Otoño the Requiem Ghosts....

Otoño is a project that was started by two guitarists, Eldred and Bangulo, in 2003. In the early years of Otoño , these two friends would jam to their favorite metal bands as teenagers such as Metallica, Slayer, and Diamond Head. After several years of jamming and having various line-ups that were
unsuccessful, in 2008 they finally found their third member, Angel (bassist/vocalist). With more mature musical influences, the band finally found their own unique sound which can only be described as a fusion of death, black, and thrash metal with progressive elements. With a new member and a more focused musical aspiration, Otoño decided to record their debut album called “Ghosts of Smoke” (2008) which showcases the band’s body of work from their early days up to the present.

1. What type of band are you guys?
Eldred: we have been described as melodic death metal. There is alot of guitar and bass melodies with growling vocals.

Angel: We're a metal band that loves music. We take all the styles we like and blend them.
Bangulo: We are what I call jokingly a "Mixed Metal Arts" band. Also I've seen on some pirating
websites that we are labeled as "Fusion Death Metal." We are just a metal band that plays many styles of metal in one song or separate songs, usually with a growling Vocal style. Sometimes we use Eldred's or Angel's clean vocals or higher pitch screams/growls.

2. Can you give me a brief summary as to how you guys came to be?

Eldred: Bangulo and I met about 15 years ago while working at a local arcade. we started jamming together playing Metallica and Slayer, stuff like that. We didn't really start writing music together until years later. Angel is Bangulo's cousin so when he was available, we asked him to play bass and do growling vocals. fortunately he said yes. Since then we have been writing original songs, and I think our individual styles blend very well together. We don't have a drummer so I program all the drums and synth and we play to it on an mp3 player.
Bangulo: 15 years ago!?! Time fly's!

3. How did the band get it's name does the name mean or represent anything?
Bangulo: Otoño is the word for the season autumn in Spanish, since me and Angel are Mexican American and Eldred liked that name as well we stuck with it.

Angel: And we were looking for a name to fit the atmosphere and style of our music. Otoño rolled off the tongue nicely and fit well.

4. Who are your musical influences?
Eldred: Opeth, Gwar, Metallica, Randy Rhoads, Sepultura, Persefone, Michael Nyman.

Angel: This list can go on for a while. Opeth is the big one. Machine Head, Buckethead, Red Sparowes.
Bangulo: Currently I'd say. Andy James, Persefone, Diabolical Masquerade, Dan Swanö, Opeth, Agalloch, its always changing.

5. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Angel: As lame as this might sound, but love and heartbreak are two big lyrical themes. It's easy to write lyrics when you've been there. I also enjoy the challenge of writing about something I've never
experienced or don't know a whole lot about. We're also heavily influenced by film and other types of art. As well as nature and the seasons,  but life is the main topic we tend to write about.

Bangulo: Some themes are also based off horror movies.

6. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Eldred: we all write material, seperate, mostly. We typically will use a midi program to keep a record of the music, and then I program the drums.

Angel: We write our own material, but we enjoy a good cover song once and a while. The writing process generally starts with one of us tabbing out some music in a program then emailing it to the others to learn, add or change up any of the music. Once we've all learned our respective parts we play it in practice as a whole. Very different writing process, but it works well.

Bangulo: Yeah, We all write our own songs usually, Then I will add solos to most of the songs. They usually leave markers where they want solos. Sometimes Angel will have a melody for a solo and tell me to build on that. Angel usually writes all the bass lines for the songs. So, usually we write the basis of our own songs and then we each add our own part to them. Usually nothing majorly changed just add a little more "Zazz". Eldred usually writes most of the drum tracks. I hate programming drums and he enjoys it, so it works out well.
Eldred: Most of the time I enjoy it. haha.

7. Tell me about the song "Dark Shores (A Requiem for Annabelle)" and why you wanted this song to be your single.
Eldred: I wrote the music for "Dark Shores," a good friend of mine actually wrote the interlude rhythms years ago when we were in a punk band together and Angel wrote the lyrics, and as always, Bangulo came up with a couple badass guitar solos.

Angel: Originally Eldred wrote this song with the intention of it being instrumental. When Bangulo heard it he said it had a Pirate feel to it, so Eldred asked me to write lyrics involving Pirates. I wrote tragic love lyrics and they dug them... To me the song works well as a single because it really showcases the band. The ferocity, the breakdowns and the melodies of the music, the solos and everything in between.

Bangulo: The song had a huge pirate feel to me, when i first heard the main riff On the midi file there was a cymbal that sounded like waves crashing on a ship or lightning strikes, so it gave me even more of a pirate visual, mentally. I think its a crash or splash on the actual recording now.To the point haha, We usually have some song sitting that we have finished or near finished and since it was a love story near Valentine's day, we decided to release it for free on Valentine's day. 

8. Can you tell me about your album "Ghost of Smoke".

Eldred: It's mostly a mix of a bunch of songs we had, so we put them all on an album. Its pretty diverse as far as "genres" are concerned. Some of the songs even go back over 10 years from when we were in high school.

Bangulo: The album started out with us basicly learning how to record, We actually had little to no knowledge of how to record when we started. We probably re-recorded the album 3 or 4 times, "Bone Crusher," I think, was the first song we recorded. I remeber playing it in Eldred's car and we were excited that it actually sounded like a real recording haha. Back then most bands had demos and you could tell that it sounded like it was recorded using one mic, etc. or people went to a studio and spent money on recording. But we did this entire album in his room back in 05-08. I was out a state for a few years in between there so that kinda took most of the spacing between years. About 75% in, we needed someone to do vocals as we had none except for "Can't Hide" Eldred had already done vocals for that. The songs were all instrumental, So I asked Angel who is also my cousin to join since he wasn't in any band at the time. We didnt have any bass, so he brought that. Then we asked if he wanted to try growling vocals, He never had done it in his life before, So basicly what you hear in the recording is him about 1 month into learning to growl.

9. What inspired the album title? Is it a concept album?
Eldred: The name "Ghosts of Smoke" actually came from a Dean Koontz novel, describing a character blowing out a candle. I thought that it would be a great song title, and then it just turned in to the album title as well.
10. Was your songwriting and recording process any different than usual for this CD?
Eldred: This was our first recording, but we are pretty much using the same process for our upcoming music. We have better recording equipment now so the quality of the recordings will just get better.

11. What are your expectations for the CD?

Bangulo: Well, its been out for a while, But never really got any exposure. We are now just pushing it out there.I am not sure what people will think of it, because it's so mixed, but people always say great things about it, which is good. We have had one or two poor reviews but we also had some great ones. Usually the negative is on the production quality. But if you saw what we used to record it and how we did haha, It would probably be more appreciated. We have better equipment and software and know how. So we are getting that covered.
12. Do you have plans for any new music?
Eldred: we're working on it!!!!

Angel: We have plenty of new music in the works ;)
Bangulo: We have tons of music, Its just recording it and putting it in the correct album and order.

13. What are your upcoming plans for this year?
Eldred: We will have new music out this year, including an EP of originals and covers all based on horror movies.
Bangulo: Some more shows as well!

14. What do you hope for in 2013?
Eldred: to win the lotto :p... play as many shows as we can, get our music out there and gain new fans, collaborate with other bands and support local music!!!!
Angel: Get some gigs and get our name out there. Promote ourselves and other local music.
Bangulo: Gain more exposure! it's just about finding the metal heads that will enjoy our music! So many different styles that it kinda divides the culture, I know people who only listen to power metal, or only death metal, or only thrash or some who don't like growls to people that like metal but would hate each others library of music haha. Its all about getting it to the right people who will enjoy it. in the 80s the only separation was Metal and commercial hair metal. So it was a larger community to pull from back then.

15. Is that your final answer?
Eldred: I'm locking it in. Final answer.

Angel: Can I use a life line? Thanks for the interview!

Bangulo: "Thinking Bad, Fire Bad! Fire Bad!" Thanks!

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