Hell, infernal greetings from Slovakia! How are things going for INANNA in the new millennium? You are already quite old band and the debut was released till in 96, what was the reason?
Well, first of all thank you guys for taking the time to send us this interview and for showing us that Inanna is getting people’s attention in Slovakia!!!
Things right now are going well for us, writing new material for our second album and trying to promote our music as much as possible here in Chile and Overseas.
The reason why it took us 8 years to release our debut album (in 2008, not ´96) (sorry for my mistake) is because we learned to be proper musicians with this band as we have worked very carefully on our music since day one (and also we have to admit that we’re not the fastest songwriters on Earth, hahaha), as well as the fact that during those years we never had any support from record companies or booking agencies. We were on our own.
How INANNA was born? Who was the main initiator of INANNA? Have you always played this kind of Death Metal as we can hear on the debut?
Inanna started out in 2000 - even though there was an attempt to form the band in ´98 but it was a different kind of metal, so for us this is NOT part of INANNA´s history - when Diego called me up and asked me to help him out with a song he had been working on since ´95. He and Max know each other since they were five years old and learned to play metal together, so he joined right away and thus we started jamming first as a three piece until Rodrigo Krell joined in September 2000. By the end of that year we finished this one song, Sea of the Dead, which, if you compare with the rest of the songs in the album, is a bit different since it is so old.
What was your impression from album release after such a long time? Has everything succeeded as you wanted? I mean the production, sound...
We began the recording of "Converging Ages" in January 2007 and by March it was done, but what took us very long was the mixing and mastering due to the fact that we could only get short studio sessions over a long period of time. Despite this we are happy with the way the album turned out, since for a first record the production and sound are good. At least I was always clear with the sound I wanted for the drums, acoustic and old school-like, and this is shown very clearly when you listen to the songs. For the next LP we will not make the same mistakes as we did with "Convering Ages" and it will be better in all aspects, for sure.
After many listening to "Converging Ages" album, I remained in shock! Great music from the first second to last, strong songs due to perfect composition, perfect memorable solos, great sounding and played bass guitar, also drums, vocals ... and I didn’t still mentioned the feeling and atmosphere ... are you happy with your debut in retrospect even in these points?
Even though it’s been more than two years since we put the album out, I still think it’s got a lot of personality in terms of sound and atmosphere, as well as the fact that we took extra care with every note and every arrangement we made. The only thing we were not happy about was how long we took for the whole album process. For next time we will do it a lot quicker and a lot better!!!
Who writes the most music for INANNA, or how actually looks like the composition process itself? How difficult is to write a new track for you?
The main songwriter in the band is Diego, but we all contribute with some ideas and arrangements. Carlos wrote Gilgamesh, Astral and some other riffs for The Delicate balance of Terror. The last songs we’ve written over the last couple of years have been very collective, and thus very elaborate and complex. Max, on the other hand, is in charge of the lyrics and he has left the task of songwriting to the rest of us, even though he wrote Doom of Mankind and some other ideas for Embracing the Fleshless Ecstasy. Whenever we have a new song we feel very satisfied because we don’t consider it done until everyone is cool with it, but in order to achieve that we have to be very patient and sometimes it can be very painstaking.
This question I ask almost every band since I’m very interested. What is most important for you in terms of music composition?
Well, I think what’s most important for us is to always keep the spirit and trademark of INANNA in everything we do, not letting pass anything as 'OK' instead of 'great' and always try to outdo ourselves as songwriters and as musicians.
Which responses have you got to your music? Was there also some strong criticism? If so, for what? Are the reviews important for you?
We have received a lot of support from the fans as well as from other musicians, but there will always be criticism because it’s impossible to please everyone with our music, which is not our intention anyway. What’s critical for us is to continue with our work and with our vision of music, which in the end is what makes a band like INANNA so unique. The reviews play a very important role because they "spread the word" and give the listener a glimpse of what we are about, although I’ve seen very crappy ones, hahaha.
I know you are currently working on your second album, what can we look forward to? Would you now prove to compare the rising material with your debut? Almost every band always says the new album will be even faster, and so brutal.
We have some material written even before we released "Converging Ages" and I would say it’s more brutal, more technical and more mature. What I personally like about the new songs is that most of them are very collective, so they are stronger and more profound. The lyrics are getting slightly away from the Necronomicon into something more about the end of mankind and the persistent habit from humans to accompany development with self-destruction and stupidity.
I must admit the Chilean scene is very congenial to me, as from the music so the spiritual point, a lot of great bands and especially fanatic metal heads. I think Metal in South America is there, where it was perhaps the most of the time in 80's and 90's in the world widely ... how do you perceive a situation from your viewpoint?
I have always been a big fan of the Chilean bands that made a big impact in the metal world during the 80`s -Pentagram, Death Yell, Atomic Aggressor, etc - but there’s a lot of other bands that have been around for a while and other new ones which are even better and more professional, as a natural evolution of the genre. Let’s not forget, though, that if it wasn’t for these bands, the metal scene here in Chile wouldn’t be the same, especially for death metal. The bad thing about it though, is that almost all of these bands (except for Sadism and Undercroft) split up between late 80`s and early 90`s and are getting back together without new material and to live from the past, which is something I don’t agree with.
Which bands from Chile would you highlight and which one is best to deal with you? Are there many live shows in Chile? How often do you play live?
Well, the classics for us go from Rust to Pentagram and Dorso, among many others. In Death Metal I would say Dominus Xul, Melektaus, Totten Korps, Norphelida, Trimegisto and Dethroner (from Valparaiso); In Black Metal I personally like Hetroertzen (from Puerto Varas) and Animus Mortis, and in other sub-genres I would say Dr. Zaius, Abhorrent, Force of Darkness and Mar de Grises. As you can see, the scene here in Chile is quite big, there are many gigs going on every weekend all over the country, and the bands are now releasing more professional and better productions, which clearly shows a positive evolution of our metal. The biggest problem that I see regarding metal concerts (and not only metal) is that the cover band gigs are excessively supported. They are taking the space of original bands, and worst of all, they don’t leave anything in the end except some background music to get drunk to and a very hard hangover next day, hahahaha!!! An original metal band writes its own music and puts hard work on it, and I feel disappointed that this is not being recognized or valued.
Have you ever visited other continents in order to play live gigs? Where would you prefer to go and demonstrate your music art?
So far we have only performed live here in Chile, but our biggest dream as a band and as musicians is to play overseas. Europe, North America and Japan would be a dream come true to us, but we have to be patient and hardworking in order to achieve that in the near future.
Who or what influences you most at writing new stuff? Which bands are most often listening to in your band?
Uffff, the list is long!!!!! We listen and are influenced by many kinds of different music, from classical to jazz and Rock, but definitely Metal is by far the kind of music that I personally like the most.
Are you watching actual happening in the world of metal? Do you think that even today there are many great bands around the world? How do you perceive the trend of metal?
Nowadays there are lots of good , talented bands, but as you get older I think less new bands blow your mind like when you listened to albums like “Ride the Lightning” from Metallica, Reign in Blood from Slayer and “Covenant from Morbid Angel, for example. Those bands are a huge influence for us and are always in our Ipods wandering about.
Your name comes from Sumer, do you have a special relationship to this civilization?
Well, the concept of the goddess Inanna is very interesting because it is related with Love and War, Birth, Death and reproduction, so we’re talking about very important and decisive powers, and what’s fascinating is that it’s a female deity (unlike other civilizations) like a mother who gives birth, but has also the power to destroy her enemies in defense of their Children, which could be interpreted as the city of Uruk in the Sumerian mythology. I personally feel very identified with this concept because it’s the female figure the one that gives life, nurtures and contributes with the eternal sense of preserving life at any cost, as opposed to the male figure, which represents fire, violence, greed and ambition. Both elements make up equilibrium, like the oriental Ying and Yang.
How do you perceive Zecharia Sitchin´s theories? In my view they are at least a fascinating ... have you read his most basic work “12th Planet”?
Unfortunately I am not familiar with his theories and I haven’t read his works. I’ll look it up and maybe talk about them in the future, sorry.
Once we talk about the Sumerians and Sitchin, I have to ask you about the American writer H. P. Lovecraft, Necronomicon and the Cthulhu myth ... Are you interested also in these topics?
At first we were very interested about Necronomicon (especially Max) but right now we are being introducing other topics into our lyrics, like the degradation of the human condition taken to a more recent scenario, like what’s happening now with propaganda, mass media manipulation and the waging of wars fueled by lies, greed, religion, money and disregard for human life. As long as the cash flows in, a few thousand dead civilians are not important for the big corporate powers.
Could you write something about your faith? If not any detail, at least in general. Do you think there is something more than materialism?
Of course there is. We, as human beings, are made up of spirituality and materialism, and in my opinion these two elements have to coexist in equilibrium. If we didn’t need the material half we wouldn’t have a body and we’d be free souls, but we are on earth to learn and to improve certain aspects that were pending from previous lives, and which you discover as you get older. The idea for me is to be humble enough to see and embrace your limitations, and from there work hard, but not to change them (since I think that everyone’s essence cannot be changed), but to live with them peacefully and try to keep them under control, thus enhancing your advantages and becoming someone more mature, civilized and evolvable.
Ok, it would be all from me, if I forgot something important, feel free to write. Thanx for answering my questions and wish you, let INANNA doing well and let Anu is merciful to you!
Thanks for the interview and greetings to all the metal freaks in Slovakia!!! Hope to see you all on the road in the near future.
Felipe 25. 3. 2010 Mortuary
Beyond Time and Memory