Obsidian Kingdom are an avant-garde/metal band from Barcelona, Spain. Their discography is more diverse and progressive than any act I can think of on the spot. From rabid death/black metal to abstract industrial/electronic, their art is thought-provoking, moving and entertaining,a true renaissance act in a music scene flooded with mediocrity.
1. How is the metal scene in Barcelona/Spain? Are there local venues where you play often?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "We just can't complain about the cultural offer (sic) in Barcelona. There's plenty of things going on all the time, and shows are varied, frequent, and many. Madrid also features a very decent offer and nightlife. Of course, they are nothing compared to say, London or Berlin, but, then again, nothing is. Anyhow, Barcelona is a good city to live in if you are into music, that's for sure.
There are plenty of venues to play in our hometown, ranging from small clubs to huge concert halls, which actually should mean a promising panorama for a starting band, provided one should have the necessary resources. However, we don't regularly play back home, in order for us and our audience to concentrate our collective energy into a particular, well-planned and memorable show."
2.Have you had any band member changes since 'Matter?'
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "Indeed, as a matter of fact, only two of the founding members are still in the band.
It has been a long way for us to finally gather the right individuals and get the band working at full speed in all aspects, which we are doing since a year before 'Mantiis' was released. Our line-up is now exactly as we want it to be- a group of good friends, a collective of artists, a dysfunctional family and a mass of mad music lovers. Just like we dreamed a rock band should be."
3.I like how each of your records sounds vastly different from one another. Is that deliberate?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "Yes and no. We definitely try to constantly push our boundaries and test our limits, in that sense, there is a conscience effort to keep trying different things, go one step further and never stop moving. So far we have delved - often with a certain success - into terrains that may have been completely unknown to us in the past, such as live experimentation, video art and electronic music, just to name a few, and we are glad to have dared."
"But, at the same time, we never know what our next step is going to be like, no matter what we desire or want, and that kind of removes part of the deliberation from our creative process. We might certainly have an idea about the possible outcomes, and even try to address our energies somewhere, but, in the end, our songs have a life of their own and decide for themselves. We're just here to interpret their will."
4.I read that you played the 'Mantiis' record live from beginning to end on the day of its debut, did you write the record with the intention of playing it that way?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "Yes, we did, as happened all through the 'Mantiis live!' tour. We did write it so that it could be played live in its entirety, keeping most of its details and nuances, and not using many more instruments than those we can actually manage live between the five of us, seven if you count - and you should - our sound and video artists.
As much as we love to work on things that are impossible to play live - electronic music or remixes for instance - much of the energy that Obsidian Kingdom portrays is displayed in all its glory through our live shows, so we try to keep our songs playable. Nevertheless and like we stated before, we never know what lies ahead.
5. What artists inspired you to start playing?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "The complete list would be far too long to be written here, more so if you consider that we are five different individuals with different backgrounds, but since we love discussing music and making polls and things of the like, we might just be able to give you some hints....
We were almost all born in the mid eighties, so it would be not too wrong to state that many of our early influences are drawn from the 'golden age' of American alternative rock: From Trent Reznor to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, including Nirvana, Tool or the Deftones, the list is endless. We also share a passion for progressive rock bands, with our main and most shared reference being, undoubtedly, Pink Floyd. But you could also bring Queen or Porcupine Tree into the mix.
And of course there's metal. Even though we don't listen to that much of it as we did when we were younger, there was a time when we dreamed of growing up to be like Metallica, Morbid Angel, Dream Theater, Mayhem or Opeth, you name it. Now we would not settle for anything less than being like Obsidian Kingdom."
6. In Flames' single 'Deliver Us' (LOVE the band and the song dearly) went Platinum in Sweden recently, Paradise Lost is scheduled to play the Roman Theater in Bulgaria, is metal exploding in Europe or what? Americans like myself are getting jealous! lol
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "Well, the way we see it, it's not exploding right now or out of the blue; Metal has been going on for fourty years now in Europe, and it has reached a certain social status that guarentees that, for example, a metal band can easily get into Eurovision - the most mainstream and politically correct festival on Earth. That means that metal music is marketable enough, it appeals to the masses and is no longer an underground thing for minorities."
7. Is there any obscure/unknown band or act you have seen on tour or enjoy listening to personally that you feel everyone should hear?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "You are definitely referring to Necro Deathmort. Our fellow Londoners are the band that we all love these days, and we just can't stop listening to or recommending them. They have managed to put out three brilliant albums that tastily combine doom metal and electronic music in a unique way that brings together dub and damnation into a pit of droning screams and rhythmic despair, and we absolutely love what they do. Go check them out right now."
8. Is the sound heard on 'Mantiis' an indication of what your future records will sound like, or will you pursue another direction?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "We wouldn't bet on it, but even if it happened, 'Mantiis' points in so many directions at once that this in fact would mean nothing at all."
"The only thing that is certain right now is that we are in the midst of the writing process of the follow-up for 'Mantiis', and that it is far too soon for us to know which direction we are headed - more so because we aren't even done playing with the new gear that we bought not a month ago...
9.Is there anyone you want to think or shout out to?
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM: "Why, of course we would like to thank YOU for your interest and dedication, for keeping a nice blog running with music content, and for interviewing us so that your readers may find out about or know more about us. We are really grateful that you should enjoy our work to the point of offering us your appreciation, attention and time. Thank you so much and receive warm regards from everyone in the band!
See you on Twitter and remember to not take candy from strangers!"