PREHISTORIA: "The heart of Prehistoria will always be powermetal, but we welcome any influences that choose to show themselves"
The first month of 2022 isn't over yet, but there have been already some amazing musical discoveries to make. It's my great pleasure to start this year's journey in the US: PREHISTORIA released their impressive debut record "Cursed Lands" on January 21st and caught me with their music from the first riff, so I took the opportunity to ask them about their formation, backgrounds, and the stunning cover artwork.
Welcome to read our chat to learn more about this new powermetal force:
Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions. Could you please introduce yourself and PREHISTORIA to our readers?
S: No problem, we very much appreciate them :-) Shaun Cothron, I play guitar, and PREHISTORIA is a new powermetal band from the US. I use "power" metal a little loose, as that is the core, but influences come from all over the place. Blackened Power Thrash might be a better name for it, haha.
Z: Alonso “Zo'' Donoso, singer and songwriter for PREHISTORIA. I bring the powermetal touch to this band (laughs)
I: Ian Bender, I’m the bass player and generally the person managing all the fun business stuff involved with running a band.
Haha, I see. Great to have three of you here for answering :-) You just released your first EP. How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?
Shaun: I think it is safe to say that we are all excited and very proud of the music we created for this first EP. The reaction so far seems to be pretty positive.
You’re all experienced musicians, which is obvious from the beginning when listening to “Cursed Lands”. I also read that you’re from four different states. So how did you guys get together in this new band?
Shaun: 3/5 of us played together in another project called Zephaniah, and after that it was just a matter of calling up an old friend who I knew had the chops and similar influences. Most of us had all played together in other projects and we have all done a good amount of touring, international and stateside, so we were all pretty comfortable with each other. Vocals took a bit of searching, but when we found our guy, I think we knew it right away. It was his King Diamond cover that got me!
Ian: We’ve also had the benefit of having worked with band members across different states for many years, so it’s nothing new for us. Everyone can be trusted to do what’s needed to prepare for shows and recording, so no need to get together every week like we did in our younger days.
How did you come up with your name, and is there a deeper meaning behind “Prehistoria” for you?
Shaun: Band names are hard!!! Ian suggested that one, and we thought it not only sounded cool, it also gave us a lot to play with lyrically and thematically.
Ian: I’ve had that name in mind for several years, mostly because I like prehistoric stuff (dinosaurs, early civilizations, etc), and thought it would lend itself to some cool musical ideas.
What can you tell us about the origins of the atmospheric cover artwork, and how does it reflect the album thematically?
Shaun: The art was done by Adam Burke at Nightjar Illustrations, and he is an absolute master. It was important to us that the art felt real and atmospheric, and part of that is not being completely digital. We had a song that felt like the natural closer to the EP titled "Cursed Lands", and that art just matched perfectly.
It does indeed. Could you dive a bit into the songs’ topics with us, please?
Shaun: I'll let Alonso have that one, he wrote most of the lyrics. I threw some lines and a theme at him for the song "Cursed Lands", which was sort of Lovecraft inspired, but he took and ran with it, and made it way better than I could have.
Zo: I will start with "Cursed Lands" since it is the song Shaun and I co-wrote.
"Cursed Lands" is a fantasy story of a man that wakes up in an unknown place, and he gets drawn into a land where all he knew is now gone. The worst part is that he doesn't know exactly how he got there. He goes through some tribulations and trials in order to find himself and a way to return home. Unfortunately for him, he didn't make it, and these cursed lands claimed his soul and mind.
"Time" is a song about the fact that time never stops. It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, where you live, how much money you make, or if you are alive or not. So mainly the idea is to inspire others to look inwards and analyze what we are using our time on or with. Try to strive for greatness and explore our full potential with the time we are allowed on this Earth. If you had one shot… would you take it or will you live for the rest of your life wondering what it would have been?
"Castles" is about people that go through life making promises and not delivering on purpose, consciously causing damage unto others just to see them burn. They invite chaos, embrace it and become it, destroying relationships with everyone around, even family.
"Purgatorio" is another story of a man that wakes up in purgatory, and he wonders why and how he got there. He tries to find out what he has done and must go through in order to gain redemption, and his soul can be free.
Music-wise, you offer metal that truly deserves the pre-fix “power”, and we can also hear death and thrash elements, with a great variety in your song-writing. Where do your main influences come from?
Shaun: Everywhere, seriously. Part of the idea at the heart of this band was that nothing is off the table. I love black metal, and if it feels natural in the song to transition to a black metal part straight out of a happy uplifting chorus, then we are going to do it. The same goes for thrash, death, prog, and the rest of them. The heart of Prehistoria will always be powermetal, but we welcome any influences that choose to show themselves.
Could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?
Shaun: Whoever has the song idea makes a very rough demo that goes out to everyone, and we all make suggestions and changes. That process is repeated until everyone is happy. As long as it feels good when we get together and jam it live then it stays. And everyone truly has input. Most of the stuff for the EP was tracked in Fort Wayne, IN with our buddy Dan Wagoner, and drums were done by Niko Albanese. Mix by Mike Heller of Fear Factory/Raven and Master by Lasse Lammert.
Let’s talk about PREHISTORIA live: I guess the current circumstances made it nearly impossible for you to play live in this line-up so far? Do you have plans to bring your music on stage?
Shaun: We absolutely have plans to play live. It will be a bit more limited than we would like, given the distance. But it will happen.
How would you describe your local rock/metal scene, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice changes over the past years?
Shaun: I think everyone's city has something that makes it special. I'm sure right now most local scenes are struggling and could use everyone's support.
Ian: It seems that the metal scenes tend to be somewhat cyclical. There will be a few years with a ton of good bands and really successful local shows, followed by a period of time where things kind of die down. It’s always cool to go to a show and see familiar faces still out there trying to keep things alive.
What can you tell us about your future plans?
Shaun: Full length is written and we're in the process of jamming together to feel them out. Next step will be to start tracking drums. Throw a few shows in between that, and hopefully we can keep up this momentum.
Sounds highly promising :-) Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
Shaun: We appreciate the questions. Hopefully everyone will check out the EP "Cursed Lands" and keep up on their radar. And we look forward to speaking with you again in the future, Thank you!!!
Would be my sincere pleasure! Thanks again for your time, all the best for you and your musical plans \m/