Cosmic Jaguar is a technical thrash metal band from Ukraine, active since 2022. Lucas Biela (LB) interviewed their leader, Sergio Lunático (SL), for ISKC Radio Group.
1/ Sergio, we know you at ISKC Radio Group from your other band, Bestial Invasion (as Metal Priest). Cosmic Jaguar is a new project of yours involving past and present members of Bestial Invasion. Could you tell us a bit about the genesis of this new band?
SL: Aloha music lovers! Cosmic Jaguar is our new project that came about spontaneously this year. In April I met my acquaintance Denis and we tried to jam. As a result, thanks to my work, which did not make it to the last album Bestial Invasion, we quickly created a track. Then I called the former Bestial Invasion guitarist Maestro on guitar and decided to record music if possible, and in 4 months we created and recorded the whole album! Isn’t it fantastic? That’s how in chaos and war the band and the album were born!
2/ From a musical standpoint, we are close to Bestial Invasion. On this new project though, we can hear you perform lead vocals, besides bass. This is your first attempt at lead vocals (together with another recent project of yours, Lord Erektus). Is singing something you always fancied?
SL: Yes, the stuff reminds something of the first Bestial Invasion albums and that’s cool, because there the music was more bass guitar oriented. Actually in this project I was supposed to be just a bass guitarist and we even had a vocalist, but because the vocalist turned out to be not serious and with a youthful maximalism, I had to be at the microphone stand. To be honest, I don’t like to sing, because I don’t know how))) But it was a difficult and unclear situation because of the war and there was no time to look for someone to replace me, so I decided to do it myself. It was my first attempt to sing in English and it was very difficult at first, because I don’t know much English. But because of my efforts and the efforts of our sound engineer, Denis, the vocals are more or less good. Many people say that my raw and untrained vocals fit in well with our avant-garde music. I will try on the next album to work the vocals even better and surprise you with it!
3/ The first single, “Our Lord Flayed One” released on october 15th of 2022 revolves around aztec culture. Where does your fascination for this ancient empire come from, and will the album be a concept-album?
SL: If you pay attention to Bestial Invasion, you will also see a lot of songs that are related to history. I love the history of different periods so I try to use my knowledge of music to make it even richer and more interesting. We do not want to be just another stupid thrash band singing about cliched themes which already makes you want to vomit))) The first single was about the god Xipe Totec – “Our lord with his skin off”, “Our chief stripped down”, Tlatauki Teccatlipoca – “Red Teccatlipoca”, Ittapaltotec – “Our chief of the flat rock”. In Aztec mythology, a deity descended from the ancient deities of spring vegetation and sowing, and patron of goldsmiths. Mystical god of agriculture, spring, and the seasons. Yes, the album is conceptual! I thought of everything in it in terms of concept!
4/ I am among the privileged ones who were given the opportunity to listen to the whole album. I can safely say it is flawless but I’ll let our readers discover the whole thing in due time. Speaking of which, why is the release of the whole album programmed for April 2023 only?
SL: Thanks for the compliment! What’s taking so long? Because the Dutch label Metal Warrior Records needs half a year to release the album. I’m not so happy with the decision either and I wish the album would be released this year, but we can’t change it. Next year I have plans to release this album, the new Bestial Invasion album and another new Cosmic Jaguar album. I hope we can do it!
5/ You decided to choose spanish culture for members’ nicknames and the flamenco-flavoured ending on one of the songs. As the project is aztec-oriented, why not instead stick to the nahuatl language and aztec musical tradition, or is that because spanish is strongly intertwined with past aztec culture and widespread in our world?
SL: We thought it would sound thematic and conceptual and even a little original. There must be new images in the new band! I’m not cool enough to use Nahuatl in our music yet, but I don’t exclude that it could happen. So, for now we are working with Spanish, which is also the culture of Mexico and its ancient history. It’s very difficult to find people who speak Nahuatl to help us with our lyrics.
6/ In three instances throughout the album, we hear female vocals (twice ” clean ” and once ” harsh “). Who are these guests? Or do you prefer to keep the information secret until the release of the album?
SL: Yes, there are female vocals on the album! Where would it be without the Celtic Frost influence). It’s the same girl named Chimalma. She is able to sing both clean and extreme vocals, and that is a golden achievement for us, because it adds new colors and opportunities to our music. Also her vocals can be heard on Sadist and Cynic covers.
7/ What is the schedule of next singles? Will they come with a description, as you did with the first single?
SL: Soon we’ll release a cool cover of Sadist – “Escogido”, then in December another cover of Cynic – “Veil of Maya” and in January a new single in support of the album! We still have a music video but it’s like a joker up our sleeve and waiting for its best time))) In fact we want to please our fans with new material non-stop! Yes, we will continue to post conceptual information for each new single.
8/ Your drummer, here dubbed Denis Tornillo (and who is the current Bestial Invasion drummer) is also credited on folk instruments and various percussions. It was a good idea to include these instruments, as they keep songs in the aztec frame. Is performing on these instruments something Denis learned through percussion classes, or is he self-taughed in this field?
SL: Denis is a very cool and quality musician who does everything very quickly and creatively, which is why I invited him to Bestial Invasion, because we need that kind of talent. Some instruments he records himself, and some he uses from different audio libraries. These are all folk instruments that make our music more atmospheric and avant-garde. Yes, Denis is self-taught, which makes our music even more non-standard.
9/ Where will we be able to purchase the album?
SL: From our Dutch label Metal Warrior Records, who also reissued the first three Bestial Invasion albums on CD, and are also supposed to reissue 4 albums on vinyl in 2023. Also the lazy ones will be able to buy the album digitally on Bandcamp.
10/ Last but not least. We can’t be blind to the current situation in Ukraine. How do you manage to write and record music in such difficult times? Will you be able to tour (locally or internationally)?
SL: Right now we are going through the most difficult and dangerous time in the history of Ukraine, so we are trying with all our might to resist the aggression of the russian occupant. Right now music is like a temporary meditation for us, which helps us stay sane from all the hell we have going on. I can’t say anything about tours yet, until our country wins the war, there’s no point in even thinking about this topic. Right now thoughts about tours and concerts are not important, now it’s important to think about the victory of our country, and then time will show!
11/ Let us know if you have anything else to add.
SL: Keep an eye on our work and you’ll be happy! Also, don’t forget to support Ukraine in its most difficult time! Thank you all! Good luck!
The first single can be downloaded/purchased here: