Well, this is a first. This week’s WFA isn’t an artist I stumbled upon at the deeper end of the internet like so many of their precursors I’ve featured here, but they’re someone I encountered on a total and complete chance; accident. I went to see Author & Punisher here in Finland a month and a half ago, and on a whim thought about checking if there’s any supporting acts announced, as I had secured my ticket well in advance when it was still advertised as a solo event. The name I read upon checking that rang absolutely no bells, and I decided that I’ll catch them if I catch them, whatever. Lo and behold, I arrived at the venue early, and got in right during the supporter’s show’s opening seconds. What followed, were forty-five minutes of awe, amazement, fascination, and just some fucking brilliant good times that also overshadowed the main act on the bill.
EGGVN is a Mexican two-piece that performs an exquisite and unique blend of experimental music constituting mainly of EDM, harsh vocals, distorted guitars, and other curious aspects aplenty. All of it comes enveloped in an aesthetic digging deep into Satanism and blasphemy, complete with ram’s skull headwear. Couple these with an overly energetic and rampant live show with flashing lights and involuntary raving feet syndrome, and you can understand why I chose to feature the band here right there on the spot.
I spent the following weeks delving in EGGVN‘s nooks and crannies, and found myself only sinking deeper and deeper into their world on every listen. I reached out to the band, who happily agreed to do an interview with me. It’s also worth noting that this article heavily emphasizes on the interview, as not only did the band elaborate on every detail I asked them to, but they have plenty of ponderous things to say; the kind of things most people in the so called developed countries don’t spend their waking hours with, but ones that are beyond important for everyone to grasp and comprehend.
But first, let’s head back to EGGVN‘s roots, how they got started, and what led these two individuals, not-so-coincidentally only named as IV and V, to pursue such an interesting musical concoction?
IV: ‘The mix comes from the need to experiment with different styles and add a rough touch such as vocals, guitars and to be able to cross the limit that was once established in those musical aspects and obviously give a new sound for those who are ready to enjoy it.’
V: ‘EGGVN started with the idea to express ourselves giving an exit to our anger and our ideas about combining different genres and sounds trying to find our own place. For us, the mix of different elements are the key.‘
EGGVN are a relatively young band, as their debut full-length Solve Et Coagula came out in 2020, though preceded by the EP In God We Are Damned from back in 2017. On the first EP already, the band’s own twisted aural world was glaring and hard-hitting, but became fully realised during the years in between, culminating to its current state on Solve Et Coagula. There’s no distinct jump in quality as such from the EP to the album, but there’s a certain refinement and maturation regardless, attained somewhere during the three-year period between them. Tangentially, their palette grew wider and the experimental angle got sharpened for the albums, and I had to inquire whether there were any changes to their compositional methods, or if they even have one to begin with. Turns out the answer relies on the latter;
IV: ‘There is no established method for the composition, each track is different, it has its own feeling, each track is unique in itself, therefore each song is composed respecting its individuality, its unique magic.’
V: ‘There’s no method at all, sometimes lyrics goes first, sometimes music borns first… Every song has its own way to start and its own circumstance.‘
On the first glance, it might be difficult to locate the different flavours in EGGVN‘s output, even though they’re certainly there. Solve Et Coagula had maybe more distinctly separate tracks while the follow-up La Era de la Bestia comes together more as an entirety, while still seeing the inclusion of a multitude of fresh hues. The scope EGGVN operates on is wide, and you can take songs such as the industrial bonanza “Dead Inside Me”, the lofi techno piece “Starless”, and the absolute barn burners like “Ave Satanas” and “Lvcifer Ex Machina” as examples of that range.
As the latter pair of titles suggests, the concept of Satanism is an overlying theme in EGGVN‘s lyrics and artworks. Unlike in most cases, frankly, here the notion feels genuine and palpable, rather than a gimmick or a ‘for-the-sake-of-it’ ideal. So what does these views and the chance to express them through music mean to the band?
IV: ‘Blasphemy is a fundamental part of our music, like many other cultures, the ancestral culture of our country was destroyed by Christianity, ancestral beliefs were forced to disappear, rising up in blasphemy is a way to raising our voices and somehow making people will open their eyes and see that Christianity is the biggest lie of humanity.’
V: ‘Our concept represents our personal point of view and the way we live, of course we’re explore into more topics in the near future, always keeping the left path of the road.‘
Continuing on that side of the road, I mentioned the headwear earlier. A single look at any image of the band, whether promo or from a live show, explains that aesthetic. However, in addition to the way they work as a thematic aspect, they also conceal their wearers’ identities. This ties in with what I mentioned earlier, and how an artist’s place of origin can either be a cultural stepping stone or repressing and actually dangerous.
IV: ‘The masks are used to keep us anonymous. Although we are not afraid to show our faces, we also take the necessary precautions since Mexico is a country where religious fanatics are extremists, and the masks are a good method to keep them hating us and talking about. At the same time, the expectation about our identities is generated, the people who empathize with our ideas feel identified since there is no better blasphemy than the one that is not said, the mask is the greatest blasphemy, the simple fact of wearing it already generates discontent among believers in Christianity.
V: ‘The masks really helps to make a difference between stage and simple life, and they obviously helps to hide our identities due to the lyrics and things we express on our music. Masks makes us faceless, so people can reflect in them as a mirror.‘
It is somehow easy in this day and age to forget the fact that religion and politics, and the asshole fanatics and extremists related to both, still suppress art and artists globally. The reality is subject to bias of course, but people don’t realise the full extent of it nor do they notice it until it suddenly stems from a source close to them. Luckily art as a concept is stronger than any other, and despite the overwhelmingly difficult baseline and ass-backwards stances, there’s untold strength in the underground scene, capable of overcoming a lot of the obstacles on its way. Not to get caught in a certain country or point of view, these problematics reach wider than appear, and tearing down the walls of artistic oppression takes time.
Being able to pursue your own vision comes with both positives and negatives, and for a band like EGGVN, emerging from a country like Mexico, the boundaries between the two are quite fickle;
IV: ‘Being a musician or being an artist in Mexico is a disadvantage most of the time, art in general is not valued as such, the disadvantage of living in the third world becomes an advantage when we present ourselves in the first world, when we see people enjoy and value our work we realize that everything is worth it and that comforts us.’
V: ‘Being anything in Mexico is like playing a game in hard mode; being an artist in Mexico increases this hard mode even more, (not so much media support, not so much venues to play this kind of music, etc.), but that’s the interesting part, it makes you and your project stronger and ready for everything.‘
I’d say that in spite of the complexities, EGGVN are on the path to aspire and create change, voicing the burdensome matters to steer the spotlight not only on their art, but to what it means, and what it can achieve.
I mentioned in the opening paragraph about first hearing about the band in live circumstances, and I’m certainly not alone in that. EGGVN are currently touring extensively, mainly Europe, with more and more shows being announced constantly. It warms my heart to see a band like them be able to do this after these past few years of the pandemic crap.
IV: ‘Really stepping on stage again gives us back our energy, as the years of the pandemic were difficult but they also taught us that if the pandemic could not defeat us, nothing will.’
V: ‘La Era de la Bestia was released in this pandemic era so we [couldn’t make] live shows, of course now is a relief and we are so excited to feel the energy of the audience, visiting new places, coming back to other places and so on.‘
The aforementioned show, as apparent, blew me away. The unmatched energy of the music itself pounding as a massive wall of sound and people jumping and dancing like there’s no tomorrow was one of a kind experience. Not necessarily in a way where I’ll never find myself in a situation like that again, but because it was a first, and completely random and unexpected. It’s awe-inspiring to think that the performers themselves, in addition to a multitude of other things, live and breathe that exact ecstasy.
It’s also not a surprise that besides the performances themselves, the band makes the most of their time by being open to everything that surrounds and occurs around them as well.
IV: ‘The best thing about playing live and being on tour is the energy that people transmit by meeting new people, sharing new uses and customs, discovering new places and of course, and best of all, living with our followers.’
V: ‘All is about the people, the places, the music, their essence, it’s really incredible to find people at the other side of the earth sharing their energy, passion, likes and experiences with us, it’s really something so hard to describe.‘
While on the subject, I also asked if there’s any disadvantages to performing this kind of material;
IV: ‘There are really no disadvantages of playing live, playing live is a great advantage as we can play the tracks with more energy and vibrate high along with the public.’
V: ‘There’s no disadvantages because we have rehearsals and we are in constant work about the live shows, so we’re always ready to give a proper performance for the requirements of any venue or conditions.‘
All in all, I have to say that I absolutely love the view EGGVN expresses both through their music as well as through their personalities. It’s a welcome breeze of air to enjoy a band’s output to a grand extent while witnessing the individuals behind the noise free of facades. It’s certainly not all happy happy joy joy, but it’s still something. Relating to the standpoints expressed earlier, I’ve noticed the saying how ‘God wants you to believe in him while Satan wants you to believe in yourself‘ resonates in the back of my head, and it goes without saying that EGGVN and their black gospel affirms the second part of that sentence. And I admire that, really.
Naturally, amidst all of the earlier topics, I asked the duo to briefly set their sights on the future and what it holds for them;
IV: ‘What follows is to continue composing, releasing more material and reaching more places in the world, making the NEW BLACK ORDER grow, preaching the word of EGGVN and the Dark One throughout the world.’
V: ‘All the things we experienced in this last tour will be an important part of the next compositions in the near future, we’re continuing making music so stay alert.
‘THE NEW BLACK ORDER is here. We are LEGION.‘
That’s today’s mass concluded. Do yourself a favour and go check out everything that EGGVN is about. You can best do that by listening to and acquiring their music from their Bandcamp, and giving an eye and a follow to their Facebook and Instagram, and join the legion.