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Interview with Stratuz
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I guess most people like music even since being a baby, but what got me into playing was the AC/DC Live in Donington video, when I was 9 years old. I just watched Angus do his thing and immediately wanted to play guitar. If I wasn't doing music I think I'd be drawing or some kind of graphic designing or something like that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like watching movies and series. Soundtracks would be the obvious influence in what I do, but also the atmosphere of a scene or a dialogue can bring music to my head.
How long has your band been around?
Stratuz started in 1984 or 1985, so that's about 38-39 years. I was born in 82 so I was a toddler back then. I met the band and became a fan in 92 or 93, still a kid, and got the invitation to join the band in 2005.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We're from Caracas, Venezuela. That does impact strongly our music because so many things are fucked up here, politics, health, friends, and family have to leave the country... you could say living here is "very metal" even when metal music is not really that popular. It even forced us to take a long hiatus from 2006 to 2019, because of the political turmoil.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It's a made-up word that we gave the meaning of "the line that divides good from evil".
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
It may sound cliché, but I think our most memorable show was our latest, in Caracas in May 2022, where we showcased our latest album, Osculum Pacis, and played for the first time live with a classical string section and choir.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We have so many places and festivals we would love to play and haven't yet. We're getting there tho. I'd say our favorite cities to play in are Caracas (our home city) and Barquisimeto, also in Venezuela, which has always been very kind to Stratuz.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Well for me personally, not speaking for the rest of the band, and only thinking of bands that are still active, it would be something like Opeth, Devin Townsend, Gojira, Ihsahn, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Septicflesh, Leprous, and, of course, us. That'd be a sick festival!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
The most important advice, if you want to be in a band, is: Don't be a dick. In the end it doesn't matter if you're the best player or singer or whatever, if you are always late, irresponsible, or just a pain in the ass to be with, you'll never last long in a band.
To my younger self, I'd recommend practicing even more, and focusing on tone earlier.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Do some more exercise and eat healthier so I'm not such a mess at 40!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
They all are very meaningful to us. For me personally, the one I connect with the most might be Dawn or Condemned. They are different lyrically, but both have this weird melancholic feeling, like sadness mixed with anger, that resonates deeply with me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Our favorite to play right now are those in our latest album, Osculum Pacis. I think the most requested one might be Falling, from the first album, In Nomine...
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We're inspired by everything around us. The world is a fucked up place so metal is a perfect medium to express how we feel. The creative process is a group effort, someone comes with any idea, we try it and if we feel it, it stays.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
In our latest album we mostly talk about the catholic church... their abuses and all the awful things they do, as well as their silence in the face of so many reports of abuse from people all around the world. But we also have songs about transformation, rising up, and breaking the chains of dogmas.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yeah of course we do, but we're very respectful of each other and we can resolve anything by talking.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Our next biggest step is a South American tour that will be happening in late August and early September. We're very excited to visit for the first time Chile, Argentina, and Peru. We're also still promoting Osculum Pacis and will be releasing a new Lyric Video very soon!
Music Video - Back To The Sun -