1. Marching from the outer space, we can feel the abomination of P.H.O.B.O.S., like the weird fog on the ruins of forgotten gods and fallen mankind. Gloomy, involving and terrifying crazy sound... Please tell me about this experience, how did it begin and who are the perturbed souls behind this sonic abduction?
Sound has always been an important part of my own functioning. At one point, I felt most of the music I heard and played like totally uninteresting and soulless. Then I decide to let myself emanate those repulsive inner feelings that longed to be expressed through weird frequencies, low layers and chaotic pulses, without artistic boundaries. The early times of P.H.O.B.O.S. saw the participation of some outside people in a brief process of a rehearsing band. But due to the radical and forward-thinking necessity of my vision, it was quickly obvious that this enterprise had to be handled by one reclusive vector, dedicated to break dogmas and control tools, to reach new bizarre but grasping territories. Whilst keeping a disdain for any live performance. From that commitment, everything designed, recorded and released is the product of my very soul, fed by what I absorb since my birth. A soul increasingly shaped by defeatism and anguish. Any genre classification of the resulting sonics is superfluous for me now. Light the media and try to feel.
2. When I discovered your creation, I was immediately shocked by these tracks containing that unique mix of minimalistic tunes, abyssal atmospheric fragments, alien ambiances with a creepy sinister essence really disturbing... please tell me about this. We can feel some industrial/acid stuff, and some space metal poison here. Your words?
These moods emanate through manipulated and perverted tools during the process of sound research: analogue or digital generators, filters, processors, string instruments, inhuman voices, percussive objects and machines, etc. Each of them are selected, melted and unbalanced. The result may bring to mind different landscapes, disgusting images, dark feelings, depending on the tastes, the spirit tendency and the cultural education of the listener. But it is fair that a space/futuristic/sci-fi/drug-induced uneasy feeling is at domination here, conveyed by electronic, metal and percussive tones at their sickest.
3. In P.H.O.B.O.S., the use of voices is like a part of the same ambiance, we can feel these textures and "images", behind the "noise" of your immense music/metal... On this way, I want to ask you about your rare band name: Is it linked in any form to the ancient concept of Greek knowledge about our deep psychical regions?
Even if you may understand some « sung » words or sentences, there is no place for vocal performance or singing. Everything reminding the presence of living humans must be overwhelmed. Any persistent voices, whispers or shrieks are to be considered as other layers, helping to construct strong textures with the other « instruments ». As told before, unknown fear and anguish are the driving forces of my music, which may be related to the psychoanalytic notion of ‘phobos’, coming itself from Greek mythology. Though, the project name is an acronym for a specific expression that I keep hidden.
4. Please tell me about the production of your works, label in charge and promo, distro, etc. For the people interested in your art, beside that we’re somehow curious about your special artwork. What is the meaning behind this surrealistic and dark images?
Managing a self-produced record label like Megaton Mass Products is a pain in the ass when your main interest is to create. But without any help from a dedicated « professional » label and distribution network, I have to take care of multiple tasks as well: dealing with pressing plants, designing artwork, promoting and spreading my music. While not only money consuming, these works also take lot of time, at the cost of a full focus on sound. Speaking about artwork, for two releases (« Anœdipal » and « Atonal Hypermnesia »), sleeve choices and visuals creations had been entrusted to a graphic designer, with my full confidence, sometimes with my input. As I am myself interested in disturbing graphic arts, I feel the need to extend my creative process into the image domain too. I was involved on the « Proto » and « Tectonics » releases, and on a forthcoming handcrafted vinyl EP. Personal paintings, drawings, and photos are computer-transformed into pictures to fit to my sonic vibes. Those visuals are sometimes abstract, sometimes more indicative. Of course, they do depict specific feelings to me, but I do not want to influence the reception of the listener. This discovery should stay a personal trip, which do not need to be explained too much. Listen and you will see.
5. It is a fact that P.H.O.B.O.S. carries our miserable bodies and souls through never ending nights of polymorphous nightmares and spasms... Are you interested in the bizarre and exuberant worlds of psycho alterations, through drugs, syrups or alcohol, to open the mind and spirits, using that in the composition of musical wonderful aberrations? What is your secret "formula" to the evoking of your unthinkable music?
Even if I compose in total freedom, I try to keep my mindset as pure as possible, to stay focused on the tightness of what I want to physically express. Nevertheless, it is obvious that « foreign substances » may help during other production steps like mixing or effects editing, when your aural attention should work at its full ability. Without recommending the use of such or such « external input », which is a very personal choice, I just can state that psychedelia is a sizeable parameter to travel into my sound. And yes, to explore all the possibilities and to reach strange dimensions, one cannot « open the gates » by the sole will of oneself.
6. In that way, it is well known that "rock music" contains a deep root in African music. Are you into our ritualistic and necrocosmic "hallucinogenic" Latin American native music? Do you know the work of Jorge Reyes for example, or the tribal ritual music recordings of Brazilian and Center American Indian ethnic groups? I recommend you to have a look, pure primordial bizarre sounds of the nature and beyond!
Thank you for your listening recommendations, I’ll try this « hallucinogenic » music and Jorge Reyes, whom I do not know, despite I have a great interest in native and original music from all countries. As for South America, I often listen to old Andean music, especially pre-incaic k’antus from the Bolivian Altiplano, very bewitching sounds. I am also into lores and vibes from India, Himalaya, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, South East Asia, etc. where trance and meditation can be reached more efficiently than through western popular music. While listening carefully, tunes coming from very distant parts of the world often share a common rhythmic base. As a provocative example, some drum patterns heard in last period-Burzum tracks are also from a North African music heritage. Strange, isn’t?
7. What is your opinion about the so called "underground movement" through the past and today, do you feel part of it? (which is in our vision a way of life against stupidity and decadence of our actual society, rooted in materialistic/christian "values", also the introduction to the dark side of the existence through art).
What is underground? What is mainstream? Everyone can set his own definition. In my opinion, those terms are related to the importance of means used to create and distribute your art. In our age of internet overcommunication and computer overuse, that question is not relevant anymore. Everyone can access to every musical product. The difference lies between good and bad music, whatever how they are spread. You feel it, you like it or not, there is no need to wonder about politics or beliefs. But yes, due to the ‘against the rules’ nature of the music, P.H.O.B.O.S. belongs to the ‘underground’ stream, for sure.
8. Do you know and like classic French stuff in Death/Black/Thrash/Dark/Doom,etc. such as: Massacra, Loudblast, Misanthrope, Aggressor, Evol, Obscuration, Mutiilation, Akenathon-Daemonium, etc ?
Among the bands you have quoted, for my taste, only Massacra and Agressor showed a genuine brutality in the thrash/black/death field, deserving to be internationally exposed. Back in the day, French bands engaged in an original and catching music were rare. I was more into dissonant bands like Treponem Pal (first and second albums in particular), Proton Burst or Supuration. Nowadays, with more consistent ‘metal’ bands like Deathspell Omega, Aluk Todolo or Blut Aus Nord, to name only a few, France embodies more than ever an avant-garde force to be reckoned with.
9. As well, the work of magazines is the blood of the UG. Do you like to read and support metallic press or subterranean publications?
Despite they constitute the core of the information in the ‘underground’, I am not really crazy about fanzines research and reading. I used to buy fanzines from miscellaneous fields as diverse as industrial, goth, pagan, black, or electronic music. Each of them were often well written and, most importantly, one can feel the full commitment and passion of editors and writers. A feeling hardly found through more ‘established’ musical media, paper or digital.
10. Can you tell me about the concept and meaning of your lyrics? In some last titles I can see something linked to Indian philosophies. Are you really interested in these mystic visions? What is your opinion about persons like A. Schopenhauer or Paul Denssen, and their "white" people treating to understand this very ancient vision of existence?
Contexts and themes are different according to my albums. The lyrics of « Tectonics » were quite ‘terrestrial’ and organic. They are more introspective on « Anœdipal ». From « Atonal Hypermnesia », I wanted my textual work to evolve towards a new syncretism of my own, based upon several subjects of cosmology, metaphysics, theosophy, psychedelia and my knowledge of Hindu mysticism, among other interests in philosophy and occultism. For ages, I found myself connected to the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Rudolf Steiner, Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, Timothy Leary, Albert Hofmann, among many others. Like for my conception of sound, my understanding of mankind and its beliefs is from a universal point of view. I do not feel inhibited to switch from one concept to another when writing for one same song. The possibilities of lyrical connections are quite infinite and stay significant in my mind. This is a very spontaneous and realistic process that would take too long to be detailed here, since I am myself sometimes surprised by its subliminal working. As for Schopenhauer or Denssen, whose works I do not know very well, no specific opinion.
11. What is your position about the present worldwide situation? Speaking about contamination, corruption, crime, materialism, etc. Do you think it is about an "evolution" of the larval groups that manage religion, power and politics, through the ages? Or maybe other reason is connected with that, a transcendental "power" that moves our existence to these changes?
My thoughts about these topics could be developed into very long answers too. To make it short, when observing our contemporary world and knowing what happened in History, like many, I mean that we are digging our own grave. For immemorial times, liars, thieves, profiteers, scared and ignorant people have always made our world function against the primordial laws of nature. Now, with the frenzy development of technology during only one century, for war or ‘progress’ purposes, the sink to extinction is fast and unavoidable. This is not pessimism, this is realism. Rejecting this perspective is hypocrisy or unawareness. Atomic radiations, anyone?
12. Give me your words about: -Today French government and the words:
No specific political trust anymore as far as the future of my homeland is concerned.
- “Liberté/égalité/fraternité” : National slogans are smokescreens.
- the Triangle of Bermudas : Mysterious subject when I was a child, forgotten it since …
- the Maitreya rising : There is no Maitreya, no messiah, no chosen one, no messenger. There are only false prophets and magicians, turning (once) pure men into gatherings of superstitious followers and zealots.
- Cannibalism, necrophagia, coprophilia : A new alimentary hygiene for the future, he he.
- Charles Beaudelaire and the Cursed Poets : Not really into reading the “French” Cursed Poets, except Antonin Artaud, whose “Le theâtre de la cruauté” impressed me.
- Phobos satellite : As an astronomy enthusiast, I’ve always been intrigued by this strange small asteroid, by its unusual form, its unusual orbit.
- Sionism/anti-Semitism/Jew capitalism : Opinions better kept for myself.
13. What do you think about video clips? Will it be possible to see your creations mixed with images? All your abysmal atmospheres and tenebrous terrifying metal !!!!
Visual pollution spread by video clips, ‘live’ footages, internet tubes or TV channels to promote sound have no effect on my way to discover and appreciate music. Even if static or moving images are indivisible from music marketing, I often ignore them. Sadly, the majority of the audience is conditioned to visualize before listening; music broadcast is ruled by the internet now. Though, I will have no problem with my tracks possibly turned into visual arts by someone else. But the impact of P.H.O.B.O.S.’ music should stay mental, without any other extension than sound in its purest form to reach its target.
14. OK. Really, I’m very thankful for your interest and support to my subterranean expression, very good luck with P.H.O.B.O.S., see you in the dark dimensions!
Thank you for your interest, Sekker. Your commitment to the Dark Arts is very much appreciated. Behold Calbuco majesty...
(originally published in Spanish in Cauldron Of Acheron fanzine #2. Paper version available via Fernando Olivares / Sucursal de Correos de Puerto Varas / Casilla #441 / X Region / Chile )