songs and share them with fans. The UK-Irish tour was also part of our anniversary and we created some special sun glasses for this occasion. We're also playing in Canet Rock, the Hits of les Arts. One more thing we want to do is finish our tour with very big concerts. And, we can announce here exclusively that in September we are going to finish a year and a half of tour with big -format concerts. And of course, going on holidays!
How have you and your music changed in these 10 years? You have all became parents meanwhile and that is a big change.
Edu: We've been growing up together; we all have kids now and the same responsibilities. Our music has also changed, from Bed & Breakfast up to now. But none of this would have been possible without playing music for the sake of it, experimenting and living all that naive period at the beginning.
Talking about playing and parenthood, you just created a new festival in Girona called El Festivalot (June 6-7), for all the family
Edu: It was fantastic to see adults and kids enjoying music together. The idea was to expose the children to music, from jazz to classical, and it was a success. That's the power of music. When we were kids we used to like songs that we didn't know exactly what they meant but for us they were important.
Are you going to repeat it next year?
Joan Enric: For sure. Girona Ciutat de Festivals, gave us a chance to do it, our idea was to have free concerts all around Girona: Teatre Municipal, Plaça Independència, and so on, and the city was the stage for this festival, free concerts everywhere, so it was a good experience.
How do you see yourselves in 10 years' time?
We still have ideas and things to say, so we will be still doing music if possible and go on playing. There's nothing better in life than working on something you love and, if its depends on us, we will continue doing it, but the audience will decide.
Thank you all for coming and have a great summer!
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