Thursday, April 03, 2008

Interview with Reino Ermitaño

Reino Ermitaño hail from Peru and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the band to find out more about them and their plans for the near future. The whole band chimed in here so they are Tania Duarte: Vocals, Frank Pachas: Guitars,Marcos Coifman: Bass and Julio Almeida: Drums.

MM-Tell us a little about your band?

Julio: I´ve always played heavy rock, when I was a teenager I didn`t know about the name of this style, for me the word DOOM didn´t exist, except in some song names like Hand of Doom. I used to play in MAZO , which was a band from the 80´s . We called our style Heavy Rock, now it`s the same situation with Reino, but they call us a doom band, for me trad doom.

MM-Who are your influences?

Tania: Sabbath, Nina Hagen, Obsessed, Zeppelin, 80´s metal and all the 70´s heavy and progressive bands I listened to .

Julio: Sabbath, Heep, Purple, Zeppelin, Crimson, Captain Beyond, Tempest, Hendrix, ELP, Warhorse (the old one), Ronno, Plus, Tarkus (Peruvian heavy rock band), and many heavy and progressive bands from the 70´s.

Marcos: All those 70's and 80's ones and some "new" ones too... Electric Wizard, YOB, Witch, Buried At Sea, Acid King, Cathedral, Ufomammut, what have you... everything that you truly like and listen to often influences your work to some degree, whether consciously or not. Amazingly enough, this is a great time for underground heavy music, there's lots of bands out there that I love.

MM-What are you currently working on?

Tania: Creating new lyrics and songs for Reino`s 4th CD.

Julio: Trying to create new songs for a new Reino CD, and working in my doom project band called Paquidermo.

Marcos: Yeah, writing new material and establishing a stronger musical connection as a band with our new lineup.

MM-How has your sound changed since you first started out?

Tania: talking about our 2nd and 3rd works: it´s darker, doomier, more melancholic, more direct, creepier, more full of anguish. Apparently what we´ll be doing next will be totally different due to our next spiritual experiences and a new guitar player.

Julio: the band sounds more 70´s now. We have a new guitar player that has given the band more heaviness, dirtiness and cohesion as a band in sound and ideas. We are traveling around Peru with him in search of new experiences to be put on our music.

Marcos: I agree about the darker, heavier sound. Also, I think our music has definitely moved forward along it's own path... I don't know that this has to be called evolution, necessarily, but it certainly has taken a few large steps ahead. I think the more experience you gain, the more you become connected to the core, to the source elements of your band's music, and the less you rely on the inevitable "safe territories" that every musician has. I think you experiment more, but you also simplify more, you go straight for the throat, you know? I think that happens to our new music more and more, every time.

MM-What is the music scene like in Peru?

Frank: It´s emerging slowly. I believe changes start within oneself and I see it´s happening. Slowly.

Julio: Like everywhere, too much commercial punk, too much extreme metal and almost no doom.

Marcos: It's basically a metal scene. Little doom, less stoner and as far as metal goes, it's still very rooted in 80's thrash metal. Which is not a bad thing in my book! Still, I don't think the scene is very much alive at all... there's a lot of metal heads, lot of people in metal gigs, but the movement itself is not organic, not thriving, it doesn't feel like a living, passionate entity, like in some countries where there's always something going on and there's fans giving a lot of support for bands, 'zines and venues... I don't think there's a community feeling here, in that sense. Too many people working against each other, lots of apathy, etc. Still, some are soldiering on with their own efforts, and the whole thing keeps surviving.


MM-Are there many other doom or stoner bands in your area?

Frank: Not exactly “many” but yes, there are a few. It seems like the whole local scene is growing though, and that´s cool because fast metal music is not the only good music.This place had a rich history on 60s-70s rock, so I find it bizarre rock influences were usually avoided by metal bands (with some fine exceptions like Mazo in the 80s)

Julio: There are a few, En Las Espesas Nieblas (In the Thick Fogs), Lament Christ, Caballo de Plomo (Lead Horse), Don Juan Matus (Stoner Rock- very interesting), well, La Ira de Dios that is a psychedelic band with stoner rock blends.

MM-How many people do you get at your shows?

Julio: our shows are small, in average between 50 or 200 in best days.

MM-Have you played any shows outside of your home country?

Julio: not yet, we wish and plan to.

MM-What are some of your songs about and where do you get the inspiration for your song topics?Tania: Our songs are about existence, darkness and light, nature, poetry, social changes, medieval tales, inner states, emotional dementia, we have a song that talks about the incursion of USA in Iraq (against it) in our unreleased 3rd CD. Inspiration comes from frequent travels around our country, its history and nature and the sincretism between ancient Peruvian cultures and European conquerors.

Julio: Emotional states, spiritual experiences and life philosophies, hallucinogens and internal voyages. In our next CD we want to talk about experiences in ayahuasca, a sacred spiritual therapy hallucinogen that grows in our jungle that we intend to take in rituals as a band.

Marcos: For myself, so long as there's a connection with a deeply felt state of mind or spirit, a true emotion, there a song materializes... I think the general idea is to find something that truly is there, intensely, both inside as well as outside, and commit to that energy, hang on to that ride... to be a vehicle for the riff, the lyrics, the song to come to life as they should be, you know? Not to let the mind itself get on the way too much. That's as true as I know how to "write songs". Let them happen on their own, to come forth from your subconscious, and learn to instinctively separate the essential from the accessory; take what's important and leave the rest out.

MM-What are you doing that sets your band apart?

Julio: well, in our country doom metal is about black and death metal in a slow way, there are no trad doom bands here apart from Mazo and Caballo de Plomo, people always say that we are not doom, that we are stoner rock. We think of our band as a Heavy Rock band but we can´t ignore the fact that we actually make doom-stoner because we mix the seventies heavy and the eighties metal what is doom metal in a traditional way.

Marcos: I think we play very dark and very heavy music but also in a candid, open spirit. I think there are some obvious elements that set the band apart as far as the international scene goes, beginning with the female vocals, words in spanish and subtle indigenous musical influence, but I think there's also an intent that's very particular, very personal in this band... I think Reino's work as a whole has a distinct personality, has it's own voice, and it's one that's very packed with emotion and intensity. Maybe that's what I feel the best about, regarding the band's music... it's true, it's alive... it's not trying to please anybody but itself...

MM-What were some of your favorite albums of 2007?

Marcos:Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today,Middian - Age Eternal,Aldebaran - Dwellers In Twilight,Om - Pilgrimage,Reverend Bizarre - So Long Suckers,Baby Woodrose - Chasing Rainbows,Solace - The Black Black,Witchcraft - The Alchemist

Frank: Om, Reverend Bizarre and Trouble released fine albums in 2007.

Tania: Witch Cult Today, Reverend Bizarre, Trouble.

Julio: Witchcult Today by Electric Wizard and Witchcraft´s The Alchemist, OM's Pilgrimage, Trouble's Simple Mind Condition, I know there are many more but haven´t had the opportunity to listen to them. There is a new Peruvian Stoner rock band called Don Juan Matus that has released a CD this year that is very cool.

MM-Choose the band you prefer from the following pair and briefly state why you chose them.

Candlemass or Pentagram

Marcos: Pentagram, by miles.

Tania: Candlemass, more energetic and epic, not as hippy as Pentagram.

Julio: Pentagram of course.

Frank: Hard one. Early Candlemass were there on the day of retribution.

Dio or Ozzy

Marcos: In Sabbath: Ozzy, absolutely. That right there's the best line up of any band, ever. Today, however, as a singer: Dio. Ozzy should have retired long before The Osbournes.

Tania: Ozzy, definitely, charisma, feeling, balls, wickedness, true beauty without technique. Dio is excellent but doesn´t have the Sabbath taste.

Julio: I prefer Ozzy, his voice fits perfectly into sabbath´s music, his life performance is very honest and his vocal melodies, specially in the Sabotage album, gave me the best moments in the darkest nights of my adolescence. When I think in Black Sabbath with Dio, I think that it´s a good Dio band but what wonderful guitar solos!

Frank: This is apples and oranges. But If I had to choose,I´d go for old (young) Ozzy.

YOB or Sleep

Marcos: YOB. I like Sleep, but I find YOB much more creative.

Frank: Enough Sleeping grants you a Yob.

Tania: Both. Fulfilling. True.

Julio: Difficult question, my heavy side tends towards Sleep, but I really dig YOB. I think when I need to listen to a good dose of doom psych stoner I play Sleep, when I need to go out to a gig, I choose YOB as fuel.

Fu Manchu or Nebula

Marcos: KYUSS!

Frank: Fu Manchu were in search of, earlier.

Tania: None.

Julio: I'm a heavy and doom rocker but in this case, although I like Nebula, its stoner rock sounds to me as not very original but Fu Manchu catches me in a way that heavy and punk combined can make me fly.

MM-What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2008?

Tania: I think I can speak in name of the band by saying that we want to see our whole production in vinyl, a new 4th CD, touring in South America and Europe and lots of gigs in our country. And plenty of wishes come true by the grace of Ayahuasca in band united experiences.

Marcos: I wholeheartedly agree. Hope we write a bunch of new stuff.

MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your band your music?

Tania: We live what we do and believe in what we make and hope you like our next 3rd CD called "Rituales Interiores" (Inner Rituals).

Julio: About our lyrics, not to be conformists, when you think the government is doing things wrong, you are right. When you think the human being is killing our planet, you are right. When you think the catholic Church is playing with the people for their own interests, you are right too. In sum, we need to change established ideas and attitudes to a more harmonical life with nature and internal spirituality.

***Thanks to Reino Ermitaño for doing the interview.

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Blogger Devil Dick said...

These guys (and gal) are Kings! (& queens)!!!


9:31 AM  

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