Metal Skull: Ararat: Realizing Resistance

How was it working with your brother on piano? What made you decide to include ‘Dos Horses?’ Is it a way of tying this record and the last Los Natas together?

‘Dos Horses’ was basically done for the Ararat album. It is the battle horse of this album. Then, when editing El Nuevo Orden, I wanted to share this song as a connection between both albums, like a sequel unnamed but meant. The Ararat side of the Los Natas album grew immediately and we suddenly ended up editing it like we did on Ararat, like a movie.

You’ve handled plenty of artwork before, but with the cover of Musica de la Resistencia there’s a lot of national-style symbolism, with the colored bars and the crest. Where did the concept for the visual side of the record come from?

I wanted to give the idea and feeling of a nation called ‘Ararat.’ A nation with its anthems, people, wars, fights, wins and losses. It’s not a defined country I got all stuff from, it’s a banner I did in particular by myself, also about the shield, that’s taken from Armenian military forces from the past. So it’s the idea of a whole force of power blending into music as its folklore.

How did working with MeteorCity come about?

Lately we got a very good relationship mostly with my man El Danno, he’s been working great with Los Natas since 10 years, sold and distributed tons of Los Natas shit and he was the only one I thought about when finding the ways out for the Ararat release, along with Stefan [Koglek, Colour Haze guitarist/vocalist and head of Elektrohasch Shallplatten, which might release the Ararat vinyl]. Also as a matter of trust, I think MeteorCity folks are gentlemen and really like what they release. We are family.

Is the process any different for you writing acoustically as opposed to plugged in and fuzzed out? Does it affect your style at all?

Lately and most in Ararat I tried not to play many guitars, as I enjoy also diving into new instruments such as organs, piano, percussion and sequencers. But mostly I listen to the music and let ‘her’ tell me what to do, if need heavy riffing I will notice, if needs acoustics you can hear them there, just before you even record them.

So gladly this album is not about me and my relationship with the guitar, it’s me as a composer and music man.

Will Ararat play shows? Any other plans for the band?

Yes, I have the future plan of joining an Ararat force live band, it will be mostly a drone doomy heavy version of the album.

But on the other side I have also been talking to my brother to bring out a cleaner Ararat set, only him and me, piano vs. guitar, more experimental and non-rock and roll! So let’s see what’s up. Most of all we need some time, ha ha.

Last time I interviewed you, you mentioned Los Natas was going to record Toba Trance III. Any more details about that you’d like to spill, and any idea when it might be out?

Uhh, lately we had a very bad health situation with bassist Gonzalo, so let’s see how this develops. Right now we are more focused on touring the new Natas album, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad, we have been invited for the Roadburn Fest 2010 along with European touring, so there’s not much time left and Gonzalo [has to take] care of his health.

For the moment I am slowly working on Ararat volume II with my brother here, on our very little free time. So that’s the more Toba situation I am bringing right now.

Musica de la Resistencia is available now on MeteorCity. For more info, check out

JJ Koczan isn’t such a bad guy if you get to know him. Okay, that’s not really true, but still.

Photo credit: Diego Toledo