Tone Talk with Ale Campos of Las Nubes

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Growing up, I always wanted to do everything boys did but better! I was very competitive, so when music came along, I taught myself all the fast punk and metal songs to go show off at school. Throughout my musical career, I’ve been in several bands, mostly on the heavier side, so when I began writing songs for Las Nubes, I wanted to try something different. At the time, I had been listening to a lot of Red House Painters, Codeine, and My Bloody Valentine, so I was feeling some sorta way. Combine that with Unwound, Torche, and the Breeders, and you get us. Our sound is always subtly evolving, which makes writing very liberating, and our creative expression more vast.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?

It’s whatever sounds good to me, my preferences, I guess. It sets a mood. I want people to feel the sonic vibrations in their bones. My tone hasn’t changed much other than getting a bit cleaner. It’s less muddy but still fuzzy and loud.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?

For guitar, currently, I use a Pure Salem Cardinal – it’s got two humbuckers, it sounds big, and stays in tune really well. Sometimes I go back and forth between that and my Mexican Tele. It’s got a Hot Rail on the bridge, so it has none of that traditional twangy tone. For distortion, I use a Nuñez Tetra Fet Drive – it’s very full sounding, and it’s mean enough to make my combo amp sound like a full-stack. I sometimes use an Electro Harmonix POG, a Moog mini Flange, and EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run for long delay and an MXR Carbon Copy for short delay. My newest edition currently on its way from Tijuana, Mexico, is the Arquitecto by Paradox Effects (which I’m really excited for – it’s an insane reverb with similar characteristics to an EH Freeze). Finally, for an amp, I use a Music Man 212 HD130 combo amp. It’s SO LOUD.

What about strings?

Whatever is cheapest to be completely honest. D’addario makes great strings. I normally use 10 gauge strings. I want to start experimenting with heavier strings, though.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

Re-amping is the best thing ever. Otherwise, it’s all the same to me. I trust the engineers I work with to know what works best for my songs to make them sound the best they can.

How do you keep your sound consistent on stage?

I’m not sure if it even is that consistent. Every venue is different, especially DIY spots. There are so many variables to factor in. I just adjust everything until it sounds right to me.

What does your practice consist of?

I don’t really practice other than with my band or whenever I decide to sit down to write.

What is your advice to young women who hope to work in the music industry?

Trust in yourself – don’t listen to strange men. At the end of the day, music is subjective and should sound however you want it to. There is no right or wrong way of playing something.

About Las Nubes:

  • Named Best Band by the Miami New Times, who states Las Nubes is one of “South Florida’s most beloved bands – a distinction they’ve earned through hard work and infectious hooks.”
  • Las Nubes performed as Iggy Pop’s backing band for a GUCCI x Snap event in December 2019 during Miami Art Week, making them the first all-female lineup of The Stooges.
  • The band will play Miami’s III Points Festival this May alongside The Strokes, Robyn, Wu-Tang Clan, and Palomino Blond.
  • You can find more from the band on Bandcamp and Instagram.
Las Nubes and Palomino Blond Split EP

Recently, Las Nubes and Palomino Blond, have joined together to release their new split EP out now on BuFu Records. The EP highlights the burgeoning sound coming out of Miami’s alternative DIY scene while remaining true to each band’s individual style. Both sides of the split were recorded and mixed by Jonathan Nuñez of Miami heavy legends Torche and mastered by Zach Weeks out of GodCity Studio.

Las Nubes kick off the first half of the split with “Demonize”, which features slow-gazing vocals that build to crunchy, fuzzed-out hooks and is lyrically inspired by the critically-acclaimed documentary, 13th. “Tararear,” the second track from the band, is sung completely in Spanish with the title translating to “Hum,” an ode to the band of the same name. Palomino Blond punch things up with their punk-pop meets garage rock sound found on both “7th Heaven” and “Damage.” While “7th Heaven” is a moody crusher serving major ‘90s alternative vibes, the emotionally empowering “Damage” bounces along before leading to an impressive guitar solo. You can stream here and purchase the split now via Bandcamp.

1. “Demonize” – Las Nubes
2. “Tararear” – Las Nubes
3. “7th Heaven” – Palomino Blond
4. “Damage” – Palomino Blond

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