I came upon EL CUERVO DE POE by chance seeing a flyer on Facebook about a female metal voice festival. I looked them upon, checked them out and knew I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I do not speak any Spanish so could you please explain the choice of name?
-Well basically the name is inspired on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”. As we all may know, this was one of this author’s prime creations. We felt pretty identified with this one, mostly because of the subjects it talks about, which are, in some way, the subjects we tend to handle in our lyrics.
This is something that I keep returning to simply because I find it fascinating to find out why people play the music they do. What was it that drew you to gothic metal?
-In our most personal point of view, I’d say it was the beauty-and-the-beast-kind-of feeling you get with this genre, for it is rough, yet it’s got beauty within all of it at the same time. It’s balanced. And balance, if you get to know us better, you’ll find that it’s something that defines us and our lives.
Where did you look for inspiration? Is there a Mexican gothic tradition to speak of?
Yeah, I guess every culture around the globe has got it’s very own dark side. We humans, we all got a dark side within, it’s part of our nature. And we know that gothic style tends to embrace in some way, that dark side we all got, so you could say we Mexicans got a bit of that as well. “La Llorona” (or “The Crying Woman” in English) could be some sort of a Mexican gothic legend, so we made a cover song, metal version, out of it.
Had I not come upon a flyer on Facebook I would not have known of you. How hard is it to reach outside of Mexico and into the conscious of the rest of the metal world?
-As with pretty much everything else, it is hard, pretty hard I guess, but it’s all about education in the end, it gives us the means and options to follow and work on it. We get contacts, we work on it. We are forced to be disciplined with this if we want to move on forward, and we all know that is not an easy path. Especially nowadays that bands around the world are forced to be independent for a wide variety of reasons, and being independent basically means: “you gotta work your ass out of it if you want to get known”. But we fully enjoy it.
How do you use the social media the best to maximize the outcome?
-Social media has become one of the greatest tools for every project nowadays (if not, the best tool). We use it to inform our fans of our gigs in their city, we use it to sell merch, our albums, among many other stuff. Hundreds of people get to hear our music and know our name daily just with a single click. We can even get money out of those clicks sometimes. So yeah, social media is something every band or project needs today to maximize the outcome in every way.
I do not like digital releases. I am a physical kind of guy. What is your opinion about digital v/s physical?
-It depends, sadly, on the budget. Like I said before, having an independent band sometimes means you gotta make the best of it with a limited budget, so if it allows you to distribute physically your album, it’s awesome. But we all know that IS expensive and not every independent band is capable of that. Of course we’d love to give such a thing to our folks all around the world, yeah, but until that happens, the best option is digital distribution/releases.
Whenever we in the rest of the world hear anything about Mexico on the news it is either about the drug wars or the war on drugs. What kind of place is Guadalajara to be a metal band in?
-Well fortunately, Guadalajara is one of the three biggest cities in the country so that helps a lot. Yet, we still got a lot of complications, for rock and metal music is not one of Mexico’s main music genres. Fortunately as well, the rock and music scene in the country is far from being touched by the drug wars and that stuff. Or at least that’s what we all see.
I must say that had I not had an interest in underground metal I would not have heard of a single Mexican metal band. Is it hard to reach out to the rest of the metal community?
-Yes, specially because whenever you think of Mexico, you do not think of a rock/metal music scene, but you rather think of the drug wars and stuff, so that deviates the attention on underground metal here in Mexico, it aisles it from the rest of the world and that makes it a bit harder for us. But hopefully, it will all get better soon.
What opportunities do you get to play with other bands, both national and international?
To get known, to get followers. Specially with international bands, for some reason, can’t tell exactly why, but that’s just the way it works.
What are your plans to make the band known worldwide?
– To get gigs out of the country, tour around, have fun while playing, being truly us onstage, that has being working just fine for us, people really get us when we are real onstage. And when that happens, they come looking for us. It’s every musician’s dream reward.