Friday, January 4, 2013

Interview with Upon Shadows (URY)

Upon Shadows are a very peculiar band from Uruguay. Usually described as Dark Metal, this two-girl band really has a great role on Black Metal scene. Their latest album 7 Chapters just came out in October 2012. So, if you want to know Upon Shadows a bit better, just keep reading the interview with Tamara Picardo.

Even though some websites label Upon Shadows as dark metal and gothic metal, Lachryma Christi decided to include you in the bands to interview as it seems to have a lot more of Black Metal in the band than properly Gothic or dark metal, even though atmosphere is always there. How would you describe the band yourselves?

We like to call our style like Dark Metal because of the mix of elements and influences we have.
Which technically are a fusion between extreme metal and dark music.
But yes we recognize that a big range on it comes from Black Metal side. I would say that Upon Shadows Music is a mix of extreme metal styles with a big presence of keyboards and atmospheric parts and poetic lyrics.

Where did the name Upon Shadows come from? Does it have any special meaning to the band?

Upon Shadows is my personal project and I chose that name because I feel it reflects (in a very easy and fast way), the nature of my music.
Like to say all about my shadows. As I feel my music very emotional and passionate and also intimate in lots of things.

There are not many bands like Upon Shadows, where two girls rule the whole thing and do an excellent job in fact. How do you feel the reaction to the public to that? Do you agree it is an uncommon lineup for the kind of music that you play?
Thank you very much! And yes, is not a very common thing despite nowadays there are lots more women into metal than before.
I think the reaction of the public is diverse, and goes from the very closed minded people who just knowing we are women through out our music without giving a chance of listening, to others who think that presence of women into metal can be good only in progressive or symphonic metal and the real metal lovers who don´t start to search inside the band until the music took their attention and don´t have any kind of prejudgment  Of course this last are the less, but we are proud of them.

There were a few changes in the lineup along the time, can you tell a bit about what happened?

Yes, in the very beginning in 2002, Upon Shadows started as a trio, with Marcelo Aguilar on guitar and vocals.
We recorded our first work on 2003 and then after a long time in silence we recorded a second album in 2009 called "The Huge Circle Of Time", in which I started to do the vocals.
After that we stayed as a duo till now. Natalia Arocena on bass, and me Tamara Picardo on keyboards, guitars, vocals and drums programming.
The main reason to change lineup was the clear miss of interest on the project from his part.
Now after a few years since we are just 2 is very easy to see the difference in the productivity of the band.
While we delayed 6 years between our first album and the second, as a duo we released two album, two Eps, a compilation and some other things around  in 3 years. 

How has been the reaction to the public to your latest album 7 Chapters just released in end of 2012?

7 Chapters was released in October 18th, and we have been getting a great feedback from people all around the world.
This album was mixed and mastered by Julian 'Gobz' Hill in UK.
And was a tremendous honor for us, and specially to me, because his work with The Whores Of Babylon deeply influenced me from my very beginning into music.
Thanks to this, our new album had an important improvement in sounding according to our albums before.
Also the physical edition is the most professionally we had done till now, parting from the fact that is our first release in original CD, not a CDR like the releases we did before. And it comes on a digipack with full booklet.
This album like all our music can be download for free from the links posted in our official pages. 

What are your lyrics about? How are your biggest inspirations?

Upon Shadows lyrics try to be poetic and conceptual. Depending on the album.
In 7 Chapters for example, lyrics basically talks about the process of creation, like the alchemy of suffering into art. And the internal need of keeping our insides safe from the insanity of society, fighting against resignation and frivolity.

As for music itself, how does the composing process works?

Depends on the mode. Sometimes the music comes first, others the lyrics.
In this point I feel totally free since I do the guitars by myself too.
Ant that gave me also new way to understand composition, and new tools to find inspiration, despite I still believe that the songs I compose on keyboards get better structures than the ones I compose on guitars, but yes things are starting to have another sense inside my head thanks to that. 

Since you are a duo, have you ever got session musicians to play live, or have you ever thought about that? 

No, we are not playing live. We both started into music being part of other bands around 1995,
Natalia playing the bass on progressive and heavy metal bands,and I on keyboards for a death metal band.
We both use to play live with those bands and know each other since that. Thanks to that we know lots of musicians here, and have a good relation with the metal world of our country... and yes we think about that sometimes but we didn't find the right time for that. To be prepared for live shows means to invest lots of time on jaming... time that I really prefer to use in keep creating and recording at least for now.

Any band or artist in special you would like to work with in the future? Why?

That is a very hard question for someone like me who doesn't use to dream or have future plans haha
I really don´t know. I have been doing lots of collaborations with other bands from very different countries in the last years.
Will be great for example to do more collaborations with Episcopal Holocaust, which is a very cool one man BM project from Canada, with who I did one of the latest collaborations on vocals for a song included in his upcoming album. Also I deeply enjoyed our collaborative EP with Melankolia and I hope we can do more things together. Apart from that, I´m always open to explore new ways into music. 

How is the metal scene in Uruguay and surrounding areas? How do you see your music in there? How do you feel about spreading your work in other countries and continents such as Europe?

Uruguay is a very little country but full of musicians. Is a place were when you are on stage you know that most of all people listening to you plays in another bands, and as all little countries we know each other. The metal scene was growing with the years and getting better in sounding and quality of recording. Now big bands are coming here too, when in the past those played only in Argentina and Brasil the nearest.
We have a good response from people about our music here, but I have to say that it´s bigger in other countries. And we are happy about being able to spread our music to every corner on the earth where could be someone interested in giving us the chance of listening to Upon Shadows.

What is in store for the near future for Upon Shadows, since the new album just came out?

For now the new album can be download for free or ordered the digipack through our official music pages, and also through Salute Records (Sweden).
We are planing to make some stuff like a t-shirt through Dark Art Conspiracy, in short time.
Apart from that our 2 releases before can be ordered at Satanica Production (New Zealand).
That is according to physical edition, then, all our music can be download for free at :

Any last message you would like to leave? 

First of all, thank you and Lachryma Christi for the interview, we really appreciate it.
And also would like to say thanks a lot for the amazing support and a big hug to all the readers who like us, loves metal more than anything else.  


Tamara Picardo
Natalia Arocena

Latest release:

7 Chapters (2012)

(All photos are courtesy of Upon Shadows)

You can find more information and music of Upon Shadows in:

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