NASSON: SCARS album, without being conceptual, is very autobiographical

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Interview by Cristóbal Torres

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Nasson is a Chilean multi-instrumentalist musician who began his journey 15 years ago, when he independently released his debut album: DYING TEARS (2007). Since then, Nasson has built a career that has led him to participate in various projects such as Inferis, Resilience and most recently Chaos Magic and Sinner’s Blood.

His producer side has opened him the doors by the Italian label Frontiers Records, with whom he has released SCARS (2022), his third solo album, twelve years after his last work: REFLEJO (2010).

This new album places Nasson as one of the musicians with the greatest projection in Latin America, since very few in the region can say that they have the backing of an international label.

We contacted the musician to tell us about this new album and the development that he has seen throughout an interesting career.

Cristóbal Torres (CT): How much do you think the Chilean scene has changed since you released REFLEJO in 2010 to now that you present: SCARS?

Nasson: There have been important changes that I think have to do directly with how technology has affected the music industry in the world.

I see that more and more Chilean bands present work of very good quality, mainly due to the accessibility that exists today regarding recording and production tools.

On the side of live shows, it seems to me that the call is getting more and more difficult.

On the part of the artists there is always a significant investment to present quality shows and on the part of the “emerging” bands it is difficult to carry them out since the compensation in terms of audience is not always the desired one.

I have had the opportunity to see this scene from the inside for 15 years and it is evident that in Chile there are many very talented musicians, but that talent is not enough and it is necessary to have a much broader vision to have good results.

CT: And how have you changed or evolved as a musician from DYING TEARS to SCARS?

Nasson: DYING TEARS was released in early 2007. SCARS will be released in January 2022. It’s 15 years! More than enough for a person to go through countless important processes that change life in different ways.

Without a doubt my musical work has evolved enormously thanks to never having stopped working with different artists. Each song or album that I have worked on leaves some learning.

I feel that my compositional style has become something more mature and sophisticated, but I maintain a particular sensitivity towards melodies and the concept of song that I think I can recognize from my first job.

CT: Which part do you enjoy the most: the part of being a producer or the part of being a musician and performer?

Nasson: I have always been a lover of studio work, collaborating with musicians and trying to find the formula to exploit their full potential, as well as composing, arranging and finding that magical moment when your song comes to life.

But I don’t think I would replace the experience of playing live with anything. Especially, as has been the vast majority of my career, songs that I have written. Meeting the feedback of people, from Chile to Europe is something so vital that it makes worth all the hours dedicated to music.

CT: Are the songs you present on SCARS new, or is there material you’ve picked up from the days of DYING TEARS?

Nasson: If I’m not mistaken, the oldest song on SCARS is no more than 2 years old. The way I write has changed a lot and I have been composing more than ever in the last 3 years, since the previous Chaos Magic album Furyborn, the debut of Sinner’s Blood and other artists I have written for.

So the wheels are quite oiled, and being my solo project, I have a certain freedom that makes the compositional process much more dynamic. So no, just new stuff!

CT: Unlike your previous two albums, which came out independently, you now release SCARS through Frontiers Records, how did this contact come about?

Nasson: My relationship with Frontiers began in mid-2018, after they heard about my work as a producer on the Chaos Magic album Furyborn.

The first album had been produced by Timo Tolkki, and upon encountering these new songs, the label was pleasantly surprised.

From that, they offered me to put together a new project and compose / produce a completely album, that’s where Sinner’s Blood was born.

Over time I have participated recording and writing for different projects, such as Black Rose Maze and others that are on the way, so when I presented the first demos as a soloist, they really liked the idea.

Now I work as a stable producer and songwriter for the label.

CT: What do you think is the main difference between releasing an album independently and doing it now with the backing of Frontiers?

Nasson: It depends a lot on the band or project. In my case, working my releases together with Frontiers gives a reach at the level of exposure and distribution that as an independent I could not achieve.

There are advantages and disadvantages, but at the moment, the label supports my work and I can show my music to a larger audience, in addition to generating networks with musicians with whom different future plans can be projected.

CT: How was the experience in the study; increased the level of difficulty, taking into account that you recorded all the instruments?

Nasson: In most of my jobs it is like this. When I work with other artists, I take the producer chair and collaborate with small arrangements, but in the case of Chaos Magic or Sinner’s Blood, I also record everything except the lead vocal and drums.

I have been lucky enough to go through all the positions in the formation of a band, from drummer to singer, both live and in the studio, so I have enough experience to make an album that way.

Of course, it is always interesting to have contributions from other musicians, that is why in this album I have the participation of very talented friends.

CT: Please clarify something for me, did you also record your previous works or did you have session musicians?

Nasson: There is everything. On the first album, DYING TEARS (2007) I recorded everything myself, but on REFLEJO (2009) I only recorded the voices.

I have participated in other bands and we have recorded albums where I only take the role of singer, on other occasions I also contribute with guitar tracks.

Until this last process, I had worked in every possible way, but now that I am established with my 3 main projects, I record all the guitars, basses, keyboards and secondary vocals unless there is a guest.

CT: The name of this new album is very suggestive, especially taking into account that there is no homonymous song (something that did happen in your two previous works), why call the album SCARS; what kind of scars are you alluding to?

Nasson: The choice of the title for a disc is always complicated and important. In the case of SCARS, none of the song titles resonated with me as an album title, so I finally looked within the lyrics and the word “scars” appears on the first single, “Not Today”.

This album, without being conceptual, is very autobiographical and most of the lyrics reflect personal experiences of the last time that leave scars. For this reason, I thought that “scars” summed up the personality of the album quite well.

CT: I’ve always liked the voice lines of your songs, “We are the Army” was no exception. Do you compose the voice line before having the music or is it vice versa; or is it something more intuitive?

Nasson: Thanks a lot! In all this time I have written so many songs that I have ended up using all kinds of methods.

Lyrics first, music first, vocal line first, all at the same time, etcetera. But I must say that my favorites are always those that come from the vocal line.

CT: What is the projection you expect with this album; Will you prepare a tour with guest musicians or is it just the launch?

Nasson: For now it is difficult to make plans to tour, but I would love to. On the other hand, I also have to coordinate those plans with the Chaos Magic and Sinner’s Blood schedule in addition to studio work.

For now, I would like to play live in 2022 and make decisions according to the reception of the album.

CT: What are your plans for this year? Will you dedicate yourself more to production with other bands or will you follow up on your facet as a musician?

Nasson: I recently finished production on the new Chaos Magic album and am already writing for the second Sinner’s Blood album.

At the same time, I am writing regularly for Frontiers, but I do not pretend that my solo project remains only as a studio anecdote, so, after the release and the promotional campaign of the album, I would like to return to live shows and tours as soon as possible. possible.

CT: With almost 15 years on the scene, what is your advice to the 2006 Nasson who is gearing up to launch DYING TEARS?

Nasson: That sometimes the road takes unexpected turns, but that focusing and continuing to work will pay off.

CT: Thank you very much for your time and congratulations on this album. Any final words for readers?

Nasson: Thank you very much! Hope HeavyRiff readers get a chance to hear SCARS, it’s a modern record, full of heavy guitars, great backing vocals, and lots of melody. Between 2010 and 2011 I lived in Mexico City, a few blocks from the Zócalo, so I have a lot of affection for Mexico and I would love to go back on a tour. A hug to all!