martes, 11 de octubre de 2016

Mouth of the Architect - Interview 2016

En el último tiempo he considerado que apuntar a poder entrevistar las bandas relevantes de cada escena es un acto necesario, tanto personal como para la página. Es propio del crecimiento y de superar etapas.

Afortunadamente, no son pocas las bandas a las que considero en suma relevantes, y de quienes me siento un deudor, por los buenos momentos y por ser un punto de inflexión en cuanto al conocimiento subjetivo. Soy lo que soy por lo que he podido escuchar, y destacar aquellas agrupaciones que han sido un fundamento es una obligatoriedad.

Dando pequeños pasos, mis inicios fueron erráticos, advenedizos, iniciáticos, pero supieron darme una base. Un radicalismo incipiente fue la tónica, pues la escena extrema siempre fue lo que me hablaba. Me interpelaba internamente, a mi alma, con suavidad, nutriéndome y haciendo de mi vida algo placentero, pero con una fisura. Siempre creí que me faltaba información.

De forma natural surgieron las entrevistas, así pude dar término, en parte, a un círculo de conocimiento. Rudimentario, precario, algo pobre en conceptos, esos inicios fueron realmente fundamentales, esenciales y necesarios. Hoy todo parece mucho más sencillo, pero fue necesario un ejercicio constante y educativo.

Cuando actualmente pienso en bandas por entrevistar, el abanico es amplio y variado: Doom, Black, Sludge y algunos sonidos alternativos se apoderan de un listado extenso, y que solamente el tiempo dirá si se puede concretar. Pero, paso a paso, la ruta se construye, hoy con seguridad de que puede ser algo especial y con calidad. Es por ello que actualmente he comenzado a apuntar a las bandas establecidas, con años, consolidadas y que, con mucha más importancia, son un referente a mi vida.

Hoy, tengo el verdadero honor de poder decir haber dado un paso gigantesco, impensado, siquiera imaginado, pero que la vida se encargó de realizar: MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT es un nuevo entrevistado.

Coincidiendo con la salida de su nuevo álbum, “Path of Eight”, el que viene a ser su quinto LP, la instancia se vuelve soñada. Ellos, desde su primer trabajo, ocupan un lugar destacado entre mis gustos personales, por sus ideas, su sonido y la dualidad que transmiten: es una agresividad suave. Son un referente para mi gusto musical, y la sola idea de entrevista era extraña, ajena, irreal, pero en el fondo la deseaba, para probar que en la vida se pueden conseguir los sueños más sublimes. Así llegó este momento, placentero e icónico, donde la vida se une a las ideas, donde soñar es una realidad y las etapas se van quemando; parafraseando a NEUROSIS “hace un tiempo largo que he quemado mis puertos, no hay vuelta desde donde he partido”. Solo hay progreso y crecimiento. Mejorar, superarse, perfeccionarse y buscar conseguir los sueños.

Insisto, imaginado hubiera sido ni la mitad de lo espectacular que es: casualmente coincidir una entrevista con la fecha de la edición del último trabajo de la banda entrevistada, la vida muy pocas veces coincide así de bellamente.

Pletórico, iluminado, todo UNO, comparto la más reciente entrevista. Desde Estados Unidos la solidez de una banda grande: MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT, donde su baterista fundador encarnó las respuestas, Dave Mann.

Un saludo caluroso a la banda, disfruten la entrevista. Hasta siempre.

P.D. Quedo debiendo el disco, dejemos pasar algunos días de descanso.

FELIPE: Esteemed, thank you very much for wanting to participate. I confess a fan of the group
M.O.T.A.: Thank you very much!

FELIPE: Could you make an introduction to the group: Path members and albums.
M.O.T.A.: The current lineup is Steve Brooks(guitar/vocals) Evan Danielson (bass) John Lakes(guitar/vocals) Jason Watkins(keys/samples/vocals) and me, Dave Mann (drums)

FELIPE: What reasons they had to form the band in the first place? What relevance does the lyrical aspect in the compositions?
M.O.T.A.: We formed the band to just play honest music. The styles have changed from album to album but the theme has always been to play from the heart. Our lyrics, in the same way, have always been about personal experiences so it is always coming from a real place.

FELIPE: What groups were references to the time of forming the group? What bands you stand out individually?
M.O.T.A.: That is an impossible question to answer! All of us have such different tastes in music, and just one road trip in our van will show you how little we actually listen to music in our own style. When we started in 2003 I think I was listening to CORRUPTED a lot but also a lot of jazz and classical. We were all in to folk music like the AVETT BROTHERS, so you can see we are all over the place!

FELIPE: Your sound is regularly defined as Sludge or as Post-Metal. What do you mean by these two definitions? Do you consistently find that your music is defined under these premises?
M.O.T.A.: People like to put labels on things, but we never referred to ourselves as one style or another. Bands of those genres have been an influence on us, but we have always taken pride in being a little different than everyone else, and we will continue to do so.

FELIPE: How do you appreciate the Sludge and Post-Metal in the north american scene?
M.O.T.A.: All music has merit. We have played with hundreds of great bands all across north America and Europe and we love seeing them all. Many have become friends of ours and we continue to see them as we travel around and play.

FELIPE: What were the reasons that forced the departure of some members of the band? Do you think that these outputs affect the sound of the group?
M.O.T.A.: Most left for their own, personal reasons and I cannot discuss why they chose to do so. But we have had a lot of member changes and it has definitely changed the sound of the band and allowed us to explore some spece that we might not have otherwise.

FELIPE: With which or what you consider relevant groups have been able to share the stage or a tour? Why highlights that or those groups?
M.O.T.A.: We have done a few tours with INTRONAUT, a few with MASTODON, we did a really fun tour with UNSANE. Really too many to list. We usually make friends with all the bands we tour with, and its always a really great time to share the stage with bands you really respect and are also friends with.

FELIPE: What groups identified as a reference and influences each of the members? What musical groups are listening to the moment?
M.O.T.A.: We all listen to just about everything, and I really mean that. When we write for MotA I don’t think our influences really come out that much. Everyone is such an individual during the process, and we make it all work so it sounds like we want it to sound. But to answer your question, I have been listening to a lot of old country and western- JIM REEVES, THE BROWNS, stuff like that.

FELIPE: Do you work on new compositions? Can you anticipate something?
M.O.T.A.: We are already thinking about concepts for the new record. I think once we are home from touring this fall we will start writing for the next one.

FELIPE: Are you aware of the global scene of Sludge and Post-Metal? What groups stand out? Are you aware of any American group, and more particularly a Chilean?
M.O.T.A.: CORRUPTED and KHANATE are my favorite “sludge” bands. There are so many, though!

FELIPE: Apart from music, what activities you develop? Do you study, work?
M.O.T.A.: I am a glass blower for work. @davemanglass- Evan runs a cocktail business, John and Steve are both sound guys and studio engineers

FELIPE: How was the reception of your albums by specialized media and fans?
M.O.T.A.: We have been pretty lucky in that most media coverage on our records have been positive! Some better than others, but all we can do is do what we do the best we can and hope for the best!

FELIPE: I emphasize a lot to the band NEUROSIS. His lyrical work, its musical aspect and attitude they reflect. What reflection arises you about this band?
M.O.T.A.: We all enjoy that band. They are very talented and in the same way, play from the heart. Their live performances are amazing! We get compared to them a lot- their name comes up in interviews (like this one!) but neither they nor us think we sound alike.

FELIPE: Wanting to lead a life tied to the arts is difficult everywhere in the world. What have been the main complexities that have to live and how they could be overcome? What valuable experiences have been rescued from these situations?
M.O.T.A.: We all work very hard to be able to do what we love. It is a labor of love and we treat it as such. If we have learned anything, it is that nothing good comes without sacrifice. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

FELIPE: Currently, the various scenes, and music in general, run the pace of technology. Even the conceptual definitions fall under this premise. Everything is measured with the rod that technology and capitalism delivered. Time, possibilities and professional work often undergo wanting capitalism. What thought have about it?
M.O.T.A.: In our current system, it is hard for anything to survive if it is not profitable. But, I refer to my previous statement: if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I think the lack of money in music nowadays will just make the music better- because we all know we’re all going to keep making it!

FELIPE: You used as intro into a song of the album “Quietly” an imperishable part of a movie (NETWORK) that has been recently rescued by the media, perhaps because of the subject. Why do they used? What reflection or look wanted to transmit?
M.O.T.A.: It was a song about hopelessness and that sample fit the theme really well. That whole record came together very quickly as if guided by something- that sample just belonged there.

FELIPE: Violence and crudity of the voices played a very harmonious relationship with the music, which is more delicate and exquisite. Your constant is wandering between the brutality and refinement. Any comments?
M.O.T.A.: Sounds like you nailed it! Our music is an expression of reality, which is often both beautiful and violent.

FELIPE: Why do a cover of a song by Peter Gabriel? Will you perform another song by another artist or group?
M.O.T.A.: We discussed doing a cover song for a very long time. We did a song for the EYEHATEGOD tribute album, but the “Violence Beneath” EP seemed like a good time to fit in a cover. It was just an idea that got demoed and we all liked it, so it happened. Not much more to say than that!

FELIPE: With four LP to date, what has been the most difficult to achieve and what is still in the pipeline?
M.O.T.A.: Well, we have our next LP, “Path of Eight” which drops October 3- some shows to support it, and then we start writing the next one. We are all feeling pretty experimental so I see some weird stuff in our future! I think getting labeled as “sludge” or “post metal” kind of bummed all of us out, so heavy music is still how we do things but expect a lot more progressive and atmospheric music.

FELIPE: This interview will coincide with the publication of your next album.
Is it possible to perform an introductory comment on this new album? Your expectations. The ideas that shape it. Why that name. What sensations seek to convey and what lyrical theme have.
M.O.T.A.: The main theme to “Path of Eight” is the story of a person journey from death forward.  The title just came together because of there being eight songs, but also because of the loose reference to Buddhism and the eight-fold path. Instead of writing about personal tragedies and suffering, we wanted to write a concept album with the feel of an album. One that would flow from beginning to end and have the listener brought along with it. The story is simply a person journey through death-starting with that moment and continuing on through whatever may happen until ultimately the person returns to the void from which we all came.

FELIPE: You have worked with Brent Hinds and Julie Christmas, both excellent performers. Do you like the idea of the collaborations? Do you perform collaborations with other groups? What person would like to work?
M.O.T.A.: We were very lucky to work with those two people.  Also, Brian Cook played bass on “The Ties That Blind” and Shannon Watking sings a track on “Path of Eight”. We try to treat this band like an art project. Every album has a different feel and a different approach. We like the idea of bringing in other people on songs because it gives a different feel and perspective that if we were to do it ourselves. As far as who we would like to work with? Anybody, really. Each time the opportunity comes up to collaborate with someone it ends up perfectly. Next time we all hope it works out similarly.

FELIPE: Since the beginning of MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT have been working with the label Translation Loss. How close were to them in the beginning? How close are you now? How has the treatment you have received from them and how you analyze the relationship, have been together for more than 10 years? Is a contract by album or is there a more long-term treatment?
M.O.T.A.: I met Drew from TL because of his ties early on to Relapse records. My old band did a CD with them and our booking agent was theirs too. I pitched a demo of my new band and he told me about his other label, Translation Loss and the rest is history. We have put out all of our records with them and all of them have been one record deals. It has been great working with them and watching both our band and their label grow together. We like where we are at and are likely to stay there, although we aren't contractually obligated to do anything! And that's the way we like it!

FELIPE: After more than 10 years there, what reflection arises you of the time and the world you have to live? Positive and negative.
M.O.T.A.: Make every day count. We are all racing towards our own death, so you might as well do something significant with your time here.

FELIPE: What comment arises you of the current situation that exists in the world? Global violence, global inequality, media and parliamentarians serving large business conglomerates.
M.O.T.A.: If a hydrogen atom were the size of the biggest stadium on earth, the nucleus would be the size of a grain of sand. The electron would still be invisible and orbits around the edge of the stadium. All matter is almost entirely empty space, but depending on how the atoms work together amazing things can happen!

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.
M.O.T.A.: Thank you very much and goodbye.

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