Hi Jacobo, let's kick off this interview with a question about the formation of Majestic Downfall. What made you decide to form this act and why did you decide on a one-man band?
Thanks for interview mate. The formation of Majestic Downfall is very simple. I wanted to recreate the atmosphere and magic that you found in the 90´s European Doom/Death Metal scene. At that time, 2006, I think few bands were interesting so this lead me to doing the band. Today there is a bigger scene again, but at that time it was pretty stale if you ask me.
The reason why I chose to do it on my own is very simple. I had played in various bands for more than 10 years and was tired with all the bullshit involved in them when things are not done properly. I have always had a clear vision of how my music should be and that is where I am headed right now.
You did a demo in 2007 that also got released as a split CD with Italy's Ansia through Solitude Productions. On this demo it seems the biggest influence came from early 90's doom/death metal whereas on you latest album, 'The Blood Dance', it seems the influence shifted a bit more into the direction of old Katatonia and Forgotten Tomb. Can you comment on this?
Great question mate, you definitely could tell how has my sound developed. As I stated in the beginning of the interview, my first intention of doing the band had to do with a nostalgia and tribute thing. Nowadays my influences have changed quite a bit and as time goes by, I have started to incorporate darker and blacker sounds into my music. This started to be apparent in 'Temple of Guilt' and now in 'The Blood Dance' is even more obvious. I think that with each release I am starting to have my own sound instead of following one. The new album, which by the way is almost over, goes even more into this personal sound. And regarding Katatonia and Forgotten Tomb, all I can say is that I find magic in their music. Forgotten Tomb´s 'Under Saturn Retrograde', was for me the best album of 2011.
'The Blood Dance' has been released in Europe through My Kingdom Music. We got a promotional copy of the release through Chaos Records, who did the release for North and South America. So how does this work with these two labels? Do you see one of them as your main label?
Mainly these two labels have their place of working. In Europe you will only find My Kingdom Music stuff and here and the rest of America, the Chaos Records release. Regarding the main label, the Chaos Records release is actually a license from My Kingdom Music, but they are doing an extremely great job in promoting it. Just like Francesco from MKM has also done. I am really pleased for both labels. And one very cool thing, is that through My Kingdom Music you can find a limited edition A5 digipack with a bonus track and in the Chaos Records release, there is a limited super jewel case version with patch and slipcase, so as you can see if you are a collector you should have both!
How does it actually work when it comes to writing and recording. I assume that doing things on your own can be hard with a lack of feedback? Did you record everything by yourself or did you record in a studio?
Writing by oneself can be pretty exhausting and frustrating sometimes, but in the end, it only comes with what you and only you really want and find satisfactory, so I think it is worth all the things involved. At the same time I don't depend on anyone for anything and that makes things great. I write every day at 5.30am, I guess in a band that would be impossible. About the recording I actually record everything here in my home studio until I am 100% satisfied with the music and then send the tracks to my drummer who learns them in a couple of weeks. When he is ready, he records all the drums, just as I wrote them with the help of a software and then I do all the instruments, vocals and everything in between.
What about the drums? Are they programmed or did you play them yourself? They do sound like actual drums although modern day techniques can make programmed drums sound natural.
I could have used programmed drums, but nothing beats the real feeling. And the rest is in the previous question. I write all the patterns, and need a good musician to spice up the madness.
One of the things I thought was a striking feat on the album is the fact that the emphasis of the mix is more on the riffs and not so much on the melodies. Lots of other bands in this genre rely on the melodies a lot. I feel you have a different outlook on how things should sound. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
Another great thing you noticed mate! The sound in 'The Blood Dance' is definitely more raw and powerful than on previous recordings. The music is full of melodies but they are in the same level as the rhythm so that way each time you listen to the music, you find new things and it keeps the music interesting. One of my inspirations for doing this was the mighty 'Eternal Death' release by Crown Of Thorns. If you listen to it the first time it is a fucking mess, but the more you listen to it, the more comes to the surface. This is something I will try to keep in the new mix of the next CD. Also, Jesus Bravo, recorder and engineer, certainly had to do a lot with this approach.
You're also active in the death metal band Zombiefication. Is it hard to combine both bands? Any news on Zombiefication by the way?
Oh yes, and I fucking love the true Death Metal Raised On Aztec Bloodshed better known as Zombiefication. Thanks to this mighty horde of death, I can take all my brutal approach somewhere else besides Majestic Downfall. Here I am in charge of all the music also, but Mr. Hitch also has a very important role in the band, he is the lyricist, conceptualist and vocalist. It is a band of two main members with equal rights that with the help of three session musicians destroy everything that steps on their way. The great thing here is that we have departments and I don't fuck with his as he doesn't do with mine. Regarding the news, in no more than one or two months the new Zombiefication EP entitled 'Reaper´s Consecration' will be released in CD by Pulverised Records from Singapore and in LP and slim case CD by the once again aforementioned Chaos Records. It was recorded in Revolution Studios and mixed at Necromorbus Studios in Sweden. This is the strongest we have written so far and the new one is almost ready for prerecording too.
What about live shows? Any plans on doing live shows with session musicians or is this only a studio thing?
None at the moment Pim, but maybe if Officium Triste offered something as a tour I would take it into consideration jajaja. I love 'Reason' by the way. (Thanks bro-PB)
Okay Jacobo, I think we've touched all important subjects. Anything else you might want to add?
Thanks a lot for the interview mate, it was a pleasure appearing in such a great website. Please add Majestic Downfall in www.facebook.com/majestic.downfall or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit Zombiefication at www.facebook.com/zombiefication666 and you will surely experience some rotten death. Thanks again and expect the new MD album by the end of this year! You will be surprised by the true sounds of despair. NOW THE FLAMES OF HELL WILL REACH AND BURN THE HEAVENS!!!