Trajano!, the Madrid Post-Punk Group Fit for an Emperor

To see more behind-the-scenes photos of Trajano!, check out @hello.lois, @carlosmun, @positiverolemodel and @alvaronaive on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to know how rough it is being a full-time musician in 2015. Diminishing album sales and a fractured fan base has left some groups looking for other means to support their art.

That’s how the members of Trajano! (@trajanoband) are able to accomplish their goals. Singer and guitarist Lois Brea (@hello.lois) is a freelance graphic designer, bassist Álvaro Naïve (@alvaronaive) used to run a secondhand clothing store and drummer Carlos Mun (@carlosmun) is an accountant. Then there’s keyboardist Álvaro Gutiérrez (@positiverolemodel), who spends time managing bands — including his own.

“We tour on weekends! It’s kind of hard because we have to sync our agendas,” says Gutiérrez of the work-to-music balancing act, before Lois chimes in: “You better have flexible bosses.”

He would know. Lois was asked to leave his last gig due to a hectic schedule, leading him to the freelance design and music life. “I realized that rock music doesn’t go well with office work,” he says. “It’s a tragedy.”

Trajano! got its start five years ago, after Lois and his friend moved from the north of Spain to Madrid. There, they met Álvaro Naïve and drummer Carlos Mun, and began making music. Gutiérrez joined later on, after signing up to be the group’s manager.

“He started working for us and after a short time he just came into the band,” says Lois.

For the last year and a half, Trajano!, which was named after a Roman emperor (as Lois says, “If it’s good for a Roman emperor, it’s good for a band”), has been touring all over Spain, and Europe, performing tracks off their alt rock-meets-post-punk record Antropología. The highlight was a slot at the annual music festival Benicàssim.

“If you were born in this country and make music in this country, playing at Benicàssim is all you’re talking about when you’re 16 years old,” says Lois. “It’s the dream. And it was amazing.”

Luckily, switching between full-time jobs and road life hasn’t dampened their spirits. Gutiérrez posts plenty of fun backstage pictures and selfies, while Lois shares goofy photos both on and off stage. Now, they’re looking to take a break from concerts to work on new material — because even rulers need their rest.

“We want to concentrate on writing new songs and recording the album,” says Lois. “We started this week, actually.”

“We don’t have any idea of how it’s going to sound,” says Gutiérrez. “Do we Lois?”

“I do,” he says. “I always do.”

— Instagram @music