miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016

Lycus - Interview 2016


Un nuevo paso en la vida de una persona y de un lugar que se ha convertido en una escapatoria del entorno social, político y humano que le rodea. Un nuevo y enorme paso para confiar en que sí se debe considerar con seriedad el oficio y el desempeño que se siente como elemental y necesario.

Cuando los esfuerzos llevan a lugares exitosos, a concretar las ideas que se piensan importantes y cuando el espíritu se eleva y mira desde lo alto aquello que en una primera instancia se podría pensar en una conducta de locos o necios, es, finalmente, un quehacer de iluminados y luz brillante en un mar de oscuridad.

Entrevistar a agrupaciones, comentar discos, eventuales reviews de recitales y querer mantener una página, a pulso y con las ganas, puede ser visto como algo difícil. Personalmente, muchas veces pasa que no llego a dimensionar lo realizado, y cuando otros me dicen que es algo complicado y que requiere esfuerzo y mucha pasión, tomo conciencia de la ruta transitada. La satisfacción es netamente personal, el placer puede ser explicado pero apenas compartido, lo que vuelve el trabajo de ser periodista de Metal extremo como una actividad poco tradicional, a veces mal vista y muy pocas veces entendida y valorada.

Sin embargo, existe un grupo de personas para quienes el trabajo hecho sí reviste de trascendencia; son ellos quienes, en definitiva, impulsan y animan el desarrollo de sitios como este. Cuando el pago es el aprecio personal de lo realizado, el progreso espiritual personal de ver cómo sí se pueden hacer las cosas, a pesar de no estar en el centro del mundo y mucho menos asociado a grupos de poder, económicos y político.

Todo es fruto del aprecio de la música, del valorar las diversas escenas y por creer que el Metal es algo importante que debe ser resguardado y masificado. Por eso hago entrevistas, comento álbumes, escucho música de forma diaria y pienso en preguntas para bandas con las que ni siquiera he conversado.

La vida es muy corta como para desaprovecharla. Por eso lucho, no bajo los brazos, me deprimo a veces, pero sigo luchando, porque momentos como este me animan, me elevan y me fortalecen. Cuando las respuestas de una entrevista llegan a mi correo, el día toma luminosidad, el tiempo se detiene y la lectura reafirma la premisa: esto se debe realizar hasta la muerte.

El día de hoy, lo que me invita a escribir, es la realización de una nueva entrevista. Un nuevo paso, profundizando en la escena Doom Metal, he podido contactarme con la agrupación estadounidense LYCUS. Ellos, en extremo cordiales y dedicados, respondieron las preguntas, y se dieron el tiempo de editar parte del texto.

Después de un tiempo sin entrevistados, publico lo más reciente. Una de las agrupaciones que definitivamente marcará el paso en la escena Funeral Doom en el corto y mediano plazo. Atentos, porque tendrían que venir otras novedades en cuanto a entrevistas.


Un saludo caluroso a LYCUS, de seguro seguiremos en contacto. Disfruten la entrevista. Hasta siempre.





FELIPE: Thank you very much for wanting to participate. I confess I am a fan of the group
LYCUS: Thank you! It’s always good to hear we have fans in other countries.

FELIPE: Could you make an introduction to the group?
LYCUS: We formed in the Sacramento area in 2008. After relocating to the bay area we released our demo, which was received very well. We moved from San Francisco to Oakland and released “Tempest” in 2013 after a couple line-up changes. We did extensive touring in support of “Tempest”. This year we released our second album, “Chasms”. It seems like people are enjoying the new album.

FELIPE: What are some of your influences?
LYCUS: They’re all over the place really… The Cure, The Smiths, Enstille, My Bloody Valentine, Mournful Congregation, Amorphis, Anathema, Sisters of Mercy, Lowlife, My Dying Bride, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Lycia, Coil, Swans, Sol Invictus, Katatonia, Tears for Fears, even stuff like Blink 182.

FELIPE: What is your reason why you play Doom and why do people listen to Doom?
LYCUS: We don’t try to play a specific genre, we just play what feels right to us and that so happens to be this type of music. I feel our wide variety of influences is apparent when listening to our music, especially our new album.

FELIPE: What kind of experiences and feelings did you seek to capture in your last two albums?
LYCUS: The daily struggle/suffering brought on by modern society. Grief, solitude, desperation, loneliness, alienation, anger, frustration, etc.

FELIPE: What was the reception of your albums by media and fans?
LYCUS: We are very grateful that media and fans received all our albums, including the demo, positively. We hope to keep making music that people enjoy for years to come.

FELIPE: The American scene is rich and varied, what groups are considered a point of reference? Why these?
LYCUS: I assume you’re referring to American doom bands we are influenced by? The most notable would be Evoken and Loss.

FELIPE: With which or what you consider relevant groups have been able to share the stage or a tour?
LYCUS: Loss, Evoken, Worship, Mournful Congregation, Dispirit, Bell Witch, Samothrace, Un, Forn, Predatory Light, Volahn to name a few.

FELIPE: Personally I enjoy, among other groups, NEUROSIS. They surpass many other bands in terms of ambition. What do you think of them?
LYCUS: We definitely enjoy NEUROSIS. They are one of the best bands to come out of the Bay Area.

FELIPE: What are you enjoying listening to at the moment?
LYCUS: I’ve been listening to the new Swans album a lot at the moment, it took a while to grow on me but now I really like it.

FELIPE: How do you appreciate the global scene Doom? What thoughts do you have about the difficulties, the fans, the artistic work of the groups and the rewards it brings?
LYCUS: It can be challenging playing music that is often misinterpreted or misunderstood by mainstream society, but on the other hand, the global Doom scene is quite accepting and supportive. It’s a bit like being part of a tight-knit family… a very sad family.

FELIPE: What are some of your favorite Doom bands outside of the U.S.? Do you listen to any Chilean Doom?
LYCUS: Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Katatonia, Thergothon, dISEMBOWELMENT, Worship just to name a few.
Uaral is pretty cool. They’re one of the few bands to pull off harsh guttural vocals over pretty acoustic guitar.

FELIPE: Side projects of the members of Lycus?
LYCUS: Trevor is in Dispirit and Bret is in Minenwerfer and Chronaxeus.

FELIPE: What difficulties arise when you want to lead a life tied to Doom in the United States?
LYCUS: Mainly trying to balance work, personal life, and music. As you probably know, it’s tough to make a living off of playing music, especially Doom.

FELIPE: Apart from music, what activities you partake in? Do you study, work?
LYCUS: One of us is in art school and the rest of us have jobs.

FELIPE: In your performance, I see similarities with another great American band: Asunder.
Vocalizations that both bands used, a guttural voice and a deep voice; that both bands have drummers singing; both bands have a harmonious musical power; both bands perform a constant play in the vocalizations and both bands use violins.
What do you think of my reflection? Are you aware of Asunder? What do you think of them?
LYCUS: We were actually very influenced by Asunder. We were lucky enough to catch several Asunder shows before they broke up. In terms of similarities, things just seemed to work out the way they did. Trevor prefers harsh vocals, and I prefer clean vocals. We used violin on “Tempest” and Cello on “Chasms”. Oddly enough, Trevor now plays drums in John’s newest band Dispirit. I still regularly listen to Asunder and consider them a crucial American Doom Metal band.

FELIPE: You currently working with a major label. What positive and negative elements of this relationship?
LYCUS: Our relationship with Relapse has been overwhelmingly positive. We had some doubts about working with a larger label, admittedly, but they have been nothing but a pleasure to work with.

FELIPE: Do you work on new compositions? Can you predict a release date?
LYCUS: We are currently starting writing our third album but it’s hard to predict when it will be finished. We prefer not to rush the writing process. Ideas are in motion but it could be another year or two (or three) before it’s released.

FELIPE: Personally, how do you see the current political situation in your country and the rest of the world? Violent times were living in various parts of the planet.
LYCUS: These are indeed tragic times. I try to maintain a balance between being aware of current world events, and refraining from constantly checking social media and news sites. It adds to my already depressive world-view. If a political revolution ever happens in America, I’m there. This country (and human civilization in general) will probably implode on itself before that ever happens though.

FELIPE: We deeply appreciate the time, willingness and desire to want to participate in this space.
Any news, music or news release, have open doors in this part of the world. This space is for personal reflection or a farewell. Thank you very much and goodbye.
LYCUS: Thank you very much for your support and this interview. Cheers!




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