Bestial Mouths is led through shrieking tempests and wraith like wails by Lynette Cerezo, who summons haunting tales into existence, conjuring an in-your-face experience both visually and sonically, equally across stages and records. Their bewitching live performances take audiences on a dialectical journey juxtaposing consciousness with the unconscious, as she expresses her soul-shaking visions with anecdotal abstractions from her personal past with the darkest depths of the human condition.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in Denver, Colorado (actually in a military hospital). I was the first of my family born in the US – every one else is from Puerto Rico. Currently, I am living in Berlin. However, I have lived all over the US from Portland, OR to NYC to Atlanta, GA and most recently and longest in LA.
How have you grown as an artist and what do you wish to achieve?
I recently just really started truly believing in myself and referring to myself as an artist (although, others would say I have always been one, from me taking apart my families clothes as a kid and making them into new things). I feel like the question is what do we all wish to achieve really, and for me it’s to live a fulfilled life full of no regrets. I also push myself physically and emotionally and never want to have fear holding me back from experiences. As for my history, I have a fashion design degree and art history minor. I worked as a fashion designer for years and have done it all in the industry, got disenfranchised with that world, became a animal rescuer then found music as a means to express myself. Though I never have never stopped creating clothes and visual arts.
Post Punk meets electronic tribal industrial experimental are some of the ingredients that make Bestial Mouths. Introduce us to the other band members and tell us their roles:
Great description of Bestial, thank you. Eddie O performs both electronics (synths/drums/effects) and video content live. Off stage, we write new music together and curate Bestial’s visual identity. Brant Showers of SØLVE and ∆AIMON is on percussion, and also contributes to the band’s new music. Brant was unable to join us for our upcoming US tour, so we have Daniel Bouley of Cthulhu Fantasy on acoustic drums!
What musical weapons are you using during a live performance?
Eddie O: Each tour has been very different, with instrumentation consistent with the vision of the record being supported at the time. Last year, in Europe, we replaced our hardware synths with a laptop and controllers, and switched from a standard drum kit to a mix of electronic and acoustic drums. This upcoming tour is different in that we’re bringing back the full drum kit and using our tour experiences from last year as the basis for another reinterpretation of HEARTLESS.
What are some difficulties you had to endure while on tour?
For me tour is a very disciplined job. I have to make sure to rest my voice which means not talking much anytime, but especially in the evening at loud venues. This can get lonely and a little heartbreaking, not being able to really hang out with amazing bands we play with, promoters or even work the merch booth. I also have to watch my diet for health concerns which can be a challenge, and so it’s not as fun to be able to try the local delicacies.
Do you embrace technology and how does it enhance your sound?
Eddie O: Technology plays a very large role in translating and executing our ideas both on and off stage. It’s a funny thing, there’s a mystique surrounding how all these devices work and collaborate. It’s very difficult for someone who is not performing to interpret what they are observing. For example, I use a touchscreen interface to control music and video simultaneously, which is a very useful interface because it keeps the laptop hands free and allows for plenty of improvisation. Through it, I can perform synths, trigger sounds and manipulate visuals all on-the-fly. We also use a pretty interesting video projection program that Estevan Carlos and I developed specifically for Bestial Mouths live, and it uniquely adds a textured layer to the songs we are performing.
What was the most inspiring compliment from a fan that moved you?
I think a really touching one was from a girl of 13 from the Ukraine. We received a message from her, that her brother translated to english, how I was her role model and she listened to bestial mouths while doing her homework. She hoped one day to be a journalist and interview us. We sent her some signed bestial treasures. When she received it and my email response, she said it made her day, as she never expected a reply, and took the stuff to school to show and tell. Knowing I had a positive effect on a young girl is one reason I do this. It is also mind-blowing to know we reach people all over the world.
Elaborate on your past career in the fashion design industry:
I graduated with a fashion design degree, moved to NYC and worked as a design assistant in mens wear. I later had my own unisex clothing line. I have done it all, you name it, from a stylist on photo-shoots, movies to plays. I’ve also worked on the more retail side doing window displays and showroom representative. I have even worked as an assistant buyer. When I had my own line I had alot of personal clients that I dressed.
What role did you play for gender equality and how did you express your voice?
I try not to focus on gender really, we are all humans with the same strengths and weakness. We all have power. However, I can not deny or pretend it truly still is not a patriarchal world and women have a lot of societies stereotypes to overcome. In music it definitely is still male dominated and us women need to help each other and be proud of each others works and accomplishments. I try not to focus on these stereotypes or think of them and be free in what I want to sing, how I want to perform, and even what I want to wear. I try to use my voice and music to show the power and strength of women and what we can do. My goal would be to reach young girls as a positive female role model – even reaching just one is a success.
What past work (album) are you most proud of and why?
I think the HEARTLESS LP (the one most recently released on Cleopatra Records) is my favorite work. Partly because we re-recorded some past songs from other albums, so it really felt like a true homage to Bestial’s life span so far. Also because the newer songs written are all very personal to me, they represent where I was in my life and what I was experiencing at the time. Another amazing memory was when we did the cover of the Snowy Red song “Never Alive” for the tribute album to him. We know his children – who made the album happen – quite well, and were able to perform it live for them in Brussels (they had tears in their eyes which moved me tremendously).
What’s in your iPod?
Currently I am listening to Zanias, Wire Spine, Austra, VOWWS, Void Vision, SOLVE, Orphan Swords, Operant, Boy Harsher, and Ancient Methods.
To rule the world! To tour the world and experience and meet everyone I can.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
The new moon ~ completely dark (not visible) to our eyes and appearing only in the night, the moon grants and guides us all, especially during the new moon, the time to start in new paths, what can be more beautiful.