(On May 19th Personal Records will release the debut album of the Chilean band Sporae Autem Yuggoth, and it had a strong appeal for our friend Comrade Aleks, so he reached out for the following interview of the band.)
The Chilean metal scene hides a lot of secrets, and sometimes I’ve discovered some absolutely killer bands there. Doom bands usually. And Sporae Autem Yuggoth is one such band, which is ready to spread the Word of Death and Doom all over the world with their forthcoming release.
It was founded in Talagante, Santiago in 2019 by Alexis Gutiérrez (bass), Diego Guzman (drums), José Gallardo (guitars), Patricio Araya (vocals), and Juan Drey (guitars). Juan left after the release of the EP The Plague of the Aeons and Luis Morales took the vacant place of the second guitarist. He didn’t get there time, and the full-length album with the creepy title …However It Still Moves was recorded without him, but with Johanna Sánchez on keyboards.
Their death-doom is balanced – it’s old school, but it isn’t obsolete, it’s grim and yet it has its bright moments. As the press release says: “‘Dark as fuck’ is one way of describing However It Still Moves, but ‘bittersweetly beautiful’ is another, depending on what minute of the hour-long album you land on – many movements and many moods, but all dripping into (and reverberating back up from) a bottomless well of despair”.
That sounds true to the matter. I hope that you’ll like the album and this interview with Sporae Autem Yuggoth‘s collective mind.
(Thanks to Nathan Birk, Suspicious Activities PR, for organizing the interview.)
Hi Sporae Autem Yuggoth! How are you? What’s going on in Yuggoth world?
Hi guys! We send you our best regards from Chile! We want to thank you in advance for this interview, for us it´s a pleasure and honor to participate in this round of questions. We are very well, we are in full promotion of our new album, which has us very happy and excited about this new road to travel.
The band was formed in 2019, and four songs were soon recorded for the first EP The Plague of the Aeons in 2020. What drove you back then to release this material?
The creation of the songs as well as the conception of the band itself was a bit fortuitous. They were born as an excuse to present ourselves in an event, and we created these 4 songs for that particular presentation, without any other ambition, and that was the end of it. The thing is that the show went quite well for an unknown band and because of that, we decided to give continuity to the project, record these songs, and present them in the EP that was The Plague of the Aeons.
How effectively did this EP work for you? What kind of feedback did you get after this release?
We believe it was an excellent start. We are a band that appeared out of nowhere and it was incredible to see how the EP was reaching more places worldwide as time went by. Within Chile, many friends and acquaintances lent us a hand or supported us in some way, either by buying the material or spreading our work, with a lot of promotion in podcasts, interviews, reviews and compilations.
Internationally, the EP reached many countries, receiving a lot of reviews and interviews, which for a new band like us became something a bit surreal, but quite rewarding. The efforts and promotions of Personal Records and Necrolatry Records made us have a physical presence of our material in at least 25 countries, something incredible for a debut band.
The band’s name points to H.P. Lovecraft’s mythological system. Did you really draw inspiration from his writings?
There is a clear inspiration, as we are readers of his stories and poems from years ago, but more than in his writings themselves, it is the way in which his writing is created that influences us, and we believe that this is noticeable in the way our songs are also written. There is a mimicry that is achieved with the music as part of the sonic environment; all this sum of textures has Lovecraft‘s work as an ingredient. At the same time there are themes underneath that we deal with, that point to the human psyche and in certain cases to social criticism, however these themes are also treated with this Lovecraftian inspiration.
Social criticism? How does this theme reveal itself through your songs?
It is revealed based on the reality in which we basically live. Our country has always been convulsed from the genesis, with many injustices as the basis for the creation of this society, which has remained unchanged over time and has been strengthened in the last half century. It is a situation that within the band we are interested in, and it affects us as individuals, to show that things are not as good as they look. The nightmares and horrors of the individual are a reflection of the society in which we live, made up on the outside but rotten on the inside. In addition, the band originated right in a period of great social crisis in the country. It was a bit natural for us to denounce these issues and incorporate them as part of the lyrical concept.
Your music is tagged as death-doom. Which bands helped you to choose this direction? I see you covered Dream Death’s song.
The band in the first instance focused a lot on the original sound of the style, but always trying to give it our own approach. The essential was to maintain a dark and primitive atmosphere, sepulchral and dense, but without neglecting the interesting musical arrangements that bring an added value to the proposal.
In front of this is the undeniable influence of the English and Scandinavian schools as musical references. The old Cathedral or the oldest Paradise Lost, added to the Tiamat of their first albums, are part of our beginnings, among many other influential bands. But there are also bands outside the style, like King Crimson or the old Genesis and the darkest progressive rock, which are also part of our way of seeing music and how to deal with it. The same with film music, which we have almost naturally added, giving some incidentality to our music.
The cover we did of Dream Death we chose because Patrizio, our vocalist, is a diehard fan of theirs and it was also a great opportunity to present it in another way, with the Yuggothian approach.
What were your primary objectives when you were planning to record the first album?
Basically it was to record those songs from the EP so they wouldn’t get lost, but clearly things took a different direction, a positive one by the way, and things grew a little more than expected, which motivated us to keep going. Some of the ideas for the new album had already been in the works since that time, so it became natural to keep composing and continue creating new songs, especially in that time of pandemic, where the world stopped for a couple of years.
What were your requirements for your sound when you entered the studio? Which elements of death and doom did you want to see in …However It Still Moves?
One of the characteristics of the band’s sound has always been to maintain a dark and dense sound, a sepulchral and cold air, which we believe is still present in …However It Still Moves. The band, due to its influences, has searched for a sound closer to the analogic, since for us it is part of an aesthetic discourse coherent with the band’s style of composition. We believe that part of this dark and sepulchral essence is due a little bit to that, to the treatment and mixture of pedals and amplifiers, that we have managed to achieve, added to the new textures incorporated through synthesizers and keyboards, which broaden the sound spectrum even more, achieving more space and density. In short, a mixture of brutality and enveloping textures that achieve a great effect.
Did you work with a sound engineer from outside or was it someone from the band who recorded the album?
It was Diego, our drummer, who recorded us and was in charge of the whole process. We did everything in his studio, which also serves as a rehearsal room; the production, arrangements, and recording were done there. It is a great advantage for us to have this space because it gave us time and the tranquility to test ideas, execute them, and give them final form; thanks to him and his space, we were able to complete all the work.
Afterwards, the mixing and mastering were sent to Andrés Henríquez, a great musician and friend, and a member of the band Saturno, who acted as sound engineer and helped us to give the final sound to the album.
Johanna Sánchez joined you in 2022 on keyboards. She plays in a couple of bands including Bitterdusk which I love… But, well, did you decide to add the keys at the last moment?
The inclusion of keyboards was always a topic that was discussed within the band — how it would affect the sound already achieved or how it could be the musical focus of the same within eventual future compositions. So technically, it was not such a last-minute decision.
The most tangible proof of this was when we recorded the cover of Dream Death in early 2021. We invited Johanna, who was already a friend of some of the band members. We already knew her work, which speaks for itself, and what a talented musician she is. That first experience with her gave us the certainty that it could turn out to have this extra layer of sonic textures within the sound already achieved by the band up to that moment.
However, while we were recording the songs, the first keyboard arrangements were done by Alexis, our bass player, since Johanna was working on other projects at the time. Eventually we contacted Johanna again, inviting her to actively participate in the recordings and become a stable member of the band. With her we arranged and refined keyboards and synthesizers and achieved this more dense and enveloping sound.
Does the album’s title …However It Still Moves appeal to Galileo Galilei’s famous words? Why did you choose it as the album’s title?
Indeed, we were inspired by the words of Galileo Galilei from different points of view that were discussed and refined among the members of the band, once the art of the LP, the work of Chilean painter José Tapia Villalobos, had already been chosen.
Galileo Galilei pronounces these words at the moment of being condemned to death, especially maintaining his conviction about his research and discovery that the earth was not the center of the universe: “Eppur si muove”. We rely on the fact that everything culminates on the day of your death, however things continue to happen, they keep moving, even after death; the decomposition of the flesh feeds other beings and the earth itself. Everything around is still in motion, it is natural.
How much of Lovecraft is left in your songs? What are your new lyrics about?
As we said before, Lovecraft is always there in some way, either in how we relate our songs, or in the way the music is composed, through dark or chaotic passages that could well describe the nightmares and cosmic horrors told by the author. However we also have other interests that we wanted to continue covering in this production — more introspective and existential lyrics, others with a powerful social criticism, and others with an important philosophical content. There are many topics that we consider relevant to touch on, and that somehow affect us as people. We did not want to limit ourselves only to fantastic horror, but also to touch real issues and impregnate them with the horror and madness of Lovecraft’s dark literature.
What’s going on with gigs? Do you see live activity as an integral part of Sporae Autem Yuggoth?
Yes totally. We started practically as a live band and it is important to return to that dynamic. We spent a lot of time as a studio band during the pandemic period, composing and shaping the new album, and we think it is a good time to return to the stage, since before the pandemic we didn’t get to perform so many times, We hope to schedule some dates for this year and also focus on new material to work on in the studio
Okay, thank you for the interview! It was great to know more about the band and your new album’s background. Let’s finish it with a question about your plans for 2023 if you don’t mind.
This is a year of full promotion of our new album. We want to consolidate our proposal and show it in as many places as possible. It is important to keep scheduling dates to play and show the material of the album and also the EP, in parallel to start composing and creating material for a next production.
As a band, we are very grateful to you for giving us this space. It has been great to answer this interview. From Chile, we send you the best wishes, greetings friends! Stay doomed!