As Light Dies

As Light Dies
As Light Dies is a band that proudly bears the Eclectic Mineral name, grown from the filth of the depressive and arid plains of Iberia. Extreme influences, extreme sounding, extreme eclecticism through art & poetry. Their music simply derives from everyplace, from everytime, made out with everything, but not for everyone.
In this thorough interview, As Light Dies’ vocalist and guitar player Oscar Martín shares his visions about the band, music and everything that surrounds him. Dive into this interview and be converted into the Eclectic Mineral way of life, I sure am.
 

Hi there Oscar and thanks you very much for joining me in this interview. First of all congratulations for your slot at Costa de Fuego 2012, that’s a really astonishing line-up right there. Give us a little insight on the band, who are you and what do you stand for?

Thank you. We are As Light Dies from Spain. God created us with the objective to show the human beings which is their future through our songs to enslaved them, and afterwards destroy it.

-You clearly define the band as an Eclectic Mineral one which, according to you, is equivalent to advanced metal. Can you shed some light to this term, and how the spread of the Eclectic Mineral idea can benefit bands in general?

Eclectic mineral is just give a step forward from any kind of music style, genre or idea. We don’t play black metal, death metal, math-core or post-rock. Music tags are just a tool for us. I don’t know why tags can turn into boundaries for many people. Generally a band chooses a music style to follow. We use each style as a seasoning element, as a sauce or a kind of meal. Sometimes a particular style can stand out over the rest, but the essence basically is the same. This helped us to grow as musicians so as a band.

-Does the Eclectic Mineral idea apply to your whole life as well?

Definitely this idea is always “mode on” in our life: Always evolving, always with good sense of humor, always using our imagination for everything. Why not living having a particular view of things if that makes you happy?

-As Light Dies music is of multi-language content but also of multiple musical genres combined as one. What is your vision as a musician and in which way you try to give it life and form through the band?

As in the artistic periods in the past, when a composer made a studied composition, each part also worked as an independent piece itself, each one helped the composer to grow as a musician in an artistic and technical manner. So we get any new song as an exercise to express ourselves in a different way. We like to include a lot of kind of details without losing the coherence of the song. Each song expresses something different, a lyric, an idea... We try to use every tool which we have to give a musical sense to this idea or feeling. If you always do everything in the same way then you have just one unique idea, or you don’t have the right tools to achieve it.

-Apart from the avant-garde and black metal influence, the progressive element is undoubtedly present to a great extent in your music. Is this just the way the music is taking you? Also what led you to the decision to use 8-string guitars, which is not the most common thing especially considering the music you play in As Light Dies?

The objective is not to compose progressive music, but to make good songs, which seems not to be a target for most of the nowadays bands. Maybe we use some progressive elements to get it, or maybe not. Finally the songs are like a collage, with a lot of parts, but if you oversee the entire work from afar you will get all the sense of everything together. The number of strings finally is a tool to reach this. The more strings you have, the more odds finally you have. We apply this to bass guitar and violin as well.

-Either way you still are deeply atmospheric and the ambient or classical passages are an extremely beautiful addition to your music.

We seekthe “beauty”, not only the “beast”. Our purpose is to make the listener to connect with the cosmos using their deep feelings, and the best way to do it is to try to find out what is his own beauty (and his own beast as well).

-I can tell that you are about being eclectic as much as possible. Does the way of how life has become nowadays and humanity’s sickness make you ask for more quality in your everyday life, a need not to follow blindly as a sheep but make things your own way?

This began much before everything started to fall, we knew then that we were about to reach this kind of every level crisis. The more this crisis is getting stronger, the more our eclectic mineral feeling gets the same.

-Knowing that our countries both face similar difficulties, how easy is for a band to make its way in Spain? Is the political situation one more obstacle to an already difficult path?

We think is difficult in every place, the problem is that people use to think that his situation is worse than the rest because they are living it. Maybe it is easier in countries with more music liking, but also there is more bands making different proposals. Crisis is hard for everyone. In Spain we always had cultural problems, every great talent we had in history had to get out of the country to get the recognition. Now is even worse with the globalization. The most important is just to have your aims and the way to follow clear. You must to believe in your work and never, never, never giving up.

-In the music scene you also bear the name Nightmarer, so what would your sickest nighmare look like Oscar?

We are the same person, but maybe it is the way to name the real person who lives inside of me. The person who I am in dreams, and the person who maybe I become during a catharsis (in live, for instance). It is some kind of my own “Tayler Durden”. I just chose that name because usually most of the inspiration comes from my dreams and nightmares.

-I would really like to take the time right now to talk a little about the other projects you are involved with. What are you up to lately?

First project “Garth Arum” are old songs recovered which first they were songs for As Light Dies, but finally we thought that it was better to assign the newest songs to As Light Dies, because it is absurd to have songs in queue during 15 years. There is a demo available in Internet and first album is almost finished. If you are interested you can check it here: http://www.facebook.com/gartharum

Second project is “Aegri Somnia”, which is an experiment mixing avant-garde music with traditional folk songs from the central Spain (really unknown for most of the people). If anyone is interested, here you have the link to listen it http://www.facebook.com/aegrisomniafolk

-Let’s get back to the band matters now. How is the process for your third album ‘ The Love Album vol.1’. To my mind the title is somewhat contradictory, how wrong am I? What are your future plans as a band?

The 90% of the subject matter used in popular music during last decades has been “love”. It started especially during the sixties, because love it was the “trend thopic” and the way of life during this generation. Since then the term and the feelings reflected have been used and wasted ad nauseam, losing the original concept and even reaching the twee and the risible. With this third album (which name is not defined yet), we want to show the dark side of love, the “B sides”, the “director’s cut”. Jealousy may drive the people crazy, love may destroy a person. Love can become pain, powerlessness and suffering. We want to reflect the distress and anguish that love awakes in a view that usually is not used due to be a taboo subject in many aspects.

-Apart from a guitarist and singer you are also a keen author, have some of your works already published. Tell us some things about that part of you. Are your lyrics just some of your past-writings, do you combine writing and music in As Light Dies?

Nowadays there is just song inspired in a previous writing is the song named “The disinherited”, the rest are topics created just for the music and then it was created all the background. We like to create a drama lyric at the same time we create the music. This is a factory of feelings. My project “Garth arum” is based in all these previous writings. “Garth Arum” is the name of one of them, but they are more inspired in fantasy writings. “As Light Dies” choses darker inspiration.

-If I’m not mistaken ‘As Light Dies’ is nearly ten years old so can you share some experiences that you had with the band over the years, some really standout moments, either good or bad.

We had more good moments than bad moments, which I prefer not to recall. We have met really great people from different places and we have lived a lot of enriching experiences. During the rehearsal we get a lot of fun, and when the songs begin to flow it is really special. That’s the point where music turns into magic. Also it is really great those moments when you realize that all the work, efforts and sacrifices you have made finally worth.

-Well that was it Oscar, thank you so much for your time, it is really an honor to share some words with you, anything else you want to share with our readers?

Honor is ours! Thank you very much for this interview, for all your support, for creating the golden ratio, the aesthetics, the pythagorean tuning and the Antikythera mechanism.

Greetings to all you have been reading this. Katalefas!

-Thank you once again, Katalefas Martin!

 

Lefteris K.

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