One of the best kept secrets of the Mexican/US underground is undoubtedly Lost Harvest. A band that began their journey in the early 90s but did not actively release much until recent times, their newest albums truly evokes the spirit of early Mexican Death Metal and is one of the best sleeper hits of this year. I had the pleasure of conversing with the band recently to delve deeper into their songwriting process and where the band is heading.
Given the sparse information online about Lost Harvest, could you give us an introduction to the history of the band? From what I’ve read, the band originally began in Mexico and recorded one demo in 1996 before relocating to Texas – releasing your debut ‘Capitulum’ in 2018. Is this correct? What is the current line-up?
Yes. Lost Harvest was created back in 1994 after three of us left Dark side. The band is originally from Matamoros,México (North Eastern)and we only recorded one 4 song self released demo (self titled) in the beginning of 1996. LH decided to part ways in 1997. In the summer of 2017, brought it back to life to prove myself after many many years (looking for a drummer) I could play drums and reform the band. September 2018 Osteoblast (Hector Espinosa) and Endosteum (Hector Anorga) joined forces while preparing for the first album release. ‘Capitulum’ was released July 20, 2019 under our own Rademoni Productions.
Contrasting and comparing ‘Capitulum’ with ‘Deluded Seas of Diverge’, there is clearly a large leap in terms of musical ambition and songwriting craft. What has been the songwriting process over the past 5 years and how has that approach differed from how you recorded the debut?
The less members….. the less of problems in a band I always say. Music progression, structure and meaning comes quickly and understandable with 2 members. With ‘Capitulum’ was more the idea of continuing where we left off (1997). How I could manage not just to play drums, but sing at the same time (playing a year when I recorded) and write also something I can manage to play and have the endurance of playing live shows. Now with ‘Deluded Seas of Diverge’ we had * The time*. I was laid off work when the pandemic started, after some months we started not only composing faster, elaborated and complex music but arranging, and having all the ideas and arhythmias of songwriting including more nylon-strings, more fury and diversity, rapid and slow changes on tempo and at the same time more planned and mature composition.
Do you feel the label of “Death Metal” is appropriate for this record or is it limiting? While I don’t believe there is a unifying “Mexican Death Metal” sound in the way there is for say Finnish Death Metal or Swedish Death Metal, a lot of bands from your country seem to weave together a wide pool of influences into their brand of Death Metal. Do you think there is a particular reason for this or is it just something unique that the Mexicans are very good at crafting?
We’re a Death Metal band in my heart and ears. On this new album we took more dedication and time because we had it. The more practice and time… the more details, arrangements and range on creativity. I don’t belive we have to be stamped with a genuine genre. We only do or approved what we liked, not concentrating on what path everybody else is running.
There are also several moments of acoustic/classical guitar placed both within the songs and as intros. Do you take a lot of non-metal influences into account when writing a record as well?
This album have lots of guitarist influences, specifically the acoustic guitar. We mostly listen to Heavy Metal but any Spanish guitars, barroco, rumba, flamenco and obscure classical music is on our playlist. I’m always looking for music somehow not just hard to play, but interesting, dark and meaningful/feelingfull to hear. Record wise I try not to listen to anything before and after so it won’t be more “Influencial”. Influences are already in our songwriting regardless of it being intentional or not. Most definitely we have the outmost respect for classical composers. Their work portrays all emotions with absolute masterfulness.
What are the main lyrical themes of ‘Deluded Seas of Diverge’?
Lyrical themes are in way experimental, life believe, substantial with also direct meaning toward possession, life-threatening, death, bones, horror, evilness, and personal experiences all combined with interested med terms.
While you’re based in the US, what do you feel about the current Mexican scene? Do you keep up with the bands at home or do you think there are any contemporary bands that are keeping the spirit of the old guard (The Chasm, Shub Niggurath, Cenotaph, etc) alive and well?
I’m personally friends with all three band you mentioned above. Actually when the band (change name) moved to Chicago, I lived with Julio Viterbo (SN, The Chasm, Cenotaph) and Oscar Clorio (Cenotaph) was our drumer at that time. There definitely true warriors and have keep that flame burning since the late 80’s. Mexican scene is alive and well. I recently played (Panteon) at the Mexico Metal Fest and definitely saw lots of people and old friends perform. It’s very cool to see many people are still attending/supporting gigs, listening and buying music in physical format. But mainly supporting Mexican and local scene.
All your releases have been independently released up until now. Are you looking for a larger label for distribution or possibly a vinyl release? Or is the band strictly a DIY affair and you prefer to handle everything yourselves?
To be honest I’ve never quit. I been knocking doors before I brought back the band and all I hear is ironically nothing. I’ve been writing tons of labels and distros, now a days because of lack of sales, I don’t think they want to risk signing bands. That’s the reason we self released both albums and how I see it… most definitely the last one coming. Vinyl will be something I’ve been waiting to happened for the past 30 years, hopefully will due some day. Even if we make it happen, we don’t have any help (distros)to distribute and could be a huge loss.
What are the immediate plans in the future for the band in terms of live events or even future releases?
Well knowing we’re only a duo. We will have to hire two session players to reconsider playing live. We’re think on doing it by the fall of this year and hopefully booking some shows by the end of the year or maybe starting next year. We have talked about maybe one more album. It’s overwhelming just thinking on all the effort, time and money spent do an album and Not do well. We’ll still continue to make music but for our own.
To conclude, if you have any final thoughts you’d like to share, whether that be about the record or bands you’d like to shout out
Well, first of all thank you for the Interview and your time spent. Lost Harvest will continue promoting our new album ‘Deluded Seas of Diverge’ and hopefully start shows by the end of this year 2023. Will record a new album and continue making music for our own. Shout out to all listeners and supporters, thanks to you we’ll be in flames.