Monday, June 19, 2017

Jotnar Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are JOTNAR, we come from Canary Islands, Spain, and we play some kind of Melodic Death Metal… very inspired by the Scandinavian Melodic Metal, but with our personal style and feeling.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
Well, it’s not easy to define yourself or the way you see your music but I could say our music is an aggressive melodic Death metal… Very aggressive in one hand, with powerful riffs and heavy drums but at the same time very melodic, where the melodies on guitars is one the most important in the songs as well a great mix and balance between growling and clean vocals. We love melody and that’s way clear when you listen our music.

3.This is your first release since 2012, can you tell us a little bit more about what was been going on during that time frame?
It’s been a long road with lots of ups and down. After the release of “Giant” in 2012, we toured a lot in Spain and Europe. Our idea was to release the EP and then a full album a few months later but the EP worked so great that we couldn’t reject the gigs.
Then we decided to stop playing live to focus in the new album, preproduction, recording, etc and when everything was recorded but vocals and was the singer time, he got some personal problems that continue pushing the recording back. We began the vocal recording, but we could never finish it. This lasted about a year and a half of trying to record… was insane. At the end he accepted he cannot do it and told us that the best would be to leave, so… we then had to find a new singer. That’s when we met Mario Infantes and he joined the band. We decided to start from scratch with him, instead of simply track everything as we had so far, so we started working in the vocal demos and preproduction. We also re-arranged and polished all songs and back to the studio again. It was a little pain in the ass but at the end, it worth all the wait and hard work.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I think it’s hard to explain it because each lyric is different from the other. I mean, we don’t have any writing line or common theme to write, but instead they share a similar feeling. All lyrics are very dark, and not much “happy”. They all share this kind of base, coming from frustration, anger, fear… You only need to sit and watch the world, see how fucked up is everything and you can get all the inspiration you need to sink yourself into this desperation mode to write. I don’t see myself writing happy lyrics for this kind of music, it’s completely impossible for me.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Jotnar'?
It comes from the Norse mythology. JOTNAR were the giants from the Scandinavian mythology who lived in Jotunheim, somewhat in the middle between Gods and human. I’m a true lover for this tales and myths, and since our style is Scandinavian inspired, we thought it was a perfect match.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
For me it was the Metalcamp 2012 (nowadays Metaldays), in Slovenia. That festival is located in one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been, a real paradise in the middle of the mountains next to an amazing river. Best fest location I’ve ever been, and I’m dying to be able to play back there.
About our performance… we have a very energetic performance but with any additive, no fires, no smoke, etc… just pure metal. We like to play as hard as we can and try to have as much fun as possible.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We’ve just made a Spanish Tour with Sonic Syndicate, which was really funny. We have two festivals, the Straevil Fest in Italy and the RockFest Barcelona, a huge festival here in Spain with bands like Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Airbourne, and a huge list of awesome bands.
We are also working on another Spanish tour with a great band, but we cannot say anything yet. Also, our plans is to try to get into a good tour pack and make a good European tour and play in as many cities as possible, as well as in all festivals possible. 

8.On the new album you also had some guests, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are also their contributions to the recording?
Well, first one needs to presentation, Björn “Speed” Strid, singer of “Soilwork” and “The Night Flight Orchestra”. He is such a an amazing singer and a awesome guy. We made a duet with him in the song “Broken Esteem”, which we also have a video, and we had a lot of fun working with him, a real beast!
Jennie Nord also sang with us in the song “The Portrait”. She is from Gothemburg and she is the singer of Ultimate Fate. She also wrote the lyrics of the part she sings. I really love how her voice fitted with Mario’s growling.
Santi Suarez is an amazing guitar player, he was the lead guitar of Sphinx and is a great friend of mine. He was hanging out with me when we recorded “The Portrait” and I asked him to add some acoustic guitars in the break. He is really talented and the result was so great.
In that same song, we have Bruno Pardini, an amazing musician, who made some orchestral lines at the end of the song. We wanted something big an epic. We explained him what we had in mind and he totally overpassed all our expectations!
Last, but not least, we also had Alessio Nero Argento who made most of the synths and programming for the whole album. He has worked with Disarmonia Mundi, and he is the best!.

9.On the album you had also did a Nelly Furtado cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of her songs?
I ‘ve always loved that song, and every time I listened, I pictured it in my head with that heavy rhythm… and I decided to made my own version. I loved the idea of making it sounds like JOTNAR, so I made a demo a couple years ago. When we started working in the vocal demo with Mario, I showed him the version and asked him to make a try. The final result was as nice that we decided to add it to the album. It sounds really like a pure JOTNAR song and it fitted perfectly with the rest of the songs.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death metal?
So far so great! We’ve received many messages on Facebook and youtube with good comments about our music. We’ve also received many reviews from specialized metal magazines and webzines with great reviews as well.
And in a personal level, the best comment has come from Jesper Strömblad, founder of In Flames, who shared the video of “Starved of Guidance” in his Facebook page and wrote: “You want highest quality MDM, you got it:)! And visit their page and support!! You will hear a lot of this band in the future. One of the finest in a long time, and have a bright future ahead! Enjoy”

11.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
At the moment we are only working really hard on JOTNAR. Our singer Mario, sometimes sings in a Jazz orchestra from time to time, besides that, we are 100% devoted to JOTNAR.

12. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I don’t see myself doing anything different, really… I love what we do and this is the way I play, and the way I write. We don’t follow any rule or any guide, so most likely, we will keep on doing Melodic Death Metal the best way we can.

13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Influences are infinite… some of then had a bigger influence than others but… to name a few, from Metallica, Pantera, to In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, Arch Enemy, and tons of other great bands.
And about what I’m listening now…. Well, all kind of music, from the classics to new one. I’m totally hooked to Atoma, latest Dark Tranquillity album, as well as latest from Evergrey. Amazing albums. Another great band I discovered is Vengha, from Sweden, and also listening a lot Sixx AM, The Night Flight Orchestra, and a very long etc... Our singer for example is completely in love with Tesseract. We all listen some kind of different bands and styles who actually help us to open a our mind to different styles and arrangements.

14. What are some of your non musical interests?
Besides music, which is pretty much the most important for me… I love architecture and movies from the 80’s and 90s. I love Star Wars, and good TV series.

15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Well, Just invite you all to check our music, you can find us on Spotify, our official Facebook or find our latest videos on YouTube. And if we play near your hometown, don’t hesitate to come and say hi after the show… we will take some beers then. 

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