Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sad Theory Interview

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

Daniel: We have made quite a progress towards the production of the next album. It is about half written and recorded. Besides that, the band are in the search for the right personnel to fill in the positions of drummer and rhythm guitar player, so that we can start our rehearsals and resume concerting. We are also making a few investments on digital distribution and publicity. We made "Vérmina Audioclastia Póstuma" available on iTunes, Spotify and several other platforms. To get us more known abroad, we partnered up with Against PR for a Press Relations campaign. That will, hopefully, expand our fan base across the Atlantic, thus enabling more ambitious future plans.

2.In December you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Daniel: I would describe the current sound mainly as death metal, with  nuances of genres such as thrash, doom and black metal. It makes great use of melody and dissonance and evokes atmosphere and feelings. I was not in the band on previous recordings, but I am a fan of the band since 2003 and it is clear to me that the sound became increasingly cohese, homogenous and heavy, record after record.

Alysson: I think being our fifth record already, we can say it is the Sad Theory way of making metal music. It is a confluence of sonic elements that built itself from “The Lady & The Torch” until “Descrítica Patológica” and beyond. Not only sonic elements, really, but also lyrical and personal ones from the members’ life experiences.

The previous records vary quite a bit from each other, as we were searching for the ideal sound. We think we found it on “Vérmina Audioclastia Póstuma”, but the search never ends. Our next release will probably bring new elements, a new feeling of fulfillment and another cycle, as it is with every new release. The latest one is always the best!

3.The band was broken up for 7 years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?

Guga: Several reasons were the cause of the split but, in short, I ended up having disagreements with Carlos as well as with Juan, and left the band. After my departure, they chose to disband instead of continuing, the band then became inactive for several years. By 2013 or 2014 (I can’t precise it), Irala and myself reunited and decided to record some songs, which were to be a different project at principle. Even after years have passed, they still sounded like Sad Theory, but without the silliness and the “artistic” interventions that annoyed me so much about the previous era.

We decided then to reform the band as a duo, doing everything as we saw fit, without any input from external sources or previous members. The result was “Vérmina Audioclastia Póstuma”, our best album so far, in every sense. I’m not saying that I dislike the previous works, but in my mind, they seem like a past that I would change a lot if I could. “Vérmina…” is 100% what we wanted to do!

4.The lyrics on the new recording are part of a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical content?

Daniel: It tells the story of an unnamed, generic protagonist that is afflicted with an unspecified disease that is both degenerative and incurable. At the start, while still being totally apt physically and mentally, he shows arrogance, scorn and denial, minimizing the bad news that his doctor had just given him.

As the illness grows in, and his ableness starts to diminish, he realises his universe is getting increasingly smaller. He embitters himself even more and contemplates suicide, but is unable to carry the act on. The disease progresses and soon he is trapped inside his own mind, which is becoming increasingly erratic. He spends the remaining of his consciousness reviving soothing memories, that soon give way to terrible ones of conflict, lost love and, lastly, of trauma and abuse lived in his childhood. He then dies.

To assess the protagonist's health state throughout the album, we made references to a scale used in Medicine, mainly in Oncology, that goes from 100 to zero - the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale - and used it as a recurring lyrical theme, similarly to what Pink Floyd did in "The Wall" with the "Another Brick in the Wall" set of songs.

5.Over the years you have covered literature,  poetry and other art forms with your lyrics, are their certain literature writers or poets that have had a huge influence on your music?

Daniel: I can't really speak for the pre-split stint of Sad Theory because I wasn't yet in the band - I was only a fan.  The main lyricist back then was Carlos Machado. Carlos would be best suited for answering, but he is no longer a band member.

Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du mal" was a main lyrical influence for the second record "A Madrigal of Sorrow". By the third album, the range of influences diversified, and as the main language of the lyrics shifted from English to Portuguese, a greater focus was given to brazilian poets such as Augusto dos Anjos and Cruz e Sousa - especially the latter, whose works "Tédio" and "Antífona" bacame lyrics for two Sad theory songs, one of which is still to be released.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sad Theory'?

It might sound weird, but we really can’t remember! The name was given by people who are no longer in the band, so it is a mystery, even to us. It has a connotation of negativity, that resonates with the musical and lyrical content of every record, but we can’t really precise its true origin.

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?

Guga: Sad Theory had great live moments, especially when it would be the opening act of international shows. For me, playing with Vader and Nevermore - bands that I am a huge fan - were really touching events.

As for the stage performance, Sad Theory always excelled onstage. We never had rookie musicians on the line-up, and everyone knew exactly what to do: our attunement in that sense was perfect. It’s kind of silly to praise oneself, but Sad Theory was great on stage!

Alysson: We really had an above average attunement on stage, largely due to our zealous discipline in rehearsing frequently. With the new formation we will make sure to keep this tradition up.

I simply can’t avoid mentioning our opening act for WASP. I’ve been always a fan, and playing on the same stage as Blackie Lawless and his band was fantastic.

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

Alysson: We surely have plans for promoting “Vérmina…”. Besides gigs in Brazil and Latin America, we want to play in Europe and North America. In the meantime, while that doesn’t happen, we are in studio recording the next album.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

Guga: The four previous records were released by brazilian labels (MegaHard Records and Die Hard Records). We chose to do “Vérmina…” independently, but for the sixth one we are already discussing terms to sign with a brazilian label.

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

Daniel: We are still working to get ourselves better known outside Brazil. So far we've got positive reviews from music critics, and praise from several people who are into death metal and listened to the new record. We are also getting a lot of positive feedback from the old fans, who resented the end of the band. We know, though, that for making our music reach a worldwide audience there is a long road full of hard work ahead of us. But that ain’t stopping us.

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

Alysson  Irala: Besides Sad Theory, I also play in Motorbastards, which is a Motörhead tribute 7 years old, that released an album with original compositions in 2015. I am also in Shadow Maze, a gothic rock band formed in late nineties, with whom we are recording an album with new songs, which is to be released early 2017.

Daniel: I have a project named "Rotpeter" that just released its debut. It was, just like Sad Theory's latest release, recorded and produced by Irala at Funds House Studio (his home). It sounds more like an ambience focused progressive rock, but has its metal moments, too! We are already recording the second album at Funds House.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Alysson  Irala: I, particularly, foresee a great future for Sad Theory. We got back with the drive and willpower of a beginner band, but with almost 20 years of experience. We are now able to make decisions more wisely and manage our expectations with more maturity, without giving up chasing our dreams. Dreams, after all, are what make heavy rock bands in Brazil keep going.

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

Alysson Irala: “Vérmina…” was influenced by Sad Theory’s own music. Of course I must cite my own influences: Death, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Emperor, also from Melodic Death: such as At The Gates, Carcass, Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy (old).

Guga: I listen basically to Death Metal. I do not have shades of gray when it comes to musical taste. To mention a band that I am listening a lot nowadays, it would be “Deeds of Flesh”.

Daniel: I am a huge fan of Pink Floyd, listen to lots of prog rock bands of the 70’s, like Genesis, ELP, Yes and so on. I love most genres of metal as well, even the more extreme ones.  I am also into shoegaze, post-rock and post-metal, and listen a lot to bands like Mogwai and Cult of Luna.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

Alysson Irala: None. I am 100% involved with music, it is my bread earner. I am a music teacher, professional musician and music producer at Funds House Studio. That takes away all my free time, but I am grateful for that.

Daniel: Besides movies, Poetry and Literature in general, I have an acquired taste for Psychoanalysis. I graduated in Medicine in 2010 and am currently working as a family health physician in a small city in the countryside.

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

We would like to thank Varietyofdeathzine for this interview, for making its viewers outside Brazil know more about us. Stay Brutal!!!

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