All Tomorrows are currently getting ready to release their second album Sol Agnates. We caught up with guitarist Ramón to find out more about the band.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
We’re a progressive death metal band from Chile and we’re currently promoting our second album Sol Agnates. I guess we’re really closer to the death-metal side of music rather than the progressive as we tend to lean towards powerful riffs rather than technical pyrothechnics.
How did you get started?
We all came together looking to form a band that was heavier than what we were currently doing with our own bands. Pepe Lastarria (Guitar & vocals) was in an alternative rock band, Pablo Martínez (Drums) on a melodic hardcore band and I, Ramón Pasternak (Guitar) was playing in a melodic death metal band. Our current bass player Oscar worked as session player and is currently in a progressive metal band. Initially Pablo, Pepe and I had this idea, that we wanted to make music that all of us liked and were proud of, that the lyrics had to be good and meaningful and that we’d had to compare ourselves with the best rather than with what was happening around us in the immediate musical scene. From then on it was just writing music and rehearsing.
Who are your influences and role models?
We’re very influenced by Meshuggah obviously, the whole genre in which we place ourselves, we wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for them. Gojira is also a very heavy influence for us. In terms of influence I guess that what makes our music or our albums unique is the fact that each of us have a core group of bands and music that we all like and then each of us like styles and bands that the others don’t really know or dig that much. That ranges from hardcore to funk, pop, grind and even contemporary composers like Messiaen or Xenakis.
You’re currently getting ready to release your new album Sol Agnates. Can you describe your writing and recording process?
The whole process from writing to completion was very long. The good thing is that we started writing for this album even before our first one Opilion without really knowing. Some songs that were left out of Opilion ended up in Sol Agnates and when we had the release show for Opilion we even played one of the song that was part of Sol Agnates.
Our writing process is pretty straight-forward. Most of the time me & Pepe come up with a riff or section of music and then we develop it together into a whole song, and some songs are written almost completely by either one of us. It’s pretty much 50/50, but Pablo and Oscar had some really important contributions on the albums in terms of structure of the songs and general direction of something specific like a vocal line or a guitar part. At the end of the day we’re always a band so from the time a song is written to when it gets ready to be on the record a lot happens where everyone has a say and influences the end result.
We took our time with Sol Agnates because we wanted to make an album that would feel as complete as possible when we listened to the final product. We did a lot of pre-production with the drums & guitars and also took our time finding the best place and people to master it. We ended up working with Logan Mader who was a really cool guy. We’re very picky with everything we do and even when his first version of the master was really great we ended up asking him many times to correct some little thing in a specific frequency or a little boost in the bass in some part. We’re all very very proud of that album so we think that everything was worth it in the end.
Were there any songs that were more of a struggle to perfect?
Yes, definitely. Some songs demanded more of our time than others. A couple of songs on the album are pretty straight forward, very much in the vein of our first album. We took some big leaps in terms of composition with the other songs and as everything that is new, that demanded more time for us the get everything just right.
Which song are you most proud of?
I think that we all have our personal favourites but the title song Sol Agnates is a big favourite for all of us. It’s called after the album and is the first one for a reason. It’s very different from what we did in our first album, it’s heavy but mid-tempo, very rhythmic and it breaks the boundaries in terms of vocal range and style. I feel like it’s unique within the album, there’s no other song in there that is like “Sol Agnates”.
Any interesting stories from the studio?
Well, four different studios were used for the whole process of the album. One for the pre-production were we recorded the whole thing in one go. Another for the final drum tracks. Then we recorded everything else and mix at Pepe’s studio to finish it at Logan’s studio in LA. We recorded guitars with a double setup stacked on top of each other, that is, two guitar amps and two cabs stacked. There’s always the possibility of an earthquake in Chile (there was that 8.0 richter in 2010) so we had to mount and dismount the whole thing everyday.
And finally what’s All Tomorrows’ plans for the rest of 2015?
We’re very excited with this new album and have been working all year in promo-shoots, a videoclip, playthroughs and rehearsing and getting ready for the release show. After that we’ve plans for a tour in our country and possibly a tour of latin-america. I’m not able to say anything specific yet but we’ll finally be able to play in Europe next year because of all the work we’ve put on this album so, yeah, we’re really excited to start the whole Sol Agnates saga of tours!