Interview to Death Metal band Ancient Settlers
Interesting interview to Ancient Settlers, death metal band active since 2020 which has just released the album "Our Last Eclipse" (read the review here), Ancient Settlers is composed by six settlers musicians, inspired by the recent tragedies that affect the way that humans live.
Answering to my question is Ancient Settlers's keyboardist Rene Gonzalez.
Welcome Ancient Settlers on the pages of Rockers And Other Animals. Few days ago your last album "Our Last Eclipse" was released and, as you know, I had the chance to review it. Can you now introduce yourselves and this new studio work to our readers who have not yet had the chance to meet you?
Hello fine people! This is Rene Gonzalez here, at the keyboards (type and musical, lol). We would love to introduce our first full-length album, “Our Last Eclipse”, it’s an emotional, somewhat epic, melodic, happy and sad journey through space in some way, with fast, not so fast, inspiring and devastating musical passages through and through, we’re frankly quite happy with the result it gave, and we hope the listener will be happy too!, we’re hoping to show it live as well!
How have the national and international reactions to "Our Last Eclipse" been so far?
Well, it’s only been a short time (since I’m writing this interview) but it’s already been very well received!, I mean, really good feedbacks coming from everywhere in the world; sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to receive such great feedback for our work, but it’s inspiring and leads us to work even harder and better for the things to come in the near future! Thank you, world!
What are the differences between your previous creations contained in the EP "Autumnus" and this latest work? Is there something that unites "Autumnus" and "Our Last Eclipse"?
From a technical point, it’s all very different, from the tracking process, to the engineering, it’s all different, the EP, even though it sounds awesome, the recording process, the hardware used was totally different; on the record we elevated that aspect.
From a co-relational point of view, well, it kind of resembles, mostly from a lyrical standpoint, they both speak about the end of humankind that we know, indifferently from where this “end” comes from, Autumnus is more direct in a way, Our Last Eclipse is way more suggestive and blurry on those regards, it makes you think, read between philosophical lines...It’s what we intended for the listener, to make them think, and yeah, enjoy the ride too.
According to the title of the album, what was the total darkness for the world, the interposition of an event or a feeling from your point of view?
In the world that we wanted to portray in the works of the album, well it’s literally a meteor approaching to earth, which symbolizes the end of it all, until that everything is very self-explanatory and logic, I mean, a meteor crashing on earth would be an extermination event (lol).
But, going deeper into the meaning, and what does that mean for everyone, it’s highly suggestive; what does the end represent for certain people? It’s strictly bound to a collective train of thought; for some the end would be their death, for others a personal event that would kill their old self, and reborn into something new?
That’s the beauty of it, it’s open to interpretation.
In the album there are very dark sounds and different themes, such as the recent events related to the pandemic and the aftermath we are carrying around, and some intimist, more dystopian "Autumnus". I find 'Our Last Eclipse' a complete album. Having said that, did you come up with the lyrics first and then add the musicality or vice versa?
The creative process was very fun and very formative for all of us in the band; certain, the whole compendium was “we would like an album that symbolizes something in relation to the current events”, and we worked around it in the following way; first the melodies and riff crafting, the rest of the instrumentation comes after, always making sense with the main motif, then the lyrics come in; every song was like an actual project on its own.
If you were the listener, what emotions would you like to receive and what do you as musicians want to convey with 'Our Last Eclipse'?
The main emotion we want to convey in this album, if I put myself in the listener’s perspective, would be a mixed feeling of sadness, in a sense that I would take a moment to reflect on my past actions, and what have I done to contribute to the actual status of humankind, then going through a reflective period, think on how can I become a better person in order to be better, for me, and for those around me.
What are the main musical influences of the musicians involved in Ancient Settlers?
This is a very good question; who listens what, what’s the contribution value in the creating process of the band; we all have a main influence, not bands per-se but what unites us all is the Swedish/Scandinavian/Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal scene, this is the knot that ties us altogether... yes, everyone has different paths music wise inside the band, varying from 90’s grunge music, to EDM, to very dark metal (Black Metal elements), to Filmscore Music... but it all comes back to service our music and render it into Melodic Death Metal.
Four singles, three anticipated the 'Library of Tears' album 'Cast in Gold', 'Into the Depths I Ride' and then the latest 'Cerements'. Among these, is there a song you are most emotionally close to and why?
Among those tracks you’ve kindly mentioned, my guess would be Library of Tears; strictly song related, it has all the elements that I look for in this music; complexity, epic elements, it’s a long song (compared to the rest), it has intricate solos (I live for the solos), it’s the best of a lot of worlds, it is melodic, it is aggressive, and it is cinematic in a sense.
Personally I really like 'Peregrination', Ancient Settlers show that they have a good grip and a different approach, how did this song come about?
It was actually one of the easiest songs to put together, not saying that it was easy, but in context compared to the rest, it was the easy one, because it’s really A to B, aggressive from start to end, the ending nuance it’s actually put together after the song was recorded entirely, we wanted to portray this “credits roll” scene in a movie, you know? To close the album in style and that has very little/nothing to do with the rest of the song, we wanted this “wow” factor, we hope we accomplished it.
Do the band members have different projects or are they focused exclusively on Ancient Settlers?
For the time being, we’re all committed to the band entirely, it takes a lot of work already to have the band up-to-date, and musically wise we’re really happy with the results we put together, but yeah, there’s also artistic freedom inside the band, we’re more than bandmates, we’re very good friends actually, if someone needs to express himself outside the band, more than welcome, and we support it 200%.
Saying goodbye and thanking you for your availability, would you like to add something that I have not asked you or would you like to say something to the readers?
We just want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for this space and hoping to see you out there somewhere, we’ll be touring in October so check out the dates and if you’re not far, go check us out, we’ll do our best to deliver a great show! Thank you very much!