A chat with Bristol's Cegvera

Photo by Julián Hernández

Photo by Julián Hernández

From Bristol’s murky depths there’s a heavy drone, and after that heavy drone there’s a heavy riff with long haired gig goers violently head banging along. This is also known as a Cegvera gig. Having formed in Bristol, Cegvera have taken a special spot in us locals’ heart. The band’s front, Gerardo Arias, is doom’s sweetheart. Always at the forefront of the scene, Gerardo is a real essence in Bristol music. It was long overdue that we had a chat with Gerardo, so here it is.

Talk to us a bit about the formation of Cegvera and where your love for doom/heavier music comes from.

I come from Mexico. I left my country to start a PhD, it was a bit tough leaving home for obvious reasons; different weather, different food, different people, and of course I was missing my pals in Vinnum Sabbathi. I realised this was the moment to start playing music again, instead of throwing myself to depression. I was lucky enough to meet Aaron and Matt through Bristol University live music society (as we are all students) and we had few jams together, then magic started and here we are. 

How’s your support in Bristol?

For us Bristol is our home now. People here are just amazing, we have made strong bonds with some people already and the audience is amazing at every single gig. If you are reading this and you have been part of the scene in this beautiful city either as the audience, a promotor, or if you have bought merch, run a record label… There is nothing more to say than a real big thank you. Our time here has been amazing, and you have helped! If you live in Bristol then get involved! Go to shows, buy merch, spread the word, that saves the asses of our local artists… 

You've recently gone from being a three piece to a two piece, how as that change been and what's been the challenges?

Being a two piece has made us grow as a band. Now that Matt lives near London we don’t get to practice much, however we feel very confident with each other and now that we need to cover the gap that the lack of bass has left makes us push more of ourselves to what we play, in every sense. We are surprised by the incredible response from the audience to our new set up and we are really happy with it as well, gonna keep it for a while. One of the challenges has been trying to cover the bass lines from other songs.  Some songs sound perfect as a two piece but some other songs don’t. We are completely aware of that and just focus now on the ones that sound good as a two piece and naturally feel good. Also we have written new songs as a two-piece and we are more than happy with this new sound. 

Who should we be looking out for in the scene?

The Bristol scene is like a family now and basically everything is related to Stolen Body Records, Bristol Psych fest (who strongly supported my pals Vinnum Sabbathi last year), Wizzarding Promotions and the Riffwizzards, Snuff Lane and Old England. Basically everything related to those names is magical and those are the guys who keep this scene alive and colourful. And just to mention few bands checkout our close friends Yo No Se, Captain Suun, Sail and Phoxjaw!

A lot of your music has themes connecting it with your home in Mexico. Do you think the heaviness of the music reflects your emotions?

It’s hard to say. Certainly there is a lot of emotion in our music, but I wouldn’t say those are my emotions, I think they just occur naturally and non-intentionally during the process of songwriting and if it is a chilled drone or a heavy riff that we all can get lost in whilst playing it then that’s it, and just to fill the void of the instrumental side of the band we add some clips to show political issues, especially from my country, but this is merely informative. I don’t know for sure, but we might stop doing this for future records.  

You recently went back to your home to play some shows with Vinnum Sabathi, how was that for you?

Probably the biggest honour we have had in our lives. It was quite a trip. We almost sold out of merch in our first show in Mexico City, which was quite a struggle for the following dates. The response of the people to this project was incredible as well. Also I did one of the things that I enjoy the most in this world which is hanging around and playing with my brothers in Vinnum Sabbathi. The best way to explain this is probably the split record that Cegvera/Vinnum Sabbathi recorded in Mexico at Testa Studios. It’s gonna be a sweet release. For Cegvera as a band this was also a trip to get to know each other more. After this tour Matt and me decided to carry on with the project as we had quite an uncertain future. We are completely grateful to our former bass player Aaron for all that he gave to this project and there are no hard feelings involved. We decided that the healthiest way for the band to continue was as a two piece. Regardless, we are looking forward to another Mexican tour as a two piece. 

You guys have sold out your record Creations. Whats coming next?

We have sold out our share, but Dirty Filthy Records might still have some with them. We have a forthcoming split with Vinnum Sabbathi on Stolen Body Records coming out.

You can pre order Cegvera’s split with Vinnum Sabbathi via Stolen Body Records here. Keep up to date with Cegvera on Facebook here.