As ONEIROGEN (o-NI-ro-jen), Mario Diaz de Leon creates his own style of hallucinatory music. The project was initiated in 2012 with the release of “Hypnos”, which garnered widespread acclaim among fans of experimental and heavy music for its varied and cinematic style, merging ethereal synths, brutal distortion, dark ambient and noise. This was followed in 2013 with “Kiasma”, an intensification of the doom/black metal elements present on the debut. With its precise song structures and haunting integration of melody and texture, the album’s drum-less distortion went far beyond the categories of “drone” and “ambient”, into a style unique to the album.
1: My last show in Berlin featured me playing guitar.
2: My next show in Berlin will not feature any guitar.
3: My name is pronounced o-NI-ro-jen and essentially means “dream creator”.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The command of the Iron Baphomet.
How and when did you get into making music?
I got obsessed with music when I was 7. I bought a Metallica tape and an issue of Metal Maniacs at the gas station near my house at age 9. I got my first guitar when I was 10 and joined my first band when I was 12.
What are your 5 favorite albums of all time?
Impossible to answer. But here are some important ones.
Sepultura – Arise
Godflesh – Selfless
Iasos – Angelic Music
The Cure – Pornography
Iancu Dumitrescu – Edition Modern 001
What do you associate with Berlin?
Electronic Music. Great festivals and audiences. I haven’t spent much time here to be honest, but I hope that will change.
What’s your favorite place in your town?
The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If I wasn’t a musician I might be a professor of comparative religion at a university somewhere, and a teacher of Breathwork.
What was the last record you bought?
Behemoth – The Satanist
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
The Berlin Philharmonic
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Slayer in Camden, New Jersey in 2009.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is a essential to most of my work, I embrace it. Even my purely acoustic pieces, like the string quartets, are informed by technology. But I think that creative vision is by far the most important thing. Technology must ultimately serve a vision, and that comes from inside. The machines should extend us, not enslave us.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have a sister, three years younger than me, whom I look up to very much.