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Following their participation in a four-way split earlier this year, Comrade Aleks set out to find out what more Moribundo may have planned. Band founder Juanpa Pérez talks him through it.

Interview with Moribundo.
"Moribundo ("dying", in Spanish) is the brainchild of Juanpa Pérez Segarra, who previously played in melodic Black/Death band Elderdawn. This Madrid-based trio has an unusual arrangement: Mortvs Vyrr writes all lyrics, Luis M. Merino performs vocals and Juanpa a.k.a. Evilead plays all instruments. Their debut album 'Raíz Amarga', released in 2017, is dramatic and rich Death/Doom with lots of breaks and up-tempo inserts, as well as different types of extreme vocals and Spanish lyrics. Moribundo also appeared on the split album 'Tetrarchia Ex Bestia' in June 2019, but there hasn't been any news from them since. That's why I got in contact with Evilead."

Moribundo: Mortvs Vyrr, Luis M. Merino, Evilead.

Hi Juanpa! How are you? What's new in Moribundo's camp?

Hey, Aleksey! First of all: sorry for the delay in my answer and many thanks for your interest in the band. Everything is OK in Madrid, man; I hope you are doing well too.

Moribundo is in a placid dormant state right now, after the edition of our recent Split CD. After several months of hard work now it is time to wait and see how the reception is from the media. For the moment, we are very happy with the reviews written on the job.

You have experience of playing in such extreme metal acts like Bizarre and Elderdawn, but Moribundo is a relatively new band. You created it in 2014, and 'Raíz Amarga' was released in 2017. What was your vision of the band?

To be involved in several projects is just the answer to the passion that I feel for the music, which is my hobby and also my way to escape the day to day problems (fortunately, first world problems). In each band I do not look for joining great musicians, but people with whom I feel comfortable and who are on the same wavelength than me to create things together. It is not a matter of cumulating projects, but to look for those than answer to a specific need. Doom Metal is a genre I have always loved; bands as My Dying Bride, Saturnus, Evoken or the earliest Theatre of Tragedy, manage to create fucking evocative atmospheres as no other musical genre can.

When I met Mortvs, it was clear to me that the time had come to try. Actually, the first three years since we started with the project until we released our first album are due to the fact that it took us too long to find a vocalist who fit the band… and then Luis arrived.

Moribundo looks like a solo project, as you record all the instruments. I understand why you invited Luis Miguel Merino to perform vocals, but it's rather strange that Mortvs Vyrr, who writes lyrics, is mentioned as one of Moribundo's members. Why is it so... complicated?

In fact, the main reason to create the band was to put in music Mortvs' lyrics. He writes poetry and has always been a big metal lover, but he has a physical disability and cannot play any instrument. We are friends since many years ago and I asked him to work together to create music from his poems, which I have always found shocking. For us it was a passionate project and a real challenge for us both, so we joined our forces and Moribundo was born. We had also known Luis for a long time and, as soon as he listened to the themes, we wanted to be in the project. He is a powerful singer with a deep voice, perfect for Moribundo's songs.

Metal-archives sums up the band's lyrics as "death, despair". Would you agree with that statement? Can you tell more about the texts?

Mortvs' texts are absolutely depressing: pure negativity. I totally agree that definition… basically because I upload the band's profile on that website, hahaha. Our lyrics deal with solitude, disillusion or suicide; all of it with a rough and visceral writing style, but beautiful at the same time. As I said before, the trigger for me to decide to set this in motion were Mortvs' poems. He wanted to compile them in a poetry book called Raiz Amarga… and then something made a click inside my head and I proposed to him the idea of putting some music in them. Like you, many people have been struck that one of the members of the band is just the lyricist, and I think it has been the reason why so much attention is being paid to the band's lyrics . We sing in Spanish and people who do not know the language, after translating the lyrics with Google Translator, have written to us asking about them.

Moribundo - 'Raíz Amarga' (Full album, 2017):

Do I get it right that the album was recorded by you in a DIY way? Did you record it in a studio or at home?

You are right. I made the recordings and mixes of the band's works in my home-studio. It is a modest project and we did not want to go very crazy investing in a production that we could carry out ourselves, at least for the most part. Mastering is the only part for which we have turned to an external professional, because I do not have the means to make the recordings have that final punch that they require. In our first album, Raíz Amarga we worked with Finnish producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, at Yellow House Studios. Hiili has produced records of bands like Moonspell, Amorphis, Swallow the Sun ... so we were sure he was the perfect man to master the album. And for the Split "Tetrarchia Ex Bestia", the guy in charge of the master of the four participating bands has been Javi "Bastard" Félez at Moontower Studios in Barcelona (Spain). Javi is one of the most reputable sound technicians in our country in all that has to do with metal, and especially with extreme metal. In both cases we are very happy with their work.

There are four long tracks in the album, how did you understand when each track was finished? Moribundo has saturated compositions with enough space to develop them, so how do you know when it's better to stop?

Well, that's a very good question, haha. When you are making a DIY recording, the risk is overloading the themes with arrangements, especially with keyboards ... you start by putting a string accompaniment and, if you don't know how to stop, you end up sounding like the fucking Rhapsody, hahaha. In my opinion, the songs must be compensated and, in no case, lose their metal essence. If that happens, you are lost (for example, in the latest Dimmu Borgir albums, choirs and orchestrations downplay the importance of guitars and bass). If I had to look for a turning point, it would be the one in which a human keyboard player ceases to be able to interpret the music ... or the one in which he plays for so long that he does not have time to serve a beer to the other members of the band, hahaha.

The album was published by Russian underground label Satanath Records. How did you get in touch with them?

When we finished recording Raíz Amarga and before coming into contact with Hiili for the mastering, I wrote to several specialized labels from around the world. Some of them were interested in our work, but either they had the complete edition agenda for many months, or the conditions they offered did not suit us. Alexey of Satanath was very interested from the start and offered to manage a co-edition with another Russian label, More Hate Productions, to reinforce the launch and offer us better conditions.

Dealing with underground labels often means the necessity to promote the band on your own. How did you solve this question?

Nowadays it is very difficult for a big company to get interested in a newcomer band. You know from the first moment that if you want your music to have a certain impact, it will be on you to make part of the work. Satanath works with a promotional agency that did a good job moving the disc by specialized media, especially in Europe. We got a good number of reviews and interviews of Raíz Amarga thanks to them. Paradoxically, in our country, Spain, the impact was less in comparison, so we had to replace that lack of promotion, moving the album ourselves at media level. Contrary to what we could think, the album worked very well at the press and public level.

Negre PlanY has released a four way split release including Moribundo, Barbarian Swords, Sonambula and Judaswiege. Did you know these bands before? Would you say that this release has attracted more attention to Moribundo?

The four bands have a friendship relationship for years. Judasweige's guitarist and I played together in the band Bizarre, and the Barbarian Swords singer is the brother of our drummer. I also share another band, Insidious War, with Sonämbula's singer ... Everything is in family, hahaha. I think that Tetrarchia Ex Bestia is a work that has exceeded the initial expectations, since it began as a very modest minor edition, which surprisingly has had a great reception by fans and the specialized press. The album has been reviewed in many media around the world and, in general, the reviews have been very positive. I would say that they have understood the concept of the album and the synergy between the four participating bands.

As you play all the instruments in Moribundo, I guess you have your own reasons for that. But don't you have musicians who could help you with gigs? Do you play live with Moribundo?

No, unfortunately Moribundo is not a live band. We do not have a band that makes it possible and, moreover, the three components live in different cities, which mean that we can only work remotely. In any case, it is not something that worries us. In Spain, the underground scene has less and less support from the audience: on one hand, there is an excessive number of concerts held every week in the main cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona or Bilbao, which has made people relax and stop seeing them with the enthusiasm of something exceptional, but as something that is always there and that you will attend when it suits you. So it happens that, on the same day, several concerts of the same style of music can coincide, and if they manage to gather 70 or 80 people each, it is almost considered a success. On the other hand, and more worrisome, is that I see that there is no generational relief for classic styles: today's kids are no longer interested in death metal, black or doom. They are styles that freaked out to us who were in this 25 years ago, but times change and now only people move core-style kids with caps and big ears ...

Anyway, with this scene, we are not compensated to make the effort to mount a live band, teach them the songs, rehearse, etc. We prefer to focus on composing new material, without haste but without pause. This is no race and, you know ... the doom is slow, haha.

What are your plans considering new material? Do you already have ideas for the next album, or maybe some demos?

Currently both Luis, the vocalist, and me, are working on some material for our other projects. Luis is touring live with his band Vanagloria and I have just finished recording the debut of Insidious War, which will be released next month, and right now I am involved with the recording of the next Bizarre album, which will be released next spring. In Moribundo we take things easy... Mortvs is writing new poems and later I will start composing the music of the next album after that. Our plan is to have a long play, continuation of Raíz Amarga, although we still have nothing decided in terms of its structure or content ... Sometimes we have talked about making a single fucking long and funerary song but, as I have told you, there is nothing decided yet.

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Visit the Moribundo bandpage.

Interviewed on 2019-12-16 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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