Formed in the South of Brazil in 2017 by Denis Lima (vocals), Dalton Castro (guitar), Sama Benedet (bass) and Maurício Velasco (drums), Ignited blasts a powerful brand of metal, complete with head banging riffs, dexterous shredding and pounding grooves. For their first full-length studio album, “Steelbound”, produced by Thiago Bianchi (Noturnall, Shaman), the artwork was done by Gustavo Sazes (Arch Enemy, Morbid Angel). In 2020, they signed with Voice Music (owned by Silvio Golfetti, ex-Korzus), for exclusive distribution of the physical album in Brazil.
Chaoszine had the opportunity to speak to Dalton Castro about the band’s origins and sound, the impact of the pandemic on musicians and their future expectations for the rock and metal scene.
Hello and thank you for talking to Chaoszine. How have you guys been during the pandemic?
Dalton Castro: First, we would like to thank you for the opportunity of this interview. We are doing well in some respects, and not so well in others; we have become a “virtual band” because of the pandemic, we do not meet to rehearse in order to avoid unnecessary outings. At the moment, there are only three of us, our bass player cannot keep making music with us for schedule and personal reasons. Anyway, we keep on going, organizing our plans behind our computer screens, managing our social networks, and promoting the band virtually to keep things moving forward.
Ignited was established in 2017 in the South of Brazil. Tell us a little about the band and how you guys started making music.
Dalton Castro: Maurício, Denis and I had a band called Herege, which lasted from 2001 through 2009. We even launched a CD and a few demos. We really are old friends and musical partners! Ignited was formed in January 2017, when we had our first rehearsal and played a few old and new musical ideas, just to see what would happen. Although we have been making music together for a while, we cannot say we have 20 years of career behind us, that would be a vain and disrespectful affront to other musicians. I would say we are doing the best we can now, with better investment conditions – much better than those we had as teenagers. We try to improve our personal abilities as song writers, and the maturity of knowing each other for so long helps us deal with one another in the most mature way when we talk about the business side of things.
We can hear a lot of Judas Priest in your music. What are your main influences and how do they impact you creatively?
Dalton Castro: My greatest musical influence of all time is in fact Judas Priest, no doubt about that! But we try to use our inspiration and add different elements to our music from other heavy metal subgenres, even from extreme and industrial metal. I believe we are “getting there” in terms of our own musical personality, through a refinement process. Our second album will give us that answer.
Let’s talk about song writing: does every band member contribute to the songs? How do the lyrics come into being?
Dalton Castro: I usually start the songs by myself, with the writing of a riff, and from there I write some basic structure. Then, I send the audio tracks to Mauri (drums), so he can trip on the groove anyway he wants to. Most of the vocal melodies are done after the main instrumental structure is defined. As for the lyrics for the debut album, Denis (vocals) and I came up with most of them. We had a few talks with our producer in the studio, after which we fine-tuned a couple of things that didn’t work so well, or that felt a bit out of place and needed editing.
What inspires you as artists besides musical influences?
Dalton Castro: I believe that the attitude and philosophy behind metal music has attracted me from an early age. The fact of trying to think and transcend beyond common sense and what is stupidly obvious: not following all the pathetic and commercial traditions that make no sense, trying not to be that guy who just repeats ready-made phrases and reflects upon nothing, making his life sterile and lobotomized from beginning to end… Anyways, the capacity to reflect, day in and day out, on what we do in life; not being just a resource used for lucrative purposes by others. We must be insolent and question everything, as much as we can.
You launched your first full-length album “Steelbound” in 2019. Shortly after, you opened for Mike Portnoy, Noturnall and Edu Falaschi in Porto Alegre. Then, the pandemic started. What has been the audience’s reception to your music in these difficult times?
Dalton Castro: Yes, that’s the chronology. In April 2020, when we closed with Voice Music for the physical distribution of the album, everything was already chaotic around here, but we decided to print the CDs anyways so they could be sent to the stores. But few were sold, and now we are 99% focused on online promotion via streaming platforms and YouTube. We have missed a few opportunities to take part in some online music festivals in 2020, but this year we recorded a video to participate in Heresy Fest, an Argentinian online festival. I think the people who are getting to know our sound are enjoying it and it’s creating an expectation for what we launch next. That’s why we always have to improve!
Your first single “Ignition” is a very energetic track, and also your first music video. Tell us a bit more about it.
Dalton Castro: This track represents the potential that we all have internally and must use whenever we have a special opportunity in our lives. It is indeed a very explosive and direct sound, and I am happy that I could convey the sensation that was idealized in creating the song. Heavy metal requires energy and electricity, obviously incorporating an important message with lyrics. Influence through music is very important: music changes lives.
Let’s talk about rock and metal in the South of Brazil: how is the club scene now in your area?
Dalton Castro: Honestly, I know some bands only through the internet and haven’t had much direct contact with clubs and venues in the last couple years for many reasons. But there is a decent amount of good music being made here in Southern Brazil, by bands facing the same problems with space, adherence and support for their growth. I myself know very few clubs that open up for new bands with original material and heavier sound. And I can add that the word around about that topic is always the same: “there’s no audience”, “there’s no profit”, “no one knows the band” or even “I will give you the following opportunity: the band pays for everything, and the club takes all the profits, how about that?”. These are actual conversations I’ve had over time. I personally feel that if a win-win mentality is not adopted by these clubs, it will always be a struggle to schedule a concert, as if it were an auction. That being said, I congratulate the clubs who give space and invite new and local bands to play.
How can the arts and culture recover from the blow suffered during the pandemic? Specifically in Brazil, what do you think the chances are in terms of governmental incentives, both at local and nationwide levels?
Dalton Castro: Arts and culture are indispensable in a society that wants to move forward, intellectually speaking. But we know that is not the case with Brazil nowadays, where we now face a wave of ignorance, ostentation, and evil in the air, with the artistic sector seen as something useless in the eyes of those that are currently in power, which is truly shameful. I don’t believe there is a solution in sight without shoulder-to-shoulder support by all those involved in rock and metal. We must bet on the growing of the movement, day after day. We need to be part of a culture that sees potential in our friends’ bands and support one another. To me, that matters a lot, and I try to live by it as much as I can. The vision we have of our dreams is what may lead us through all adversities, step by step.
Do you have any suggestions of other Brazilian metal bands for our readers?
Dalton Castro: Yes, certainly! The following is a playlist I have organized over the past year, with many Brazilian bands and musicians of all subgenres! If you like it, follow it and share.
Thank you again for taking the time to talk to us.
Dalton Castro: We thank you for the interest! If you enjoy our sound, contact us through our social networks and we will be pleased to respond.