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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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"So brace yourselves for the ultimate Metal experience of a lifetime! See you in front row!"

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK ADDS MORE BANDS, DETAILS METAL 2 THE MASSES FINALS AND ANNOUNCES FIRST NEW BLOOD STAGE WINNERS
Bloodstock HQ is readying to send Team M2TM out on the road for the finals, but in the meantime, there's a few more band additions to the August bill

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN DATES FOR JULY/AUGUST IN SUPPORT OF NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'MAKE SOME NOISE'
The Dead Daisies, the biggest new name in Rock, have just recently announced the addition of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) as their new lead guitar player

wolf hoffmann WOLF HOFFMANN TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM 'HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY' ON JULY 1st
"I have always incorporated classical music in my song writing with Accept, especially with 'Metal Heart', but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do..."

jaegermeister JÄGERMEISTER RELEASE FULL DOCUMENTARY OF WORLD'S FIRST MUSIC GIG ON AIR, SEA AND LAND
"We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too..."

john otway JOHN OTWAY PLANNING ON BEING FIRST ARTIST SINCE THE ROLLING STONES TO RECORD IN MONTSERRAT
"Although the old Air Studios are now derelict the studio in the basement of Sir George Martin's house is sound – it just needs rebuilding..."

fates warning FATES WARNING - NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'THEORIES OF FLIGHT' ANNOUNCED, ARTWORK UNVEILED
"There's a loose theme running through a lot of the lyrics, and this developed organically and separately..."

amon amarth RAISE YOUR HORNS AND BE IN AMON AMARTH'S NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Swedish Heavy Metal goliaths Amon Amarth are inviting their fans around the globe to be a part of their forthcoming video...

sixx am SIXX:A.M. ANNOUNCE THE "#REASONTORISE" CAMPAIGN, TOUR DATES AND 'VOL.1 PRAYERS FOR THE DAMNED' DETAILS
"It is our duty as citizens of this world to come together, communicate with one another and rise up to demand more of ourselves and our leaders."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AND CLUB APPEARANCES
"For our first time in Spain, it's gonna be sick! And as if this wasn't enough - Saint is playing for the first time ever in Japan..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION TO REFORM IN 2017
"Preparing BCC Rocket Ship Re-launch for 2017 - all systems go."

tarja TARJA PREMIERES OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO OF HER NEW SINGLE 'NO BITTER END'
'No Bitter End', the opening track of the prequel album 'The Brightest Void', is the first glimpse of Tarja's new work – her heaviest to date...

stratovarius STRATOVARIUS RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'UNTIL THE END OF DAYS'
"To me it's a testament to the fact that paying attention to song writing and production was expensive, but so worth it..."

brian johnson EXCLUSIVE: PROMINENT AC/DC CREW MEMBER GIVES REMARKABLE INSIGHT INTO AXL ROSE APPOINTMENT
AC/DC are covering themselves in case Axl's poor reputation for unprofessionalism manifests itself...

brian johnson THE DARKEST DAY OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE: BRIAN JOHNSON ISSUES PERSONAL STATEMENT ON AC/DC DEPARTURE
"I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that..."

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE BASS PLAYER AND NEW DRUMMER FOR 2016/17 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS
Thin Lizzy are undisputed legends and to be a small part of their lineage is a humble honor for me...

ian gillan IAN GILLAN TO PERFORM UNIQUE SOLO SHOW OF DEEP PURPLE CLASSICS IN BULGARIA
There is a possibility that Ian will also play some material from his catalogue outside of Deep Purple...

don airey DEEP PURPLE'S DON AIREY AND FRIENDS ADDED TO CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL PLUS ATOMIC ROOSTER
Expect to hear many classics from Airey's illustrious past which includes time spent with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne as well as his current job with Deep Purple...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE SUNDAY NIGHT HEADLINERS AND FIVE MORE ACTS
With June creeping ever closer, Wildfire Festival's impressive main stages line-up is all but finalised...

whitesnake THE END OF WHITESNAKE: DAVID COVERDALE TO RETIRE IN 2017
Whitesnake headline the UK's Ramblin Man Festival in July in what could be their final ever UK appearance...

axl rose AXL ROSE CONFIRMED AS AC/DC SINGER FOR THE REMAINING ROCK OR BUST DATES
The worst kept secret in rock is now official...

aerosmith THE END OF AEROSMITH?: NO FAREWELL TOUR CONFIRMED AT THE MOMENT
"A farewell tour is something we've talked about doing for years, let's say roughly in the last five years..."

hrh united ALESTORM, HAMMERFALL, FINSTERFORST, NAPALM DEATH, ARMORED SAINT, VENOM INC. AND EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCED FOR HRH UNITED
HRH United 3 will be an exclusive upgraded Metal Edition taking over the entire site @ Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales...

rolling stones PROUD GALLERIES PLAYING HOST TO FABULOUS ROLLING STONES PHOTO EXHIBITION: TERRY O'NEILL TO ATTEND SIGNING SESSION
It's a wonderful book by photographer Terry O'Neill of Rolling Stones images from 1963 to 1965, an era when the Stones were just "breaking through"...

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN SUMMER DATES
As well as the European tour dates, BTBAM have launched a live video for 'The Ectopic Stroll' whih you can see here...

jade vine LONDON BASED ALTERNATIVE PROG ROCKERS JADE VINE ANNOUNCE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW
Jade Vine's music has been influenced by artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Anathema and Pain Of Salvation...
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