Welcome to the Necromaniac Zine! I hope you will find some time to answer my questions. I’m really excited about featuring you in my zine, cause I’ve been watching you guys for many years. Your bass player Alejandro used to play guitar for the legendary DOMINUS XUL, who unfortunately split up. What ever happened? Was Danny Grave’s death the reason for this split? What did he die from?
Alvaro: Yes, that was the reason why DOMINUS XUL split up, the death of Danny Grave, we couldn’t take advantage of the work of so many people that participated in that band, besides, Danny was the only founding member that was left at that time. And yes, it’s true that our actual bass player Alejandro was one of the founders of DOMINUS XUL, all of the music of DOMINUS XUL was created by him, except for a couple of songs. Now he’s with us and we’re better than ever. I couldn’t say to you with accuracy which was the reason of Danny’s death. I prefer to leave it that way, it’s unworthy to talk about that by now, I think.
DOMINUS XUL don’t exist anymore and weren’t really your business. Let me asked some questions anyway, cause I listen to “The Primigeni Xul (I Condemned My Enemies)” quite often. I think DOMINUS XUL have managed to record a CD which sounds like the first INCANTATION album (my very favorite INCANTATION CD!), however, they have also managed to write their own individual songs. INCANTATION must have been a great influence for DOMINUS XUL, right?
Alvaro: Actually, I played in DOMINUS XUL just the last two years of their existence together with Rodolfo, I couldn’t tell if that was their real intention or not. When I talked to Danny, he told me that he likes that sound, raw, obscure, and if it matches with the typical sound of INCANTATION, maybe it was deliberate, but it was also because INCANTATION was a great influence for DOMINUS XUL. Well, I’m just speculating.
Does the album deliberately sound like “Onward to Golgotha”? If you didn’t know better, at first instance you might really think it’s INCANTATION.
Alvaro: Like I said before, I don’t know if that was their intention to sound like INCANTATION, sorry, but I can’t answer that question, the only thing I know is that Danny was the one in charge of the sound of that production.
After DOMINUS XUL split up Alejandro joined THORNAFIRE. I got their debut album here somewhere. Does this band still exist? By now Alejandro has joined you guys.
Alvaro: Yes, they’re still playing, in fact, they’ve just released their full length album, the sound is great, and Juan Pablo Donoso (drummer of SADISM and owner of Sade Studios where we recorded our album) is playing with them, they’re doing something very interesting. Alejandro was part of THORNAFIRE for a while, he was a session guitar player only. Now he’s an important part of MELEKTAUS.
In an old THORNAFIRE interview Alejandro mentioned that he joined MELEKTAUS for a short time, but then quit due to some disagreements. Now he’s back! Did you guys talk and solve the problems?
Alvaro: Yeah, fortunately we fixed all of our problems. With a little communication and understanding it was all fixed, and obviously, with a lot of respect. We arranged everything and now we’re stronger than ever.
MELEKTAUS was formed in 2002. Within the same year you released your first promo CDR. How did the underground react on the three songs included on it?
Alvaro: Without knowing it, our promo CDR was spreading everywhere, we just gave it away to anyone who wanted it, they just had to ask for it. Within a few months we were receiving mail from everywhere, from Chile and from other countries. A lot of friends helped us to spread our material. In our shows, the people knew our songs, and that was the way we started breaking through.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that CDR yet. But I do have your split demo with GORHOTH, which was included as a bonus to legendary Noise and Shit Zine. Are those songs the same ones as the ones from the CDR?
Fernando: That’s right.
The split demo songs are also included on the album “Transcendence Through Ethereal Scourge”. How long did it take you to write the songs for the album?
Fernando: We created songs, fusing some of them, discarding other ones. Likewise we played a lot of times live all of these years, I couldn’t tell how much time it took, because we were doing a lot of activities related to the band besides of composing, we never locked ourselves up just to compose, everything was given naturally and without any kind of pressure.
The album’s production is really sublime. That is what I would call “true”. Cold, clear, dark, absolutely raw and brutal! Where was the album recorded and which other productions did you have in mind when recording it?
Alvaro: The recording of our album was don in Sade Studio by Juan Pablo Donoso
(drummer of SADISM and owner of Sade Studios). We recorded our album there, because of
their equipment and because of Juan Pablo’s experience. We only wanted to sound natural,
without much edition and all that studio crap. We’ve never liked to have other productions in
mind to sound like, we just wanted an original sound, to sound like MELEKTAUS, and I think
we achieved that.
When listening to your music I immediately think about bands like INCANTATION, SADISTIC INTENT, MORBID ANGEL and IMMOLATION. How would you define your own musical style?
Alvaro: Like I told you before, we never wanted to sound like any other band, if you know what I mean. We just wanted to have a personal sound, and we all wanted to achieve that. If I wanted a different sound in the guitars for example, we tried to agree on something all of us were satisfied with, and if the guys wanted a different sound in the drums, or if they wanted to modify a structure of the drum lines, I was open to every opinion, as a matter of fact, I changed some drum lines in the studio just because the guys were not really going conform with them. Our own sound… just natural, death metal in the crudest form, aggressive and not with all that fancy shit with keyboards and stuff, just a kick in your head.
Concerning bands that sound similarly morbid as you do I would name DRAWN AND QUARTERED from the United States and INCRUST from Brazil. Aside from your CD these are the albums that have really impressed me lately. Honestly said, the production of INCRUST’s CD is very shitty though! But in respect to their music this band has got some good potential. Are you familiar with the new albums of these bands? How do you like them?
Fernando: I really don’t know those bands that you mentioned, however I would like to hear them because I really like the brutal death metal made in USA as well as in Brazil.
Unfortunately, I don’t know my way around in Chile. I know some bands from your home country, but really I’m just about able to show you where Chile is located on the world map. You’re from Santiago, a real metropolis. I can well imagine that you got a big metal scene there, but unfortunately we don’t hear much about it over here in Europe. I read that you have already played with DARK FUNERAL, GORGOROTH, BEHEMOTH and VADER. These bands are very well-known over here in Europe, other bands that are not as well-known don’t get the chance to play so far away from their home country. How many people come to the shows when there are better known bands coming from abroad?
Fernando: There are really good bands like MAGNANIMUS, TOTTEN KORPSE, GODLESS, DEATH SMELL, DETHRONER, DEFACING, BURNING FLESH, GORHOTH. Now, about the foreign bands who come here, I can tell you that they have a great reception, for example, when we opened the show for DEICIDE, we played for a crowd of like 3500 people.
I guess you must be in your mid thirties, right? Can you remember the first concert you went to?
Alvaro: No, we’re not that old, eeeheh. We’re in our mid twenties. I remember that my first concert, I mean a huge one, was SEPULTURA, don’t remember exactly the year, but they were promoting their “Chaos A.D.” album. But the one that I can’t forget was the MORBID ANGEL concert back in ’96.
What are you guys up to aside from playing in the band? I guess you spend a lot of time with and for the band, since you’re doing a lot of concerts. I bet it’s pretty difficult to organize both, job and band?
Alvaro: We’ve been playing a lot, but only weekends, it’s not very usual over here to have gigs in the middle of the week. And well, it’s not that difficult to organize our jobs and the band, because we don’t rehearse too often, just when we have to play live and to compose. Right now we’re composing, but we’re taking our time, so things are very relaxed and there is no pressure.
A while ago I met Dave Rotten (AVULSED/Xtreem Music) at a festival. He told me that he would have liked to sign you guys, but that right now he doesn’t have the money, because he has already planned a number of various other releases. However, you have signed with a Spanish label anyway. How did things get started with Grotesque Productions?
Fernando: It was all through messenger: Grotesque Productions found out by Xtreem Music that we were looking for a foreign label. After that he contacted me, we both elaborated a contract, we signed it and sent all the material to Spain for its later production.
Contacts between Chile and Spain seem to be a traditional thing. Lots of bands from Chile have been signed by Spanish labels. TOTTEN KORPS signed with Repulse Records as well back then, just to name one example. I think you also speak Spanish in Chile, don’t you (beat the shit out of this German dumb-ass, if he’s wrong!)? Do you think the same language is the main reason for business between the two countries?
Alvaro: Well yes, we speak Spanish here. The language is an important thing when you want to express your interests and all that stuff. But I think, that it was just coincidence that we signed up with a label from a country where they speak Spanish too, because, if a label from, I don’t know ... Germany for example, would have shown interest in us, we would have figured out a way to communicate.
The label seems to be a rather new one, up till now your CD is only their second release so far. Are you satisfied with their work so far? Why did you decide to work with this label?
Alvaro: Absolutely. We are very happy with the results that we have. The people in Grotesque have made great work with our album. They show great interest in us, and a lot of excitement, we’re satisfied from both parts.
Due to the fact that it’s only a small label, it’s gonna be difficult to get some tour support. Is there a chance to see you live here in Europe some far away day? After all, the label is from Europe, therefore it shouldn’t be all that difficult to arrange some concerts, leaving aside the time and money issue.
Fernando: We would love to be able to spread MELEKTAUS’ music throughout Europe and why not even live there?! We’ve talked about that several times and we agreed we would establish ourselves in a foreign country if we have the chance, we want to take our music to all possible places.
Normally I hardly ever ask any questions about the lyrics, since to me they merely are of secondary interest. But talking to you, I do have to ask some questions. Your booklet says that your guitar player Fernando is responsible for the lyrics. I hope you can give me some information on them anyway. What exactly are they about? For me it seems like a journey into old dark rituals from the Egyptian and Greek mythology and the Chthulu myth?
Fernando: Notwithstanding MELEKTAUS might be seen as a band that talks about ´Egyptian Mythology’, if you pay attention to the lyrics and their content, you will notice that that’s not right. The subject matter of the lyrics is based on the thelemic philosophy of Aleister Crowley and similar occultist trends. Basically, it’s about the importance of the human spirit and different invisible entities in the path of humanity and the universe. The common man (the profane), when he is tied to fake perceptions about himself and about reality, he is transformed into a slave, because his ignorance turns himself into a being that lives in deceit and with no power at all. Man must know his own will, in other words, he has to find his real spiritual path to become a God himself. Like it is written in the Liber Al: ´´Therefore the kings of the earth shall be kings forever: the slaves shall serve´´. Naturally, I also focus some topics of the lyrics with hate and despise directly for all those creeds, people and fake gods who limit man in his natural evolution, and for all those slave ideologies, such as suffering, which have been said to be necessary for man to be able to transcend. Or that man can’t reach to be a God (like the doctrines of Jesus Christ).
The booklet looks really good, you have added an explanation to each one of the pictures. I like that a lot. Whose idea was it?
Fernando: MELEKTAUS, being lyrically bonded to spirituality, should have a 100% conceptual album. That’s why the album should not only have explanations concerning the thematics of the songs, but should also enhance them with images related to the lyrical content. Together with Rodolfo, we went chosing images which fit with the subject matter, finally I chose to complement all of it with the information of each one of the chosen images, ending all and putting a quote that would close the lyrics with its concept. For me, the message that MELEKTAUS give is very important... I’ve always seen MELEKTAUS as a medium to deliver spiritual and occultist messages.
Oh, by the way, what ever happened to DEATH YELL and ATOMIC AGRESSOR? DEATH YELL were from Santiago as well, right? Are these guys still around in the metal scene?
Fernando: No. They were bands from Santiago too, but DEATH YELL and ATOMIC AGRESSOR quit playing a long time ago. Some former members from ATOMIC AGRESSOR are now part of death metal bands in Chile. One of them is the guitar player of SADISM and the other one is Pablo Clares, drummer of MAGNANIMUS (excellent bands though).
Back to your band … it took quite a long time until your album was finally released. What was the reason for that? Slow songwriting (you even put the old demo songs on the CD) or did it take that long to find a label?
Fernando: We dedicated a lot of time to promote our songs in Chile, we love to play live shows. So we were looking for labels which were really committed to release a production in the level we wished, but we didn’t like the offers of our country. After that we thought about looking for the right label in other countries ... As you can see, all the aspects we named, consumed a lot of time, though we don’t regret that. It was all just like we wanted it to be.
Are you guys playing in other bands as well or are you concentrating completely on MELEKTAUS? In an interview with Voices from the Darkside Alejandro mentioned that he is also playing in ETERNAL DISGRACE. They play IMMOLATION-like death metal. Do they still exist?
Fernando: That was a project that Alejandro never completed. We are all focused and committed 100% with MELEKTAUS, now Alvaro plays parallel in a black metal band called OCCIDENS.
Alvaro: As exclusive news, I can tell you that together with Alejandro we’re preparing the material of that project, and we hope to record it before the end of this year, so get ready!
Are you working on new material yet? I admit that I can hardly wait to hear some new stuff, even though you have just now released your CD. But I am a greedy hunter and I want more! When can I expect a new dose of my MELEKTAUS drugs (lol)?
Fernando: Jejeje… Actually we are producing new lyrical and musical compositions… I think that for the year 2006 we could have another record.
Will you keep working with Grotesque Productions? Or did you sign a deal for one album only? I know it would be very expensive, but a vinyl version of your album would be great! Are there any plans in that direction? Also a 7-inch would be awesome!
Fernando: That’s right, we signed a contract for only this album. Though our deal with Grotesque Music has been really good, we are open to receive offers from interested labels for our next album. We would also like to make some vinyl version of some of our tracks, that would be excellent. Our idea is to produce some material, we just hope for committed offers; fair and serious offers!
Ok, that’s it for now, but I’ll be watching you! Thanx a lot for your efforts! I am sending you my respect and a little hard-on ;-) concerning your music! Please state your present top ten albums and then get back to your other work!! Thanks again … oh by the way, can’t you teach me how to sing the way you do?! See you soon, all the best from FUCKING GERMANY!
Alvaro: Thanks for the great support, man, we hope that someday we can play all over Europe, well, everywhere I hope… And maybe, establish ourselves there, that’s one of our main goals for the band. Thanks for the interest man, cheers!!
Fernando: Thanks for the support, Death Metal Rules!!