Monday, November 28, 2016

Sol Sistre Interview

Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We’re writing material for our next full-length album. We actually have a lot of songs by now and we’re still trying to get the best out of our rough recordings to come up with great final result. We don’t have a date to start recording this on studio, but I guess there is no rush since our debut album has been on the market for less than six months, so we still have to promote that record for a while before releasing anything new. In fact, the vinyl version is about to be released.
On the other hand, we’re constantly playing live shows locally, and that’s part of our promotion for our first full-length.

So far you have released an ep and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
I think both albums share the same principles and are settled on the same foundation. The music is quite melodic yet melancholic, crowned by atmospheric passages that slow down the machinery, which changes the focus from blast beats and powerful riffs to ethereal and insightful soundscapes. We plan our music to be a rollercoaster of emotions beyond simple darkness and grimness, but always inside the boundaries of black metal. There is always creative freedom to explore sounds beyond such boundaries, but we’re not interested in stepping completely out of them.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Our lyrics have always been involved with humanism and the eternal struggles and conflicts of human spirit and our existence, yet always under a ‘foggy’ and obscure point of view. They’re not made to be understood in a direct way, but interpreted under one’s own eyes.
Our new material will maintain these principles, but something is inevitably going to change since the singer, C., who wrote all of the lyrics for the past albums is not part of the band anymore. We are going to continue in the same path as these topics represent Sol Sistere’s main focus.

I know that the bands name means 'still sun' in Latin, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
Though the direct translation is ‘still sun’, that whole concept is the name for solstice in Latin, and we praise the sun as a symbol for human spirit, with solstice being our maximum inner development, the point where the sun is higher and brighter than ever.
These ideas are directly related to our lyrics and the entire concept we want to transmit with our music. I think the name fits perfectly with the band as a whole artistic project.
Also, the sun is a powerful symbol for different cultures, and it can be seen as a metaphor for rebirth, as it dies and is resurrected every day; or a bringer of light (as in knowledge), necessary to all life. It is an interesting symbolic element, no doubt.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
One of our favorite shows was in the ARMA Open Air festival, which was carried out in the city of Antofagasta, Chile in December 2015. It was a big festival with a lot of people, and we got a very great feedback when we got out of the stage. Our sales were also quite good that day, and we didn’t even have our full-length back then.
Another one was in a small venue here in Santiago. We decided to do a gig just us, with no other bands, playing both the EP and the full-length from start to finish. We sold out that day and we did a very good show, the crowd was very responsive and, even though it was a small place and it wasn’t like the festival I just talked about, it was really special because all of those people were there just to see us, and no one else.

Our stage performance is quite sober, we try to take care of the way we look, but we don’t really have any gimmick, and we certainly don’t make it a ritual. We like to focus on playing in a way that shows a lot of energy, with a lot of movement and headbanging, but it also has to be solemn and trance-inducing for the atmospheric parts.

Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we’re planning some European gigs for mid 2017, but it’s still too early to name countries and giving more details. Besides that, we plan to keep playing local shows all year, except maybe during the recording process, which still has no official date.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Well, it has been quite good, actually, and we’re very glad about it. The vast majority of the reviews by the specialized press has been pretty good, and we have had some really nice comments on our social media sites. Considering we’re a small band, our achievements in terms of feedback have been more than expected, and we’re very happy about it.

Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Right now, two members have other musical projects. Our bass player Juan Díaz also plays in a doom metal band called Mourning Sun, and he just returned home from a short but quite successful European tour. Also, our guitar player Luis Zapata is the founder of a death metal band called Knell, and he has also released a full-length and toured Europe with that project.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’d like to continue in the same path we have been, but there are always going to be some chances because of the life experiences of the moment, and the music we’re listening. We are still going to focus our objective in melodic, melancholic and insightful music with the ever present atmospheric elements.

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?
We have been listening to Mgla, Batushka, Drudkh, Forteresse, Penitence Onirique, Au Dessus, Barshasketh, Saille, Lluvia, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, and some others. We’re also interested in new singles that come out from time to time, like the new GreyAblaze track called “IV”, which is honestly great.
All of these bands have been influencing our latest sounds, some bands more than others, but that’s basically what we’ve been listening to lately.

How would you describe your views on Occultism?
There are several trends in occultism, and I’m mostly familiar with Thelema, but what they all have in common, as part of the left hand path, is the focus on the practice of inner development, the search for knowledge, and individual enlightening. We, as a band, are not interested in preaching any form of occultism, but since we value humanistic topics and share many of these visions, it’s quite possible we cover several aspects which are relevant to occultists. We’re mostly interested in the philosophy behind it.

What are some of your non musical interests?
We like movies and books, especially sci-fi with an insightful message.
Also, Juan Díaz is a muay thai fighter, and honestly, he’s the only member of the band who practices any sport.
We like sightseeing too. We live in a beautiful country with a lot of nature and a very diverse fauna and flora, so even though we don’t really talk about that in our lyrics, it’s hard not to get influenced by the mountains and the sea when you have access to such majestic views.

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for this interview and for supporting us.
To the fans out there, look forward to the vinyl edition of Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum, soon to be released by Hammerheart Records. And also look for the tape edition of our debut EP I, which has just been released by Graven Earth Records.

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