Sometimes I envy myself when I found such bands like Demonauta and use the chance to take a look on the inner alchemy of the band. As many other unprofessional journalists or bloggers who write about some certain segment of scene always need to search and listen something new, to write about it, sometimes even to force myself to write about it.
So when you find the real gem amongst the new releases… Well, in such days I feel myself bloody happy as I can share the knowledge about this discovery with others. Demonauta of Satiago de Chile released their fourth record “Tierra del Fuego” on June 2016, and this time they made another step further from stoner scene to psychedelic territories of deep inner space.
Spirals and turns of amazing rocking tunes, melodic Spanish lyrics and absolutely extraterrestrial drive make me fall in love with Demonauta. Don’t miss one of the strongest psych stoner albums of 2016. And, by the way, we had a nice conversation with all three members of this power trio. Here they are David (guitar, vocals), Miguel (bass) and Ale (drums).
Salute comrades! Let me congratulate you and Demonauta with release of new album “Tierra del Fuego”! What’s the band’s current status? What do you plan to do now when you have the finished record at hand?
Miguel: Currently we are playing live shows as much as we can in Chile, and we are planning to do some shows outside of our country, possibly Argentina and Brasil, we have always said we are waiting for any invitation to Europe to put together a tour but mainly playing live shows in Chile, besides Being working on new material.
The band exists for about six years, what are the milestones of Demonauta? How would you describe the band’s journey from “Vol. 1” to “Tierra del Fuego”?
Ale: The contract we did with Bilocation records is a huge milestone to us. The fact that such an important label has put his eyes on us is really great. We also have made two tours to Argentina, it was a great opportunity to play our music outside our country. also open to Truckfighters in Chile and participate in the most bigger Chilean independent Festival: Woodstaco, for three times consecutive. Musically we have managed to expand our music in the way from Vol 1 to Tierra del Fuego by introducing more psychedelic sounds, It's been a natural path of evolution in the lyrics and music of Demonauta.
How do you value “Vol.1” nowadays, five years after this material was composed and recorded?
David: It is the first album of the band, so there was much illusion at the time, eager to get away with them, fulfil dreams, on the composition is a rescue of the songs i had composed with the previous lineup, I treasure the memory remains of that stage, most innocent, know all, everything was new to us with “Vol 1.”
Demonauta – Astro II
Ale/David: The band is currently working as a trio, and there are no plans to change it, because in this format every instrument has his own space, and it’s the format we like. We know each other for about 6 years now, the current line up is David Véliz Molina: Guitar vocals, Miguel Angel Quezada: Bass and Ale Sanhueza de la Fuente: Drums.
What did you put in the band’s name when you started the band? What is Demonauta core idea – both lyrically and musically?
David: The name of the band is a composed word between Demon and cosmonaut, Demon represents the heavy of our music and Cosmonaut the psychedelic of our music, in the lyrics we put several questions that humanity has with the system in which we live, seek answers through rites, taking drugs or being in contact with nature.
And have you succeeded in your explorations?
David: Of course, change your way of seeing things, you have more perspectives on things of life, more answers to reach a conclusion, you feel more human and more part of the universe, most native, as it should be in reality our lives.
Your new album shows pretty wide range of influences, but you call it just “fuzz rock”, is it enough to get an impression of your sound?
Ale: We call it “fuzz rock” because when you hear a Demonauta album the fuzz it’s what predominates. There are clean passages in the songs, but the fuzzed out guitars and basses will show eventually.
Stoner and psychedelic bands are usually tagged as “drugs-influenced”, which part do substances play in your artistic life?
Ale/Miguel: Drugs are a way to escape from personal o social issues, but also increases the musical horizons so obviously they play an important part in our compositions. In our rehearsals we mostly drink beer (a lot), and smoke weed. We have explored with various substances and also a good Chilean Wine.
What are your most positive and negative experience of taking mind-changing substances?
David: With drugs I don’t have any bad experiences so far, drinking a lot yes, I think that unlike the use of alcohol, drugs such as LSD or marijuana is where one knows himself and is more in touch whit nature and in balance with yourself. Alcohol makes you do things you do not remember things with lack of balance. Ha ha ha!
“Tierra del Fuego” sounds highly professional, and it demonstrates excellent skills of you as composers. How long did you work over it? How did you develop your sound? Was it an intention to make the album diverse and multilayered?
Miguel: Yes, initially we think on diversity for the Album. The fuzz sound is the fundamental stone of the sonic architecture of the Band, and on this Album we worked with more sound nuances, some songs of Tierra del Fuego were composed in a couple of years, but it involved a lot of rehearsals and work before we get in the studio to record them, to get the sound that we wanted.
One of your new songs “Del Vendaval” unusually melodic and I would say romantic, it sounds untypical even for unorthodox Demonauta. What’s the story behind this killer song?
David: Yes, I wrote that song, the idea in the lyric is a thought versus how insignificant we are as a society or as a person, everything we do to try to succeed, it makes little sense if you think that in the end, only thing true or certain for us is that we die, death turns everything into ashes, I insist that our lives can not lose, making money or vanity or be who we are not... and the music comes to me when I walk or watching something beautiful some sunset or the stars, or just smoking pot, I record the melodies in my phone and then I play guitar, every note, rhythm or melody simply comes from the universe.
Demonauta – Del VendavalDo you have some favorite songs on the album? Or some song what was difficult to finish and you were happy when it was done?
David: My favorite songs on the album are “Del Vendaval” and “Psychonaut”. I wanted to put something more melodic to contrast and show that we can play different things, get away from the typical Stoner Rock cost me a bit to convince my colleagues but we talked and we did so. I think all the songs are good, but some left out, stranger within the album “Angela Loij” is a blues for the last Selknam (the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego), she died in 1974. Songs like “Blues para Angela Loij”, “Venas de la Tierra” and “Planeta Muerto” are about the extermination of the beautiful and mystical culture Selknam, by a handful of men heartless soulless who sought, only the material, the money, in their nasty lives.
Demonauta songs’ lyrics are written in Spanish, what do you prefer to song about? How is it important for you to sing in your native language?
Miguel: Most of the songs are written in Spanish, but in our last Album you can find in English too, this was thinking of expanding the horizons of the Band. And we like the both ways, Castilian is one of the richest languages in grammatical terms, then the fusion of metaphors with the music is very important and enriching, is easier for us to conceptualize.
What make you proud of being in Demonauta? Do you look for recognition? Do you look for a chance to change the world with your music? Or is it just therapy for you?
David: I am proud to see our albums in different countries of the world, we have decided to play honest music, being in the underground, and reach so many people with humility, and see so many positive things always happen, finally everything falls under its own weight and the universe is in charge of putting things where they should be, we are not that kind of people looking for approval, calling attention negatively...and yes I would like to change the world for the better, see people thinking and in the search for the true, also is therapy for us, in the end the music is everything to us.
Chilean scene looks isolated though I know few examples of more traditional doom bands which are well known in Europe. How do you promote Demonauta in your country and outside of it?
Ale / Miguel: There’s a lot of good bands in Chile, in the stoner/ doom/ psych scene, we recommend you to listen to Kayros, At Devil Dirt, Chinsaki, Bagual…to name a few. In Chile, the way to promote music is playing live as much as possible and to release new material continually, otherwise you stay on the road. Outside of Chile we promote the band through social networks and YouTube.
How is it – to live in modern Santiago? How do you like it?
David: Live of the music is complicated here, we had a cultural blackout by the military coup that we still worthwhile, now the education is nothing but brainwashing people to believe normal to be slaves of money, the radio is a branch of foreign stamps and pretend that there are no good bands in Chile. So amid all the crap there is, always a beautiful flower is born alone, despite all the destruction even breaking the cement, that is Demonauta in Santiago de Chile opens the cement and grow up. Ha h aha!
Thank you for the interview comrade! I’m glad that we had this chance to talk about Demonauta and I wish you all the best on your way. Do you have few more words of psychedelic wisdom for our readers?
David: Let's get away from the interests of materials belonging, and loss of humanity, money is nothing more than a figment a fantasy an illusion, as the rules and everything invents the inhuman being, this life is not given to us to work to death or to buy things we do not need, listen to the wind's, connect with nature, Let's smoke and drink, as did our ancestors and play with fuzz on top!
Words by Aleks Edvokimov and Demonauta