Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pseudostratiffied Epithelium Interview

I discovered Costa Rica's Pseudostratiffied Epithelium recently, and was thoroughly impressed by their latest EP. As someone based in another overlooked and under-represented scene, I decided to reach out, one jungle to another, to find out more. I e-mailed some questions to the band, which guitarist/vocalist Mauricio Baltodano was kind enough to answer.

Dreams of Consciousness: Please introduce Pseudostratiffied Epithelium! Who is in the band and how would you describe your music?

Hello Adrian, thanks a lot for the interview. We are Pseudostratiffied Epithelium, also known as Pseudo. Death metal from Costa Rica. Just three idiots trying to stay in tune and in time...our music is hard to describe, as it cannot be compared to any other band. We have many influences from all kinds of music styles and rhythms; however, we like brutality and speed in our riffs.

DoC: Please give a brief history of the band - when did it form? What were your goals, and who were your influences?

Pseudo started off around 20 years ago, when former member Ronald (who already had formed the band but was inactive) hired lead guitarist Mauricio. Together, they composed a couple of tunes but were still looking for a drummer and bassist. After a short period of time, Mauricio´s brother Fernando, a drummer and their best friend, Marco, joined the band and recorded Sodomizing Children Corpses.

DoC: Pseudo formed back in the early 90's, playing a raw death/gore/grind kind of style. Since then, the music has transformed into a more straight forward death metal style, reminiscent of Incantation. How did this change take place?

After SCC, Pseudo went through several line-up changes, which brought fresh ideas to new brutal but more melodic riffs and passages. However, our guitarist Mauricio, who has been the composer for PE since the beginning, started to develop more technical riffs, including the usage of other instruments such as violins in "Romantic Passions in Rigor Mortis".

DoC: You are based in Costa Rica. What is the scene like? How often do you get to play live and tour?

Costa Rica is a very small county, the scene is just like that. There are several bands that are still active after 20 years but we all need to have a day job in order to be able to go out and play one or two gigs a month. We never go on tour for the same reason.

DoC: Your name is very unusual, referring to a kind of animal tissue. Why was it chosen and how does it relate to the music?

The intention was, I believe, to catch your eye immediately. It has no relation to the music whatsoever. Actually, that name was chosen by former member Ronald.

DoC: Your last album Dolonia was based on Homer's Iliad. What is it about these stories that interested you?

My brother Fernando and I read the book separately, and all of the sudden started to compose songs related to the massacres and bravery told in the story. Nothing could be more death metal than a story of a hero who took revenge for his dead cousin, killing thousands of warriors.

DoC: I discovered PE through your Bandcamp page, which allowed me to hear not just your latest release but also most of your discography. How does Bandcamp help you as a band? How do you think it can be improved?

In my opinion, Bandcamp is not a big help. Nobody likes to pay for online music, specially in this country. Improving Bandcamp? Impossible, we would need to change [people's] mentality first.

DoC: I really enjoyed your latest self-titled EP, please tell me more about it. Where was it recorded? How does it compare with your past releases?

Well, the EP was composed with a brand new Ibanez RG370, which I think was my main inspiration. I started to try different riffs and also, several natural disasters inspired me to compose "Cosmic Energy" and "Times of Destruction". Another song, "El toro de Falaris", was a contribution of former member Fabian, with arrangements by Mauricio. Lastly, "Evil Ones" was recorded in Cavan Studios and mixed by Juan Carlos Díjeres. I think this release breaks the mould in terms of the composition of the songs. On the EP, I was very influenced by opera and baroque music.

DoC: I've never been to Costa Rica. What's the best thing about it? What's the worst? What bands from Costa Rica should metal fans know about?

This is a very beautiful country, the nature is amazing. The best thing is that you can get to see both oceans the same day. The worst...? Gas prices. Alastor, Insepulto, Advent of Bedlam, and Colemesis are just a few of my favorite bands.

DoC: What's next for Pseudostratiffied Epithelium?

We are planning on going to studio very shortly and record our next full length album. It will include 9 tunes full of brutality and killer riffs, along with melodic bridges and guitar solos like never before. Our next gig is at OZ bar on November 1st along with Alastor, Colemesis and Slavon.

Pseudostratiffied Epithelium on Facebook

Pseudostratiffied Epithelium on Bandcamp