Friday, March 1, 2024

La Menäce Interview


1.For those who have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

La Menäce began to take shape at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, when Luis, our drummer —and the thinking mind behind the whole project— started planning to put together a band that firmly rooted in the nineties Crust sound from the north of Spain (bands like Ekkaia or Ictus). To fulfill his plans, he recruited Davo to play guitar (with whom he played in Disperxión, a punk rock band from Madrid) and me as a bass player. Almost immediately, we started to jam and to compose some tunes. After some time, Alex, from the metalcore band Deymos, joined the project as a singer. In 2023, we released our first EP Sin juicio, el hambre acaba con todo principio (Without judgement, hunger kills every principle) and here we are, about to release our second one.

2.In March you have a new ep coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous release?

Both, the first EP and this one, are two self-produced works. We share our rehearsal room with a friend, el señor Lobo, that give us a hand on the technical level, but he is no producer; there is no artistic input on his side, so all the decisions were made by us. With the recording the first EP, we learned a lot about what we want our band to sound like. None of us are professionals, but we all have a bunch of years of experience playing music in different projects and, after getting a glimpse of what we were capable of, in Erebus we have dared to be more ourselves and to include elements that maybe were not that present in our first reference: from black metal, Scandinavian high energy rock or post-rock. I am also convinced that, although the first EP had a thematic element that condensed the songs, in this case this element is more present both in the sound and in the spirit of the EP.

3.So far lyrically you have covered Franklin's Lost Expedition and Apocalyptic Tales, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

We really like the thematic albums, and this is just a personal opinion, but from classics like Tommy by The Who to more modern stuff like Wildlife by La Dispute, Leviathan by Mastodon, The Alchemy Index by Thrice, Defeater's discography, even in the crust and sludge realm, Lightbearer albums (a project by the Fall of Efrafa people, which I think went rather unnoticed), I love the concept of an album that revolves around a theme. Either because it follows the adventures of a character, or because it elaborates a unique world throughout the songs, or simply because the tone of the songs takes you to a unique place. 

On the first EP, we had the songs composed before we had lyrics or anything, but the thematic element was useful when it came to unifying the artwork, the title, and the lyrics, so we thought it might be interesting to repeat on this second EP. 

How the Franklin Expedition theme came about it was all my fault. I studied History at university and I'm very fond of reading about maritime history and the history of the Age of Exploration (Shackelton and Amundsen and all that), so just as we were writing the songs I was reading a book called Erebus by Michael Palin, which just tells the incredible story of this ship that I knew nothing about and I was struck by its tragic ending and the bravery of those involved in the expedition. So, when Alex asked if we wanted to do something thematic for this second one, I proposed this theme and they found it interesting and seemed to like it… so I went all in and immediately after they said maybe, I showed them the painting for the cover, that I´ve already spent hours looking for and located the museum where it is held (evil laugh). 

It is true that this is an unusual thematic choice for a hardcore/metal/crust (whatever you wanna called it) album... and it's something that's getting a lot of attention from the media, maybe because it's unusual, they're asking us a lot about it and it might be something that plays in our favor in helping us to find an identity and a place in our small scene.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'La Menäce'?

I could tell you it's because we are fans of French cinema and the 1977 film La Menace with Yves Montand was the great inspiration, bla, bla, bla…  but I would be lying to you. 

The truth is that it's a name that Luis, our drummer, proposed (I don't know why it came to us with the name in French, since none of us speaks any French) and we liked it. It seems more sophisticated than calling us La Amenaza in Spanish, which sounds more like street punk and such... 

In the end, the name is just the name. We like it and people don't seem to dislike it, although everyone pronounces it completely and outrageously wrong, even ourselves!

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?

Mario C. Vaises is the designer of the artwork for this EP and the first one, as well as our logo. He is also a pretty lwell-known frontman in the underground scene in Spain, as he has sung in mythical bands like Another Kind of Hate, El Ego or Khmer. He is currently the vocalist of the best neocrust band in Spain, Svdestada, who this year have released a great album, Candela. 

Besides being a singer, Mario is a great artist and has designed all the artwork from a classic painting HMS 'Erebus' passing through the chain of bergs, 1842 by Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey. Apart from the fact that the painting already existed, all the design work, the typography, the watermarks, the interior is all the result of Mario's work, who has always supported us and given us a hand in everything we have needed.

6.has the band done any live shows or open to the idea?

We love playing live and, for a new band without much experience and with some logistical issues (not all our members live in the same city), we have already played a few gigs. It's true that it's not easy to find venues that program this music live, but we try to be part of an underground networks and hopefully we will be getting out on the stage more and more with the help of colleagues to try to play as much as possible.

7.The new ep is going to be released on 3 different labels, can you tell us a little bit more about the labels you are working with on this release?

7 Lamentos Records is our own imprint. As the first EP was self-released, we designed a small logo to make it look more professional and not just the result of four crazy people in a rehearsal room. But I don't rule out releasing something else from any band that we like in the future. Violence in Veins and Hombre Montaña are two small labels form the north of Spain, run by people who have been in the underground scene for a long time and who put out records by bands we love. We proposed to them the idea of participating in this project and they've really got behind us, so we're very happy. We hope to keep this collaboration with them alive in future releases, because La Menäce doesn't end here!

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of extreme metal and crust?

Unbelievable. Just to be doing this interview in English is amazing. It's never happened to me in any musical project I've been involved in before, so we're very happy and very grateful that you're giving us this opportunity for people outside our country to get to know us a little bit more.

9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Yes, all members are involved in other bands. Luis plays in a surf band called Lee Cantinas and gets asked everyday by half of Madrid musicians to be the drummer in their bands, therefore we get very jealous. Our guitarist, Davo, plays guitar or drums in about two hundred hardcore bands, one of my favorites is an anti-fascist hardcore project called Cantona. They have a couple of EPs out and they sound awesome. Sadly, I am pretty sure they are not playing live anymore, but their releases are great. 

Alex, meanwhile, sings in a band called Lluvia Rain, which I've never heard because they haven't recorded anything or played any gigs, but it must be eclectic and a little bit mental… I imagine it's like Prince and Stevie Wonder covers on Meth with a RAT pedal full on. 

And I have a solo instrumental post-rock project called Fujiwhara, that I embarked during COVID. I released an EP in 2021 and sometimes I think I would like to release another EP, but it is a lot of work since it´s me by myself spending countless hours turning knobs and mixing the whole thing… It was quite a mental experience because I never have done anything like that, but I´m glad I did it. If you're into soundtracks, Explosions on the Sky, and bass guitar (all the sounds on the EP were produced from an electric bass), is there on Bandcamp so you can listen to it.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Well, I think we have a long way to go and interesting plans ahead of us. I think there is a lot to explore in our music and that the road has just begun for us. I'm very excited about this project.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Within the band, we have quite eclectic musical tastes, but all of us are into bands like Kvertelak, Turbonegro, At the Gates, Svdestada, Tragedy or Iron Reagan. I think that's where the band´s sound is rooted... but each one of us tries to bring their own identity and tastes into the band and that yields something in our sound as a band. 

Lately I've been listening to the latest Idles album, they're playing March 2nd in Madrid and I'm really looking forward to seeing them live. I'm also listening a lot to bands like Svalbard, High Vis, Fiddlehead, The Chisel, Drain or Drug Church... who I think are giving a new twist to hardcore and heavy music as we know it and incorporating different sounds and influences. I´ve also want to mention a couple of Spanish bands as Viva Belgrado, screamo post everything from Córdoba and Sklylines, a punk rock band a la Hot Water Music from Madrid who are about to release an album soooo good, I cannot talk enough about it. 

Outside the world of hardcore and metal, I'm listening like crazy to Hans Zimmer's Dune soundtrack, which I'm also looking forward to the sequel film (isn't Shai Hulud the best name for a band? Too bad there was already a great band with this name, or I would had pick it for us!) and Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, which I think is the best album to listen while being lost in the deep space. 

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would just like to thank you for your time and for the platform you give us to talk about our music. Without fanzines, independent radio stations, indie promoters and the public, our work would be incomplete, because hardcore is nothing without those on the other side of the stage. 

Be safe, get in the pit, jump on the back of one of your mates, grab the mic, sing from the bottom of your lungs and be happy. Enjoy the music, we don't know how much longer it will last.

No comments:

Post a Comment