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With the founding duo of Mourning Sun now relocated from Chile to Europe, and shortly due to set out on their 'Europa III' tour, keyboard player Eduardo was happy to give Aleks a more detailed look into the band's motives.

Interview with Mourning Sun.
"This Chilean atmospheric Doom Metal outfit shows once more that it's possible for a New World band to successfully organize a tour in the Old World. They're making last preparations for their third European tour, which should happen in early December, and continue to work on new songs. You could have already heard one of the new tracks on 'Last Breath Of Sorrow', a split release featuring five Chilean doom bands organized by Ten-Cai Records. So, here we discuss all the main topics around Mourning Sun's way with the band's spiritual leader and keyboard player Eduardo Poblete."

Founding Mourning Sun members Eduardo Poblete Ocampo (Keyboards) and Ana Carolina (Vocals).

Hi Eduardo! How are you? What's going on in the band?

Hi, Aleksey. I'm fine, thanks. Right now, we are working on a lot of things. The first news is that we have decided to internationalize Mourning Sun keeping the original duo (Ana Carolina and me). I moved to Madrid to be closer to the events, the labels, and everything that is related and can be good for the band. The first thing to do was gathering everybody who would be by our side in this new phase (Europa III tour and what will be our new album). We are very happy to have the Norwegian Rune Gandrud (Funeral) joining us as the bassist, as well as Danish drummer Mads Mortensen (Woebegone Obscured), guitarists Juan Escobar (AstorVoltaires, Arrant Saudade, Aphonic Threnody, ex-Mar de Grises), who lives in the Czech Republic, and the Spanish Daniel Maganto Gregorio (Eternal Storm and Liquid Graveyard). At the same time, we are in the final stage with our new double EP titled "Latitud 56'S". This EP contains "Latitud 56'S" (2017) and a reissue of our first EP, "VAHO" (2014); both have been produced by Rodrigo Morris (ex- Mar de Grises), who has done an excellent job. The EP was mastered in Norway by Knut Prytz (Magica Mastering). With both production and the 2018 tour, we are really busy.

I suppose that there are some of our readers who haven't heard about Mourning Sun before, how would you introduce the band? How was it founded?

Mourning Sun is an Atmospheric/Experimental Doom Metal band from Santiago de Chile, based on the idea of representing an introspective view in a musical way, as well as letting deep emotions flow, giving a meaning to our soul and roots, trying to make music in an authentic and honest way. The band was founded in late 2013 by me; at this moment I really felt ready to materialize a lifestory that had been going on in my mind for years. Early 2014, Ana Carolina joined the band, feeling inmediately attached to the project, to which she contributed with high-potential ideas. Together, we started searching for an identity to create the foundations of our project, always keeping Mourning Sun as the main entity.

Current line-up (Ana not in picture): Eduardo and Rune Gandrud (Bass), plus touring members for Europa III Daniel Maganto Gregorio (Guitar), Mads Mortensen (Drums) and Juan Escobar C. (Guitar).

Two years have passed since the release of the band's debut 'Último Exhalario', and after it you recorded the experimental EP 'Latitud:56'S': what's this concept about? Where's Latitud:56'S placed?

It's been two years already since our debut release, Último Exhalario. It opened us the door to the rest of the world and for us it was really a surprise. The EP was very well welcomed, we started receiving a lot of messages, as well as interviews in international media, signing with the Spanish label The Vinyl Division (who released it in vinyl format in 2017) and two Europe tours. It was a very good learning phase for us, both in personal and musical stages. Looking back on time, it has been a way full of effort, sadness, happiness; we have been through barriers, and everything has happened really fast. Now, feeling more mature, we can say: we have a new chance to create something better, something more innovative without losing the essence, and always being thankful for our experiences.

As for our experimental EP Latitud:56'S, it was created on a period in which Ana and I wanted to escape from our daily reality. Our second tour through the Old Continent was only a month away and we really needed to create music. I proposed Ana to check 3 songs I had composed in my escape moments; although they were more on the experimental side, Ana loved the idea of doing something completely different to Último Exhalario. We met at my homestudio and recorded the voices, we settled some musical arrangements and then the EP was born. The name and meaning were proposed by Ana, and everything fitted perfectly in our music.

Latitud:56'S is the Southernmost continental land in the world, and it's Chilean territory, before reaching Antarctica, and it geographically locates in a group of islands (Diego Ramírez) in the Magellanic Ocean. It is a view of the extreme South seen from its immensity and represented in soundscapes.

Editor's Note:Almost hate to be a pedant in this instance, but if you're at all familiar with the western (and, I've always assumed, universal) degrees/minutes/seconds coordinate system and confused by the explanation, that should actually be 56° (degrees) S, not 56' (minutes) S. It's the 56th Parallel which passes entirely over the southern oceans, crossing just below Cape Horn, and just above the Diego Ramírez islands (which lie at 56°29'S, 68°44'W). Whereas latitude 56'S is in fact slightly less than 1° south of the Equator, and crosses through Ecuador and northern Brazil, amongst others.

Mourning Sun - 'Vena Cava' (2015):

It's totally ambient material, so can you say whether the EP points to the direction of Mourning Sun's future development? Or was it just a one time deal?

It was an experimentation that was born under the inner sensitivity; it does not rule the musical direction of the band. At least, in our next album we will do as we feel, and I can tell you we have strong ideas. We won't give up on metal, and we still have a lot to get out.

One of your new songs got into the split album 'Last Breath Of Sorrow', which gathered four more local Doom bands. What's the story behind this release? Who was the author of the idea?

Last Breath Of Sorrow is a compilation created by Danish label Ten-Cai Records. They contacted us and we thought it would be a good promotion for Mourning Sun. In that release we included the songs 'Cabo de Hornos' from Último Exhalario and 'The Exhaustion of Life', which will appear in our next full-length album.

The essence of Mourning Sun is atmospheric Doom music with ethereal keyboards and Ana Carolina's vocals: do you feel any limits in self-expression when you rely mostly on these elements?

I think there are no limits, it depends on the place and what you're going through in the moment things are born. In our new EP Latitud:56'S, for example, we experiment with acoustic guitars and vocals, as well as electronic drumming, bass more distorted, and experimental elements. The EP's lyrics are only a word that develops itself; it was chosen very carefully towards a hermetic and minimalistic view of the hunch and dreamy upper vision of the extreme South of the world.

Live in 2017. Photo: George Paraschiv.

Eduardo, there are two guitarists in the band, but it's true to say that it seems they didn't have too much space on 'Último Exhalario'. Do you plan to change this situation?

In Último Exhalario there is a balance between guitars and other sounds. The presence of other elements can be appreciated; this was because of the experimentation. For example, in our first song there are no drums, in 'Spirals Unseen' a saxophone was included, the guitars appear in heavy parts… I am not a fan of solos, unless they are slow and heartrending, it was part of the learning process and also part of what we were feeling at that moment. If you ask me, yes, we will add more guitars in our next LP, and yes, we are already working on it.

You had saxophone on the song 'Spirals Unseen': how did you manage to include it in your sonic tools? What are your plans for further experiments?

A saxophone was included in our last EP Último Exhalario and it was recorded by a friend. The idea was already in our minds for VAHO, but it was not included because it needed to be recorded with a real bronze and not a synthesizer. When we play it live, I include it on my track set; we play with a metronome and everything is synched, so it fits perfectly when playing it live. In future performances, we would like it to be played live.

Mourning Sun - 'Spirals Unseen' (2016):

How would you sum up Mourning Sun's lyrical motif? And what does the Deer mean to you? We can see it on the artworks of the EP 'VAHO' (Visions And Hidden Oracles) and it's on 'Último exhalario' as well. Is it your totem animal or something?

The whole lyrical Mourning Sun's motif is created by Ana Carolina, as well as the vocal structures and contents that are in each production. It is represented by views and experiences, all mixed with a selective, careful view of the ideas. For our debut LP, Ana travelled through the Southernmost part of the country and the world, studying and collecting information and linking in a solidary way with the environment. It was an awesome structural work, studying the indigenous who lived among ice, sea and nature.

The deer represents a spiritual oracle, brought to physical form by our Chilean animals. This animal is very difficult to see around because it lives in the deep forest and in a hostile environment; it is not a totem, it only represents the link between Vaho and Último Exhalario.

The Chilean scene is something far away, but some of your bands find a way to tour in Europe. How did you organize your own coming into the Old World?

After we released Último Exhalario, we felt confident to continue onto our next step, which was introducing our music in Europe. So, we applied to Metal Female Voices Fest (MFVF) XIII in Belgium. In this edition, a high number of bands from all over the world applied and we were included in the 15 definitive line up bands, turning into the first Latin American band to perform in the festival ever and the only Doom Metal band, not gothic. We were very happy to have been chosen, and it was the beginning of this long ride that took us to visit new countries like Bulgaria, Belgium, Romania, England, Ireland and Portugal. For this year, we will go to Spain and Italy. All our tours are self-managed and self-financed.

I know enough bands from Chile, but I don't remember if I asked some of them about the difficulties of organising gigs in their own country. So, how often do you play outside Santiago? How often do you manage to find proper company to play with?

Our experience of years attending and then taking part in the Chilean scene with other bands made us focus in self managing our concerts. We like to do things right, so we arrange our own backline, lights, smoke machines… Both the design and promotion are driven by us, and that's why we don't perform often in Chile, maybe 3 times a year. In the future, we will be performing again and I will travel to Chile for an important opening act: Leprous (Norway), in March 2019.

What are your memories of the previous tour? How difficult and fun was it?

It was stressful at the beginning. After rehearsing for months, three weeks before departing, our main guitarist told us he would not be travelling with us. This almost ended our tour. After reunions with the rest of the band and under the conviction that no one could stop us, ex Mourning Sun guitarist and bassist started adapting the songs to one guitar. In my case, I added distortions to some synthesizers. It was a hard work that brought a huge satisfaction since our first concert in Birmingham, with the concert hall full of people. We ended the concert and the audience asked for one more song. After that, the tour was a success, and I have lots of good memories of the support from the audience.

With which band will you share European stages this time? And with which bands do you usually play in Chile?

We start with a mini tour of 3 cities in Portugal with Atrox (Norway) and Collapse of Light (EU). After this, we travel to Italy (Milan) with Mournful Congregation and Ophis. We close the tour on December 3rd at Madrid is the Dark VI with Triptykon, Arcturus, Mournful Congregation, While Heaven Wept and The Wounded. We don't play often in Chile, but when we do, most of the times we play with Bitterdusk, Sangria and A Sad Bada. The more we do things and play abroad, self-manage our concerts and try to open our opportunities abroad, and recently in Chile, the less contact with the Chilean bands we have, some have disappeared in a strange way. It's something cultural. We remain silent and focused on the most important, not on secondary or tertiary stuff or people.

Juan Escobar will support Mourning Sun as your second guitarist in this tour; how did it happen that you choose him? How long have you known him?

After I moved to Europe, Ana and I started searching for musicians for our new stage. She contacted Rune and Mads. In the past, Rune already had proposed to Ana to become our bassist. We needed two guitarists, so I contacted Daniel and Juan, who accepted joining us for the 3rd tour. I don't know Juan in person, only through internet. He has supported us since the beginning of Mourning Sun, hence the connection. Our first official rehearsal with the boys will be in Norway in two weeks, at Rune's studio. Finally, I would like to thank the constant support of noble people who have crossed our path and are in a sincere way with Mourning Sun, and thank you for this interview.

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Visit the Mourning Sun bandpage.

Interviewed on 2018-10-30 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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