EKOS
Luz Interna
(Subteraudio Digital)

 

Language, or rather the hundreds of languages most English speaking denizens don’t know, should never get in the way of appreciating great music. One way to transcend is to listen to only instrumental music or the other way is just to appreciate great music for what it is, as you can readily do on the 2013 CD release of Luz Interna by Mexican prog-rockers Ekos. A band in love with the 1970's and specifically groups such as YES and Pink Floyd, (they double as a Pink Floyd tribute band), Ekos captures all that goodness on their 2012 CD. Commenting on naming their band after the title of the Pink Floyd magnum opus and side long track from Meddle, “Echoes”, group keyboardist / vocalist Ana Camelo told mwe3.com, ‘Pink Floyd is one of the greatest bands of all times, they achieved something fundamental that characterizes them and makes a difference among other bands.’ On this first Ekos CD there’s plenty of progressive rock inspired instrumental passages that blends in Spanish language lyrics, but the vocals are so convincing and the whole CD meshes so well, that the sound goes beyond words. Other musical influences on the Luz Interna CD include the hard rock / metal sound of bands such as Pantera, as noted in a recent review by a prestigious prog-rock magazine, although according to Ana Camelo, 'Our influences in the metal area comes directly from Dream Theater, Metallica or Iron Maiden, even gothics from Lacrimosa, maybe jeje, that would be better choices for us.' Guitarist / vocalist Jesus Torres sounds electrifying and group keyboardist / vocalist Ana Camelo and fellow band mates Victor Juárez (bass) and Ricardo Castro (drums) have all the sonics down to a tee. For international loving progressive rock disciples, Mexico’s EKOS offers a sublime dose of prog-rock nirvana. www.ekos-mx.com / www.subteraudiodigital.com


mwe3.com presents an interview with
EKOS


mwe3
: Where and when did Ekos start as a band? Who are the players in Ekos, how did you meet and what is the chemistry like between the players? What is the musical / cultural concept behind Ekos?

EKOS: Ekos started as a Pink Floyd cover band in Mexico City. The first line up was in 2004. The idea was to play Floyd’s music at a couple of parties, just for fun, but then the band evolved and the lineup changed many times. The only survivors of the original lineup of Ekos is Jesus Torres (guitar and vocals). Victor Juárez (bass) came-in in 2005, Ana Camelo (keyboards and vocals) in 2008, and Ricardo Castro (drums) in 2010.

So we met inside the band, and with this line up the chemistry is excellent... we have become very good friends.

We make music just because we love doing it. Creating is always the greatest expression of an artist; it is the final way to say many things that reflect the inner being we all have and that is locked up in ourselves by many things, mostly ideas that has something to do with social adaptation. As musicians, creating music becomes a need to overcome this situation and also it is simply something that we enjoy doing very much. We love rock and we choose progressive because it allows a lot of freedom when composing. Progressive bands allow themselves to explore and to really express... we want that.

mwe3: What was it like growing up in Mexico for you and which artists were among your earliest original musical inspirations? When did you start studying music and do you still practice your instrument?

EKOS: Growing up in Mexico for us has been great. We are really proud to be Mexican. Mexico is a country full of tradition, music, art, spirituality, mysticism... And even if Mexico has been drowned in economic crisis since forever, we had the luck of having the choice of becoming musicians.

Just to make a small list of our very first musical inspirations we would like to name: Caifanes, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Doors, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Richie Blackmore, Real de Catorce, AC/DC, Molotov, Deep Purple, Metallica, jazz, Latin, blues, classics… etc.

We started studying music in very different ways each one; some of us had the chance to have conservatory training, some of us playing in other cover bands, taking lessons, etc. We still practice a lot... practicing has to be a habit for any musician.

mwe3: Is Luz Interna the first Ekos CD and can you say something about when and where the music was written and recorded? What were some of the inspirations behind the music for the Luz Interna CD? In an effort to widen the appeal for the international market, was there any discussion about singing in English on a track or two or adding in some purely instrumental songs in the Pink Floyd spirit?

EKOS: Luz Interna is our first album. It took a lot of effort to get there, we started composing seriously around 2008, and started recording in 2010 when we were complete as a band. Some of the songs were written during the recording, which took two full years.

All the music was written and recorded in México city, and we were very lucky to find the engineer Pablo Nuñez Álvarez and Javier Hernández Meijueiro from Subteraudio Digital (www.subteraudiodigital.com). Both did wonderful work, and helped us a lot during the process.

There are a lot of musical inspirations behind Luz Interna. Of course Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Caifanes, Radiohead, Moby, Victor Wooten, Genesis, Il Balletto di Bronzo, just to name some of the most important.

Indeed, at first we had the idea to write in English, with the thought to be understood everywhere in the world, and two of the tracks on Luz Interna were actually in English, but this didn’t feel right to us, we couldn’t express, it felt unnatural and weird. So we decided to do it all in Spanish and we are actually very happy with the result. Spanish is our language, we grew up with it and we live it every day, so it is the best way to express ourselves through lyrics.

mwe3
: Ekos also performs as a Pink Floyd tribute band. Is the band name Ekos named after the Pink Floyd epic track “Echoes” from their historic Meddle album? What is it about Pink Floyd that the band admires so much and what era of Pink Floyd seems to be the most popular one among the band members?

EKOS: Yes, we named the band after “Echoes”, one of our favorite songs of all times, it was the perfect name for a tribute, and then we became so identified with it that we decided to keep it when we started our own project. It is very special for us that our name is inspired in a song that qualifies as masterpiece in music history.

Pink Floyd is one of the greatest bands of all times, they achieved something fundamental that characterizes them and makes a difference among other bands. The extraordinary conduction of energy, the perfect chord in the right moment, the exact note in the precise instant destined to untie a point of tension and catharsis in the audience. The lyrics are timeless due to the reflection of the self in the mirror of life, no doubt it is pure inspiration. We love all Pink Floyd eras, this is a band that was always different, always evolving.

We enjoyed a lot playing Pink Floyd covers, and we learned a lot from this experience, but our main objective now is to play our own music. But we are still receiving a lot of invitations to play Floyd and every time we play also our music. We do not cover any other band right now and probably we won’t. Or maybe we will play some Steven Wilson just to feel that joy... (lol)

mwe3: How popular is progressive rock in Mexico and what other bands are popular in Mexico in 2013? What has the response been to the Ekos CD in Mexico and do you have fans in other countries in North America, South America and other parts of the world? Will Ekos spark a new interest in progressive rock in Mexico?

EKOS: You will never or very rarely will hear prog-rock on radio or TV in México, but there is definitely an important scene of progressive Mexican rock, and thanks to internet it seems to be growing up. There are a few very good and important bands, like Cast, Iconoclasta, Chac Mool, Luz de Riada, Cabezas de Cera, Watercolor Butterfly, Carphatya, Umpalumpas trio, among many more.

A few festivals of prog music are winning over audiences. Of course the most important of those is the Baja Prog Fest, in Mexicali, Baja California, where we hope to play one day.

Our Luz Interna is getting a good response here in Mexico. Audiences are still small, but we are really happy because we have been receiving good commentaries from a lot of countries like Canada, USA, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Spain, UK...

Will Ekos spark a new interest in progressive rock in Mexico? We certainly hope so.

mwe3: Can you tell us what gear you use in EKOS including keyboards, guitars and other effects that are featured on the CD as well as live when you perform?

EKOS: Sure, Yamaha TRB6PII & Yamaha TRB 1005F (fretless) bass, Hartke LH500 and Hartke VX115 amplifier. BOSS effects. Pearl vision and Masters Custom drums, Zildjian cymbals, hardware Gibraltar and DW, Vic Firth sticks. M-Audio keystation pro controller, Nord Stage EX, and Kurzweill piano, keyboards. Omnisphere Spectrasonics plug-in. Music Man signature John Petrucci 6 Mystic Dream, Ibanez s-prestige Taylor acoustic guitars. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Fender Blues Junior, amplifiers. BOSS effects.

mwe3: What are the plans you have for EKOS in 2013 and 2014 and beyond? Are you writing new music and if so what directions would you like to go in the future?

EKOS: We are writing new music, and we will like to start recording our second album in 2014, and of course we will keep promoting our music by any means available. We really hope we can start appearing in prog festivals next year.



Thanks to Ekos @ www.ekos-mx.com

 

 
   
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