Mallorca might not be the first place you think of when you go looking for thrash metal but BREATHLESS calls this holiday paradise home. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
First of all, we want to thank you about this interview, giving us the chance to present and let to know a little more about our band to metalheads.
How do you keep going from late 90s to late 00s and not giving up the idea of the band despite the things you’ve been through?
-As you have mentioned, things were not that easy, noticing that we live in an island, away from the mainland. We formed BREATHLESS back in ´99, Joan Font (drums) and Eduardo Moreno (guitar and vocals), with the idea of composing our own songs and enjoying to play metal live. We have been through many different and difficult circumstances in terms of line-up and personal problems. 10 years ago it was very difficult to find people interested and committed with the band, with similar tastes to our style and not being supported by anyone. But, nevertheless, we pushed ahead. In 2007, when we recorded our first EP “Breathless”, we decided to conclude with this first stage and start creating new songs to record an LP. But the other two members, Victor Arco (guitar) and Álex (bass), left the band. They were replaced shortly after that by Óscar Maestre (guitar) and Javier Martí (bass), who had already been part of Breathless in the past. So, we ended up to record “Thrashumancy” with this line-up and started to move more seriously. If we haven’t give up before, has been because of we believe in what we are doing, no doubt.
How rewarding is it when you see that very first release carrying the band’s name finally being released?
-You can see, this is what we get out of all the work of these last years, as how things started, we have finally achieved the goal that after the first EP we had in mind. Contributing to this style of music with something that we have created and feeling that both we and other bands prevent it from dying, is more than rewarding! What will come after is welcome.
I get a flashback to album covers from the 80s by Ed Repka when I look at your cover. What were you going for when you decided on this one?
-The songs in the album asked for a cover like this. The concept of the album itself, in which we talk about social issues and lyrics reflecting a sad future for the planet because of man and its evolution, had to be on the cover and recognized at a glance on it. We also wanted hand work based on our idea, we asked Juanjo Castellano to develop the concept. The artist is well knowned by other outstanding drawings for bands such as Vomitory, Putrevore, Ered, Sathanas; he welcomed the order and gave it priority. It was the first cover he made for a Thrash Metal band, he worked on it while he listened to the tracks on the album and he got inspiration from 80s Thrash. It may be a revival of 80s Thrash, it may be a kind of tribute to everything that we like, call it as you want. We wanted all that and finally we believe that we have succeed.
Being a thrash metal band is there any other era than the 80s to draw inspiration from?
-Of course. In the NWOBHM we find many of our great inspirations. These are our roots. We also have great devotion on Death Metal. There is a great variety in our tastes and influences which, directly or indirectly, we reflect them when composing. We have always drunk from these sources.
If I’m correctly informed you live in a holiday paradise. What is the metal scene like there? How do you stomach all the drunk Swedes, Danes, Brits and Germans?
-There are many bands of different styles and some have brought out some LP, and others are doing it. To name a few, this is the case of Goreinhaled (Brutal Death), with two albums already “Fetus In Fetu” and “The Art Of Sickness”, and they are now recording the third with another line-up. Unburial (Blackened Death Metal), with influences from Dissection in their debut album “Bellum Internecinum”. Decomposed Torso (Brutal Death), former guitar and bassist of Goreinhaled, that are recording their first album selfproduced. The truth is that even having many bands and different in styles, could be more closeness between them than it is and we could make more noise together. Although it is true that the situation is changing in recent times and there is more union nowadays.
Years ago there used to came around more bands from abroad and more frequently, Napalm Death, Obús, Anthrax, Sepultura, Scorpions, Dismember, Centinex… It seems that authorities are not interested in promoting metal events, they are more interested in pop or tecno. The lack of rooms and premises to organize events reduces the possibilities of creating them. There are only six metal pubs in the island, and two big venues. But even so, they do. This February, Avulsed came back to the island after 5 years, with Aggression and Desecration, both Thrash Metal bands from Barcelona, organized by Samuel Deathlight.com and Helevorn, guitar player for another Majorcan Band (Doom Metal, two LP). He’ll bring also Forgotten Tomb this summer. In what we are concerned, we are going to organize the second “Battle Camp Metal Fest” on August 11th, we’ll bring to Majorca Omission (Thrash band from Madrid, they have released their second album and they are also in Xtreem Music label). They’ll share stage with us and with bands of the island; Trallery (Thrash), Neurotic Disorder (Tec. Brutal Death), Unburial (Blackened Death) and Battlehorn (Viking Metal). Thus we create bonds between the bands here and the mainland. Last year we brought a band from Segovia, Entröpiah, making Death-Grindcore, and the festival was quite well. On the other hand, we do trade with bands of the mainland, so they come here and we play in their cities. In short, we do all is possible to ensure that the Majorcan scene also reaches the mainland.
When you don’t live on mainland Spain what kind of challenges does that bring to being a band?
-Well, nowadays due to internet, is much easier to get in touch with bands, labels, associations, etc. But it is true that many times we find the handicap of having to cross the pond for any event outside the island. Living in the mainland, offers you the possibility to move around easier, attend more concerts and festivals that are organized. Anyway, who wants something must move with all the media you have available and come up with what you want.
I have no idea what the infrastructure for touring as a metal band looks like in Spain. What places are there to play if you want to set up national tour and not lose too much money on it?
-We have not organized any tour yet. As we have said before, we organise exchanges with bands from other cities and we send and receive proposals for participation in underground festivals with covered accommodation and travel expenses. There are a large number of non-profit metalheads’ associations in many towns and villages in the mainland. We received the first invitation by Metal Bats Association, in Valencia, we are enormously grateful for their support and also letting us to get in touch with other organizers of other festivals in other cities. As the Metalmería Fest, Almería, where we will be playing on April the 7th, and have as headliners at the Danish band Artillery, as well as Desecration, Falsos Profetas and Sombras del Destino. We’ll thrash through everyone and we’ll try to give a great show, for granted.
There are still to be confirmed two more festivals. One on July 28th in Lucena del Cid, a town in Castellón and is called Metal Fox. The other will be in Malaga, called South Bangers. For the moment, we have played 8 dates in different cities, within our means, to combine them with our work. Let us say that it has been a year of score, to see how it moves the scene in the mainland. As you can see, this is the underground scene in which we operate. Largest and most well-known festivals are still to come, maybe.
When it is time for you to record how hard/easy is it to find the right kind of people to work with that understands your vision?
In our case, we got through Urban Studios here in Palma to record the disc by a colleague. Rafa Rigo and Toni Toledo rule the studio and they have been into this for many years, as well as having recognition of being great technicians, but they were not at all into metal. It was hard for them to understand what we wanted and the style we play, but they finally got the essence and the feeling we wanted, we are satisfied with their work.
Does it help that Xtreem Music is run by a guy (Dave Rotten) who is pretty experienced in all things underground metal? What have you gotten out of the collaboration so far?
-Without doubt. Signing with Xtreem Music has offered us the possibility of reaching more people here in Spain and abroad. We have done interviews in fanzines, webzines and radios. We have also received much reviews from the album everywhere, Chronicles of concerts, etc. Throughout the year we have had continuous news from all these means and where the disc has been delivered. The first gig we did off-island was at Metal Bats festival as we have said before and because they saw that a Majorcan Thrash band had signed with Xtreem Music, they made an order for several albums and grabbed ours, heard it and we were called. Dave has helped us much to publicize the band. Indeed, he has sold out the copies made for the label. He distributed them in Europe, America and a last request to Japan. They are therefore very well distributed and we are convinced that these copies come out to good metal hands.
Breathless has entered another new year as a band. What will 2012 hold for the band?
-This is a good year for composing new songs, and to play live as much as possible. We already have a few new ones and they come out while we continue doing our own concerts in the mainland, exchanging with other bands and accepting all requests of festivals that arrive to us. The truth is that when we’ll have a significant number of new songs, we will record our second album. If everything goes as it’s going and we can afford economically the recording, at end of year we could start recording it, maybe. But time to time.
Hope we’ll share some beers together some day.