About Me

Interview with Lares

Berlin- based, psych blackened doom metal unit, LARES, released their sophomore album “Towards Nothingness”, on June 26th through Argonauta Records. The four-piece, who formed in 2015, combines the elements of post-metal, psych doom, ambient prog-rock and black metal, while adding a unique flavour to their heavily crushing sound. Lares have collectively answered some questions by Metal Imperium. Read on and find out more about this intense band!

M.I. - Please introduce Lares to the ones who are not familiar with the band and the sound.

We’re a 4-piece metal band based in Berlin, we play a blend of doom metal, post metal, psychedelic rock and black metal.

M.I. - Why did you feel the need to create Lares? When did the idea come up?

Jörn, our bass player, started looking for members to form a band to play “something nice to get stoned to”, he put an ad on craigslist and we started jamming together.

M.I. - What does the word Lares mean? What’s its connection to your sound and message?

Lares were guardian deities in archaic Rome’s Etruscan religion, the translation is something in between “heroes” and “demons”. Every family or community had the freedom to create their own lare, they were believed to observe, protect and influence. As a side note, we pronounce it with the Latin/Italian/German pronunciation, not the English one.

M.I. - How would you describe your sound? For those not familiar, Lares might appeal also to fans of which bands?

The short answer has to be “a collection of bad trips and hallucinations”, if you want to go in to detail, it is a blend of doom metal, black metal, psychedelic rock and post metal. In the reviews of our first album, we had really different comparisons from Oranssi Pazuzu to early Voivod, so we are not totally sure about what the people are feeling about our music, let's see what happens with the new album! 

M.I. - The “S” on your logo seems like a snake… what’s the intention? Is Lares a way to vent out your rage, hence the snake?

That’s because in Pompeii there’s one of the few existing wall painting with some lares and a snake, we wanted to give an ancient Rome's tomb look to the logo, plus the snake is an universal symbol of evil, an untouchable venomous, the serpent eating himself, the repetition of the events. 

M.I. - Your 2nd album was released on the 26th June. Why the title “Towards Nothingness”?

The idea behind “Towards Nothingness” is to reflect how human centric is everything we know when compared to the vastness of the universe: as civilization will come to an end and everything will be forgotten, we’re going “Towards Nothingness”.

M.I. - There’s a huge difference between the cover of “Mask of Discomfort” and “Towards Nothingness”… who designed them?

Ted Titus and Daniel Danis did the artwork together for our first album, two artists and friends of ours based in Berlin who happen to like our Music. For “Towards Nothingness” instead we wanted something different, the artwork was realized by Mariusz Lewandowski, he's well known in the doom metal community. 

M.I. - The new cover features what looks like civilization falling apart… towards nothingness… what’s its meaning to you? Is humanity falling apart completely?

Yes and no: humanity is destined to fall apart and civilization will come to an end, our idea is more nihilist than that because it doesn't matter what happens or how we behave, everything will be irrelevant compared to the time scale of the universe, you’re just a spectator.

M.I. - What topics are addressed in your lyrics? What inspires you to write?

The whole album is a concept about space and celestial bodies, anxiety and desolation, drugs, the connection with nature and the futility of human existence. The inspiration for the lyrics mostly comes from psychedelic experiences, obsessions, nightmares and revenge but is mixed with a good dose of daily work life frustrations.

M.I. - The band combines the elements of post-metal, psych doom, ambient prog-rock and black metal, while adding a unique flavour to their heavily crushing sound. What are your musical influences? How did you come up with this “mixture” of styles?

Each one of us has different tastes, there are only very few bands we all like and those are classics like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Pantera. Also: we usually don’t have any idea of how a song will sound in the end, we just jam until we hear something we all like, sometimes we’re in a more relaxed and psychedelic mood, other times we’re in a more aggressive mood.

M.I. - The band wanted to make a video that looked like something straight out of Beavis and Butt-Head's living room. Are you fans of Beavis and Butthead? What’s the connection between their living room and your song “Catacomb eyes”?

(Laughts) on that post we actually had a small internal discussion, the connection is that we all grew up in the 90s and we wanted to make a video to catch that mid-90s MTV feeling, the Beavis and Butt-Head reference was not the original idea but we thought it was a nice joke to share on our Facebook page.

M.I. - The album has been once again recorded by Jan Oberg ( Earth Ship/Grin ) at the Hidden Planet Studio in Berlin and was mastered by Audiosiege in Portland, OR. Why does a band from Berlin send in their album to be mastered in the USA? Wasn’t there a good enough studio in your area?

For the recording we went to Jan (Hidden Planet Studio) because we know him personally, we shared the stage with him and we were very happy about how he recorded “Mask of Discomfort”, plus he’s based in Berlin and that makes it easier when you have to carry drumset and amplifiers to his studio.
For the mastering, it’s a different topic as no physical presence is required but Brad (Audiosiege) is used to working with a lot of European bands, he has a lot of experience and he mastered a lot of our favourite albums, we just wanted the album to receive a good final mastering. Don’t get me wrong: there are a lot of very talented audio engineers in Berlin but it was just safer and quicker to get it done by him, plus we’re in 2020 and technology helps when you want to send your mixes to the other side of the ocean.

M.I. - This album will be released by Argonauta Records. How did the deal with them come up? Do you think you fit in well with the other bands on their catalogue?

We’ve been keeping an eye on our favourite independent labels for the last couple of years, based on presence and fit with other bands in their roster. After we recorded the album, we started sending it to our favourite labels, we’re lucky because Argonauta Records was among the first labels we contacted so it didn’t take too long, Gero is doing amazing work with all the bands and the releases.

M.I. - Now that you’ve got a record deal, what will change for Lares? What are your expectations?

At the moment, we’re just focusing on the album release, but we can tell you that’s already a much better experience compared to “Mask of Discomfort” when we had to manage all the digital distribution, find a cheap way to press CDs, etc. We just hope to get a much better coverage and reach now that we’re helped by professionals.

M.I. - After your critically acclaimed 2017 debut, you had an extensive live schedule… do you have the same plans for this album? Have you been planning any concerts or tours?

Yes, definitely, for obvious reasons (world pandemic) we couldn’t do it in 2020 but we’re looking forward to having a promotional tour in 2021, we’re in contact with a booking agency, that should help us.

M.I. - How much of a negative impact did the pandemic have in Lares and the preparation of the new album? During the lockdown… did you keep on rehearsing via zoom or whatever? Did it affect you much?

We didn’t rehearse for a while during the lockdown but we kept in touch via Hangouts to coordinate better for the album release steps. Luckily the album was recorded last year and it was ready months before the lockdown, so it didn’t affect the planned release date, now we’re slowly starting jamming again.

M.I. - You said and I quote “This is a major step for us, but it is only the beginning. It is our duty to expand your consciousness, and we will take the world by storm without warning. Join us!“ What do you mean?  What are your intentions exactly? 

Our intentions are to tour extensively, more than ever. It's our duty to visit the depths of your minds and consciousness, as we explore ours and push them into the unknown, we are witness to the void and the vastness of the universe.  We are coming after you, to expand, destroy and re-create your horizons.

M.I. - The band’s been around for 5 years now… what’s the best experience for Lares so far? And the worst?

The best experience is definitely all the weird places where we performed, these vary from squats in East Germany to festivals and camping in a medieval castle. Worst experience was when Chris, the drummer in Mask of Discomfort left the band, luckily we found Mike a few months later.

M.I. - Please share a few words with our readers. All the best!

Thanks for your support, Join the Myspanthropic Self Destruction Cvlt.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca