PLAGUESTORM: "I tried to give the album an identity"
Is it just me, or do there really emerge that many solo projects at the moment? And there are some really strong representatives around! So let's take a closer look at PLAGUESTORM from Argentinia, who just released his second album.
Glad to welcome the first musician from South America on our journey. Check out my chat with Sebastián Pastor to learn more about his impressive work:
Hey, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you today?
Hey! You are welcome, thanks for this interview. Everything is fine around here, the cold days arrived in my city, I begin to feel my fingers frozen haha.
Haha, feel free to send us a cooling breeze, we're melting here at the moment ;-) Could you please introduce yourself and PLAGUESTORM to our readers?
Here is Seba Pastor, family man, musician, founder, and a bit of everything in PLAGUESTORM, which is a kind of entity founded in 2014. The proposal is melodeath with many influences from the Gothenburg school, having published one EP and two LPs to date.
You just released your second album “Purifying Fire”. How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?
I am very happy with how everything is going: the album got very good reception from the public and the media so far, received many positive reviews, and little by little people discover PLAGUESTORM... so I cannot be more grateful.
That's awesome! PLAGUESTORM is your project, but you also have some great guest musicians on board. Could you please summarise who else we can hear on this new release?
For this release, I had not as many guests as on the previous albums, there is only one singer, Mikael Sehlin, then Pablo Roman and Diego Martinez with the guitar solos, and Sebastián Nuñez brought in the orchestral arrangements for the song "Purifying Fire".
I tried to give the album an identity, with only one singer I feel like the album sounds like from a band. With many singers it was more like a compilation of songs, so I decided not to invite many musicians this time.
Which works pretty well indeed. I have to admit after the first listens, I was very surprised to learn that “Purifying Fire” is a “solo” album. The variety of your music is amazing, and considering you wrote / produced all the songs and played nearly every instrumental part, makes things even more impressive. What is your musical background, and where do your main influences come from?
I was always self-taught, started playing drums when I was 18, for about 6 or 7 years. Then I played the bass for 7 years in my previous band INFIRMOR. And there was a Spanish guitar at home, from my mother, so I've been making noise with that one since I was little, too.
METALLICA were my entrance in the world of heavy metal music, then I discovered IN FLAMES, AT THE GATES, DARK TRANQUILITY, HYPOCRISY, SOILWORK… and all changed in my head. I think these Swedish bands are my main influences when you listen to my music.
How did you come up with the name “PLAGUESTORM”, and is there a deeper meaning behind?
The name came to my mind after having played with some words. I always felt that human beings are a kind of plague for mother earth, and I usually write a lot about this. I feel that our evolution has been making things worse, and the name refers to that: we are like a plague storm that has reached all corners of the planet.
Let’s take a look at the great cover artwork, that caught my attention at once: What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect the album thematically?
The cover shows a horseman with the plague doctor's mask and a torch, who is like an avenger of nature with a kind of purifying fire, burning offices and buildings. You can interpret it in many ways.
As the title “Purifying Fire” suggests, this is a dark, expressive album, with lyrics about personal and social struggles. Is there a red thread or story connecting the songs?
There is a kind of connection between several songs: the evolution of humanity and the negative impact on nature, the forest fires that occurred in recent times… have made me write a lot about this, and the album title makes a reference too. It is not a 100% concept album, but there are several things that have a concept. Then there are also some lyrics with a little more personal background.
Could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?
Normally, I start to compose when some riff or melody comes to my mind, and based on that, I start to shape the song. I always write all the music first - once the instrumental parts are finished, I put my head into the lyrics. Then comes the most difficult part for me, which is mixing and mastering. With that, I am also self-taught, so everything takes me a long time.
How about PLAGUESTORM live: Do you have any plans to bring your music on stage, or is it a pure studio project?
At the moment no, as it is a bit difficult for me for family and work reasons. So right now, there will be no PLAGUESTORM shows - but you never know, maybe in the future I can do some concerts. This would be great!
Indeed :-) How would you describe your local rock/metal scene, and is there something special about it? Did you notice changes over the past years?
The scene here is growing a lot lately, there are very good bands emerging with many different styles. I think that the Argentine bands need more support and diffusion, and while maintaining this new level of quality and seriousness in the bands, the media will not be able to ignore the scene much longer... Here we have some acts that are giving a lot to talk about, such as LOS MALES DEL MUNDO, PSICOSFERA, AVERNAL, MEDIUM, INORGANIC, and a long list of more.
What can you tell us about your future plans?
At the moment, the plans are to spread and promote the new album, trying to reach as many ears as possible.
Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
I just want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview and sharing it on your site. I also want to thank all the people who little by little discover and support PLAGUESTORM.
You’re most welcome. All the best for you and your musical plans \m/