Bestial Mouths outfit needs no particular introduction I think. Front-woman and the core of the formation, Lynette Cerezo, envisioned an artistic act to offer some absolutely striking darkwave electronic music and dress it all with monumental videos, and as for her voice…She is a leading character alone, skilled and passionate. Nor why at all why BM’s releases have received glorious reviews in all dedicated media, from “Stable Vices” album (2009) up to the latest cover on Cabartet Voltaire’s classic “Sensoria” (October 19, 2018 via Metropolis Records), BM are among the most edgy and avant-garde names in the scene. I reached Lynette Cerezo for an interview and to chat on all things Bestial Mouths, and she kindly offered me an immensely rich and armed to the teeth conversation that I present you here in Torched Magazine. Lynette Cerezo converses like a torrent!
Photo by Andras G. Varga
Hello Lynette, let’s go straight to your latest news: On October 19, Metropolis Records published a brand new compilation LP dedicated to the monumental act Cabaret Voltaire, where we saw Bestial Mouths covering “Sensoria”. Tell us about it, how were Bestial Mouths involved in that record, why did you choose that specific song, and what really Cabaret Voltaire mean to you?
We were approached by Chris Halstead, who had a previous tribute album to Fad Gadget on Cleopatra Records, and now was wanting to make a tribute album to CV. Honored for him to think of Bestial and forever a CV fan I jumped at the opportunity. I chose Sensoria because I felt it lended well to my voice. Listening and thinking how we could make our spin on it, reviewing the lyrics closely, all I could envision was more a sad undertone of past life stories, it is just what I heard. So it was born into a very slowed down version almost as if a person was telling a tale of their life. As is bestial tradition and spirit I wanted to make it reborn into something new and creative, try something new with my voice. This song is also very special because it marks the first composed song with Balázs Képli who is now working in Bestial on the new album.
Bestial Mouths have proved a very open-minded approach on their own songs too, STILL HEARTLESS LP was a release which included a handful of artists who remixed 10 of your songs, and it was not the first, or the last time I think, that you let other musicians tease your musings. Tell us a few things on that record please, are there any specific standards you put on musicians who want to touch your songs?
Nothing is more touching and amazing when other talents I admire want to be involved and transform our music and voice. Of course everyone involved is selected for their skills and style so I would never dream of putting restrictions. I allow them to chose a song that inspires and touches them and do their thing. STILL HEARTLESS also included 2 new tracks where I brought my vocals and range more to the forefront as well. Things I was feeling at the time.
Photo by Andras G. Varga
I see, and who wouldn’t like to see i.e. Die Krupps or Zanias remixing their songs?!
The Zanias remix was quite a special one as she also sang on it (and one of my personal favorite Bestial songs). This actually put the seed in our brains on how our voices meld perfectly and lead to me doing guest vocals on her new album for a song (we also filmed a video together for it). I’ve been performing backing and guest vocals live with her a lot lately. Nothing more incredible then being on the stage with a female of this power.
Jurgen Engler of Die Krupps actually produced Bestial HEARTLESS album and mastered STILL HEARTLESS. Best was I finally got to see Die Krupps live recently in Berlin, and it was quite an inspiration.
Lynette, you also appear as a guest like you lately did in Stockhaussen’s “Face of God”, and Textbeak’s “Bloodstorm” which was produced by John Fryer, tell us about these two collaborations, please.
For both of these collaborations I was approached by Angel Kauff of Stockhaussen and Mike Textbeak.
Having met Angel in person when we played Mexico City, and being a fan of all his projects Frio y Vacio & ISOTROPíA, I was intrigued. He sent me 2 songs he had written with my voice in mind. When I heard FACE OF GOD I knew that was the one. I was on a trip to LA when my life experiences gave me the lyrics for it. I decided to write the lyrics I believe more direct and obvious then a lot of Bestial prose. I had a very personal message and struggle to tell.
As for Textbook our friend & music ship has a longer history. So when he told me of the new album and sent the song I could not wait to write lyrics and have a go with it. I believe he had the name already BLOODSTORM and I knew it should be about sky burials.
Both were so visual in my brain and swimming around driving me mad I knew they needed videos. For BLOODSTORM I got to work with Johnny Welch, and as I told him of the song and my visions he put his spin and put it into a video. Face of God was my vision and shot by Andras G. Varga who has shot a lot of my recent photos (including the bestial new album cover revealed later) and then edited by Angel.
You have moved from the USA to Berlin and we recently saw your name with Zanias’ in Rotterdam. What was that? Are we expecting more live appearances, are we expecting Bestial Mouths live in Europe soon?
I am American, actually Puerto Rican. I pretty much grew up all over the US east coast and west coast. Los Angeles was the place I inhabited longest in my adult life but it was time so off to Berlin I went for more adventures and experiences and growth. It’s a vibrant city right now that supports the arts, and with so much talent in one area you are constantly meeting people with a huge range of depth and skill.
Yes, recently I performed with Zanias in Rotterdam for Wave Fest. Finishing out this year I will be performing with her live doing guest and backing vocals for a few more shows, Nov 23th at Klub Golem in Odense, Dec 1st at Katzen Club in Munich and Dec 6th at Hex in Barcelona.
Currently, while writing the new BESTIAL album, we do not plan to be playing live with Bestial Mouths. Once the album is released I will for sure be touring Europe and the US. I love to perform and play shows, to reach others.
For now though people can catch me on the stage live with Zanias, see the videos I am in (having collaborated with a fashion designer Atelier Kesa), and also listen for my other collaborations I am working on. I recently went to Utrecht to record and film for one of these. I also am in the works of launching a solo project based upon vocal experimentation ~ hope is to bring it to a performance with a dancer and visual artist for the first release.
Tell me please, related to the previous one, what are the future plans of Bestial Mouths? Are you working on new material that we’ll see in 2019 maybe?
The new BESTIAL album is in the works as we speak! I will be working with members Brant Showers of Sølve and ∆AIMON, and Balázs Képli of nullius in verba (whom I just gave vocals for a song of his for a special compilation tape for the Easterndaze 2018 festival in Berlin – which comes out Nov 30th).
Along with another special guest composer & producer exposed at a later date!
Photo by Andras G. Varga
Bestial Mouths moniker is neither any typical darkwave act nor any ordinary industrial band. I see that you obviously and restlessly blend your music with many elements which feels like you lead on to pretty much avant-garde plains. I want to ask, artistically where are you coming from and where are you heading with the Bestial Mouths formation?
With art and music I have never purposely sought out to recreate or copy any certain thing. I just become a filter or funnel of all that I have experienced – it gets processed through our brains emotions skills etc. and comes out.
With Bestial we wanted to create what we liked, what we felt, which included I guess many musical genres. From goth, post-punk, deathrock, minimal synth, shoegaze, industrial, noise, experimental, electronic music etc.
Not fitting a certain genre has not always been easy as it does have downfalls with not being easily palpable with audiences and even promoters not knowing where to book you and how. Also, lots of criticism that people think you are just doing it wrong – “why do you sing like that….not like a pretty girl” blah blah blah.
But we went with our guts and our ears – and Bestial will always hold to that. Also the essence of the whole live experience. I want the audience to feel and take something away from the live show. I tend to construct in a way that I would like to hear or see a show.
Another important chapter is the Bestial Mouths videos. You were involved in fashion and political activism for gender equality, two facts that are seemingly perceived in the band’s videos and I’d like you to tell us a few things on that subject. I realize that when you are the director, like in “Worn Skin” or “Face Of God”, the film is a manifest and unlike the usual band-plays-on-camera style. Also, tell us about your connection and the interaction with the rest of the directors who film your songs.
Living in LA came with a much advantage as there is no shortage of talented directors there who want to create art. So we were very lucky with that and that we caught their eyes.
For certain directors like Niko Sonnberger (of White Eyes, Earth & Heartless) they were mostly her vision of what she saw when she heard the song (though Heartless was more a collaboration with her and I – getting to work with a dance choreographer & dancers was my highlight as I was a ballerina/dancer in my early years). I also love how people see and feel and intercept our music. One of the reason the lyrics sometimes seem more obscure or abstract. Art is what you take from it. So letting directors run with ideas can be truly incredible (such as with GULLS and also Ceased by Katie Lucas).
Yes, our videos are not traditional “music videos” but they are expressions of art and my thought is you can feel and see us play in the flesh so let’s create another visible form for the audience.
Why did you choose that name for the band? What are these bestial mouths when they observe on humanity or are these bestial mouths humanity itself?
The name Bestial Mouths comes from a song lyric from one of my previous band, African Greys. It was my first band in Atlanta Georgia. Later we formed a band in LA called SWFT WNGS which was from a previous lyric as well Swift Wings. I have always loved carrying on a continuation and letting it spill over onto each other. After all everything I have done and my past is who I am today.
the line was “bestial mouths singing to drag in the winter” from a song called ‘Poorpoorpoor’ I believe.
The Bestial Mouths became what I am – an outlet to express humanity (both good and evil or just the truth of reality – which can frighten most).
Lynette, will you give us the top-5 records you are currently stuck with?
Wow, picking 5 is a huge challenge. Also challenging is me recalling details of some loves of mine, but off the top of my brain at this exact moment:
ZANIAS – To The Core
Zola Jesus – Okovi
SØLVE -The Negative
Statiqbloom – Mask Visions Poison
Tearful Moon – Evocation
Group A – Initiation
(oops thats 6 but I listened to them all today so…)
Thank you very much for your time, feel free to add anything you want!
“Forever cursed in blood” – it’s a new lyric that is stuck in my head at the moment as I write this
and of course thank you so much for asking/wanting to know more & to the others for reading xxL