sobota 6. srpna 2022

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Interview - ATARAXY - Death metal from the frosty realm of shadows!

Interview with death metal band from Spain - ATARAXY.

Answered Edu (bass), thank you!

Tranalated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - ATARAXY - The Last Mirror (2022):

Ave ATARAXY! Greetings to the Spannish underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a third 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?

Edu: Hi Jakub, thanks a lot for your kind words. It's been a very important year for the band with the release of this third full-length album, and we are thrilled to get it out there. Compared with the previous one — Where All Hope Fades — I'd say this new album has a better balance between atmosphere and sheer aggression. In a way, it has the best of both Revelations of the Ethereal and Where All Hope Fades, pushing the boundaries of both of them. Several reviews have already pointed that out so I may be onto something.

„The Last Mirror“ includes all attributes of good death and doom 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 ATARAXY?

Edu: We've followed the same writing process that we have always followed, which is nothing out of the ordinary. Santi writes the songs at home, he records some rough demos, and we rehearse the songs from there at our rehearsal place. Javi writes and adds the vocal lines later, and once everything's recorded he adds the keyboards.

I found out that Javi Félez 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. Javi Félez 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?

Edu: Actually it's Greg Chandler (of Esoteric fame) the engineer who has taken care of the mastering of our last two albums at his Priory Recording Studios. Other than that, Javi Félez has been behind the recording and mixing of the album at Moontower Studios (he's been doing so during all our recordings, including the demo). He knows the band perfectly so it's always a smooth job. The main difference between this recording and the previous albums is that this is the first time we have used reamping for the guitars and bass. This has allowed us to save some studio hours while at the same time being able to spend more time repeating and polishing the guitar lines at home. When we arrived at the studio and it was time to reamp those guitars, we were able to focus on the actual tone and EQ of the guitars, with the stress of the actual performance and recording left behind, getting a heavier and more powerful sound.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical CD. You released the new album at CD in Me Saco un Ojo Records / Dark Descent 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?

Edu: Yes, Dark Descent Records is releasing the CD while Me Saco Un Ojo is taking care of the vinyl version. Artwork was done by Rodrigo Pereira Salvatierra. We love what he has done for many Chilean bands (one of the most interesting death metal scenes nowadays) and he perfectly captured what we envisioned for this album, adding some elements of his own. We gave him some vague indications and he perfectly represented the spirit of this album.

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to Spain 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?

Edu: That's cool! I don't think the Spanish death metal scene is as big as it is in other countries, but there are definitely some good bands out there. I'd recommend some bands like Oniricous, Proscrito, Leprophiliac, Horripilant, Necrophiliac and Sanctuarium among others. But hey, I have the feeling that the Czech underground death metal scene is healthier than ever now, with Sněť and the Tones of Decay fest. I'm also a huge fan of the old Czech scene — Master's Hammer (managed to see them in a packed Roxy in Prague, what an amazing show), Root, Törr, Drakar, Debustrol, Moriorr… as well as more traditional metal bands such as Loretta, Titanic, Citron or Arakain. So feel no envy! Czech Republic had way more relevant extreme metal bands than Spain has ever had.

You play doom 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 ATARAXY 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?

Edu: Due to job issues, it's not easy for us to go on tour in the usual manner. We have to book our shows on different spare weekends that we can all take off work. I don't think we are really interested in the idea of touring opening for a big band, we prefer to keep it underground. Underground, honest festivals are always a go. Get in touch! I hate the word idols (kill them!) but Trey Azagthoth is in my opinion the ultimate death metal superhero.

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?

Edu: Nowadays it's mostly the labels and the PR agencies they work with. We'd rather spend time working on the actual music, as we suck at taking care of promotion. Of course we order plenty of new stuff from different labels and distros and we regularly go to shows. We're music fans above all!

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 ATARAXY? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

Edu: I barely listen to any music online (only at work) but I'm fine with people doing it. After many years we've finally set-up a proper Bandcamp with digital downloads available and people seem to dig it. I wouldn't get music that way as I still prefer physical formats, but to each its own. I guess it's somehow an easy way to support the band and it has already helped us cover some extra costs we've had lately. I don't have much to say about Google metalists and social media addicts. All those bums seem to have too much spare time, which I don't. Socioparasites, why don't you get a job?

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?

Edu: I love the darkness, morbid edge and violence of death metal. I wouldn't call it a lifestyle or a philosophy but it's not just plain relaxation or leisure either. You need to feel passion for it to truly wave its flag.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is ATARAXY planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage?

Edu: We're planning a series of shows to support the album release that should take place during this next autumn and winter, mostly in Spain. We wouldn't mind playing some shows abroad next year but only time will tell.

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 „The Last Mirror“ into my head again!

Edu: Thanks a lot for having us. Hopefully we'll be able to play in Europe next year and meet you and other death metal maniacs.


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