środa, 7 października 2015

Interview with James from Facada!

I'm stoked, seriously, I've met Zsiga Zoltan once at OEF and we became partners straight away. His fanzine BLAST is totally kick-ass! This time he decided to talk to one of my favorite bands, Brasilian Facada. I know them for years and they are one of the best underground grindcore acts for sure. I'm proud to release their two albums and to work on future projects now. If you dont know Facada yet, listen to O joio or Nadir album, read that rad interview with Carlos James, bass player and vocalist of the band. I want to thank Zoltan and James for such a good job! Andy EDH
Hello guys, my name is Zoli, I’m glad to do this chat with you! To be honest I didn't found too much biography info about you, so it is time for an introduction. Do you remember the reason why you formed Facada? When and how exactly did you found the band? What were your favorite bands and inspirations back then, and did that change over the years? 
Hi, Zoli. We are glad as well. It’s awesome to answer to an interview from a country like Hungary that we don’t have many contacts. It’s always cool to get acquainted  to new people. We formed the band back in 2003. We used to play in other bands, but we were always close friends. After watching show from a local band named SUBTERA, we decided to get together and star jamming to some grindcore stuff. We are still doing it as far as we are concerned. Back in the day we loved, and still love, things like Napalm Death (old), Terrorizer, Filthy Christians, Repulsion, Defecation, Carcass (old), Morbid Angel (old), Dismember, Agathocles, Regurgitate. To some extent these influences haven’t really changed over the years, but we are always adding some different elements like Death or Black metal to keep things interesting for ourselves. And it all comes really naturally.
Facada, pix shot by Deivyson Teixeira

I read in an interview with Facada, that one of your guitar players live in Germany, and it sounds interesting. It does not make your life more complicated? How can you practice, writing and record songs, and in general, how can you manage the band's activities, including live gigs? 
Until 2006 Ari lived in Fortaleza (Ceará/Brasil) our hometown. After sometime he got married to a German lady named Wera and moved to Berlin. He makes some songs in there. From time to time, when he comes to Brazil, he rehearses with our drummer and makes the last touch ups in the compositions. After that they record the drums to register it. Later on he records his guitar parts in Germany. Meanwhile me (James) and Danyel make some other songs and record our parts here. I make the vocal lines and record all of them at once. The bass parts we usually share. It’s weird but works out fine. We would love to have the opportunity to practice  and compose all together all the time.  When he gets down south we book some shows and play with all the 4 members.
In addition to that, how often can you play live in Brazil? What about playing abroad? Is there a chance to do bigger tours outside your country? What are some crazy show stories that have happened at your concerts?
This year we played very little, since we focused on the process of recording. Playing a lot during this process  makes things a little more difficult for us, but we play overtime we can in Brazil. We have once tried booking an Euro Tour with the help of our almighty friend Andy (EveryDayHate), but we got some issues related to time and planning the logistics of it. Of course that the thing that makes everything much more difficult is the price of tickets from Brazil to Europe. We also tried booking a handful of gig around South America, but we faced the same problems as well. Brazil is a huge country and we still have some places to play down here. Now we have the help o Collapse Agency that is arranging everything for us, so, things will go smoother. Now, about crazy shit…. I once got punched on my throat by a crazy girl. I dislocated my shoulder twice. We once forgot all of our merch in the airport and it was in the same place after we returned for it 2 hours later. We lost a 2 hour flight once and had to make a 12 hour bus ride in oder to arrive in the gig. We played in the rooftop of a house in the middle of the amazon. Nothing too fancy I guess… Lol
Facada live, pix shot by Deivyson Teixeira

Let’s talk about your latest album, Nadir. What was your focus when you wrote the songs for the album, were you really pissed off for some reason? It is so damn relentless and angry! Writing angry music is a kind of therapy for you, you can release your demons, or get rid off of the negative feelings with it? Or music isn’t just about anger, but it is a deeper, more spiritual thing to you? 
Nadir is an expression in Arabic that means the lowest point of something. So we decided to write lyrics of how people get into that point. The catch is: we are always mad about something, because people make us like this. By their attitudes, their words, their lies… And this is the lyrical core of the album. When I write a lyric it’s an attempt to try to get it out of my system, a burden taken off my head and it kind makes me feel lighter. I think if I didn’t do it from time to time I would go bananas and have to release these demons. Music is a feeling/ Phenomenon that is hard to put in words. It can help you and touch you in a very deep and sincere way. And I don’t mean that this happens only by the lyrics but by the riffs, the drum grooves, the atmosphere, vocals that you not always get what are they talking about but you can somehow get the message across. It’s an ethereal feel that hits you in a physical form.

Could you say something about who has inspired you? I think your sound is close to Napalm Death, but in a good way. Do you limit yourselves to the grindcore genre when you write songs or do you try to mix different inputs in as well? Is this something you think about when you write music? 
Earlier napalm material is for sure one of our biggest influences. I may say the same about Nasum until Inhale/Exhale, Morbid Angel, and of course the brazilian bands (Rot, Headhunter D.C., Sarcófago, Dorsal Atlântica, Endoparasites…. the list is endless). As I said before we try not to limit ourselves/ We have been criticized for not playing strictly grindcore. Some crazy dude once labeled us Pop Grindcore. But we try to listen to crazy shit all the time. Sometimes it may be a punk or Black Metal Riff, but all filtered by the grindcore that we play. We all have all side projects. Danyel and James play in Monge (Black Metal) and Godtoth (Death Metal). Ari plays in Evil Spirit (Doom) and has played in Diagnose (Crust Punk) for quite some time and is a famous DJ/Producer in the LGBT Electronic Scene. Dangelo plays in Obskure (Death Metal) and Danyel plays in Plastique Noir (Post-punk). But as we said, we have no limits for decency, we read, watch and listen to a lot of dark twisted things, and we try our best not to limit our experiences.
Facada shreddin'

How prepared are you when you enter the studio? Is there room for spontaneous ideas and / or changes, when you record?
When we start recording, usually the song is already crafted. Maybe some little adjustments but as a whole, the song is ready to go. Sometimes it happens to make a song on the spot like it happened with the second to last song of nadir. When we write a song, we pass it to every one so they can listen to it properly and approve it. Once it’s approved we practice it and it’s done. Usually Ari and Dangelo do their stuff on their own. Danyel and I do our stuff and on practice we figure each other parts together. We usually practice once or twice before recording.

The mixing and mastering was done by William Blackmon from Gadget, and the album sounds really tight and heavy, I love it. What was your reaction, when you’ve heard the sound first time? 
William has mixed our previous album and we couldn’t be happier with the results he achieved. So we didn’t second guess ourselves and repeated the partnership. Other than playing in one of nastiest bands around (Gadget) he does more than mixing, he organizes stuff, gives us tips on how things should sound. He is a very nice dude. When we first heard to it, it felt like it wasn’t us playing it, so dirty and nasty it was. I hope one day we can see him in person and buy him a lot of beers as a way to thank him.

Have your sources of inspiration changed throughout the years? What is the biggest difference between Nadir, and your previous albums in your opinion? Would you say that Facada has developed further over the years, or did you stay the same? 
As a whole, we believe our inspirations are the same as they used to be, even though our albums sound very distinct from each other. The grindcore element is there fore sure, but we always try to insert some new stuff. Take O Joio, for example, it has a lot of death metal overtones and sounds more downtuned. Nadir has some more black metal edges to it, but this is oversimplifying, because the songs sound very distinct from each other. I think Nadir sounds very cohesive even though it was recorded in a handful of different places and kudos to William to make it sound like an unit. I think Nadir is the dirtiest and most straightforward of them all. Now we are at a point that we can make songs sound like ourselves. Sometimes some songs clock under a minute, but they have so many riffs and when we put them back to back they simply sound like us. It may sound weird to explain it, but I believe we somehow have our own identity when playing.

Nadir was released by many different labels (Black Hole Productions, Nerve Altar, EveryDayHate, Läjä Records) on 2 formats (Cd and vinyl), and you got a lot of positive feedback to it. Were you surprised by how the album was received?
When we make an album, we like to please ourselves first. We aim for something we can listen to and feel a sense of pride for doing it, of course we would love for our peers to enjoy it as bad as we do it. But we could never imagine the positive feedback we are receiving from it. Every single review that we read feels awesome and very humbling to see how people relate to our music. Specially when they “get” our influences and our intentions in doing our stuff. All of our “bosses” in our labels are very pleased as well, and it makes us very happy too. I mean, it’s really cool to be acknowledged by our stuff and we can only be very thankful for the positive reaction.

Nadir was released on vinyl by EveryDayHate Records. Does anybody in the band have a special relation to vinyl or do you like the CDs too? Are you maybe vinly collectors?
Dude, EDH, Never Altar and Laja have just fulfilled one of our biggest dreams, coz it’s our first vinyl release and we are all vinyl fanatics. We are all fans of a time that you really had to sit down to enjoy an album. Reading the booklet, taking time to appreciate the cover art and learn the lyrics and of course having to stand up to flip sides. I really think this is like a lost form of ritual that people have just forgotten. It’s like reading a book. I really enjoy cd as a media and other digital formats, but I really regret getting rid of some of my old vinyl stuff in order to substitute them for cds. But I still have a turntable and buy some classics and new stuff from time to time. and I’m glad to know that most of my friends are collectors as well. 
By the way, how did you get the deal with EDH, a label from the other side of the world? Was there maybe more possibility, but Andy's offer was the best? How many demos did you send out? Why did you take the EDH offer? 

We knew EDH from the previous stuff they have released, and boy, they have some amazing stuff in their catalogue. I think Andy checked O Joio out and wanted to re-release it. We did;t have to send any demo to him and it was overwhelming to know about his interest in the band. We only have distribution in Brazil and it is very cool now to see that people in Europe are having access to our music. It’s a mutual trust relationship between andy and us. He is really supportive, works HARD, and really lives the underground. The guy is super professional and took the reins to release Nadir in vinyl. We trust him 100% and we can foresee us having a long relationship.

Nadir album cover, art by Everton Silva
Who made the cover art for Nadir, and how it is connected to the album, what was the original concept? 
It was an artist named Everton Silva. We wanted to drift away from the commonplace metal cover and do something utterly different from everything we have done before. We got some of our lyrics and sent him. He nailed it perfectly and not only he did the artwork for the cover, but wrote the lyrics. The cover represents a formless being, lifeless, shapeshifting  and with no feelings of connecting. He used some carving techniques to make it. And the B/W aspect of it it’s intentional to bring some atmosphere to the concept.

As the lyrics are only in portugese language in the booklet, please tell me in detail, what kind of issues you are dealing with? 
Most of the lyrics deal about people’s ignorance and apathy. How they are like pawns in a chess game. How we struggle to deal with this absurd reality and have to cope with it. Having a crushing routine and being able to live through it without giving up. Resisting. We talk about our own mistakes: shame, regret, depression, the feeling of wanting to vanish. Some of them are bizarre anedoctes that we’ve heard in our lives. Like Os Porcos Comem Minha Cara (The pigs are feasting on my face) it’s about a story that my mom heard in a hospital about a drunk guy that collapsed in a pigsty, and when we woke up he noticed we was being dragged by a pig who was chewing his face. Or Corumbá, Hippie do Inferno. it was a bout a hippie that used to sell leather bracelets on the road. one day he received a message from satan himself saying that he had to kill 7 women. He managed to kill 6 of them by stoning them to death or burying them alive. I believe we have some of them translated, as we thought it was important to communicate them to people overseas, but now I believe the message has to be sent in our own native tongue.

Brazil is a deeply religious country, the catholic religion is very strong there. What do you think about the organised religions, it is a thing you write lyrics about as well? Do you think religion is the opium of the masses?
Religion is a form of manipulation, indoctrination and blind ego taming. It’s a form to make people less aware of the world they are in by creating a system of illusions that will reward you in the future. I have respect by some religion and philosophies like Buddhism and Theistic Satanism when there is confrontation to the standardization of the human being. I believe that reading a lot about the subject is important to know about you are dealing with. In Brazil I believe the evilest of them all is the presence of the catholic church but I really don’t make it a big deal. I just try to ignore them. It’s pointless to argue with a braindead.
Facada, pix shot by Deivyson Teixeira

Where does that strange intro come from and how does it fit into the record? Which ones are your favorite songs from the album and why? 
It's from a Werner Herzog movie, Even Dwarvs Start Small. In this particular scene there is a midget talking to a camel. Ari suggested us to use that grotesque laughter. I like almost all of the songs, but I have a soft spot for e-diota, amanhã vai ser pior, nadir, eu não pertenço a este mundo e Guarda este mantra pra ti. All of them are pretty different from each other and really brutal.

Can you introduce please the previous Facada materials too (unfortunately I didn’t have the previous albums in my collection)? 
We have a 10 song demo from 2004, the first full length Indigesto (2006), the second one O Joio (2010) that was ré-released in 2012 via EDH, a dvd recorded in 2011 and Nadir from 2012. We are recording a handful of new songs and a cover album.
Ojoio album cover, art by Nelson Oliveira

No interviews without discussion about the scene… I know from Brazil for example Subcut, Expurgo, Baixo Calão, D.E.R., Test, Plague Rages, Sick Terror, and of course, the mighty ROT! And you have some other sick acts, like Flesh Grinder, Lymphatic Phlegm, and tons of others. In my eyes the scene in Brazil is strong and healthy, but what is your comment? All band from Brazil stick together, or are there any conflicts among bands? 

The grindcore scene here is huge, loyal and really United. I think I don't know of a single beef between any of the bands. Maybe some issues might have happened, but to what concerns us, we have always had a great relationship with the bands here. We're all close friends and played amongst many of the bands you mentioned. We have no egotrips, pouserisms or a band wanting to be bigger than the other. As Rot says: cooperation not competition.

There is a small connection between our countries, have you ever heard maybe Subterror’s split with Do You Think I Care (a crust punk band from Hungary)? 
I'm not familiar with the Hungarian scene. I would love if you could name some killer bands for me to check out. I've heard about DYTIC, but we are good friends with subterror. By the way, they have just released a fantastic album.
Is there any genre outside grindcore you are into as well? Do you maybe have other bands and side-projects? What are you listening to outside grindcore, which album is the most shameful piece of your private music collection, maybe a Madonna cd, or something else? 
We listen to some crazy shit. Actually I believe that inside the band we don't listen much to grindcore itself. We listen a lot to Jamaican dub, post punk, synth pop, ambient black metal, experimental and prog Rock of the 70s/80s, lambada, industrial, shoegaze, garage rock, soundtracks.... Ari really digs pet shop boys, erasure, alphaville... He occasionally plays some sets in the alternative LGBT scene in Berlin as DJ Safa. As of myself, I'm not really embarrassed by anything I have in my collection. Some records that might be considered bad but I still like are Queen's Hot Space, the only Black Star (ex carcass) and Morgoth's feel sorry for the fanatic.

When do you intend to make a new album? Or a split material? By the way, we didn't have any Facada split so far, what is the reason behind that? Are you planning to do splits in the future? 
Yeah, we are trying to make it up for this delay. We have tried doing it before but it has never worked out properly. Now we are recording some songs for splits with Hutt and Expurgo, a 3-way with Test and Derange Insane and another split with Omfalos. Than I believe we can compensate for the lack of splits we had before. Other than that, some of those songs might go to a new album, but we are still not very sure about it. And, we are recording a covers album, playing 16 songs (8 Brazilian bands, 8 international)
Facada demo, 7 inch cover art

We are coming to the end, so I’d like to ask you about your top 10 favorite material… some people find this question boring, but I’m always interested about the responses, so please share with us your list!
The list is fuckin huge, but I'm going to name some of the ones I'm always listening to:
Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction 
Korn – Issues 

Deicide – Legion 
Koro – Ep 
Angel Corpse – Exterminate 
Nocturnus – The Key 
Morbid Angel – Altars of madness 
Dark Throne – Transylvanian hunger 
Devo – Oh No It's DEVO! 
Paysage d'yver – Steineiche 
VIO-LENCE- Eternal Nightmare 
But the list keeps on changing all the time.

I ran out of questions. Is there anything I forgot? I hope you enjoyed this chat, thank you for your time. Last words are for you.
I think they were all great questions, I have never answered any interview from Hungary and I'm pretty sure that you are the first Hungarian I get in touch, lol. But us a true honour to get interviewed to your zine. If you want to check our material out, just google facadanagoela and go listen to our stuff. I would like to thank immensely Zé Misanthrope (Omfalos/Godtoth) for the BIG HUGE FUCKING translation. Thanks! keep grinding.

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