jueves, 6 de junio de 2013

Interview with Festering

I knew Festering this year across his fabulous Ep called "Exhumed". Pure, intense and bloodthirsty Death Metal, with this wretched and horrifying sound that so much I love. Thanks to this record, contact with Koja (bass and vocals) became continuous. And of this contact there was born this interview, in which Koja puts us in the picture what happens nowadays with Festering, his vision of the economic crisis that flogs Portugal (his native land, and that of the band also), and other very interesting things.

Puro Ruido: Koja Hello how are you? Man, I must congratulate you because "Exhumed" is a real gem of pure Death Metal. Tell me about the reactions of the fans, the press? Exhumed has received support from both public and press?
Thanks dude, I'm glad you liked it. Regarding people's reaction, it has been good, although this 7 "EP was not a big release since it was a very limited edition. The idea of our label (War Prod.) was to release a very small edition of the EP to the first who bought the demo-tape" From the grave". But for us, the two songs that are on the EP are quite good, so it's a shame they were released in such small numbers.

PR: Recently telling me that you were without guitarist because the guitarist of the band was forced to emigrate. You have new guitarist? Continue looking for?
K: Yes, unfortunately it is true. It was our only guitar player and so far we have not managed to replace him. Nevertheless, in the future, we count on having two guitars.

PR: Koja, when and why Festering born? What motivated you to create Festering? You and two other members also played in Extreme Unction, right?
K: This project was born in the early '90s, created in parallel with our band at the time, Extreme Unction. Some of us have a lot of Grind influences and Carcass and Napalm Death were the reference bands at that time.

PR: In the mid-'90s, the band split. What happened on that occasion? Why split? Metal Archives does not specify in what year was the separation, but the year of Festering´s return: 2011.
K: We recorded a split demo-tape with another project in 1992, but Festering was always on standby. About two years ago we decided to reactivate the project, we added a few more old school Death Metal influences (bands like Entombed, Death and Bolt Thrower) and while keeping some of the old influences, the result was this.

PR: You told me recently that already have 10 new songs, and the idea is to record a full length. That album would be published independently? Or is there chance of release it through a label?
K: Yes, the work never stops and, in the meantime, I managed to write and record 10 new songs. The solos were recorded by a good friend of mine, Marco Marouco, former member of the Spanish Thrash Metal band, Omission. Right now we have finished writing the lyrics for these songs and now we'll record the vocals. We do not know how things will be in regards to a full-length. It would be great if some label picks us up and moves forward with the release, but I don't know if we'll be so lucky. After everything is prepared, or when we have some songs ready, we will see if some opportunity arises. Otherwise, we will have to see budgets for a possible self-release.

PR: Reading the biography of the band, I found out that the group's first recording was a split shared with Morbid Symphony, band which also you played. That leads me to ask you this: how did you get started in music? There was a record, concert or band has motivated you to play Death Metal?
K: I started in this music almost 25 years ago, when I was a teenager. I started following a Punk / Crust scene, which later evolved into Thrash metal. On the late 80s, Extreme Unction was born and we entered the “Age of Death Metal”. But me and some friends (who still play with me), always had a penchant for extreme sounds like Grind and Death Metal, hence our side projects. Extreme Unction always had a more Melodic Death approach, also with many Doom influences.

PR: The world crisis, and more punctually, the economic crisis that many Portuguese are supporting today, affects the independent artists in many aspects. Nevertheless, does not this condition of crisis motivate the artist, the musician, in this case, to being more creative, to seeking for alternatives to do things and to spread them? In what aspects does it affect more this crisis to Festering?
K: Yes, the serious financial crisis plaguing Europe and more specifically Portugal, affects everything and music is no exception. In our case we were directly harmed, since the departure of our lead guitarist was a consequence of it. Lots of people have emigrated out of the country in search of better opportunities. It also affects the bands, because it limits access to certain conditions that would lead to greater financial independence. But on the other hand, it also potentiates the real musicians! Those who take the Death Metal road without material interests, play and make music in an espontaneous and true way, this often makes all the difference in terms of quality and originality.

PR: Something that worries me a lot of this whole crisis caused (because this is happening in the world is not casual) is that everything seems to go against our freedoms, in addition to causing misery, unemployment, etc.. See any exit down the road? Or do you think this can continue getting worse and worse?
K: Yes, in fact I have to agree with you. This crisis doesn't look innocent; it shows a concerted plan of our rulers and economic interests at the global financial system. All the time we see more and more attacks on individual liberty, and in these few years, lots of rights that took decades to be achieved fell to the ground. The blood, sweat and struggle of our ancestors seem to have been in vain. We are connected to the music, but our social and political consciousness also follows avidly these events. Honestly, I don't have any high hopes, because these greedy monsters are taking people's ability and power to fight. For decades the populations have become increasingly ignorant and uneducated. And people who are uneducated don't think, so they also don't question, therefore don't know how to fight back.

PR: Koja, let's talk about music. In this blog we interviewed Portuguese band musicians as Grog, Altar of Pain, Miss Cadaver. Through these interviews, we learned that in Portugal there is a very active scene. You also think that Portugal has a good Extreme scene?
K: The heavy music scene in Portugal is quite good and active. There are many good bands that make music with great quality. Apart from the ones you mentioned, you still have quite aggressive bands within Grind/Brutal Death as: Holocausto Canibal, Bleeding Display, Undersave, Namek, Simbiose. Or more Melodic and Technical: Theriomorphic, Colosso, Neoplasmah, Requiem Laus, Shadowsphere; Black Metal like: Echoes of the Fallen Messiah, In tha Umbra... and also still many good bands at the Speed/Thrash/Heavy spectrum: Ravensire, Midnight Priest, Filli Nigrantium Infernalium, etc.

PR: Last year we interview Dobber Beverly (Ingurgitate's current drummer, and ex-drummer of Insect Warfare). In this interview, he said to us that the Extreme music is filling with bands that use and abuse of the technological modern tools, digitizing his sound in excess, and giving too many attention to the technology rather than the feeling of the music; and that this is not good, since there gets lost the essence of the Extreme music. You agree with this? Think that there are aspects of some new bands that have nothing to do with the essence of extreme metal?
K: In part I agree there are bands that due to the eagerness of making music ever cleaner and technical use and abuse of technology. It is also a consequence of the advance of modernity and technology. Honestly I'm not as radical, we should not abuse the modern stuff to avoid being hostage, but we cannot be so old fashioned that we ruin great songs with horrible sounding productions (like they were recorded on a WC) just for the paranoia of revivalism. I like a lot and I identify with old school music, but that does not mean you have to blindly copy the productions of the 80s and 90s. The feeling should be that, but the music has to sound good, because what resulted once does not mean it wills the same feeling today. Things have their time to result and we have to avoid duplicating or imitating the bad things, but enjoy and promote what was good. On the other hand if we synthesize the music too much, we risk losing our humanity and purity, hiding the talent behind these technologies. Regarding the analogic and the old scene goes to the same; avoid hiding the beauty of the songs behind garbage sound.

PR: Ok, bro, the last question. That place occupies the Death Metal in Koja's life? What does represent the Death Metal for you?
K: When I was young, I had all the time in the world and Death Metal was almost 100% of my life. These days it is not so, I had to put that dream aside and have a "real job". So I have to reconcile the music with work and family. At this time the Death Metal occupy most of my free time, but it also takes up a large part of my thoughts. But this spirit is an ideal and a way of life. When I get off work, my alter-ego takes command and the "Old Gods of Death Metal enlighten my spirit and I throw that deep evil laugh"... Ahahahahahaha! (LOL)

PR: Well, Koja, that's all. Of course, if you want to add something else, do it freely. And by the way, don´t stop to kick ass with your music!
K: Want to throw a "thanks" to your readers, and especially to you for your work on behalf of Metal, the enormous help that you give to the bands and what you do promoting their work. Bands like Festering, need people like you and promotion spaces like yours. We make music because we love, with a high loss of our budget, because if we want to acquire quality material, if we want to promote our work and improve the quality of our sound, we must always invest more money. When we find people like you, who help us and when we read good reviews like yours, our work, our effort and dedication are rewarded and we gain more strength to continue doing Death Metal. Huge thanks to you, to your readers and the fans that love and support the extreme music.
… Death Metal!... The Brutal Way!... \m/

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