miércoles, 26 de abril de 2017

Falls of Rauros - Interview 2017

Con los años definitivamente uno va aguzando el oído, comete menos error (no nada de errores) y tiene la posibilidad de elegir mejor las decisiones que uno estima conveniente.

Siento que personalmente he podido desarrollarme, paso a paso, en un mundo que realmente me simpatiza, que me satisface y me permite llegar a sensaciones sublimes y plenas. Nada puede compararse con la práctica de las disciplinas que nos entregan felicidad. Cuando hacemos lo que nos gusta, el mundo tiene sentido, gira de acuerdo a nuestros razonamiento y consideramos que estamos completos.

Esto me sucede con mi página: las entrevistas y las publicaciones musicales son un alimento espiritual difícil de explicar. Se han convertido en el centro de mi vida, una de mis razones de ser y, sin equivocarme, una fuente de felicidad inabarcable. Su impronta solo puede ser medible por lo que genera.

El día de hoy siento una dicha enorme; he recibido dos correos electrónicos en donde vienen las respuestas a dos cuestionarios enviados. Ambos, de altísimo e incuestionable valor, se enmarcan en los ejemplos que sirven para fortalecer la voluntad y hacer crecer las ganas para seguir haciendo esto.

Sin dinero de por medio, solo con la satisfacción de estar haciendo lo correcto, entrevistado y entrevistador se funden en la plenitud: entregando, de forma voluntaria, un conocimiento velado que, gracias a la apertura, puede ser masificado. La sabiduría, restringida por muchos, realmente es fruto de virtudes.

FALLS OF RAUROS se enmarca con suma facilidad en uno de los puntos altos de la escena metalera estadounidense. Con una propuesta potente, mezclan un Black Metal crudo con afines armonías Folk, creando álbumes de calidad, vanguardia e innovación.

Sin duda alguna la reciente entrevista se enmarca entre uno de los puntos altos conseguidos por esta página. Con suma tranquilidad (Aaron) respondió el cuestionario, aclarando, explayándose, explicando y siendo todo lo honesto que el formato lo permite.

Satisfecho, contento, pleno, esperanzado y con optimismo, tengo el honor de entregar la más reciente entrevista. FALLS OF RAUROS.

Disfruten la entrevista y disfruten la vida. Yo lo hago. Un abrazo caluroso.

PD: queda pendiente la publicación de su más reciente LP. Un trabajo de alto vuelo. Calma, tiempo hay.

FELIPE: Could you make an introduction to the group: Path members and albums.
FALLS OF RAUROS: We formed back in late 2005 as a two-piece: just Ray and myself at the time. Jordan joined us in either late 2006 or early 2007 and eventually Evan rounded out the line-up in 2010. We’ve released a series of demos followed by 3 full-lengths, 2008’s “Hail Wind and Hewn Oak”, 2011’s “The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood”, and 2014’s “Believe in No Coming Shore” as well as a split with PANOPTICON that same year. March 31st saw the release of our 4th record, “Vigilance Perennial.”

FELIPE: What influences you had to get to that sound so himself?
FALLS OF RAUROS: That’s impossible to say. I’d guess that it’s a composite of all the music we individually listen to and enjoy mixed with the sound FALLS OF RAUROS has developed over the years. We try to change it up and attempt new things with each release. Our early releases inform us on what to improve, what to ditch, what to pursue. Early on I’d say BATHORY, ILDJARN, JUDAS ISCARIOT, TENHI, EMPEROR, AGALLOCH, and PRIMORDIAL all exerted their influence on us.

FELIPE: What groups identified as a reference and influences each of the members? What musical groups are listening to the moment?
FALLS OF RAUROS: Aside from those early influences I mentioned you could add ENSLAVED, SUMMONING, DARKTHRONE, SATYRICON, ULVER and BORKNAGAR as collective influences. We each listen to lots of other music on our own time. Folk musicians such as ROBBIE BASHO, JASON MOLINA, SIX ORGAMS OF ADMITTANCE, JOHN FAHEY, JACK ROSE, SANDY BULL, MARIEE SIOUX, and many others have made an impact. Jazz, classical, progressive rock. It’s nearly impossible to make even a rough list. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of RICHARD SKELTON and his various monikers, as well as THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, MULATU ASTATKE, ROY HARPER, ANDREW HILL… again the list is long and it’s awkward to go on.

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?
FALLS OF RAUROS: I’ll never forget our mini-tour with SEIDR and ALL IN THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY, it was our first ever venture out of Maine to play shows. Playing with LAKE OF BLOOD was another highlight. Since then we’ve toured with WAYFARER and played a few shows with NUMENOREAN which was a treat, and we’ll be hitting the road with OBSIDIAN TONGUE very soon. Some years ago we played a festival in Connecticut which included FEN and AGALLOCH which was pretty fantastic. Mostly we like to play with bands we get along with. Companionship is important when traveling and playing unknown cities.

FELIPE: Apart from music, what activities you develop? Do you study, work?
FALLS OF RAUROS: We all work jobs as we can’t really pay the bills otherwise. None of us are currently studying in a university anymore but we’re all receptive to learning and try to continually learn through life experiences and reading and whatnot. Reading is a great pastime, and cycling, hiking, camping rank high on the list as well. Introspective and solitary activities are always welcome. I don’t really want to go too into detail with our personal lives here.

FELIPE: How was the reception of your albums by specialized media and fans? And more especially on your latest album, how has been received and what comments have come to them? What are its main characteristics and do you have any collaboration?
FALLS OF RAUROS: I’m not too sure honestly. From what I’ve seen coverage from “critics” has always been generally positive. Not 100% of the time though, by any stretch. It’s not something we worry about too much. Not everyone is going to like what we do. That’s clear as day. So far reception of the new record has been very warm, but it just came out so we’ll see. Most people out there have yet to hear it. Characteristics of “Vigilance Perennial” would also be a struggle to pin down. It sounds like FALLS OF RAUROS but perhaps more aggressive and more intricate. A few surprises rear their heads. At the end of the day it’s the four of us doing our thing with no outside help.

FELIPE: In your albums I find it easy to feel some influence from other groups like AGALLOCH, EMPYRIUM, SKAGOS, among others. What do you think of these groups? Do you highlight any other of the scene?
FALLS OF RAUROS: AGALLOCH is a band we all love and has certainly influenced us somewhat. I don’t think we sound as much like them as people tend to infer, however. I personally enjoy EMPYRIUM but I’m not sure if the rest of the band listens to them. The same goes for SKAGOS, who I’d view as our contemporaries and certainly not an influence. I think they’re great. Very creative and emotive. But not an influence on us. I could of course mention PANOPTICON as a near-and-dear band to us. His music is hard to top. ALDA is fantastic and dear to us. Basically anything on Bindrune or Nordvis, as well as Eternal Warfare and Woodsmoke is probably worth spending some time with.

FELIPE: The world of music has always become a business niche, where the unscrupulous and honest have been struggling for the last 60 years. You are in the system.
What look do you have of him? How could you keep yourself honest and free from contamination? What stand out and what do they reject the system?
FALLS OF RAUROS: We’ve always approached FALLS OF RAUROS with a DIY ethos and that keeps us somewhat “unsullied” or whatever. We used to record and mix ourselves entirely. Now we pay our way through a local studio and continue to write/produce everything ourselves. We’re no doubt in the system and we can’t avoid that. If we wanted to avoid that we wouldn’t make records at all and only play live shows for local communities and loved ones and never produce any material products to sell. We just try to find a balance and keep our hearts in the right place. It’s never been about money for us and we’ve never profited off this band. Everything we make goes back into the next tour or the next album.

FELIPE: The folk aspect in each of your albums is a constant. What relevance do you have for folk music, alternative culture and aspects away from the current neo-capitalist world?
FALLS OF RAUROS: Folk music is something we’ve been into for a long time. It’s an important form of music for many reasons, one of which is the fact that it can exist independently from “the grid” and requires very little money or resources to create. A single acoustic instrument (or several), a voice if you’d like, but it’s not a necessity. It’s a perfect form of music to invite autonomy and self-expression among those with a wealth of creativity but limited financial means. Electric instruments, pedals and amplifiers are extremely expensive. As are drum kits. Macbooks and samplers and synthesizers are expensive. Folk music is a vessel of transport for timeless desires and instincts. It’s also a celebrated form of protest music.

FELIPE: Sometimes it gives the impression that your musical proposal could take you to places perhaps far from Metal, more progressive and folkloric places. Have you ever pondered this?
FALLS OF RAUROS: We try not to pigeonhole ourselves into the “metal” genre but there’s no denying that we are ultimately a metal band. We just approach writing, and individual melodic or technical ideas, from a place outside of metal sometimes. We don’t want every piece of our musical puzzle to stem directly from metal as that’s a tightly closed circle which doesn’t invite much in the way of innovation. We’ll permit almost anything to influence our music but the key is to work it into our compositions in a subtle way. Writing disjointed songs rife with overly conspicuous genre-hopping is an ugly practice and something we try to avoid at all costs. There’s a balance to find.

FELIPE: What do you think about music downloads from the internet? Does it affect you or your neighbors? Would they restrict them?
FALLS OF RAUROS: I personally download a lot of music. I also buy a lot of music. I have innumerable records, CDs (though I’ve slimmed down the collection over the years), and some tapes. I just simply can’t afford to purchase everything I want to hear. Music is too important to me to limit what I hear due to my finances. I do what I can. A lot of people download our music and it doesn’t bother me. If you wish to buy our music, please do, or come see us play a show. Something that is definitely bothersome is the fact that “Vigilance Perennial” was leaked immediately after promos went out, but the leaked version has a noticeably reduced sound quality. Now there’s been a pretty widespread dissemination of this trash-quality promo and people are likely getting the wrong impression of the record. Download it if you want, but try to at least get a high quality version and hear it as it should sound!

FELIPE: What is the importance of nature in your daily life and in the compositions of FALLS OF RAUROS?
FALLS OF RAUROS: Spending time in the natural world is very important to me and I try to incorporate it in my life whenever possible. Unfortunately this is less than I’d like. I’ll go sit outside in a somewhat secluded area and read for a while, or walk paths near where I live, but actually getting far away from civilization to camp and hike for extended periods requires driving a couple hours away. I can’t bike there. So that limits how often I can go to when I’m heading to the woods with some friends. My deep-seated appreciation for solitude and wildness ultimately finds its way into all of our music. A lot of our lyrics don’t actually deal directly with the natural world or ecological topics but that spirit is always somewhere under the surface. Other times, such as “The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood” record, the lyrics are very directly rooted in political and ecological turmoil.

FELIPE: What is your opinion of the excessive exploitation of natural resources, the enrichment of some economic groups and the business that has been built around natural resources?
FALLS OF RAUROS: It’s a basic issue of respect. If you view the planet as a resource to be used and manipulated for the comfort and benefit of humans you will act accordingly. Short-term quality of life “improvements” are enjoyed with serious long-term consequences. This doesn’t matter to most people because by the time those long-term consequences rear their ugly heads they will be long dead. It’s a problem for a future generation to be deferred indefinitely.

FELIPE: In the United States something happened, which for the rest of the world was unthinkable: Donald Trump. What is your opinion of him? What do you think will happen in your country and the world with his arrival? Will citizen protests increase in the United States?
FALLS OF RAUROS: A lot of people didn’t see it coming at all, or thought it was nearly impossible for him to get elected. In hindsight that’s extremely embarrassing and a perfect example of likeminded people associating and reinforcing each other’s opinions until the outside party seems to be an entirely diminished threat. I was shocked when he was elected and I shouldn’t have been. No good will come of his presidency.

There were protests immediately following his inauguration (and prior to his inauguration) and these seem to be continuing. We’ve seen also a spike in donations to various organizations and participation in Senate/House level politics. People are making calls and doing what they can to mitigate the damage being caused. That’s encouraging, but it sure as hell is a discouraging time in America and throughout the world.

FELIPE: On your last album, five songs for an LP can be seen as something short, but seeing examples like the latest albums from NEUROSIS and WINTERFYLLETH seems to be a current way of editing LP. How do you know when the album is complete? Was it deliberate or casual?
FALLS OF RAUROS: We wrote the album specifically for the vinyl format, and we didn’t want it to be a double LP. So we had a very clear 38-45 minute window to aim for. We kept this in mind as we wrote and paced the record. We didn’t want the record to feel too long, or be a chore to listen to, so 44 minutes later the album was finished. It has 4 songs that clock in at 10 minutes or more, and a short “interlude” to mark the transition from side A to side B. Anyway, our two previous records only had 6 songs each, and both included intro/interlude tracks. “The Light That Dwells” is really just built around 3 long metal tracks. So this is nothing new for us, just our preferred method of operation.

FELIPE: Are you aware of the global scene of Black Metal? What groups stand out? Are you aware of any American group, and more particularly a Chilean?
FALLS OF RAUROS: We’re somewhat in tune with the global black metal scene, but there’s plenty we’re missing out on. It’s just too difficult to keep up. I personally listen to a lot of our labelmates bands as they suit my taste. Otherwise, all the classic Norwegian bands go without saying. Also bands like CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS, COBALT, ÁRSTÍÐIR LÍFSINS, THRALLDOM, AKITSA, FYRNASK; there are really too many to enumerate. I really like the new record by GRIMA. I’m not too familiar with the Chilean scene, though I’ve heard the band PRAECOGNITVM’s demo and that sounds promising. Do you have any suggestions for bands to check out? I’m curious.

FELIPE: What do you think of bands like PANOPTICON, ADDAURA, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, among others, that have positioned a different look at Black Metal and a way of interpreting society that differs from the general?
FALLS OF RAUROS: PANOPTICON is a band that’s very dear to us. We’ve been great friends with Austin for many years now and we’re very much on the same page with him. I would say I appreciate music created by intelligent and thoughtful people more than I enjoy music made by assholes and sociopaths, but I am capable enough at separating art from the artist. Anyway, it’s great to have likeminded bands out there with political and philosophical ideas more or less in line with ours. Both PANOPTICON and FALLS OF RAUROS have steered away from pointedly political lyrics on recent albums, though that remains an important backbone to this day. We just want to keep things fresh and exciting and incorporate other topics and themes into our music than what drove “The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood.”

FELIPE: Metal is regularly judged as "noises", "jars" and other pejorative concepts. However, over the years the different scenes have delivered to the main and most virtuous, imaginative and talented exponents of music in general. I understand that prejudice, ignorance and laziness for wanting to leave that ignorance articulate this unfounded criticism. How has your life experiences and what do you have to live?
FALLS OF RAUROS: Tolerance for metal seems to wax and wane in mainstream culture and among the major taste-making publications. It appeared to enjoy general acceptance a few years back and that’s sort of waning at this point. Everything is cyclical and “mainstream” tastes are very mercurial. It doesn’t bother us. We’ve been into underground metal and punk for too many years to count. We also listen to many other genres. We write music for ourselves, our friends, and fans; it’s clearly not for everyone. I guess I have no strong opinion on this.

FELIPE: What are your views of religion and the Church? Spirituality has always been an almost innate condition in man, but I mean the institutionalization of spirituality.
FALLS OF RAUROS: No one in the band is religious whatsoever. That includes any of the major established religions as well as pagan ones. We’re not scientologists, either. Hah. Spirituality for me is tied in with my personal philosophies and morality. It’s certainly not tangible or definable. We’re unrepentant Atheists in this band: it’s not a popular opinion in 2017 but I find it hard to relate to deeply religious views when there is such a wealth of information out there to contravene those established religions. Bill Callahan said “it’s time to put god away” and I’d say it’s well past time.

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.
FALLS OF RAUROS: Thanks for all the support. Stay in touch!

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