– Hello, thanks for taking your time, how are you holding up? Even these are uncertain times it seems like you have kept yourselves busy and creative!
Hello, and yes definitely busy! We try to maintain our social websites up to date, promote what we just released (the debut album, merch, and split!) and still trying to write whenever we get the chance. There is always something to do.
-First off, from what needs/desires did RITUAL MOON born?
At first, we were just having fun with writing heavy material. Mars and I would hang out, have some beers, and just jam. We liked where the music and vibe was going, so we kept at it. We wanted to get better at our instruments (guitar and drums) and also get better at playing heavier styles. It’s been a learning and fun experience. We really had a desire for improving and playing music that we love.
-And how is that process from getting together to play and experiment until you find your own sound?
It was a learning process, individually. It was a new style for Mars on drums and a new skill to learn for myself to be able to sing while playing guitar. Also, we started off playing more doom and black rock n roll. We then eventually moved on to death and black metal. You can still hear the doom and black rock n roll influences in our songs. We didn’t really want to stick to just one subgenre, so our sound can best be described as a melting pot.
-Your debut album came out just in January. How were the first steps of the band until you released your first full-length?
We started off as a 2-piece band, guitars and drums. We released our first demo on March 2019 and then we played a few shows and felt the need for a bassist, so we luckily found Rachel in August 2019. Our last live show was on September 2019 and took a break to write more (also because I was 5 months pregnant). We kept writing and writing. We recorded tracked for our split with Harlequin in December 2019 and January 2020. I gave birth in February 2020 and we released the Harlequin split right after. Then, we practiced again in March, then recorded from August to September. Logistically, we had everything ready by January release date, which included all merch and physical copies of music. Everything worked out really well, time-wise! We certainly did not stop.
-“Ritual Moon I” is this debut album. Do you approach differently the work of a demo compared to the work you did behind this full-length?
We took our time more on the debut album. The demo was kind of rushed and our skill level was also very new. We took a bit more time to experiment while at the studio, too. We made some slight changes to the demo tracks that came on the album, too. The work of the debut album was centered around the idea that it is a culmination of our music, so we named it Ritual Moon I, to insinuate that there WILL be a part II, and so on…
-The cover artwork portrays a coven of three witches. Are those yourselves? Tell us a little bit about the artwork.
We do consider that as a portrayal of ourselves, especially in the whole creation of our music. When we get together we feel like it is our ritual to create music using our emotions and ideas which change almost every time. Our imaginations roar stronger in the night and the whole forest scenery just adds to our feel.
-In fact the cover fits with that dark, almost esoteric aesthetic of the band. How does a band create its own imagery? Is it built around the sound and lyrics?
The sound and lyrics do play a part in it, but we also feel it’s the vibe you have when you’re all together and creating. The music takes you to a different place and this just shows where we feel we are when we make the songs.
-Talking about this, what are some of the recurring themes in your lyrics?
Belen likes to say that she writes about the human experience, so the lyrical themes can range from the occult, death, life itself, and sexual play.
-The sound is just traditional, straight-forward Black/Thrash. Was this the kind of music you wanted to play since the beginning? And why this genre? What does it attract you from it?
We have a mixture of influences we reach towards when writing for Ritual Moon. We love black metal, thrash, death metal, and doom, so you can hear some slight sounds from those metal subgenres. As a whole, though, we do love black thrash and that was the foundational style for the band. We love the speed, gnarly vocal style, and evil sounding riffs all found in black thrash.
-As I said it sounds very traditional as well as natural and organic. Where is the line that separates tradition from mimic?
That’s a tough question, but no doubt you can tell the difference when you listen. Just be honest with yourself, bring all of your energy and do not hold back. If you feel like you can do better or push yourself further than do it. We rely on pushing ourselves heavily since we started. We never settle for something we feel can be better. And we will only continue to improve ourselves always.
-What does inspire you? It can be bands, the Renaissance or German Expressionism.
Lyric-wise, the human experience is what inspires Belen to write. Riff-wise, we pull from our musical influences listed above. To get up and play music, we are inspired by other musicians and just the everyday bullshit we deal with; being in a band lets us blow off some steam and forget about whatever shitty things we’re going through sometimes. It’s a time for us to get together and work on improving certain things while having fun.
-If I’m not wrong the album was self-released. Was it a choice or the only option?
It was a choice. We probably could have reached out to labels to release it, but we chose to self-release because we’ve kept the DIY attitude for everything else. We haven’t felt the need to go under a label.
-Anyway you ooze a DIY kind of vibe I’d dare say. How much do you value a DIY ethos in underground?
Since we are still very much an underground band, we value the fact that we are DIY. We have more say as to when, where, and how to release music. Although the exposure from a label could be a big benefit, we are growing the band’s reach ourselves and we take pride in that. It also makes it more personable for us to do it ourselves.
-All this about “Ritual Moon I” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Heavy, dark, energetic
-This year you’ve also released a split with BLACK KNIFE. How did this come to be? How is it working?
We became friends with Black Knife over a year ago through Instagram. Josh, their front man, has been instrumental in pushing some releases with us and he’s a hard worker – you can see it in all of his projects and his label! It’s been a really cool partnership with the split so far, and the vinyl and cassette has been a good project for us, being apart from the album.
-In fact the splits you’ve done have been with other bands with women artists. 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?
Just being able to put our emotions into music helps loads. You hear alot of energy, anger, and fun in our sounds, and that’s purely how we feel. You can use all that bullshit to your advantage. Instead of just keeping it in and feeling unmotivated, you can turn it into fuel and show the world what you’re made of.
Going back to the fact that women have to work harder, we do in a certain sense.There are times where people make comments like “they’re good for being girls” and shit like that, rather than saying “they’re good” and that’s it. Although we face certain treatment from males or even females, we don’t pay much attention to it. We just do what we need to do as a band, like say set up our equipment and play, and that’s it. We’ve had promoters and sound guys treat us like assholes when we’ve showed up to play, but as soon as we played, they were on us like flies on shit. Just goes to show that there are still cavemen out there that haven’t changed their behavior around women. Get fuckin’ used to it, motherfuckers.
– Besides 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 women artists have to face more obstacles, they have to fight against sexualization, invisibilization, infantilization, etc. The simple fact of putting albums out and recording/writing music is an empowering tool, not just for your but for other women too. How do you take advantage of this tool/position?
We definitely take the freedom to write about whatever we want, and how we want to do it. Take LMSYC for example… that song is about sucking dick, but in the end, it gets bitten off. It’s fun to be able to write shit like that, and although it’s a gruesome song, it’s also fun to be sexual about it. Women are viewed as sex objects, as lesser beings, etc. but truly, we know what value we have and we can do anything we want. Music is another outlet for us to paint ourselves in whatever light we want to. And while playing that music for crowds, it’s our time to feel confident and have fun in what we do.
-Are there any women artists (not just in Metal) who you can look up for inspiration? Maybe not just in their body of work, but something in their attitude, their way of facing the world…
We’ve always been inspired by many women who stand their ground and create with no boundaries, from comedians, to musicians, to our own mothers. I feel like it all started with the women who made and raised us. All three of us have powerful, fearless mothers who we look up to and who started us on this journey of being ourselves with no hesitation. Hails to all the women in the arts who do the same and all the mothers who show their daughters the same path.
-And what’s now next for RITUAL MOON? I read on Facebook that you’re writing new songs…
We are continuing to write because there will be a Ritual Moon II in the future… Aside from that, we are also working on replenishing merchandise, shipping orders, and submitting more interviews, whether written like this one or through audio. There is always work to do when running the band yourselves. We would also like to do a lyric video down the line. We will keep everyone in the loop on that.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Thanks for having us on here! For the readers, if you haven’t checked out our album yet, you can stream it on Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Bandcamp, all of those major sites… You can also download our demo for free. We like to hear from people all over the world, so shoot us a line if you give a fuck! All stay safe and spin the shit out of your evil tunes.