Esto de querer llevar una vida ligado a la música siempre trae consigo grandes satisfacciones, superando las complicaciones y complejidades, las alegrías que entrega ser uno mismo haciendo lo que uno más disfruta es inconmensurable.
Lamentablemente no he podido potenciar mi lado de creación musical, por impericia y falta de preparación y paciencia, aunque la esperanza no la pierdo, sin embargo, la escritura viene a ser lo mío. Mi lugar de creación, el lado donde fluye mi creatividad y me libero. Por lo mismo, considero que si puedo ser un aporte desde esta área, debo potenciarlo. Debo escribir, publicar y ser lo más prolífico que la vida me lo permita. Es por ello que este lugar existe, y es por ello que me esfuerzo diariamente por mejorar personalmente y por profesionalizar las publicaciones y mi trabajo.
Las entrevistas son un mundo de satisfacción que no siempre consideré: es una relación cordial, personal y muy íntima. Una apertura que jamás pensé podía llegar a darse, ni cuando personalmente leía entrevistas a bandas imaginé que podría realizarlas. Mucho menos a mis grupos favoritos. Pero la vida nos tiene preparadas cosas hermosas, sorpresivas y reconfortantes. Es el pago al esfuerzo y al sacrificio, a la voluntad, a la paciencia y a no rendirse.
La verdad, tengo una lista de las agrupaciones que me gustaría entrevistar a corto plazo. Algunas soñadas, pero de eso se construye la vida, sueños...
Es por ello que he comenzado a apuntar a las bandas que me marcaron y que generaron una impresión fuerte e imborrable en mí. Recuerdo las emociones, los comentarios, las conversaciones, las recomendaciones y siempre fue una constante, un nombre, una banda: MONADS. Siempre estuvieron en mi mente y en la de mis cercanos. Comentábamos con mis cercanos lo potente que había sido el demo de esta agrupación belga, las cualidades que poseía siendo un trabajo, me entere después, de baja calidad para la agrupación. Su sonido e impronta marcaron fuertemente la escena, lo que originó que esperáramos con ansias noticias sobre ellos. Los años pasaron, el álbum es del año 2011, y todo en silencio. Hasta que este año se supo que la banda se encuentra trabajando en el que será su primer LP, sin fecha de salida, pero con un trabajo ya bastante avanzado.
Las buenas noticias no quedaron en eso, pues fue tanto el influjo que, decidido, me contacté con ellos y cordialmente aceptaron responder una serie de preguntas. El tiempo que transcurrió para recibir sus respuestas lo tomo como la respuesta a la vida ligada al Doom: lento.
Sin embargo, todo cae por su propio peso. Y las respuestas, profundas y concretas, llegaron. Otro de esos momentos de extrema satisfacción personal, donde, la fortuna me sonríe y la vida me felicita.
Este día publico la entrevista realizada a la potente agrupación belga MONADS. Un saludo caluroso, disfruten la entrevista y disfruten la vida. Hasta siempre.
FELIPE: Dear, thank you very much for wanting to participate. I confess a follower of the group
R. POLON: No problem. Nice to hear!
H. COOLS: Thank you, and apologies for taking such a long time...
FELIPE: Could you make an introduction to the group: Path members and albums?
Drums: D. Degrieck (ex-Toorn (live), ex-Koester)
Bass: J. Frederix (Toorn (live))
Guitars: Corvus (Cult of Erinyes, ex-Psalm, We All Die (Laughing))
Guitars: H. Cools (Hypothermia, Ignifer, ex-Trancelike Void, ex-Kilte, ex-Tapetum Lucidum, ex-The Apostasy, ex-Toorn)
Vocals: R. Polon (Omega Centauri, Heksenrijder, Sanctus Next, Epoch, Alarde Esperpéntico, ex-Fractured Insanity)
FELIPE: Why play Doom? Do you share that definition of your music?
R. POLON: For me, as a vocalist, it gives me a platform where I am able to use a wide range of my vocal civilities.
H. COOLS: When creating the band, I knew exactly what direction I was going for. For several years, I'd been walking around with the idea of forming a Doom band with a complete line-up (meaning the band would be able to perform live without needing session members, or not only being a studio project). I had a clear vision of what the music should sound like, and what atmosphere it would project. I’m not a big fan of Doom that sounds ‘too nice’, Doom Metal -for me- needs to be a punch in the face, which is what I want MONADS to emit when we play live and when someone listens to our music. Every one of us has played in at least one band or project before, and several of us have worked together with one or more of the band members in other projects. This way, even in the beginning MONADS did not feel like something ‘new’, but like a new way of expression by a gathering of people that already know the scene. Most of us have experience regarding record deals, recordings, studios, playing and organizing gigs, etc. Our mutual past and interest is mostly in Black Metal, but most of us were into Doom on a personal level since long before.
FELIPE: Are you aware of the global scene of Doom? ¿Highlights some band? What and why?
H. COOLS: Yes, but in a limited way. I am very picky when it comes to Doom. My personal favourites would be: ESOTERIC, EVOKEN, LOSS, WORSHIP, MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, NORTT, and some others. For me, their music does exactly what Doom needs to do. It’s emotional, but not in a romantic way, on the contrary.
FELIPE: With what you consider relevant groups have been able to share the stage or a tour? Why stand that or those groups?
H. COOLS: A good experience for us was when we did a mini-tour with HYPOTHERMIA and KALL. Our first gig was a very special moment, as we were opening for our friends in LIFELOVER, but the day before the performance, one of their members died. Still performing, we had an evening releasing our demo tape, filled with all kinds of emotions that most people take months or even years to go through, all in one night. Of course this created a bond that is hard to break. The tour with HYPOTHERMIA and KALL was thus a logical consequence. Another gig I’d like to mention is when we played with MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, something both them and us enjoyed.
FELIPE: What musical groups are listening to at the moment?
R. POLON: LES DISCRETS, FLEETWOOD MAC, GREY WATERS, WOLFCROSS
H. COOLS: LANA DEL REY, EARTH & PILLARS, ARKHTINN, INTERSTELLAR OST, GAME OF THRONES Season 6 OST, TENHI.
FELIPE: What groups can identify as an influence to the sound of Monads?
H. COOLS: For me personally, I would say that bands such as MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, EVOKEN, ESOTERIC, LOSS, (older) ANATHEMA, (older) KATATONIA, WORSHIP, etc are very important influences. But, besides this, I'd be stupid to ignore the Black Metal influences of bands such as SILENCER, SHINING, ABYSSIC HATE, FORGOTTEN TOMB, BURZUM, etc.
FELIPE: You say that feel much closer to the scene and the sound of Black Metal rather than Doom. Why is this? What bands stand out from the Black Metal scene?
H. COOLS: No special reason, to be honest. Most of us “grew up” in the BM scene with an interest for Doom Metal, some earlier than others. These days, a lot of exciting things are happening in the Black Metal world. Instead of bands, I'll mention some labels here: “Fallen Empire Records” from the US and “Amor Fati Productions” from Germany. They seem to be picking up some extremely nice bands and are constant in their quality, pushing forward some stand-out contemporary Black Metal acts.
FELIPE: It must be said that the Black Metal scene suffers a strong prejudice from various sectors of society. What do you think about these criticisms?
H. COOLS: It's hard to think of any scene or subculture that doesn't suffer from prejudice of society. And in a way, sometimes people are asking for it, as is the Black Metal scene sometimes. However, if one is serious about its intentions and acts, one shouldn't be afraid of the judgement of others.
FELIPE: What's your opinion on the various proposals that can deliver Black Metal, in terms of lyrical; music and reflective depth that enclose their speeches?
H. COOLS: Well, Black Metal is not afraid of cliches, so of course the spectrum of interesting lyrical and musical experiences is extremely vast. However, there are several bands that touch me, really touch me. I keep discovering new music on a weekly basis and it never gets boring. I seem to pick up more Black Metal than Doom Metal recently, but this has been the other way around as well.
FELIPE: Belgium is not characterized by having many prominent bands in Metal, however over the years the Doom scene has taken forces. How is the scene there and what it's like wanting to live life playing Doom?
H. COOLS: Actually, we are still more connected to the Black Metal scene over here, and not really connected to the Doom scene. However, INSANITY REIGNS SUPREME is probably still my favorite Belgian Doom band. Especially their first two albums are fantastic.
FELIPE: Soon will release your first LP. How was the work of composition and recording? Can you make some comments about the album? What are your expectations?
H. COOLS: It took me years to compose it, and it was a hard process, emotionally and musically. I never thought I would be able to finish it, it felt like the heaviest burden ever. And it still does to this day, as we still haven’t finished the mixing/post-production process. At the time of writing this, it’s been 14 months since the recordings began, and I’m still not satisfied. This thing will only come out when it’s perfect.
The album will be different and still the same, it’s a logical evolution for me, but it will have a better sound as it’s recorded in better circumstances. My expectations are basically zero, I have learned that less expectations create less disappointments.
FELIPE: Your first job became a solid album with undeniable success. Did you expect such a response from fans and specialized media? He set the bar high for your next job.
H. COOLS: You call it an album, but we still consider it a demo, because that's what it was. We were a new band and recorded a demo in our rehearsal room/home-studio. We recorded 5 songs of all 6 or 7 we had written in 6 months time, which happened to be 55 minutes in total. We didn't want to release a full-length right away. Why? No one had heard from us and no one knew the music. Even though we all had experience with former bands/recording, etc., we had never done anything like MONADS before. So, we figured that 50 tapes would be enough to start with. We chose for a tape because we wanted to release it ourselves as a demo (again: not as a full-length), and because we do not like CD-r's. Tapes aren't expensive and that way we were able to give the demo at least a bit of a professional look; the tapes were pro-printed and sealed in plastic wrap. Important to mention as well: As we also had our first performance confirmed in September 2011, we rushed things a bit to be able to release the tape on the same night as our first gig. We had no idea the tape would sell that well, and that more copies would be needed. As it turned out, we did. The tapes sold out in less than a week's time, with more than 30 copies gone after that first performance.
So to answer your question: no, we did not expect this. It was received very well in an underground circle; it got us reviews, more gigs and a CD-release of that same demo.
FELIPE: What influences do you have to compose the lyrics of your albums? Who is responsible for the creation of them? What was the lyric theme of your demo?
H. COOLS: The lyrics of both the demo and the album were written by H., and take little to no outside influences, they are deeply personal and explore themes that range from philosophy to misanthropy and from loss to despondency. The demo was more a philosophical exploration of the monad theory covered with an antitheistic veil, while the new album is more about personal experiences, emotions and the results thereof. We have also finished a more experimental EP (to be released after the album) for which singer R. has written all the lyrics. They are also formulations and articulations of personal experiences and emotions.
FELIPE: Are you aware of any South American metal band, and more particularly a Chilean?
H. COOLS: Not really, no. Sorry.
FELIPE: Besides music, you develop some other activity?
R. POLON: I work full time. Other than that I enjoy nature, gaming and just being at home.
H. COOLS: I play music in several other bands, I work a full-time job, and I breed tarantulas and scorpions.
FELIPE: How was the reception of your live performances by specialized media and fans? How is the European scene when it comes to the Doom Metal.
H. COOLS: As said, we’re not very home in the ‘Doom scene’, as we hail more from a Black Metal background. The reception was always good, to be honest, we never heard bad comments. I think our live performance is very solid (especially since our most recent line-up change), and if there were moments when it didn’t sound so good, it was more because of circumstances.
FELIPE: What is your view on the current situation in Europe, with the refugees, the attacks and accusations that many of the terrorists live in Belgian cities?
R. POLON: I think I can speak for everyone in the band that politics and other matters like that don’t get mixed with anything related to MONADS.
FELIPE: I saw an acoustic performance of you, is it a single event or something that implement regularly?
H. COOLS: It was a single event because the opportunity had offered itself, but I don’t exclude it from ever happening again. It was a very nice evening.
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.
R. POLON: Our first full album will be released soon! And more news about that will follow shortly. Thanks for the interview!