Artist: Persefone

Origin: Andorra La Vella, Andorra

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Label: Vicisolum Productions

Link: https://www.facebook.com/persefoneband/

Band Members:

Vocals – Marc Martins
Guitar – Carlos Lozano
Guitar – Filipe Baldaia
Bass Guitar – Tony Mestre
Keyboard and Vocals – Miguel Espinosa
Drums – Sergi Verdeguer
 

Persefone @ Aathma Tour 2017 04 17

 

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

First of all, thank you very much for taking your time doing this interview.

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Thank you very much for having me!

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So how did it feel to be in Essen again? You already played during the Turock Open Air in 2015, now you played inside the Turock

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Yes! And we also played inside the Turock on our very first European tour along Obituary. We feel at home in Essen after having played there many times 😀

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

I have rated your album Aathma with 10/10, and most magazines also gave high ratings. How does it feel after all the demanding work before the release of the album to finally present it to the audience and to receive only these very positive reactions?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

First things first, thank you so much for your review! It’s been a really warm welcome from the media and fans for the new album. We never expected nothing like this when we were writing and recording Aathma. Of course, it feels really good, mainly because you feel like the people listening to the album is tuning with you through the music. When it comes to the music, we just try to express ourselves through it, we don’t really think about how people will react to it as long as we really feel the stuff we are creating. We are very grateful for all the beautiful reactions Aathma has generated out there.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

And what do you love most: The song writing and all preparations before going to the studio, the work in the studio or the time after the release with all the promotion stuff and the shows? Or are all these steps equal, because one couldn’t happen without the others?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

I think everyone within the band will have a different opinion for this very question. I usually like every part of the process. Making  the music means being inspired and spending time with the guys doing what we like the most, and recording in the studio requires a very specific mindset that I really like to be in. But to be honest, the recordings for Aathma were really hard for us since we had to do it at nights, after our daily jobs. Since we had a deadline to be able to meet the date to work the mix with Jens Bogren, we had to spend about 3 months working on it everyday without any day off, and sleeping about 4 hours a day. In the middle of it, we really had a hard time keeping the the spirit high because of the lack of sleep, so it was all about ”we are going to do this no matter what, and we will rest later”. In the end, of course we enjoyed it somehow. And of course, we love playing live and share all the music with the people on stage.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Do you try to read all reviews or at least the ones of the most important magazines? Or are you only looking at the final rating? And if you read them, are you sometimes surprised how your music is considered and which comparisons sometimes are made?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

For this album I think I’ve been reading most of the reviews that came out the first month, and I have to say that is really funny to see what other person perceive about your music or the message you are trying to give with it. Sometimes you feel like the reviewer really understand the point regarding the album, sometimes you feel like you are reading about other different album and band. I specially like when the reviewer quotes other bands as clear influences for our music, and we never listened to them in our lives 🙂 Anyway, I really appreciate the fact that someone takes the time to listen through the whole album, sits down, and writes about it, doesn’t matter if I agree with what’s written or not.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

If I am right, this is the first album which was produced by Jens Bogren. Why did you move away from Jacob Hansen? Was he not available at that time?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

It was all about the music itself. Of course, we really liked the way Jacob worked with us in the past on Spiritual Migration. We had three names in mind to work with for this new album, and of course Jacob was one of them. Once the music was shaping up, we had lots of layers and textures going on, and we wanted to keep all that dynamics on the final mix, so after lots of talking about it, we approached Jens to do it. I think he did a really great job on Aathma, it sounds really powerful but smooth and dynamic as well to me.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

For the quite distorted voice at the beginning of An Infinitesimal Spark you had Paul Masvidal at the microphone. Was it intended right from the beginning to have guest vocals for that part?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

We met Paul two years ago at Euroblast fest in Germany where Cynic played their last show and we were lucky enough to play on the same day. Paul and his music has been always a big influence for us, and we knew he was such a spiritual person as well. We knew we wanted to continue the spirituality as the main theme for the lyrics and concept for the album and somehow we came out with that very first sentence for the beginning of the album. Then someone said ”Can you imagine having Paul Masvidal doing this speech?” and it felt just right. We approached him, and he was kind enough to work with us, and he blew us away with his performance. On top of that, we are listening to his voice every night right before going to the stage, and it feels really wondeful for us, both for his voice and performance, and for the message he is saying.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Paul Masvidal also does some guitar parts in Living Waves. Have there been some other musicians in your mind for these parts? Why did you finally chose him? Was it easy to convince Paul to be a guest musician on your album, after the choice for him was made?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Paul was the artist we had in mind since the beginning, not only because his amazing talent, but also because we felt that he would understand the path we wanted to follow lyric wise. Once we had that first sentence for the intro, we contacted him through the management and sent it to him. He was really fast replying and said yes. From there, some time passed by since we were still writing the album, and then we started working together for the recordings. Amazing musician, and amazing human being, we feel really grateful.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Now for one question we go back to the far away past: The first album of you I heard is Core. This was completely remastered and released again in 2014. But the story naturally remains the same. What inspired you writing about the story of Persephone from three different points of view and putting this in three tracks of more than 20 minutes playing time each?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

We had the first album released and we were trying to find inspiration to create a new one after Truth inside the Shades. I can say that we all are into lots of different genres when it comes to music, and soundtracks are one of the biggest influences. The idea of trying to create a story and create music for it clicked with us in a very natural way. For us it was kind of a movie, so we did all the research by reading on books and after that we wrote some kind of script for the whole thing and then for each song. I remember having different melodies for all the different characters and fitting them when required. We learnt a lot with that album back then.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

All your songs are not that easy to play and are demanding a certain level of technical skills, and I also think, not everyone is able to write and perform this complex and progressive music. You are in the music business for more than ten years and have a lot of experience, but I still wonder, if you had some musical education, or are you self-educated?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

It’s different on each member, but most of us we have had musical education in the past, and we keep studying to this very day. I had musical education when I first started playing guitar at the age of 12 if i can remember it right. I studied with different teachers for some years and after that I kept my musical education myself. I always try to learn all the time, so everytime I have the chance to catch up some lessons with other musicians and teachers, I always do.This is a never ending path if you really want to be the best you can be, but I love that 🙂

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Also during your amazing show in Essen I wondered several times how you can remember all these complex song structures and recall them right on time. I tend to forget even my shopping list, so is there any special memory training, I don’t know yet?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Hahahaha! I’m really good at forgeting my shopping list too!! 🙂 I have to say that it’s not a big deal since we have been playing this style of music for a long time. Like everything else in life, with repetition, everything starts feeling more and more natural, and then, you can just go through motions and just try to perform the best you can on every show. Of course there is some memory challenges going on through the learning process, but it gets easier with time.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

To me the cover of the album is representing the complete story of the album in just this picture. Especially the roots fit perfectly to that one sentence in the spoken introduction of Spiritual Bliss, Part 2 of the song Aathma, where its said „You are the Aathma itself“. Did you invent this cover or was it an external artist?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

We have been lucky enough to work with the great Travis Smith for the second time for Aathma. We had a rough idea of what we wanted to express with the cover, but we always say that, if you are working with an external artits and you want to get the best out of him, it’s a good idea to let him work and get inspired and involved with the job. Travis asked as several questions and sent us lots of different options as the cover was shaping up so we could choose and help him help us 🙂 We are really happy with the final result, I think that the cover defines really well the overall concept of the album.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Is there any concert from the past, which was special or where something unforeseeable happened, and you will never forget?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Ufff… sure there had been many unexpected things going on when playing concerts, and there have been many of them over the years. There are many of them, like when one of our past drummers injured himself when we were performing Core entirely for the first time, so we could not play Seed and the concert was cancelled, we played for more than 4000 persons in a festival in Beijing because the headliner of the fest cancelled their show, and we were the only band playing at that moment, Marc had his hair stuck on my guitar’s headstock when headbanging as I was playing a guitar solo on a very little venue, our first time in Japan…. I don’t know, there has been many special moments I’ll never forget because of this band. I feel blessed for that.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

One more question for concerts, because you already shared the stage with many bands from different genres, especially at the PowerProg in Mons, the Euroblast in Cologne and the Turock Open Air here in Essen. How does it feel to meet all these other musicians? Are you all one big family or do the bands sometimes stay on their own?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

It feels amazing. We have our favourites musicians and everytime we are able to play on the same day in a festival, at least me, I always try to meet them, even if it’s just to thank them for their  music and the inspiration. To me, so far, it feels really natural to interact with all these other musicians, since we are all into the same reality so it’s really easy to connect with each other. Of course, it depends on the person and also the situation, but everytime I’ve had the chance to meet someone I really like, it’s been a beautiful experience.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

And what is the normal procedure for your own tours? Does your record company tell you, when to go on tour and with which other bands?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Once we have an album released, we try to support it with touring as much as possible. There are many things to take in consideration, so we try to ask everyone’s opinion about every possible movement we could do, from the management, record label, members, to the families. We need everyone involved happy and 100% ready to work as a professional when on tour, so the situation dictates the schedule.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

Another question for tours: What do you do in your leisure time, if there is any? Do you do some sightseeing to see something else of the towns than just the concert halls, or do you just relax to stay in shape for the exhausting shows?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

It’s very important to try to go outside of the bus/venue/bus routine, it’s good for the head and keeps you fresh to do your best every night. I like to go and run a little on the city if we have the time, if we don’t have the time, then I like to practice with the guitar on the venue, reading, playing some old school retro games and of course, meditate.

Time For Metal / Heike L.:

So that’s all for now. Thank you very much for your answers and for your amazing show in Essen, bringing the amazing Poem once again to Germany. Is there anything left you would like to tell your fans and to the readers of Time For Metal?

Persefone / Carlos Lozano:

Thank you very much for having me! Sure I want to tell something to everyone reading to this interview. Be happy, meditate, enjoy your life, smile as much as you can, enjoy music, and keep a positive attitude. Thank you very much to everyone interested in our music, and very best regards from a sunny day here in Andorra.

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