úterý 27. září 2022

Interview - EXANIMATVM - Only death is real!

Interview with death metal band from Chile - EXANIMATVM.

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - EXANIMATVM - Sollvm Ipsa Mor (2022):

Ave EXANIMATVM! Greetings to the underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a second long-play full-length album in your band's career. I have to admit it has literally blown my mind. It is dark, energic and as if it cuts by the sharp edge of the knife. I can hear from the record you did a really good job and you added a big portion of the talent, too. How do you perceive the new album in comparison to the previous one? Where did you want to move and in what are these two records different?

A: Thanks.

Our intention was to go deeper into the darkness. We've always wanted our music to be dark (like all extreme metal bands I guess) and this time we wanted to accentuate the atmosphere; We composed in that direction, modifying a bit the sound respect to the previous album, which was faster and more aggressive regarding to this latest work. Exanimatvm has always tried to have an ethnic component and "Dispersae et tormentvm" tried to express the resentment and vindictive desire of the Selknam people who, like many other native peoples of Latin America, were oppressed and massacred by the settler, stripped of their lands and forced to change their customs, language and beliefs for those of the European Judeo-Christian. We think that was conveyed through fast and wrathfull riffs.

On the other hand, Sollum Ipsa Mor is an introspective album, like the attitude of someone facing death.As it is introspective album the vibes given by it are slower and restful sounds, pretty different from the previous one. As a band, we believe that this album reflects how we felt and were in the moment of creation. In this album we were into death-black metal. On the contrary, "Dispersae et tormentvm" was pure death metal.

„Sollvm Ipsa Mor“ includes all attributes of good death metal. For me personally, it represents the record, which I really like to listen to. How did you produce it? How look the writing process of new material in the case of EXANIMATVM?

As I mentioned before, this work tries to reflect a specific idea: "Only death is real". This is the leitmotif and all the aspects that make up the album orbit around that idea, from the music to the lyrics.

The process started slowly, but at some point it took shape and strength in a vertiginous way: We composed the song "Sollum Ipsa Mor" between 2016/2017; the other songs was elaborated during 2020. The recording was done in a couple of days, on November of the same year.

The writing process was the last thing we worked on, it didn't take long to be honest. Since the ideas were clear, it was only necessary to polish a few minor things.

I found out that B.Nekroskull signed under the mix and mastering of the new record. I have to confirm that the sound is literally killing. It still makes me add volume to the player. B.Nekroskull has created a sound that is cruel, raw and at the same time dark and organic. How went the work with him and why did you choose him? In which studio did you record it? How did the recording process look like?

We personally know B. Necroskull, we have shared in different instances with him and we consider him a comrade. But apart from that, and leaving aside any type of cronyism, we objectively value the work he does. Also, we wanted to distance ourselves from the sound of the previous album and raised the level, we didn't want to limit ourselves to work with people from the city.

The recording was done by ourselves, we didn't resort to any studio. Once we had the tracks, we sent them to Necroskull and the rest is already known.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical LP. You released the new album at Pulverised Records, and it has a corpsy cover art. Who is the author? How did you choose the motif and how does it relate to the music at the record?

Bloodfeast Tattoos was in charge of the art, as in all previous Exanimatvm works.

The idea was to represent someone in the trance of death, from a physical and cosmic perspective, something literal and rhetorical at the same time, which we believe was captured in a precise way (although for this it is necessary to see the full painting, in its entirety; cover image is partial).

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to Chile for music with certainty. I think we have a similar nature and taste when it comes to metal. I like your bands a lot and I monitor your scene carefully. Maybe I envy you a little, because we only have a few death metal bands that are worth it. How do you explain that death metal are doing so well in your country? How do you perceive your scene, fans, labels?

I think a lot of this has to do with historical factors. It seems to me that what Chile stands out for its art, I don't want to say that there aren't people who stand out in science or in other aspects, but surely they won't be recognized names outside of here, not like it happens with names like Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Violeta Parra, etc. Chile is a gold mine in artistic terms.

In the first place in Chile there was, from very early times, an approach to Hardrock and progressive and psychedelic rock (do you know Los Jaivas?) and from here I think a bridge was established that facilitated the reception and development of thrash metal in mid 80's and then it was natural the embrace of death metal.

Another factor that I think has influenced was the military dictatorship that developed between 1973 and 1990, a time when metal swarmed parallel in the Chilean underground. The teenagers and young people of that time were angry and wanted to rebel and oppose whatever it was, so this music was an ideal channel for those who had repressed emotions. It was thus that the scene dared and bands like Pentagram emerged, pioneers in Latin America, even before Sepultura. Since then, I think that Chile has developed a good taste for extreme metal that has been fed back over the years and has given rise to countless projects, bands, zines, labels, etc.

You play death metal influenced by, among other things, the old school. Today, the band can't avoid comparisons, but I would like to know how the idea to start EXANIMATVM was born, who was and is your metal idol? Where do you want to move your band? Are you attracted to large foreign festivals, for example, are you willing to go on tour with a more famous band?

Exanimatvm was born with Enzo. He was the one who devised the project and later gathered the other members.

Our influences have been various, many come from the classics and others not so much: Morbid Angel, Incantation, Immolation, Dead Congregation, Krypts, Malthusian, Grave Miasma, Mefitic... the list grows every day.

Go on tour? Of course, why not? However it is not something so easy, we live in the back arse of nowhere.

When I started my blog six years ago, I had a vision that I would try to support bands that are not so much popular, or they are lost in underground. To let the world knows about them. I think I'm doing quite well, at least according to the responses. How do you approach the promotion of your music? Do you rely upon the label or do you send the CDs for various reviews by yourself? For example, I buy albums that I really enjoy. What about you? Are you also fans who often support your colleagues? Do you go to concerts?

We are currently leaving the distribution in the hands of the labels. The first years we dedicated ourselves to contacting and promoting ourselves, however in the last time it has not been necessary.

Moving on to the other question, yes, we are collectors and we regularly buy music, on tape, CD and vinyl, from different labels, both national and international. We try to go to concerts, however here in the city the scene is not very large and it is quite expensive to go to other cities for concerts. Despite this, we try to go out and attend those events that are unmissable.

On the one hand, today the new band has a lot of opportunities to make themselves more known, but on the other hand, there are a huge number of groups and the fans are getting lost in this big metal sea. A lot of people just download mp3s from the internet and instead of to visit the concert they prefer to spit poisonous saliva on Facebook. How do modern technologies affect you as EXANIMATVM? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

The advancement of technology, as everything in life, has it pros and cons. And if you look at it with perspective, it‘s not a modern problem.

The biggest problem that derives from this technology advance is information overloaded. Ordinary people get stuned and finally, in a self-indulgent exercise, they get the first shit that tells them what they want to hear so they don't have to think. This happens in every area of ​​life and music is one of them. Actually an ocean of bands exist, but not everyone is disposed to submerge and dive, because it involves an effort: The easiest thing to do is stay on the surface, following the mass media, talking about what the majority is talking about, singing what everyone sings...and then there's us, who dare to think and diverge from the populace , those who dive in search of new experiences and hidden gems in the exotic seabed of Reykjavík, Kedah or Punta Arenas. Technology allows you to virtually dive into these places, discovering bands you'll never be able to see face to face. If you like their album , you can order it, as long as you can and are willing to pay the price... or the surcharge . And if you don't have the money you can download it and listen to it in mp3 or even rip it to a CD or tape. You can write to the band and chat with the musicians, isn‘t?

We live at the end of the world, where everything has always late, in a modest and simple city, with a small scene: The internet and virtuality have made things easier for us , this interview is a product of it.

Finally, about people who talk shit, they always existed and will continue to be so, here and anywhere, because talking shit is so human and it's also free.

I like to ask the musicians what death metal means to them. How would they define it, whether it is more the philosophy and lifestyle thing for them or "just" relaxation? What does it mean for you? How do you perceive and experience it?

All of the above. Death metal is music that should revolve around death. We believe that death is the maximum certainty that we have in life, and put these ideas in music beget death metal. Make and play death metal can be artistic, philosophic, cathartic and even esoteric when you understand that at the end of the road nothing matters because sooner or later death will devour everything. Death metal is music, but it is also a way to connect with something that lies in the deep of us and beyond at the same time, a way to conenect with our own rottenness and at the same time a way to escape from it.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is EXANIMATVM planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage and when will you visit the Europe?

For now, we are devising new songs and managing possibilities to throw up a split.

So far we have talks to perform on some stages in Chile, but the only thing confirmed today is our participation in "Decimatio VIII" next year where we will share the stage with Death Worship, Invocation, Oraculum and Kratherion, who are the confirmed bands...Until now.

We would like to visit Europe, but we haven't been invited yet.

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish a lot of success to the new album and let the number of your fans expand as much as possible. I will look forward to seeing you somewhere live again. I wish you a lot of success both musically and personally. I'm going to push „Sollvm Ipsa Mor“ into my head again!


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