AstorVoltaires – Interview


Former Mar de Grises member Juan Escobar is back with the follow-up to 2010’s debut album Katan Nagantü.  I caught up with him recently to talk about the new record and how the current metal scene is in his native Chile.

Do you approach writing differently for separate projects?

Yes, but sometimes unconsciously. I try to do my best each time, no matter what/who/where/etc… and that seems to me to be the right way. Put your intellect on arts, on music, your experience… Your way could be the wrong way for someone else, so keep looking at the best mood for yourself.

How healthy is the current metal scene in Chile?

Mmm healthy? Do you mean if Chilean scene is good enough? Well, being a musician in Chile is very hard, (Metal/Rock band):

  1. You could have a band, play weekends in your rehearsal room and play some shows per year, no payments at all.
  2. You could have a band, and try to make things right, more days in the rehearsal room, and a dozen of shows per year and the pay sucks…
  3. And so on…

Anyway, Chile is home of some really great musicians and bands nowadays; Rock, Metal, Jazz, etc. and every day I feel we’re growing in our music culture; bands are better now than 10 years ago, and maybe, 5 years ago. The world is beginning to look at Chile with a different view…

How was the recording different for this album compared to Katan Nagantü?

Totally different. Katan was more simple, maybe spontaneous… but this album has more feelings, different dynamics… I`m not afraid of using different music styles… I feel free to do and say whatever I want, no limits to my expression.

Do you feel more comfortable being a solo artist as opposed to playing your trade in a group of musicians?

Not at all. I really enjoy recording my own album by myself, producing and being in my own “band”. On the other hand I really have fun when I play with other people, it is totally different. You have to share and give, and get back as well. It is different as hell but both sides have great qualities.

Having featured in well over ten bands now, is it fair to say that you get bored easily?

I think that in previous bands it was more of a personal process, things that I should experience and then move on, otherwise maybe I couldn`t be “this Juan” today (in a musical context).

Are the lyrics sung in Spanish this time around?  If so, do you feel that this limits your fan base?

Yes, the new album has mostly Spanish songs, but, unlike Katan Nagantü, “BlackTombs…” has three that are sung with English lyrics and one with Suomi lyrics…why Suomi? Well, I really love Suomi, that`s why! Yep, maybe it could be a problem for fans, but sometimes music speaks itself… You could use Google translate as well 😉

What has been the most enjoyable Album/EP that you recorded, and why?

‘BlackTombsForDeadSongs’ is the greatest album that I was ever involved in. Well, the process was great. I could take my time to prepare and record it properly. The new songs have a new focus on religious, nihilism, death, life, faith, a new world of possibilities… great experience!

How much input do you have with the artwork for each release?  How important is it to you that the design is right?

Well, on Katan Nagantü it was easy, I would just have to tell Geert (Artwork man) my conceptual idea, and what I don’t wanna include. On that album I refused to use the traditional doom cover album style; statues, crosses, black & white, blood, churches or explicit art. The conductor on that album was metaphor and the result was some incredible art for me. So, the process on this new album was equal; more than think what I want, the great quest was “what I don’t wanna include”  I really like Geert’s work, he is a really talented man, smart and unique person. I really appreciate his talent and how it compliments my music, an honour for me. Prost!!!

Have you any plans to tour the record?

Not for the moment.

BlackTombsForDeadSongs is out 6th December 2012



About GezzaG

Irishman in the UK. View all posts by GezzaG

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