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This is the interview of Rodrigo Galvez (bass player of Mar de Grises).
Could you present your project in some words for the readers of Inwebzine? RG: Hello there! Well, Mar de Grises is the name of the band, we are from Chile (far far away lands), and our music is kind of a sonorous experience, created with a lot of passion and pure feeling. Our sound is a singular blend of emotional and intense music with layers of doom metal, progressive rock, post rock, post hardcore and all the post metal derivates. For some people it is called post doom, but we don’t care about this labels really, is just music, and we tried to put all our most pure feelings and creativity in our music in order to create kind of a sonorous story for each album. Currently we are releasing with the French company Season of Mist our fourth album called Streams Inwards, and on the past we were working with Firebox Records (Finland) and touring across Europe twice. Now we are under a several promotional campaign, and preparing our upcoming tour around Europe.
Everybody knows that your first album was considered by the specialised press as one of the best albums of doom metal. What was your feeling after the release of The Tatterdemalion Express?
RG: The Tatterdemalion Express implied a big effort to us. It meant our first steps as a band, and our first approaches as musicians. After that release everything changed for us. We were having the possibility of showing our music from the end of the world and sharing our feeling with people around the world. The feedback of media and fans was really good for a band like us; it was something unexpected and surprising for the band members. You know, you always put your best efforts and expect some good feedback for your enterprises and projects, but we never imagined that it would be possible to do some kind of “musical career” there in Europe, with real support from labels, media interested in us, fans giving us many good comments and thanking us because of our music, and the opportunity of touring, among many other things. After that album the feeling was special. A new world of opportunities came for the band, and the most important aspect is that it all implied a lot of new energies and important encouragement for us, something that, among other things, motivated us to continue making music with Mar de Grises.
I think that one of the most difficult thing to do after all this considerations and congratulations was to confirm with your next albums. Draining the Waterheart was also a success in 2008 and now Streams Inwards is still better I think. What is your secret? More seriously what are according to you the ingredients of a good album of Mar de Grises?
RG: Mmm... I don’t know really. It is difficult to identify any special aspect in the composing process, and knowing about the people’s preferences is even more difficult, I think. In Mar de Grises we just try to do everything with passion in each album. We are not thinking much about the people’s response to our composing process. In each song and the albums all implies a complex mixture between our emotions, feelings, and our creative view as musicians. When composing, first of all we try not to repeat the same formula exactly, and I guess we try to stay away from some typical clichés, or at least we try to do that. Including a lot of new ideas and being be open to more and new influences is an important matter to us, all in order to put our emotions, feelings, and thinking into kind of a sonorous journey. Each song represents different emotions and situations, fact that maybe explains why the structures and musical arrangement are different between each song, and then they are part of a main story and result as an album.
In which conditions have you recorded and realised Streams Inwards?
RG: The album was worldwide released by Season of Mist, and was recorded after signing with them. After Draining the Waterheart our agreement with Firebox Records ended, so it was a good time to look for good opportunities and a new agreement for the band.
Streams Inwards was recorded in about one and a half month. We used our own studio recording (Estudio Gris) for main production and 2 more studios for specific issues. It was our first experience with the production in charge of Mar de Grises and an external producer we chose (Igor Leiva, Poema Arcanus, Great Chilean doom band and friends of us) and I think the result was very good in terms of sound and the promotion has been very good from part of the label.
Streams Inwards is available since the end of August. What are your feelings about this album? Are you satisfied with it?
RG: Well, this album represents the biggest challenge we have had as a band, I think. Many things changed for us with this new agreement with Season of Mist, and the band members were in charge of many different projects at the moment of the deal and recordings, including some of us living in different cities or countries. It feels really good to know that all the effort we put on composing, recordings, and other things are getting a good feedback from people and media. When you try to propose something new with each album, and not repeating the same than as in your previous works and the typical stuff of other bands, you have a big margin of failure or breakdown, and the margin of success is smaller. So it feels really good. I don’t know if satisfaction is exactly the term, because we really don’t have very big expectations about our works in terms of being popular or a massively successful, but everything looks very well I think. We are cool with that. We just want to show and share our music and emotions to more and more people and that is enough to us. Now, if this implies recognition and good and better things for the band, it is welcome of course.
What are your most influent sources of inspiration when your wrote the lyrics and the music of your tracks?
RG: Mmm... Lyrics and main topics are determined by our life experiences. That is the main driver for Mar de Grises. First of all, everything consists of creating a sonorous experience guided by our emotion. That is why our music includes strong mark of passion and romanticism, because in some way we are talking about us with each song. Of course there are many influences as complements, poetry, romanticism and surrealistic literature, science theories, films... About musical and composing influences, if you ask for some other artist it’s a large list. We have a broad view regarding musical preferences, from typical metal stuff, including very under and avant-garde acts, to other styles such as contemporary music, post rock, pop, hardcore, punk... Everything can be useful for taking some inspiration and ideas.
This year you have signed your first big contract with a major label. What is your feeling about your contract with Season of Mist? Is this contract the representation of a lot of changes in the possibilities that you have during the realisation of your last album?
RG: Well, the deal with Season of Mist represents a big step forward for the band. It is a great chance for showing and sharing our music with more and more people, and implies many changes about some band items, not much related to the music but to other very important aspects such as promotion, distribution, managing, etc. Now we have an important support for every campaign, and that means more and better opportunities for the band. Of course, we are very happy and satisfied with this agreement, and we will be working hard to obtain and maintain good results for both parts, making music as good as we could.
After two years your will come back in Europe. What represents for you this European tour? Could you tell us a few things about this tour?
RG: Yeah. We will back to Europe finally. It represents a very good chance to show our music to new metal heads, and sharing with our fans. Also it is an opportunity to confirm that we are an interesting band with a good performance and sound on the European stages. Finally, all it is about playing you music, doing a concert... Touring represents a very special moment to us because we can’t do it more than 1 time every one or two years, so you can imagine how excited we are for it. We can’t wait!!!
Now we will be touring with fantastic bands such as Swallow the Sun and Solstafir, something that is an extra encouraging and challenging. I’m pretty sure that this tour will be really good, and interesting for fans and media.
I’ve seen your Europeans dates on your myspace. There are only three gigs in France, one in Netherlands and none in Belgium… I’m amazed of that because there are a lot of metal fans in those areas. Is your European tour already booked or are you going to make some others gigs in Europe?
RG: This tour is already booked. Is about twenty two or twenty one gigs in twenty two days only. I don’t know exactly if there is some chance to book something for us before of the actual dates. But you can ask to our booking agency Avocado Booking - www.avocado-booking.com- directly for some chances. Don’t hesitate to do it! ;) It is a pity that Belgium was not included, or one gig only for Holland or UK, or no gigs for other places such as Finland, or Italy. But you know, it’s not an easy enterprise, and sometimes it is impossible for us to be touring for a long time because the touring cost, because our jobs, our studies... Anyway, we will always be very interested to add and include more gigs, as much as possible. We know that there is interest in us because the fans are writing us, because the sales, the media, because past tours... and we would love to do it, for sure! So, cross fingers ;) haha Keep in touch. Cheers!
Cheers and many thanks!
(Answered by Rodrigo Galvez, Bass)
Review of Streams Inwards