Friday, June 13, 2014

D.A.M Interview

.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?

Guilherme de Alvarenga: Hi there  readers from Variety of Death Zine, it´s nice to be here :) , well we are recording the sequence of the Ep Phantasmagoria, the Album “The Awakening” it´s giving a LOT of work but is becoming truly nice. Besides that we are making some tests to complete our line-up.

2.At the end of May you released a new ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the previous full length and ep you had both released in 2013?

Hmm this one is truly hard cause I didn´t thought about a musical direction when I composed the songs(LOL), but the songs were composed in 2009 the same year  the EP Possessed was composed and most part of the songs from “Tales of the Mad King” album and by that time the only thing I was thinking about was to apply the musical composition techniques that I was learning during my Music College course into heavy metal aesthetics so I created lots and lots of songs with some hidden connections between they and when I release each one of those works I organized the songs that are more connected to each other in a certain way. In The EP Phantasmagoria for example we have the Twin Songs: Fear (Lunar Body) and Empty Silence (Solar Body) that were made in the same “shape” and have really close Motif connections, and the songs have some lyric connections about astral projection in general, and as you said very well in your review it has lots of power metal and symphonic metal influences so the songs selected followed that criteria. It differs from the previous works in sonority according to the story, for example in Tales of the Mad King the protagonist was living inside this world of dreams that he discovered in the EP Phantasmagoria that was a dream, so the songs selected were the ones that sounds  more “epic” and “folk” to reflect this fantasy he was living and in the EP Possessed we have a “dark appeal” to the songs cause everything was shadows inside the protagonist’s mind that culminates in his isolation inside the world that he created for himself to live that is the world talked about in Tales. But I  believe the greatest differences in this new release was the addition of more vocal textures, including more clean vocals and the mixing that is sounding more heavier than before.

3.The lyrics cover some occult topics, who would you describe your views on Occultism?

I like a lot to read and occultism can be great as a literature or great as a religion everything depends on what do you believe or what are your intentions. It has lots of metaphors and sometimes if you don´t understand very well the words you can get obsessed and misunderstood it, this leads many guys to make some violent acts believing they are making “magic” or that they are having a spiritual ascension. So I believe occultism gives lots of answers we can´t find normally in life, but it´s not an absolute truth because it depends of our consciousness level. When I was younger I was initiated in a secret order and many things from the story that is being told in D.A.M´s trilogy are related to my own experiences, D.A.M talks about alchemy, and about astral projection for example but I take care to choose my words and don´t give a bad influence to anybody because when you talk about death, or to die, you are talking about physiological death and not real death for example but a young guy can misunderstood it and kill his friend or even himself and that would be a shit!

4.In the beginning the band was a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a full line up?

Well I always had a dream to have a band and to make concerts around the world, but reality in Brazil is not a sweet dream so due to some issues that I will talk later in this interview I could not started D.A.M as a band, in reality D.A.M is only D.A.M because it started as a solo project cause I was running from a “normal band” routine, I was wishing to compose and make things in the way I do in D.A.M. I wrote the EP Possessed for my monograph to conclude the Music College and I truly like the songs so one day I made a decision: “ The songs are so nice I will release they alone, will be nice give life to they”, and when I released the first song it made a huge success and so the EP, it was like a dream so it would be the perfect opportunity to form a full line-up and make awesome concerts playing D.A.M! Sadly we could not find the right persons yet and that is a question that lots of people don´t understand about D.A.M, cause they see name of a person recording the instruments and name of others in the line-up, guys truly get confused and the fact is that D.A.M yet works as a solo project, the guys that are in the line-up are great friends of mine and we are working to turn D.A.M into a real band and they are truly kind to record the songs I wrote everything without giving their opinion and I have more responsibilities than they to compensate that fact, and it will work like that until the End of the trilogy that I wrote( 3 albuns+3 eps as preludes from albums), after that we will need to think about what will be better for us all, but the intention to have a full line up is to make the most awesome concerts for the guys that are enjoying D.A.M!

5.The band has been around since 2009 but waited until 2013 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time?
. In 2009 I was playing with a melodic death metal band called Excaliburn, you can find we playing live some songs that D.A.M recorded such as Avalon, and my intentions were to compose the songs I made in 2009 for Excaliburn to play, but in 2010 the band broke-up and I tried to keep the name and find other guys to play but it didn´t worked, so you can say that D.A.M raised from the Ashes of Excaliburn. By that time I didn´t created a name or a concept nothing I was only thinking in play the songs I composed and better composed everything in the way I want keeping everything like I planned, you know some little structures and connections are truly important in the concept of classical music so if you modify something you truly ruined the whole idea! I said earlier that Brazil is not a sweet dream and well now is the time to talk about that, in 2009 I was reaching to the end of music college, I would finished it in 2010 but in 2009 I got a tendinitis in my right hand and could not make the piano exams, Due to that I could only finish my course in 2011 and my later years in college were truly frustrating and I had no money to record the songs. When I started to work in 2011 and started to save the money I was truly sad about music and I had the conviction to not play anymore. I moved to Belo Horizonte in 2012 to have more musical opportunities and I played lots of different styles to get money and I felt truly frustrated playing things that I dislike just for money, I started to learn playing bass to have fun cause I wanted to play bass first when I started my musical studies, I played in a Paramore cover to get some money and later played in a death metal band called Hell Trucker that was truly funny and I composed some good stuff for they and that somehow made me dream about having a band, playing keyboards and singing again. I saved some money and I found the contact of Vincenzo a truly skilled sound engineer from Italy, so I knew that I could release something with a good mixing quality, my good friend Iz Castro( the guy who recorded all guitars and bass lines in Possessed and in Tales and most part of phantasmagoria´s ones) recorded for me everything like I wrote, so in the end of 2012 EP Possessed was recorded but one problem was left: vocals. I stayed since 2009 without singing due to lots of house changes and work so I tried to practice a little before recording vocals, sadly I was truly anxious and released it with not so good vocals in 2013, so those were some issues I was solving since 2009.

6.I Noticed that when I was listening to the ep it was very well produced for an independent release, can you tell us a little bit more about how you where able to obtain a very professional sound with the new release?

Believe or not we record everything at home! Half the process is about the composition process, so I write all the instruments and always revise and plan some production issues like pans, fades etc to keep the composition quality. The other part is about recording and mixing and is in that part that lots of awesome bands don´t go ahead cause they don´t research how to make a good recording quality including the quality of recording but also the precision while playing the instruments, so when they send the material to someone to mix, even the guy being truly good he can´t make much because the instruments were bad recorded, there´s mistakes in the playing so the quality lowers due to that. We truly control this part to be sure that everything will be well played and we recorded with some cheap audio cards, just to don´t have latency. So you have nice songs composed, everything was played well, there´s no noises in the tracks and then comes the last part and this one is truly important because if you have everything well but can´t hear it very well will sound like shit, we searched a more powerful and heavier sonority for our releases and we found in David from Best plugins the perfect partner to achieve the sonority we wanted, so I can advice  bands to search a great sound engineer to mix their works. Most part of the bands are truly innocence being seduced by guys that have a big studio with lots of equipments that shines but believe me kids, great equipments don´t make a great song but great engineers yes, we were truly luck to found two great engineers (Vincenzo and David) that worked truly nice for us and believe me recording in home and send files to mix by internet REALLY WORKS!

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Well D.A.M only made a Jam in an event so I guess this one was the best, it was truly awesome, full of people and guys enjoyed us playing because we made some magic tricks in our instruments (laughs) it´s truly energic the way we play and from previous concerts I made in the past I truly like to interact with guys that are watching the concerts, because all we do is for they, it´s truly nice!

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?

We can´t make any shows or tour plans without a complete band, some opportunities to play in Japan, Argentina in Europe appeared but we can´t go only the 3 guys and we can´t pay for session musicians yet so we are truly focused in recording the trilogy! Besides that we planned some workshops and clinic shows that are small events and is possible only the 3 playing but the recordings are truly taking our time and we have other jobs, so by now guys will need to await a little longer for a full D.A.M´s concert.

9.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or do you feel labels are obsolete these days with the internet taking over music?

Well the good side of a label is that it will make the band appear in some media streams that are truly important to promote the band´s name and give some respect to it, because you know lots of people don´t hear a band because they think “ ok it´s just another shit band”, or they will simple never hear about you, so the label is good for that: promotion. Also having a label gives some credibility to the band to find a good manager, booking and that kind of things that are truly important to a band to make their work in the best way with some dignity. Having a good label would be awesome for us, but we know the reality about labels and for they it´s truly hard to hire a band that is not making any concerts, because when you hire with a label means that your band now is part of a big company and when you deal with a big company you are dealing with music business and they will want the band to play live to sell not only the band´s cds and merchandise but also the other artists from that label. If we could find some label that would take care of the production of the cds and let us working in the Trilogy in peace would be truly great, but I believe it´s just me looking to my own interests so I believe due to the reality I talked to you that we will only have a label when the last work of the Trilogy born to the world! Internet is great I would like to know more about internet promotion but I believe takes much time and I am truly busy with other D.A.M´s issues, luckily we have some good friends that truly help us to promote our songs in youtube, soundcloud, facebook page´s and some other internet stuff, the guys are truly great!

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death metal?

It was truly fucking awesome, we have lots of fans from different countries, based in their words I can tell you that they truly like D.A.M, they are truly awesome and a little insane, they made some bullying with the british D.A.M in their last fm page´s(laughs) so they like us and are truly wild and loyal! For a independent band in one year we achieved many things including lots of  cds sold to Japan, Europe, North America and Brazil what truly helps me to keep D.A.M alive and release new works for the guys, and they deserve always the best music I can make because they are truly awesome with D.A.M!

11.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?

Caio plays in a band that plays covers  and Edu works with LOTS of things he likes to be a music manager and organized the Paul Gilbert´s Clinic Show in Belo Horizonte.

12.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The songs are technical and full of details, there´s a song with almost 9 minutes so we plan to release it by August/September, but it´s hard to tell when exactly cause needs artwork we are planning to make a physical release with album chart, if everything goes well August/September in digital form and in December the physical format IF we decide to make it physical, it´s too much work and after the release we will start the recording of other EP so it´s hard to tell if we are going to make it in physical format. Well my first idea with D.A.M was to release all the songs that were composed in 2009, but some had lyrics and those lyrics don´t have a connection inside the context of the Story behind the trilogy, also as a composer is truly frustrating release songs from a “distant” past cause I studied hard and improved my techniques and meet many many other bands that gave me great ideas to compose. Most part of the songs are 2009´s so guys can wait the same D.A.M sonority but with some new elements, I believe our next release makes the transition with the sonority of the last chapters of the trilogy and also shows the future of D.A.M because there´s some songs that were composed in this year(2014). We can head anywhere musically, everything depends about the album thematic, the song thematic, sometimes is sad so you will have gothic and depressive influences, sometimes you can hear “modern” and “progressive” things, I try to blend everything I like and turn it into melodic death metal!

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

There´s many many bands that I like, the most important things are the techniques I learned in the Music College, because they gave me a new way to think and construct the songs, no matter the style I make they are guiding me and giving inspiration. About bands there´s 3 bands that I believed are the ones that “created” the D.A.M´s sonority, those bands are Nightwish,Wintersun and Iron Maiden. Nowadays I listen to many bands even outside metal, one that deserves a special attention is “The Human Abstract” cause in their album “Digital Veil”(2011) I could find some of the same composition techniques that I use to create D.A.M´s songs in 2009 , actually they are the only band besides D.A.M that I know that uses the techniques I am talking about, is truly a masterpiece this album of they and since I liked the fact that they use those techniques too I heard many many many times this album last year and it opened my mind to progressive, Djent,Metalcore and some other modern styles.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

I Like to read, to sleep, to play games, to watch races, drive in the kart, spend time with girlfriend, spend time with friends at bar,it´s hard to make things not connected to music because I really like to study!

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would like to say thanks for this amazing opportunity, it was a nice interview I could talk many things about D.A.M for the first time and it´s a pleasure to share it with you and with the readers. I would like to invite guys to download for free our EP Phantasmagoria and to like us at our facebook page. Thanks a lot John, and to everyone: “The Awakening is coming” Cheers guys and keep metal \m/

Download EP:

Facebook Page:

No comments:

Post a Comment