With a musicality forged in death and thrash metal, Dysnomia is a Brazilian band, with 15 years of existence, several shows in Brazil, a tour through South America, and four full albums released, the fourth being titled “A Queda do Céu”, released this year.
Dysnomia is a band that I had the honor to meet in person during a live show, and they won me over with the first song, not only for their brutality and technical quality, but for adding Brazilian and mainly northeastern elements to their songs.
“A Queda Do Céu” is the newest release by the band, which this time dared to make an album in Portuguese, with a concept and lyrics focused on politics, philosophy and literature.
Drummer Erik Robert, and vocalist João Pereira talked to Chaoszine and told in more detail about the whole conception of the new album, band plans and much more.
-You have just released the new album “A Queda Do Céu”, which for me is one of the best releases of the year. How was the production of this album? When everything started?
Erik: First of all, thank you very much for placing “A Queda do Céu” among your best albums of the year, it hits that feeling of accomplishment, very nice! As with all the works we have released until today, there is that initial conversation to define a path and we always ask ourselves what we will do differently from the others. That’s a risk, but it moves us forward beyond music. After the points were defined, we started to experiment a lot, we were feeling as the rehearsals took place and obviously, there were several adjustments. However, the points that I believe to have been the most significant were bringing the record in Portuguese and having added elements of orchestrations, in which it will bring us challenges in live concerts as well.
– In this album, the songs are in Portuguese, something very different from the previous albums. What is the reason for this change? And what difference did you feel with that?
Erik: We always like to experiment, force ourselves to think differently, and not follow the same patterns. Since the album Proselyte (2016) we have always added different elements regarding languages, however, applied in more specific situations. I believe that our motivation to bring a record in Portuguese came from these experiences. Dysnomia’s musical work, in general, are not very simple, it requires attention to detail, seeing that, we seek to balance by adding something more “direct” and impactful to the listeners. The pandemic provided us with an interesting period to look for something that we really liked, because this kind of change is not simple, it basically requires relearning how to sing. I believe that we were, in a way, ambitious to release a death metal record in Portuguese, but after all that, we are extremely satisfied with what we have achieved and with the critics we are receiving from the entire public.
-The lyrics are very direct, but still with a poetic and philosophical background. How did the composition process work and what inspired the writing of the lyrics?
João: Usually we compose the instrumental before the lyrics and then I write over the composed songs. In the case of “A Queda do Céu”, due to the pandemic, we were able to elaborate more on the pre-production process, so we did all the work of selecting themes and ideas for the lyrics with more time, and thinking about which parts of the songs would be verse, bridge, chorus, etc. so that the vocal arrangements were a little more detailed and cohesive compared to the instrumentals. We wanted to make songs with some more striking parts, and that goes straight through the voices. It is not a conceptual album, each letter addresses a different idea, but we could say that they are connected to each other by a main thematic axis dictated by the album title (and the title track, of course), which basically talks about about humanity’s self-destructive tendencies in pursuit of power, status and relentless profit, even at the expense of our own planet, our own home. The inspiration for this track came from a book of the same name, written (actually transcribed) by shaman and Yanomami tribe leader Davi Kopenawa, in partnership with French anthropologist Bruce Albert. Speaking in an extremely summarized way, through him the shaman shows us his tribe’s perspective on the imminent disaster caused by the unbridled and limitless exploration of nature. The other tracks are also mostly inspired by literary and philosophical works of other authors, always related to events that are currently taking place in the world, be it the external world or within ourselves, in our psyche.
-You toured Latin America a few years ago, I would like to know how was the tour experience? What differences in audience and venues did you feel the most, compared to Brazil?
João: It was an indescribable experience, for the first time we played shows in sequence at this tour pace. Three, four shows in a row, plus commuting and sometimes just a day or two off. Lots of work, almost no sleep, lots of ups and downs but also very good meetings. I think the public, producers and houses don’t differ much from what we have here, in general. They face the same difficulties, lack of money, incentives and infrastructure in several places. There were situations where we played at people’s houses, literally lol (I remember two of them, one in which the producer had a very massive backline in his own house, in which there was also a bar, and another in which everything seemed to have been fixed at the last minute and it reminded me of my teenage years trying to rehearse with very small cubes of 15, 25 watts, which couldn’t handle it, without conditions, lol). There were also some concert halls that surprised us (in Colombia we played in a small but very cool bar, in Cali, the Distorsion, the public was very excited, they knocked down the fence in front of the stage several times, and in the city of Pereira, one of the best backlines we used, we played in a kind of mezzanine and the audience downstairs were killing themselves, haha). Peru and Ecuador also had some cool places. There were exceptional producers who gave us all the attention and made us feel at home, others not so much, there was even the famous “pull a fast one” on us, lol, guys who at the last minute refused to pay or disappeared… the most surreal was one that gave us drinks until we couldn’t anymore and the next day disappeared. But we woke up early and followed it until the guy sent, through someone else, the money for the trip to the next city. Anyway, underground stories, right, lol…and the public in these countries is insane, they stir, exchange ideas, buy merch, I don’t know if because we were the “gringos” there, but in general I thought it was similar to Brazil. Of course, there is the language, the cultural differences, but that would be another aspect. And another point that made it all worthwhile, getting to know the people, customs and places. Unforgettable. I think we all had the same feeling, of wanting to get home as soon as possible, not taking it anymore, but at the same time wanting to do it all over again, lol.
-And this new album also marks the change of the band, which is now a trio and no longer a quartet. Did you feel any difference/difficulty in adapting to the new formation?
Erik: The biggest difference was in the sounds created in quartet, because in some situations there were elements that were added together, we had to be careful not to seem strange to the point of mischaracterizing some moments of the songs. “A Queda do Céu” was conceived and created as a trio, but we didn’t want empty spaces in the live shows, that’s where the idea of using the orchestrations came from, something we already liked and ended up happening under the circumstances.
-For you, what is the difference between “A Queda Do Céu” and the previous Dysnomia albums?
Erik: The main difference, in my perception, was that we tried to bring something dense, bringing the orchestrations and something very direct, with the lyrics in Portuguese. I believe these points balance the album.
-If you could define this album in one sentence, what would it be?
Erik: Heavy, poetic and challenging.
-What are the band’s next plans?
Erik: We don’t think anything too out of the usual, at least in this case (lol). We are bringing a lot of content through videos, we will try to take the album to as many people as possible and hit the road, after all, that’s where things actually happen.
João: as Érik said, I think now the thing is to hit the road and publicize the new work as much as possible, try to get the rust off your fingers, lol. We’ve been without shows for a long time, and after all the work and time that was spent to produce this album, we have “blood in our eyes”. Rehearsing firmly and establishing partnerships to tour the country and take our sound to other places. We are very proud of the new album and we agree that it deserves to be released more widely. Besides, the band makes the material rotate through the shows, there’s no way around it. Even with the advent of new technologies, digital platforms and everything else, people will remember and consume their merch on the show, it’s no use recording spectacular material not to be presented to the public there, face-to-face, in my opinion. At least if the idea is to expand the promotion, take the sound to more places, and sell merch and physical material to be able to pay for the band. We still have a few clips in the oven, lots of cool stuff to come out, and who knows, in the more distant future, another tour away. At the moment, however, our priority is to tour in Brazil.
-To finish the interview, send a message to the Finnish readers of Chaoszine!
João: Hey, how’s it going, Finland? We’re deeply honoured to grant this interview here on Chaoszine, and to be able to reach you guys over there. First of all, I’d like to say that “Força Macabra” absolutely rules! Well, you guys have tonnes of awesome metal bands but those guys sing in Portuguese, come on, and I do enjoy their music, that sort of really fast and aggressive mix of Crust/Hardcore/D-beat, whatever it is, it’s beautiful! Cheers from Brazil, lads! And secondly, we hope you guys have enjoyed our chat here, and in case you have, check us out on Youtube, Facebook, Spotify, Deezer and so on…we’ve been working really hard on this new album and I guess we could say without false modesty that it kicks arse. We’ll let you be the judge of that, though. So just listen to it and let us know what you think, how about that? And finally, I’d like to thank Chaoszine for the opportunity, it’s been a pleasure, we really appreciate it, you guys are the best! See you all around, and perhaps (who knows what’s in store for us, after all?) on the road or on stage! Cheers from Brazil, keep it metal!! \,,/