Thursday 24 March 2016

Interview with MotherSloth

MotherSloth maybe a band you're already familiar with. They released a stunning and critically acclaimed debut album with Moribund Star back in 2014. It showed a band with huge potential especially where their music is concerned. Even with their music primarily being instrumental, Mothersloth have an air of intelligence within their music. 
MotherSloth have been fairly quiet of late so when the band contacted me asking to do an interview with me then I jumped at the chance. I wanted to see what has happened with the band and if any new music is on the horizon. All is revealed below.
• Hi guys, Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.
Oscar - Hello, Steve, always a pleasure for us.
• For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how the band got together and where it is today.
Oscar: We have been together for 8 years, Alvaro (guitar) and I started the band. I was born in Peru, and formed MotherSloth when I moved to Spain, in 2008. I was looking for musicians to play with and a friend introduced me to Alvaro, we started jamming and giving shape to some ideas we had, which soon became our first songs. Later on we found the other members and started playing live in Madrid. We have a couple of albums out, 'Hazy Blur Of Life' (2012) and 'Moribund Star' published digitally in 2014 and edited in Feb 2016.
Dani: I joined the band in late 2013 playing rhythm guitar, and as of May 2014 I took on the singing as well. Our present situation is the recording of our 3rd album “The FireMill”.

• How would you describe your music in your own words?.
Dani: off the top of my head, slow paced music with a crushing demolishing sound that can deliver sudden jabs and many stages of shock to the human mind.
• You released a stunning debut album – Moribund Star – back in August 2014. It received a load of praise from various people. Did that surprise you how well it was received?
Oscar: Yes, it is always a pleasure to see the positive reactions to what we do, and it was a surprise indeed, because some friends had commented about how losing the singer would affect our sound, but we saw it as a chance to do something that could not be done with a singer in the band, we would have had to pull him apart , but that was not necessary so we took the chance. We had many instrumental songs written and we decided to record them. For the last one, Dani joined us when we were finishing the album so he was able to sing in that one, Dry Tears. We are currently releasing a CD edition via German based label, Voodoo Chamber Records, distributed in US by Stone Groove Records.
• Looking back would you change anything about the album.
Alvaro: Definitely, not only that album, but many things. I would have recorded my guitar with different equipment, one more suitable to the album quality (many thanks to Lasting Noise Studio for the awesome work). I would have also dedicated more time to work on the bass parts. Nevertheless, we feel proud to have reached such quality with the means we had in hand. Overall, I would change the way we organise duties. We are not an experienced band in terms of production, promotion, marketing, publicity, but without a management company, no label nor experience and living in Spain, all the situations and problems you need to solve to put up your own band seems to be a bit more complex.
We hope to be able to learn from our mistakes, take advantage of the help coming from people we have managed to know all this time and avoid the anxiety or desperation take our drive away so we could be able to show the band's potential if we are given a chance.

• What have you guys been up to since then. Have you performed more gigs since then?
We have been kept writing and arranging songs ,the first ones with the voice of Dani who has also written some lyrics for new songs. We have started sharing duties within the band, for example Ricardo our new bass player who is also an IT expert has developed a couple of projects for us, such as our own web , and some other stuff related to networking. We are going to start looking for gigs to present our new material after the summer. We would love to go abroad and do some festivals for instance. I believe Temples Festival could be a good one for us, some fans have mentioned it and asked us about that.
• You’re going to start recording the new album soon. Can you provide more details about the album? When it will be ready for all of us to hear?.
Oscar : Our new album will be called The Firemill. We started recording it in February and as soon as we finish with the vocal sessions we will quickly start with the mixing . At this moment we are listening to what we have and working in some arrangements, new sounds we are going to incorporate, such as theremin , e-bow , pre-recorded sounds... the songs we have demand more from us in terms of creativity , it is ironic but some of them are some of the oldest ones , we felt they did not fit in our previous releases, we like to think of our albums as a whole, not just a bunch of songs put together.
We have recorded six songs this time, Doomsday Cyborg, The Firemill, Shadow Witch, Sleepless, Desolation and Requiem. The focus this time is on the supernatural with a bit of Sci-fi, we have created our own universe of gods and evil doers .
Dani: we plan on having it finished (recording, master, etc…) before June. So hopefully next fall we’ll have a physical edition to show to the world.
• Will you be spending a long time recording the album. Or just when you can.
Not really a long time, but we wish we could do this full time,so we can finish it quickly. Unfortunately we all have our own commitments , you know. But spending a lot of time in the studio is something that in my opinion is not a clever thing to do, I like to sound fresh and if I work too much on something then it loses edge , urgency, which is something we do not want to happen.

• Will the album be different to your debut album or will it be very much the same sound?
Dani: it is going to be very different. The timespan of the band and its development has brought us to a current line-up that has changed since 2008. It is our first recording together as we are now. I believe we have broadened our horizon towards something more dynamic style wise.
Alvaro: It has been basically a leap forward in terms of equipment quality , both instruments and studio . We have found our way when it came to look for the right specs , the ones that enhance our needs, going away from the typical combinations so we have finally improved our sound as a band. In our previous album we had it all clear but this time we have reinvented the idea.
I have never been into trends , guitar wise so I assumed finding a new guitar sound to sound classic was a necessity and a challenge. Tired of the typical set ups I had a clear idea in my head , a sound that was versatile and personality. So I chose a Framus Cobra amp through a 4x12 ENGL cabinet with Celestion V30 speakers to enhance my guitar sound.
I also found guitar pickups with awesome clarity and definition to set the sound in the right frequency range we normally use, the Bare Knuckle Warpig pickup. Handmade craftsmanship is still unmatched by the machines we humans normally use to manufacture our products.
Having nailed our sound , we have taken this beyond in the writing dpt. We have looked at ourselves, capturing our essence and we have come up with a bunch of songs in which you can recognise the band and surprisingly, the songs are quite different among them .
Within the songs you can find traces of our style, a mix of influences that enhance our possibilities . We dare to step on the edge of doom metal and classical, sludge , psych and metal. That is the essence of the band, and we feel proud of doing so : experimenting, going beyond is part of our game. The wall of sound, the ups and downs in intensity and creating atmospheres, shaping delicate things and allow them to change into something twisted , are some of our identity signs.
• Will you be releasing the album yourselves or are you looking for label interest.
Oscar - We have talked with a couple of labels really interested in working with us, so we hope we could close deals, get the support needed and eventually reach our fans worldwide.
• What is the song-writing setup in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual?
Dani: MotherSloth has a huge collection of songs in the chamber that have not yet been released. Some still come from the very first line-up, but we all contribute with whatever is on the table. The arrangements of songs and giving them a fresh sound are every band member’s task right now.

• Do you guys perform regular gigs in Spain. What is the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Rock scene currently like in Spain?
Dani: we have played many gigs in Spain. There is a scene, but it is very underground, and it is almost only up to the bands to get out there to people to listen to. We have more fans in other European/American/Asian countries than we do here.
• Well guys, before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.
Dani: Yes, we are finally ready to put MotherSloth where it belongs with our 3rd album, this will define our style in a more powerful way.
Oscar: Expect our new album in the next months, probably after the summer. You can now find our music in Spotify and iTunes ,we are now just a bit closer to you !
Words by Steve Howe and Mother Sloth
Thanks to MotherSloth for taking the time out to talking to me. Can't wait to hear the new album. Until then immerse yourself with their superb last album.