Talking Doom With Juan Escobar Of AstorVoltaires …   Leave a comment

Chile keeps keeps on giving us new talent in the doom metal genre that is simply astonishing. Astorvoltaires by Juan Escobar (also in Lapsus Dei, Mar de Grises) is the new one man project developed to offer a very melodic variation upon the classic doom metal genre. Aleks Evdokimov put together this interview with Juan.

Q: Salute Juan! True to say I was thinking about interviewing with you right after receiving for review the debut album of your project AstorVoltaires but then we did the interview with Alejandro Arce who played with you in Mar de Grises and I decided to take a break from that idea. But here we go! I would like to ask you to introduce yourself to our readers, for those who maybe do not know about your merits into dark scene.

-Hi Aleks and everybody who is reading this. I`m Juan from Chilean band ASTORVOLTAIRES.

Q: You’re more than modest! Therefore I have to ask you to tell us what is your main musical project in this period? Because I know it well – you practice your skills not only in AstorVoltaires.

-Well, recently I left Mar de Grises, and now I’m working with my own project ASTORVOLTAIRES and a Folk-avantgarde band call BAUDA (both from Chile).

Q: I’m sure that you’re waiting for this question and here we go! Why did you leave Mar de Grises? You had another European tour with the band last December, you achieved more than many death doom bands can dream about! What is a reason Juan?!

-Ok, isn`t just “a” reason for that, but let me say was a very difficult decision. Some of them very personal and another more simple, like: I just needed a change.

Q: Don’t you ever feel that you have nothing more to say in some certain genre? Maybe this could be a reason…

-Music genre? No, indeed I don’t like “labels”, of course sometimes is necessary, but isn’t a topic for me. Music is from our hearts, minds, souls… and that is unlabeled.

Q: What is Bauda? There’s not too much information about it but it looks like interesting project.

-Bauda is “the” project of Cesar Marques, is like a Folk-Avantgarde music. He sign with Chinese label PEST PRODUCTIONS and release his third album with them called “Oniirica”. Also he was part of a compilation from PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS “Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings”, with the biggest band from genre; Tenhi, Ulver, Empyrium, Les Discrets among others.

Q: What is your occupation in Bauda? Are you an active member or just session musician?

­-I play Keys like session musician and working on the keyboard arrangements for the next album.

Q: How did you come to the realization that you needed to create AstorVoltaires? You played in one of the most famous South American death-doom bands, you took part in few other projects including Aura Hiemis, wasn’t you satisfied your hunger of expression through the music?

-Like musician I always have energy to create music, since I have 10 years old or something. So I start my first band project like 15 years ago.

Is not like “I didn’t satisfied”, it just like “I wanna do it”. Not necessary metal music. I had been part of some B-sides projects like electro-pop-house and stuff. I compose classic and neo classic music too. Music is to big just for play only metal music or just one band, I think.

Q: Juan, sorry for stupid questions (I checked one or two on-line translator) but what does AstorVoltaires mean?

-No stupid questions my friend, stupid are people who don’t ask…

Astor Voltaires is just a name.

Q: You announced names of session members of AstorVoltaires – does it mean that you’ve decided to transform this project into a real band and you’re going to play gigs and etc.?

-Yes it is. I (we) will play LIVE sometime, but anyway isn`t a target for me, but will be great play LIVE and make some gigs. Couldn’t advance anything in detail right now, but there are some good ideas and project which will be live presentation.

Q: When a musician starts some project or band he always has some certain musical influences and ideas which he would like to impress in his songs. Your lyrics are in Spanish, your music is strange mix of doom and some progressive rock, I guess that we can’t name your music with some simple label… AstorVoltaires is a kind of mystery for me and for a part of listeners, Juan, you must reveal your secrets!

-OK well, is a kind of innocence feelings, lucky and a vast knowledge of musical genres. I just search my feelings, experiencing, emotionality and put this together. I think isn`t like a secret, just been truly with your own and the rest of the world. Almost when i wanna create my music, the target is make the most fantastic and depress music ever (in my case), so it is work. I don’t think about labels or what people will think about it, just wanna shake your hearts and blows some minds.

Q: How long did you spend recording “Katan Nagantu”?

-Recording like 2 months and mixing and mastering like 2 months more.

Q: Believe me, it’s necessary! I would like to ask you to comment on the songs from “Katan Nagantu” because not all of us know Spanish and Google doesn’t help very well in such situations.

R: OK, this will be long:

1.- Máscara means “Mask” and talk about how much you hide from your real “Mask” or face to the people you love, and how your death can change people, revealing the truth. This composition was made under 3 ideas: Piano idea, riff 1 idea and the final section idea, riff too.

2.- Tiempo de perder means “Time to loose” and talk about loose your faith… from people, religious, moral, the world, etc. everyone are fuckin nuts !!!. This song is very simple (talking about the structure) just 3 chords and high vocal choir

3.- Crisol is a glass that is used to melt metals. Well this is very personal lyric. Sometime in my life I felt like a “thing” who is used to “melt the past” from a girl of course. Is a “unloved song”. This composition was made under 2 ideas: Slow and deep

4.- Busco un final is like a “Seek my end”. Talk about low mood people and how little person you feel. Here I just wanna made more heavy riffs and lyrics

5.- Ansiedad means “Anxiety”. This lyric is very textual. Is like a war among you and anxiety. I hate it. This song for me is the deepest one. More clean guits and polyphony choirs to create “that” mood.

6.- Katan nagantü means “Through the sunset” (this means “through the life” for me). This is a very romantic song. Talk about love after love. Very painful and full of emotions. Something similar with “Ansiedad”: To create that mood I used a rhythm cadence /chords very simple: VI – I – V7sus4_3 (is like a classic and romantic cadence)

7.- Escamas de Óxido means “Flakes of rust”. This is similar to “Mascara”, but in this one you like your mask, and don’t wanna change it. Totally disappointed of everyone. This composition was a lineal idea of slide the chords. Need a balance between soft and heavy sections

8.- Fuente means “Fountain”. I think this is the more metaphorical lyric ever. Fountain of life, love, energy, white magic, etc. Music is more complex that the others, more expresive and changing. I try to made some “non tipical cadences”

9.- El momento means something like “time”, but really is “time of death”. Talk about of pass away. The form is very important, cause are just single words, without grammar context but with context among themselves. Music is a Piano idea, like Dodecafonic music and a new principal idea with soft electronic drums and then the same idea more heavy.

10.- Vísperas de dulces melodias cósmicas means Sweet cosmics tunes`s eve. Well this is very personal lyric too, talk about my childhood, that`s all. Music is simple; two chords on the A section and 3chords on the B section. Changes perfume the music.

Hope you could understand better my lyrics after this resume.

Q: Oh, yes, I do! But true to say I thought that lyrics of AstorVoltaires was more harmonious, peaceful and not so emotional. I supposed that “Crisol” and “Vísperas de dulces melodias cósmicas” characterize “Katan Naganti” better than other songs though now I see that it’s not exactly right. Which songs from your point of view define AstorVoltaires music clearer?

-I think all songs define it. Emotionality is the answer, is my target.

Q: Now when we see that it’s not just a temporary project for you… now can you say that there will be more of AstorVoltaires in nearby future? Do you have a few more songs for next release?

-Exactly, AV is here to stay. I have a new material, but now i`m on a “break” for a while little one in fact. Maybe for early 2012 will be a new release.

Q: How long did you searched for a label to release “Katan Nagantu”?

-I don’t remember well, but I think something like 2 or 3 months. Wasn’t funny but AV not fulfilling the expectations cause wasn’t Doom metal, just in essence I think. Anyway, Gene, after 2 month I think accept me like his son and happy end for all.

Q: Man, who is the real Juan Escobar? The man who played in Mar de Grises or the one who stands behind AstorVoltaires? Which sides of you are represented in Mar de Grises and AstorVoltaires?

-The real JescobarC is just a person with some kind of “musical talent”, and a deep person who like slow and heavy music. I was a good fit in MdG when Marcelo left the band and with the time we had a good chemistry. Parallel (all the time really), I was working on my own music and ASTORVOLTAIRES is just equivalent to the sum: be musician and be a restless person.

Maybe my real side is behind AV, but I put my soul playing with Mar de Grises, no doubt on that. Surely was a greatest time for me.

Q: Why did you leave Lapsus Dei? Was it from some disagreement at some creative questions or did you feel yourself tired of such music? Okay, do you ever feel yourself tired from music? Maybe from certain kind of it? Brutal for example?

-Well, I have contact with Lapsus Dei`s guys from time to time. Truth, I hadn’t time among MdG, AV, work, study, etc.

Strange, but I’ve never feel tired with music. Maybe yes, I don’t ear some brutal, just time to time, but it wasn’t reason to leave the band. Take the opportunity to send greetings to Rodrigo and Lapsus Dei (He is my neighbor, no kidding. LOL).

Q: Can you tell us about main musical tendencies in South American doom metal (or just metal) scene? Maybe its a mistake but it seems that Chile are strong representatives of death doom genre, I know about good psychedelic and traditional doom bands from Peru but I know only about Mythological Cold Towers in Brazil and know nothing at all about Argentine!

– Well, is very difficult questions cause I don’t know all the South american scene, maybe I could talk about “Chilean Metal Scene”. Is like if I ask to you about “European Metal Scene” and talk to me about the bands hahahahaa… anyway, Chile have a metal scence since 80´´ with some Thrash metal bands like; Pentagram, Dorso, Sadism, Necrosis, Atomic Aggressor, Massakre, among others.

Today is different: We have all kind of metal music styles and with time “are own metal lexicon”. Bands like: Poema arcanvs (Doom metal), Animus mortis (Black metal), Electrozombies (Sludge/doom metal), Mar de Grises (Post Doom), Octopus (Progressive metal), Yajaira (Rock/Stoner), Six magic (Power metal), Nuclear (Thrash metal), Undercroft (Death metal), Devil presley (Rock), Folkheim (Folk metal), Death yell (Death metal), Uaral (Folk/doom metal ) among so many others

We have Doom metal, but more than that we have METAL MUSIC. Anyway, I don’t like labels, but it works sometimes.

Q: Good! It was an interesting discussion so I would like to thank you for this interview Juan! I wish you all the best and I hope that you will not make us wait too long with new stuff 😉 Good luck! And please add few more words for our readers, man!

-Thank you so much to you Aleks. I just want to leave the invitation to people who dare to listen AstorVoltaires, will take more than a few surprises.

Cheers from Chile!!!
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

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Posted May 25, 2011 by doommantia in AstorVoltaires

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