This Darkness Feels Alive – Matias Bahamondes, Yoav Ruiz, Agustin Lobo
Art: Paolo Girardi
Overtoun is a Death/Thrash Metal band with a blend of progressive/Latin elements, founded in 2014 by drummer Agustin Lobo and guitarist Matias Bahamondes. After finding vocalist Yoav Ruiz-Feingold (Graviton, ex-Atheist) at Berklee College of Music in 2017, they consolidated their core lineup. In 2022 they were joined by bassist Matias Salas (Nuvian).
With two albums, ‘Centuries of Lies’ (2018) and ‘This Darkness Feels Alive’ (2021), they have been recognised as one of the best bands in their home country, a ‘spearhead’ because of their songwriting talent and performance experience contrasted to their young age. Their latest album was re-released by the label WormHoleDeath (Sony/The Orchard) and won the Pulsar Award 2022 (Chilean Grammy/Juno) for ‘Best Metal Artist’. They toured Chile four times and have booked performances in Argentina and Brazil for the near future.
HMA: What are your lyrics generally about?
Yoav Ruiz: Each album is different, but there is a through-line of the psychoanalytic death drive and our relationship with self-destruction. This particular album’s lyrics are entirely focused on spiralling mental health, the descent into depression and the eventual breakthrough. I wanted to write something personal yet universal with this record, and I fear many people can relate to that particular cycle.
Agustin Lobo: We feel that the best inspiration to create music is the good vibes and company between us. However, we like to drink coffee, and maybe that has some effect on a creative level that we don’t know.
Matias: I think we tend to say things that are happening in society, things that are happening to us. Our music is very honest and real; everything comes from our deep psyches and experiences. When writing riffs, I like to dial a great guitar tone that inspires me and drives me; then I spend a long time just playing and letting myself go; that liberation or freedom that occurs in the creative process is when you get your mind outside of the world and play like yourself.
HMA: Is metal a form of modern cult worship?
Matias: Agustin and I grew up listening to Metallica; I think they are our ‘modern cult’, haha! I started to play the guitar because I saw Hetfield playing his classic ‘Eet Fuk!’ ESP Explorer in Seattle 89. It was the coolest thing I fucking saw in my life, and it still is! I could not believe something could make a sound that awesome. Agustin had that same experience watching Lars; he even met him in San Rafael back in 2014; that was an insane moment.
HMA: Artists you admire?
Agustin: As the drummer of the band, I’ve always had a strong admiration for Jeff Porcaro, who, being the leader of Toto, was always concerned about having a solid foundation in the songwriting and rhythm of his band. The number of sessions in which he participated is insane! I think that outside of Metal, he’s been a great example of someone I’d like to follow in his footsteps.
HMA: Why is music important to you?
Agustin: When you’re younger, you feel the music as entertainment more than anything. We all started more or less like this because we liked to play and listen to music, and that’s it, without even listening to lyrics sometimes. But, when time passes, and you realise that you can convey things musically when you see everything that the vocalist of your band can write to share with the world, everything takes a much more interesting turn, and I don’t know if it’s a spiritual experience. Still, it is something that unites us all. Without a doubt, the fun part of this always stands. At least, it is the basis of the project.
Matias: So, Yoav is a big fan of bossa-nova and artists like Djavan, Jobim, and such. I’m a huge fan of Chilean folklore music, singer-songwriters like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and bands like Quilapayun, Inti-Illimani, etc. I also love the rock band Los Tres, an incredible group from the 90s. I’d recommend you guys check out Cianuro with their new album ‘Odio Total’.