Saturday 27 February 2016

Interview with KABBALAH

Spain isn't one of those countries which have a big doom rock scene with rich traditions; so I was really surprised to discover the power trio Kabbalah playing catchy psychedelic and doomy rock stuff. The band consists of two ladies Carmen and Marga who played together in Las Culebras for few years and guitarist Alba who joined them in about 2015. Kabbalah just released their third EP “Revelations” and I give you my word that you will not regret if you spend some time to listen these four great tracks. Carmen and Marga are here to spread charms of rock alchemy upon you!

Salute ladies! How are you? What's Kabbalah current status?

Carmen: Hello! We’re very well, thank you. Kabbalah is now getting ready for shows to come, and trying to spread the word about our last release, “Revelations”. We are proud and happy with the EP.

Your newest record “Revelations” consists only of four tracks, but it’s bloody strong collection of songs, and “The Darkness of Time” and “Dark Revelations” are sheer hits! But how do you value this record from your point of view?

Carmen: So glad you like it. I’m very happy with all the songs. This is us, our sound, and I see “Revelations” as the beginning of the future of the band.

Is “Revelations” EP only a digital album? How can Kabbalah followers support the band?

Carmen: Is not! You don’t have it yet?!  The physical EP can be bought in our bandcamp page, as well as “Kabbalah”, “Primitive Stone”, and t-shirts. We also sell patches and beer at the shows. And of course, you can also purchase our digital albums. Share our music and attend to the shows is the best support.

The album has a clear and heavy sound, in which conditions did you record it?

Carmen: Guillermo F. Mutiloa recorded and mixed it. He is a friend with a big room and a basic equipment, but with a very good taste and a very helpful attitude. Considering that we recorded the previous ones by ourselves, this has been pretty fancy.

You and Marga started in the band Las Culebras, and I see that this band was pretty popular for underground outfit. What can you tell about it?

Carmen: I actually started playing with a couple of bands before Las Culebras, but met Marga there. I joined them after their first LP, and together we released two more. We played a lot through Spain and also in France, Portugal and England, and it was great as a band experience.

Why did you decide to quite from Las Culebras?

Carmen: After several years we just decided it was the time to put it an end. One of the guitar players took the decision of leaving, and we all decided to not continue. We all wanted to explore our own musical ways.

What was on your mind when you compose first songs for Kabbalah? Did you already have a complete vision of Kabbalah?

Carmen: Marga and I had the vision of Kabbalah while being in Las Culebras. We didn’t know the band’s name yet, but we knew we wanted a 3 people band, and a classic and dark sound. I composed a couple of songs at the very beginning, gave them to Marga, and we developed them together. She did the same afterwards, and we continued joining pieces of songs that we both were composing. I believe we had in mind to do whatever we wanted to do, feeling absolutely free, with that sound we wanted for the band.

Heavy bands usually exploit darker aspect of Kabalistic teachings - lower sephirots, images of qliphoth and so on. How does this teaching inspire you? What do you take from it?

Carmen: When we came out with the name Kabbalah, if felts natural to exploit the dark aspects of it. It just came in a natural way, without thinking too much about it. All occult and dark things inspire us.

Okay, so what are songs from “Revelations” about?

Carmen: I see now that you don’t have the physical EP, as the lyrics are on it ;) I think they match the music; dark music, dark lyrics.

Marga: We explore the darkest side of the mind: nightmares, madness and paranoid are usual topics, as well as paranormal and unexplained events related to death and evilness. Kitties or sunny days are not welcome in Kabbalah, of course.

Kabbalah – The Darkness of Time

Did I get it right that Kabbalah worked as duet till 2015 when you met Alba?

Carmen: We started as a duet at the very beginning, but looking for a guitarist to join us. We recorded our first EP with Roberto, and after he left we continued rehearsing and looking for a replacement. It didn’t seem an easy task, as we wanted a very specific sound and style. Finally German arrived, and he fitted very well into the band. We recorded “Primitive Stone” with him, toured, and started with the songs for our next release, “Revelations”.

He had to leave due to job issues, and we continued rehearsing just the two of us for quite a long time, until Alba answered to a guitar request we did on Facebook. We tried a couple of songs with her, and she’s been with us since that moment. We were about to loose all faith on finding someone suitable, but the waiting has been worth it.

Your music sometimes described as occult rock, how do you understand this term?

Carmen: I really don’t understand it, I can’t describe it.. but I can recognize it when I hear it.

Marga: It includes ethereal and subjective concepts far away from the common reasoning. As the word itself, “occult”, is something secret, maybe magical, that you can’t see, you can’t touch… but you can feel listening to our music.

What are your requirement to band's sound? What do you usually seek to extract from your instruments?

Carmen: We want a loud, classic and dark sound. We go for kind of a “primitive” sound. Doom and loud.

Marga: We are always looking for a sound that makes us feel like we were playing in a funeral, in a cave or in hell.

How would you resume Kabbalah activity till nowadays? What did you gain for this period?

Carmen: Well.. we’ve been active, making songs, rehearsing.. even when we didn’t have a guitar player, touring , releasing our songs.. And all has been a great experience so far. But I think the best is yet to come.

What are your plans consider Kabbalah full length record? Do you already have material and inspiration for it?

Carmen: We like the idea of releasing 4 songs EP. You have something new sooner, and don’t have to wait so long between one recording and another. We are producing new material all the time, and we are full of inspiration. A full length record might be, in the future.

Marga: By the moment, we want to have a new EP recorded before the end of this year. We are already working on it.

I know only one band from your region that plays similar stuff, it is Misty Grey. Did you ever play with them? With which bands do you usually share the stage?

Carmen: I see that they are form Madrid. We don’t know them. We have shared the stage with Cabalgata Cósmica, and with DoctoR DooM so far, but most of the times we have played alone.

How does Spain cultural legacy influence on Kabbalah songs?

Marga: It’s not easy to point a clear influence or to choose a handful of them as an example. We could say that we love Goya’s Black Paintings or that we are interested in the history of the witches and the Spanish Inquisition. Another great fact is that Spain has a lot of very well preserved medieval cathedrals as Burgos or Leon, and beautiful cemeteries which we like to visit when we are touring: they are very inspiring. Spain cultural legacy has its lights and shadows, and we are in the shadow team.

Thank you for your time ladies! It was pleasure to talk, so how would you like to finish our interview? Do you have few more words of occult wisdom for our readers?

Carmen: Thank you for the interview!

Marga: Dear readers: Kabbalah is leaving the shadows just to get to a darker place. Come with us.

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Kabbalah