About Me

Interview with Wooden Veins

On June 4th 2021, Chilean act Wooden Veins released their highly anticipated debut studio album, titled "In Finitude", via The Vinyl Division.

Featuring former members of well known doom metal units like Mourning Sun and Mar de Grises, the participants are by far no strangers to the scene. With the idea of creating a different kind of music, including sub genres and traces of other elements, Wooden Veins truly create their very own and other-worldy universe of sound.
With a wide range of ingredients, packed into a defined artistic concept & aesthetic, the band's upcoming debut is a deeply powerful piece of music, exploring the edge of extreme metal's territories. Metal Imperium had the pleasure of interviewing all the band members and find out more about this new project. Keep on reading...

AA: Alberto Atalah
JC: Javier Cerda
EP: Eduardo Poblete
JE: Juan Escobar

M.I. - Why did you feel the need to create this project? Wooden Veins was formed in 2020... is it a project born out of boredom because of the pandemic or were you already considering it before?

JE: Hi Sónia, here is Juan Escobar. Well, the band was created by Eduardo and he recruited us for the job. With Eduardo, we were composing music for a year before starting WV with other musicians but we decided to finish that project and start with this from zero. So, we can call it the second try for us both. A couple of years ago (2018), Eduardo recruited me as a touring musician for his ex-band Mourning Sun for a couple of gigs so, after that, we kept always trying to do something together about the music.
EP: Wooden Veins were formed due to the need to create new things. From the beginning, the boys fit very well into the band. I think we all had the same need to dig into our ideas. It was a success and we moved quickly without forcing anything. Now, after a year, I feel happy to work with these great people and talented musicians. We are more than satisfied with the result of “In Finitude”, it is part of us, of our lives and feelings. This motivates us to continue creating music.

M.I. - The band features former members of well-known doom metal acts like Mourning Sun and Mar de Grises and wanted to create something completely different from what they had previously done. 

JE: I’m always trying to go further about the music. I’m involved with numerous bands today and trying the best I can do with all of them. Sometimes it is difficult and sometimes it is more difficult. But there is always the concern to do it.
EP: Having creative freedom, maintaining respect for each other, if they come up with an idea that does not fit in your head. This makes the difference, the respect. I think we are on a good way.

M.I. - Where did this feeling come from? What “message” do you want to transmit this time around?

EP: It comes from the depths of our self to express emotions and true feelings, representing actions and experiences. The message: “If you join our trip, you will realize that you are not alone. Welcome”.

M.I. - The band is named WOODEN VEINS but uses (WDN:VNS). Why? Where does the name come from? What’s its meaning?

EP: The name is born from the connection with our roots, spiritual and fleshly, creating a link of the "I" with the universe and the earth. The veins represent the roots and the wood the connection with the earth, this set of things is the nexus to inquire into our inner self and materialize it in music. WDN:VNS is just an abbreviation.

M.I. - Your music includes sub-genres and several elements that set it apart from the typical extreme sounds. How did you come up with this unique form of expression? How are people reacting to it?

JE: In the beginning, we wanted to create a band without borders, and if we want to add some black metal why not?! We came from the doom, black, death metal essence but we don't want to be "just" a doom band or death band. We talked about it for a while and we agreed to focus on something we like. Some people hate it and others love it. It is nothing in between.
AA: All came in a very natural way, since we did not want to put any musical borders, we just did what we thought was right for the music. We come all from different places musically speaking and have experience in different fields, that is always a plus for a project like this. 

M.I. - “In Finitude” is your first album released on the 4th June. How excited are you?

JE: Extremely excited. Plus. I feel a great vibe from this album as well.
AA: It feels really good to see this part of the process finished, we started last year and now the album is finally out, now comes the next step, promo, and hopefully a tour.
EP: Emotion, satisfaction, and gratitude.
JC: Really excited! I am fortunate to be a part of this.

M.I. - If you could describe your debut album in a few words, what would you say?

JE: An inner journey. Full of love.
EP: Expression of feelings connected to the soul.

M.I. - Javier Cerda´s Book “Poética de Arturo H. Lobos” is the foundation of the thematic of the album, which focuses on life and death, the impulse of being, illusions and existential reflections. Why are you attracted to topics like this? Has age and maturity turned you into more philosophical/concerned persons?

JC: Hi! Javier here. I think that one of the reasons that Eduardo wanted to work with us is because of our common background regarding musical influences, such as doom and black metal bands mainly. Those subgenres I believe to be deeply introspective, really moving, as they may lead you to uncharted territory both in music and thoughts, all in this dark, deafening, sensitive mood around death and sorrow but also beauty and wonder. In some of the first meetings we had, we roughly talked about the topics involved and the elements that spontaneously came through were existentialism, introspection, and nature, topics that happen to be in some of the book's poems so the connection was made.

M.I. - Will the book be available along with the album?

JC: I’m working on it as we speak. Preparing a second edition that could come along with the album in the near future.

M.I. - Who is the character Arturo H. Lobos?

JC: That’s to unfold in years to come, cause honestly, I’m figuring out this guy too!

M.I. - How long has it taken Javier to write the book? Was it written with the purpose of being turned into album lyrics? If not, when did the idea of using the poems for the album come up?

JC: Actually, the album and the book are quite apart yet close at some points. It took me two and a half years to write and publish “Poética…”, and it is right after its publication when Eduardo gives me a call. Shortly after, we began the creative process and it was when I decided to use some of the book’s poems and ideas that are then developed as a general existentialist theme. We could say it was very nice timing.

M.I. - Was each poem transformed into a song or was it adapted? Are there any poems left to be used in a future release? 

JC: There’s a very few of them used, being Herradura (by the sea) the most faithful adaptation from the book. Thin Shades and Empty Arcs have strong ties, too. Other songs such as In Finitude or Beyond Words have exclusive texts but circle around the same topics. As for any other poem from the book to be used, never say never, but right now I’m focusing on new writings for WDN:VNS and personal projects.

M.I. - Who’s responsible for the translation of the poems into English? Why haven’t you used the poems in their original language?

JC: I was in charge of the translations and adaptations. It was a real challenge in which I got the assistance of Juanita Ozamiz (J T Blackie), a writer and musician living in the same region as I. Her writing sensitivity helped me a lot to figure out some ideas to come out or how to adapt some already existing but not “fitting” the music. As for the use of the original language, most music we’ve grown up with has been non-Hispanic one, which adds some of the mystery and beauty around the music; not being able to understand what the singers are singing makes it a lot easier to focus on the music than what they are actually saying. Let’s say that deep inside, the vocals are for non-English speakers too.

M.I. - “The Veiled Curse” was released about 9 months before the release of the album (it was basically released around the time of the release of the book, right?) and was met with a great reaction and it brilliantly showcased the atmosphere of “In Finitude”. Why was this track released with such anticipation? Why was this the best option to present yourselves to the world?

JE: We were born with that song indeed. The plan was to show the band to the world before putting out the album so we can deal with the anonymity as a band.

M.I. - Production is also a key component throughout “In Finitude” and it was done by Juan Escobar at Vultura Studio (Czech Republic) and mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Sweden). Did it make things easier to have a band member producing the album? How was it working with Lindberg?

JE: I think as a member and producer is a total win-win. We pre-produced the album in 4-5 months and then we entered the studio to record. Was like 4-5 months more to have it done before the mastering process. Feels like 2 years and was not even one, plus the pandemic times, plus the distance. We never meet each other to pre-produce or record. We’ve made it entirely from afar. Berlin-Germany, Plzen-Czech Rep., La Serena and Santiago in Chile. Nowadays via video call is more than a normal way to work.
Our experience with Magnus in the mastering process was flawless. He helped us to solve some technical problems we had in the beginning and after that, we worked around 2 or 3 weeks total. A great professional!

M.I. - The cover artwork features all the band members with painted bodies, the Andromeda constellation and a kind of cross. What’s its meaning?

EP: That's a promotional photo, the constellation represents the universe and the faces painted to the earth, as I explained before, the connection of roots with the universe joined by the "I".
The album cover represents the same thing, the water, and the earth separated in different levels; In the center, a bright sphere represents the universe and the silhouette represents the "I". This work was created by artist Valnoir from Metastazis (Ulver, Amorphis, Paradise Lost among others).

M.I. - Why is the Andromeda Constellation featured on the artwork? Is it because the universe is infinite, hence the connection to the title “In Finitude”? Or is there a deeper meaning attached to it?

EP: United with the previous question, this is a promotional photo, not the album cover. The constellation represents the universe.

M.I. - The artwork is by Valnoir from Metastazis (Ulver, Amorphis, Paradise Lost). Has it matched your expectations? Did you give him any directions/ guidelines or did he just follow his instinct?

JE: We share with Valnoir all we do into “In Finitude”, all we feel about, ideas, lyrics, concepts, etc. giving him the freedom to bring to us his ideas about it. This could be a cliche but really, it was better than expected.

M.I. - With the pandemic, most promotion is being done online in social media and all. How complicated is it promoting an album relying only on the internet?

EP: I think that now it is easier than before when we started to play music in the 90s. The internet makes everything easier, of course, you have to ratify all the good things with live performances.

M.I. - Here in Portugal, and I believe the same happens in Europe, we are not very aware of the impact of the pandemic in the American continent (apart from Brazil and the US). How is Chile dealing with it? Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel already and having more “freedom” now than in the past months? Any idea when you might be able to play live and promote “In Finitude”?

JE: It is a tough situation indeed. In Chile actually, the borders are closed and restrictions are changing every week or every two weeks. No light at the end of the tunnel sadly but hope is still shining.

M.I. - Being musicians that have been involved in the music scene for so long, what do you expect to achieve with this project?

JE: To share the music of Wooden Veins with a lot of people, and have the freedom to express ourselves fearlessly.
EP: That the band continues to grow with humility. Having the love of music ahead of you.

M.I. - All the best for Wooden Veins! Share a final message with your fans and Metal Imperium’s readers.

JE: Thank you Sónia for the opportunity to share, talk and spread our word with you and all people who read Metal Imperium Webzine and hope to reach more friends who enjoy our music and art.
JC: Stay safe, stay strong, keep the music going on!
AA: Thank you Sónia and Metal Imperium for the support, I hope we can visit and play some gigs in Portugal in the near future.
EP: Thank you Sónia and Metal Imperium for the support, we have many friends in Portugal, I was there for two tours with my old band, they are really spectacular, for them a big hug.
For Portuguese version, click here
Questions by Sónia Fonseca