PRECARIA's three-piece line-up as the third interview for the eighth issue of Necrosphere. So far three recordings in the form of the first demo, the “Precaria Ex Humanitas” debut ´14 and the latest “Metamorphosphoros” split ´18 with Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering and Dominus Era. PRECARIA comes from Mexico, formed in 2010, although the original roots stretch back to 2004. Musically, the trio revolves in the vortex of a more complex Black Metal with a more chaotic movement and underground feeling. If you listen carefully to their music and let their strange harmony (but also polyharmonies), which are explicitly characterized by the horror and mystical fulfillment of death, affect you, you will find they must be deeply immersed in occult realms and magical practices. That is why I put the questions quite into the deeper themes, which gave rise to this interesting story. Ianzél (guit, bass, vox) answered the questions.
Could you first say what does Precaria name mean to you, why did you choose it and what deeper meaning has it for your music, creation, philosophy and direction? Your logo also has a great font, but at the same time there are various symbols in it, sure you have everything thought out...
Salute to you Mortuary. Precaria has a variety of meanings. In Spanish it refers to a poor/miserable condition, in Italian it refers to uncertainty. While I adapt those meanings to a spiritual context, in which we are condemned to a neverending state of precariousness, a cycle of eternal misery. Precaria envelops pretty much everything that's dark and negative for our perspective, but chaotic in the greater scheme of existence. This is it's purpose, to be a vessel and paragon of darkness.
When did you first discover darkness and defiance against all saint and conventional? Have you perceived the darkness since the early childhood, and have been there any events happening to make transform your world perception?
Interesting question, it gets personal. I was born in Texas and after a while my mother moved to Mexico to avoid being deported. I grew up without a father and as an only child, pretty much in loneliness. I witnessed the dangers and corruption of a sick society since an early age. Naturally, it was just a matter of time to develop into the being I am now. Violence was part of my childhood and I felt an attraction for dark things, I had behavior issues and never felt like part of the rest. I didn't fit and was expelled from schools, later abandoning my education, living in the streets, then as a prisoner of a mental institute due to severe depression and being very aggressive. Years passed and I focused more and more in the things that I like: black metal and audio engineering. Pursuing these passions has helped me to mature.
Precaria music is full of great urgency, but also hatred, depth, spirituality, abomination, it's not a simple music for listening, understanding, or for writing. Have you created uniform pattern for writing, or are Precaria tracks created individually? Which song was the most challenging for you?
The characteristics you mention are accurate. Hatred and darkness play an enormous role in Precaria, as well as spirituality and depth. It is very complex, almost unexplainable. Like existence itself. I don't want to limit the music or lyrical themes. Precaria is designed to be an apotheosis of darkness and should be able to convey everything that's dark, from the flesh to the soul and beyond.
I don't use a pre-established songwriting pattern. Right now I have songs composed 5-7 years ago and they remain unreleased because they are part of a different work inside Precaria which is pending of completion. To give an example of what I mean: in 2009-2010 I planned to make an album about the precariousness of humanity, covering from religion to violence and corruption. With this in mind I started composing Precaria Ex Humanitas. Those 6 long tracks are meant to be together because they're part of a whole, and they were released 4-5 years later... This happens with the second full length as well. The song Gospel of Black Illumination is part of it and it has been played live since 2015 but even if Metarmorphosphoros and Theosulphuros were recorded after that time, that song couldn't be featured in them, because it belongs to Necrokhaos, the second album. Which will be produced next (after the Theosulphuros release).
The most challenging song until now could be either Ex Abyssia (from Metamorphosphoros) or Ex Nigredo (from Theosulphuros), because they were composed in parts, from 2011 to 2017. Both had a different name. Ex Abyssia was called Fragilitatis Humanae Profunda Atrissima and Ex Nigredo was called The Penitential Process of Nigredo. I refined them throughout the years and added choruses which mention the new titles, so given that both are my main compositions in the split albums, they were named similarly and are both placed after ritualistic intros. They're long compositions packed with a lot of dark riffs and atmosphere. I spent countless hours crafting them, a lot of thought and soul went into them and even while practicing daily for months until I felt ready to record, they were still hard for me to play. My composing ambition surpasses my physical abilities/dexterity to perform it, and it isn't that the riffs are hard to play, it is that my motor functions suck. I really have to practice a lot to be able to execute with my hands what spawns inside my mind.
If I listen to harmonies of "Precaria Ex Humanitas", I find the word individuality. Especially harmonies made without too much melodic basis, rather coolness, some emptiness, deep fall, monstrosity. Special changes in composition and rhythms. How and where do you draw inspiration to write such a dehumanized music?
The inspiration, notion, talent to create this, all comes from the same place. It is the ultimate darkness from where everything is created, and it manifests inside. My task is to externalize it through black art. I don't know if everyone is able to reach it, and they just don't know how to do it, or if this is exclusive to a few individuals, because I don't see many doing this. The majority of musicians are more concerned in being famous or being in a band just because they liked heavy metal and want to imitate other bands or be an "elite" in their local scene. The ones creating uncompromising art with real conviction for the dark side are a scarce breed, they don't care about scenes and don't need external approval or ego boosts. They create art for the sake of darkness itself. I'm in this group.
Would you say your music is built on the pillars of harmonic levels combining them with disharmony? Do you think sometimes, for example after writing songs, over their character from a psychological point of view, if they reflect your inside, states, visions?
They absolutely reflect my insides. Black and rotten, earthly but otherworldly, bodily yet spiritual, like burning and freezing at the same time. It is all extreme. I cannot have music that doesn't make me feel something. I don't like neutrality in art, neither the "positive" side of it, may this be a blessing or a curse. Only darkness. Darkness is my light, my home, my being.
To give you an answer regarding the music being harmonic or disharmonic: it doesn't matter in what side of the spetrum it is, as long as it transmits darkness. I don't want the feeling of victory in my black metal, that is just masked joy. I want chaos, hatred, destruction, grandiose darkness. Some say it isn't black metal if the songs are not sung specifically to/for Satan. I don't want to conform to the rules of a genre. I want to make black art, that's all. Fuck genres, rules, limitations and imitators.
Just to add: I don't know how to read or write music. I'm autodidact in playing instruments. My songwriting and musical ear were developed alone and slowly. "Writing" songs for me doesn't consist in drawing notes in a sheet. It is rather a spiritual and metal journey that can take from months to years to culminate. After more than half of my life walking this path I'm naturally able to express my musical ideas to other musicians if necessary, and have learned a lot in the way.
Someone once said that if you look into the abyss, so it will look into you. How do you perceive this famous saying? Can you identify with it?
Yes, it was Neitzsche and I believe this to be true. Once you delve into the dark side there's no turn back. It is like recovering your innocence, you'd need to suffer from Alzheimer's or some other illness, otherwise it is impossible to be innocent again. The same occurs with the abyss, it is impossible to ignore once you notice it. Everyone is tainted, this is the human condition. From the moment we realize we are a flaw we cross a point of no return. Purity can only be obtained through the definite death, in which no consciousness as we know it is left. But, will we reach this definite death? Or will our energy just be transformed/recycled, and additionally, what information would it retain? I have the desire to get out of this cosmic realm.
How do you feel about the world of dreams? Do dreams have deep and mystical meaning to you? I know people saying they never dream or never remember anything. Other people have special and strong dreams that can even influence them. Some dreams can have such a powerful effect we think about them all day. Do you write down your dreams in a notepad to analyze them?
I live an alternate reality almost daily, inside my dreams. They're very detailed. The common scenario is that I need to kill certain people who want to kill me first. I'm either hunting them down or hiding from everyone, in places that could exist in this physical world but they don't. My subconscious constructs cities and wilderness that look as if some disaster had happened and I'm all alone trying to survive by hiding/escaping, traveling/lost and killing or defending myself. Every time I sleep I know there's a high probability to live that brief yet timeless reality and I know that if someone kills me in the dream I will automatically wake up, because I never fully rest, there's a part of me that's always awake and cannot stand the idea of being killed, my survival instinct wakes me up immediately. So unfortunately for me dreams aren't that mystical, they're bloody.
Occasionally I do hear melodies inside dreams and my mind retains them via repetitions, I record them as audio clips when waking up to keep an archive of "dream riffs". A lot of Precaria songs have them. Wonder why they've got the sense of urgency and darkness...
Sleep paralysis is a very interesting phenomenon. It can certainly be explained simply by the medical point of view, but a person who feels deeper darkness and mysticism can draw from such experiences not only inspiration. Did you have a period when sleep paralysis was more frequent? They say it emerges mainly from stress and exhaustion. Were you able to get sleep paralysis by yourself? How did you feel at the first paralysis?
Great subject to bring to the conversation, because no one had asked me about this before and I did suffer from sleep paralysis. The first time I experienced it was at 4 or 5 years of age and it was traumatizing. I obviously had no idea of what was happening. I thought I had lost my ability to talk and move, for life. I felt ruined and wished it was a dream but realized it wasn't, because I never had such sensation before. I don't know how long it lasted and I don't remember seeing anything paranormal in particular. I was just suffering from believing I had lost the capacity to control my bodily functions and was the first time in life I felt real fear. It kept happening until I was 15 years old, then it suddenly stopped. By that time I was so used to it, that my reaction was thinking "OK, this shit is kicking in" and just felt annoyed by it. When I was married (between 20 and 23 years old), she started suffering from it and she did say she was seeing black entities in the same places of the room and hearing them make unbearable noises/shrieks. I knew when it happened to her because she started wailing (which woke me up), while seeming immobile. I rapidly helped her and by holding her tight, caressing her face/eyes and telling her things like "I'm here, be patient, it will go away" and it did help because every time I did that she recovered from it fast. Then, changing the position of the body to sleep again helped in not suffering from it twice the same night.
From sleep naturally we can move to the even darker phenomenon of death. Have you ever been on the edge of death so close you thought it was the end of your physical existence? Existence is actually so fragile when one begins to ponder more deeply, we can die at any moment.
Yes I've had a lapse in my life of near death experiences, mainly due to living in a danger zone. I used to work in the convenience store of a high risk area in the time two drug cartels were in a territorial dispute. It was a time where soldiers and the marine were standing armed in almost every square and helicopters passed flying over, "hunting down" people from both cartels. The good thing about being white and wearing a "dark" outfit in Mexico is that they won't ever assume you're part of a drug cartel so you won't get shot, but you'll probably get robbed because they do assume white equals money (no necessity to work under the sun). And while I could go on explaining how twisted society is and how the government is the real cartel and intellectual author of a pathetic political circus that serves to keep people poor and ignorant while they rejoice in material wealth and power, that would make this very long and off-topic.
I was in risk of death frequently due to shootings/massacres in and around my area, not only between opposing organizations but towards the civilians as well, I witnessed local people being shot to death while just walking by, and both while seeing out of the windows when I was in the bus and from inside the store. One learns to live with a battlefield mindset in which I know anyone can be shot at any moment and I just need to keep the focus in my things. When you have poor people armed and no control, they won't limit themselves to their set tasks, they will go and assault whoever they encounter to loot their cash, belongings, etc. It was total chaos and the store was robbed with violence easily twice per week by heavily armed gunmen that also were carrying and snorting cocaine as they grabbed money and items. Guns and drugs are illegal in Mexico because if they were legal it would mean that taxes would need to be paid and no one wants that, so it is all kept illegal for mere economic convenience of the government and organizations that need to produce the drugs for USA to consume. This is the biggest source of income of the country, destroying itself for the indulgence of outsider consumers and the privilege of the few in power at the cost of having their people slaughtered in a simulated inner war.
There are special places on the Earth, they are found around everywhere. You come to such a place and you have chills down the spine, often it may be a genius loci, simply a strong place like it was created somehow, but there are also places where strange things happened like wars, murders, torture, executions, supernatural phenomena, strange natural phenomena, or objects. Do you visit such places in Mexico and can you draw inspiration from them? Could you say a place that is close to you but it is disturbing as well?
There are a lot of places like this! You mention the genius loci. When I was young I had no knowledge about this, but I did feel different kind of energies in some places and they altered me from making me feel tranquil to discomforted. There's a place called "La Huasteca", it is a point of concentration of high electromagnetic force, one of the highest in the world and the place is like a labyrinth of almost 45 degree-steep mountain walls, and in the nearby desert there's a place called the "Silence Zone" where car batteries and cellphones stop working, all radio signals get messed up there. In La Huasteca there's an abandoned grey construction on top of a peak, dating from the 1800s, with a very weird architecture. The locals call it "the philosopher's house" spending the night there to meditate and listen to the wind hitting every corner is a very unique experience.
There's also places where the energy feels draining and oppressive. When I was 18 I worked as a bar tender in a strip club to be able to pay the rent. The place was closed down because new people got in power and there was drug and underage girls working there. It is usual that places that hold illegal activities pay a monthly fee to the authorities to "ignore" their businesses. The owner couldn't work it out with the new ones in power and closed the place, but he owned a lot of clubs in the same area. Some of the workers were assigned to other clubs. I went to one in an old building and asked where the manager was. They sent me to a floor up, by my own. Since I didn't know the place I went upstairs and there was an exit to a roof filled with stacked chairs and a door in the other side. It was like crossing from a building to another by walking over the roofs. I entered and the place was in ruins, not even painted, every wall and inch of floor was grey and dusty with trash in the floor, I started feeling chills, there was something wrong there... By the end of the hall there was stairs going up and down, I went up. In the upper floor everything was covered in newspaper, there was broken glass in the floor and a table in the middle, with molten wax and what seemed to be organic tissue under a piece of fabric (maybe an abortion/baby offering?). I immediately realized it was a trap and thought it was my end. I thought they sent me there to kill me and sell my organs or something. I ran out as fast as I could. Made it out and discarded ever working nearby. Time later I discovered that said place was a crematory of the IMSS (medical service of the government) that was abandoned in the 80s. The place surely holds sinister energies and someone must have been using it as a ritual workplace.
Another time I was walking back to a hostel where I was renting the same room with other 5. After work, I walked all the way there because there's no public transport past midnight and cabs are too expensive for the amount I was earning. One night I saw a kind of pallid-transparent being, which was human-like in shape and standing still in the front yard of a house just watching me go by, but it didn't feel human at all. I mean, it couldn't be a real person, I was seeing it and through it. I felt absolutely unsettled yet I tried to act normal and keep walking, without revealing any facial gesture that could expose my shock. To this day I wonder what that was, and why did it appear watching me. By that time I hated not finding an explanation and felt very frustrated, but now I've accepted that we as humans aren't capable of explaining everything, even if in our nature we want to find purpose in all things, not everything has it and not everything can be deciphered.
Friedrich Nietzsche said that a person would do the best if he was not to be born, and when he is born he should die soon. Recently, there has been one case where one Indian has sued his parents for giving birth to him because he did not wish to be born. Do you think such an attitude or philosophy has its merit?
What this individual did I see it more as an act of protest. We don't choose our parents, we don't choose our growing conditions, we don't choose being brought to the world. Humans make it a disastrous place. I'm vasectomized because I don't want to bring someone else to this misery of existence. What I would like is that everything could end, not only me or you, but everything. Like a singularity in quantum mechanics. A perpetual void, total blackness, where death has triumphed over everything.
Ianzél 19.3.2019 Mortuary