The story of this interview is long and complicated… and it started in January 2012, when after hearing Escarnium’s excellent “Rex Verminorum” I decided to interview the band. They said yes, I got some questions ready for them and then the problems started, as supposedly due to bad English and busy time in the band that interview was never answered. I could believe in both reasons, especially as soon later I saw the band releasing their debut album “Excruciating Existence”. This time Victor asked me to do the interview one more time, which I did, as I really enjoyed the music of those Brazilians. Well, it is pity then that the history has repeated. Again there were no answers from the band, even if I tried to hurry them a little. Sometime in August Victor sent me the answers on half of the interview, saying that I’ll get the rest soon… and that was the last time I’ve heard from him. Sadly, as again I must underline that I like their music a lot. I completely forgot even about that half of the interview, until this morning I talked through e-mail to Bart from Hellthrasher, who said he had some problems with Escarnium and that the band is no more in his label. Then I reminded that I have this half of the interview somewhere, so… well, I decided to publish it, even if it is only half of it and it is also terribly outdated… but you know, there’s not much info about the band anywhere and it would be a waste of time, mine and Victor’s, who at least did this half of the interview… so, why now… it doesn’t cost me anything to unveil this short chat… here it is then. Hope you’ll enjoy it, even if it is so out of date and unfinished…
Hailz to you, Victor! Great to have an occasion to ask you few questions, mate, as you probably know I’m quite fond of “Rex Verminorum”. Tell me, what sort of feelings do you have for this first official CD in Escarnium history and are you happy with the result of that recording?
Hi there my friend! First of all sorry for these delayed answers!! And thank you for this opportunity. So… Yeah! We really liked of the results… “Rex Verminorum” was cited in many sites as the best death metal release in 2011. Now we are spreading our new album “Excruciating Existence”.
Let me start this chat with few questions, which won’t deal with your band… Brazilian scene is something I would like to ask you about now. Well, first of all I’ve been reading many times how great and enthusiastic are the fans in your country. All bands that were playing there were complementing Brazil for vicious and brutal feedback on gigs. And of course it’s always a pleasure to watch Iron Maiden’s “Rock In Rio”, great DVD. Tell me something about the Brazilian fans and the gigs that take place in your country. Which were the gigs you’ve been to recently or which were the best ones?
Yeah! We have a good energy on the public. Maybe because of the lack of good gigs here, so when you have one you need to enjoy it. The last gig I saw was a Grave gig… But my actual city is totally out of the route of good gigs. I think one of the best gigs I saw was Iron Maiden, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse when I was living in southeast of Brazil. And of course I really enjoyed to see the Grave alive. They are one of the big influences of Escarnium.
Is Escarnium also active live and if so, what were the gigs you’ve played like? Are the fans in Brazil also dedicated to more underground bands like yours and support them or do they just like the big, American or European bands?
Yeah! Escarnium is totally active! We really like to play live man! We like of the exchange the energy with the public, meet some new some friends personally, trade materials etc. Here in our city we have a good underground public, but this is not a rule. The most part of the public give more support to European bands etc… This is the reason why every serious band here in Brazil want to go out and do tour… Because I think in Europe you guys have more structure to receive the underground bands… In Brazil everything is more difficult.
When I was starting to listen to metal in 1991, some of the first bands I’ve got to know were Sepultura (“Beneath the Remains” and “Arise”) and Sarcofago (“The Laws of Scourge” and “Rotting”). These bands were BIG and great, but unfortunately the first one I stopped listening to right after “Arise” LP, while Sarcofago just vanished. What’s your opinion on both bands? They surely did help to support the Brazilian scene, right? Do you know maybe about the recent news from Sarcofago? When so many old bands return (Headhunter DC, Vulcano), maybe they are also planning to do that?
For me Sepultura and Sarcofago are legends and their legacy is powerful! But unfortunately this bands fucked up with their careers. I like to think Sepultura died on “Arise” or maybe “Chaos Ad”. And Sarcofago died on “The Laws of Scourge”… For sure they brought thee attention to the Braziianl scene! Headhunter DC never stopped, they are active! And Vulcano – yes, they return now… I really don’t have hope to see Sarcofago anymore… To be honest I don’t have idea what this bands are planning.
Brazilian death and black metal is strong as hell. It’s not just Krisiun (who I think are OK, but their albums tend to bore me a little, although “The Great Execution” is a great back to form for me, this album kills), but also Abhorrence, Mental Horror, Rebaelliun, Nephasth, Impetuous Rage, Grave Desecrator, Darkest Hate Warfront… These are my favourite bands, but of course there’s plenty more to mention. Which are your favourite Brazilian hordes? Is there a strong bond between bands in your country or maybe it’s an opposite to that and there’s more rivalry?
Unfortunately we have a lot of rivalry between some bands and in the most of the cases they are because of stupid things. Brazil has really good scene today. You said a lot of these names in the questions so now I will say some others: Laconist, Vomepotro, Violator, RxCxE, Inside Hatred, Incarceration, Cautherization, Whipstriker , Farscape, Expurgo, Flesh Grinder, Cold Blood, Mortage, Madness, Funeratus, Deformity and many others…
You’ve been playing in Impetuous Rage. I know that after the release of “Inverted Redemption” the band changed the name to Poisonous. Have you been also a member of Poisonous or have you left them before the name was changed? If so, what were the reasons for your split up with the other guys? I must say that I really like “Inverted Redemption”, it’s hell of a strong album, I wonder then how much of it have you personally written? Is Poisonous a continuation of Impetuous Rage actually or is it wholly different band?
I left them before they changed their name. I left because of some personal reasons and some conflicts at this time. At this moment each band follows own way… I think they are better now!
I guess coming from Brazil must be hard to spread the band’s name in European or American underground. Somehow though you’ve managed to release an album through a Polish label, so tell me how did it all happen, how did you contact them and if you’re happy (or not?!) with everything that Hellthrasher Productions is doing for Escarnium?
We are happy with that partnership! They came to us and did the offer for us. And then we accepted it. We have more good recognition in Europe than in Brazil… Because sometimes Brazilian public give more respect to old bands. New bands here need to go to Europe to have good recognition here… This is totally stupid! At this time things are going better here, because we are returning from the eurotour. Hahaahah I don t know why. I noticed in Europe they (maniacs) give more support to new bands with younger musicians… Here in Brazil is like a competition all the time… So you need to be old to get respect. But some old people here don’t deserve that respect. Some old guys have stupid behaviours and don’t give a shit to the local scene.
“Rex Verminorum” is composed of the new EP and the debut demo, but both materials have been composed together very well into one album. Tell me why have you decided to put both recordings on one CD – which I must say was very good decision? I ask that also because “Covered in Decadence” demo was already released on CDR I think, and also as a part of a split with Inside Hatred.
Yeah, we don’t see any problem with this… A lot of people don’t know the demo so when they get the EP they can check out the demo… And in the most of the cases we have good commentaries about the songs of the demo.
In my review of “Rex Verminorum” I underlined how great the songs you’ve putted there are. I really think that the riffs are just great, the song structures are very solid and the overall music has dark and obscure atmosphere, so it’s very strong effort and all those things putted together give an awesome death metal music. I’ve listened to it several times and don’t think it will end up on the shelf that quickly. How’s the reaction on your music so far? What would you say were the main details that you think you’ve focused most when composing the songs?
Thank you man!! Really I don’t know what to say about this… The reaction of the metalheads and zines is good… I don’t know what I should do to have a good result in the composition. It’s a natural process. We just want to do a good death metal.
Change me if I’m incorrect, but there was a different vocalist on “Covered in Decadence” demo, right? But on “Rex Verminorum” it’s already you singing and I think it’s your first time when you’ve been doing vocals as prior to that, also in Impetuous Rage, you only handled the guitar. So, were you stressed when recording the growlings? I wonder didn’t you want maybe also re-record the vocals from the demo? Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, it would just maybe make more consistent listening then?
Yeah! We have Caio Rohr on the vocals, now he is more into gore grind stuff. And his new awesome band is called Rotten Cadaveric Execration. For sure I was nervous, but everything was okay… And on the full length I think my vocal is better. I’m still learning though… We have plans to record all our old songs with my vocals. On the full length we have the track “Covered in Decadence” with my vocal. On the second album I believe we will have the others. The 4 songs of the demo on the EP is bonus tracks, so I think it’s okay.
And that’s it… the rest of the questions hasn’t been answered, but I hope that at least you got some info about Escarnium’s early works from what I have here. I definitely recommend you getting “Excruciating Existence”, if you haven’t done that yet, killer album. Available at the Hellthrasher shop all the time!