-- Diabulus In Musica gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
On February 11, 2017 I went to the Verlichte Geest in Roeselare to spend time with Amberian Dawn and Diabulus in Musica. Both bands were on the second gig of their European tour to celebrate their 10th anniversaries!

Right after I got the shred out off Amberian Dawn I went to talk with Diabulus In Musica's Gorka and David. We had our typical topics like the production of their latest album, Dirge of the Archons, the fact that Belgium has become DIM's home away from home and the epic show they did in their hometown of Pamplona. But first, I had to congratulate the band for two very different reasons...

BMS: Before we begin I want to wish you, Gorka and Zuberoa congratulations on becoming parents recently!
Gorka: Thank you! Being a father has been a joyful experience thus far. I admit it's not easy to combine our brainchild with our real child, but I'm enjoying every moment of it!
David: I don't have any kids myself. Time will tell when I'll be making the passage into fatherhood.
BMS: And also congratulations on Diabulus In Musica's 10th anniversary!
David: Thanks!
Gorka: Thank you once more! It was ten great years for Diabulus In Musica! Before DIM, Zuberoa and me were part of other bands but neither of us were ever fully satisfied with how things were working out so we decided to form a band of our own. That way we finally had full control of the sound, production and overall creative process. Our main goal back then was to produce an album and so in 2010 we released our debut, called Secrets, via Metalblade Records. We never expected that album to be as successful as it eventually became, let alone that we would end up producing four full length releases in just ten years' time!

David: I joined DIM four years ago. I'd known Gorka and Zuberoa for a long time and ever since I've been with the band I've seen our work improving as time goes on. I'm very grateful to be part of this great group of people!

Diabulus In Musica from left to right: Gorka Elso (keyboards), Alexey Kolygin (guitar), Zuberoa Azn├írez (vocals), Odei Ochoa (bass) and David Carrica (drums).
BMS: I believe you've already played here in Belgium a couple of times. So tell me, do you like spending time in my country?
Gorka: Actually, one of our first gigs outside of Spain was here in Belgium. We have established a great relationship with the people from the Metal Female Voices Fest. Back when we released our second album (2012's the Wanderer), we also embarked on our first major European tour and we did three shows in Belgium. We've always loved coming to Belgium, you're friendly and enthusiastic and you've got several awesome festivals and venues. Belgium has more or less become our home away from home!

David: I'd say we've played most of our foreign shows in Belgium! So I certainly agree with Gorka's statement.
BMS: I'm very glad to hear that! You know, the city of Ghent is very popular among Spanish tourists.
Gorka: I see, well, next time we're in Belgium, we'll certainly be visiting Ghent!
BMS: You do that, it's a beautiful city! Now back to the band, tell me something about the production of your latest album, Dirge of the Archons.
Gorka: Production-wise this album is very similar to our previous releases. The same goes for the songwriting, most of the album's material was written by Zuberoa. However, this time the other band members offered more substantial contributions to Dirge's sound. Usually a DIM song starts off as a concept and then we begin playing around with it. We add stuff like a verse, a heavy guitar riff or a symphonic melody to the mix depending on what we feel might work into this fledging song. We do want to maintain a balance between heavy metal and operatic compositions.
BMS: Interesting. You know, Dirge of the Archons was my first introduction to your band and I liked it a lot. And as you said earlier, there's great variety in your work. Heavy songs, orchestral tunes and even a flute track. One impressive song was Ring Around Dark Fairies' Carousel. It was kind of a dark fairy tale.
Gorka: Zuberoa is a huge fan of Tim Burton films. She loves the dark gothic style and the epic, orchestral soundtracks from those movies so Dark Fairies' Carousel is inspired by Burton's work. The song itself is written in the same vein of a children's fairy tale but with a darker, more threatening undertone. We're well-known for being unpredictable and so we created this song to live up to our reputation.

David: What surprised us the most was how positively our fans reacted to Ring Around Dark Fairies' Carousel despite its unusual nature. We've been playing this song since our previous tour and people love it. So we decided to include this track on our 10th anniversary tour setlist.

Pictures and collage made by Bianca Lootens.
BMS: Well, it's a very entertaining song indeed! Tell me something about the final track, Zauria. In what language does Zuberoa sing that song?
Gorka: In Zauria she sings in Basque and in Spanish. The song is about people who spend much time abroad for professional reasons and who eventually get homesick because they've been away from their families for so long.
BMS: Do you already have ideas for an upcoming album?
David: Yes, we have. Alexey, Gorka and me already have a couple of tunes in our respective minds and Zuberoa also has a few songs ready to be discussed with us. Next summer we'll be putting our heads together so that we'll be able to treat our fans with new material soon.
BMS: I'm impressed by your work ethic! When will you treat us to said new material?
Gorka: Since we've got the habit of releasing a new album every two years you can expect Dirge of the Archon's successor to hit shelves in 2018.
BMS: I look forward to it! Now, tell me how you got together with Amberian Dawn for this tour.
Gorka: Well, we wanted to go on tour to promote our latest album and to celebrate our band's 10th anniversary. I'm not sure whether the idea came from Amberian Dawn themselves (since they're also celebrating their first ten years) or from Napalm Records, but we jumped at the opportunity to go along for the ride and so here we are! And we've had a blast thus far! The tour's well organized and we've received a warm welcoming everywhere we go!

David: Going on tour always is a bit tiresome at the beginning. Most of this tour takes place in Germany and its neighboring countries and since we live in Spain that's a lot of kilometers to get there. However, once we hit the stage all fatigue goes away and we get fully absorbed by the music and atmosphere!

BMS: Speaking about touring, what countries would you love to visit?
Gorka: We would definitely love to go on a major South-American tour! In fact, we've been to Mexico back when we were promoting our first album in 2010. We've got a huge South-American fan base and the people there are very inviting to foreign bands. Plus most South-Americans speak Spanish, so that makes communicating very easy for us!

David: I've also played in South-America before. I love going there as the local atmosphere is very 1980s. And like Gorka said, the crowds there always go nuts no matter who's on stage.
BMS: Tell me some more about that time in Mexico.
Gorka: Back in 2010 we were invited to play at the Circo Volador in Mexico City. I recall that the audience went batshit crazy when we started playing. At first I thought something bad was happening like a raging fire but it was just the people present showing their full appreciation for us!
BMS: What other activities do you guys have in life aside from Diabulus?
David: I'm a drum teacher and I'm studying to get a degree in classical percussion. I also play in other bands such as the power metal band Tierra Santa.
Gorka: My family owns a business and I provide them with all the necessary support. Zuberoa has a home music studio and she often assists other bands with their recordings. And of course we've got our baby to love!
BMS: Now tell me something about that show you did in your hometown of Pamplona in 2015. I read that you had a full orchestra at your disposal.
Gorka: Oh yeah! For me, that was THE way I had always wanted to present Diabulus in Musica to the world! Everything was played live! All the instruments, an entire orchestra, everything we needed to bring Diabulus In Musica to its full potential! There were like 100 people on stage! It was beyond amazing!

David: However, next time we'll be giving ourselves more time to prepare. We had been on tour for an entire month and we quickly jumped at the opportunity to play this ultimate Diabulus in Musica show at our hometown. During the tour we arranged everything through phone and skype and when we got back in Pamplona we've only had two days to rehearse so things were a bit rushed.

Gorka: Still, we're very proud of what we accomplished that day. We've recorded the entire show and a few of the tracks  from that concert will be released on DVD. And I can't wait to get back there and do an even better show!
BMS: Great! Keep me in touch! Is there anything else you wish to say before we wrap this one up?
David: To all the people that enjoy either heavy metal, opera music or both, come and check us out! When we get on stage, you can be damn sure we'll be bringing our full 110%.
Gorka: Thank you for your time, Stijn!

Diabulus In Musica - Invisible