Thursday 16 August 2012

Interview with Akûma

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Akûma. The excellent Mexican Sludge/Post-Metal/Stoner Metallers who are starting to get a name for themselves for their superb blend of experimental music.

They have been on the blog a few times now and I am a huge fan of this talented band. And I know a lot of you viewers are as well.

Well the guys have kindly agreed to an interview with me.

Q1 – For People not in the know – Can you tell them how the band came about, When you formed etc...

We started in december of 2009 with a series of jams between both guitarrist, Val and Wont. After a few sessions Fabrizio joined with the drums and we spent 6 months writing our first piece, which became our first album “Invocations on a storm”. We didn’t play a show on our first year as a band, we were just writing music, recording it and doing a little promotion of it on local media.

Q2 – Why the name Akûma. Does it mean anything.

Well we took the word “Akuma” from Boris’s album and we added the french tittle “^” as a tribute to Fantômas. Akuma means devil in japanese.

Q3 – How would yourselves describe your sound.

It’s a mixture of all the stuff that we like and listen, we’re also strongly influenced by our local environment. Since the begining we didn’t know what we wanted so we decided not to put a direction about the band’s sound we just wanted to play every sound that we love and to be the band that we always wanted to see in our local shows.

Q4 – Which bands influence you on your music.

We love Isis, Converge, Sunn, Boris, The Mars Volta, Melvins, Disfear, Pink Floyd, Slepp, Mastodon, Burzum, Craft, Black Flag, Neurosis, The Ocean, Fall of efrafa, Doomriders, Trash Talk, Trap Them, The Secret, Pelican, Zoroaster and Apocalipsis. We listen to a lot of music we try to have an open mind about everything we do not restrect ourselves into on genere or style.

Q5 – How has your music been received by fans and critics. Has it all been positive.

When we started the band we were nervous about how our local scene would receive us, if not to think if they would understand, we were escheptical about if people would like our sound. But since the first shows people gave us a positive response and it’s been amazing how most of the people likes what we do and we’re always pushing ourselves to do everything as good as we can.

Q6 – Is Akûma a Full Time Project or do you have normal jobs to do as well to support the band.

We’re working to put Akûma as our full time project, we’re studying university right now but if it depends on us we’ll be only commited to Akûma.

Q7 – Are you families supportive of your band and music.

Yes, they support us a lot, they understand that music is our passion and that we want to do a career with our music.

Q8 – What is the song-writing process like in the band. Is it a whole band collective or individuals that write the music.

It’s a collective process, we throw our ideas, write some riffs but we don’t know how the structure and the definitive sound of the music will be untill we’re all together in our rehearsal room and play.

Q9 – Do Critics Reviews bother you at all or do you just take notice of the fans.

Most of the reviews that we receive are positive, we listen to everyone’s opinion, even to our detractors, but most of all we try to keep with the good work, we’re pushing ourselves to be a creative band, we’re doing this because we love to play our music. Sometimes you have to deal with everyones opinion, if you’re good or if you’re bad, but at the end of the end it’s just you and you can’t lose the ground, you need to use your own judgement to know if what you’re doing it’s good or bad.

Q10 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Everything you do as a band has its reward it all depends if you’re doing things good or bad, the rewards are gonna be positive or negative. And we try to learn from every experience that we have as individuals and as a band, we try to take advantage from all our experiences, even from those negative moments; what fuels this band it’s the positive vibe that we put on it.

And we love to play live shows so we always play every show as if it was our first and our last show, we don’t care if there are just 5 persons or if there’s a huge crowd, we always try to give our best performance and to play as loud as we can.

Split Akûma/Weedsnake cover art

Q11 – You recently recorded a split with the excellent Weedsnake. How did that came about and why.

It all begins with ana rticle about mexican hard rock metal bands, people read about us in there and the guys in Weedsnake knew about us, we made contact and they invited us to play a show at Mexico City (In last year’s winter) and that’s how the friendship started and we talked about a split between both bands, we though it would be a good movement. 

So we made the plans, every band recorded its stuff as soon as posible, Val (Akûma’s guitar player) and Vainillo (Weedsnake drummer) work together in the making of the art for the split and made the release in the mid of July. Everything its being beautiful since then, everybody likes the music we put in it and now we’re just waiting to play together again. 

We’re also looking to put this split in vinyl but we’re still looking a label for it, so we hope we can get a deal as soon as we can.

Part of the intention on doing this split it’s to raise our hands and say “Hey we are two mexicans bands and this is what we do!” It’s an statement about being mexican, sometimes it’s so damn hard to live here, there’s so much bullshit. There are a lot of good bands, but being mexican rockn’roller it’s hard, there are no conditions for rock in here. So we all need to work together and we need to support each other if we want to build something, and this split is part of it.

Q12 – What is the gig scene like in your home town. Do you get a chance to do a lot of local shows or do you have to travel further away from home to get your music across.

There’s no scene in Morelia, everyone wants to have their own rockn’roll gang and everyone wants to be the “rockn’roll capo” so that’s why there’s no scene, everyone’s fighting and while they’re trying to get attention they forget about music and there’s no band that had ever done something worthy in this city. 

We do play shows in here but its strange ‘cuz most of those shows have been with indie rock bands, and people has a good reaction with our music and our show; we have done some other shows with the metal bands. We love to play Mexico City there are bands that are into the sludge/stoner/postmetal that we love to share the stage with, most of the bands that we know from Mexico City are trying to do good things with their music and they have so much energy!


Q13 - You got any interesting stories from your tours?

We haven’t toured a lot, Mexico its a big country with no show circuit for the bands, so it’s hard to do a large tour in here. But we’re doing a tour in september with WORDS and Apocalipsis, we’ll play a couple of dates and we hope we can have a good storie to tell from it.

Q14 – Do you have plans to tour overseas or is it just too expensive to do at the moment.

Well this is like every band “secret plan” (And desire) in mexico, we want to leave this country and try to do something with our music in the US or Europe, every band wants to stand against the giants. Right now we’re writing a new album, we hope we can save some money to gain more exposure outside Mexico and if we a have a chance to travel overseas and play some dates we will rock as hard as we could! We want to take this band as far as we can and we think that we just need a chance to show the world what this mexican trio can do!

Q15 – What is your view of bands and blogs giving away music for free. Lot of bands and people have different perspectives.

We think that it is a good move, every band is looking for exposure and its always good to hear new music, new bands and new sounds. So sharing music via internet it’s a good way to have a touch with what’s happening in the world. It’s important this job that people do, writing, recommending, reviewing about bands; we appreciate it so much. If it wasn’t for blogs and downloands none of us would have ever had touch with good music and wouldn’t have created Akûma.

Q16 – Finally what are the future plans for the band. I know you have a lot of cool split releases coming up. Can you give us more information on that.

We’ll do another split with our fellow label mates Purifier, there are gonna be vinyls for this split, so we’re now just waiting for the release date to come. We have some dates for the next months to come, we’re playing two festivals “Pirates go to hell Fest” with a lot of the newest and most interesting bands from the mexican underground and we’re playing in november at IMAGINA, the first Post-Rock fest in Latin America. 

We’re writing music for our new album. So we have a lot of work for the rest of the year and we hope there’s more to come, we just don’t want to stop.

Well guys thanks for answering these questions. I look forward to your future releases. All the best from all of us at Sludgelord. Thanks. Steve.

Thank you for the time and all the positive feedback! We appreciate it so much. Un abrazo desde México para ti vato!!

Check This Brilliant Band from the links below