Eschatos interview

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Eschatos are a progressive metal band from Latvia. The band consists of members of bands like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. Their latest EP MÆRE released in December last year and is engaging listen. It has received much acclaim and was nominated in the Rock and metal category at the Latvian awards, zelta mikrofons (Golden Music Microphone) last month.

I spoke to the band about MÆRE, their change in sound and also managing multiple bands.

Band photo by Lauris Aizupietis

Hi, you recently put out an EP MÆRE. How does it feel now that it has been released?

Kristiāna: It was a long road. We feel excited and pleased with the result and even though the recording has been around for only about a week, we have already received a lot of positive feedback from listeners in our home country Latvia and abroad.

MÆRE is engaging listen despite its lengthy tracks. Do tell us more about the EP.

Kristiāna: Lengthy tracks have always been characteristic to our music. The song, in this case the whole recording, is a story that needs an opening, tension and climax, and sometimes it can take its own course. MÆRE is in a way a very personal work for me. It revolves around different experiences related to sleep paralysis and sleep itself, the everyday death each of us encounter. Some lyrics have been written right before falling asleep or waking up. Sometimes voice recordings did not make any sense, sometimes they sounded like something from Marina Abramović ‘Freeing the memory’. The whole process was an experiment to explore how my mind wonders and where it goes when I sleep.

On Mære, you have moved away from the black metal sound on your previous releases. What has inspired this change in sound?

Edgars: It was partly unintentional, but at the same time it was also a conscious decision, and probably a result of not trying to fit in a specific genre. When a new combination of notes are being laid out on a fretboard, they make me feel something, I can try to make it sound like black metal, but it just doesn’t feel right or necessary anymore. Anyway, black metal is still a huge inspiration.

Marko: I have to add that MÆRE is the first eschatos record with full time keyboard player as part of the band, so I believe this fact alters the writing process. Keys bring in atmosphere adding experimental vibe to the composition.

Mārtiņš: It is essential to remember that the band has gone through a significant lineup change with Jānis leaving and me stepping in. Jānis was a very important member of the band, having composed a significant portion of previously released music, it is only natural that the sound of a band evolves when songwriters change.

The EP was recorded and mixed by Martinš Platais. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

Kristiāna: I feel like there are two sides to this coin. We had control over the whole process, which, in this case, suited well for us, but at the same time Mārtiņš had an insane schedule and slept for 3 hours a night for 3 months.

Mārtiņš: It certainly was a very rough year for me. I had to combine working on several musical projects and my day job simultaneously. However, I feel very proud of MÆRE as we managed to accomplish everything we had planned with this release. The whole thing was done in the most organic and analog way. All the sounds and effects heard are from real sources, even with pedals recorded through real amps with next to no studio wizardry. We aimed to merge what eschatos sounds like live with a pristine studio recording. I prefer recording and mixing my own work, as it enables me to achieve the right focus for the music. I am exceptionally grateful to Dan Swanö who brought out the best from my mix, he’s always an absolute pleasure to work with.

You have been quite prolific, putting out 3 releases in 5 years. What is the writing process you follow?

Kristiāna: There is no particular formula. Usually a song evolves step by step. Edgars likes to write at home, same as our drummer Edvards, but working at our rehearsal studio in a live setting also plays an important part.

Edgars: When a specific set of new songs seem like they fit together and create a musical storyline, it is time to record them and put them out.

The band members are also a part of other acts like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. How you manage between multiple bands?

Kristiāna: Most of these projects are semi-active and come together before shows or recordings. eschatos is currently the main focus for most of us.

Mārtiņš: I am involved in a significant amount of musical projects, especially with international studio work, however, eschatos is my primary focus.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Kristiāna: Lately there has been a lot of choir music in my playlist – Russian Orthodox choral music, works from Italian renaissance, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri next to Kevät / Värimyrsky from Oranssi Pazuzu and Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe.
Edgars: Anything from Sargent House. Seeing Oranssi Pazuzu live was an otherworldly experience.

Marko: I am very excited about the latest Ulver album. Definitely, “Assassination of Julius Caesar” is one of the most noteworthy recordings of 2017 next to Roger Waters’s new masterpiece “Is This the Life We Really Want”. I would also like to mention the latest The Ruins of Beverast album “Exuvia”. All the music you listen to undeniably gives you some kind of inspiration. You collect your most vivid emotional experiences, including those you get while listening to music and unconsciously use them to create something new.

Mārtiņš: I have a very diverse taste in music, ranging from popular music to grindcore. I must point out that the latest releases from Ufomammut, Vulture Industries and Archspire have been very influential to me.

Do share with us bands from Latvia that we should check out.

Kristiāna: Look up Tesa, Soundarcade, Das Sonntags Legion, Saturn’s Husk.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Kristiāna: We are currently focusing on playing live in Baltics and working on music video for Luminary Eye Against the Sky starring Latvian actor Juris Strenga which will be released next year. eschatos is also doing an appearance in Ghent, Belgium for Shades Of Black’n’Death event on February 17, 2018.

Marko: We are also looking to start working with a record company and we are opened to offers.

Mārtiņš: And play many live shows as possible in 2018, if anyone is interested, let us know!

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Mārtiņš: The best way to experience eschatos is to see us live, so make an effort and come to one of our shows, you will not regret it.


Written by trendcrusher

March 10, 2018 at 12:36 am

Posted in Interviews

Tagged with , , ,

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