MOLASSESS (EN)

-Hello, how are you? To begin with, I would like to thank you for taking your time.

Of course, no problem.

-And well, I saw that your tour with BÖLZER and TRIBULATION has been rescheduled  to later next year, because everything is super uncertain right now.

Yes, everything is uncertain, there are no perspectives at all, so we just try to plan ahead and see what it’s going to happen or not … I don’t know.

-Yeah, no one knows. So what are you focusing on right now as a band?

As a band we’re focusing on new material, because we have to do something of course… Such a strange start as a band, because we had this first gig at Roadburn so we concentrated on that and then when that was over, we concentrated on the album. And then when the album was over we concentrated on getting it out and touring, but then shit kept in (laughs). So yeah, a little bit strange, but then we decided “okay, then we need to focus on new material”. That’s the only thing we can do.

-So have you already written something? I mean is there any full song or specific ideas?
Ideas. I’m working on that. But it’s not like we already have a new album laying around again (laughs). I’m working on it. We have time so…

-Yeah (laughs), now we all have time to be productive and creative.

Exactly, yeah, you should use it.

-Well, since this is my first interview with you I would like to start from the beginning. So, you are named after a song of the Selim’s solo EP “Earth Air Spirit Water”. What does it mean? Why was that song important for you? It feels very symbolic.

It is. In many ways. Firstly because it was the last song I ever worked on with him… Because everything I do next, he is of course always in my thoughts and in my flesh and in my spirit and in my everything. He will always be there. Molassess is syrup, you know? It’s this thick, sticky substance that you can’t never get rid of really, even if you try. So that is kind of symbolic for, you know, dealing with someone that was very close to you and it’s not here anymore. You want to live with him but you don’t want to feel the grief all the time. You have to get used to it. And I think that’s a little bit what “Molassess” means.

-Yes. In fact I was thinking about the band name, the word “molassess” itself, not the song, and to me it represents like some kind of glue that ties different things together. In the band maybe life and Death. Past and present… What would you say the word itself represents in the context of the band?

What you just said it’s the literal meaning of this thing that keeps everything together. I think that’s symbolic for the band. For the four we are. For the people we are in it. But that was not upfront. We didn’t think of it upfront. The music is kind of sticky in a way, and the substance I believe it’s very symbolic for the journey it takes you in. But I don’t know if that’s exactly what you mean, but…

-Well, I think it’s pretty similar, yeah. The main idea it’s pretty similar. And well, what had to happen, how did you need to grow or what did you have to go through to get to this point of reuniting some of you and start to create together again? Besides being comissioned for Roadburn.

Sometimes life is just what happens. I mean, it was not in the sense that I needed to wait or that it was a choice to stop playing music or not to begin again or whatever. It was not a choice. It was just that there were other things that I was occupied with, you know. I had my son… He was very young and I had to be there for him of course, and then my mother. I had to take care of my people. There was no room for anything else. I didn’t want to be there, because if I wanted to be there I could have probably easily done it, but it was just not something that I was in for. It felt good to be home and feel connected with my base.

-In fact the rest of the guys were involved in other bands, they were touring with them… And you didn’t. I guess this is the reason, that you needed to be more at home and with your family…

Of course there were times that I was thinking… Well, my boyfriend was in the band that it was ELLE BANDITA that is now DOOL. He was going on stage and I went with them. They’re very good friends of myself. And there were times when I was getting very jealous and feeling like “Oh, I want to be on stage” (laughs). But it was always just a moment, you know. It was just not the time, I guess.

-I can imagine. Before MOLASSESS you did some collaborations with different bands, so I guess also that might sparked on you that “I want to play” kind of feeling.

It was also what happened. I was not looking for anything, but sometimes people would just called me up or sent and e-mail like “hey, are you interested in doing this?”. And I thought “hey! I like this” or “I like the people who asked”, so “yeah, why not?! “. I had really good times doing it also. So it’s parts of my life here and there. (laughs)

-That’s nice. A nice contribution. You wrote music for the comissioned performance at Roadburn as you mentioned earlier, but how was that moment  when you realised that there had to be more?

I think that we maybe all knew, at least the four of us, that there would be a day where we would join forces again. But it was never clear how was it going to happen or who was going to initiate it or whatever. So everyone was very busy with lots of stuff, and then at that moment when we were asked to do this… I think it was the beginning. When maybe everyone of us realised that “Okay, this is not just one show. This is ridiculous. We’re not gonna do just one show”. I believe it took us two or three months before we said that to each other, but I think everyone knew from the start.

-You felt it.

Yes. It was the energy. It felt so good to be together again and work on stuff and focus on something together as if we had never been apart. It sounds so romantic, right? (laughs).

-But sounds nice.

Yeah.

-Now going to your album, “Through the Hollow”, I believe is that kind of release that has to be experienced, not just listened. The kind of album you have to experience if you are in a certain mindset or mood. This is also what I felt with the EP. Was it also necessary to be in a certain mindset to write and perform these songs?

Uhm… I think that is the case, but I believe… That’s a good question, you know. No one ever asked me that. That’s very original at least (laughs).

-(laughs). I take it as a compliment.

Yes, yes, you do that. I think yes, you have to be in some kind of mindset, at least to make it and to write it and to be together with… It’s not like it’s drug-related or anything, but the feeling for me, of the album and the songs we made, is that to get some sort of… The feeling of letting go. And not feeling Earth under your feet anymore. Not knowing where you are, just floating somewhere around in the cosmos. Maybe pretty vague, but in another Dimension if you will. Let go of all the normal things that are going on, and all the rules. Something like that I think. And sometimes it helps to take a little bit of weed oil to get in that state of mind.  It’s not like we’re always using drugs or doing that to get there, because the music can take you there.

-Sure. And I think your music does. So do you think this kind of mindset is someting you also want to convey to your listener? Like taking them to this different Dimension and make them float?

If it happens I’m very happy, but it’s not something I would describe for them. Everyone should experience it as they are and how they do, I can never say how it has to be done, that’s not the way to be. But if someone tells me that, then I take it as a compliment.

-I believe this kind of albums, with a strong creative energy are very rich in this sense, that everyone can experience them in different ways. And this experience sometimes works like an inner process, like if this kind of albums, or art in general, could make some feelings inside yourself surface.

I think that is the beauty of any kind of art, that you can identify yourself maybe… Or maybe is not always an identification, because the listeners or the viewers are experiencing something totally different from what was initiated in the first place, but it doesn’t matter. It’s something that Art does for the maker and for the taker.

-That’s the Magic of Art.

Yes! It’s Magick. It’s something that there are no words for. And that’s why there’s art, because it’s all about the things you cannot talk about, or you cannot describe, you know. There’s something deeper, or there’s more, and that’s exactly what art is, I guess. If you can even put it a name, because now it’s like I know what it is, but I don’t think I do (laughs).

-And talking about this, you wrote the lyrics yourself for the first time here so, how was the process of putting, I don’t know if your feelings, your experiences or pretty much of putting yourself into words?

I have to explain that a little bit, because it’s not that I wrote the lyrics all by myself, because I did it together very much with Oeds. Because it was the first time that I ever wrote something. I always wrote for myself, like my diary and stuff, but to do it so openly for everyone to read afterwards it’s a different thing. It was a challenge. But I had this thing with Oeds going on. We talked about “what is this about?  What do you want to say? What do you feel? What are the things you want to express?”. And then we started this sort of ping pong game where I translated my thoughts into words and then I sent them to him and then we started talking about, like “what do you feel?” or “what do you mean?” or “do you mean this or this?”. And that ‘s how the lyrics came to life. That’s how it worked.

-And how did it feel?

It felt really, really good, but at the beginning I was pretty unsure about it. But I grew in that and now I can take it to a next level, you know. Sometimes you need to practice some and then do it and see what it does. And then you become a little bit more sure about yourself, like “hey, I got this. I can do this”, and then you take a next step.

-You become more confident.

Yeah, yeah.

-What are some of the most recurring topics in the lyrics?

Some of the most recurring topics… If we talk about the most recurring topics, it’s always about Life and Death and everything in between. The pain that comes with both. And how I got through that or how can you get through it, and sometimes it takes a while. I think it’s about Death.

-As I said before, MOLASSESS has this strong energy, in general, and it also has this journey feeling, like taking you somewhere else so, would you say the band’s influences or inspirations come mostly from Inwards or Outwards?

Uhum… I think Inwards. I think it’s all about energy. I think we’re all about energy. Yeah. But of course Inwards is always influenced by outwards and the other way around.

-Yes, and most of the times unconsciously. Your sorroundings influence you.

Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And, you know, this whole discussion about if something is nature or nurture. That is always very interesting, I guess.

-Yes, and it’s some kind of a circle.

Yes, yes.

-Well, I’m sure you’re tired of answering to this, but I would like to talk about the song “The Devil Lives” that was started by Selim. Why did you decide to pick up this song, finish it and include it?

Well, it was always an idea to do that song one day. I’m not so tired of aswering to this question actually (laughs). There are some questions that are far more tiring and you didn’t ask them, so it’s okay (laughs).

-(laughs) I do my best!

You’re doing great. Well, this song we had it almost from the beginning with THE DEVIL’S BLOOD. He wrote it far apart. And we tried it, we demoed it, but it never really worked. It didn’t work in the rehearsal room and then we changed the song . We rehearsed it also with different members, but it didn’t work, so every time we thought “OK. No, no. It’s not it. Next”. So it was laying there. And it remained that way until a few years later, after Selim was not part of this life anymore, I discovered an MP3 on my computer. I didn’t know what it was. So I put it on and it was Selim and me working on that song, here at my kitchen table, and we were like trying to finish it for two hours, with words and with strophes I had to sing and whatever. He was on the guitar and he was singing and I was singing. It was like two hours of footage. So then, when I had that, I thought “OK. It means something. We need to finish it. It’s not just like should we do it? But now we HAVE to”. So when we came together with MOLASSESS it was something that popped in my mind very soon, like that was the moment. And everyone was really excited to do it. It was really hard also. Very emotional of course. I’m very, very happy that we did it, because I think that it turned out great.

-It did. And it also seems like it’s a way to enhance this link to him that you have in your music and in the name and everything.

Yeah, of course. I mean, if there was ever a thing that made me decide not to go back into music, it was that people expected so much from me. So it was also a little bit scary. I knew if we would get together, specially with the four members of the band, that people would have many, many expectations that you could almost never live up. So that was a thing. In the beginning of MOLASSESS it scared the hell out of me actually, and I think we walked about it a few times. Also even very practical, like”oh, this sounds too much like THE DEVIL’S BLOOD, we shouldn’t do that”. But then again, we were also like “well, fuck it”. I mean, how could we not sound like TDB? We needed to shake that loose. And it was very appropiate for us to just say “OK, this is what we are and this is what we do and here you have it”. He is a part of us and he will always be.  We cannot deny it.

-By what you say I guess you decided to just let go and be spontaneous and do whatever you feel without trying not to sound too much like your past.

Yes, exactly that, because if you restrain yourself you’re putting really tight frames on yourself. And then you’re fucked. Because then you’re going to make a mistake for sure. You have to let it go and just see what happens and what comes out.

-Yes, and if you’re being very rational you’re not being so honest.

Yes. Well, we just talked about inwards and outwards… If you stop thinking then you will enter that Other Dimension, and there’s where it all has to happen. And it doesn’t matter, you know. If it’s good it’s good and if it’s bad it’s bad.

-Exactly. And well, still about “The Devil Lives”, it’s the closing track on the album. I would like to know that’s the meaning of this song for you, both in a spiritual/emotional way as well as the musical meaning of putting this tune in the end of the album, sort of closing a circle.

Symbolically I think it fitted perfectly as an end to the album, because The End is the beginning of a new… Well, we started the album with “Through the Hollow”, which is almost like a statement on that we were going to be something completely different. This song [“The Devil Lives”] of course it was supposed to be a THE DEVIL’S BLOOD song. It never was in the end, but still it felt really good to close the beginning with that. The end of the beginning. And so it makes a new beginning. It’s something of a closure, but also open… I don’t know. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Ori s it very vague for you?

-Yes! That it’s like coming full circle but also like… Like, the End is the Beginning after all. But it’s like a Portal to something else.

Exactly, yes! That’s very spiritual, but yeah, of course. I think it’s also maybe very symbolical for an approval of my brother. That’s very personal for me. I think I owed it to him, to end it like that and make it perfect. But here I’m only speaking for myself of course, I don’t know how that is for the rest of the band. Two of the members didn’t even know Selim at all, so they have nothing to do with this piece of information. It is filled with different things.

-And well, you mentioned this thing about approval. I guess it was also a challenge to finish and make this song wondering if he would have liked it.

Of course, to finish this song that he had started… Sure, he is my brother, but he was a genius. Whatever he wrote was perfect. So could we ever live up to that (or could I)? But it was also very symbolic for me, again very personal, to do this on my own and be my own critic and everything. Because in the past it was him who got the best out of me. It was sort of a closure for that, for my personal growth like “Okay, I did it, and now I’m done with that and I can move on to the next level”.

-That’s good.

Yeah, it’s good. Felt good.

-But now going to something totally different, this new record has been released with Season of Mist. Quite surprising considering the EP came out with Ván Records, a label you have worked with a lot in the past. So why this move from Ván Records to Season of Mist?

I think it was a practical move. It has nothing to do with personal stuff or whatever, because Ván is my family and it will always be that, and we love each other. It’s all good. It was nothing like that. But we talked about it and we had big plans. Or not big plans, but we’re six musicians and we wanted to make this record and we maybe needed to change the scenary. Sometimes it’s good for you to take this step in another direction. Ván was actually the one who said it, like “maybe you should look for something else. Maybe it’s better for you. Maybe you should try something”. It felt really strange. I have to be honest, it was also almost as if… I don’t know. It was a little bit scary to do it. But I think it as a good choice. We’ll see, we’re still at the beginning of everything. But so far so good. We feel very welcome at Season of Mist. It’s all good.

-Now a typical question from our site that we always ask: how would you describe “Through the Hollow” with just three words? That they’re not the album title, please, some people do that.

(laughs) With three words? Jesus! (laughs). OK…  This is the most difficult question for me because now I get obssessed with all kind of stupid words in my head… Emotion Over Reason.

-That was my last question, if you would like to add some final words, or something that you think we’ve missed… whatever.

I hope you will be okay. I hope your health will soon be okay, because that’s really bad, I’ve heard this a lot from people who have suffered from this Covid shit, that you think it’s nothing and then afterwards all this kind of distrubing things…

-Yes, it’s fucked up.

Yeah, it is. So I hope you will be good soon and for that matter I hope that the world will be okay soon, and that we can do shit, you know, someday we will be drinking a beer again somewhere.

-Yeah, and attending gigs, too.

Yeah (laughs). So that’s it.

-Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you too, it’s been a very nice conversation.

Tania Giménez

Tania@queensofsteel.com

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