Sea of Tranquility staff writer Carl Sederholm recently caught up with Nacho Void, the bass player for the Spanish heavy metal band Totengott, to discuss their terrific new album Doppelganger. Read on for the full interview!
SoT: Introduce us a little to the members of the band. What was your involvement in the extreme metal scene before starting Totengott?
Nacho: Thanks for your interest in us! Totengott was formed by Chou Saavedra (guitars, vocals), Nacho Bernaldo (Bass) and Jose Mora (drums). We all have a pretty extensive background in the rock, metal and hardcore scenes of our region in Northern Spain. The three of us played in many bands in the past, not only extreme metal bands but also many other different genres. From death metal to shoegaze, pop rock, punk, thrash or alternative rock… Víbora , Mercyless, Lycosa Tarantula, Carnage Divine, Electric Funeral, Minds of holidays… are some of our past projects but the list goes on. Currently we are all in other bands like Void (classic doom), Old Enemies (metallic hardcore) or Mad Rovers (hard / prog rock). You could say that we are both eclectic listeners and players.
SoT: Totengott started as a tribute to Celtic Frost. When did things begin switching to original music? How are your fans responding to the original compositions?
Nacho: In 2015, after around a year playing Celtic Frost songs, we felt the need to take our musical connection and chemistry to a whole new level, so the obvious next step it was to work on our own music. We believe that we are reaching to more fans now with our own music than what we did earlier with the Celtic Frost covers. It makes sense, as we are also taking things much more seriously than when we started and we have the support of two labels, Xtreem Music and Burning World Records. Most of the people are responding very positively to the songs on "Doppelgänger", as well as most media reviews are being positive too.
SoT: What are some of the band's larger musical goals? Do you have plans to tour in the United States?
Nacho: Well, the goal is always to get our music to as many places and listeners as possible. During the fall and the winter we will continue playing in Spain to promote "Doppelgänger" but we don't discard the idea of playing in other European countries if the numbers make it possible. There seems to be a pretty nice interest in the band outside of Spain, so we will see what happens. As you can imagine, we would love to play in the States and we don't discard anything as we are getting very positive feedback and the number of fans over there is increasing rapidly, but the economic part of flying overseas and the classic "visa" issues that other bands are experiencing constantly makes it pretty difficult. Fingers crossed!
SoT: What is the extreme music scene like in Asturias? What are some of the best bands we might not know about?
Nacho: Asturias has traditionally been a region where fans and musicians have always been interested in classic heavy and power metal. We can say that our music is not exactly the standard offered around here or even in the whole Spanish country, where doom metal or darkest music in general is still not as popular as it is in the rest of European countries. Also, not being from a big city like Barcelona or Madrid makes it a bit more difficult for us, but I believe that our band is currently growing at a pretty nice rhythm. Despite this, there are obviously brave bands around here doing music that doesn't fit much into the Spanish standards, but it is pretty difficult for all of us to leave from the underground scene and reaching to a wider audience. Some cool Asturian bands you should know about: Humo, Gruesome Stuff Relish, The Constant, Legacy of Brutality, Ethiva, Narwhale, Funerall… Some of them are more recognized and play more outside of Spain than in our own country… so you can imagine the situation!
SoT: How did Doppelgänger come together? Who did the cover art?
Nacho: We wrote and started playing live the songs on "Doppelgänger" pretty quickly. After discarding some initial material, the three songs that made it to the album were written in a row and we played them live "as a unit" during a few months. After some time, we felt they worked together perfectly so, despite having them already recorded in a "demo" version, we re-recorded them properly during late 2016. The album was recorded and mixed by ourselves at Anglagard Recording Studio, where Chou is the sound engineer, so we had total artistic freedom to do what we wanted with it and had no hurries to make things sound as we wanted. It was mastered by James Plotkin, who worked in the past for bands like Amenra, Conan, Electric Wizard, Isis… he is a reference in our genre and helped making the album sound as morbid as it does. The artwork was made by an Spanish art studio called "ProcesoNegro" and, as you can see, they also managed to catch the darkness and evil we had in mind for it.
SoT: What can we expect from Totengott in the future? Where can we find more information about the band?
Nacho: Our short term plans are, as you can imagine, playing live to support "Doppelgänger" as much as possible. Regarding new music, we might probably record the second Totengott album at some stage during 2018 as we have already written a lot of material for it (around 40 minutes of music is ready). For more info about Totengott, don't hesitate to follow us in our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/totengottmetal/) or in our Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/totengottmetal/). If you want to listen or buy our music, you can do it in our bandcamp site (https://totengott.bandcamp.com/).
SoT: What else would you like our readers to know about you or the band?
Nacho: Just commenting that if you like dark and morbid music, you can use a minute to hear our music, and you probably won't be disappointed. Also, if you see one of our gigs announced near you, don't hesitate to come and check us out. Our live shows are very intense and raw, and we believe that is the ultimate way to listen to and enjoy our music.
SoT: Thanks for taking time for this short interview! The album is excellent and definitely needs a wide audience.
Nacho: Thanks for your interest and your support spreading the word. We are glad you liked the album.
(Click here to read our review of Doppelganger)