Review Fix chats with Austral’s Mario Gonzalez (Guitar, Flute, Backup Vocals) to find out all about their new album, “Patagonia.”
Review Fix: How did you guys get together?
Mario Gonzalez: Years ago, Luis Gonzalez, Juan Contreras and I played together in a death metal band called Riostigia in Santiago, Chile, over the years, during 2009, Luis and I decided to form a new metal band but with the intention of making Something new and that identifies the sound of the old Latin American ethnic groups, this is how Pablo Yañez, my classmate and Claudio Valdés, appears as a bassist to complete the first official Austral line up.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Gonzalez: Our main tool for composing music is improvisation, we listen to a lot of ethnic music from different parts of the world to then take those influences assimilating them through our instruments added to our metal influences, they can be different types of rhythms, songs or sounds from any part of the world.
Review Fix: What do you think makes this band special?
Gonzalez: We are one of the few bands at this moment that cares to sound like a Latin American band but with the due respect that we should have to our local and ancestral music, we do not want to be like the rest of the bands that want to sound like the American bands or European bands, we want that when you listen to these bands people think “This music comes from Latin America.”
Review Fix: How would you describe your style?
Gonzalez: In a nutshell, “Ethnic Metal”
Review Fix: What are your goals for this album?
Gonzalez: In general terms, to show the hard work that we have been doing these years, also to reach as many ears as possible to show that even here, in the southernmost place of the world, you can make very good metal music that is of quality and original. Specifically, with our new album “Patagonia,” we want to make a tribute to the sadly exterminated Selknam tribe.
Review Fix: What’s the standout song? Is there a story behind it?
Gonzalez: I could say that “Newen” is one of the most outstanding songs since it is the crossing of two worlds that is lived to this day in Chile, the world of the Mapuche tribe that has been in these lands for thousands of years. conserving its traditions and culture and the rest of the Chilean people that is more influenced by the most western cultures.
Another song that is very well achieved is the beautiful ballad “Yagué” because it is not like the typical rock ballad, but sounds powerful and beautiful without the need to have a distorted guitar but with the sound of our ancestral tribes.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Gonzalez: At the moment we are focused on promoting our recent album “Patagonia” and some time ago there was a video clip on social networks of the song “Kloketen” that was excellent so it is very likely that soon we will shoot a new video clip promoting “Patagonia “and also a tour of our national territory.