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I believe in myself and that's enough for me, I don't need Christianity or any other religion to find a meaning in life

Interview with Tristitia.
Tristitia Tristitia is a truly unique atmopsheric doom band hailing from Sweden. Their mournful, sad music does fully justice to their name. Luis Galvez, the band's guitarist, is one of the few doom metal guitar players who are technically gifted, mastering the art of both electric and acoustic guitar. A veil of silence had embraced this band for the last years, as line-up problems seemed to have entered the scene with the departure of original singer Thomas. Fortunately, Thomas has returned to the band now, and Tristitia is once again cooking a fresh dish of sorrow and darkness, waiting for the right time to serve it to the unprepared doom-o-phile. Doom-metal.com had the honour to pick up some crumbs here and there, deceiving our hunger and thirst until more music from this amazing band comes to fill our empty stomachs...

Greetings Luis, and thanx for doing this interview. Tristitia is one of those doom bands of which everybody seems to have heard, but nevertheless many doom fans still don't know how the band sounds. How would you describe the sound of your band to someone who hasn't heard of Tristitia before?

"Very mournful, dark, atmospheric gothic doom metal and I still think that especially our first release "One with Darkness" from '95, is our darkest album. The music of our latest release "The Last Grief" is very dark and atmospheric too, but the vocals bright up the album a bit."

The sound of Tristitia is, as the band name implies, very sorrowful. What drives you to create such sad music? Is it your own personality, or perhaps unpleasant experiences you have been through?

"I've have always listening to metal, but especially when slow mournful parts are played by any band, i'm just atracted to them. Bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass really evoke something dark inside me which i think comes into my music."

You are one of the few guitar players in doom metal who are technically skilled...are there some guitar players that have influenced your playing? Or are there certain musical styles which have influenced you?

"I begun playing the guitar at an early age, when i went to school. Guitarists like Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Yngwie Malmsteen influenced me a lot. I also listen a lot to classical guitar work of Bach and one of my faves classical guitarists is Segovia."

Tristitia Thomas, the vocalist on the first two albums, is probably going to do the vocals again on the next Tristitia album. Why did he leave in the first place, anyway?

"There were times we didn't get along so very well and that affected the band, but all that is solved out now, so i don't think there are not going to be any problems with him singing again. If there are any problems, i'll use death style vocals this time, but i'll surely be missing his singing style. I really want him to sing on the next album, as far as I know he is the only one who can bring Tristitia those deep, dark feelings with his vocals."

The line-up of the band is a bit unclear to me. Are you and Thomas the sole members of the band? Under those circumstances, I can imagine that Tristitia isn't playing any live gigs, or am I wrong?

"For the moment the band consist of me, Thomas and the original bassplayer Harri who played in the first demo back in 93. I'm looking for a drummer, a keyboard player and a second guitarist. Those times after our first release, we did some live gigs but it didn't sound well with just me on guitar, so next time we are on stage it will be with two guitarists, but for the moment we are not able to play live."

Most Tristitia lyrics are very anti-Christian and often extremely sarcastic towards Christianity. Where comes this obsession with Christianity from? Were you perhaps brought up with Christian values with which you didn't agree?

"I grew up with no religious values at all, but i find religion very fascinating: good and evil, heaven and hell and all that, how religion catches people, i find that very interesting. However, I don't think i'm gonna write more religious lyrics anymore , i'm more into personal and fantasy stuff right now. All in all, religion is about believing in something, I believe in myself and that's enough for me, I don't need Christianity or any other religion to find a meaning in life."

Speaking of the lyrics, my favourite Tristitia lyrics are those of the track 'Reminiscences of the mourner'. This song creates e very realistic atmosphere evoking the sorrow felt by someone who is mourning on the grave of a person he seems to have loved...are the lyrics of that song personal, or do they only serve in creating an atmosphere which fits with the music?

"Those lyrics are exactly what i'm into now, a mix of personal experiencies and a lot of fantasy. Sometimes when i'm in a bad mood, I rather escape to fantasy worlds than sticking to reality. Reality really sucks sometimes, so I just create a world in my lyrics and music which is maybe not brighter, but at least it is deeper and more honest."

Holy Records is one of my favourite labels, with great bands like Elend, Septic Flesh, Tristitia...signed to them. Are you satisfied with your cooperation with them and their promotion for Tristitia?

"Yes, so far there are no problems, they do very good promotion for us and they work very professionally."

What are your plans in the future? When is the release of the next Tristitia album planned?

"I hope to record the album during this spring, all depends on how well the songs come along with Thomas singing, in our first releases it was with ups and downs, so I know what to expect. But I won't release anything until I'm totally satisfied with the material, I'm still working with the music and that can really delay things."

Should we expect any surprises in the sound of the band?

Tristitia I'm still into very deep, dark and sorrowful music, so I don't think there will be any changes in Tristitia's style or sound. I'm thinking of recording in the studio where we recorded "One with darkness". So it will probably be a very dark album; the first album really has a very dark atmospheric ambience."

We came at the end of this interview, Luis. Thanx a lot for your patience. Is there anything else you would like to add?

"Thanx a lot for this interview and a big hail to those who dare to enter the realms of darkness with Tristitia where you are one with the dark!"

Visit the Tristitia bandpage.

Interviewed on 2002-02-06 by Kostas.
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