Latin American death metal act Corpse Garden, will be releasing their third full-length album "IAO 269", this November via Godz ov War Productions. This release being a brand new yet bolder approach of direction in terms of their music. That said and done, Corpse Garden is just one of the leading metal acts in Central America, having gotten the chance to perform at the Wacken Open Air festival, alongside some of metal's most known acts around the scene. Bassist Carlos Venegas discusses the album, history, influences, music style, and what the future will bring them.
1. Give a brief history of Corpse Garden, music style, and the members.
Carlos: Corpse Garden was formed in the year 2008, with a very different line up and vision than the one we have in this present time. The former inception of the band was more akin to traditional death metal; with several line-up changes and the coagulation of the current one, a lot of things changed drastically around the music, lyrics, aesthetics, concept and the overall spirit of the group. Now we tried to experiment a lot more and fuse the influences of every member without trying to actually label what we want to achieve. Everything is more abstract that’s for sure.
2. How did the band come up with the name Corpse Garden? Does the name actually refer to an actual Corpse Garden?
Carlos: The band’s name comes originally from the first line-up. It’s a symbolic representation of our existential place in this material world. We all are corpses or flesh vessels for our spirits in this Garden we call Universe.
3. Give in more detail, some information about your latest album "IAO 269" and why you wanted to take this album into a new and bolder direction?
Carlos: With our previous album "Entheogen" we started to flirt with all sort of different ideas, music and concept wise. This time around we definitely had a clearer path of what we wanted to achieve and the energies we were set to conceive.
From the starting point we were convinced that we needed a more organic and bolder production. For this reason, among others, we decided to record at a live context, and Colin Marston’s Menegroth Studios was the first option in our collective mind, and the perfect choice to achieve just that. The whole album was recorded, mixed and mastered in 2 weeks, all the live takes were ready just in one day, and many of the final versions that end up in the album are first takes actually. With "IAO 269" was a priority for us not to aim for perfection, but authenticity.
4. What is the music scene like where you are from and are there any acts in particular you could talk about?
Carlos: We certainly think that a music scene is more than just bands and music. A scene for us is built from the seeds of authentic movements and individuals that are set to accomplish that for the sole love of
art, consequently conforming a truly collaborative spirit along many kinds of efforts that should grow naturally to be the stepping stones of the formation of a real movement, or “scene” as you wish.
Unfortunately, with the kind our music we create, there’s not a lot of that here in our country, in spite there’s actually a lot of great bands and records released every year, the spirit it’s just not there. However, there’s a lot of potential to create an authentic scene (like the punk scene here in our country), but some variables have to change radically just to be in the right path.
Bands like Pseudostratified Epithelium, Advent of Bedlam, Culto Negro, Odio Eterno, Morbid Stench, Insepulto, Inhuman, Alastor Sanguinary Embryo, Exacerbacion, Chemicide, Erth, all from Costa Rica; And Juventud Podrida (Panama), Equinoxio (Panama), Hez (Panama), Abatuar
(Panama), Maleficia (Nicaragua), Conceived by Hate (Salvador), Disorder (Salvador), Necropolis (Guatemala) are some of the established names that comes to my mind when we talk about extreme music in this region.
Carlos: We have released two singles so far to promote the new album. The first being Selenomantic Ecstasies, and the second one the album’s title track "IAO 269". At the moment there are no plans for future video clips or the publishing of another track, but as always, nothing is written in stone.
6. Your new album will be released through Godz ov War Productions, tell more about that?
Carlos: Yes, indeed. This will be our first exclusive album release with Godz ov War Productions. We worked with them previously, for the cassette release of Entheogen, and suffice enough, we were extremely happy with the outcome of this very limited release. For this reason, we talked with Greg from GOWP when we were just about to start the post production of our new album. Everything flowed naturally and the interest to release "IAO 269", with GOWP was authentic from both sides. We think Godz ov War Productions is a great label and that is reflected in their current roster. We certainly are very appreciative for the trust they put in us with this release. "IAO 269" will be published in CD, vinyl, cassette and digital formats in November of 2017.
7. What inspires Corpse Garden's music and lyrical writing?
Carlos: We can go on with this question all day long, because the inspiration comes from very different sources and we surely have a big canvas of influences for that matter. We are inspired by many forms of music, metal and non-metal, as well many art forms besides music.
Lyric wise, we deal and study in our everyday life’s with all sorts of different subjects concerning alchemy, consciousness, occultism, magick, surrealism, Spiritism, spiritualism, psychology just to name a few. Knowledge has no boundaries and is our responsibility to reflect our knowledge in the lyrical content of our work.
8. Can you throw some light on your musical influences and how they affect the music that you create as musicians?
Carlos: As I stated before, we sport a wide range of influences under our sleeves. It’s important for us to embrace the essence of death metal, but at the same time being open and honest with the rest of our influences.
We always enjoy unique, abstract, extreme, progressive, primal, psychoactive and free music; so you can imagine that the aforementioned adjectives apply for a wide variety of musical forms.
9. What does the band plan on doing in mean time?
Carlos: Currently we are working with the promotion of the new album, with all that that implies. We definitely are making efforts to establish a touring scheduled for next year. Corpse Garden is eager to play these new songs to as many people we can, so aiming to put together an American tour (Central, South, and North America) as well a European tour in 2018 is definitely a priority for us right now. We just have to define all the possible dates and evaluate our course of action. More related info coming soon.
10. Any message to our readers?
Carlos: First of all, thank you for taking your time for the interview, we really appreciate this space to let our word out. To everyone that support our art, a big thank you as well; We feel the utmost gratitude to all the supporters that have accompanied Corpse Garden through the years. We are eager to unfold "IAO 269" to all of you, as we have certainly put a lot of sweat, blood and tears to this release. Stay tune for more news.