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Interview: Crimson Brûlée - Tragica

Take a comfortable seat with one of the catchiest and emotionally touching dark rock bands of recent times, Crimson Brûlée. Gustavo has given us a very in depth look in to the band and it makes for a damn good read!


December 7, 2021 - New York-based darkwave band, CRIMSON BRÛLÉE released their debut EP, Tragica.

The songs weave tales of love lost and redemption; the refusal to accept the inevitable. Tales of forgiveness and the sincere hope that true love will rise in the end –if only at the very end. …Words for the wounded hearts of the world.

The sound of Tragica has been described as a melodic combination of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, and Depeche Mode with post-punk elements of Joy Division and Bauhaus. Bright melodies juxtaposed with heavy, dark lyrics.



Q. For those unfamiliar, how would you describe your music,

and where does your inspiration come from?

A. The music has been described as a melodic combination of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, and Depeche Mode with post-punk elements of Joy Division and Bauhaus. Bright melodies juxtaposed with heavy, dark lyrics. Personally, bands like Psychedelic Furs and early Cult had a big influence on me.

Q. Tell us about your history and members of the band.

Where did it all start, and what inspired you all to start

making music together?

A. It was early 2019, Billy Keith and I were sitting around in the studio listening to tracks from our new EP at the time, “Don’t Let Go”. As we listened, the idea of incorporating keyboards into our band “The Witch-Kings” came up. The more we talked about it – the better the idea sounded. So, we decided to find a keyboard player to bring into the Kings.

When it came to keyboards or synthesizers there was only one person that came to mind and that was Nicole Eres from my first band “Bitter Grace”. Shortly after, we invited her to jam with the Kings.

Sadly, halfway into the night it had become obvious that the chemistry wasn’t there. There were no bad guys; it was just that the juice was just not flowing. And with music is all about the right elements and chemistry.

We were really disappointed that the jam didn’t turn out to be what we had hoped for. But by that time, the fire had been lit as Billy and I had made up our minds. We wanted to have keyboards involved in our music and I had already written a few songs with Nicole in mind.

So out of respect for our brothers in “The Witch-Kings” we decided just to assemble another project keeping the Kings intact along with its dark, heavy-handed guitar-only vibe.

Nicole, Billy, and I got together to play and it was magic. That was the day that we chose Crimson Brûlée as the official name. We were fortunate to have Johan Andersson join us on bass and the chemistry was near perfect. Then suddenly, Johan had to leave citing health reasons. Shortly after, we picked up Jaime Filomio on bass, which

led to Oscar Arias and Manny Koeningsburg on guitars later on.

The synergy and the tunes were fantastic – more melodic and brighter than what we were used to, yet painfully melancholic as the lyrics came down hard on all of us. I remember some days when we were jamming and having to stop because Nicole or myself would be too upset to push forward.

Then in early 2021, we got word that Johan had passed away. A real tough loss, as he was a brilliant musician and one of the coolest cats ever.

We spent the latter half of 2020 through 2021 recording our EP “Tragica” which we are finally releasing this December 2021 dedicating it to Johan. We hope to spend 2022 playing live shows is very important to us.

Q. I genuinely love the sound and feel of ‘I came back to you’. Can you please explain the imagery and story behind the video and how the video and the lyrics relate to the rest of the release?

A. What I love best about this song is the message of forgiveness. “…I came back to you, in spite of everything that went wrong.” The ability to love someone and letting that love give you the strength to forgive their BS. So the video is about that strength. The ghost hunter is haunted by her long lost lover from a previous life who after all that he did to her – she still went looking for him. A love worthy of forgiveness and redemption.

It’s a good message, Love and forgive.

Q. Can you please give us a run down of the message and story of each track? (Because these are some wonderful tunes I’m hearing, and I really want to know more!

A. “I came back to you”

Well, I kind of already spoke about this song.

“Nothing Dies Forever”

The song is about not giving up on true love even when the one you love loses sight of it. I am truly a Hopeless romantic. I love the last lines of the song “You cant kill this love” that is the message. Nicole and I really lock into this song, the lyrics always get us.


This song deals with the scarier side of rejection. It’s about refusing to hear the truth; it’s about obsession and the drive behind the obsessed. It’s a stalking anthem of sorts.

“Why I wear Black”

It’s a fun song about vampires and robots. And the love that binds both worlds making it work.

“Where Tarantulas Roam”

This very visual song is based on a novella written by our bass player Jaime Filomio. The song is a beautiful celebration of love on course to tragic ending. The last line of this song really sings to me; “Come take my hand, let me take you to a place where lovers go to die”. It always gets me when I sing it live.

Q. Which song/s are you most proud of in this release?

I love all of them but “Nothing Dies Forever” is the one that is closest to my heart – the romantic fool in me, I suppose.

Q. Is there a favourite funny or important moment story

from your music career you can tell us?

I think one of the most important things that has ever happened to me was receiving a letter from a young man in Greece who wrote that he was going to kill himself because he was conscripted into military service and was going to lose the love of his life. But after listening to one of my songs (“Burning Kisses” by “Bitter Grace”) he was able to work through his depression and decided to just press on. That made me realize that what we do – all musicians not just us, what we do is really important. Sometimes that one song can make a world of difference to someone. And that is the fire

that keeps me going. (Wow!)

Q. What life lessons has being in music taught you all, and

what would you change about the scene if you could?

Overall I think we all need to be more supportive of one another. There is enough love to go around. Come out – go see your local heroes at work. Support that club night.

It’s all special and so very fragile.

Q. Anything you'd like to say to your fans?

Keep the faith, stay strong and healthy. We hope to see you all soon. We will be doing shows throughout 2022 wherever it’s safe to. And when this Covid insanity is over, please go out and support your local bands, promoters and DJs. Your scene will need you more than ever.

- Gustavo Lapis Ahumada

On the creation of Crimson Brûlée


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