–  Hello and, first of all, thank you so much for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with LUNAR SHADOW, being about to release your debut album?    
We live in interesting times right now. The album is about to be let loose upon this world. The reviews up to this point are very positive and it’s nice to now finally get a feedback from our followers after so much hard and dedicated work on this album.


– New release; new logo. Your new logo is more complex, with a lot of tiny details, it has a certain Black Metal vibe I think, but it also shares that mysterious atmosphere on the album. Why did you decide you needed a new logo? Did you have clear the aesthetic you wanted for it? I read it was crafted by Raoul, of View from the Coffin.
I wasn’t entirely happy with our old logo, I wanted something more professional and knew, that if we change the logo we have to do it before the debut album. You mentioned the small details and a certain mystery, those were words I used too to describe our new logo. It suits our sound, which is complex and full of little secrets. I don’t even think, that it looks like a ‘real’ BM logo, but if people think that, that’s even better. It’s wonderful to irritate and confuse people. I explicitally did not want a ‘classical’ Heavy Metal Logo, they bore me and everyone uses a similar style these days. I wanted something different, because we are different too. Raoul did an awesome job, he is nearly unmatched when it comes to logos and shapes. My friend Karmazid recommended him to me, I’m proud of this logo and Raoul has become a friend along the way too.


– In 2015 youy released your debut EP, «Triumphator», which was welcomed with open arms into the underground. Looking back, what are now your feelings on that release? How were those first steps of LUNAR SHADOW like?
I have only good memories and still like the EP. The working process on this release was completly different compared to the album. We recorded it live in our rehearsal room, always in a hurry. It doesn’t sound perfect, but that’s what makes it strong in the end. It got a good reception then and helped us a lot to build a certain reputation. It marked the true birth of the construct Lunar Shadow.

– Did the feedback «Triumpahtor» got made you build any expectations for «Far from Light»?
Yes, certainly. I wanted to proof, that we are able to keep this level and even get stronger.

– And how do you feel now that your debut full-length is soon going to be unleashed? I noticed a great improvement compared to the EP, and overall it feels like a more well-cared, detailed opus. How do you think your evolution from the EP has been?
I think that everyone can hear the difference to the EP. We took much more time to record everything properly, all the small details, harmonies, acoustic parts, drum fills and vocals. That makes ‘Far From Light’ sound less spontaneous and rough, but more well-planned, with a clear structure, form and shape. Also it was clear from the beginning, that our debut album would feature my longer and more complex songs. I wanted the EP to be more direct, this time we summoned the more epic songs.


– The cover artwork also looks more refined, and again stepping into that mysterious, darker vibe you’ve got now. It’s also something no one would expect for an Epic Metal album. Were you looking for an art what could picture all the essence of the album? It seems like it shows the path you are following. The piece is «Expulsion – Moon and Firelight», by Thomas Cole. I once saw it at Thyssen Museum, and it’s just epic and with such a unique atmosphere by the way.
‘Far From Light’ is an album about death. I knew, that it wouldn’t feature swords, the devil, motorcycles or aliens. Therefore another sword-swinging barbarian would have been completly wrong for this album.  I always like the works of T. Cole and when I saw this piece some years ago, I instantly knew, that this had to be our cover. I am glad, that we were able to purchase the usage rights from the Thyssen Museum. It’s wonderful, that you have already seen it in real life, I hope to do the same one day. I just have to disagree on one point, I think it’s the perfect artwork for an epic, melancholic Heavy Metal album, something forgotten and old, rocks, light and water. It suited the music, it symbolized, how we are led away from the light and into lethian nothingness.


– The musical content on «Far from Light» is really diverse, but something that ties them all is the melancholic, dark atmosphere. Was diversity something you were striving for or rather something that came out naturally?
All naturally. I never plan my albums by saying ‘Now I need one more classic song, and one more doom song’. That’s just the false way. Truth is, I just do what I want. Not all people would bring a ballad like «Gone Astray» and a fast, wild Dissection-esque song like «The Hour of Dying» on the same album. I don’t care. Lunar Shadow is my own true vision, it’s relieving to be able to do with it whatever I like.

– Lyrics are also quite diverse, with a strong focus on desolation, death… What are some of the topics you are covering here? Or what has inspired them?
The world inspired them. Life. My surroundings. Loneliness, the loss of love, the downfall of all things, the defloration of innocence and light. And my neverending fascination for death, which is the only thing in life, that is absolutely certain.

– Death seems to be the main theme though, reflecting also the dead of things, as for instance in «Gone Astray», which by the way feels really personal. Did any specifical event inspired this death theme going on?
It is very personal, the most personal song on this record for sure. It’s hard for me to listen to this song, the lyrics were hard to write.  We live and we love and sometimes we lose someone. Question is, how to deal with that. My attempt is «Gone Astray». It’s maybe the only song with a spark of light in it, because if you listen very, very carefully, I think, that you can hear the love in those lines, hidden deep inside.
One thing that has to be mentioned is, that «Gone Astray» is not primarily a song about death, but loneliness. That’s a huge difference.

– Anyway «Gone Astray» also has a sense of positivity, of fighting and moving forward, I see it as an example that «Far from Light» is also an album of contrasts. How important is to have some contrast on your creations, both as songwriter and performer?
Now that’s an interesting point. I think you’re the first one who mentioned positivity. I do not see any of that in this album, but my view is a crooked one, because I’m too deeply involved. If you feel that way and it gives you hope, I’m glad about that. A nice example, how everyone can link his own feelings and emotions to a piece of music. I think contrasts are simply interesting, when you are writing songs. Sometimes I like to listen to albums with 60 minutes of continuing blastbeats too, but with Lunar Shadow I like to combine fast, wild passages with frail, crystal ones. It gives you the possibility, to express most different emotions.

– There’s also songs that seem inspired by literature, such as «Cimmeria». Would you mind to tell us what have been some of the most influential authors or pieces for your lyrics?
I’m a fanatic reader and also a book collector. Tolkien is one of my idols, his writings have always been highly influental for my music. I think I have about 10 other Tolkien-inspired songs ready for recording. «Cimmeria» is of course inspired by the great Robert E. Howard, a very underrated writer, he had tremendous skills, his tales breathe fire and adventure. As if he wanted them to be transformed into Heavy Metal. «The Kraken» then is based on the same titled poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. He is one of my favourite poets, I just added a few lines to this song.


– You play a varied music style, always being epic, but with each and every element of your creation you manage to get away from standards and topics, from what any Epic Metal listener would expect. Just take a look at your logo, or to your not filled with dragons and epic battles lyrics. Is this something you specially go for?
As mentioned above, I just write about the things I want to. Never limit yourself to anything, do not keep your mind and spirit captive. I’m a strange person and so is my music. I think that’s all I can say regarding this question.

– Something that specially caught my attention on the album is the amount of riffs, twin guitars and in general how guitar driven it is, and moreover guitars seem like they have a certain feel of improvisation in the sense you can never know where they’re aiming at. Did you have a clear vision of how you wanted the guitar work and sound to be?
The (twin) guitar work is certainly sort of a trademark. I’m not a person, who works for hours on the perfect guitar sound, that annoys me. I just wanted a clear, warm sound with tons of reverb. And then some more reverb.  The songs itself aren’t much improvised actually, I pretty much recorded them the way I wrote them. But the solos are, 90% of them are improvised and many of them are first takes.

– And how was the songwriting for such a surprising album? What are the pros and cons of handling by yourself? And with more epic, longer songs than on the EP, has the process been different?
Handling all the songwriting by myself means, that I can pretty much write everything I want, which is very liberating. On the other hand it meant, that I had to join every recording session, because I wanted to ensure, that the results were equal to my imaginations. That was a very exhausting experience. I think, that if we ever should record something again, we’ll do it slightly different this time.  All songs were completly written, I don’t like to enter a studio with half-finished songs. You wouldn’t bury your grandmother, if she was only half-dead, wouldn’t you? Well, I would, but that’s a different story.  The longer and more complex songs were of course also harder to record. At some points I felt like throwing my guitar against the next wall and scream. But in the end it was worth the effort.


–  Though you have never played that many shows, have you thought about how are you going to transport this to a live scenario?
We try to make it sound live as good as possible. It’s not possible, to do all twin-leads+plus rhythm guitars live, we’d need a third guitarist. But me and Alex share many vocal parts and the right passages are always doubled. We’ll see how it sounds this weekend, our first concert in 2017.


– And about the production and recording process, how did everything go? I read it was exciting, but did you get the sound you were after?

I’m not quite sure I ever used the word «Exciting». It was exhausting, if you mean that. Our producer S. From Sulphur Aeon was the perfect choice for this album, he is very relaxed and skilled. He is an expert for samples by the way, which you can hear in our intros. We recorded the string instruments in one studio and vocals + drums in a seperate one. Due to unforseen circumstances we had to postpone the recordings here and then, sometimes for weeks. Also we are five people, who all got their jobs, it’s not always easy to find the time. If we all were unemployed, the album would probably have been released 6 months earlier.  Well, sound. Sound discussions are always highly subjective and therefore I see no sense in discussing it. Some will like the production, others won’t. Some like a more clean, generic sound, others will say that the sound is still too good and it should be more rough.
Speaking for myself I can say, that I pretty much got the sound I wanted for this album, yes.


– All this about «Far from Light» being said; how couold you describe it in just 3 words?
You will die.


– And finally, what are now your near-future plans?
I can’t really tell. I’m working a little on 1-2 songs right now, some songs are already finished. I’ve already got the title for our second album. Got some songtitles as well. But we will not hurry. I just started playing guitar again after not touching them for 7 months after the recordings. I don’t want to ruin that.


– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering to our interview. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks a lot.
Death to Life


Tania Giménez

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