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The new album ‘Phobiate’ by Binah is a pleasure to listen to. Reason enough to put together a short, but still interesting, interview with Ilia Rodriguez a.k.a. I.R.G.

By: Pim B. | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Hey guys, it’s been a while since we last heard from you. We did an interview back in 2012 when your debut ‘Hallucinating In Resurrecture’ was released. So let’s catch up a bit. I understood you started working on ‘Phobiate’ in 2016. So what have you been up to in the years before? Was it only the recording and release of the 7” EP?
Two of us relocated away from the UK in 2015, which kept us tied up for a while. Music-wise, Aort and I were busy recording the final Indesinence album; Aort wrote and produced a full-length album and an EP with Code, plus the third Blutvial album, and has been working on some acoustic music in the ‘69-‘71 acid folk tradition. He also gets asked to mix other bands from time to time. I recorded vocals for (and co-engineered) a demo and an EP with Necromaniac, did some film score work and some electronic music, and A. Carrier has kept very busy as a studio and session live drummer, in addition to teaching and running his own studio.

So, did you actually start writing new material in 2016 or did you already have bits and pieces ready and you just decided to start composing/arranging the ideas?
Aort produced the initial demos in 2016, and we worked on the details, lyrics and arrangements throughout 2016-2017.

I also understood you had the album canned in late 2017. So it took a while to have it actually released. Any particular reason it’s “only” coming out now?
It was the earliest slot available on the label's schedule; no other reason really.

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I think you inked the deal with Osmose in January. So they probably were convinced with what they heard. But why did you decide on a new label where your debut was released by Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo?
Of all the options on the table, Osmose’s deal seemed the most attractive, and we thought it was worth giving things a shot. Of course Dark Descent and MSUO’s work was key in getting the name out there and the early songs released, and we are grateful for that.

I suppose you recorded the album by yourselves? Can you tell a bit more about the recording process and who was involved?
We each tracked and pre-edited our parts at our home studios, and Aort took care of the big edits and mixing. He has become extremely efficient at the job, so he handled the lion’s share with some occasional input from myself. We then sent everything to Greg Chandler for mastering. Nobody else involved, aside from my ginger cat Rufi, who managed my tea breaks.

Seeing the amount of time between the debut and ‘Phobiate’ do you feel there are mostly similarities or obvious changes between the two? In other words how would you compare the two yourselves and how would you say you have evolved as a band?
There was no conscious steering of the sound. Of course changes are almost inevitable on each release - as they should be; there is no way we would have pursued the work had we felt we were just re-treading old ground. Songs are maybe a bit more varied and rhythmically driven this time. The production has some clearer qualities to it, though conversely the material felt more sombre, which probably caused the themes to be grittier and presented in a rawer manner. Beyond that, you can probably tell that it's the same three guys and their new songs. The idea is always to offer up material that’s interesting and sincere, and hoping it engages others to some degree.

It’s obvious you’re basically a studio band. However, you have done one (correct me if I’m wrong) live show in support of Necros Christos in London in 2014. Will this change now ‘Phobiate’ is out?
Unlikely – and, as we are now spread over three countries and two continents, probably even more so. That show was a nice one-off, and we were happy to oblige because the bill and conditions were right and we were logistically able to pull it off; but we do not view live performance as a necessity and are happy to continue existing inside people’s minds and home systems.

I guess that’s all from my side. Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for the interview and support as always, Pim!

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