Vancouver death metal band Auroch recently released their debut album “From Forgotten Worlds” on Hellthrasher Productions. The band’s unique style of Lovecraftian death metal has been turning a lot of heads in the underground, and for good reason. Put simply they are one of the most exciting new bands in the extreme metal scene and are a band to watch. I happened to run into vocalist/guitarist Sebastian Montesi at a show with local legends Mitochondrion, and he graciously granted me an interview on the spot.
You guys call yourselves “Lovecraftian death metal” is that a gimmick or…? What exactly is that?
Sebastian Montesi (SM):Oddly we never called ourselves that people just started picking up on that because we have some songs with Lovecraftian concepts in there. No, it’s not a gimmick at all, it’s just that Lovecraft for us is a literary mirror for concepts that we are trying to purvey. It’s not a gimmick in the least.
Are you the primary lyricist I take it?
SM: Yes, I am.
So you read a lot of Lovecraft?
SM: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Loveraft.
So, what is it about his work that made you want to turn a lot of his themes into lyrics? They are kind of creepy and morbid.
SM: Definitely but there is something about the more metaphorical nature of Lovecraft’s work which is very much against the sort of constrictions of modern day society and against the feebleness of man and that appealed to me. That is what we are trying to purvey when we use Lovecrafts ideas.
Now my understanding is that you guys used to be a thrash band and then you turned into death metal correct?
SM: Yeah sort of. I mean, it was never really the same band but yeah we put out some demos when we were younger but I mean but really we have established ourselves as a death metal band.
How did you guys get signed to Hellthrasher?
SM: We put out a promo track through our publicist and they heard it and then they contacted us and it’s been a smooth relationship so far. They put out a really nice version of the record.
Is their distribution going to be good for Canada and the rest of N. America?
SM: Yes, it seems like it is quite thorough.
What are your live plans? I know you guys have a show this weekend in Victoria. (November)
SM: We are playing tomorrow in Victoria. We will be playing here actually, at the Astoria in January with Weapon, Tyrant’s Blood and Mitochondrion -Who is playing right now. And then we are playing Torment in Fire with Mystifyer from Brazil in Calgary in April and we have a bunch of other good shit confirmed but its not announced yet, but there will be lots of good stuff next year.
How have the reviews been for the album so far?
SM: I have been totally blown away by the plethora of good reviews that we have had so yeah.
So you are satisfied with everything that has happened so far?
SM: Yes, super satisfied.
How important are the lyrics to the music considering that with your vocal style it is extremely hard to pick up what you are saying? Do you put more of an emphasis on the lyrics or the sound?
SM: Good question. The lyrics are extremely important to the music but the music is also extremely important to the lyrics. It is very equal as far as I view it. Seeing as we are not an instrumental band it is very equal. With delivering the lyrics there are parts where I want to get across clearer, my style doesn’t really lend itself to that but at times it is really about what is being said and at times it is more of the percussive nature of the vocals.
So, are you saying you are trying to go for more atmosphere than anything?
SM: At points, yes.
In regards to the lyrics would you then say it is important for someone to pick up a physical copy instead of just downloading the MP3?
SM: Absolutely. If the lyrics are something they value then I would absolutely recommend picking it up because there are many different layers of vocals and different kind of vocals and often they are not saying the same stuff so I think it would be interesting for them to check it out.
Do you think it would make the experience better by having the lyrics handy?
SM: In my belief yeah. I can’t tell you what someone else would think but I think that definitely when we wrote this music that the lyrics were a big part of it and therefore it is incomplete without knowing the lyrics. Or at least reading them.
So are you a fan of physical versus digital music or do you not really care how you listen to music yourself?
SM: Totally and definitely a fan of physical.
SM: Clearly something is nicest when it is on vinyl but I like CDs and tapes.
Are you planning on doing a vinyl or tape release?
SM: Well, the CDs look great and we just got those and now we are just playing with a few offers to do the vinyl. So yeah, the vinyl will definitely be coming. I don’t know about tape. Tape is like a novelty item. It’s obsolete, It’s cool and I would like to do it, so if someone wants to do it we’ll do it.
Well, thanks a lot for the interview, anything else you want to say?
SM: Thanks for the interview!