Tribute bands are on the rise and those dedicated to ‘Héroes del Silencio’, the legendary rock band, fill venues all over the world, but the best one is in Badajoz and is called ‘Senda’. The band picks up this Saturday in Zaragoza the ‘Cover de Oro’, the award that recognizes them as the best imitators of the band led by Enrique Bunbury, in the annual contest in which the groups that go on stage compete to sing ‘Between two lands’ or ‘Maldito Duende’.
The group from Badajoz did it with the song from the early 90s ‘The path of excess’, which is what has earned them the favor of a jury made up of the musicians of ‘Héroes del Silencio’ and the organizers of ‘Heroes del Silencio’ ‘ (This is the name of the annual tribute day to the Zaragoza band).
The award is, they say, a recognition of three years of work in which José Seijo, Jero Gutiérrez, Samuel Méndez, Isi Labrador and Alberto Benítez have scrutinized every note and listened ad nauseam to the record work of ‘Héroes del Silencio’ until they achieved sound like them.
For ‘Senda’, a band that was born in Badajoz in 2007, had to stop in 2014 and reinvented itself in 2019, the ‘Cover de Oro’ is the encouragement they needed to continue in the gap, in a market where at least fifty compete of ‘Heroes del Silencio’ tribute bands all over the world.
From the original group, Alberto Benítez from Badajoz remains, who is the vocalist and alma mater of the band. The rest of the current musicians joined three years ago and are from Llerena and Azuaga. But ‘Senda’ from the beginning dedicated himself to playing songs from ‘Héroes del Silencio’ because of the obsession that Benítez admits he has for the group. «I am passionate, especially Juan Valdivia, the guitar, so much so that he became a religion. At home I would sing along to Bunbury songs. I imitated him morning, noon and night».
When the group from Badajoz began its journey, there were few bands dedicated to making tributes to consecrated formations. Now, however, they are all the rage on the stages of festivals and music venues in Spain, especially those that cover pop and rock groups from the 80s and 90s. «People consume tribute bands a lot, it is a product that is sell. Right now 40% of the musical activities that are organized are tributes or ‘remember’ parties”, says the lead singer of Senda.
The rise of nostalgia on stage is an asset in favor of this group from Badajoz, which has been part of the line-up of important festivals and shared the stage with bands such as M-Clan, Ariel Rot, Europe, Gipsy Kings or Social Security, and which now with the ‘Gold Cover’, they predict that new doors will open for him.
“It is a recognition of a lot of work. The complexity of the songs on ‘Héroes del Silencio’ is searching for the sound. We don’t characterize ourselves, we don’t dress up, we just want to sound like them. We take it very seriously because what we are looking for is for the public to close their eyes and be able to listen to them”, claims Benítez.
“We don’t dress up, we just want to sound like them, for the public to close their eyes and be like listening to them”
“For a local group with limited promotion, being a tribute band opens doors that would otherwise be unthinkable”
The band from Badajoz recognizes that paying tribute to another group is an advantage, especially for bands like them, who start from scratch. «For a local group with limited promotion, the fact of being a tribute band opens doors that would otherwise be unthinkable. It’s much easier to sell something that people already know and like.”
«If you set up a band with your own songs –he continues– the road is more difficult. You need a very big promotion and still it may not come out ahead. The musicians of ‘Senda’ know this well who, before joining the band in 2019, tried their luck as an original band. «We fled from the fatigue of doing our own songs and not getting ahead. What we like is to do concerts, go out on the road and be on stage making the public enjoy and that is easier with a tribute band », they assume.
The fact that their music guarantees a good income for concert promoters does not mean, Benítez claims, that there is no effort behind each song they perform. “You have to fight a lot. Behind what we do there is also a lot of sacrifice.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.