Interview with Pedro Vela, Willy, and Eliseo Lara
Interview conducted by Mjölnir
Date online: May 27, 2021
Phobos Monolith are an up-and-coming Melodic Death Metal act whose debut EP stirred some waves in the underground scene last year, and rightfully so. I was able to contact the band and briefly discuss their history, music, and their plans for the future.
What made you decide on the name Phobos Monolith?
Pedro Vela: The name was already thought out even before the band got started and fit the overall concept of the project.
Willy: We had a few options. I remember Pedro mentioning the Phobos Monolith, the moon of mars; I guess this caught his eye and so we adopted the name.
I understand that the band started as something of a live act before working on material in the studio. What finally led you to recording your own material?
P: It started as a live band but there was always the intention of recording in a studio setting.
W: We used to practice the same songs every week to be ready for a small recording or any live show. But with Eliseo joining the band we looked forward to recording our work and especially now with the pandemic, everything fit to work and record since there is no live music going on.
How would you describe the local scene where you live?
P: The scene is divided and scarce. Metal is one of the least listened to genres and suffers from lack of airplay.
W: Very few bands have survived, our metal scene is very weak, and a few others have started to focus on recording only.
According to the Bandcamp for When the Light Will Fade, the band started out as a three piece before recruiting Eliseo Lara as the bassist and the vocalist. What led you to bringing him on board?
P: It was simply logical; Eliseo is a very versatile musician and he liked the concept that we had. He came in contributing ideas as soon as he joined us.
W: Eliseo was a good friend of ours, and we never thought that the guitar player from one of my favorite local bands (Venereal Baptism) would be joining us on bass and vocals! We have many friends in common with whom we share rehearsal rooms, so that also led us to eventually make plans to play together.
What would you say defines your style of Cosmic Death Metal?
W: More than the music, the lyrics... everything started as a local inside joke, our friends claimed that we created a new genre... and so we adopted the idea!
You cite bands like Paradise Lost and Amorphis as influences. What particular aspects of their sound do you feel contributes the most to your sound?
P: Everything those pioneering bands have done has influenced in some way or another what we are coming up with, in particular the atmosphere of those you mentioned as well as their riffs.
W: I feel that maybe my other band members can tell you more about that. As a guitar player, I have been influenced by a lot of different bands and music. I contribute with other personal influences, like Iron Maiden, In Flames, Amon Amarth...
Tell me about the songwriting process for When the Light Will Fade.
Eliseo Lara: When I first joined the band, they already had a handful of songs that were structurally completed, music-wise. I learned what they had and we kept that same momentum going, working fast and completing one full song per week until we had enough music to begin recording. I wrote the lyrics working with the structure of the songs, after they were done.
What led you to signing with Pest Records for the release of your debut EP?
W: The ease of work with them. It was more like a gentleman's agreement with no formal paperwork and we liked that. We look forward to taking our band to the next level in the future.
The lyrics I've read give poetic descriptions of various cosmological phenomena. Why did you choose this as your lyrical focus, and what do you wish to convey with it?
E: Existentialism, the cosmos, psychology... all of those are subjects that Pedro and I share an affinity towards and are excellent fodder for lyrical content. The running theme of this album is of natural occurrences and outside phenomenons affecting us on different levels.
What led you to commissioning Gragoth of Luciferium War Graphics for the album's cover?
W: Another friend recommended his work, and he was able to define our idea in images. Excellent Work!
How did the pandemic affect the band, if at all?
W: We had more of a chance to be working in the shadows, coming up with new ideas in the rehearsal room. This was a huge break in a way, so we took advantage and made the best of a bad situation.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Metal as a whole?
E: We need to get back to doing this live. The indefinite pause of all shows was very detrimental to metal even though we are some of the most loyal fans of anything.
What are your plans for the future? Is there a full-length in the works?
P: Our plans are to record an LP this year, so we are focusing on that.
W: We are currently working on new material, and I hope someday we can also release old songs that never saw the light.
Thank you for answering my questions for our readers. Is there anything you'd like to say before we end it here?
P: Thank You for granting us this space, we will be sure to have a copy of our next release reserved for you so that we can get you and your reader's opinion when it gets out.
W: Please support your local bands and don't forget to check out our music and like us on Facebook! We are extremely underground, and we have less than 500 followers. We would like to know where our music its being played!
E: Thank You!
|Other information about Phobos Monolith on this site|
|Review: When the Light Will Fade|
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