Puta Volcano from Athens, Greece took their name from the volcano Putana which is located on the border between Bolivia and Chile, in order to define their sound and their impulse when they are writing music. Last April they released their second album ‘Harmony Of Spheres’, a “volcanic rock” album with lots of stoner/desert and psychedelic rock shades. They are appearing at the two-day New Long Festival in Athens, 15-16 July.
Your second album has been out there since April. Tell us about the procedure of the recording and the degree of satisfaction with the final result.
The procedure was smoother than anything we’ve done so far. We got Unreal studio on lockdown for two weeks and emerged with ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ in hand. Well, almost, because the process of mixing and mastering took some time. The end result is exactly what we had in mind and we are glad it turned out this way. A big shoutout goes to Unreal studios’ engineers and Johny Tercu for his production insights.
‘Harmony of Spheres‘ is a really dynamic and “volcanic” album, which I personally found somehow different from the previous, making me feel that it will leave a strong mark. Do you also see it as an album which defines the music identity of Puta Volcano?
It defines our current musical identity, for sure. But it’s almost certain that by the time we decide to go into the studio again, we’ll have something different to say.
Your sound has something familiar for those who grew up in the 90’s, yet there is also something fresh. Which are your main influences, old and new, and in what degree do they influence your sound?
Well, we are 90’s kids ourselves, so we are inevitably influenced by the Seattle scene. We won’t go into names; we prefer to let the listener’s ears decide for themselves. Aside from that, each of us brings a different flavour to the table. After 3 albums, we have found a way to easily discover common ground and work on that. Although we can’t deny the influence of our favourite bands, it works in a more subliminal way. Many times we’ve been surprised by what our music reminds other people of and it’s extremely interesting.
Besides music, are you also influenced as musicians from other forms of art and/or even reality?
It’s a given that trying to avoid reality as an influence would produce sterile art. The whole point is to work based on reality, viewed through everyone’s aesthetic prism. More or less we all let art guide our hand when writing music. Visualizing our concepts is how we go from musical ideas to completed songs. To that end, having been exposed to all sorts of art is very helpful. You never know what seeing a dance group or going to an art installation might evoke musically.
Is there a specific lyrical theme you follow as a band and who is mainly responsible for it?
As we said before, images are our weapon of choice. In this album, Alex Pi wrote most of the lyrics and the lyrical theme is our place in this universe and how it makes us seem tiny in comparison. But, despite being so small, our own concerns, troubles and unanswered questions matter very much, in that they are a very potent driving force that makes us take every next step.
The album artwork, designed by Katerina Karali, is really great. We see an aspect of Monument Valley, and what else? Is there a specific meaning of this image?
Katerina Karali expertly conveys a summary of our album in one powerful image. It’s the ideal place where one would use ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ as a soundtrack. Although the desert seems familiar, it could very well not be on Earth but whoever listens to the album, would be the same at both places.
You are active since 2010 with lots of significant live shows and great studio work. What is your vision about the course of the band? Or could you say that you simply ‘flow like lava’?
We do have creative bursts, much like a volcano does. And when the lava cools down, the soil is at its most fertile for things to grow. We try to absorb things that inspire or trouble us, and put them down in words and music. Until the next explosion, we will play ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ wherever we can.
On 15-16 July you appear at the New Long Fest in Athens. What can the audience expect from your appearance?
We’ll try to give them an immersive dive in ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘.
Is there a possibility for playing abroad? What are your plans from now on?
It’s one of our goals, so without knowing when, it’s a certainty. We are constantly trying to up our game when it comes to playing our music live, to be able to attract more ears to our audience.
Thank you for your time! Close this interview as you will!
Thanks a lot! Listen to music responsibly.
Photo credits: Thomas Chatzigeorgiou (1st one), Christos Sarris (2nd one)