Pyramidal Interview: On Beers and Cheeseburgers

While Spain may not be widely known for a famous progressive rock scene, Pyramidal are quickly reaching for the top of the modernday space rock community. Fusing the hard rock sensibilities of Sabbath and Hawkwind with the spacier doctrine of bands like Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd, Pyramidal’s debut “Dawn in Space” is a psychedelic roller coaster.

Conor: How are you all doing?

Óscar: Everything’s fine around here!

Conor: In a word or two, how might you describe the sound of Pyramidal?

Óscar: It’s maybe like a mix between Hawkwind, Black Sabbath and a bit of the experimental sound from 70s German Rock.

Conor: Pyramidal is a cool band name; what’s the origin story behind it? It sounds like something Egyptians may have taken to relieve headaches!

Óscar: Haha, yeah! This could have been a good prescription. We just got it randomly, but we also like that occult meaning of the name. Some people comes and talk to us about how the pyramid form is usually related to illuminati people, you know, they talk about they symbol the “panoptical eye”, about they secret society and that kind of stuff… They wonder about why we named that way and if we are into it or what. It’s funny sometimes.

Conor: To my ears, Pyramidal falls deep within the space rock canon. However, there’s a beefy sense of composition and direction to your music that many like-sounding bands tend to exchange for the sake of improvisation. What’s the songwriting approach like for Pyramidal?

Óscar: We jam a lot, we use to get in our rehearsal space and we can just jam for hours. From that jams we choose what’s good and what’s not. Maybe one day we’re just inspired and we can do music for an entire album… But unfortunately we haven’t enough money to edit all that stuff.

Conor: Pyramidal’s debut, “Dawn in Space” has a beautifully organic sense of production. From one musician to another, what’s the secret behind this rich sound?

Óscar: All is recorded live with the band playing simultaneously. Half of the record was played and composed before and the other half rised improvisating in the studio. Maybe that is the reason why it has that “beautifully organic sense of production” that you’ve talked about.

Conor: Forgive me if I’m wrong, but “Dawn in Space” flows as if there’s a sense of concept or narrative to it. Am I off the charts with this?

Óscar: Well, it has a little of that concept or narrative. When we had all the stuff edited we studied the order of the songs carefully. The whole record has to tell you something like if it was a conceptual album but we didn’t pretend to do a conceptual album. It just that it has to have a meaning when you listen to it all, from the beggining to the end.

Conor: Despite its rich cultural history, Spain has never been a particularly prolific country in terms of its progressive rock. What is the scene like in Spain? Any bands you can recommend?

Óscar: We can recomend you some good old bands of progressive rock from Spain. In the seventies we had a bunch of cool prog-rock bands here like Smash or Triana who mixed the progresive music with flamenco. Other progresive bands that I can recomend you to listen from Spain could be Maquina!, Mediterraneo, Pan & Regaliz or Tapiman, they’re all great and a good representation of the Spanish prog-rock scene. Nowadays it’s hard to find this kind of bands here.

Conor: What is the live experience like for Pyramidal? I imagine you bring some very spacey antics to your performances.

Óscar: We try to do live performances that mixes the space and ambient parts with some other raw and noisey moments. It all comes progresively, we try to feed up the mind of the audience in every aspect. You can have extra-sensory synth sounds and heavy guitar riffs and crazy solos.

Conor: What advice could you give to other progressive rock musicians? Any words of wisdom you’ve picked up along the way?

Óscar: Yeah, just one… “Space is Deep & Music is Endless”

Conor: Favourite beers? I’m currently enjoying an Estella Damm, from Barcelona.

Óscar: Probably Mahou 5 Estrellas and we also recomend you the Alhambra Especial!

Conor: Favourite cheeseburger?

Óscar: Mmmm… We prefer some good “arroz alicantino” or “tapas”.

Conor: Final words to grace humanity with?

Óscar: If you listen to us you will find the ultimate answer… Wait I forget that religion has the copyright of that one!!

Conor: Cheers from Vancouver!

Óscar: Cheers from Spain and thanks for your questions!

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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