The singer and guitarist Juan Reina , leader of the current Triana band, responds to the accusations of Eduardo Rodriguez Rodway , the only living member of the three founders (along with Jesus de la Rosa and the drummer Juan Jose Palacios, known as Tele) face to the copyright trial that will face them on Tuesday.
— How is the trial for the rights of Triana
For me everything that is happening is very sad and painful, I do not understand anything. As a musician, as a friend of Tele and his family, as an admirer of the Triana group and its entire musical legacy, it is very sad to see me accused of something that is not true. It is something that I would have never imagined would happen, to see myself forced to defend myself against something I have not done and sued by someone I have always valued and admired.
The important evidence has to be provided by them, who are the ones who accuse me of something that is not true. My line is to be sincere and honest, as I have always been, I do not have to invent or defend myself from anything. Being faithful to the music and the principles that my parents have instilled in me.
When I was young, Triana was the group I most admired. I have always had their legacy as a flag and I have always done it with the utmost professional and musical respect for the group. I could not sleep peacefully feeling that I destroyed the work of Jesus, Tele and Eduardo.
—Tele’s widow continues to support
you My relationship with her and her children is exceptional, we have always been friends, there is a sincere and endearing family affection that goes beyond any economic interest. If at any point she tells me to stop because I’m doing something wrong, or if my action or inaction affects her family, I would walk away without hesitation.
– Is it true the pact that Eduardo relates that if any member died, Triana would disappear
Tele always told me the opposite. Both for him and for the rest of the components, that his music would not fall into oblivion and be perpetuated through the years would be the greatest achievement they could achieve. I imagine that for any artist that is his greatest reward, that his work does not die with him and that his work remains more alive than ever despite the years. I respect Eduardo’s opinion, but it is not what Tele transmitted to me. What’s more, there are more heirs who have never spoken out against what we do.
The work we do generates benefits for everyone who composed those wonderful songs in the form of copyright. If any of them did not compose, he evidently cannot collect those rights.
—Do you deny that they are plagiarizing
According to the Royal Academy of Language, plagiarism is “substantially copying the works of others, giving them as one’s own”.
With all my love and professional respect for Eduardo, I say that it would never occur to me to consider works that are not mine to be my own, much less great masterpieces of Andalusian rock such as El Patio, Tu frialdad or Senor Troncoso. It would be a pride to have been one of the authors of it, but it is not like that, so I am satisfied with interpreting them.
— You are 58 years old and the current Triana is younger than the first. Do you consider it a natural evolution
Triana founded it and will always be founders Tele, Jesus and Eduardo, no one is trying to replace or supplant these three geniuses of Andalusian music. What we do is not an evolution of Triana, what is already perfect cannot be improved. We, with all humility, have been entrusted with the great responsibility, until they tell me otherwise, of perpetuating and interpreting the work of this wonderful group, always with respect for their work and their authors.
—What do you think about Rodriguez Rodway claiming 33.3% of his profits in 12 years
In a trial you fight for something that you consider yours, and it is the most moral and worthy thing that exists, but what I do with the name Triana I have not stolen from anyone, I only charge for my work as a musician. I ask myself another question: is it moral to want to charge for something you haven’t done —
How are artists going to come out of the Covid crisis, has something been learned
The pandemic has destroyed the most vulnerable sectors, unfortunately culture and the music is. Covid will make us stronger and force us to reinvent ourselves, that’s always good. The pity is all the people who stay on the road. The only thing I have learned in this time is to be a better person and to appreciate the really important things: family, friends, value the work of others and, above all, that no one is essential.
“Reina is not a foreign musician, he is the second generation”
Reina’s lawyer is Juan Jose Pena , son of singer El Lebrijano , who has rejoined the legal profession after a titanic fight against Covid. He explains to this newspaper that the rights to exploit the Triana brand are held by the widow and children of Tele (who died in 2002) because he was the one who registered the name in 1977.
“Reina is authorized by the brand and pays the corresponding rights to his widow”, affirms the lawyer.
But it is more: after the death of Jesus in 1983, Eduardo “showed no interest in continuing and voluntarily left the group”, which entered a stage of inactivity until in 1994 Tele formed the new Triana. Eduardo voluntarily stayed out again and Reina entered, which is why “he is not a foreign musician, he is the second generation”.
Pena highlights that “it was not until 2016 when Eduardo Rodriguez Rodway started this fight.” “It is surprising that after so much time he has interest again, but it is not to join Triana but to die.”