quinta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2015

[English] Kataphero: remarkable and immersed in its own conceptuality

Location: Natal, Brazil

Paulo Henrique Santiago (vocals, guitar)
David Cantídio (guitar)
Lucas Somenzari (drums)
Phelippe Mello (bass)

Genre: metal

Kataphero is an exceptional band at first heard. The metal brought by them sounds almost transcendental. I had the opportunity to attend thir first show in Sao Paulo and, frankly, it was one of the best shows of my entire life. Check right below the interview we did with the vocalist and guitar player, Paulo Henrique Santiago, while we were still under the name of the G.Grind blog.

1. Hello, Kataphero! First, I would like to thank you on behalf of G.Grind blog for this interview opportunity with you guys. Right away, when you meet a band, the first thing you glance at would be the name you chose for it. Kataphero is a name that sounds as strong as its metal proposal style. What's the story behind it?

We thank you for the opportunity of this conversation, Cat. Well, at the beginning of the band, we already had compositions and we were rehearsing for the demo recording. As our influence came from the Greek extreme metal, we seek words in Greek to reinforce this idea. According to the proposal of the band, we start from the prefix kata which means "down," "under," or even "against". Kataphero would literally be to "put something down"; or something like "overcome". But nowadays, it takes several meanings. Alone, it doesn't even make sense. Yet, the most used in the present Greek forms are Katapherno (I can) Na Kataphero (I can), Tha Kataphero (I will be able to). And, according to a Greek colleague: "Actually, 'get' is not a good translation." Anyway ... Kataphero is the band. (Its "E" is pronounced 'cataFÉroh', with "E" open, "O" with sound "O", not with the sound of "U")

2. Personally, something that intrigues would be the creation of band logos, because these represent them anywhere they are seen. It is as if the logo comes seconds before the sound itself to the public. So how was to create Kataphero's logo?

Our first logo came out for a more immediate question, arose from a common source. We chose it more because of the demo's releasing than anything else (we had to record and release a demo to get into a small festival. Also, it was our first performance). Then, more calmly, we decided to create a logo that represents our proposal.

3. "We are nobodies" is what you see when looking for the members in the band's Facebook page. How was to pick each of these "nobodies" for Kataphero?

We're just people who gathered in a band like any other. I don't remember when it was placed there on the page. I think it was David (guitar). I honestly do not know why and also I see no problem with that. The focusgoes entirely to what the band produces, putting aside the individuals behind it . (Although, in my view, I find interesting to talk to people.)

From left to right: Mello, Santiago, Cantídio and Somenzari

4. Each of us has life experiences on musical stuff that we carry with through our entire life - not only on the only metal world - and this contributes greatly to the identity of a musical group. What influences did each of you bring to Kataphero?

On the first formations, Kataphero sounded like the line of extreme metal bands from Greece. It was a unanimous influence. (Before Kataphero in the late '90s, we had already played - even together - on bands that used more cadenced sounding). With the current lineup, the straightest compositions gave way to more rhythmic elements and harmonic variations. We always comment that our influences are not always metal or even the musical ones - we are inspired a lot in other art forms.

5. Now, talking a little more about the sound, from albums that you guys have released, 'Life' and 'From Dust', one can notice an inclination to more conceptual albums. Why this preference?

As I alone began writing and recording songs without pretension to form a band or release an album, etc., 'Life' (2012) became a roundup of all the songs I had been composing since 2008. Also during the pre-production process, in 2011, we started writing new material for a future album. With the change of formation, we began discussing the next project and we got the idea of ​​the conceptual album through an almost complete history written by David. We decided to follow this idea because we thought it would be interesting not only looking the result, but also the whole process.

6. Focusing more on the first album, the magnificent 'Life', can you tell us a little bit of how was the writing and recording processes. I remember seen a video that you talked about the cover art, such an amazing artwork done by Ricardo Tinoco.

As I said earlier, 'Life' was a summary of all the songs that had been composing since 2008. With the rehearsals in 2009, the demo and the shows in 2010, we started 'Life' pre-production in 2011. I remember that we rehearsed enough for the recording; I recorded guitars and samples with metronome for specific drums and vocals tests. We recorded the drums in a day, as scheduled, and the rest was recorded in my homestudio. The art was made by Ricardo Tinoco, an artist of our city, which has a studio where he teaches artistic drawing to children and adults. Please, check it: Atelie Ricardo Tinoco.

 'Life' is, in fact, magnific since its artwork by Ricardo Tinoco.

7. You recently toured for 'Life' here at southeast of Brazil, right? How was this experience for you guys? Did you feel that the public here was hospitable to Kataphero?
We did a short tour through Bahia, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. It was an interesting experience because we got the opportunity to meet people and places that were very important for us as a band, as musicians and as human beings. The reception varied greatly... I do not think you can judge states and cities so easily, especially because we were there for the first time; and yet, the whole atmosphere largely depends on the day, on the disclosure and on the people there. Overall, we felt welcomed and respected in every town we passed in these three states.

8. The recently released 'From Dust' was also a great job, made with the Kataphero's majesty I'm already aware since the previous project. How was to produce it? Was it more hard-working than 'Life'?
The composition process, pre-production and recording were different. The band was involved in more activities on this latest album. In 'Life' I started the compositions alone, writing lyrics and music. Always recording at home, including programming the drums and the arrangements of samples (ambiance and orchestration). During rehearsals, we reorganized the song details and whenever possible, I re-recorded it to listen more calmly how it was sounding. I have already spoken of the tests we did in pre-production: many with the band to set arrangements, changes, etc.; and some of them only with voice and drums - or just the drums (as the drummer had to go the studio practice the tracks).
On 'From Dust', we start from a story created by David and the idea of ​​making an album that would follow the structure of a Greek tragedy. We had to relate the events of history in key points of a tragedy, organize the flow of the narrative threads to limit what each song would encompass. Lucas left the drums all mic-ed and whenever we need it, we just go and record it properly. Anyway, they were very different processes, each with their difficulties and work demands. I think the process of 'From Dust' was more intense because it had more minds involved in a shorter period of time. There were more meetings and "ease" of work - we planned everything since the small initial steps on the composition. I don't think both albums were laborious in order to load so much weight to their processes; all demanded work, we committed ourselves to do it. And they worked out ... The thrid part of the story, our thrid album, 'To Dust', will surely give us lot of work to do. It will follow the same process - with most of it already done.

This artwrok for 'From Dust' comes from an idea of some stone age painting by Genival Jr and Leonardo Matos.

9. It can be seen that Kataphero is very present in the "local scene", by playing in several festivals in the Brazilian Northeast or participating in Northeast bands collections - such as the 'Conquerors Of Brazil: Northeastern Extreme Metal Legions' - which shows that support there is quite dense. How is Kataphero seen by the audience?

We are not such an active band as much as we want to, but we try to maintain sporadic performances, whether at festivals or interesting shows here. Indeed, we received support from various people and this makes it much easier on concerts schedule, festivals, collections and so on. In addition to 'Conquerors of Brazil', we've participated in a Brazilian tribute to Moonspell, "Em nome do medo" (free translation, "On behalf of fear"), from Portugal with the song Once It Was Ours. We have already received other invitations to collections that did not work out. Recently, we participated in an online interview for RockMetal Radio that can be heard here: Kataphero in RockMetal. I think our audience creates positive expectations about our songs and performances. This demonstrates that, in some way, people have been looking for something in the band: be a peculiarity in sound or the way we present ourselves, or both. In addition to the bangers, we received feedback from people who do not usually live in the metal world, but who listen to our music and attend the shows. This is very interesting and gives us great satisfaction.

10. Kataphero had the opportunity to share the stage with the Greeks of Rotting Christ, a similar band to you, according to the Encyclopaedia Metallum. Tell us about how was such an event like that!

The show was the first date of Rotting Christ in Brazil for the 2013 tour. It was organized by the great Mitchell (ex-Hammeron, ex-Sanctifier) and also we featured Primordium and Sanctifier at the opening. It was a very professional and historical event for our state.

11. One important point, I see when I hear or watch Kataphero's videos is the emphasis you guys give to the theatrical side that all music/presentation has -. Either as the participation of Bololo Cia Cênica in the wonderful 'Entities' on the show with RC or your posture on stage -. How important is this emphasis on the band?

Always start from the artistic principle of creation and communication of what we spend. First, we pass it through music because that's what we do. But we recognize that there are other ways to communicate what we want. We did a show (Lifetime, 2012) in a theater here in Natal, through cultural edict Cena Aberta (free translation 'Open Scene'), involving music, scenery, video, theater/performance and choirs. 'Entities' (presented at the opening to Rotting Christ, in 2013) was the name we gave to this track which we were writing since 2011, even during the recording of 'Life'. (In fact, it is divided into two stages, are the 'Bleak' and 'Seed' tracks of 'From Dust'.) The Bololo Cia. Scenic is a group with which we tuned in addition to 'Entities', they participated in the Lifetime show, and 'Ekstasis' clip that will come out in 2016. In short, we always try to express ourselves through whatever seems valid.

Costumes and make-up of Bololô Cia. Cênica to the 'Entities' performance. Check here.

Viewing photos, it's noticeable that you guys adopt visuals on shows occasion. How is to merge the look with the sound?

Since we started the writing process of 'From Dust', we chose to reinforce this idea of ​​valid expressions. We decided to make the costumes based on the story behind this album and the next, 'To Dust'. We did with our friend Juao Nin, from the Ak-47 (who today lives in São Paulo) and Fátima Rocha, who works with many artistic and theatrical costumes in Natal.

13. I believe with a sound like Kataphero does, the reviews and awards would soon arrive. How do you feel when reading reviews of zines as Stay Heavy, Heavy Nation, among other sites about Kataphero's works? What about premium displays such as The Hangar Music?

It is extremely satisfying to know that there are people interested in our art. Find reviews, comments and critics in the media make us very motivated. The Hangar Music Prize is an award that seeks to recognize, value and encourage the culture of our city and our state. We feel slightly displaced because it was the first time we were nominated and just as Band of the Year in 2014. But anyway ... It was very nice to know that extreme metal is recognized as popular meanings and as culture of our city, of our state and hence the country.

14. Now, talking a little glance at a not so distant future, we see that you guys began preparing a videoclip to the song 'Ekstasis' on 'From Dust' album. How have you been? What is the release date?

The experience was fantastic. We traveled to Porto do Mangue, 240km away from Natal and it is basically a large fishing village with just 5000 inhabitants. We shot in Dunas do Rosado, well-known scenario of Brazilian productions. We woke up early in the morning and we set off to the dunes taking all equipment with the car as far as we could... Then, we had to climb dunes and more dunes by feet with all the equipments. It was still dark when we left our beds and went to gather all the equipment, set the scenario and design and costumes. Dawn and we started recording until lunchtime. Then, we returned to the city just to eat and then we went to the dunes. The same process. Until the nights come. The hostel served as headquarters to evaluate the day and rearrange the next one. It was something intense and difficult, but very good. The forecast had released the clip still in 2015, but we've waited because of a health problem with our brother Icarus Firmino (ex-Hostile Inc) who directed the clip and the person who was editing it for us. We believe that in January of 2016, 'Ekstasis' clip will be released.

 During the recording for 'Ekstasis' videoclip at Dunas do Rosado. Photo by Maximiliano Leguiza.

Still on the future, how is Kataphero's touring schedule for this end of 2015?

In November, we attended Dosol Festival again in the Christmas edition, and in Caicó and Santa Cruz. Now in December, we will make our last show of the year, December 18th with Primordium and Domination (Pantera Cover) at Whiskritório.

16. To finish this interview, thank you again, on behalf of G.Grind, for your time and attention. I wish all the best to you and to Kataphero, of course. This final space is for you!

We thank you, Cat. Thanks for the talk, for the space given to us and the positive votes. Contact us for anything just by searching Kataphero on the digital medias. Hugs to everyone!

Posted by Caterine Souza

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