As Lords of Metal we missed out on 2014’s ‘Individualism’, but we reviewed the albums before that one. I was always impressed by the fact that a Brazilian band could sound such convincing as a Norwegian band. On the new album ‘Magna Adversia’ the sound went more towards a professional sound of not only Norwegian bands, but also the Swedish extreme bands such as Dark Funeral. Is that a result of working with a Nordic guy like Borknagar’s Øystein G. Brun?
Cool. Yeah, I agree. Our first albums were more influenced by the traditional necro Black Metal from Scandinavia, specially Norway. I have a really nice connection with that place and scene, so it’s kind natural, it’s running in my veins, even living in the warm Brazil hehe. I have been worked for Norwegian companies and bands for long years, I’m always coming there, almost every year, and I have many good Nordic friends too, so I feel it’s almost like my second home. I love Norway! Despite that, that’s the beauty of art. The music is universal, there’s no barriers or relation with an specific region. It’s pure feeling and can make our minds travel away! Anyway, backing to your question, in our latest releases we always have been looking for an evolvement around our music, trying to develop our own identity and way to play, keeping the roots of the Black Metal intact as our core, of course. And you’re right… Absolutely! Having my friend Øystein in charge of the co-production, mixing and mastering definitely made it more special. He’s incredibly talent and do real magic. We love what he did on the sound production, approach and everything. And as you noticed and mentioned, we went a little further on this album. It was made in a different way if compared to the previous ones. This time we entered the rehearsal place as a full band since the creation of the very first riff, we had the chance to experiment all ideas together and work on the songs structure with more depth. We even recorded a demo, that worked like a pre-production, giving us a better idea of how everything was sounding like etc. It probably made the final result much more interesting and consistent.
The drummer on this new album is also from Borknagar: Asgeir Mickelson. Why did you not record the album with Giovani 'Abyssius' Foppa, the drummer from Patria’s live line-up?
Yeah, Asgeir played in Borknagar many years ago, although he’s not in the band anymore. He also recorded the drums for other amazing bands like Ihsahn, Sarke and he even played live with Testament. He’s a brilliant and an insanely creative drummer. Well, we decided to keep the live line-up ready only for the shows, while on the albums I used to record the drums myself. For this new album we were all very busy, with a short time to be prepared, still with a really low budget available and shit like that. Then I talked to Asgeir and he dropped in. At last but not least, we were really looking for some new, an extra touch from outside of the band. And Asgeir did it for us!
Already in the early days of 2010 on the EP ‘Gloria Nox Eterna’ and the album ‘ Sovereign Misanthropy’ you sounded authentic like for instance old Kampfar and Taake. Most Brazilian black metal bands I know have a raw black war metal sound or lack to capture the cold of the authentic nordic bands. What has throughout the years been Patria’s secret of managing to capture that specific sound of the north, being a band from the other and warm side of the world?
Well, I think it has relation with what I mentioned before… My passion for the Norwegian scene, the strong connection I got during all these years working for bands and companies out there, and everything I was able to absorb in my travels and adventures in the Scandinavia hehe. Partially I already feel myself as part of that cold world, so it’s very natural when I reach that atmosphere in our music. Although I don’t think this is all we’re about, of course. But definitely a very good and important influence…
The musical development of Patria is through the eyes and ears of Lords of Metal basically that you went from a raw Norwegian sound with open guitar chords to a modern sound somewhere in between Kampfar, Borknagar perhaps, Dark Funeral and Marduk, the better known bands. How do you yourself see the musical development of Patria across the albums in short…
If you try to listen to all our releases in sequence, it's a real shock (lol). Time goes by and we are growing and learning. Today we are better musicians, we learn about production and recording processes (much of this has been learned with mistakes in the past) and we have better equipment than we had ten years ago. What does not change is the passion we have for the music we make. The experience we put together over time allows us to pick up larger flights and gives us a much wider spectrum to create the music we love. The development of PATRIA's music is nothing more than the accumulation of our experiences, good or bad, applied in practice.
Fans of the old Patria sound might think Patria anno 2017 is maybe a bit too decent when it comes to today’s sound. Can you understand such a feeling, or is it in your eyes and ears still raw yet with a very professional production?
I think you are correct in both options. Yes, today we have a more polished and more decent sound, but at the same time, all the speed and roughness that we have had since our earliest works, continues there, but in a cleaner way. ‘Heartless’, for instance, is the fastest song we have ever done in our entire career. The recording and production process is very dynamic and there is always something new to try (and we really like to try new things) to move us forward.
Speaking of album ‘Magna Adversia’: what is to Patria the highlight of the new album, and how can the listener of your music hear this back on the album
Well, ‘Magna Adversia’ is really a special album for us. I think it, as a whole, is the big highlight. The production is excellent and I think we were able to create a very strong sound density in it (play it loud, on a nice stereo, and you will understand what I mean). The connection between music and lyrics is much stronger in this recording and the whole package creates a complete experience of what we want to show.
’Magna Adversia’ is being released by Soulseller, a small Dutch label: how did you get in touch and why is Soulseller the label for ‘Magna Adversia’?
We had the album practically ready and we had set some goals for it, like the format, the promotion, and so on. As I said earlier, this album is very special for us, and we did not want to give up some details that could relegate it to ‘just one more release’. We sent some pre-production recordings to a few people and closer friends and we received a very positive feedback. Jorn and Soulseller presented us with a very good proposal for the release. The work of Soulseller has been fantastic in every area and we are very happy with them.
Since 2010 after leaving Monokrom Records this is the third album on a different label: frustrating or a sign that nowadays labels do not built up band careers anymore and that therefore you have to decide for each release which label you will work with as a band?
I see each record company move, in the case of Patria, as a step forward in search of an ideal scenario for us, as a band. This is a business like any other. One side offers something and the other side accepts it or not. We usually imagine some goals for each release and we show them to our current label, asking: ‘Hey, we want to do things this way. What do you guys think?’ Well, not all of our goals can be met, and we know that, so some things are flexible and negotiable. However, there are some points during negotiations that we do not give up. If there is no way to make these things happen then it is time to move on and look for a new home. It's a fact that today's record companies do not build a career and a reputation for a band, from the sketch. Then must be a symbiosis between us to make it work properly. I am not the only one who thinks Patria is black metal the real deal: you even managed to play at the famous Inferno festival of Norway in 2015. Was it special to play at this festival held in the country that is considered to be the main country for black metal? Definitely!!! I've been to Norway several times, for work or tourism, but being there to play was truly special.
My daytime job is a teacher in economy, and so I know that in 2017 the Brazilian economy is everything but booming, unlike some years ago. How does this affect a black metal band from Brasil in doing what you want to do? Things around here are not good at all. The impact of the economic crisis is felt in basically everything. From the postal fees to send our merchandise, passing through the costs of production, maintenance of equipment, etc. This crisis scenario also affects show producers and opportunities are scarcer.
Just out of curiosity: how big is the Patria fanbase in your own country?
The people here seem to really like what we've done. We recently returned from a few shows here and had an excellent response from the audience. We were very happy about that. It is rewarding to hear this response and to hear how much people admire our work. You know, Brazil is a gigantic and quite diverse country. Still, I dare say we have a fairly large fanbase here, and we are grateful and proud of it.
There is a sea of releases these days; Why should a metal fan definitely pick ‘Magna Adversia’?
Well, if you already know Patria, I recommend you listen to the new album and see how far we go since our previous Individualism. If you do not know Patria and we’re into early 90’s Black Metal sound, ‘Magna Adversia’ will be a very suitable business card, plus some extra bonus flavor (lol). And if you're a collector, or you like vinyl editions, check out the Soulseller edition for ‘Magna Adversia’. It really looked very beautiful. Absolutely a good reason too!
What are the band’s plans for 2017: when checking the site on Facebook, there is little to see. Still working out great plans or already working on something new, like for instance 10 years of Patria and a way to celebrate that fact?
We will promote ‘Magna Adversia’ at least until next year. We are looking for some dates to play in Europe and Latin America, as well in Brazil, in some new places for us. Also, we've already talked about some ideas for a new album, but it's too early to think about anything concrete.
Anything we have not asked about Patria, or not mentioned in this interview or the review of ‘Magna Adversia’ yet that you want the readers of Lords of Metal to know?
I just want to thank you Neithan, for the interview, and thanks for all LOM readers. We really hope you all enjoy our new album and hope to see you all on the road soon.