PABLO (TORTUGA): “The Genre Of Our Music Has Undergone An Evolution”

Tortuga band photo

Polish Doom Metal band Tortuga are set to release their third album entitled Iterations on October 27th. The band’s guitarist/vocalist Pablo took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about their upcoming album, the rise of Doom Metal in Poland, his hopes to tour with Megadeth, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, Tortuga is set to release their third album entitled Iterations on October 27th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Pablo: Iterations represents an evolution of our previous style. While we aimed to maintain the true essence of doom/stoner music, we also wanted to infuse more vibrancy into our compositions. We’ve ventured into new harmonies, experimented with fresh rhythms, and welcomed a new drummer with a different musical background. All of these elements can be heard in the album. It’s still unmistakably us, but it’s as if we’ve been transformed in a musical laboratory. We’re confident that our existing fans will appreciate it, and we believe newcomers will find it intriguing, even if they’re not typically fans of doom music.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being your third album?

Pablo: With our previous albums, our approach was more of a jam session when it came to composing tracks. However, Iterations was created during the pandemic and in the period that followed. We found ourselves unable to jam as freely, and life presented us with new and more pressing responsibilities. Consequently, the composition process for Iterations took a different path. Myself (Pablo) and our other guitarist (Krzysiek) met almost daily for several months, working on compositions from the comfort of our homes. Then, in the rehearsal room, the rhythmic section of the band added their unique contributions. Finally, we all came together to blend everything into the songs you hear. This change in our method is noticeable in the album. If you listen closely to the solos and riffs, you’ll find that they were crafted rather than being the spontaneous result of a jam session. Whether this is a good or bad change depends on the listener, but we’re pleased that it’s different, and we thoroughly enjoyed this creative journey.

MER: How would you compare Iterations to your previous two album’s?

Pablo: As I mentioned in earlier responses, the process of composing the music was notably different this time around. The genre of our music has undergone an evolution, both by design and unintentionally (largely influenced by the change in drums). If I were to label it, I’d say we’ve transitioned from a doom/stoner sound to a more progressive/doom style. To our ears, it resonates as cleaner and more refined compared to our previous works.

MER: You’ve released a single entitled “Lilith”, what kind of feedback have you received?

Pablo: We received mostly positive feedback from our audience. Those who were already familiar with our work were pleasantly surprised by the change in our music. Meanwhile, newcomers were intrigued by this previously unknown band producing enjoyable tunes. It’s amusing to read comments from those who knew us, expressing sentiments like, “Wow, what an evolution! The sound is much richer than before.” Simultaneously, those who hadn’t encountered us before, and perhaps are accustomed to the highly processed sound of newer bands, remarked, “Wow, I like it! It sounds so raw and reminiscent of old Black Sabbath.”Regarding the music video, we chose a path less traveled by typical bands. We filmed it in our rehearsal room and then I spent countless hours collaborating with AI to edit the footage, crafting the dark and foreboding atmosphere you see in the video. For some, this approach was fantastic—a refreshing and captivating departure from the norm. However, there were individuals hesitant about the use of AI in our creative process. It’s worth noting that AI is simply a tool, albeit an impressive and intricate one. Ultimately, it’s how we wield these new technologies that determines our creative future.

MER: What do you see as plans for you and the band after the album release?

Pablo: The creative process can be exhausting, and now we’re shifting our focus to the part we all enjoy the most: touring and playing concerts. We’ve got an exciting tour planned through East and South Europe just weeks after the album’s release. Then, in spring, we’ll hit the road again, this time exploring Western Europe. Of course, in the meantime, we’ll be playing gigs in our home country. Summer will likely find us at numerous festivals. This is why we create music—to share it with audiences at concerts, to connect with new people at festivals and venues. This is the aspect of music that truly resonates with us. After a year or so of traveling and performing, we’ll consider our next steps. But for now, it’s time for our minds to rest and for our bodies to revel in the joy of live performances.

MER: Is there anywhere that you hope to play live that you haven’t yet and why?

Pablo: We have lots of places in mind! In general, we’d love to perform outside of Europe, like in North America, Australia, or Asia. But the costs for such trips are usually really high, and as an underground band, we can’t afford it right now. Looking closer to home, we dream of playing at big European festivals like Desertfest Berlin, the top stoner/doom festival in Europe, or other major metal festivals like Wacken, Hellfest, or Metaldays. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Right now, we might not be super famous, but we believe we’re on the rise.

MER: Who do you hope to tour with that you haven’t yet and why?

Pablo: That’s a tough one! I think each member of the band would have a different answer. Personally, if I could choose any band in the world, I’d go with Megadeth because they’re the ones who got me into metal. And if we could dream even bigger and pick any past band, I’d definitely choose Black Sabbath or Type O Negative. I’m pretty sure other band members would have their own choices. They might say they’d love to tour with bands like Mastodon, Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Pink Floyd, or King Crimson.

MER: What have been some of your favorite releases of 2023?

Pablo: To be honest, I haven’t had much time to discover new bands and albums this year because I’ve been quite busy. But let me try to recall some of what I’ve been listening to recently: I really enjoyed the new REZN album, the latest release from ISOLE was great, and I also liked the new Queens of The Stone Age album. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, and I listen to more than just metal, so I’m probably leaving out some other stuff too.

MER: How would you describe the music scene in Poland?

Pablo: Poland is well-known for its vibrant heavy and extreme metal scene. You’ve probably heard of bands like Behemoth, Vader, Batushka, or Decapitated. But Poland also has a thriving community of doom/stoner bands, including established acts like Dopelord, Sunnata, Weedpecker, and Belzebong. Around 7 to 10 years ago, there was a boom in the doom/stoner scene here. Many people, including ourselves, were inspired to start bands in this genre because it was thriving in Poland. This was thanks to music festivals and the growing popularity of bigger bands like Electric Wizard, Sleep, and Belzebong. However, I’ve noticed that there hasn’t been as much activity in creating new bands lately. I attend concerts regularly and have close connections with many bookers, and they share the same sentiment. It’s a bit disappointing, but I believe it’s just a matter of time. Eventually, a band will emerge in a genre and make a big impact, inspiring others to start their own projects.

MER: Out of your three album’s, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Pablo: OK, if you’re a big fan of doom/stoner music, especially the kind with monolithic riffs like Electric Wizard, then Deities is the choice for you. If you’re someone who enjoys a variety of metal genres or you’re looking for music with lots of changes and constant evolution, then Iterations is more your style. Even better, give all of them a listen, and then decide which one you like the most—or maybe you’ll just end up hating them all!


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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