Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Greetings, OccultBlackMetalZine! Well, right now very busy with all the promotion of the album. A lot of work to do, but very happy with the feedback that the release of the new album and the release of the first single are having. Unfortunately, we have also been affected by the pandemic like so many bands; in our case, we have not been able to rehearse together on a regular basis for months since in Barcelona we are confined to the municipality and, of course, the scheduled shows have been canceled or postponed. This has not discouraged us, quite the opposite, we can work individually and we have many projects now in mind. This situation has triggered our creativity and we will go to death with this new album!
In March you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff that you have released in the past?
Practically in every possible way. It is a new evolution in the band but also without having looked for it. Our goals for 'Portraits' were limited to two aspects: more aggressiveness and more atmosphere. Under these parameters we have let ourselves go, we have wanted to experiment and make music with what came out of us. It is indeed true that we have not wanted to lose the path marked by 'Epiphanies of the Orphaned Light' nor the essence with the change of line-up since 2015. So it is really a generalized change compared to the first albums of the band.
This is also your first album to be released in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
I can assure you that we have not stopped or had time to rest. Sometimes, when you're asked why so much time between one album and another, it is because they think there has been some relaxation and it is not like that at all! Since the release of 'Epiphanies of the Orphaned Light' we have had an unstoppable live activity. Countless concerts, tours around Europe,... In the summer of 2018 we decided to end the live season and start locking ourselves in the studio for a new album. We don't literally set a deadline to leave the compositions finished. In fact, we had to postpone the second part of the recording for three more months, because many things didn't quite sound like the 4 of us wanted. If we do not consider that it is perfect and that it transmits what we are looking for, we cannot stop because something incomplete would come out.
What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Regarding the lyrics in 'Portraits', we wanted to pay tribute to the entire autumn season, its elements and its fragrance. The album is a true tribute to Autumn in the most poetic and emotional way possible. 'Portraits' is, without a doubt, a collection of all the natural landscapes that our retinas have seen throughout these 8 years as a band. Almost all of them with Autumn as a witness. It is the season that inspires us the most, and our albums, broadly speaking, have been recorded at this time. But we have also wanted to deal with other subjects such as bitterness, grief or suffering; topics that of course we have been dealing with since the beginning. And regarding our way of writing ... wow, we've changed so much in recent years ... I remember at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 that everything was done in the rehearsal room and everything was written by hand; but V. (drummer) and I have always opted for technology as a resource to work with and since 2015 with the new line-up, everything was perfected and became more comfortable: pre-productions, individual time, more experimentation…. I remember that in 'Epiphanies…' I spent a lot of time elaborating and creating in solitude and rather exposing it in the rehearsal room. But for this album, due to circumstances of incompatibility of schedules, it has been worked on practically individually. I remember walking very little in the private studio that we have and it was just to finish clarifying details. I have really enjoyed this way of working and composing.
What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Perennial Isolation’?
Perennial Isolation means no less than eternal solitude in every way: you, nature and nothing else. Something totally introspective. Feeling lonely and alive (perhaps) at the same time. I spent a long time in solitude where I just wanted to worry about myself, take care of myself and not have contact with anyone. This inspired me to create this project and head it towards atmospheric Black Metal, my favorite genre within Metal.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover of 'Portraits' is full of details. We wanted it to speak for itself. In the first place, it represents an isolated home, in nothingness, in the middle of winter nature. An absolute tribute to our name. In fact, this cover reminds us a lot of a landscape in the Aragonese valleys that we have visited many times when we have gone to the north of the Iberian Peninsula to play. On the other hand, it should be noted that it is a canvas, painted by the Canadian artist, Mark Thompson. And we really wanted that, a canvas, something organic, nothing artificial, from internal memories to the brush that embodies it. That has a meaning with respect to the title of the album, ‘Portraits’, and it is what I mentioned earlier, to record through music and the image of the memories of desolate landscapes that we have seen for 8 years. Landscapes with their own elements, as if they had a life of their own and were personified, such as portraits.
What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have had very good shows with great sound and with a large audience, sometimes even much more than expected. I remember, for example, the whole Spanish tour with Harakiri For The Sky, or some specific shows on the Apricity European Tour with Drawn Into Descent and Atra Vetosus, like in Paris, Brno, Oberhausen or Slovakia. We have memories of great events like the Catalonia Extreme Winter a few years ago or the first time we traveled to Portugal with Nocturnal Depression. On stage, we are as we are, without artifice. We show ourselves naturally and try to offer a dynamic, energetic show, with a lot of enveloping atmosphere and with songs with large doses of anger, aggressiveness and devotion to Mother Earth.
The new album is going to be released on 'Non Serviam Records' how would you compare working with this label to your previous labels 'Negra Nit Distro' and ‘Darkwoods'?
There is no comparison. I'm not going to detract from the work of Negra Nit or Darkwoods because they worked phenomenally with us and they are labels that work very well with bands that are just starting out or with local / national bands. Now, there comes a point in your career where you no longer satisfied with just anything. If you want to expand you have to take risks and we went for working and taking our music further. The folks at Non Serviam Records are amazing. Their way of working is super professional and they are taking the band to areas that would be very difficult to reach without their support. We are delighted with this alliance.
On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric black metal?
We are delighted with the reactions to the first single. The reviews and comments are very positive. We are still at a very early stage of promotion, but we are amazed at how the genre has reacted to our new material. We are very grateful for your support!
What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
We are musicians and we cannot stand still (laughs). V. is in Atrexial and is promoting his new album, ‘Gargantuan’; while I. is writing stuff for his solo project. As far as I am concerned, I am working on the vocal lines for the next Cauldron album and recently recorded the bass lines for the Black Metal band, Erzsébet.
Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are a band that like to play down to earth. That is, we prefer the plans in the short term, thinking about the now and that everything develops normally and sticking to reality. Our current priority is to defend and promote our album. We will try to take it where we can, especially when the pandemic allows it, we hope to be playing wherever possible. But, musically, I think we are now at an interesting point. We like what we do, we like how we sound and we like our view on the genre. So I suppose we will follow the same line established with ‘Portraits’.
What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Well, look, there really hasn't been much music that has influenced or inspired me except for Sinmara's EP 'Within the Weaves of Infinity' or Oubliette's 'The Passage' album. These, for example, marked me a lot when directing all the textures and lines, both lyrical and vocal. And far from it, right now I am not listening to a lot of new music, but rather investigating the past of extreme genres, recovering classics, heard or not. But if I have to mention something current, ‘The Heretics’ by Rotting Christ has enchanted me, as well as the last Trident album, ‘North’ or ´Vökudraumsins fangi’ by Auðn.
Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for your time and interest in our new job. We hope to be presenting it live soon! For the moment, cheer up with this pandemic situation and stay safe and strong. Support bands and local bands, and keep the flame alive!