According to a recent press release: ” Persefone, the band that put the Andorran country on the map of the metal scene, started as a band back in 2001.” In late 2014, the bands prevuious drummer decided to move on and in came Sergi Bobby Verdeguer, from the band Nami. We were able to grab Bobby for 10 Quick Ones to discuss the bands latest release (which dropped 2/24) and more…
1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
Our latest release is Aathma, our fifth record and it was released a few days ago, on February 24th through ViciSolum Productions, our label in Sweden. It is also my first recording with the band. Persefone is the kind of band that need to take some time to write and album and tell everything we want to tell. The music is the way that we express ourselves, it is a projection of us, and everything in the album matters and has a reason to be, every note, every lyric… So in this case, Aathma is like a picture of the moment we are living right now and how we feel music. The think I’d like the most is that the people that are about to listen to the album actually take some time to do it, just the album, nothing else, you know? I mean, we are always doing lots of things at the same time, and focusing on more than one thing… So, if you really want to listen the album, just do it, take a comfy sit, close your eyes and play it. I’m sure that the fan or listener would enjoy it much more! There are always lots of layers and notes happening, so of course, more than one listen is strongly recommended! It always happens to me to play some of my favourite albums and discover new things, effects, notes, instruments, subtle things… And well, as little Easter egg, a little obvious maybe for the diehard fans, we always use a butterfly on the Persefone artwork!
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
I don’t really know what got me into music actually… My cousin was a diehard heavy metal guy so I remember listen to Iron Maiden or Metallica at a really young age but not enjoying it so much (haha). Then I saw a few gigs, probably pop music or so and was really mesmerized with the drums and I started taking classes! When I was sixteen or so I met Carlos and Moe, from Persefone, and become really good friends. They are older than me and for me it was so amazing to hang out with them. I remember spending lots of hours with them, talking about music, sharing some records, laughing about everything… I didn’t know what to study or do with my drums at the time and they were really motivating me to keep playing and try to start a band, and so I did! I started Nami, my other band and kept meeting with them. Looking at this now, with almost ten years of perspective, I feel really blessed that our paths crossed at this point, it’s really amazing! Then, three years ago or so I became the new Persefone drummer! Thanks guys!
3. Who would be your main five musical influences?
I think everything influences a musician or an artist, maybe a movie, a painting, a photograph… Andorra is a really beautiful place to live and it sure influences me or the band. As musical influences, maybe it sounds a little bit weird, but Persefone itself it’s my main influence. I mean, I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager so, it has influenced me somehow in my taste and playing. I listen to a lot of music, lot of different styles and it would be impossible to make a list right now, a few of them would probably be Martin Lopez ex-Opeth drummer or Steve Judd from Karnivool, but again, really hard to say (haha).
4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?
There are lots of awesome musicians out there, but as a band we really feel connected with some bands, like Cynic. In Aathma, we were really blessed to have Paul Masvidal doing some vocals and guitars on Living Waves, one of the tracks of the album, and also a speech at the beginning of the cd. So for me that’s it, Paul Masvidal is the answer.
5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?
Just music, you know? Music written and played with the heart and the soul. Of course, we know that we are connected to the metal scene, but just it’s music. It’s very hard to describe something you’ve made with some labels or technical words but I’d say that the music of Persefone takes you on a beautiful journey.
6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
I’d say that the best thing of being a musician and also in a band is to share lots of moments with your best friends, creating music together and traveling a lot meeting lots of nice people.
7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
We are not this kind of band but I can picture it and it’s really funny! (hahaha). In Persefone there’s always one with his emulating system kind of Nintendo playing retro games all the time, another one just looking for wifi like crazy, then another one is the center of all of our jokes and at the same time he’s the funniest guy on earth, then there’s one looking for food, usually fat type, another one always sleeping with his cap covering his face and procrastinating a lot and a last one drawing and usually out of it (hahaha).
8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
Probably a school teacher, like I actually am. I love my job and at the moment we can do both, the band and our daily jobs. If I weren’t a teacher I probably would be a photographer or something related with art, design.
9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?
No, everything in this path is a lesson that makes us smarter and stronger. Every experience we had, every gig, every rehearsal is part of the story of Persefone, so I wouldn’t say so.
10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
I’d say Damnation of Opeth, but I wouldn’t play because I love the album as it is and I wouldn’t do it better. Martin Lopez did an incredible job on the record, I really love his playing here. I’m not so much into them right now but it was an album that influenced me a lot and introduced me to a lot a music. I remember listen to it really often walking through my way to school and paying attention to all the details in the album. Last year we had the opportunity to do two gigs with Soen, Martin Lopez’s new band, and it was such an honour to meet him and play in his drum kit, a dream come true!
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