Mägo de Oz
Mägo de Oz Background information Origin Spain Genres Folk metal
Years active 1989–present Labels Warner Dro Atlantic Website www.magodeoz.com Members Txus di Fellatio (1987-)
Carlos Prieto "Mohamed" (1992-)
J.C. Marín "Carlitos" (1992-)
Francisco Javier Gómez de la Serna "Frank" (1996-)
Pedro Díaz "Peri"(2005-)
Sergio Cisneros "Kiskilla" (1999-)
Patricia Tapia (2007-)
Mägo de Oz (Spanish for Wizard of Oz, with a metal umlaut) is a Spanish folk/heavy metal band from Begoña, Madrid formed in mid-1988 by drummer Txus di Fellatio. In 1992, the band were finalists in the Villa de Madrid contest. Then, they went onto achieve great success in Spain, and in 1995, were declared Revolution Rock Band. Around 1996, the band's definitive line-up began to emerge; that same year, they began recording the rock opera CD, Jesús de Chamberí, which was produced by Alberto Plaza and Mägo de Oz. The CD was released in 1996, through Locomotive Music. The band are well known for the strong Celtic feel to their music strengthened through their constant usage of a violinist and flautist. The name for the band was chosen, according to founding member Txus, because "life is a yellow brick road, on which we walk in the company of others searching for our dreams."
The band was founded in May, 1989 by the drummer Txus di Fellatio, who slowly recruited the rest of his members for the band, and by 1992, had a line-up. Originally, the band was called "Transilvania" (Transylvania in Spanish), named after the metallic instrumental piece of the same name from their idols, Iron Maiden. In 1992, the band members were:
- Txus: drums and backing vocals
- Mohamed: violin
- Charlie: lead guitar
- Chema: rhythm guitar
- Salva: bass
- Juanma: lead vocals, backup drums
They recorded several demos: "Y qué más da" (1989), "Canción de cuna para un bohemio", and a third one in 1992. Their music was open to a wide range of styles and influences, but still basing their full musical potential in folk metal and Celtic music.
In 1992 the band was the finalist in the festival, "Concurso Villa de Madrid". But even still, Chema, the guitarist, decided to leave the band. His replacement was Carlitos. Through two recording sessions, and the ousting of Charlie and Chema's reentry into the band, the band launched their debut in 1994, produced by Txus and Alberto Plaza under the name, Mago de Oz. This album found very little success and people were barely aware of the band's existence. During this time, Mago de Oz suffered one of their most difficult times, now with the definite expulsion of Juanma and Chema. In 1996, the lineup that has persisted almost until the present time was formed. Here, we see the entrance of José Andrëa replacing Auri, a singer who had only recorded a couple of demos then decided to leave the band, and Frank replacing Chema. By then, the lineup consisted of:
- Txus: drums and backing vocals
- Mohamed: violin and backing vocals
- Carlitos: lead Guitar and backing vocals
- Frank: rhythm Guitar, acoustic guitar, and backing vocals
- Salva: bass and backing vocals
- José Andrëa: lead Vocals, keyboards
The very same year, the band began recording their rock opera album, Jesús de Chamberí, which dealt with the theme of Jesus' return to the Madrid neighborhood of Chamberí. The album was edited and sold under the label Locomotive Music. Mago de Oz saw a huge surge in popularity following the release of the album, due largely in part to the addition of their newest singer, José Andrëa, who was clearly a far superior singer than the original Juanma.
The band promoted the album with the "Via Crucis Tour", which further cemented the band's popularity in Spain. In 1997, the band decided to rerecord five songs from their debut album, now with the new singer. The EP simply bears the title Mago de Oz, however many fans refer to it as La Bruja, meaning "The Witch" in Spanish, as there is a witch playing a violin with a moon backdrop, on the album cover. The name has now become as a de facto name for the EP and even the official website now refers to the EP as simply "La Bruja". Indeed one can compare this to a very similar occurrence with the Beatles' self-titled album, The Beatles, but it is referred to by fans as "The White Album".
La Bruja further opened Mägo de Oz's chance for more festivals and events, and obtained more success than Jesús de Chamberí.
Mägo de Oz began to take a strong interest in concept albums and rock operas as was shown in Jesús de Chamberí. Still instilled with this interest, Mago de Oz released their third and perhaps most famous album, La Leyenda de La Mancha. The album is a modern retelling of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote. Rock opera has been a style present in all of their albums from Jesús de Chamberí up until the present.
Mägo de Oz embarked on their "The Riiiichal Tour" which contained the greatest number of concerts performed ever on a tour (115 concerts).
Because of the massive success of "La leyenda de La Mancha", and to mark their 10th anniversary, the band released a documentary concerning them called "Resacosix en Hispania", in 1999. The documentary was later released on DVD in 2004.
Towards the end of 1999 Mägo de Oz embarked in an ambitious project: a double disc dubbed Finisterra. Fueled with a desire to succeed musically, the band recruited Sergio "Kiskilla" on the keyboards and accordion and Fernando on the flute. The album was then released in 2000. This album has been the most folk out of all of the albums, while still keeping their heavy metal roots. The tour for this album was also far more sophisticated than previous ones, now with elaborate sets, pyrotechnics, and impressive lights. This also marked the departure of the bassist, Salva, and the entrance of his substitute, Sergio. In 2002 the band released their first live album, Fölktergeist, a compilation of songs played at different shows throughout the tour.
In 2003, Mägo de Oz released an album named Gaia, the first in what would become a trilogy completed in 2010. This album showcased hit songs such as "La Costa del Silencio" and "La Rosa de los Vientos". By that time, Mägo de Oz had already started performing concerts in Latin America. Some fans disliked Gaia, as it shows a softer side of Mägo de Oz, however the album shows a great step ahead in the musical maturity of the band. Gaia can be considered as a concept album with two main themes surrounding the plot, the wild Spanish conquest of America and the extreme ecological abuse of mankind towards mother earth (Gaia). The CD includes a high quality booklet which contains a touching and cruel story about the subjects mentioned before. Every chapter takes you to a carefully selected song that complements the plot and the story. The album features flutes and violins, and has a Celtic rock sound.
In 2004, Mägo de Oz returned to the studio to record Belfast named after the city in Northern Ireland and the numerous ethnic conflicts that have taken place there. Many of the songs on the album are simply re-recordings of songs on previous albums. The band recorded a metal version of "La Rosa de los Vientos" as well as adding some orchestral improvements to certain earlier songs.
At this time, Mägo de Oz underwent important changes: the entrance of a third guitarist, Jorge Salán, and within a few months, the departure of bassist, Sergio.
In 2005, Mägo de Oz released two albums. The first one, was a second live album called Madrid - Las Ventas, recorded in Madrid's bullfighting arena, Las Ventas. There were some rather large complications concerning this album, since Locomotive Music had released the album, and Mägo de Oz had now signed themselves under a new label, and therefore, Locomotive Music did not have the consent of the band. The second disc, Gaia II: La Voz Dormida, under the new label, Warner Dro, was the second album in the Gaia trilogy and it released a single "La Posada de los Muertos". For this album, came their newest bassist, Pedro "Peri". Along with "La Posada de los Muertos" came more singles: "Hoy Toca Ser Feliz" and "Diabulus in Musica". "Diabulus" is one of their most powerful anti-religious songs along with "La Voz Dormida". "Hoy Toca Ser Feliz" was promoted by a video with the members of the band dressed as the characters from The Wizard of Oz, Txus drumming in costume as Glinda the Good Witch, with giant wings.
During the tour for Gaia II, Txus temporarily left the band due to extreme exhaustion and problems which required his presence. His substitute for the time would be Joaquín Arellano, who filled in Txus's position at the drums for a month and a half. On September 8, 2006, Txus returned to the drums.
On December 5, Mägo de Oz released their very first greatest hits album Rock N' Oz. This album included a re-recording of the songs "Molinos de Viento, "Jesús de Chamberí", "Hasta que tu Muerte nos Separe", and "El Cantar de la luna Oscura". The album is a double album, the first disc contains singles and the second non-singles. A special edition of Rock N' Oz, entitled The Best Oz came in a box set with the original 2 discs and an extra disc containing rare recordings including old recordings of songs never before released with the first singer Juanma still in the lineup. It also contains a DVD highlighting their American tour.
On October 10, 2007, the video for their latest single "Y ahora voy a salir" ("And now I'm going to leave") was premiered on the band's website. The single was released on October 16, 2007 and is the first from their latest album La Ciudad de los Árboles (The city of trees) which was released on November 6.
On November 10, 2008, Jorge Salán announced on the band's website about his official break-up from the band, to focus on his own music. Jorge will continue recording and touring with the band at special dates.
On April 6, 2010, the band released their latest album, Gaia III: Atlantia.
- Patricia Tapia - female vocals
- Carlitos - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Frank - rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Peri - bass guitar
- Txus - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Mohamed - violin, viola, backing vocals
- Sergio Cisneros "Kiskilla" - keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, piano, accordion
- Josema Pizarro - flutes, backing vocals
- Salva - bass guitar (1989–2002)
- Charlie - lead guitar (1989–1993; 1994–1996)
- Juanma Rodríguez - vocals (1989–1995)
- José María Alonso "Chema" - rhythm guitar (1990–1996)
- Tony del Corral - saxophone (1994)
- Auri - vocals (1995–1996)
- Sergio Martínez - bass guitar (2003–2004)
- Luis Miguel Navalón - bass guitar (2004)
- Jorge Salán - lead guitar (2004–2008)
- Fernando Ponce - flute, whistle, gaita (2000–2010)
- José Andrëa - vocals (1996-2011)
- Mägo de Oz (1994)
- Jesús de Chamberí (1996)
- Mägo de Oz (La Bruja) (1997 reedition)
- La Leyenda de la Mancha (1998)
- Finisterra (2000)
- Gaia (2003)
- Belfast (2004)
- Gaia II: La Voz Dormida (2005)
- La Ciudad de los Árboles (2007)
- Gaia III: Atlantia (2010)
- Gaia: Epilogo (2010)
- A Costa da Rock (2003)
- Finisterra (2003)
- Resacosix en Hispania (2004)
- Madrid - Las Ventas (2005)
- Barakaldo D.F. (2008)
- Molinos de viento (1997)
- Resacosix en Hispania (1999)
- Fiesta pagana (2000)
- ¡Feliz Navidad, Cabrones! (2000)
- El que quiera entender que entienda (2000)
- Molinos de viento (live) (2001)
- La danza del Fuego (2001)
- Pensando en ti (2002)
- La costa del silencio (2003)
- El atrapasueños (Promo) (2004)
- La rosa de los vientos (2004)
- La posada de los muertos (2005)
- Hoy toca ser feliz (2006)
- Diabulus in Musica (2006)
- Y ahora voy a salir (Ranxeira) (2007)
- Deja de llorar (2008)
- Que el viento sople a tu favor (2010)
- Y qué más da (1989)
- Canción de cuna para un bohemio (1990)
- Con la cabeza bien alta (1992)
Notes and references
Studio albums Live albums CompilationsGrandes · The Best Oz · Rock N' Oz Live videosA Costa da Rock Singles
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