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Interview with Zuberoa Aznárez (Diabulus in Musica)
Benedetta Baldin | April 20, 2021
Symphonic metal in English is good. Symphonic metal in Spanish is also good. We have conclusive proof that no matter what language the songs are, metal is truly universal. And for this reason, the charming Zuberoa Aznárez of Diabulus in Musica has agreed to chat with us.
Hello Zuberoa, how are you doing at the moment?
Hi! I’m doing fine, thanks! As always, very busy with music and the children, but that’s a good sign 😊.
What is the strongest memory you have of your childhood?
In general, my best memories are related to my village, in the mountains, where I used to spend my holidays. I have always felt very attached to Nature and my roots. That feeling of freedom is invaluable for a child, and it’s not possible to experience it in a city. My best memories come from those days.
Being a countryside girl myself, I agree with you! I’m sure that being a performer is very rewarding. Can you share with us one of the best responses someone had about your music?
It is. Reading every message or comment about my music makes me very happy; it is so rewarding… People are very kind, and their words feed the motivation I need to keep on making music. Some fans have told me very personal things and how listening to my music has made them overcome some struggles and fears. I believe in the therapeutic power of music, and getting to know that my music has helped some people in difficult times of their lives is more than rewarding.
Very true. You sing, you compose and produce music, you are so talented! Do you feel like you are being respected and valued just as men in the metal industry?
I don’t think so. I mean, I have never felt a specific mistreat for being a woman, but I have noticed some details that make me think there are still many things to do and change towards equality. For example, you can read my name in all the credits of Diabulus in Musica’s CDs, but still many journalists tell in their reviews that Gorka makes the music or arrangements. They anticipate that without even reading the credits. Also, in the interviews, they only ask me about the lyrics, while all the musical questions are for Gorka or Alexey. I could think that it’s because I’m the singer, but I really doubt this happens to the male vocalists… This has happened with Diabulus in Musica and with my solo project, where some people think Gorka is also arranging my songs. You can read many things about the male “masterminds” and founders of the bands, but women remain just the singers while there are many cases where we do much more.
That is truly outrageous! Let’s play a little game: you can choose to spend a day with an artist (dead or alive), and you can ask him/her all the questions that you want. Who would him/her be?
Oh, that’s a very tricky question. I’m the weird musician who doesn’t have a favorite singer, or band, or album, so I can never answer these kinds of questions… I listen to many different styles of music, and I’m an eternal student, always eager to learn and explore new things, so I suppose I would choose one or another depending on the moment. I would probably choose female voices. A classical mezzo-soprano such as Anne Sophie von Otter or Teresa Berganza can solve some personal technical questions. Also, there are some singers I would have loved to meet (Mercedes Sosa, Ella Fitzgerald…) I’m very curious about the singing and mentality in the past, so I would for sure have loved to listen and talk to Hildegard von Bingen or Barbara Strozzi.
Interesting choices. “Euphonic Entropy” was released about a year ago, but I’m still listening and enjoying it like it was the first day. What does the future hold for Diabulus In Musica?
Oh, thanks a lot! Who knows? After all this Corona crisis, it is very difficult and risky to talk about the future because all the plans can disappear from one day to another, as we have seen this last year… But on the other hand, we have to keep the spirit and try to go ahead. Our plans, if everything goes fine, will be touring in 2022 and writing a new album. Fingers crossed!
I can’t wait to see you live! On the list “Things that Zuberoa can do” we have to add that you are a vocal teacher. Please share some tips to warm up vocal cords properly!
My recommendation is to start always with some semi occluded vocal tract exercises, such as lip rolls, singing through a straw without or with water (lax vox), glissandos with “ng” sound… These exercises warm the vocal folds in a very soft way and equilibrate the air pressure so that our vocal cords are not damaged and get used to vibrate with no effort. It is always good to prepare the body and connect with our breathing before singing, with some stretching, relaxing and breathing exercises for example. After this, you can go for exercises with vowels, better starting with an “uhh” or “eeh.” I usually change the warming exercises depending on the person or the kind of songs they are going to sing.
Thank you for the advice! I will definitely try this next time I warm up. Is the artistic life lonely, sometimes? How do you react to this?
In some cases, yes, above all, if you tour extensively during long periods and without your family, but it is not my case. As you may know, Gorka and I are a couple, so we always tour together, and we never do it for more than 3 weeks in a row. We are very familiar, and when we last toured, we already had a little child, so we brought him with us during two tours. Now we have two children, so I still don’t know how we will manage for future tours. Anyway, if we have to leave our children at home, we won’t go for more than two weeks. We will see.
Sounds like a plan! Thank you for taking your time, Zuberoa! Would you like to add anything to our FemMetal readers?
Thanks for the interview; it has been a pleasure! Thanks a lot for your support; I hope you know it’s essential for us! I hope to meet you all on the road, and we really can’t wait to play live again. Love, Zuberoa.