FRAYLE (EN)

– Hello and, first of all, thanks for taking your time to answer to our questions. How’s everything going in the band’s camp?
Hello! Everything is good!

-You have just released your new album, «1692», as a reference to the year of the Salem Witch trials. What’s the metaphorical meaning of this? How does the title and the reference behind it reflect on the album?
The album was written as a love poem to those who feel persecuted for their beliefs, and for those who feel like outsiders. We wanted it to feel like a safe place.

-Witchcraft and the arquetype of witches plays an important role on the album. What’s the significance of this? Is it a means of rebellion, of empowerment? Or an aesthetic resource as well as way to break with organised religions?
I’m not someone who believes in organized religion. I think that if it works for you, great! If it doesn’t work for you, then create your own religion… Who’s to say what the rules are? Who’s to say there are any rules?
I think I adhere more to hermetic philosophies. A lot of the lyrics talk about having the proper mindset to make things happen. We can transmute energy. We can bring things into being. That’s the work of a god. YOU are a god! Remember that.

-Lyrics hold a somehow poetic halo. How are they born? Do they spin around a general idea or are they conceived to fit the music?
I keep a library of hundreds and hundreds of lyric notes. When I hear something Sean has been working on for the first time, sometimes it speaks to me immediately, and I know exactly what I want to say. Other times, it is an agonizing process and I have to pull line after line from my notes.

-I ask so because in the album you have created a whole package. How do you build and define FRAYLE’s imagery?
Things get stuck in my head and I have to work them out. Sometimes over and over again until I’m satisfied. Sean and I will try and figure out how to shoot or film what we’re trying to say, and we’ll do it over and over again until what’s stuck gets unstuck. I get obsessed with something and have to work it out through music and imagery until I feel completely satisfied.

– Gwyn, you also have your own jewelry line, Lithium. How different is to design artifacts than to design music? Do all these different artistic means blend somehow?
I just want to make everything! I think it has to be some kind of disorder. I NEED to create things. I need to put it to paper, or design something, or write something. It’s different to write poetry than to make jewelry, but it somehow scratches the same itch.

-And what of this designer facet do you bring to FRAYLE? Is aesthetic and they way you present yourselves visually an important part of what the band is?
I’m not sure if it’s important to the band as a whole, but it is definitely important to me. It’s part of my process. I need to put it all out there. I think Sean enjoys working on the imagery as well. He’s more on the technical side of things… Whether it’s working on guitar tones or obsessing over which color grade to use for a video, he’s always into something.

-Somehow the album feels like one big metaphor and the main ideas can be extrapolated to all those persons that have been persecuted and oppressed, even nowadays for being themselves (due to their gender, sexual identity, etc.). Was this the idea? Has the the album been thought to be open to different interpretations?
This was definitely my goal when writing everything. I want people to be able to feel vulnerable without being afraid of repercussions. It’s also a call to stand up and be counted.

-In fact the Catholic church has done precisely this for centuries now. I read the lyrics pretty much concentrate on Gwyn’s experience growing up Catholic. How does living in this environment while growing up affect the way you face stablished religions?
Catholicism has definitely take a toll on me. I am such an admirer of it’s iconography. Our house has a kneeling bench and a pulpit as well as lots of religious themed artwork. It has definitely left an impression on me in many ways.
Growing up in the religion was odd. I remember a catechism teacher telling my sister that our father would go to hell because he didn’t come to church with us. I think that watching everyone blankly agree with the priest without thinking about what it all means or even questioning it at all it is kind of archaic, no? If it works for you, then great! If not, then question everything! Figure out what works for you and go with it!

-So what is this album for you? An exorcism? A means of defiance?
The album was a way to exorcize my demons. I think that’s what good art does for both artist and listener. It’s a catharsis.

-The sound on the album is dark but it has moments of light and lots of beauty. Are contrasts and the equilibrium of opposites important for FRAYLE? What do they add to your music?
My life is a study in polarity. I think that the light shines brighter when you’re coming out of the dark. We definitely like to push the contrast between the heavy guitars and the lightness of my vocal parts. We’re constantly exploring this.

-Even with these moments of light, «1692» is eerie and melancholic. Where do these feelings bloom from? What does inspire you?
Growing up in a small town built on a marsh, melancholic beauty surrounds you. I think I bring that with me in whatever I do.

-And all this about «1692» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Heavy witch doom

– Metal has always been a male-dominated community and in art in general women have always been made invisible, so Metal is not an exception. Would you say the way the Metal world (and society in general) perceive women in our community is slowly changing? As it seems people are more aware nowadays or aren’t that afraid of speaking out and calling out on sexist (and other shitty) behaviors anymore.
I think that the world is changing in general, and misogyny is not being tolerated as much as it was previously. There’s always one or two people who won’t treat you as an equal. I won’t deal with those people.

– As I said, women in art and in masculinized spaces have always been made invisible, that’s why there’s not just less women metal musicians (even though there are tons of them), but less women in any artistic field. Because female artists have to face more obstacles, they have to fight against sexualization, invisibilization, infantilization, etc. By the simple fact of putting albums out and going on stage you are pushing other women to do the same. I guess this is something you are not really aware or think about when you are writing music but would you say you can also use your position as a artists putting our records and being on stage as an empowering tool even for other women?
I hope that it can inspire anyone to take the step to do what you want to do! Get up on stage and sing if that’s what you want to do! Go make some stuff. Try it! It won’t be perfect initially, but who cares. Just do it anyway.

-Women always have to take the double amount of shit for doing the same work a man does, also to work harder to get to the same position… Do you have any mechanism to cope with different kinds of bullshit?
I’ll always try to do my best and if someone repeatedly does not appreciate what I do, then I will call them out. If that doesn’t work, I have no problems cutting them out of my life. Luckily, I don’t run into this scenario very much.

-And before we wrap this interview up, what are now your near-future plans?
We are working on getting a tour together for this year. We have a song on the upcoming Women of Doom LP coming out on March 27, and we’ve already started working on the next album!

-That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
We want to thank everyone that has listened to our music and then taken the time to spread the word. Whether it’s simple tag on Instagram, or a thoughtful interview (like this one), it has been humbling to watch our band grow and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

Tania Giménez
tania@queensofsteel.com

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