What are the personal experiences of Diabulus In Musica?

interview with diabulus in musica metal band

Hello, I hope all is well with you
Hi! Thanks, same to you :)

So what's been going on with Diabulus In Musica?
We have been working on the new album and then on the promotion. Also rehearsing for our upcoming show at “Masters of Symphonic Metal” in Switzerland next Saturday.

When I first I heard your music the first band that came to mind was Epica? Does it bother you and your bandmates when people compare you guys to Epica?
No, it doesn't bother us because we think they are a great band. I don't know why, but all the bands are usually compared with others. It seems that people need to have a reference when they discover a new band. On the one hand, it is logical to find similarities between bands playing the same genre, that's why genres exist, because they obviously use the same elements. Oddly enough, this comparisons happen above all when the singer is a girl, weird, or not?? In our case, we can say we play “symphonic metal” because we play metal mixed with classical music and big choirs, but there are other “male fronted” bands that do the same too, just because symphonic metal use these elements. Gorka and me come from the classical field, but we are also metal-heads since teenagers, so this style of music was the natural road to take for us and in fact, we didn't know about EPICA when we started, we discovered them later. On the other hand, we are friends with Ad Sluijter and he worked with us on the pre-production of our first album. Besides, Mark Jansen was one of our special guests in the second, so I suppose the comparison comes somehow from those facts.

Anyway, I cannot understand this obsession of tagging or comparing every band. I mean, I cannot imagine someone for example in the classical field, telling that he doesn't like Beethoven because it's a copy of Vivaldi (and I don't want to sound pretentious because of this comparison), I don't know neither if these kind of comparisons are usual also between metal-core bands for example and in my ears some of them sound exactly the same... What I mean is that we should focus more on enjoying the music when we like it and when not, forget about it. I listen to the music I like, so the more bands I find of the style I like, the better for me!

Furthermore, it's not only a matter of style, but a matter of quality and musical taste. I'm not going to like or not a band only because it is totally different from others or because it cannot be tagged, or yes, that depends on what you are searching for. If you are searching for extreme originality it is cool, but I didn't search for that when I founded the band, I just wanted to express my feelings with the music elements that I feel are expressive under my subjectivity.

I feel there's similarities but both bands have their own style?
Of course, otherwise people wouldn't distinguish between both ;)

We use a lot of elements apart from the orchestra and choir. I think that what makes our music a bit different among other symphonic metal bands is that we use a lot of atmospheric and “mystic” passages, electronic sounds, as well as some folk and Early Music elements. To be honest, I don't like tags because I think they limit creativity and set prejudices on listeners. Our music is very eclectic and always opened to new influences as a result of our different music backgrounds. I would never like to create boundaries when writing music. I love music as long as it is well done or transmits me particular emotions, regardless the genre.

I love your last album the wanderer it's one of my favorite albums?
That's great, thanks! Hope you like “Argia” too :)

How is your new album differ from The Wanderer?
Argia is our most mature and personal album so far. For The Wanderer we first thought about a story and decided to create a concept album, so we had a very clear idea about what we wanted to achieve and the kind of songs we wanted to write. Everything was planned and I think it worked pretty cool. However, Argia is much more honest, it directly comes from personal experiences Gorka and me have lived these two last years. I think the real essence of Diabulus in Musica is now more present than ever. Musically wise the eclecticism and contrasts that define our music are even more evident now.

What the feedback been to the new album?
It is being amazing! We are receiving  many interviews and awesome reviews everyday. We are very happy and a bit stunned with the reactions so far! The reactions to our previous album were great, but  with this one they are being absolutely great!!

You have some guest musicians on the how you guys got them to appear on the album?
Yes! We are very honoured to have Ailyn from Sirenia and Thomas Vikström from Therion in a couple of songs.

The song where Ailyn is singing is called “Furia de Libertad”. When I created this song I knew the lyrics were going to be in Spanish as the song talks about the Spanish situation nowadays. The song is dedicated to all the victims of the political and economical crisis (and also crisis of values) in our country.

I immediately though about Ailyn to sing this song with me because we became friends and we both are from Spain. Besides, we have different voices that complement each other very well, so I asked her if she would like to take part in this song. She likes a lot the band, so she immediately accepted and I was very happy to have her beautiful voice in one of our tracks!

Regarding Thomas, he is singing in “Encounter at Chronos' Maze”. We needed a very special voice for this duet. We wanted a versatile male singer who could give to the song a "music theatre" touch, even operatic. Thomas is an amazing singer, he has actually sung a wide variety of styles from classical to metal, so he was the perfect candidate. I contacted him and sent him a rough demo of the song. I was so excited when he accepted and he told me he really liked the song and my voice! It has been such a honour for me to sing with him!

Name some of the singers that been influential to your development as a singer?
Well, I wouldn't say I'm influenced by any particular singer. I've been singing since I was a child and I would say that the biggest change in my singing took place when I started to learn classical singing many years ago. Then I tried to adapt the classical technique to the “normal” or chest singing because before that, I didn't felt so comfortable singing “rock”. At that time when I started to mix both techniques, I remember I used to listen to singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Loreena McKennitt and started to understand how the mixed technique worked. I discovered other position in my voice that worked much better. Anyway, I don't think any singer has influenced me in the style. I also use different styles of singing, I change a lot my way of singing depending on what I want to express or depending on the kind of song, so I don't have any particular model (apart from my teacher who I could say is my main influence right now!). Each singer has his/her particular voice colour and personality and it's very important to always preserve this.

Can you tell the readers about the music scene in Spain?
I'm not the best to tell, because to be honest, I rarely listen to Spanish music (except for Early Music, which is really good). I don't listen to the radio neither because I don't like the kind of mainstream music it is usually played here, which is mostly Spanish pop. Regarding metal music, as you can imagine is not the most popular style in Spain (I guess the same happens in the rest of the World... ) and Spanish metal-heads still like better the ‘old school’ national heavy metal, sung in Spanish. Nevertheless, there is a rising new metal scene, although these bands aren’t well-known generally.

What's the advantage of being in a band from Spain?
I don't think there is a big difference than being from any other European country, but if I have to say something I would better say there are more disadvantages than advantages. On the one hand, historically we haven't had many international metal bands in Spain, so maybe there is still some prejudices towards the quality of Spanish music. Actually we were told that by someone in the business when we started. On the other hand, it seems that some people find us exotic ;D

What are your favourite metal bands which bands you listen to alot?
I don't listen to a lot of metal nowadays and I don't have any clear favorite neither. It depends on my mood, I have periods. The styles I like the most in metal lately are melodic death and folk metal and one of the bands I like the most could be Eluveitie.

I just got hip to soccer alot of my friends here like Barcelona or Manchester United but I always root for Real Madrid when they play against Barcelona?
I'm sorry I don't like soccer at all so I don't have a clue about ;D and what it particularly annoys me is the amount of money players are earning, no matter if they win or lose! We come from Pamplona and our local team is Osasuna, but they are quite bad and always lose hahah

When you started writing music for Argia. What was your main source of inspiration?
The situation itself after the departure of our former band mates. "Argia" means "Light" or "clear" in our regional language, Basque. This title somehow reflects how we feel now. Gorka and me had to start from scratch when the other band-members left. It was very hard at the beginning, but we both alone managed to write new songs, find new band-members and play some live shows in only one year.

On the other hand, this situation and others I've also experimented at the same time, made me wonder about some human behaviours and made me try to understand others and myself better.

Can you give a story behind the songs on the album?
In short, the lyrics in Argia are directly connected to personal experiences and feelings we have lived lately. Some of them refer to our new situation as a band (From the Embers, Inner Force or Healing), to human behaviours (Spoilt Vampire that talks about “emotional vampires”), some others are more critical (Furia de Libertad about the Spanish global crisis or Mechanical Ethos) and the rest are much more introspective and are related to some of my spiritual believes (Maitagarri, Eternal Breeze, Encounter at Chronos' Maze and Indigo). All of them have in common that they come from reflections derived from happenings that took place after the rest of our band-mates left. I don't want to explain more just because I prefer that each one tries to explain them under his/her point of view and personal experiences. I think it's beautiful when you can identify or relate yourself to some lyrics you are reading. Writing these songs was therapeutic for me, but I would be happy if they can accomplish the same function in others.

Here's one of my most frequently asked questions, how about an American tour?
Our dream would be to organize a World tour to present our new album, but unfortunately we don't have the economic support to do so. We are really looking forward to play in the States, actually we have never been there, it would be amazing! So let's see if any promoter is interested to take us, fingers crossed!

What are the band's plan for this summer?
We are working on arranging some shows. For the moment, we will focus on festivals and we'll try to search for the more dates we can to present the new songs live!

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me have any last words for the fans.
Thanks a lot for the interest and support and thanks to the readers too for taking the time to read this interview! We are looking forward to meeting you all somewhere on the road! Your support means the world to us! Love, Zuberoa