Melbourne-based Doom Metal quartet YLVA have been nothing short of a dismal and perplexing entity that have been solidifying the sonic fingerprint in Australia’s underground metal scene. With the release of their debut full-length M E T A hitting just before the end of 2017, we spoke with YLVA frontman and High Tension guitarist Mike Deslandes about the record, the origin of the band, his polished skills as a recording engineer and producer, and more.
“It feels great to have it (M E T A) out” he says. “We’ve been able to work with two great labels who helped it to see the light of day, for that we’re grateful. It seems people are enjoying on the whole and personally I’m really glad it seems to be understood as a listen. I know it’s not for everyone.”
With Mike doing more than just double-duty on the making of “M E T A”, he went all out and used every bit of his expertise, from vocals and guitar, to producer, to recording and mastering engineer. From there, YLVA’s main-and-handy-man, was able to project the aura of this LP the way he wanted, along with the rest of his bandmates.
“It’s just the obvious thing to do. Money is always a factor to every band wanting to record, even bands with recording and mastering engineers so it makes the choice easier. Having a vision and being able to execute it is something bands may miss out on or be misguided in the studio setting, this way it’s all working towards the end goal together.”
When asked about “M E T A”s concept, Mike stated that it all had to do with the idea of what had happened in the past, regarding as to what we have learned from them and such. Overall, it all looks at the moments in life we encounter that can be refurbished to better ourselves.
“In a nutshell, it’s the management of the information we learn from past failures and how we choose to use it on a social level. We can’t unlearn but we can relearn. Each song explores a new theme and at the end of the day, that’s just the lyrical element of “M E T A”.”
Looking at YLVA’s origin, Mike stated that he and the remainder of the group were talking back and forth about the possibilities of getting together for a jam. Sure enough, they did and spent well over a year of jamming. From there, YLVA was born.
“Well after many conversations we finally got in a room and essentially did that for over a year or more. Some things came easy, most things were explored. From all that time we were able to work out what our angle and direction was, there was nothing to rush for to the point we thought one day, maybe we should play a show. One of our first shows was with High On Fire in 2016, and it was a great thing for us personally. We loved that show and being able to share what YLVA is to a larger audience, because no one knew who we were.”
With the band’s moniker “Ylva” originally being a Swedish female given name meaning, Mike believed that it was ideal to have a title for themselves that did not sound metal, but felt more open to everyone from everywhere that avoided any unpleasing overtones that some bands may have associated with.
“As four adult males playing extreme music we wanted to call this venture by a woman’s name, something non metal and inclusive to women and non men. There are some awful connotations within heavy music, YLVA is the opposite of all those things.”
Get your hands on M E T A HERE!