Mexican prog metal band Vitruvius, fronted by Dulce Robles, released their sophomore album “Above The Silvered Sky” in March this year. Dulce and guitarist Oskar Villarreal sat down with Progarchy for an interview where they talked about their sound.
What made you go for the name Vitruvius?
Oskar: Bjorn, former bassist came up with the name “Vitruvius Robot” kind of a cyberpunk concept applied to music in an effort to represent the merge acoustic instruments with electronic textures, but then we took the Robot out because it was too long and hard to remember, I’m also a big fan of Roman architecture myself but the main reason is we think the name sounds cool haha.
How do you usually describe your music?
Dulce: A mix of a weird bunch of styles put together by Oskar.
Oskar: Haha, thanks Dulce I’m glad you like our weird music, but I would say it’s not only me, we’re all accomplices, the concept emerged from all of our twisted minds, and Dulce’s abstract lyrics.
What is your writing process like?
Oskar: About the writing process I can say Inspiration can be misunderstood by a lot of artists, it’s not something that comes to you while you’re watching TV or drinking in a bar, it’s sitting on your butt with your instrument or your pen/notepad while your buddies are partying, you suck it up and play the hell out of it until you get a good groove/riff/progression/verse and then make a second part that has something in common harmonically/rhythmically/lyrically then maybe think about instrumentation, a chorus, an intro, an interlude, an instrumental section an ending and then make it all work out together, or lose the love for a part that doesn’t fit in the context, sometimes that can be frustrating, but you can’t let that discourage you because that’s when things start going south, you just ignore that part and come up with a different idea that fits in, or in the worst case scenario dump the whole song and start over without looking back. The consequence is after a while you have tons of material you can choose from and then magic happens, this is basically how this album came to life, hard work and paying no attention to negative comments unless we consider it to be relevant to the final product but always sticking to our original ideas.
Dulce: Some songs start with a simple phrase or subject that leads to two or three whole sheets of paper in my notebook. I show them to the guys, ask their opinions, pick the most interesting phrases that contain the “feels” and adapt them to the music. I give them some sound, ask for more opinions. Sometimes they just come out how we needed them on the first try. We record, Nothing stays until we all say “Yes! That’s what we want!”
Who or what is your inspiration, if you have any?
Dulce: The “who” would be anyone we have (and haven’t) interacted with, situations around those relationships (family, friends, lovers, ourselves… even politicians!). And “what” could go from any moment we have lived (or wish we had lived) to some shocking news we’ve read.
What is your favourite piece on the “Above the Silvered Sky” album?
Dulce: This kind of question makes me think of a parent deciding which one of their children they love the most…
I would say Silvered Sky, because it came out flowing so simple and easy and it ended up so beautifully complicated. Gust of wind because we dared to do something “out of OUR box”. The truth because we touched a topic so relatable for anyone who follows their passion no matter what. Forgotten smiles because it opened some doors we probably didn’t think existed.
Oskar: My favorite without a doubt is Heaven or Hell.
What makes “Above the Silvered Sky” different?
Maybe the difference could rely on how we hand crafted it note by note from the beginning to the end, with no third party producers, mixing engineers, or other external influences but the mastering engineer, we conceived this album with all our hearts, even though it’s hard to be 100% satisfied with what you do, (we wish we could have done certain things better and hopefully we will next time) we’ve had some really good comments from people who have been beside us since day 1 and also from people that was never involved in the process, that certainly gives us motivation to continue moving forward and working harder. If in the future that makes a tiny difference in the history of music, if what we have done touches, inspires or improves someone in any minimal way, then maybe we can say this album is “different”.
What should music lovers expect from “Above the Silvered Sky”?
Dulce: very different tastes in music blended together into some sort of entertaining hearing exercise.
What kind of emotions would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?
Dulce: I’d be satisfied to know someone actually felt something while listening to our music.
Oskar: All of them!!!, Anger, happiness, sadness, fear, love, hate, etc…except from boredom haha.
Which do you like most, life in the studio or on tour?
Dulce: I would say life in the studio. But hectic schedules and travelling from time to time are also fun as hell.
Oskar: I think it all depends on what we’re doing, both are essential for the life of a rock band but we’ve particularly spent maybe 50% of the time in the studio, 35% in the rehearsal room and 15% on stage or so, I as a producer consider myself a total studio geek, I love my toys and the trial and error until it gets as close as possible to what’s in my head and that can’t be done in a live scenario.
Pick your three favourite albums that you would take on a desert island with you.
Dulce: I don’t think I would survive on a desert island with only 3 albums.
Oskar: it depends if I was stranded on a desert island I’d be more worried about what I’m gonna eat and what’s not gonna eat me lol, there’s priorities in life man! plus my ipod or cd player is gonna run out of batteries the first couple of days, and if it was a vacation trip to a desert island I think all I’d want to listen to would be the sounds of nature.
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