THE LATIN AMERICAN METAL REVOLUTION
CONFRONTO from Rio De Janeiro Brazil is not a newbie among the South America's hardcore metal scene and, though you might have missed them out thus far, the foursome crossed the ocean to tour Europe several times over their 15 years as a band (the 10 year milestone has been properly celebrated with the release of a DVD entitled “Confronto – 10 Anos de Guerra").
For the richer western world the 2014 is the year where Brazil will be under the spotlights because of the hosting of the FIFA World Cup but as you may have learned off the few global media controlled news that leaked to us during this year Confederations Cup the country has first bigger social and human rights issues still to deal with; issues which will be no easily hushed up by the artificial facade made up of the cheerful, loud and colourful soccer supporters and events arranged around the tournament.
Last October Confronto released their fourth full-length record titled “Imortal”, which follows-up to 2008's "Sanctuarium", and we caught up with recently become father Felipe (vocals) to talk about his band, the new album, their roots and their constant thrive to be a voice for the voiceless and a proof that, beside being a fundamental right, to be confrontational and do your own thing is possible.
gan: Felipe, how are you? Let start with giving the readers of gotanerve-zine a little bit of background on your band. When CONFRONTO did start out, the works you have out, who's in the current line-up and any additional details you think it's worth knowing. How was your local scene when you started out and how has it changed over the years?
Confronto started in 1999 formed by Felipe Chehuan Voice, Max Moraes Guitar, Felipe Ribeiro Drums and Eduardo Moratori on Bass, with the same line up until the present day, emerged in the Baixada Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, having done 5 tours in Europe and several tours in Brazil and South America. We as a band are very good friends and in those 15 years, with all the difficulties, maybe went to a defense that the Confronto everyone who comes to the team is entering. There were few people who were part of our family that came out...Almost no one knows. The roadie , the guys who sell merch at shows, are the same as always. Who scored our first show was “Tata” that had nothing to Sob Controle. He scored because he liked the band and since then has always helped us. We may have this as a defense because we know how hard it is and we hold each other and take all together. Perhaps the fact that it is so difficult to have a band in Brazil meant that we join in more.
With regard to what has changed...Everything has changed. The structure, the way of playing. We were growing together with the time passing by. When we started there was no place to play, it was very difficult for us. We did a sound adverse to what existed at the time. We hardly had our band style and came up with a new proposal, all new and we were doing everything we wanted to do. We do not tailor to nothing, we did just what we wanted. During this period, which was won respect and admiration, and we learned a lot from everyone. Everywhere we go, we learn. Share experiences and it is a fuel to continue to follow.
gan: Your band is named Confronto. How did you come up with the name? I think it is very important for each and every one of us to confront each other and confront with different ideas, views in order to grow on a personal level and as a society. Wanna comment more?
Definitely confront everything around us, all we require as truth. I had to refer to life the place I was born in, my neighborhood, my city, my state. It is normal for us. When we had the chance and the band gave us this chance to travel across the ocean, to know other places and see how things go right there, it gave me an injection of rebellion. It was a huge cultural shock and I thought "Now I will not shut up anyway." If I was already angry with a lot so now is the time to put your finger on it and it gave us motivation to want to fight and continue with the band more and more.
gan: I personally bands like Questions, Matanza, Vendetta and the oldie Ratos de Porão. What other Brasilian bands you would suggest us to check out? Like many hardcore punk bands you guys chose to sing in your mother-tongue language. Was this due to the fact that you can better express yourself in Portuguese or is there something else behind this choice?
That was always very natural. Not only in Brazil but in South America. We were doing a tour of Ecuador and Colombia and went to small towns there and we saw that our neighborhood is alike. We played in Medellin and we saw how much it is like Rio de Janeiro, especially in the amount of slums. We came to the conclusion that all the people of Latin America, everyone below the equator, including Africa, the people there are suffering and are in the midst of it all. All this is fuel to transform into music and put out in an aggressive way.
There was nothing planned, it was very natural since the first song written to date, I've always written in Portuguese, our partnerships, all of a very natural way. And we chose to use the Portuguese to be direct and is very nice of you to be recognized in Portuguese in another country, you see the guys trying, trying to sing the song together, you get to the other side of the ocean, cruising flight and 12 hours to get there and the guys are trying to sing your songs. That's priceless, it is an example of recognition, and the guy just does not give a damn if it's in English or not, he enjoys it because it is what it is, the way it is, and they do not ask for us to sing in English and it is not for us is priceless. And I've always said this, we were not the first to do this, we think for example to Colera, the first band to tour in Europe in 1987, Ratos de Porão, who are there every year, singing in Portuguese.
gan: Over the years you guys got the chance to tour Europe. How do you think the Euro kids react to your band compared to the South American crowds? How's it like living in Rio De Janeiro today and more generally in Brazil. Here in Europe the media tend to give a stereotyped view of your country (you know, the land of carnival, football, beaches and beautiful women) and are currently talking much about the economical grow. What about the people who struggle to make a decent enough living and fight for their rights?
Dude, the thing that matters most is we never cease to be ourselves. We never tried to do or try to force a middle bar to pass the image of something we are not. No use trying to transpire you something that is not real because sooner or later that there will be diluted. And this thing about the guys we have as a reference, perhaps our biggest shock when we go to Europe and we'll get there when people see us and a Brazilian band, as a representative of South America. We are there representing Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and this for us is something that translates very fascinating and what people have been talking today about this revolution of South American metal. For a long time people had by reference, including us, Sepultura, which is a band that made success out there to then be recognized by the public here and we chose the opposite path. We wanted to structure here, singing in Portuguese, do things here and take it out of here. And when we took it out, started to absorb it and began to be aware not only by us but also from other bands that started to go to Europe, began to go out, spoke "put face, some going ta thing in South America, no one realized, but suddenly metal, heavy sound there ta undergoing a revolution, for a renewal" Until then people knew Krisiun, Sepultura, Ratos de Porão, which are bands that have 25, 30 years, and for a long time was a hole and people, public, bands, scene, media, began to see what was going one renewal in the metal and hardcore caught us as a representative of that.
gan: You had to witness first hand the riots that went on right before and during the confederation cup. What's your view about this whole issue? In Brazil a big part population is poor and they lack many of the essentials which your government should provide while the government is gonna spend billion dollars on sport events. Is there any of your lyrics that you'd like to explain more in brief to non-Portuguese speakers?
For us it is very easy to do this sort of question because the lyrics are based on the Confrontation our lives. We live in marshland and is very easy to access everything that people write because they are examples of the everyday. We put our finger on it because since the band came up to today, little has changed in the place where we live. In Brazil itself, in South America, and we went to Colombia to Argentina, Chile pro, pro interior of Ecuador, Peru...we saw that it is all very similar, the South American social problems are very similar. In short, here we are in the Third World true warriors and the reason is not lack to be outraged and the lyrics are based on the Confrontation everyday even.
gan: And what about the song you're the most proud of? I love “Negação” off “Causa Mortis”. When I first contacted you for this interview you mentioned you guys were mixing the new album that will be released this year. And recently I read you set an October release. Can you please go more into details?
We finished our new album "Imortal " (means Immortal in English) was recorded over a period of a year and a half, joining pre-production, production, rehearsal, recording, mixing, mastering... We did everything fairly calm and this album took a year and a half to get together. The inspiration came from a ransom for many bands that influenced us in adolescence as Black Sabbath, Down, Pantera, Alice In Chains, Sepultura (oldest) and also how much current Hatebreed and Lamb Of God. Anyway, bands that were always present in our life. The inspiration was an overview of all this along with the desire to make a cohesive album, mature. And the result is there, 12 songs, " Imortal " which came out on October 5 in South America by Urubuz Records and Vegan Records and it will be released in Europe by Reality Records.
gan: That's it. Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply this interview. Anything else you wanna add?
Over centuries and centuries passed and even after arrests , torture, slavery and holocausts, the voices of the revolt are still heard through the valleys. The horde reborn and reinvented every generation, bringing themselves within the feeling that the kings were never able to shut. And today, the darkness of his basement, she protested again. Against their oppressors, against his murderers, against his empire and against his rule. While there will be slaves spears raised, battles will be fought and their souls will not be forgotten. The rebellion does not die...Hate is IMMORTAL.
Check: www.facebook.com/Confrontobrazil http://confrontobrazil.com/