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MAKING A KNOWN presence through their music, Saros has brought to the local San Francisco metal scene a sound that separates them from other bands. Formed in late 2003 by lead singer and guitarist Leila Rauf, and drummer Blood Eagle, they joined bassist Tim Scammell and guitarist Ben Aguilar to complete Saros. Their new album Five Pointed Tongue from their label, Hungry Eye Records, is an astounding collaboration of aggressive and technical riffs along with scowling and harmonic vocals, all together leaving you wanting to hear more.

Where did you get the name Saros?

Leila: I've always been obsessed with ideas and patterns that are bigger than ourselves as individuals. The term "saros," technically referring to a cycle of any particular lunar eclipse, can be interpreted as a symbol of smaller patterns co-existing within larger patterns--some harmonious and consonant, some tense and antagonistic. Music follows the same principle within an aural scheme. The music we write is simultaneously complex and cyclical.

What musical influences and sounds does each member bring to the band?

Blood Eagle: Each member of this band comes from a different background, musically and culturally. We don't really agree on much outside of matters that are band-related. We're all friends and have fun together, but there's a strong creative tension that drives the Saros sound and makes it unique. I feel that without all this creative tension we'd be just another band. It's a strength and weakness. This is what a lot of people who have seen our live show are responding to, this sort of balance of opposites.

Leila: Our influences reflect a wide variety of genres, as well as each member's aesthetic and personality. These range from classic, thrash, progressive, doom, and black metal to folk influences; although, we don't really think about the genre when we're writing songs. Our listening tastes and past efforts definitely show in the music--the classic metal, thrash, and punk roots that Tim, Ben, and I share, as well as Blood Eagle's previous bands Weakling and Sangre Amado. The music we listen to runs the gamut from metal, classic and progressive rock, ambient/noise/experimental, classical, neo-folk, to Middle Eastern music. Saros is still basically a metal band, and even though Hungry Eye Records has been marketing us as metal with a full-on thrash attack based in the "rich tradition of Bay Area thrash," this is not really what the listener is going to get when they hear Five Pointed Tongue, nor was it intended to be. There are some thrash elements, but this is the tip of the iceberg of what we do on the album. Consciously sticking to a tiny sub-genre in songwriting is creative suicide.

What's it like in the local metal scene?

Leila: To an extent I feel we are very lucky to be a band living in the Bay Area. For a few years I lived in the Midwest where I would have to drive two hours away from home to find any real music community. Now all I have to do is walk two blocks in any direction and watch killer live bands. We're very saturated here; it's almost overwhelming, and one has the tendency to get spoiled and not make an effort to catch every good show. The good side to being in a smaller local band is that there are never a shortage of venues and show offers coming your way, not to mention the huge variety of genres and crowds. The down side is that people may stop coming to your shows if you play more than a few times a year, because they assume they can see you play any old time. It's a good idea to leave town to play if you are a band that likes to play a lot of shows.

Blood Eagle: As far as local music scenes go the rock and jam band scene seems more popular than metal, so we often get booked with those bands. Not like that's bad, a lot of these bands are good and we get a chance to stand out as far as our sound. The Bay Area's metal scene is fairly small and close knit, but there are some really good bands in it. I'm talking about the more underground metal scene. There's other stuff going on, but a lot of it has no meaning for me; a lot of hype.

Side projects?

Blood Eagle: I'm in a band called Embers of Euphoria that's more melodic, kind of like Carcass meets Queensryche. I want to start a project that's more acoustic and experimental.

Leila: I collaborate with Kris Force of Amber Asylum in a side project called Frozen In Amber, which focuses on ambient, experimental, neo-folk, and traditional folk songs within a variety of textures from simple (voice, viola, and acoustic guitar) to complex (synth, powerbook, guitar effects, digitally repurposed voice, and guitar loops). I've also contributed as a guest vocalist for the Los Angeles-based noise band Bastard Noise--ex-members of Man Is the Bastard--on Volume IV of Our Earth's Blood compilation series.
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Author:Yamagami, Amy
Article Type:Interview
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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