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Vanja Plavsic (In Mute)

Interview with Vanja Plavsic from In Mute
by Cherie Wong at 20 December 2019, 4:55 AM

IN MUTE recently released their new album, "Chaos Breeder." Metal Temple writer Cherie Wong recently got the chance to talk with vocalist Vanja Plavsic and bassist Pedro to talk about the new album, some of their tour experiences, and other topics.

Hello! I am very excited to speak with you on behalf of Metal Temple online Magazine. How are you today?

Vanja- Hi!! Thank you for your interest in In Mute! We are doing great :)

I want to jump right into discussing your latest album. What were some of the key themes of the album “Chaos Breeder?”

V- The concept of Chaos Breeder is very abstract but the message is based on the idea of destroying all the things that are constantly keeping us in a prosaic state and dormant, and building something new. In the end it is the chaos that makes us appreciate the peace that comes after it.

What inspired you individually and the band as a whole, thematically and/or musically, while writing the album?

V- It happened very fast! I didn´t have a lot of time to complicate about the subject, we just met and started created music together at once. But it worked very really well, we wrote what we felt in the moment. Personal experiences mixed with some dark references. I was inspired by having the opportunity to be part of the In Mute family and the voice of the new album and to share its chaos with the world.

How would you describe the band’s songwriting process for “Chaos Breeder”? What are the individual approaches for writing music and how did you work together to create the final product?

Pedro- The songs have been composed by Tobal and Mike. They show us the whole song or different rifs of it, and then among all the song has just been composed, contributing more ideas or composing the line of their own instrument. This album we think is more varied than the previous albums because Mike has composed half of the songs.

What are your personal favorite tracks off “Chaos Breeder” and why?

V- My favorite track is Chaos Breeder because it was the first song that we wrote together as a band. I also love Ecce Torment for its melodic chorus and dynamic song structure… All the songs have a soul of their own, it is hard to choose.

The cover art for “Chaos Breeder” hand-painted by Estér Galán is quite lovely. How did you come about working with Estér? What was the process like?

P- Esther is Tobal's sister, it was easy to contact her. She really likes the band, and we her pictures, so we proposed that she make the album cover and she loved the idea. We talked to her about the theme of the album, centered on chaos, and she used the concept of the butterfly, because science usually uses that symbol to refer to that. He showed us a few ideas and we loved them, we found them very original and also very different from everything we had used before.

Recently,  In Mute has added two new talented musicians to the lineup, Vanja Obscure and Mike La Riva. How did that come about and what have they brought to the table, in addition to their voices?

P- Well, we met Mike because he was rehearsing with another group in the same rehearsal rooms as us. We met Vanja at a festival in Belgium. When we were without a singer we started looking and we learned that she was living in Valencia, and that she was not singing in any group. We proposed that you enter In Mute and liked the idea. Mainly they have contributed more ideas in the compositions of the songs. Especially in the case of Mike, also the game of melodic voices with the usual guttural, which we have introduced as a novelty in this album.

IN MUTE hails from beautiful Valencia, Spain. What is the metal scene there like? How has it shaped the band’s history and direction?

P- Here in Valencia there is a lot of musical movement, although unfortunately in the metal scene less than in previous years. There are many rehearsal venues and different concert halls, although some are very expensive and sometimes it is risky to organize a festival. Anyway, almost every week you can enjoy some metal concert. Something very positive is that almost all the groups there are known, so many groups share musicians and we support each other.

Valencia, and Spain in general, is a bucket list travel destination for me and many others! What are some must-see destinations for a metalhead in Valencia and Spain?

P- Here in Valencia, the most enjoyable is the weather, it is usually very good weather almost all year. That also helps to go out and discover different bars and "more metal" areas. Although what we have seen is in the northernmost cities of Spain there is much more movement of rock and metal in general, and whenever we show them to play or watch festivals there is an impressive atmosphere.

The band has performed at several festivals, including Resurrection Fest, Leyendas del Rock, and Viñarock. How do the festivals compare? How are they similar and how do they differ?

P-  The Resurrection Fest and the Legends are much more similar, because they are rock and metal festivals only. The Resurrection has more extreme and hardcore groups perhaps, and the Legends heavier or power, but both festivals always have different groups of the metal scene. The Viñarock is more different, at least in recent years, because metal groups go much less. They usually go more than alternative rock, rap, some folk …
Luckily every year there is usually some representation of this genre, hopefully it goes more and more!

In 2014, IN MUTE had the amazing opportunity of performing at Wacken. I want to hear all about the experience! How did the band decide and/or get the chance to participate in Wacken Metal Battle?

P- The experience was spectacular!! As soon as we learned about the existence of the Metal Battle we wanted to participate. The organization of the contest is very good, there is a lot of fellowship between the bands and you always end up making many friends from other cities. We show up there twice. The first year we were not so lucky, but the second was all great. The opportunity to go play Wacken is an impressive experience, for the people, for the atmosphere and for the number of brutal groups that always act there.

Describe what was it like to compete with bands from around the country and, ultimately, worldwide. What were some of the other bands you competed with? Which of those bands stood out to you the most? Do you have any fond memories from during the competitions?

P- It is an experience that you learn a lot, both musically and humanly. You see how the groups take the musical influences of their city or country, and add it to their music. Besides being able to talk about how the metal scene is lived in its area, and how life is lived in general, it is very interesting and enriching. It is very easy to make new friendly bands !!! In the first year, for example, we became friends with Trallery, a trash group from Mallorca, with whom we later had the good fortune to play, and hopefully we will have many more concerts together!

How was the actual experience of performing at Wacken? What were some of the highlights of the overall experience?

P- As for the festival, everything is very professional, everything is very well taken care of and there is always something interesting to see: a great group, some Viking performance, or just walking through the different areas. It is like an amusement park for heavys !! And during the performance it was impressive !!! We had never been playing in front of so many people, and doing it on that festival was an unforgettable experience for the band !!

What is something nobody told you about the process? What would the general metal public not know or be surprised about the experience?

P- We didn't know that all the people got so involved in the festival. All the people of the town take out something handmade to sell, food, drink in the gardens of their house … all the people wear rock clothes. It is a real heavy microworld!

What advice would you give to a band that wants to perform at Wacken through the Wacken Metal Battle?

P- Simply let yourself go and flow with your own music. What seems to be most valued is that the group is sincere. All the elements of the show are important, including how to move on stage, and the more worked all these aspects are, the easier the jury will like. Of course, they also value the duration of the performance, everything has to be kept with a stopwatch!

The lineup at the 2014 edition of Wacken was fantastic, as it is every year. What bands stood out to you from that year?

P- That's right, this festival always has an impressive lineup !!! Between so many bands it is hard to decide for what stood out the most, although the concerts we enjoyed the most were Slayer and Motorhead !!

What are other festivals or countries where you would like to perform?

P- Maybe Hellfest, but there are more and more interesting festivals throughout Europe, and we would love to play in all of them without a doubt !!!

How does the band aim to stay unique in the vast melodic death metal genre?

P- We only know one way, and it is to continue playing and playing which is what we enjoy most in the world. We have been standing for a while because of the entrance of the new singer Vanja and the recording of the Chaos Breeder, and now we are more motivated than ever to give concerts!

What’s next for IN MUTE? Anything planned for the immediate future or long-term that you can share?

P- Soon we will announce many more dates and festivals where we will be playing, both inside and outside our borders!

Is there anything we didn’t discuss that you would like to add on?

P- Thank you very much for dedicating your time and we want to give a big hug to Metal Temple and all the people who follow us, and we hope to see each other soon in a concert !!!!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Keep up the good work and I hope to see you guys performing live soon.


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