Lynette Cerezo has been in charge of shaping and taking care of a project as amazing as Bestial Mouths. Its sound, its philosophy and its aesthetics have remained in their original state during its 12 years of life, it has not succumbed to new fashions or to stigmas caused by the passage of time, its legacy remains firm and increasingly consolidated.
We spoke to Lynette about her life and also about Bestial Mouths’ development, current moment and latest releases.
Gothic music has its roots in post-punk, bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy or Alien Sex Fiend were pioneers in this genre, what were your references as a teenager and why did you lean towards this style?
I started getting into music at an early age, around 11 with punk stuff like Sex Pistols. As I grew I got into more post-punk bands—goth, deathrock and industrial stuff. Later I found a love for New Wave and minimal synth bands, and from there into noise and experimental. I feel all of these influences find their way into my music now. I assume I was attracted to the intense, deep nature and political aspects of it all; my father used to work at the morgue and he loves horror stuff, which I imagine also helped guide me here. Or maybe it runs in my genes.
You were born and raised in Orlando, what was the punk scene like in the last century in the Florida area?
I was actually born in Denver, Colorado (I was the first one in my family born in the US) then lived in San Antonio, Texas and spent most of my growing-up years in Orlando. I left at 18 and have lived around the US and Europe, so I wasn’t closely connected to what was happening in Florida. In the last two or three years I’ve been able to reconnect to Florida and the artists there, which I find really exciting. I know it’s much harder to keep art alive in Florida (also why I went to other lands myself) so anything I can add to keep it alive and pay homage means a lot; that’s why it’s so exciting for me to be working with Florida artists again.
Although you are originally from Orlando, your current residence is in Berlin, do you have more fans in Europe than in America?
I honestly have no clue. Though I have always been a wandering soul and love to experience and collaborate with artists and meet people from everywhere, it can also have some drawbacks. Oftentimes, I feel like I’m all over the place and wonder where I belong. It has been and still is incredible to have this opportunity, but at times I feel lost, or at a loss to find ways to grow when everything feels so vast. I do love to see where merch orders come from; Spain has a lot of love for BESTIAL MOUTHS, which warms my heart because that’s my heritage.
A lot of artists move to Berlin, what is it about Berlin that other cities don’t have?
Europe in general has a greater love and acceptance of art as being an important and integral part of existence. Europe offers much more support than the US in terms of financial support for artists, festivals etc. and Berlin has a community and vibrance that draws artists there. There’s so many opportunities to meet similar minds. It’s hard to say what the future holds as Berlin too has fallen victim to big corporations, increased costs of living and housing which always drives out artists, much like San Francisco. So we’re all talking about what could be the next spot.
Bestial Mouths is not conceivable without Lynette Cerezo, you are the alma mater of the band, but Bestial Mouths has had several stages, the first one was with your ex-husband Chris Myrick, how has it evolved musically since Chris left the project?
I believe BESTIAL shows life and growth, and mimics what is happening around all of us. It does not stay stagnant and continues to live and breathe and explore. Chris and I agreed as he knew BESTIAL was in my veins that I should continue its existence as he too did not want to see it end. It was a very scary time for me as I was solely on my own, having never done music without him before. I was very vulnerable and didn’t know if I would be accepted and taken seriously, or hated for continuing without him. I didn’t know if I had enough skill to do Bestial plus deal with the emotional side I was feeling after a life of 10 years ending. I was striped raw, and had a lot to learn. Little by little I just kept pushing, and with help of others I kept believing and growing. I would say it has evolved in that it has become more about my journey, and more vocal-focused. I am able to express the full concept from music to visuals as well. I have and I’m sure will continue to hear from people about which phase they liked best and some criticism about what I have done but the true BESTIAL style is and always has been about creating what’s in our souls.
Brant Showers joined later as a member of Bestial Mouths and is still working with you. He also has another musical project, ∆Aimon, does Bestial Mouths have any connection with ∆Aimon?
Brant Showers is also the soul of SOLVE. He is a wealth of talent and I’m amazed each time we create more and more together. We first met Brant during the first time we played SXSW with him and his wife Nancy, who together form AAimon. He’s really helped define the new sound of BESTIAL with me.
We are living in an implausible reality, nobody would have imagined that we would suffer this pandemic situation, do you think that the isolation and the instilled fear has revitalised dark or apocalyptic music?
That’s a good question; I have always felt the world was in a very dangerous situation that the masses chose to ignore, and we have been teetering on the verge of something happening. We have been singing about it since the inception of BESTIAL with our song A GREAT SILENCE IS WAITING off our early DAIS release. All I can hope for is the rise of true hearts fighting back, and that we have not damaged the physical world or humanity beyond repair.
Regarding your most recent releases, do we have to talk about THOUSANDNEEDLES as an extension of INSHROUDSS and RESURRECTEDINBLACK?
Yes, INSHROUDSS bleeds into RESURRECTEDINBLACK and the next steps in the process was how it reached and affected others —thus remixed into others hands and souls. Each part is a step in journey I’ve been through taking over and rebirthing BESTIAL MOUTHS.
This album features 14 different artists, what can you tell us about them, how did this work come about?
I am incredibly honored by this remix album, truly speechless. It includes many of my idols and having them work with BESTIAL really means a lot and has helped give me seeds to carry on. Them believing in me and BESTIAL fuels my flames.
When I learned that Rodney of Dead Milkmen knew BESTIAL and was a fan, I flipped. My teen self was all a’flutter! As for ADULT., working with them has been a longtime dream. I was blown away by their remix for “UNSHIVERED” is perfect, and I’m so happy we got to create an equally stunning video for that. Shannon of Light Asylum is also a big inspiration for me. Her voice and presence are simply incredible. I’ve been to so many of their shows, watching with immense respect. I remember our first SXSW being on the same bill as Light Asylum and being overjoyed. Having known Kennedy of SRSQ and Shari of Void Vision for years now, I know their greatness firsthand. I love to watch them create as their talent just grows, and I knew I wanted these powerful women involved—especially because I know VV rarely does remixes. Plack Blague was also a delight to have on board; that remix absolutely destroys, and Raws is such a sweetheart. He screened some amazing shirts for us as well; just an absolute don.
There’s so many nice moments of synchronicity with the artists on THOUSANDNEEDLES. It was a really cool surprise to learn Ash Code had seen BESTIAL play in Berlin years ago and become fans and I never knew! Same goes with being a Grendel fan for since I can remember, then learning JD had seen us at WGT and considered our performance a highlight. One of Crowhurst’s first LA gigs years ago was with BESTIAL, and one of the reformed BESTIAL’s first gigs was with NNHMN. So many nice things like that, then we all finally come together. I think that’s a beautiful thing.
THOUSANDNEEDLES is an album that you released in May in digital format and now Soil Records and Fill-lex Records are releasing it on cassette and vinyl, why did you decide to release the album in physical format on these two labels?
Originally we really wanted TN to be physical as well but with the pandemic, shipping issues and all that everything was just too chaotic and unsure. We wanted to get these remixes in people’s hands and ears as soon as possible; I feel releasing music and art during these hard times can help the soul and maybe give hope. We were approached by Soil Records to be involved in their anniversary comp and talks went from there. I love that it’ss both vinyl and cassette; what a cool collectable.
In the near future, what are your plans for Bestial Mouths?
To continue to live breathe and create—to continue to make more music, videos, collaborations with artist and get back to playing shows and touring. We are in Talks and working on a new album.
I would like to finish this interview talking about your staging, as sometimes your concerts are a mix of live music and performances, how does the audience react, do they need to be visually involved in your show to be immersed and enjoy your music better?
I really believe BESTIAL should be a full sensory experience and a fully-realized concept. I strive to bring the audience into a new realm or journey with us. Sound and visual all help to create this. I try to summon them into it, to really feel and be transcended. But I also believe art and music are there for people to experience in their own way—whether that means to dance, stand or even sit and watch. Everyone has their own path.