Interview with PROCESSION
The Band: Procession
Answers by: Felipe Plaza (guitars, vocals)
It’s been really nice to interview Felipe Plaza, not only because PROCESSION is one of the heavy doom bands, or doom heavy, as you prefer, of the moment, the guy has also that attitude to really overcome any fucking obstacle between him and his goal. Their new album “To Reap Heavens Apart” offers a great collection of songs and emphasizes Felipe’s composition talent. Moreover, Felipe left us some words to remember, a very interesting reading.
Hello Felipe, four years since the release of “To Reap Heavens Apart”, what has changed in these last years inside the band?
Felipe: Hey! Well not much actually, we keep on moving on our own pace and under our own rules so things are pretty much the same and that’s great!
In the current world it’s truly something to feel proud of, certainly. “Doom Decimation” is your new album to be released on October 31st, what can you tell us about it?
F: Yeah man, we’re pretty excited about the released. We went down to Chile last January and spent 3 months there arranging, recording, mixing and mastering the whole thing. The result is a pretty heavy-ish slab of doom metal and the feedback so far has been killer so is just a matter of time, release in October/Tour in November.
Non Stop. “To Reap Heavens Apart” is probably considered your best recording, if you had the formula for success you might consider: why change it? Is this the case with your new album?
F: Nope, is not the case of the new album. That “formula” you mention is just the way we have played in Procession from the beginning. The fact that you say or someone else says TRHA is”our best” recording is only subjective. I’ve heard all kinds of opinions and they vaguely affect the course of things. We did the album we wanted to listen to as fans of the band and genre and THAT’s been the formula for our personal success. Besides, who wants to record the same album again right? We got new songs!
Hahaha well, Felipe, I could tell you more than a band recording always the “same” album, but that’s not your case! Procession has always been Felipe Plaza’s band. What percentage of the new album has been composed by the rest of the band?
F: We put together “As They Reach The Womb” at the rehearsal room just a few weeks before we started recording so that’s the only song where everybody added its bits and i think it sums up the band at the moment, the personalities (according to who did what in the song, up to the listener to find out hehe) and most importantly wraps up the concept of both the cover-art and the pessimism of the rest of the songs. Thats why i waited till the end of the creative process to work on it, when i already had a perspective and vision of how the album would look and sound like. All other songs are mine and some of the lyrics i worked, as usual, with Claudio (bass).
Awesome. Felipe you have relocated to Sweden. However, the new album was recorded in Chile. Any reason for it?
F: Mostly, a search for an original /non-standard european sound and also to put the band in a sort of un-safe scenario where it was just us and the creation. Also, there’s a strong connection between the spirit of the south and the way we and I see things, music, life itself. So it just felt natural to go “back” to that corner of our “souls” to dig up a new album.
Although you live in Sweden, you still claim to be a Chilenan band, rigth?
F: Yeah well, half ofthe band is Chilean, the creative core to say so…so the address means nothing in this case. I moved myself and the band to Europe to get closer to better opportunities for the band, but i never thought of changing in any way. I guess is a good way to stay original in a sea of euro-clichés, standards, fame-hunters, etc. Our pace, our way.
What are the lyrics about on “Doom Decimation”?
F: Is a reflection on the uncorruptible duality of man as creator/destructor from the moment of birth.
You sing and play guitar, you demonstrate once again that it’s possible to be a good guitarrist and singing without scaring cats & humans around, it’s not easy and we have many examples of good guitarrists with awful singing skills…
F: It’s a matter of practice i think! Playing guitar should become muscular/mechanical at some point so the effort and character brain focuses on the singing only…or something like that. Us metalheads that never went to guitar-school or singing lessons I guess we all find our own way so there aint a “formula” or book on how to be good or authentic at it. Just shut off the fucking Iphone and get to it. All your favorite artists and albums did all the research needed, so no need for school: use your time wisely, metal is the way.
“Shut off the fucking Iphone and get to it”, that’s the beginning! Probably I will point out All Descending Suns as the best song in the album, the guitars in this track are simply devastating
F: Yeah some mornings i wake up thinking that’s one ofthe best ones too. Is the apocalypsis-stage of the album, when all goes to hell. And it had to have this constant drama, from the incessant drumming full of details, the struggling picking, solos, everything. Is gonna be great to do it live: pure doom metal aggression!
Sure. Lonely Are The Ways Of The Stranger was composed just a couple of months after recording To Reap Heavens Apart, it kind of influenced the rest of the songs in the album?
F: It surely did, to let it rest a couple of years and find the demo as a scratch point made me see it in a different way, its pretty dynamic in its own way. So is “Doom Decimation”.
You feel more comfortable on pure doom ground or on a mix between heavy and doom?
F: They can’t live without the other so question aint really valid in my book. Doom metal is just the bastard child of Heavy Metal. I’m a heavy metal maniac and have a big interest in good music, as much as I despise or just ignore bad music. I rarely use tags or definitions, i consider good metal (be it fast and slow) has the same roots. Is just that i found a language to quench my creative thirst and tell the stories I wanna tell through inter-changing slow and half-stepped tempos here and there just like the old doom metal bands always did. Doom Metal should always get heavier, if you get the kicks with a song like “Mourners Lament” you’ll know what I mean.
Amen, The cover artwork has a more evil approach than your last album…
F: Well the themes and overall vibe of the album is more expressive and evil so…wouldn’t have gone for another option. The symbols and dualities are there, so is the perspective and movement. Fernando Falcone did a killer job and it’s been raising eyebrows since we published it, both positive and negative, as a Metal album cover should.
On November 24th you will be playing in Murcia (Spain) alongside Italians Epitaph. How do you feel about it?
F: Thats gonna be killer! The new Epitaph album was just released last week and is so original and obscure again. Such an honor to go out with such friends and legends. Yes, I’ve been in Murcia once and the bangers are crazy! Hopefully they´re thirsty for heavy riffs played slow too, us and Epitaph are so fucking ready! We’ll catch up at the bar headbanging to some fucking MURO after the show!
Hahaha, that’s the spirit! Felipe, with your experience, how do you see the current Metal scene?
F: I dunno what to say really, it’s indeed very active, there’s an overdose of bands, festivals, tour and labels trying to cash-in before the cow runs out of milk again. I guess time will be the judge. Never forget the 90’s…
It was a pleasure, thank you very much for your attention and congratulations for your new album
F: Gracias Alberto for your interest and support. NO DOOM, NO LIFE.