Stemming from the Arizonian wastelands comes Lago with their take on 1990’s death metal. Guitarist/vocalist Cole sent me his demo after I had requested it. The off-the-cuff mannerisms of the death metal scene serve its purpose, but people tend to want to know more beyond the surface. I’ll give a brief overview of Lago’s new demo “Tyranny” before I interview him.
Lago’s riffs are constructed in standard format — where there is a simple motif (in this case, basic chording) that transposes into another. Moments of Tampa Death Metal types of chording progress into a rather simplified descent in which the low growling vocals tend to heighten the music. The musicianship appears to be on a level where it can be successful. In short, Lago is traditional Death Metal in its truest sense. They could make waves in the future if they focus themselves to.
Now for the interview.
Howdy Cole! Thank you for taking the time to have Forbidden Magazine inquire about your exploits. First off, why did you start Lago? What are your goals? Do you hope to transmit a message through your music, other than the tried-and-true style of most other bands?
Thanks man! Lago really just started as a jam session. I’ve always been in hardcore and metal bands. I had always been limited in my writing due to being in someone elses project. So starting off Lago was a breath of fresh air being able to write and play music that i’m 100% into. Like I said it started off as just a jam session, with never any real goals. Our first lead guitarist Manny joined and all of a sudden we had 5 songs, and we were like “why not record these things and float them out on the internet?”. Turns out some of the more traditional death metal fans really took to our songs. We had a couple offeres for releasing our music within a week of posting our songs online.
You had recently played some shows outside of Arizona. How were the responses? I was lucky enough to see Lago here in San Antonio, but your set was cut short. I was hoping to see more. The musicianship was above average. How long have you played guitar?
That month you caught us we had played one California date, and then one Texas date. We were supposed to play El Paso the night before but it fell through so we just drove straight 13 hours to play the one show in San Antonio then drove right back home. The California show we played was FUCKING WEIRD! It was in the Crenshaw neighborhood in LA. If you don’t know where that is, its basically in between Watts, and Compton. We were told to load our stuff into the venue which was a furniture store, with a stage for shows in their warehouse. Basically we were told that it was a big Crip area and that hanging out on the sidewalk wasn’t the best idea. And to top it off there was like 20 people there. Moral of the story is, don’t play at Silver Mine Studios in LA if you’re ever asked. Texas was by far the best of the two shows. Playing with Burial Shroud, Emperial Massacre, and Id was great. Those bands all ruled. I’m not sure that we had our set cut short or if we just had a short set. Either way it was a fun show. As far as musicianship, I’ve been playing guitar 17 years. I should probably be a lot better than I am. I still can’t play a guitar solo to save my life. Luckily we have Andrew to do that, and now with the addition of Brian on the drums were sounding better than ever.
One thing that’s unique about Lago is that you’re prior military. What was it like being in the marines? Did this lifestyle transpose to the civilian sector and into your music? If so, how?
Being in the Marines was a great experience. It was pure fucking hell, and absolutely wonderful all at the same time. I almost re-enlisted, but i just didn’t quite get the deal I wanted for my job towards the end so I headed home. I don’t know that it comes across in the civilian world. I don’t feel like it does, but i’m told by a lot of people that I do have that intense sort of demeanor you would come to expect from a service member. It did open my eyes to the world. Seeing different countries, and cultures. How they live, what they hold sacred, how they conduct themselves as people. I think lyrically, what I experienced in the Marines effects me and it shows. I got to see a great number of people who’s sole existence is based off of how they think they’re supposed to live due to religion or some sort of ideology. I’m not a christian, satanist, or an atheist. I fashion myself an Agnostic. I don’t feel like you can prove the existence of god. I’ve been around the world I don’t see any evidence of any higher power. Just men and their agenda.
Pale Horse Recordings released your first album. I thought it was rather odd that you came out with a demo, being that there was a plethora of material already available for others to hear. Is there a new level for Lago? Why this demo now instead of having your prior release being your statement?
As proud as I am of the EP we put out on Pale Horse, I don’t feel like that was at all a statement about us. Those songs were thrown together very quickly. I wouldn’t say our new stuff is by any means technical. But we’ve spent more time “writing” the songs. Tweeking them. Changing them. Completely tearing them apart and redoing them. I think it makes for a better final product. The new stuff if I can quote Andrew (Pale Horse Records) is “Better realized”. To me it just sounds like a more mature and refined version of the EP we did. As far as the DEMO reasoning, we just felt like we needed to give people a taste and let them know we were still a band. It had been 2 years since we did anything and we went through some line up changes. We didn’t want people to think we were done.
Which types of bands help inspire you for writing music? Any music that would be “uncanny” to find inspiration from?
Musically our most obvious and biggest influence is Morbid Angel. I heard Domination when I was 16 and thats all i’ve wanted to do since. There are others, Emperor for the black metal influence. Suffocation, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. But Morbid Angel man… thats the top dog as far as were concerned. I came up through some crust/punk/hardcore. Lyrically i’m influenced by bands like Dystopia. Just pure depressive real and blunt talk about the agony of life. Thats real to me. I’m not writing lyrics about demons and raping god with a coke bottle. Thats not my gig. I think it’s false and stupid. At least in Lago it would be.
What are your thoughts on the world? Do you pay attention to the headlines and see how misconstrued our information is? Do you seek information that reinforces your outlook or broadens it?
It’s one giant cluster fuck. News is so biased. It’s fucking opinion, and agenda based news. Fox News man… Jesus Christ those cock suckers. They market themselves as “Fair, unbiased” yet they let Shawn Hannity refer to the president as the anointed one on their station. Yeah… thats fair and unbiased. Sometimes I want to turn on the news and see what the weather is going to be like, without having to see some stupid asshole’s talk show featuring 2 disconnected politicians arguing about whats good for the country they can’t even relate to anymore. The news has divided our country into 3 groups. Right, Left, and so irritated that they no longer care of pay attention. I would be a part of the latter. This is frustrating to even answer! This is why I listen to Sports Radio. It makes a lot more sense, and doesn’t make me want to pull my fucking hair out.
What’s ahead for Lago in the next year or so?
We are aiming hit the studio in july/august to record our yet to be named debut full length. Blood Harvest Records will be releasing it. Were hoping late 2013/early 2014. Were pretty pumped up about it.
Arizona has some beautiful areas to go hiking. What are your hobbies outside of music?
That it does! I’m about a 10 minute drive from The Lost Dutchmen State Park. There are some great trails out there. I used to do quite a bit of fishing with my dad up at Lee’s Ferry, which is basically the beginning of the Grand Canyon. I’m trying to get back into the shape I was in The Marine Corps. I’m training to do a triathlon. We’ll see how that goes. I also have a 50 dollar a week comic book subscription thats starting to get unhealthy.
Thank you again for your time. Is there anything else that you’d like to share? Cheers from Texas!
Just, thanks for the support and stand by for a new record in the very new future!