Tears Of Martyr's Miguel Angel Tells Tall Tales....

TEARS OF MARTYR started back in the late nineties in the Canary Islands (Spain). At that time the band had clearly a doom death flavor but they already showed the key elements that can be easily identified nowadays, like the distinctive use of lead voices and classical orchestration arrangements to create their songs. Guitarist and vocalist Miguel Angel Marqués talks about their latest release "Tales" and how they came into making music and getting signed with Massacre Records.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Miguel: Hi and thank you for giving us this chance of sharing the latest news from Tears of Martyr. The band started in the mid nineties in Canary Islands, Spain. We began making some cover songs of the bands we enjoyed at that time, short time later our first songs were written and in 1996 we recorded our first demo called "The Essence of Evil". The band soon grew a name in the local scene within the islands opening for bands like Dark Tranquillity, To-Die For, Swallow the Sun and many more, and also spread to the rest of Spain (2k kilometers away from Canary Islands). It was quite hard to get big as there were few resources and chances to play or tour so continuity was even seriously compromised at some point. After many comings and goings of band members, we decided to move to Madrid in 2007 and the band could finally record our first studio album "Entrance", it was such an important milestone for us. We also played with Epica, Draconian or Dark Moor. Late 2010 Adrian joined the band on bass player duties and Tears of Martyr has remained as a quartet until today. In summer 2012 we recorded "Tales" which has been released 26th April this year by Massacre Records.

2. Why did you get the name Tears of Martyr, does it have a meaning behind it?

Miguel: Yes, I guess there is, it was the answer to a certain state of mind when we were younger. We had an strong classical mythology influence and somehow we saw ourselves like the heroes trying to stand on our feet despite of all the obstacles that fate have had reserved for us… It's not easy don't giving up, so there are tears in between. I think in one way or another, everyone could be identified with this feeling.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Miguel: The band moved to Madrid from Canary Islands in 2007 as it was easier to reach a wider audience and grow a name. In Canary Islands there are a lot of talented artists but is very complicated for any new band (usually little known) to confront the costs of traveling to the continent for any gig or tour. So after being there for like 10 years we moved to Spain mainland, definitely, giving us the chance to spread the word about Tears of Martyr worldwide. 

4. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Miguel: Some say we are a Symphonic/Gothic Metal band, others say we are Operaticor Beauty & Beast… Well, don't know, we do Metal, that is a fact, but we have a lot of different influences. Musically, we have an important heavy-rock background as back when were kids we started listening to bands like Kiss, Dio, Ozzy, Wasp, etcetera and etcetera… I think the way we saw our stories have shaped a lot our music, because the lyrics asked for more elements to go ahead with the play. We needed several voices to put into action the dialogues and the presence of keyboards and orchestral arrangements have become after all these years almost a 'must' in the Tears of Martyr sound.     

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Miguel: As for any writer personal influence is always a source of inspiration, I consider myself a big fan of the Dark Romanticism and the occult, so the lyrics are feed with all that sort of sometimes countered feelings, such as love and hate,hope and despair, fear, death, sadness and a breath of happiness… there could be some message underneath, but no strict message to be sent. We wish the listener could close the eyes and dream whatever they want within the Tears of Martyr universe, perhaps we are sharing the same feelings… that would be something very special.

6. Can you tell me how does it feel to be a part of the Massacre Records family and how did the whole signing process happen?

Miguel: We are very pleased to be part of Massacre Records family! I think it is really satisfying when a label like Massacre trusts in what you have done. I remember myself listening to Crematory and Theatre of Tragedy early albums like 20 years ago, and we are now part of the same family, it is really amazing and it pays the perseverance and all the hard work. 
7. Is there any story or concept behind the Tales title?

Miguel: "Tales" is not a conceptual album itself but a collection of different stories. Each one could stand apart from the others but all of them share the same feel, I like to say they are all somehow neighbors of the Tears of Martyr Universe.

8. Who produced Tales and what was it like working with them?

Miguel: It was produced by Enrik Garcia, it is not the first cooperation between Dark Moor & Tears of Martyr as Berenice has already sung in two Dark Moor albums as special guest, for "Tales" we spoke with Enrik, he had worked with the Orchestral arrangements and also took the producer duties. We recorded the album at New Sin Studios (Italy) with Luigi Stefanini on the controls. It was a really intense recording for all of us, we did our best and there is no need to say we are very happy with the results!

9. Who did the cover art for Tales and how much input did you have on it?

Miguel: It was made by Adrian, so it was kind of a home-made process. After a few drafts,he showed us the concept where the writer is sat in his chair with all histales coming out of his head, it was really cool, so we went for it. I think he did a very good job and the cover feedback comments has been very positive so far.

10. What's your take on Tales as a whole?

Miguel: We are very happy on how "Tales" has turned out. It is well balanced, offers an easy listening and I think the public could really enjoy it. Many reviews have selected different songs as their highlighted, something I think it's a positive sign, that everyone find their own (and different) favorite tracks in "Tales".

11. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Miguel: Mmm… I think I am not the right person to be asked this as for me all are great songs! From the very first notes of The Scent No.13th I am switched to a piece of mind state and a lot memories come to me. I have no particular favorite song… but ok, as I really enjoyed doing "Golem" video I will tick it as my first option at this time. You could check the video in our YouTube channel: youtube.com/tearsofmartyr 

12. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Miguel: For me is very important and in fact at the time I write the lyrics I usually receive flashes like a short series of frames, so for me it is quite a heavy visual working process. I think that consequently, in return, we receive many comments claiming our songs reminds of movie sound scores!

13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of Tales?

Miguel: Nice question! This movie would take place in a very particular universe,a set created just for the occasion. Not all these tales happen in the same age, although some of them (I will not spoil too much so your imagination could fly free) could be quite close in time, just think of a dark metropolis of the 19th Century and its surroundings in a thriller & adventure movie where our main roles are engaged in a plot with an unknown ending...

14. Where is the new material headed?

Miguel: Well, in my opinion "Tales" has established the direction, at least in the way we are approaching the song writing, so I guess there will be a continuity. However we are band who has always being trying new things, I personally get bored doing the same over and over again, so we could maybe experiment some new things for the next album, don't really expect a huge change, but we could maybe twist the script a little.

15. Has Tears of Martyr ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?

Miguel: We have a growing fan base in the States so it would be really cool to schedule some touring there. Is something not easy at this time but we will work hard to make it happen as soon as possible!

16. What are your upcoming plans for this year?

Miguel: Would be really cool to tour with "Tales" as much as possible, so we will try to focus on it and we are also already thinking in new material for the next Tears of Martyr album!

17. Any final words of wisdom?

Miguel: Again, thanks a lot for your support and hope to see the American audience soon! Rock on!

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