SARTEGOS is a young and promising horde from Galiza, and absolutely worth your attention - if your musical tastes are aroused by the ancient Black/death cult – or basically anyone into the morose atmosphere evoked by bands such as MYSTIFIER, BEHERIT, DEMONCY, IMPRECATION, NECROS CHRISTOS, (old) VITAL REMAINS, NEGATIVE PLANE, etc. The following conversations were conducted with Rou, and consist of three different interviews (old and new) edited and compiled into one; summing up pretty much the band's entire (short) biography. Its absolutely advisable that our readers get their hands on the band's latest mini-album entitled “As Fontes Do Negrume” and brace yourself to be shrouded in absolute darkness that reek of old cemetery stench.
1. Hails Rou! SARTEGOS is a project/band started by you with the idea of playing putrid black/death to evoke that same cryptic feeling you get from the older works by bands such as BEHERIT, DEMONCY and DARKTHRONE; is that right? When and how was the band conceived? Did you feel that this type of music would be the most suitable medium for the type of dark feelings you wish to transcend?
Rou: 666 Hails to you, James Goatfukk.
Yeah, you're right, the initial idea when I started SARTEGOS was to play music evoking the same feeling as older recordings from bands such as DEMONCY, MORTUARY DRAPE, DARKTHRONE, etc. To conjure that special aura was the main idea back then (and still is!).
SARTEGOS was conceived first in Barcelona as a duo (the creature had no name at that time), with the help of my comrade, Karles from APOKATASTASIS zine, in order to play dark black/death Metal with an ancient and cryptic feeling. Karles had no time to compose or rehearse during that time so we didn't have the opportunity to rehearse properly back then. Then I had to move from Barcelona to my homeland (Galiza) again. This meant that Karles couldn't be apart of it anymore. I continued composing and arranging songs by myself, and at that time the name SARTEGOS (which means Coffins or Sarcophagus in Galician, my mother tongue) arose from my mind. The idea behind SARTEGOS is to transmit a dark feeling of morbid death, to glorify the black light through ancient black/death Metal Cult.
I like both Black and Death Metal, so I can say I'm influenced equally by those two styles. I don't consider Sartegos a pure Black Metal band(at least not what it is considered nowadays “pure” Black Metal). Instead, I would prefer to label the music as Black/Death Metal... I think the style developed in Sartegos is the best to express all I want with the band, without doubt!
2. How and with what was your first exposure to metal and how did you initially enter the underground scene?
Rou: I didn't have the typical evolution: from Heavy Metal to Thrash and then from Thrash to Death and Black Metal. I started at an early age (maybe 11 or 12) listening to some Punk, Thrash, and a little bit of Heavy Metal. Then some years later my brother introduced me to old AMORPHIS, CARCASS or DEATH. From that moment on I started to become more and more interested in Black and Death Metal and discovered the milestones of the genre. I started to be hungry for discovering new bands: Black or Death Metal ones above all, but also Thrash and maybe some Heavy Metal bands also. It was during that time (at my 18 more or less, now I'm 27) that I started to buy fanzines and stuff, and dig deep in the u.g. My participation in the u.g. is even more active since I'm involved in APOKATASTASIS zine and SARTEGOS.
3. You released your first demo in 2010 entitled "A Serpe Do Escarnio"; please tell us more about the title and concept behind this release.
Rou: “A Serpe do Escarnio” can be portrayed as “The Serpent of Mockery”. It deals with the end of the era of Christian values: Destroy what man has created to enslave human minds. Well, not only Christian values, but all beliefs that are imposed in human societies. You have to act and think the way the herd does, you know... I used the serpent as a symbol. It can be identified with the power inside oneself, Satan, temptation, and the inversion of values. I know it's not original but I don't care really. I also have to say that this demo is not a conceptual one. I mean, this is the concept which is behind “A Serpe do Escarnio” track. I chose the title of this song for the title of the demo also for no special reason. I could choose one of the titles from the rest of the songs actually. Every song in the demo has its own concept.
4. How was the response from the people who have heard your demo? Are you satisfied with how the songs came out?
Rou: The response has been good so far. I distributed not so much copies of the demo and few promo material until now. The demo came out on late March/2010 so it's a little bit early to say something about this. People (from the feedback I got so far) like mostly vocals and guitars and the morbid atmosphere created. Yes, I can say that I'm satisfied with the final result. If not, I would have never released it. I really didn't expect such a good result due to the poor recording conditions and also because I was forced to use a damn drum machine, but finally and despite all, the result was not bad at all.
5. All music from the first demo was recorded by yourself, thus SARTEGOS can be considered a one-man project. In recent years, there has been a rise of these one-man bands, and many attempting a BEHERIT–like sound, with the majority of them making really awful, uninspired garbage – why do you think this is and what sets SARTEGOS apart from the lot? What are some of your favourite one-man bands that have inspired you in some way?
Rou: Well, I think there are a couple of main reasons for that rise of one-man bands and one of them is that nowadays is quite easy to record a bunch of tracks on your own. You don't need to go and pay for a studio; you can record all at the rehearsal place and obtain a quite decent result with making a little investment on basic recording equipment. It's easier now than it was ten years ago and than, of course, 20 years ago. Other reason is that, often, one-man bands play music not difficult to play on the instruments so almost everybody with the minimum musical skills can make it. Years ago it was music in the vein of BURZUM, DARKTHRONE and the likes, then that depressive BM bands and recently maybe more in the vein of BEHERIT (this has to do with UG trends mostly). These bands created special music with special aura by using simple ideas and that's great, but that does not mean that everybody is able to do the same, I mean, you can compose songs à la BEHERIT and with the right sound, but if there's nothing more, if the result and the compositions don't transmit the right feeling, then the effort is in vain and the band will become lost in the amount of uninteresting bands coming up every month.
Thanks for considering SARTEGOS apart from the lot. First I think in my compositions you can hear many influences and at the same time you would not be able to say: this band sounds clearly like “X” or “Y” band. In my humble opinion the SARTEGOS thing had a kind of strong personality since the beginning. I didn't bring to the table anything that was not invented, but for me it is something worthy to be listened definitely.
BATHORY and BURZUM are two one-man bands that I like a lot. I also adore some of the material by MUTIILATION and JUDAS ISCARIOT. At the moment, I can't recall more, but I'm sure there are a couple that I have forgot...
6. Recently, you've mentioned to me that SARTEGOS have recruited a real drummer; what can you tell us about him and the progress you have made? How is rehearsals? Have you written any new material with the addition of the drummer? What can you tell us about your upcoming material and how will it differ from the first demo?
Rou: I have been rehearsing with this drummer for almost a year now. The fact is that he learnt how to play the songs really fast! His name is VindoK and someone I have known from my town. The way it works with SARTEGOS is that I compose the songs at home and then I tell VindoK at the rehearsal room how I would like the drums to be played. We put in some common ideas and start to play, simple as that. I would not consider him as a session member cause I like to listen to his opinion about the drum parts, etc. He can play drums, and I don't think that it would be better if he developed his own ideas (always if they fit within the band's concept of course). Since the recruitment of VindoK, we have recorded a second demo, entitled “Mortualha”, that should be out when reading this through the French label CHALICE OF BLOOD ANGELProds., on pro-tape format. The new demo includes four tracks + intro + outré and they are in the vein of the ones included in the first demo, but better: better sound and compositions, and with a real drummer! Anyway, what can I say? haha. I think everyone that liked “A Serpe do Escarnio” demo will like this one even more. No chance for disappointments. I'm really satisfied with the work we've done!
7. How would you describe the sound of Sartegos to someone who’s never heard your music before?
Rou: Like being inside of an ancient crypt surrounded by dead bodies with the putrid stench of dead filling your lungs… Dark tunes of death and blasphemy!!!
8. What releases have you been listening to lately?
Rou: Well, last days I have been listening to DEIPHAGO “Philipino Antichrist” LP, EXCORIATE “On Pestilent Winds” LP, CULTES DES GHOULES/GOAT TYRANT split MC, OFDOOM “Evoked from Grave” demo tape, MANTAK “Diabolical Psycholust” LP, NOCTURNAL BLOOD “Invocation of Spirits” EP, ZEMAIL “I am the Dark” EP, SUICIDAL WINDS/THRONEUM split EP, COMMUNION demo tape, GRAVE RITUAL demo, TOTAL EXTINCTION demo 2007. Also some old stuff like IMPIETY’s “Skullfukking Armageddon” and SARGATANAS “Knights of...” MC, IRON MAIDEN, CIANIDE, etc, etc.
9. How is the metal scene in Galiza? Any recommended zines, bands that maniacs should know about?
Rou: We used to have a very good Death Metal scene back in the mid nineties with bands like DISMAL, UNHALLOWED, ABSORBED or UNNATURAL – but all of them are split up now except for the case of DISMAL (they play pathetic music now, nothing to do with metal). No Black Metal bands back then by the way. Now I think the so called scene here is pretty healthy with bands like BALMOG (BM), DISHAMMER (Thrash/Punk), MARTHYRIUM (BM), ABORIORTH (BM), SCENT OF DEATH (DM) or MACHETAZO (Grind/Death). We have very good zines like BLOODY ZINE or ORFISMO, both written in Spanish.
About the whole Spanish state, I’d recommend TEITANBLOOD, DEMONIC WAR, EMPTY and PROCLAMATION. Concerning ‘zines, check out MANDRAGORA, HEADBANGERS (in Spanish also). Can not forget APOKATASTASIS, of course, the zine of my comrade Karles from Barcelona where I collaborate doing some interviews and reviewing stuff.
10. What can you tell me about your involvement with APOKATASTASIS 'zine? To me, this is a strange, yet cool name; although, I'm having some trouble with the pronunciation of the name… What does it indicate? This is a collaboration between you and a friend, right? How many issues have you published so far, and concerning each issue, how many copies were printed? Did you receive any promos or do you usually just review materials you buy/or get through a trade?
Rou: Haha, yes, it's not only you who have problems with the pronunciation of APOKATASTASIS, it's hard to pronounce indeed. I don't know how to define the word exactly, but I think its concept deal with some kind of “back to the beginning, to the essence” a kind of restoration. I think it's a Greek word. It was not me who settled on the name.
This fanzine was created some years ago by Karles, a friend of mine from Catalonia. I collaborated in the first issue reviewing just a couple of releases. This one included chats with KULTO MALDITO, TEITANBLOOD, DREAM DEATH, MORBOSIDAD, ZEMIAL, among others. For the second issue, I made some interviews and many more reviews than in the previous one. This one will include interviews with KORGULL THE EXTERMINATOR, BALMOG, GRAVEYARD, ONIRIC RECORDS, CEREKLOTH, CRUCIFIER or DARKTHRONE, among others. And I said “will include”, in future tense, cause although the release of this second issue was planned to be out more than a year ago, the fact is that it is not until now that copies are ready to be distributed. The plan was (and still is) to put out something special for the second issue: I mean, the 70 copies of the zine will be distributed together with “Sartegos – A Serpe do Escarnio” first demo tape, like a kind of pack. By the way, the first issue (sold out) is written in English and this second one in Spanish, and we printed 70 copies of each issue.
I really don't know about Karles, but I think he receives some promos from time to time, but what we usually do is to review stuff we buy/trade.
11. Give me a list of some of your favourite horror films/books/graphic novels—if you don’t mind?
Rou: Talking about horror films I will mention The Shining, The Omen, Poltergeist or Nosferatu. Lately I saw some more recent and good films like Martyrs, The Grudge or The Descent. I like other genres as well, but I have to say that I'm not a die hard fan of movies.
About books, my favourite of all-time (and always will be) would be none other than the great H.P. Lovecraft. I've worship his stories since I was a child. I like the feeling you get from his tales. The feeling that humanity is a little piece of shit in a vast Universe and that we are only little puppets in the hands of an ultra superior race of beings: the Ancient Ones. Other books I grew up with are: “The Eagle and the Raven” and “The Lord of the Rings”. I've always been interested in history and mythology and read books regarding those themes. Last one I read was about the history of the Kingdom of Galiza. I also like to read some Aleister Crowley and Lavey stuff and Nietzsche's Antichrist although I'm a little bit lazy when it comes to reading philosophy.
With graphic novels I suppose you mean comics, right? I used to like Venom series when I was a child. I know it's a little bit away of the subject here, but I have to say that one big influence for me has been (and still are) the works of the Swiss graphic artist: H.R.Giger. Absolutely superb!
12. What can you tell me about the last gig/or concert you’ve attended?
Rou: The last gig I attended was actually a festival. It was Steel Warriors Rebellion XIII in Barroselas, Portugal, a couple of weeks ago. I went there to see ARCHGOAT. IMMOLATION, IMPIETY, DECAYED, VOMITORY and some more. The rest of the bill had no interest for me. The best show of the fest was without doubt Impiety: they destroyed me! I had a great time there, attending some interesting gigs, talking and drinking beer with my friends from Barcelona that came for the fest and some other people from Galiza.
13. List ten albums you can’t live without.
Rou: Only ten?! Ten is not enough. This is difficult man… ok; here we go, in no particular order:
MERCIFUL FATE – Don't break the Oath /KING DIAMOND – Abigail
VENOM – Black Metal
BLASPHEMY – Fallen Angel of Doom
MAYHEM – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
DARKTHRONE – First 6 albums
PROFANATICA – All
SARCOFAGO – INRI
BATHORY – Under the Sign of the Black Mark
MORBID ANGEL – Altars of Madness
AMORPHIS – The Karelian Isthmus
MYSTIFIER – Wicca and Goetia
SABBAT – Evoke
KREATOR – Pleasure to Kill
DESTRUCTION – Sentence of Death
…and tons more!! If you ask me next week this list will be maybe totally different...
14. Many bands who consider themselves underground prefer not to play live much because they wish not to promote their music in front of idiots – what do you make of this kind of attitude? Do you like to attend many underground shows? How is the live situation over there and how often do you actually get the chance to see something good?
Rou: For the time being, I am not interested to play live with SARTEGOS. To play live with the band I must first look for a couple of suitable session members, people who’re into SARTEGOS’ style, and then start to rehearse hard with them. For now I want to focus in other things –
But this does not mean that I discard the idea of playing live in the future (not near future). It is definitely something I would like to pursue, but in good conditions, I mean, to transmit the dark feeling SARTEGOS would take some extra efforts.
Sometimes I can share opinions like “playing in front of people that's not really interested in the band (or don't understand the concept) is a waste of time” but that's not the main reason why I don't play live now.
I like a lot to attend to shows, really – but although I like ug shows the most, I also like to attend big shows with big bands, if they are worthy enough. I.e. I hope to attend a Motorhead+Saxon+Judas Priest gig that will take place in a couple of months near here. That's a worthy one. Here you can have a bunch of ug gigs organized during the year. Not bad, actually. Recently we had near here SWR fest, in the north of Portugal. There are always 4 or 5 incredible bands in the schedule every year.
15. Today we have kults like NECROS CHRISTOS, FATHER BEFOULED, DEAD CONGREGATION, UNAUSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN, EMBRACE OF THORNS etc who make much darker music than a lot of current Black Metal bands. I think there's always been a bit of a misconception that Death Metal can't be as dark or ''evil'' sounding as Black Metal. Your thoughts?
Rou: I agree. I think Death Metal should be dark and obscure, and I think in the last years there is like a rising of bands taking back that feeling Death Metal should have not lost. That's great from my point of view and definitely yes, Death Metal can achieve the same level of darkness that Black Metal does. The bands you've quoted are good examples of great Death Metal bands from nowadays that keep the dark and right feeling (although for me EMBRACE OF THORNS have lots of Black Metal influences, not as many as in the past, but still have).
16. The main objective of religions is to brainwash the masses with false agenda in order to suppress humanity and keep it in a slave-state so the pieces of filth in charge can extort millions upon millions of dollars. Do you think we'll never witness the downfall of these corrupt programs or is it likely to happen in our lifetime? Some people will argue that religion restores “balance” but religion has stood in the way of progression for centuries; your thoughts?
Rou: I agree with you on what you've said. The religions we have to deal with have been created to control people's minds and oppress human beings, and that's why any type of progress or self-thinking is not good for them. I think since few decades ago, the power of the big religions is decreasing fast (with exceptions) but I really don't think we will witness their extinction. Now we have a very powerful religion to make more slaves: money and capitalism.
But now talking about Christianity, although religion is not as powerful as in the past, all its values and patterns are present in people's minds. I mean, most of the mental patterns of individuals in traditional Christian countries are influenced by judeo-christianism, no matter if you believe in god or not, if you don't give a shit about it or you don't attend church on Sundays. A lot of concepts and ideas we have inside our mind since our childhood are clearly Judeo-Christian, like sexual behaviors (monogamy) and sexual taboos, despise for women, false compassion and other things. So I think judeo-christianity is still strongly present in people's minds.
17. What's considered ‘good' in one culture might be considered ‘evil' in another and vice versa; what's your conception on these two terms?
That's a very interesting matter. What you've said proves that good/evil concepts are not a standard and valid for all. Even I would say there are no good nor evil valid concepts, only human perceptions on them. i.e. in many pre-Christian cultures in Europe didn't exist such clear difference between good or evil, you know, they were kind of mixed concepts and I mostly agree with this, and have my own interpretation or perception of what's evil and what's good.
18. Do you believe that its every man's right to take action against a person who has done him wrong? What do you think about this Christian idea of turning the other cheek and be the better person?
Rou: I usually agree with the “eye for an eye” sentence and self right for vengeance, but it's not that simple as you have to know why things were done, who did it and in what circumstances, cause not all the cases are the same. It depends also on your own interpretation and sense of justice. But if everyone were able to take the vengeance the way he/she would like and this was kind of legalized, the world would be total chaos, you know. The idea of “turn the other cheek” is simply stupid and created intentionally for people with sheep mentality.
19. What was the inspiration behind the moniker and why did you choose it? Do you think a moniker of a band is equally as important as the lyrics/music or secondary? What is to you some of the coolest names and what are some of the worst?
Rou: Yes, I think the moniker of a band is as important as (at least) the lyrics because the moniker should sum up more or less the feeling or concept of a band. The inspiration behind SARTEGOS moniker is one simple word: DEATH (SARTEGOS means Sarcophagus in Galician, my language). When thinking about baptizing the band this name came to my mind fast. I didn't want to use an English moniker cause through SARTEGOS I'm expressing myself, and I'm doing the music I would like to listen to and the lyrics I would like to read, so the fact of using English was not on the plan since the beginning. I express myself in Galician so it's a natural choice to have lyrics and moniker in my language too.
For me it's really hard to choose some of the coolest and worst names because I can not be objective, I'm 100% influenced by the fact of if the band appeals me or not. But sure that you can easily find more “bad” names than good ones.
20. What's your stance on the productivity behind a band, like for instance; a lot of bands use the right 'tricks' in order to get some attention, but whether or not they are sincere in what they preach/sing about is another question, if you know what I mean?
Rou: I think I understand what you are trying to say. If you want to gain some attention it's not difficult to use that “tricks” if you know a little bit of the UG. I mean, releasing your demos on tape, releasing your stuff on vinyl assures you a certain respect in the UG BUT doing this for the sake of gain some interest or respect is, from my point of view, an stupid thing, not honest and makes the band simply a joke. If you don't believe in what you are doing, if you don't do things because you feel 110% comfortable with them, then something is wrong with all of this. For me is a similar situation when a band changes their style in order to get more attention, success or whatever. I don't like that kind of bands and don't take them seriously…
21. I've found that, for the most part, bands who release demos first—are likely to release a good album, do you agree? I personally feel that sometimes bands are too eager to release a full length without giving much thought to the idea of developing their sound first, thus the outcome of their debut usually ends up being a rather average effort. How important do you feel it is for a band like SARTEGOS to record and release some demos prior to releasing a full length?
Rou: For the most part, it is, but not always. Sometimes bands record great demo’s, but release a poor album. I think it depends.. For some bands maybe demos are just training, and they are always thinking about and focused on releasing a first album, underrating the demos. For me it's not that way: I feel comfortable with demos and for the moment— I don't feel the urge of releasing a full length. I mean, I'm not planning anything; I'm not thinking: ok, I'll release a couple of demos and then I'll start composing for a full length. What I would like to do next is just to release maybe a 7”ep, or even a MLP in the future, and then who knows? More demos, or 7”, or a full length.. I don't know! Time will tell. With the band I like to do what I feel is right on every moment, so I cannot tell you about certain future activities.
Despite all of this, demos are good to develop your sound, that's clear. I think to record a full length without previous demos is a very risky option. And let me conclude this answer by telling you that for SARTEGOS, demos are essential.
22. Tell me a bit about your personal believes if you don't mind? Do you believe in the existence of entities, magick or anything of the like? What do you think will happen to us when we die?
Rou: I do believe in magick or entities, but on a scientific basis. I mean, it's sure that there are lots of things or phenomena our human mind it's not ready to perceive or understand, but that does not mean that those things are not natural, it's just that we are not capable to understand them. About death, well, I think when you die its real end of the story. No chance for heaven, Valhalla or any kind of salvation. Your brain dies and so do your conscience life. Another thing is that we are energy, and that energy maybe remains as a reflection. I don't know, I'll tell you some day.. I have my own system of values, and I take things from here and there and make my own interpretations.
23. Tell me about your second demo, “Mortualha”, and how your collaboration with CHALICE OF BLOOD ANGEL came about … How many copies of the demo were pressed and what can you tell me about the feedback pertaining to its release?
Well, as far as I remember, Alexandre from C.O.B.A. got in contact with me in order to buy a copy of our first demo “A Serpe...” . Later he wrote me an e-mail telling me that he liked a lot the demo and that he could be interested in releasing SARTEGOS stuff in the future with his label. We recorded Mortualha, send it to him and he answered he liked a lot our new stuff and he wanted to release it. And so was it: he released 200 copies on pro-tape in July 2011. He sold/traded all the copies in less than a year so as you can imagine the response was better than expected, at least from my side. The feedback was good too: most of the people liked “Mortualha” more than our first demo, so... great!
“Mortualha” was more difficult to record for me because this time I was using a real drummer and all became more difficult: I needed to buy more microphones, mix more recording tracks etc. Anyway, it's a more organic and darker demo than the first one from my point of view. Also, the tracks are better structured and composed.
24. What is the meaning behind the title, “Mortualha”, and why did you choose it?
“Mortualha” means “pile of corpses” or “funeral” if you want. I chose it because of the second track, which is called this way, no more, no less. The track's lyrics deal with the Death and the medieval-european Blackdeath plague.
25. How would you describe the developments between the first and second demo? Was the recording circumstances the same or different?
Rou: There is one big difference between first and second demo and it is the fact of using a drum machine in the first one and using real drums in the second one. This fact implied that I had to improve a little my recording equipment buying a new mixer and some microphones.
Also, the tracks in “Mortualha” are better structured and more organic. Our second demo was a step further, you know. This said, I have to tell you I still like a lot the first SARTEGOS demo.
26. The first demo timed at just over sixteen minutes, while the second was over twenty two minutes; i think a compilation release for your demo’s would be most applicable, with over thirty eight minutes of pure evil, unholy Metal of Death! What do you think?
Rou: Yeah, I agree with you! In fact, there is a plan to re-release both demos in one CD next year through I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS. But for the moment is just a plan so I can not tell you more. Anyway, and as far as I know, it's still possible to get the original tapes if you dig a little into the underground. Some distros worldwide like ELEKTROPLASMA MUSIC or ANGELDUST MAILORDER still have them available.
27. Recently, you released your debut ep (or mini-album) entitled, “As Fontes Do Negrume”, and anyone who’s followed you since your first demo will agree that this is your most accomplished work until date. Do you agree? Compared to your previous material; there seems to be an increase in terms of quality – but one specific element I’ll mention, that takes the icing, is the absolute magnetic atmosphere you were able to conjure on the discussed release. I think this owes much to the fact, that the recording conditions were much more fitting for you this time around; can you tell me something about the recording process? Are you satisfied with the final outcome?
Rou: Yes, the CD version of our first mini-album was released on the first of August 2013 by the Galician label BLOODY PRODUCTIONS. I agree this is our best recording to date, of course! In “Mortualha” I tried to push all a step forward regarding sound, music-composition and lyrics and in “As Fontes do Negrume” I did the same. Although SARTEGOS style is a pretty hermetic type of music I think there is still room for trying new things without moving away from the original idea.
Well, thanks for your words! I agree, I think the improvement is noticeable, although the style, feeling and ideas are quite similar.
Regarding the atmosphere, I must say this is one of the main goals I'm trying to reach with SARTEGOS from the very beginning: to recreate certain atmospheres and to take the mind to other planes. This is the reason why I recommend to listen to Sartegos music (and specially to our mini-album) at nighttime, enshrouded in darkness or by candlelight. It works better...
The recording sessions were pretty similar to the “Mortualha” sessions but maybe a little more complicated, trying some new things with new microphones etc. Regarding the mixing process, I invested more time with the mini-album than with any of the previous demos without doubt. But the big difference really was that this last time I sent the final mix-down to Moontower Studios where Javi Félez performed the mastering tasks in his usual professional way.
You know, in my experience, when recording I never end up 100% satisfied with the results. There is always something I think could have been better, specially when I record and mix all by myself. But usually these kind of things are the ones like: ok, I would like the bass-drum to sound with more click, or I would like the bass guitar to sound with more attack (just two random examples). But anyway, if not 100% satisfied I must say this, our first mini-album, is pretty close to that percentage. Of course you have to put in the balance many things like the conditions and gear we had available, that this is a mini-album and not a full-length, etc but yes, I have to say I'm very satisfied with the sound in “As Fontes do Negrume”.
28. Now tell me about your collaboration with BLOODY PRODUCTIONS, and the format pertaining to its release. I understand some label was going to release the LP, but bailed out on you guys at the end, what happened there? I think LP format would do it justice.
Dani released the CD version of “As Fontes do Negrume” through his label BLOODY PRODUCTIONS on the first day of the eighth month of the 13th year. I have been buying his fanzine (Bloody zine) since a lot of years ago (don't remember exactly how many, but more than 10) and it is one of my fave ones of all times so, to work with him was an honour, really. He puts a lot of passion and effort in what he does and I really like that. I have only good words for him.
About the vinyl version, I will try to sum up things a little, cause it is a long story... Well, as soon as we had the master ready (September 2012) we sent a copy to Alexandre from CHALICE OF BLOOD ANGEL (he had released our second demo and was interested in releasing more of our stuff). He listened to it and agreed to release it as a 12” vinyl so we started working on the layout with a designer etc. He started to delay the release several times arguing economical issues and I understood it, but finally in June 2013 he told me he had decided not to release our mini-album without any valid excuse from his part. I understand money is not and was never a problem because he started a new label and he is releasing a lot of things so... You can imagine how betrayed, disappointed and angry we felt. There is no need to say that we are no longer associated with C.O.B.A. We were lucky Dani contacted us in May offering the release CD version.
And it seems the dark forces are on our side once again because I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS got in contact with us after the release of the CD offering us to release the vinyl version and CAVERNA ABISMAL and EGG OF NIHILISM did the same but with the cassette version. The cassette version will be out on the 15th of October and the vinyl should be out in late October.
29. Regarding the song writing process, what were the main aspects you were focused on for the new MCD, and what can you tell me about the influences pertaining to this particular release? I can recall moments that reminded me strongly of MYSTIFIER and even NEGATIVE PLANE.
Hmm, hard to say... When composing I'm always focused on the same things: creating good riffs capable to evoke certain feelings, ideas or “mental landscapes” in me and then mix them with drums and bass at the right tempo, fitting in later the vociferations. So it wasn't different this last time.
The same influences are there from the beginning, like DEMONCY, VARATHRON, MAYHEM, early ROTTING CHRIST, ACHERON, MORTUARY DRAPE, MYSTIFIER etc but maybe this time the Greek influence is more noticeable in a track like “O Dragom”. I have to say also that all I listen to (if I like it) has an influence on me, but this does not mean that you'll clearly hear it in SARTEGOS.
You are not the first one who tell me about NEGATIVE PLANE and that's curious because I didn't see the resemblance. Anyway, NEGATIVE PLANE are really awesome and I love their two albums.
30. Explain the message behind the following tracks, and the idea behind them, musically: “Lôstregos sob as Tumbas","Meianoite no Jardim de deus", "Deitam Sangue os Muros", "O Dragóm" and "Coraodo Seja (Trono Áureo)".
*Lôstregos sob as Tumbas (lightnings under the tombs): “to acquire knowledge through Necromancy”. One of my favourite SARTEGOS song.
*Meianoite no Jardim de deus (midnight in god's garden): “a depicture of blasphemy in order to renounce god and embrace the Black Arts”. This is the oldest and fastest song included in the mini-album.
*Deitam Sangue os Muros (the walls shed blood): “avoid the swinging of the pendulum holding up high the sword of Fire. Transcend Death”. A really strong starting-riff and mid-tempo part.
*O Dragom (the dragon): “the coming of a new Aeon”. The Greek influence takes shape specially here.
*Coroado Seja-Trono Áureo (crowned be-golden throne): “awake your inner strength from the slumber”. The perfect one to (pre)conclude this EP. Maybe this is the one where people see that resemblance with NEGATIVE PLANE?
31. All your titles and lyrics are presented in Galician – is this the approach you feel most comfortable with? I think it helps the band a lot in terms of having its own character.
Yeah, Galician is my native and first language so I feel more confident and comfortable writing lyrics in Galician and not in English and I do agree with you because I also think it gives a plus of personality to the whole thing. By the way, and as I always say: I can provide the translations of the lyrics to English to anyone interested.
Sartegos is something I feel really close to me so from the very first time I didn't have any doubts about the language I would use: the choice was clear.
32. How does it feel to have received a good word from the mighty IMPRECATION?
Well, it's an honour of course. The story is that they got some copies of the mini-album through Dani from Bloody Productions and it seems they liked it! I like a lot their “Theurgia Goetia Summa” compilation. By the way, I haven't the opportunity yet to listen to their recent album but I hope to do it soon.
33. Well, I think that covers just about all. It should be made known to the reader, that a big part of this interview was compiled from older interviews I did with you (hence the extensive length). Well, I think you can be satisfied about the fact its finally published, even though, its not on a xeroxed printed ‘zine (as you would prefer it!) – but who cares? Thanks for your patience, and also, for spawning such killer metal. Keep spreading the Plague!
Thank you Mr. GoatFukk for your questions, your words of support and for spreading the SARTEGOS Cult! Yours, together with the one for the NECROSCOPE zine #24(hails Adam!) were the first interviews I answered with SARTEGOS back in 2010. Really surprising (and interesting) for me to receive an interview by someone from South Africa.
I think this interview “in three steps” (some of the questions were answered in May 2010, some one year later and the rest now, in October 2013) covers pretty much all of our (short)history.
Yes, I am satisfied to see it finally published. It's true that I prefer printed zines and not webzines but in my case this is just a matter of taste. I don't have any problem to appear in your webzine at all! Good luck with the webzine!