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  GORKA ELSO AND ZUBEROA AZNAREZ: IN CONVERSATION ABOUT DIABULUS IN MUSICA

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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Diabulus In Musica

I've heard some very high standards regarding albums during these first few months of 2014. One of these really emotive collections arrived wrapped in some striking artwork and went by the name of 'Argia'. It is the third studio album by Spanish Gothic Metal merchants Diabulus In Musica and when I had the opportunity to chat with both of the founding members I leapt at the chance.

Keyboardist and aggressive male vocal responsibilities fall to Gorka who works well with superb lead vocalist, arranger and generally multi-talented Zuberoa. Despite their English being a little rough around the edges, we all leapt in to the conversation with gusto and this is what was shared during our time together.

I kicked off the interrogation by asking what they thought of this new album in comparison to their debut 2010 album 'Secrets'.

Zuberoa: "It's much more mature and also because of the way we started to write these songs, it was quite different than before. With 'Secrets', it was kind of a collection of songs as the guitarist said; it was like the greatest hits of the first year of Diabulus In Musica..." Gorka: "First hits of the rehearsal room!"

Article continues below...

   


Zuberoa: "We were somehow searching for our own sound and searching ourselves as a band because we only had the clear idea we wanted to do Symphonic Metal because we come from the classical field and also from the Metal scene. That was the only clear thing we had, it was going to have two elements, the music; Metal music and Classical music.

"Then when we wrote 'The Wanderer', our second album, the premise was different because we wanted to try something new. We decided to write first a story and then put the music as if it was a soundtrack, it was just an experiment. We had a clear idea how we wanted the album to be. Everything was planned. Here we are going to do a very hard song; and here a ballad; and the story is going to tell this with this song and so on.

"With this one it has been really different; we had to face a big problem. The band members decided to leave the band and it was a very hard moment for us. We didn't know if we were going to continue with the band. For us, it was like a family. So to lose the other band members it was like there was no sense to continue. Diabulus In Musica is the five of us. But that was only the first thought. But then some weeks later, we said – okay, we are the founding members, Gorka and me, we are the main composers of the band so it makes no sense for us to leave..."

Gorka: "We achieved so much with those two albums and we needed to continue with the band."

Zuberoa: "That's why the new album was born, and how the album was born. When we decided we were going to continue, I was sitting in front of the computer but I had to write. It wasn't an obligation for me; it was more like a therapy for me! I had so many feelings inside that wanted to come out, the best way for me to express myself is with music.

"The music started to flow and I started to take out all that rage; all that sadness; all that happiness – all those things we lived the past two years since the guys left. Inspiration came really fast and I started to write and write and write! Then I realised we had almost written the complete album, I think that's the main difference – this album is very, very personal and it's special because of that because it's a pure essence of Diabulus In Musica - Gorka and me; and it's very honest, it's very real and it's very direct."



To reiterate my understanding of what had been explained, I explained how the songs made so much sense with that explanation. Songs like the powerful 'Healing', the single 'Inner Force' and a track like 'From The Embers'. My next question followed hot on the heels of this which went along the lines of why had they incorporated so many different languages in the album. I had noted they used Basque, Spanish, Latin and English.

Zuberoa: "English obviously, because we started to write in English and how the band was born. Basque because it's a personal language to us, it's our mother language. We are Spanish native speakers, but the second official language here is Basque and as we're a small country inside the big country which is Spain, we feel the Basque language is really related to our roots and our personal feelings.

"So for me when I have to express something that is very personal, I always do it in Basque when I write lyrics. Latin, because I come from the Classical field, the early music field; I'm used to singing in Latin a lot when we are singing medieval music or renaissance music, we always do it in the small ensembles and choirs I belong to, we always do it in Latin.

"In fact our name Diabulus In Musica is a Latin term as well, so I thought it was important to preserve that element from my musical background. Finally, Spanish it was the only language we have never used before and it's really weird because we are Spanish!"

Zuberoa: "When we started with 'Secrets' I thought singing Spanish wouldn't fit the Symphonic style, I don't know why, but it would sound horrible in Spanish. But then when I realised I was writing in Latin and in Basque and so on, I thought why not. All the fans from Latin America and Spain were asking for a song in Spanish but I didn't find a place to put a song in Spanish on our previous albums.

Diabulus In Musica

"So, I decided to do it with this one, I said okay, I'm going to try. I think it sounds cool actually, I had never imagined Spanish would sound good in a Metal song but it does, yes, I love it. I would try to do it again.

"I decided to dig deeper regarding 'Argia' and wanted to know more about the recording process. There are layers of music within this album that you continue to discover with each listen; choirs, strings, guitars and so many other textures."

Gorka lets out a hearty laugh when I suggest the album took ages as he agrees with my deduction.

Zuberoa: "A lot of work and health! When you are reading booklets from big bands you see how many people is involved in a production. You are feeling like stupid because okay, orchestration done by another guy; producer - another guy; choir – another guy; choir arrangements- another guy; they have people to do everything. So I think what are the band doing?!

"I did not know that before, I thought bands compose their stuff. But it's not like this. So when you have to deal with a regular job because unfortunately we cannot live on music and you have to deal with your personal life and you have to deal with composing a full album it's really hard. It's really, really hard. But it's something you love so much that you have to do it because you cannot live without music, it's like a drug – it's a very hard drug, a positive one! It involves a lot of work.

"So in our case we don't have a producer, we don't have an orchestral arranger, we don't have staff working with us, it's just Gorka and me. So it's even harder, but I also prefer to do it this way because this is why our music for me is different and personal, because of that. Nobody is telling me what I have to do or what I don't have to do you know."

Diabulus In Musica

Zuberoa: "We had to record everything at home, we don't have money to go to a big studio and spend thousands of euros on a full orchestra or a full choir. We have learned so much since we started that we realised we are able to do everything by ourselves. With a choir for example, they were colleagues because I know a lot of people. We took one person per voice for the male voices, and two people per voice in female voices. We also tried to mix different colours of voices in all the choir arrangements and the effect is like a real big choir, like we're six people and it sounds like twelve voices."

With such passion and time invested in 'Argia' it is also worthy to note the inclusion of a couple of guest appearances. Lead singer from the band Sirenia, Ailyn Giménez, duets with Zuberoa on the track 'Furia de Libertad' whilst Thomas Vikström from Therion appears on vocals in 'Encounter At Chronos' Maze'. My ears are dancing BIG time after hearing this special album.

If you enjoy listening to serious classical influences as they blend with Metal, this album will hopefully place a juicy smile firmly on your lips. There are albums which slip below the radar for many people and sometimes don't receive the recognition they deserve in the course of such anonymity, but with such genuine integrity and sincere reasons for making this album how could 'Argia' not be a powerful collection? Do yourself a favour, if you're partial to Gothic/Symphonic female-fronted music, then please give this a try.




28.3.14





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"We have written a very dark yet melodic album but this time many songs definitely have a Death Metal edge..."

rainbow RAINBOW RELEASE 'THE POLYDOR YEARS' - 8 CLASSIC ALBUMS IN 1 AMAZING VINYL BOX SET
All the classics are here - relive the very best of the era in the box set released on November 24th...

nothing more NOTHING MORE TO SUPPORT THE PRETTY RECKLESS
The passion and relentless sonic experimentation of the live show comes to the UK this November...

phil rudd AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD ON NEW ZEALAND MURDER PLOT AND DRUGS CHARGE
Michael Browning, AC/DC's former manager told Daily Mail Australia it was a "bit of a shock, but there you go"....

hrh 9 HRH 9 ON TRACK FOR A XMAS SELL OUT
Due to huge demand the last batch of rooms are on sale for November 2015's spectacular event...

engel ENGEL RELEASE ALBUM TEASER FOR 'RAVEN KINGS'
The eagerly awaited release from the Swedish Death Metallers is nearly upon us...

blackberry smoke BLACKBERRY SMOKE UNVEIL NEW ALBUM 'HOLDING ALL THE ROSES' PRODUCED BY BRENDAN O'BRIEN
The album will land in February 2015. "The plan for this record is to go out and play as much as we can, and just take it to the people..."

broken chords BROKEN CHORDS TO HEADLINE SECOND STAGE AT HARD ROCK HELL
The band have been grabbing attention thanks to the Bernie Tormé tour, and look to build on that with their appearance at HRH...

linkin park LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR WITH RISE AGAINST AND OF MICE AND MEN
'The Hunting Party' goes on the road for nineteen dates in January and February...

skarlett gus tour THE SKYS HEAD UP ANOTHER BATCH OF PROGTASTIC BANDS FOR HRH PROG 3
Another five quaity bands will join headliner Rick Wakeman in next year's prog extravaganza...

ramblin man fair BREAKING NEWS: SCORPIONS, GREGG ALLMAN, CAMEL AND MARILLION ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2015
The Rock Collective and TeamRock are proud to announce a brand new UK festival...

skarlett gus tour MACHINE HEAD REVEAL SECOND TRAILER FOR THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM, 'BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS'
The album will be released on November 10, 2014 on a variety of formats. "It's been a heck of a ride, but man, this album is a milestone for us..."

skarlett gus tour SKARLETT RIOT CONFIRMED FOR GUS G UK TOUR
Skarlett Riot will open for the four UK dates of the 2015 headlining European tour...

wayne static WAYNE STATIC DIES AT 48
The founder of industrial Metal band Static-X died on November 1st...

emigrate VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE, 'EAT YOU ALIVE', UNVEILED BY RAMMSTEIN GUITARIST RICHARD KRUSPE'S EMIGRATE
The second Emigrate album 'Silent So Long' is set for release via Spinefarm Records on November 24th...

slash GUITAR LEGEND SLASH AND THE UK'S BEST LIVE BAND BIFFY CLYRO SET TO ROCK GLASGOW AHEAD OF THE 2014 MTV EMA
The rock show will kick off the MTV EMA weekend at The O2 Academy on 7 November...

devil you know DEVIL YOU KNOW PULL OUT OF UK AND EUROPEAN MACHINE HEAD TOUR
"The business side of this industry is very ugly at times and this is one of those unforeseen instances where the band has to suffer..."

cavelera conspiracy CAVALERA CONSPIRACY RELEASE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'BABYLONIAN PANDEMONIUM'
The video's imagery conveys the raw emotions of Brazil's impoverished people percolating just beneath the surface of the country's natural beauty...

rock goddess ROCK GODDESS CONFIRMED FOR HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR 2015
Rock Goddess join Masterplan, Blitzkrieg, Iron Angel and many others at HOA...

monument MONUMENT RELEASE NEW LYRIC VIDEO
The video for 'Renegades' features artwork by the band's exclusive illustrator Stan W Decker...

dog house WEST LONDON'S NEW ROCK BAR OPENS
The Dog House has opened in Acton, the first new rock bar for many years in the W post code area...

western sand WESTERN SAND ANNOUNCE NEW EP RELEASE, 'CUT YOU DOWN TO SIZE'
The band's second EP is released on Monday 17th November through Believe Digital...

lawnmower deth LAWNMOWER DETH ANNOUNCE CHRISTMAS SHOW
Join Lawnmower Deth at The Underworld on 13th December with Evil Scarecrow, Savage Messiah and Bull Riff Stampede...

giants of rock BLACK STAR RIDERS ADDED TO GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
The first opportunity to see the band live in the UK in 2015 will be at Giants Of Rock, in a line-up which includes Slade, Magnum and many more...

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