Dany Tee (vocals/drums) and Cristian Yans (guitar), thinking heads of Los Males Del Mundo, answered some questions about the band and the release of Descent Towards Death, their first full-length.
Hello and first of all thank you for your time! How would you describe the band Los Males Del Mundo without using the label “Black Metal”?
Dany Tee (vocals/drums): First of all, thank you very much for this interview.
Cristian Yans (guitar): Well, I think we could describe LMDM as a band that makes extreme metal, but with several elements from different genres that leaks into each compositions, it is an authentic and visceral work full of passion, energy, sadness, anger and despair all poured into music with true dedication, with very emotional lyrics that uses some philosophical ideas to unfold the musical proposal.
Where does this name come from? Is it because you come from Argentina that you decided to have a name in Spanish?
Cristian: The name is an idea that emerges from the concept behind the lyrics. We were always very focused on the musical creative process, and at that time we didn’t have a name for the band until we were almost about to finish the recordings.
Dany: At first we were looking for a short name in English, but nothing creative came to mind, working with Nikita Kamprad (Germany) we thought that perhaps a name in German would be a good idea, but nothing seemed to fit either. Nikita suggested looking for a name in Spanish and at first we doubted about that idea although later when the name Los Males Del Mundo came up, we had no doubts. The name came out from a chat with a friend who was helping us with the translations of the lyrics, he mentioned that the album seems to describe the grief, the sickness, all the things that are twisted and wrong in the world, so that’s when the name comes out like « Los Males Del Mundo » (“the world’s illnesses” in spanish, ed.).
Your first full-length Descent Towards Death is out since more than two months now, did you expect so much positive feedback?
Dany: We are really very happy and grateful for the reception that the album received; And considering In some countries it has been reached more people than in others, for example France is among the european countries in which they have been most interested in our work and to our surprise Latin America has also received it in a very good way, which is something rare since the region always tends to focus on Europe, skipping local releases. But it’s great to know that the album is being heard on several continents and that slowly but constantly is reaching more people.
How does the composition process happen for this album? Was it different from the first EP?
Cristian: Not much, actually the songwriting process was basically the same as for the LP, but the tracks for the EP were the first track we wrote, so maybe as we worked through the whole process we got to know each other better, improving the results as everything flowed, thus achieving greater consistency in the method we used to make the album. The whole creative process has this cyclical way of composing, it’s like a process of comings and goings, since we created the music, the melody, then we experimented the different rhythm patterns, we wrote the lyrics and made the vocal sketches. Sometimes we weren’t 100% sure of the end result, so we went back to change something starting all over again, only then we delved into the details. That was basically the songwriting process. Of course we know it’s not the fastest one, but it’s the one we feel is the best for this project, because after all that strenuous process the resulting music is all connected, since lyrics, vocals, music are creating each other during the whole cycle. And while all the songs were recorded during the same time period, the tracks on the EP were composed at the beginning.
What does inspire you to create music and to write lyrics? It can be bands you like, or something different like art in general, etc…
Dany: I guess what drives us to create music is the music itself, but we dive into ideas that can be triggered by a movie or a book, and we try to be open to art in general, taking all kinds of artistic expression as a starting point that allow us to express something. LMDM is very influenced by the literature that we usually read as well as some philosophical concepts that let us express things in a slightly clearer way in order to put them in our music.
Even if both of you live in Argentina, Nikita Kamprad, the producer and session bass player lives in Germany. Is it easy for you to work with him remotely?
Cristian: Yes, it was very easy, as far as the compositional process was concerned, everything was in charge of the two of us (Except the bass tracks) Nikita, although he was aware of everything we did, participated more than anything as a producer and external consultant. We talked a lot before each recording, but basically to know the best way to do it and then at the mixing so he would have it all set and all would be easier to get a better result. Nikita is an excellent musician but above all he is an incredible producer, he perfectly understood what we wanted to achieve and he has helped us to create in this album the sound that we were looking for. For the next works, he not only will surely be in charge of the production but also we expect we can work together on the composition too, we’ll see how everything flows.
On the album, there are sometimes samples in Spanish. Where do they come from, and why did you choose them to include in your songs?
Dany: They were taken from the famous movie « The Seventh Seal » (Det Sjunde Inseglet), which is a classic within the cinema and was used a thousand times in the Black Metal by many bands. We wanted to use recited voices at the beginning of the album, and the dialogues of that movie are incredible, they are so powerful that they work independently of the context in which the story is based. Those words touch the very essence of the human soul and raise questions about the existence, finitude, and death, and those questions are so well expressed that it was difficult to find something similar. So after doubting whether to incorporate it or not, we decided to go with the Spanish dubbed version, which gives a different touch to the original audio that we all already know, and on the other hand we thought about it as a nice wink to the Spanish-speaking audience that could find in that audio a clue of what will be worked on the lyrics throughout the entire album. That is why it begins and ends with fragments of those dialogues, giving full meaning to each of the phrases that are articulated there.
Your songs are made of weighing melancholy, possessed screams of pain and airy tearful ambiences, how do you manage to create such a dark universe?
Dany: I think they work that way because they are in intimate connection with the lyrics and with the music. The same happens with the guitar for example, that even without words expresses what happens in the lyrics and that is why each song works by integrating the music that way. I think that for this project the vocals can be understood by delving into each line that is expressed there. I tried to be authentic with everything that happened in this album and the vocals are not the exception, and because of that, I had to mentally dive into each emotional state that I wanted to express. Even though it was the most difficult work I made so far, I am very proud of the final result.
Is it easy for you to create and play such intense and emotional music?
Cristian: We worked a lot on this project; it was practically months and months of coexistence in the studio looking for the sound from the beginning, trying to go beyond everything we had done to date. That made us put this work as an exclusive priority during the almost 3 years that it took throughout its composition and recording process, which allowed us to be very connected with the music and with the concept of the album in each of its details. I think that was crucial. We tried to give it all. I did my best in the guitars as Dany did it too with the vocals and the drum programming, he worked with great detail to get a sound as organic as possible.
It took us a long time since each of us worked during the day, and we used the nights to compose and record without interruptions. Practically our life consisted of going from our jobs to the studio and working tirelessly on this album. It was a very intense process and the result is very special for us because of all the effort we put into it.
You collaborated again with the American artist Matt Lombard for the artwork, did you give him some guidelines?
Dany: Not really. We showed him the demos of the album and he loved the idea behind it. He showed us several sessions he had been working on that he thought it would be perfect for the concept of our music, and that’s how it was. We chose some images he gave us that seemed to be very related with our ideas for the album. He is a great artist and a really great guy, his art adds a lot to our music from the EP to the Album and we are very happy to have been able to work with him. Finally the layout was done by Alejandro Morales from Imperfect Design.
Last year, Covid-19 striked the world and postponed a lot of things. How did it affect you as a band?
Cristian: It was a difficult year. We were busy with work issues and that made music take a back seat (Dany for example, he’s a Clinical Psychologist and he was overwhelmed with work since the pandemic started, so he had to put the music on hold for a few months). When this all started, we had just finished all the Descent Towards Death recordings, we just had to wait for Nikita to finish mixing and mastering, and that was around April/May 2020. Today we are trying to get back to the routine, to keep working on our projects, but we are finding it very difficult due to the covid and the local government restrictions. We hope it will be solved soon so we can connect again with the music and be 100% focused to even double the bet.
Do you already have plans for the band’s future that you can unveil us?
Cristian: Right now we are working on the promotion of our first album and I suppose that by the beginning of next year, if the pandemic situation allows it, we will start working on the songs for our second album.
By the way, do you plan to play live with Los Males Del Mundo one day or not?
Cristian: Although LMDM was thought from the beginning as a studio project, we don’t rule out the idea of taking it live, but for this to become a reality a lot of things have to happen. But who knows, it’s a possibility.
What did lead you to the Metal universe back in time?
Cristian: In my case, by family heritage. So I’ve been listening to Metal from a very early age. I started with Kiss, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Dio and Iron Maiden in the mid 80’s and over the years I adapted to the more extreme genres.
Dany: I always liked listening to music, I was always a bit lonely, I am not a sports fan, so as a child my world was music and computers. And that’s how I got into more and more extreme music, since I was a kid I got into Punk Rock, Hard Rock, then Hardcore and gradually Metal, looking for it more and more extreme.
Do you remember the very first time you picked an instrument up? When and how was it?
Cristian: I remember it was for my 14th birthday. I saved money that my parents and grandparents had given me. Without any knowledge, I went to a music house and bought my first low-cost Stratocaster. I remember recording the live videos of my favorite bands on videotape, pausing the tape to see my idols how they put their hands, and imitating their chords, until my family was able to send me to my first lessons.
Dany: My parents bought me a small keyboard when I was very young and that was my first musical instrument, but it was not very constant and although I liked to get some melodies by ear, I didn’t do it dedicatedly, which translated into a horrible performance, so I quit right away. It wasn’t until when I was 17 years old that I started playing the guitar and then everything changed for me.
How is the Metal scene in Argentina? Are there some renowned bands from Argentina?
Dany: The Argentinean scene is very small, you can find mainly Death Metal, Thrash and also Black Metal bands, but BM is the less popular of all genres. The first BM bands had a very raw sound, following in the footsteps of the classic bands that gave birth to the genre in the early 90s. Today, some of them are still active from those years, such as Templo Negro and Windfall. At the same time, there are currently several relatively new bands, but with members of those early bands like Genuflexion, Hermon, Baxaxa, HordaProfana, to name a few, all of those bands have the old 90s raw sound of the early BM scene.
Nowadays you can find some new projects or bands with a more polished sound oriented to something more modern like Demiurgo or Psicosfera that combines dissonant elements in the vein of a Black Metal Avant-garde, there is also Mortuorial Eclipse doing a Symphonic Black Metal with some death metal elements.
Out of this genre I can mention some bands like Plaguestorm (Melodic Death metal), Avernal, Amoklauf (Death Metal), Mostro, Medium, and there’s a few Old School Heavy Metal with great recognition worldwide as Feanor.
Both of you had or still have other projects aside from Los Males Del Mundo, did you notice some changes from the beginning of your musical career and now?
Cristian: We are constantly working on our side projects, and at the same time, we have others in which we both participate, also from Black Metal but quite different from each other. Now we are working on the pre-production of something that we have been developing for a long time, something more direct, with more atmospheric touches. So far we have a composed LP, we need some lyrics to start the recording process.
Do you know the French Metal scene? Do you listen to some French bands?
Dany: Yes, nowadays the extreme metal scene from France is one of my favorites, since it continually generates bands of excellent quality and makes it seems impossible to keep up to date with the huge amount of releases.
Among my favorite bands I could name: Deathspell Omega, Alcest, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Peste Noire, Nocturnal Depression, Aorlhac, Sühnopfer, Les Discrets, Blut Aus Nord, Glaciation, Pensées Nocturnes, Mütiilation, Au Champ des Morts, Nécropole, Penitence Onirique, Khaos Dei, Deluge, Baise Ma Hache, Griffon, Belore.
Do you have some hobbies aside from music? Is music your main job, or do you still have to keep another job to live?
Cristian: During the day we have to take care of our jobs, as you know, it is very difficult to live from music, especially in this genre. I work as an employee in a Sports Federation and Dany is a Clinical Psychologist. In my case, I like reading a lot or going for a walk, but my real passion is music production. The truth is that I spend most of my free time studying as much as I can to improve my skills.
Dany: I like reading but nowadays I almost have no time besides my work as a psychologist and as a musician.
Last question for me: I let you create your dream tour with three bands, in addition to Los Males Del Mundo as openers!
Dany: Well, there are bands that do not usually tour a lot but without a doubt and if dreams is what we are taking here then… It would be an honor to open for bands like Emperor, Mayhem, Watain, Gorgoroth, Alcest or Wolves in the Throne Room, to name a few.
It is time for me to say thank you again for your time and your music! Last words are yours!
Dany: Thank you very much for the interview and the support. And thanks a lot for all the fans who support us by sharing our music.