A little while ago I was sent a huge package from Colombia containing a whole load of cool bands. CHARM DESIGNER was not one of these bands. But that doesn’t stop me from checking them out Interview answered by vocalist/guitarist Andrés Herrera (AH) and bassist Diego M. Giorgi (DM).
You have one of these names that does not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
DM: Well, actually it was part of an introspection process which had place back when we were close to have our first show as a band and were defining our line and purpose, after a first era with a different name, sound and overall feeling…and it basically sums up the purpose (what we wish to accomplish with our music) and the method (the way we choose to do it) and the combination of those words was the one that sounded and expressed the concept the better for us back then.
And well, other possible connotations were (deliberately) kind of ignored at the time, so I can get when someone gets a bit confused by it every now and then…
Could you give us a short introduction to the band?
DM: We’re a band from Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, formed in 2002. Since the project already started from a band that I had before with other people, we already had an idea of the line we wanted to follow in terms of intentionality and style. We’ve always wanted to create music committed way more with feeling than virtuosity, so over the years we’ve been developing a melodic sound, which is commonly associated with doom and gothic metal. Since 2006 we’ve been working as a 4 piece, and after some line-up changes, the band has been able to keep its creative core for several years.
We had our first demo out on 2006 and our first production Blood Sounds was released on 2008. It was until this year that we were able to make our comeback with our new album, Everlasting.
What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
DM: I don’t know if there is such a thing for us, actually…but we as a band definitely share a special influence from the doom/gothic sounds from the early nineties, even if we all came from slightly different rock/metal backgrounds as individuals. Nevertheless, genre pioneers such a Paradise Lost or early Anathema come to mind, frequently.
What is the scene like in your area? Do you feel that you are a part of a scene?
DM: We’re kind of reappearing on the national scene by now with the new album after some years of silence and even if we’ve had quite a good response from both people who have been in it for some time and a new generation of followers as well, we still can notice that the movement has lost some ground during the last few years, so we’re trying to do our part to its vindication. However, our metal scene has never been too supportive to this kind of styles, so it is not easy.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
DM: I think that could be true in a way. However, nowadays we have this overwhelming amount of bands and projects all over the place, each and every day, so it’s just not enough. You really have to be something else to make that statement real and stand out…to really feel that you’re part of something bigger.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
AH: Well, it has to be with a lot of concept content, sober and straight to the point. I think we have a similar idea when you see and appreciate music, simple but full of meaning and intention. We were pretty happy when our concept artist made the cover of Everlasting, that kind of projection and relation with our lyrics and tunes was perfect, so we can proudly give our album cover as a great example.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
AH: Like everything, I think this duality has advantages and disadvantages, for some promotion and reaching corners of the world, the digital world has become a great resource to spread your music and recruiting fans. On the other side, people are not buying physical like before so all the music industry has changed, we could even notice it when planning our production, rates in studio, production, a lot of costs have changed, so I’d say that is not exactly killing it but changing it a lot.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
AH: Unfortunately, our country has been focused on making concerts for free for more than two decades, which at the beginning it could sound great for promotion and attendance, but through the years, fans in general have got used to not supporting bands when they sell CDs or play with a cost even if they are low, that affects even international shows, low attendance in local concerts and some international bands with underground profiles skipping our cities and heading straight to countries like Brazil, Chile and Argentina, event promoters and bands are afraid to organize shows because they don’t represent profits, in my personal opinion we don’t have good options speaking about venues, not sure if that is also a result of the issue mentioned above.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
AH: We see it more a happening, there is a kind of philosophy of professionalism in the shows, we take it seriously and a high level of commitment is shown from the staff to the musicians, probably it is more difficult to enjoy the moment because of the stress and reaching the perfection of the show or feel like “rockstars” in the backstage, but of course, after the show we take the chance to have fun and collect the rewards of having a good performance.
What would you like to see the future bring?
AH: We are really grateful with the results of the new album, to make it better? we would like to see some of our plans in short and long terms achieved, we would like to see more chances to play live in the promotion time of the album, and in the long term, it would be nice to have the chance to record an album in the same conception that we had with Everlasting, to record an album with the tranquility that we did our best, and that it could not have been better in the time that was made.