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Claudio Botarro Neira (Procession)

Interview with Claudio Botarro Neira from Procession
by Daniel Silva at 14 August 2013, 5:16 PM

Doom has no boundaries, even in countries when this sort of ancient Metal genre merely has its place, it is always there, waiting to be played and performed. PROCESSION have been one of those bands that take Doom Metal seriously and with that taking on its scene since 2006. Recently the band released “To Reap Heaven Apart”, via High Roller Records. Daniel Silva talked to Claudio Botarro Neira, the band’s bass player, about the new album, band’s roots and more…

Greetings Claudio, how have you been doing? Thank you for taking this interview for Metal Temple.

Hey! Everything is fine here. Thank you and Metal Temple for your time and interest in Procession.

Your Doom Metal band PROCESSION has been running since 2006, what can you say about it to the world?

The band was formed in Valparaiso, which is the coast side of Chile by Felipe Plaza Kutzbach and Daniel Pérez (former bass player). After recording a demo called “Burn” in 2008, the band got the attention of Iron Kodex records (Germany) which proposed to them a record deal for an EP, called “The Cult of Disease”, which contained three brand new songs as the A-side, while the B-side contained the full “Burn” demo. It was released in 2009 and also had Francisco Vera (BATTLERAGE) as a drummer for the EP. As a way to promote the EP, the band went on their first European tour. In 2010, and with Felipe living in Sweden, there was a change of lineup, which consists of Francisco Aguirre (ATTACKER BLOODY AXE/CAPILLA ARDIENTE) on drums and me on bass. Together we recorded “Destroyers of the Faith” in Chile, this time via High Roller Records. We went on the band’s second European tour in 2011 and, at that point, we added Jonas Pedersen (VEIN/STRYCHNOS) as the second guitar player, as he has been our live replacement for the European gigs we Chileans could not attend. Uno Bruniusson from IN SOLITUDE did the same job on drums. After that tour, Francisco moved to the south side of Chile, and due to his compromises with A.B.A. he was replaced by Uno as a permanent drummer. The first recording of the Chilean/Scandinavian PROCESSION lineup consisted of Felipe Plaza Kutzbach on guitars and vocals, Jonas Pedersen on guitars, Claudio Botarro Neira on Bass and Uno Bruniusson on drums was a 10” released on 2012, consisting of a SCALD cover and a new song called “Death and Judgement” which gave the name to the EP, and that later would appear re-recorded on our last LP, “To Reap Heavens Apart”, released in 2013. Nowadays we are playing some festivals to promote the album and its message of Doom Metal.

What are some sources of inspiration for the band?

Music-wise, our main influences are CANDLEMASS, IRON MAIDEN, SOLITUDE AETURNUS, JUDAS PRIEST, SOLSTICE, BLACK SABBATH, COUNT RAVEN, SORCERER, TROUBLE, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, and a thousand more bands Philosophically, what inspires us is life and death (and other morbid tales).

What made you move to Sweden?

I can’t speak for Felipe as I’m still living in Chile, but I guess it has to do with the opportunities to showcase your music in a proper context, see excellent bands at gigs and festivals, learn and enjoy the different socio-cultural perspectives… and of course, girls. Swedish girls rule!

How big a difference is the Metal scene in Chile when in comparison it to Sweden?

I guess the Chilean scene is way more violent, raw and wild in general. It’s very common to see fights, blood and broken noses mixed with moshing and stage diving at gigs. Swedes are more respectful and controlled as a crowd, even when they are watching a band such as NIFELHEIM, for example. I must say that the main styles in Chile are death/black/thrash metal, so you can get the picture, right?

Recently you guys released "To Reap Heavens Apart", via High Roller Records. I must say that it is quite a spiritual title. What made you name it like that?

The album name “to reap” instead of “to rip” is a play on words about the harvesting of all the experiences in life, which would serve as a key to the unknown. If you look at the album cover, it shows a “procession” of damned souls ripping the skies, as a metaphor for the destruction of the material/physical world, with all their restrictions and paradigms, in order to discover the mysterious inner landscape.

In comparison with your earlier release, "Destroyers Of The Faith", do you think the new album is a step forward in your musical progress?

Yes and no. Yes, because of the exploration we had into the composing process due the opportunities we have now having two guitars, and also having Jonas to take care of the composition. No, because music-wise, we keep on playing the same kind of music, delivering the same kind of message.

In terms of sound, what changed between the albums?

For me, the fact that for the last album, we moved for a little more than a month into a house in the north of Sweden (Hofors) to record the album, which was a job done by Jonas himself was great (and exhausting) because we had member of the band taking care of the sound. The other thing for me is the “South American/European” alchemy, as myself and Felipe came from a “world” totally different from Jonas and Uno’s. “Destroyers of the Faith” for me was Chilean Doom Metal with a Chilean sound.

You guys once covered SCALD, a Doom Metal act from Russia, on your "Death and Judgment" EP. Why did you guys chose this band to cover? Are you a big fan of the Russian Metal scene?

We covered SCALD because it is one of our main influences and a milestone for underground Doom Metal. We love their music and also wanted to commemorate the 15th year of Aegyl’s early departure. He’s one of the greatest voices Metal had. About being a specific fan of Russian Metal, I can’t say that I am… I pick bands for their music, not from which country they come from. I like KORROZIA METALLA’S “Russian Vodka”, and I know the dudes dig ARIA and MASTER too. Need to check if I’m missing something great, though.

I am a big fan of Doom Metal and for me what most draws me to this particular genre of Metal is the vocals … do you need to enter into a special state of mind in order to convey the necessary “feeling” that Doom Metal requires?

I agree to that and I guess Felipe is ALWAYS in that state of mind.

Will you be touring to support this new album? Where will PROCESSION be playing?

Yes. In fact we already have played in Heavy Days in Doomtown (Denmark), Muskel Rock (Sweden), Hellfest (France), and Metal Magic (Denmark). We have a couple more gigs, in Poland and in PartySan (Germany).

What are some of your plans for the future? Have you started working on the next album?

Our plans for the immediate future are keep on playing as much as we can as a full line up, sell our merch and drink free booze. About new songs, we are always composing new riffs and making noise, but I think that it´s still too early yet to speak about a new release. ​

Claudio I wish to thank for taking the time for this interview. As a fan of Doom Metal, you guys honor the depths of the soul with grace. Cheers for you. Any last words for the fans?

Well, thank again to Metal Temple and the readers for the interest in Procession. We are proud and happy about that! If you are into Chilean Doom Metal, wait for Capilla Ardiente's "Bravery, Truth and The Endless Darkness" LP on which Felipe an I play as well. It will slay!! DÖÖM!!!


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Edited 01 December 2022

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