Zuberoa Aznárez – Diabulus in Musica

Interview by Ary R.

Third album for the Spanish act Diabulus In Musica that is going to introduce to the fans the brand new creature, “Argia”, a record which shows us how a band can gain a new lease of life, with a stronger dedication and which wants to show the world that they’re not a band like all the others we know. Today we host the beautiful frontman of this band, Zuberoa Aznárez, who tells us in this short but intense interview something more about the album, about the new lineup and the future goals for this Spanish combo.
 
Hi Zuberoa and welcome back to FM. “Argia” is the title of this brand new record. Would you mind to explain, first of all, the meaning of the album title and to tell us the differences we can find in this album compared to the previous one?

Hi! Thanks! 🙂 “Argia” means “Light” or “clear” in our regional language, Basque. This title somehow reflects how we feel now. Gorka and me had to start from scratch when the other band-members left. It was very hard at the beginning, but we both alone managed to write new songs, find new band-members and play some live shows in only one year. We saw the light in our path again and we had a clear view that we had to continue making music, just because we love it so much that we cannot live without it.

On the other hand, this situation and others I’ve also experimented at the same time, made me wonder about some human behaviours and made me try to understand others and myself better. “Argia” is our most mature and personal album so far. Our first album, “Secrets”, was made of the first songs we had written, but it was the very first time we recorded with a choir and orchestral elements and we were still finding ourselves. We worked very hard and we learnt many things that we had the chance to develop later on our 2nd album, “The Wanderer”. For that album we introduced new sounds and we changed our way of working. We first thought about a story and decided to create a concept album, so we had a very clear idea about what we wanted to achieve and the kind of songs we wanted to write. Everything was planned and I think it worked pretty cool. On the other hand, our latest album “Argia” is much more honest, it directly comes from personal experiences Gorka and me have lived these two last years. I think the real essence of Diabulus in Musica is now more present than ever. Musically wise the eclecticism and contrasts that define our music are even more evident now.

Another brand new thing is surely the new lineup, which sees three new members. Would you like to introduce them to us? What kind of contribution they gave in this new album?

They all are local musicians we knew before from the metal scene. David Carrica is the new drummer and percussionist, he also plays drums in the Spanish band Tierra Santa. Alexey Kolygin is the guitar player and he also has his own band (Allowance) where he also makes some killer death grunts and Odei Ochoa is the bass player, he was the only one we didn’t know before, it was Alexey who proposed him to join as they were friends too. We prefer to work with people we already know so that the chemistry in the band is very good since the beginning. And no need to say that they are awesome musicians too! Anyway, they didn’t take part on the composition (apart from a couple of riff structures), because we were already working on that and preparing the shows we had at that time, so we preferred them to focus on learning the old songs, but of course we hope we can work together from now ahead. I’m sure they can contribute with great ideas!

What could you say about the writing and recording process of the album itself?

This album was born from the need to express all the feelings that rounded my mind this last year above all. I think that inspiration came as a consequence of that need, so the writing process flowed naturally. The whole process of composing, arranging and recording would have taken for about a year. We usually record in our home studios, that’s why we don’t have a very clear schedule. We sometimes record at the same time that we are arranging or composing other track. It was much more work, as we had to do everything by ourselves (except mixing and mastering that was done by Jacob Hansen), but it is also more relaxed that recording in a “normal” studio.

Unlike “The Wanderer”, this new album is not a concept album. What could you say about the lyrics?

You’re right, “Argia” is not exactly a concept album as “The Wanderer” was, because it doesn’t tell a story, nevertheless, all the lyrics are somehow connected to personal experiences and ideas. Some of the lyrics refer to our new situation as a band, some others are more critical and the rest are much more personal and are directly related to some of my spiritual believes. In conclusion, I would say that all of them are related to the word “Argia” (light/clear) referring to the new and lighter path we found as a band and as individuals. If there is something I hate is fake people and unfortunately we have found some lately. We are transparent and our way is clear now. I could talk about some of the lyrics, but on the other hand I also prefer that each one tries to explain them under his/her point of view and personal experiences. I think it’s beautiful when you can identify or relate yourself to a lyric you are reading. Writing these songs was therapeutic for me, but I would be happy if they can accomplish the same function in others.

Like the previous record, we find some guest in this album too. They are Ailyn from Sirenia and Thomas Vikström from Therion. What has pushed you to chose these people instead some others? How did the cooperation happen?

Yes! We are very honoured to have Ailyn from Sirenia and Thomas Vikström from Therion in a couple of songs. The song where Ailyn is singing is called “Furia de Libertad”. When I created this song I knew the lyrics were going to be in Spanish as the song talks about the Spanish situation nowadays. The song is dedicated to all the victims of the political and economical crisis (and also crisis of values) in our country. I immediately though about Ailyn to sing this song with me because we became friends and we both are from Spain. Besides, we have different voices that complement each other very well, so I asked her if she would like to take part in this song. She likes a lot the band, so she immediately accepted and I was very happy to have her beautiful voice in one of our tracks!

Regarding Thomas, he is singing in “Encounter at Chronos’ Maze”. We needed a very special voice for this duet. We wanted a versatile singer who could give to the song a “music theatre” touch, even operatic. Thomas is an amazing singer, he has actually sung a wide variety of styles from classical to metal, so he was the perfect candidate. I contacted him and sent him a rough demo of the song. I was so excited when he accepted and he told me he really liked the song and my voice! It has been such a honour for me to sing with him!

This year you will play at MFVF again. Unfortunately, except from a few countries, Europe hasn’t had the chance to see you on the road in some European tour. Do you think that there will be any chance to see you supporting some other band in an european tour someday?

Our dream is to be able to organize a complete tour, but honestly, we cannot afford it for the moment. The same happens when you go supporting a big band, you usually have to pay an important fee with no guarantee of recovering the money, so it’s a big risk we cannot assume right now. Anyway, we are searching for dates to play in as many countries as we can and if a good chance to go on tour comes, we will of course do our best to make it happen! You can also help spreading the world about our music and talking about us to local promoters in your countries! 😉

If you could have the chance to support two bands in one european tour, which bands would you chose? What do you think about the current metal music scene? Is there any particular band you like the most actually?

To be honest I don’t have any particular preference… I would go on tour anyway! ;D As for the current metal scene, I think it’s richer than never before! There are plenty of new bands and styles and I find that specially interesting. I like the fact that music prejudices are little by little starting to disappear and every time is more difficult to put tags to some bands. I’m more into variety than into the tagging obsession! Regarding the third question, no, I don’t have any favourite… I usually listen to a lot of different styles of music, so I have many favourites depending on my mood.

OK Zuberoa. The final words are up to you!

Thank you so much for this interview and thanks also to the readers. I hope you like our new album and I hope we can meet you on the road soon!

 

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