Desoluna – Interview –
Hello and Welcome to Acier Doux , could you give us an introduction to your band: Desoluna ? Do not hesitate to introduce a long biography since most of your readers probably don’t know about the band ?
Desoluna is a gothic doom metal band from Malmö, Sweden. The signature of the sound is dark and heavy but yet melodic. Desoluna was founded by me, Patrick Shadowland (ex-Desolate, ex-Clapatria) in 2009 as a solo project. I felt that it was time to create something new after my previous band had disbanded. In early 2013, Nadia Montes joined in on vocals. She had sung and played acoustic music in the past but wanted to take things a step further. That is when me and Nadia decided to join forces and make music together. Our band´s first demo “The Desolate Years” was finally released in September 24, 2013, featuring Mithun MK (Silent Images, ex-Deus ex Machina) on guest vocals. The demo consists of previously unreleased songs, recorded during the time when I played with my former band Desolate. Me and Nadia felt that we needed to be develop and finally release these songs, as Desolate is the origin of Desoluna. In September the same year, Robin Nilsson (ex-Clapatria) joined Desoluna on rhythm guitar and later on changed to his main instrument, bass, but quit in late 2015. Olle Andreasson (Orthagaz) joined the band temporarily to fill in on drums during the bands live gigs in early 2015. Later it was decided that he should join on a permanent basis. With him, we felt that we finally found the missing piece in the puzzle, a feeling that was mutual. The band’s full-length “Fortitude” was released October 9, 2015. In June 2016 Michael “Migge” Levin (ex-Snobbslakt) replaced Robin on bass. And that´s how the gloom journey for Desoluna started.
Has the name Desoluna got a particular meaning or did you choose it because it sounds good? How would you qualify your band’s music ?
Desoluna is a mix of the word Desolate, and the latin words sol and luna (sun and moon). Desolate was my first band, a gothic metal band that was created in the mid 1990s. Desoluna is now re-recording some of these songs. Between Desolate and Desoluna I had the band Clapatria, a symphonic gothic doom metal band. But yes, I think it sound good too. Desoluna’s music is heavy, dark, melancholic, often sad, sometime atmospheric, sometimes fast but more often slow and doomy.
The band music is technical, are you able to move on stage? Doesn’t this technical side obliges you to stay up as coatstands while Dooming ?
No problem with headbanging, as long as we are comfortable with our riffs and solos (that is of course required before entering the stage). And we wouldn’t even try to dance. 🙂 The technical side of playing the songs is never the main feature in our kind of music though; it is the atmosphere and emotions that are most important.
How is the swedish Gothic Doom Metal scene? I noticed there are quite a lot of bands? Do you enjoy the melodic side of Malmo’s Metal ?
Most gothic doom bands I was inspired with derives from Britain; Paradise Lost, My Dying Brideor Norway , Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania. In Sweden we have Candlemass of course, and Isole, but they play traditional doom. Tiamat and Draconian are probably the most famous still active gothic doom bands in Sweden. I think we are the only band that plays gothic doom metal in Skåne (the region where the city of Malmö is). There are quite a lot of bands in Malmö, but by some reason very few of them have become famous outside the city. Stockholm and Gothenburg, and even Helsingborg have much better music scenes. But I hope that will change in the near future.
Is there very often some good gigs in Sweden ? Can you give us your vision of an Desoluna’s gig?,Have you got a special history about a fact that would have happened during and Desoluna’s gig ?
Many famous bands have played in Malmö the latter years, like Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Dream Theater. Paradise Lost have played about 12 times here. But then we have many great Swedish bands that I would like to see, that refuse to play in Sweden, like Tiamat and Therion for example. They play in Germany, USA and Latin America instead. There are
also opportunities for less known bands to have gigs, but there is a great rivalry to get those gigs, and often commercial bands (cover bands, garage rock and metalcore for example) get booked in the end at venues, instead of alternative bands, like doom bands.A Desoluna gig is like a special story of it´s own but of course there a few anecdotes. Like the one time we played a gig at Hässleholm with two other bands and an elderly lady clearly didn´t like us. Either didn´t like our music or metal music in general because all of a sudden she yelled “thank god for dance music!”. That was actually a great compliment for us to hear that ! Desoluna’s goal for every gig is to be able to create a special atmosphere and to not play the same gig twice. I think it is very boring with bands that act exactly the same during every gig.
What does Gothic Doom Metal means for you ?
Very much. I am much into progressive metal, rock, thrash metal and other music styles as well but still that is the most interesting genre. Gothic doom and other gothic music is about to express feelings and emotions, instead of being as tough or happy as possible, or trying to create a fake image, and that is very appealing to me.
How many times do you rehears in a week ? Is it easy to find a decent rehearsal room and motivated musicians in Sweden ?
We rehearse about once a week, the only reason we don’t rehearse more is because of geographical differences. The drummer lives in Halmstad and the bass player in Northern Skåne, so we have to practice a lot on our own between the rehearsals. But thanks to today’s technique with music programs and internet that is no problem.It can be hard to get a private rehearsal room, the waiting time can be years, but if you are satisfied with borrowing equipment, you can get one immediately. In Sweden we have something called studying circles (studiecirklar) that means you can get compensation for a large amount of the rent for the rehearsal studio, that would otherwise be too expensive for many band that don’t play radio friendly music. About motivated musicians; well, it is said we have more musicians per capita than any other country, still it can take years to find the right musicians, especially drummers. Many musicians don’t have the skill, time or endurance that it takes to play in a serious band. They don’t realize how much energy and time they have to spend until they try to join. Some people don’t even show up, and think they will get a new chance. Forget it! In Desoluna we are all serious, and have the same goals.
I see You are playing for the Shadowland band too , any coming releases , you can’t be shy to tell me more ?
Shadowland is my solo project with some guest musicians (Mikael Häll from Scourge of Creation and Sleeping Majesty, Nadia Montes from Desoluna), where I play all instruments and program the drums. I call the style dark metal, a mix of dark metal styles like death, gothic, doom, progressive and black. Shadowland just released the debut album Condemned to Perdition. The theme is mankind’s decay and judgement day. We stand at the edge of the world, at that will be even more obvious when you read the lyrics! There are no plans to play the songs live, but I am right now writing and recording new material for Shadowland. You can find the music here:
Do you think a band can achieve the fact of “taking on” the underground while forgetting one of these two ways of promotion ? Do you think these two ways of promotion are indisociable ?
I don´t think so. First of all, you have to work really hard to become a name even when it comes to the local underground scene. Even if you belong to the lucky ones that have a large network, every channel to promote yourself is valuable if you really are serious in imprinting your name to the public. That´s why bands have backdrops for example, to make the audience remember you. Only the arrogant ones or bands who don´t have any ambitions could perhaps afford to ignore any kind of promotion. At least that is the situation today.
What do you think about the zines that ask the same questions to all the bands? Did you mentally prepare yourself to submit to a lot of interviews of this kind ?
Actually we don’t have that many interviews yet, but some radio interviews are planned this year. It is always fun to answer questions. I think it will be more personal if zines ask different questions for each band.
These last words are yours ? Thanks for having taken the time to answer !
Thanks a lot for offering the interview ! We have a new EP out soon, titled Rejection of Rejoice. It is currently in the mixing progress. This will be our first recording with the current line-up. Meanwhile, you can buy our full-length album, Fortitude, through our CD Baby site and Famous last words: Stay melancholic and embrace your sorrow !
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher