A few weeks ago I received a promo download from the fourth studio “Sea Of Deep Reflections” by the Chilean band Lapsus Dei. I had never heard of the band before. But I immediately liked the songs on the album. Finest melodic doom metal. Lapsus Dei were founded in 1998 in Temuco (Región de la Araucanía, 670 km south of the capital Santiago de Chile). In the meantime, the members obviously live in the capital. So far four albums, several EPs and demos have been released. Doesn’t sound like much for more than twenty years of band history. But it is understandable if you look at the many changes in the line-up.
MHF: Hello, I’m Rainer and I write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you for being able to do this interview with you. How are you?
Lapsus Dei: Hi Rainer, nice to meet you, we all are well, a little hit by the pandemic, but struggling every day to get ahead. The scene has not been paralyzed, rather it has transformed and turned its forces to streaming, and social networks.
MHF: Please introduce yourself briefly.
Lapsus Dei: We are Lapsus Dei, a Chilean band that has cultivated doom metal in all its variants for 20 years. We have a varied discography, Lapsus Dei has shared the stage with great bands like Katatonia, Amorphis, Therion and many more. We seek to deliver a powerful live show, with energy and conviction.
MHF: How would you describe your music style?
Lapsus Dei: We have never been calm, and we always seek evolution. We try to describe ourselves simple as doom metal, since this genre supports being able to experiment with other styles, right now we are exploring progressive facets.
MHF: If I see it correctly, guitarist Rodrigo Poblete is the only remaining founding member. Did the many lineup changes lead to changes in the sound?
Lapsus Dei: It is correct that he is a founding member, anyway the changes have been gradual, there are zines and website where many changes are mentioned, but many of them have been session musicians. As we mentioned in the previous question, we always seek to evolve, may be the next album is more acoustic, may be more doom death. How knows!
MHF: Do you sometimes think of quitting with so many line-up changes?
Lapsus Dei: We are stronger than ever, we have being many years with the current lineup, and doing a lot of things related to the band. We have jobs and contracts until 2023, so “running away” is not an option for us. On the contrary, we take all these goals as a challenge and a desire to achieve a 110%.
MHF: You are currently playing in a classic metal line-up, i.e. guitar, bass, drums and vocals. In the past you also used keyboards and even violins. Why are you doing without it now?
Lapsus Dei: As the years passed, we realized that the more musicians are in a band, making decisions is slower, that brought us problems at some point. As an example, back in 2002, we had an offer from an important European label, we were 6 or 7 musicians, I don’t remember very well. But we couldn’t agree and we lost the opportunity they gave us. Another powerful reason is that producers are enemies of the lineups with many musicians, due to the costs that they entail. It´s also easier to compose, and technology is on our side in that regard. Anyway, these are reflections of now. In those past moments, it was something that happened naturally.
MHF: Can you imagine using classical Chilean musical instruments such as pan flute or quena in your songs?
Lapsus Dei: For sure, in our second demo, we used a pan flute in song “Mistika”. Anyway, Chile is a country that does not exploit its roots to much, it´s rather a modern country, very technological, with fast and stressed cities, and our native peoples have regrettably been forgotten. There are many bands trying to rescue that culture and we admire them.
MHF: How does songwriting work for you?
Lapsus Dei: The band members arrive with sketches of the letters, and we are analyzing and polishing them. Sometimes they also go along with the music. But it just so happens that we write goes very well with what we compose.
MHF: What inspires you when writing new songs?
Lapsus Dei: Generally, the letters are conceptions of how we live life, of how isolated we feel within a sea of people, how life takes years away from you and you don’t realize it. They are personal perceptions, that we try to be understood by the rest of the people. We are very critical of our ideas embodied in those lyrics.
MHF: You released the current album through the Latvian label Sliptrick Records. How did this label deal come about?
Lapsus Dei: We were looking for several options, we have the backing of other previous metal labels that we have worked with, we wanted to look for something new. We had several proposals but at the administrative level we were not very convinced. Sliptrick Records presented us with a detailed work plan, we investigated down to the last detail and joined his work. So far it is going very well, the album has had an impact in many countries and sales are excellent.
MHF: How important are live performances and contact to your fans to you?
Lapsus Dei: For us it´s very important to have permanent contact with our fans, that is why we create a group in our social networks to keep communication with everyone who wants to talk about the band, or need some help or advice in which we can be useful. Not everything is music, we are a great family that supports each other. Without our fans our path would be very stormy. We give it all on stage, you can look for our videos on YouTube and you can see the intensity that we put into each gig. People pay a ticket many times expensive and expect the same retribution from the band.
MHF: What about the metal scene in Chile? Do you have contacts to other bands?
Lapsus Dei: The metal/rock scene in Chile is big and professional, new albums are released every month. The bands are in healthy competition, and they all support each other, they are all ultra-equipped. We know dozens of great groups, both in Chile and in the rest of South America, Mexico, Europe, etc.
MHF: I thank you again for the interview. Do you want to say something to the fans at the end?
Lapsus Dei: We are full expectant with all the noise that our new album is generating, we hope that it reaches all possible people. We have new friends, new fans. Many good comments in our social networks. We are putting together several tours in Chile, South America. If the stars align, we hope to add Europe and Mexico. Stay safe, fight for your families, be empathetic to whoever needs help. We will see each other in a show in the short term!