Forkill: Thrash metal band from Rio de Janeiro talks to Chaoszine about their upcoming album “Sick Society”

Author Flavia Andrade - 13.10.2021

With an agressive and fast sound Forkill brings the Bay Area soundscape of the 80s back to life. Igor Rodrigues (vocals/guitar), Ronnie Giehl (guitar), Gustavo Nascimento (bass), and Rodrigo Tartaro (drums) bring us music filled with fast riffs that are sure to induce frantic head-banging. Formed in Rio de Janeiro in 2010, the band is influenced by Exodus, Testament, Sepultura and Slayer among others merging these musical influences into an original and violent sound. Brazil has been a cradle for thrash metal bands since the 1980s, and Forkill continues that tradition carving their name alongside the likes of Sepultura and Korzus.

Chaoszine had the opportunity to chat with Forkill about their upcoming album, influences, and how the pandemic has affected the scene in Brazil.

Hello. Thank you for talking to Chaoszine. How have you guys been during the pandemic?

Forkill: First, we would like to thank you for this opportunity of talking to you. Given the fact that there can be no live events due to the health emergency the world is going through, we have taken this time to focus on the construction of our new album “Sick Society” with our producer and sound engineer, Daniel Escobar. Even though we haven’t met in person as much as we would like to lately, we always keep in touch so things advance in this new project as well as our plans for the future. We have also made a few videos playing at Estúdio Calabouço out here in Rio de Janeiro, which you can find on our YouTube channel.

The band was initially formed in 2010 in Rio de Janeiro. How was the beginning of it all for you, and how has your musical style developed since then?

Giehl: Even though we are a very active band we’ve had some difficulty to keep things going at first, because there were constant line-up changes in the beginning. We have always wanted our work to be focused on classic Bay Area thrash metal of the 80s, which is my favourite style. Nowadays, due to our musical evolution and the different influences of the current band members, we have developed our own footprint: authentic but still keeping within our original proposal.

Nascimento: Ronnie started the band. I got in when they were still beginning and adapted to the sound, because I had never played thrash metal up to that moment. The evolution was a natural consequence of the experience we acquired throughout these years, and it just got more solid with all the line-up changes.

You are a thrash metal band, a style that has had excellent representatives in Brazil since the 1980s. We can clearly hear an influence from San Francisco Bay Area bands in your sound. Which bands have influenced you the most, and how does that show in your music?

Rodrigues: The direct thrash metal influence can be perceived in our sound through the dynamics of our riffs and also in the lyrics. But now, on our new album “Sick Society” you will be able to hear that there is a great diversity in our sound based upon the different influences of each band member, and the way each of us contributes to the construction of each track. “Sick Society” will show influences from classical thrash metal like Metallica, Exodus, and Kreator to more classic metal bands like Iron Maiden, Accept, and Black Sabbath. It will be very interesting!

Your debut album “Breathing Hate” [2013] was produced by Robertinho do Recife. How was it to work with such a legend of the Brazilian musical scene?

Giehl: It was a great honour and a learning experience for us. We had a partnership that resulted in a lot of stories, and a friendship that has lasted to these days. Robertinho also participated in the album in the introduction to the song “Brain Washed” contributing with an acoustic guitar theme which sounds spectacular!

Nascimento: It was a great experience working with Robertinho. He is a legend of the Brazilian metal scene and, back then, he was focused on his career as a producer having produced many successful albums. We were the first metal band he produced, and we did learn a lot from him.

How is the creative process of the band? Does every band member contribute with music and lyrics?

Rodrigues: Basically, each song is a mix of the contributions of all band members whether in relation to riffs, dynamics or tempo. On many of the songs of “Sick Society” Ronnie and I, both guitar players, would put together few riffs each of us already had creating new things along the process, initiating a new construction. Then we would send it to Gustavo, our bass player, and to Rodrigo, our drummer: they would both contribute on top of that, and we would put the complete song together in the studio. For the lyrics we always debated the themes already sharing some ideas about their conception. The final construction of the lyrics was done by me, and then shared with the other band members for any more contributions.

Your sound is very aggressive. What inspires you as artists besides your musical influences?

Rodrigues: Besides musical influences, many topics in which we are interested inspire us, and that varies a lot. From history and literature to subjects of social and political interest. We try to transform into music any subject matter that can inspire us, and this makes for very diverse lyrical content.

You are working on your next full-length album, “Sick Society”, a very suggestive title, especially in these current days. What can we expect from this new project?

Rodrigues: As we said before, the musical diversity on this album will be very interesting with the essence of the album still rooted in thrash metal. The title is in fact an allusion to the dark times we are going through, and which always repeat throughout history in cycles. Not only the instrumentals, but also the lyrical content will be very interesting with songs that bring direct links to the subjects related to the title.

You have been part of the Brazilian metal scene for a few years now. What has been the response of the audience to your music throughout the years?

Giehl: We have received a lot of support from our audience, a lot of energy and strength, which motivates us to always move forward! Lately, our gigs have been marked by intense circle pits, insane stage diving, and the audience has received us very well. We are really thrilled with the new material, and I can barely wait for the new release so we can get back on stage!

Nascimento: We’ve always been well received by the public. And that has been gradual as the sound of the band evolved. This feedback comes from all parts of the country, although we haven’t yet been able to play in many Brazilian states. Ronnie has even been recognized during an Iron Maiden concert in Recife!

How has the metal scene been in Rio de Janeiro, and how was it affected by the pandemic?

Rodrigues: The metal scene in Rio is cyclic; we cannot say it was going great before, and it got even worse with the pandemic with many clubs closing for financial reasons. I hope, when activities are resumed because of the advance of vaccinations, that we can recover. That way we will have a more active scene, and that also comes down to bands being more united in order to make things happen.

Forkill: High quality thrash metal from Rio de Janeiro

After the pandemic the world of arts and culture have been extremely affected. Do you think there is any chance of governmental incentives for the sector?

Rodrigues: Given the moment we are going through in Brazil, certainly not. Culture and art are clearly no priorities for our current government. Brazil is also suffering with a lot of different lobbies in Congress making things advance only according to their own interests, which most of the time have nothing to do with arts or culture. We hope our country can make a transition to a moment where culture, arts and science may in fact be valued generating more incentives and, as a consequence, creating new talents in these areas.

The rock and metal scene in Brazil is very much alive in spite of many people declaring rock is dead. Any suggestions of Brazilian bands for our readers?

Giehl: Yes, Brazilian metal is very diverse, and we have a large scene with great bands. The scene is renewing itself, as well. Classic bands like Attomica, Andralls, Taurus, Azul Limão, Claustrofobia, Farscape, Torture Squad… I have deep respect and profound admiration for them, they are true warriors, many of them originals from the 80s and still active!

Rodrigues: There are many! On this new album we have a song called “Violence Ritual”, which is an homage to Brazilian metal bands with lyrics that reference the names of some of these bands as well as their albums and songs. It is really difficult to list them all here but we could name a few Brazilian bands that we listen to a lot: Ratos de Porão, Korzus, Scars, Krisiun, Violator among others. We must cite a few bands from out here in Rio like Savant, Prophecy, Hicsos, Lacerated And Carbonized to name a few. Nowadays, there is an Instagram page called Metal Alliance RJ that’s a good suggestion to all who want to know more about heavy metal here in Rio de Janeiro: follow them and take a look at the bands united there.

Nascimento: Whoever says rock is dead doesn’t research and value what has been produced in the underground. There are excellent bands in the scene here in Brazil like Lacerated And Carbonized, Savant, No Remorse, Vorgok, Hicsos etc.

Thank you once again for talking to Chaoszine.

Check Forkill out on social platforms.