Mithras interview (05/2007)
|Conducted by:||Herzebeth (e-mail)|
The thing is, well...here's the interview!
-Hello I'm Francisco Eguiza from Metal Storm. To begin with I want to thank you for allowing me to do this short Interview, and of course for giving your fans a chance of reading a little more about Mithras, so thank you very much!
Leon: No worries, from a quick scan of the questions i'm sure it's going to be amusing Francisco
-Let's hope so...Now, let's break the ice; as an introduction, can you please explain your project to us?
Leon: Yeah sure, Mithras formed in 1998, we play atmospheric brutal extreme metal, in a nutshell. There's only 2 members in the band, myself Leon Macey (guitars/drums) and Rayner Coss (oratory/bass).
-Isn't Mithras actually an ancient roman God whose worshippers used to have intense orgies in dark caves while the "Heliodromus" was giving orders and the "Pater" was carving images of Bulls being killed?
Leon: Yeah that's right apparently (well, i'm not so sure about the orgies given Mithras was only worshipped by men).
-Then how exactly does the Mithras concept matches with your music?
Leon: It doesn't directly, we don't have lyrics about Mithraism in the ancient roman sense, but we did write a reasonable amount about history from that time period on our 1st album 'Forever Advancing...... Legions', which is what we were doing when we chose the name. We liked the fact that Mithras was a hidden god and that members of the sect were privy to hidden knowledge, and a lot of other things about the deity really, him being a mediator between different "worlds" etc.
-Ok enough with Folk things! Let's talk about something solid, how are things with your new album?
Leon: Really good. We're extremely happy with the new album 'Behind The Shadows Lie Madness' and how it came out, after a turbulent genesis. People seem really into it so far, which is great.
-I already heard it and I personally think it's a freaking masterpiece, though your music changed in some levels (this one's more digestible to say one thing), how did you welcome those changes?
Leon: Well I'm really pleased you like it so much, that's fantastic! Yeah i'd say you're right that it's more digestible. We didn't want to do another album exactly the same as 'Worlds Beyond The Veil.', and the natural progression was to do something more in your face and brutal, heavier, more direct and less obtuse. I think a lot more people will be able to understand this new one, whereas a lot of people didn't understand 'Worlds...' at all.
-Do you think this is the best album you've released so far and the best thing you could do for a new record?
Leon: Hmm that's quite a hard question to answer. I know it's got my best drum performance so far, and has the best "production" and mix we've ever achieved, in terms of it being how we envisaged it prior to starting recording. All our albums are quite different, and each one represents where we were at that time. We've obviously progressed as musicians between albums, but in my opinion each album is performed really well, and i couldn't for example go back and record them now better than they were at the time. I do however feel this album and the material on it is a perfect follow up to 'Worlds...'
-Was it difficult to record an album like this one? Talk a little about the recording sessions.
Leon: It was actually a lot easier than 'Worlds...' to record. We recorded, mixed and mastered the entire album in my own studio this time around, so it was really convenient and we didn't have any studio time constraints. Lee du-Caine came in to mix the album at the end which was great as I'd completely lost the plot by that point and we needed a fresh set of ears as it were. The drums actually took a lot less time to record than normal and were completed in under 12 hours in total I think.
-What about the lyrical content, language is often misapprehended mostly when it means interpreting someone else's idea. Mithras chooses to write about complex thoughts and ideas instead of common things, why? And what do you really want to express with your words?
Leon: Yeah that can be true of lyrics. The lyrics on our albums are basically an intertwined story, with sci-fi and fantasy elements. The story basically follows a character on a journey throughout our last 2 albums. However, we write all our lyrics so people can take multiple meanings from them, and so they don't absolutely have to buy into the story aspect, the songs have a lot of open metaphor and suggestion, and touch on "classic" story ideas, so anyone can enjoy them.
-Are you trying to make people feel smarter?
Leon: Haha, i don't think we're trying to make people "feel" smarter, i don't think our lyrics are that highbrow or anything. I think they're pretty simple really.
-So far how the press and the fans have reacted towards this album?
Leon: So far nearly everyone seems to love the album. A lot of people seem to think it's even better than 'Worlds...' which I guess is fantastic also. We've had some great reviews and it seems to be doing better than ever for us.
-So, Mithras is Rayner Coss and Leon Macey, how did this couple come up?
Leon: Basically we formed the band back in 1998, other members came and went and we were the only ones dedicated enough to stick it out. We've been playing music together in bands for 11 years now, so it's cool and we work together well.
-Do you love each other?
Leon: Yeah of course we do, why do you think we're been in a band for so long together?
-Have you ever been so drunk and wasted that you accidentaly kissed your band-mate in the mouth?
Leon: No, but if you're into that kind of thing there's magazines you can buy.
I see you've been talking with my enemies...hehehe...
-The band has a very "artsy" and a very "mature" vibe within its concept and overall presentation, does that mean you don't make fart jokes with your friends?
Leon: Considering the amount of farting Rayner does, if i wasn't able to make a joke out of it, we'd have killed each other years ago!
Damn good answer!
-Let's talk about other issues, how are things working with your new (big) label? You're now with Candlelight Records, is it everything you hoped it to be? Your dream come true?
Leon: Things are going fine. The reason we signed with Candlelight was that it'd mean our music was available on a much wider scale and it sure is. They re-released both our previous albums also which is great and we're looking forward to seeing how this new one does.
-I've heard the guys from Candlelight Records never bathe just to have a suave yet very metal look, and that they use corpse-paint to pick up chicks, is that true?
Leon: No comment
-From the albums you've released, which song is the one that will haunt you forever as the best song you've ever played, the song that will make you say 'Damn I'm so proud of that song' the day you die?
Leon: Probably 'Psyrens' from 'Worlds Beyond The Veil' as that song came out unbelievably well, but hopefully i'll do something even better one day. I guess also the lead from the end of 'As The Wind Blows' on our first album also.
-Ok, now to a more serious question, you released your first full-length in 2002 if I'm not mistaken; 5 years later, does writing, performing and executing music is as exciting now as it used to be then?
Leon: Yeah that's right. I guess the main difference from now to then, is back then we always thought we needed to get extra members in the band for us to "get anywhere" but that's proved to be totally untrue. I personally hit a high point in terms of excitement when writing 'Worlds...' but I guess that was down to a lot of other factors in my life at the time. We still really enjoy knocking the tracks out both in rehearsal and when recording in the studio, the feeling of making an album is like no other really.
-How do you see and feel your past, your evolution? (music and life wise)
Leon: Musically i'd say we've become more original over the years and really found our own niche as time has gone on. It's really interesting to look back and see where we were at a particular time and to see what obstacles we had to overcome, and I guess this applies to our personal lives also. We're obviously not 18 anymore like when we formed the band so things have changed greatly since back then and we've got our own businesses and families.
-Now to the mandatory part, please inform us about current and future tours, also where can we buy your new album and cool T-Shirts? Are you currently planning a big promotion tour for this new album?
Leon: Well you can buy our new 'Behind The Shadows' t shirts from our webstore - http://mithras.bigcartel.com You should be able to pick up our album and most good stores, whether online or otherwise. We'd like to do some shows to support this album, but it'll depend on whether we can get able enough session musicians in, so only time will tell.
-How do you expect and want the people to see Mithras from now on?
Leon: It'd be cool if people dig what we do and enjoy our music, it makes it all worthwhile.
-Let's do a little experiment before we go, I'll write some words and you'll answer anything you want without thinking much of course, this is always a popular feature in my Interviews!
Journey: 'The Journey And The Forsaken' - first track on our new album
Behind The Shadows...: - Lie Madness. As I trek across these ruined lands, in the distance are strange sounds. In dark skies there shine unearthly lights, Formless beings haunt the nights....
Imperator: Emperor in times of war in ancient rome. Good band name too.
God: Man's ego or manifestation of the same? Or is "God" a universal being of some sort? Maybe "God" is just a stupid abstract concept.
Life: A strange journey with hopefully many enjoyable meetings along the way...
Metal: The riddle of steel!
-I guess I'll cut this interview now, I don't want you to stay up late answering my cheesy questions, so I'll ask my last question. You've released a new album, your fanbase grew enormously nowadays, you're on a big label roster now, generally speaking you're doing better than ever in your career progress, do you deserve this? Why?
Leon: Yeah we definitely deserve it, because we put all the hard work in when most people "in bands" were sitting on their lazy fat arses watching tv and doing absolutely fuck all. They say "all good things come to those who wait" but that's complete bollocks, you have to go out and make what you want to happen happen. Creation happens through an act of will, not the lack thereof.
-And most important, do you want more?
Leon: I'm really not sure now.. the idea of sitting in front of the tv is looking more appealing now,.. where did you put my slippers and dressing gown?
-Well, thank you very much for answering even the stupid questions, I hope to see you soon on tour (I'm from Mexico don't forget), this is YOUR interview, so please, for your fans and readers, close this publication in the best way possible.
Leon: Thanks very much for the entertaining and intelligent interview and hail to all the extreme music fanatics in Mexico. Don't forget to buy our album and t-shirts, and join our message board at www.mithras.org.uk/phpBB2/index.php
-Thank you and Good Luck!
Leon: Likewise, cheers Francisco!
Special thanks to Dave...
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