Saturday, April 19, 2014

Interview with Despot done by Patrick

Here is a new Interview I have done with Marcelo of Despot if your a fan of Black metal then you really need to check this one-man band out from the Brazilian underground

Dark Hails! when did you first get into metal? Who were some of the first bands you listened to? Who are some of your favorite bands today?

I got into Metal in 1996, when I was 11 years old. The very first Metal record I bought was Metallica's Kill 'em All. That same year I went to a Black Metal concert. The line up was legendary, though I did not know how much back then: Mystifier, Impurity and As Prophecies. After that show my interest in Metal veered towards the darkest things I could find and it's been this way since, though with time I discovered a lot of excellent music outside of Metal. Some of my favorite bands today are Celtic Frost, Triptykon, Mercyful Fate, 1349, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Candlemass, Gorguts, Bathory, Deathspell Omega, Judas Priest, Running Wild, Sarcofago, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Absu, Beherit, Mystifier, Yes, Death and Darkthrone, to name a few.

2.When did you get the idea to start Despot? How did you come up with the name for the band? Does it have a special meaning?

I took a break from playing guitar from 2005 to 2008 due to having to go to college and working a full time job. The problem was that even though I was not playing or writing anything, I kept hearing music in my head and I needed to realize those ideas. In 2008 my life was a lot more stable and I had more time to dedicate to music, so I bought a new guitar and started writing the music that would eventually become the first two Despot demos. This is how Despot was born.
About the name, I always liked small, catchy names for Black Metal bands. I considered other names too, but one of my favorite Sodom tunes, "Ausgebombt", has this verse:
"Political tyranny exercised by morbid despots".
I always liked the way Tom sang this line so I went with Morbid Despot, but I quickly ditched it in favor of just Despot. The word sends out a negative vibe too, so it fits the Black Metal aesthetics nicely.

3.Has Despot always been a one man band? Are you looking for reliable members to join Despot or do you prefer to work alone?

Yes. My wife wrote some of the lyrics for "Satan in the Death Row". Also, currently I'm working with a long time friend and audio nerd and he'll be doing the engineering of Despot's new EP, "The War Poems". Right now I'm not looking for other members because I don't have the time and energy to keep a fully functional band. But I might in the future. Who knows?

4.If you had the opportunity to work with any musicians past or present who would you love to work with?

I'd love to play in a band with Devin Townsend on guitars and vocals, Derek Rody on drums, Steve DiGiorgio on bass, Rick Wakeman on keys (one can dream, right?) and myself on rhythm guitar.

5.How long did it take you to write the songs on "Satan In The Death Row"? Where do you draw inspiration for your lyrics?

I started writing the songs on "SITDR" about 6 months before I recorded them. The lyrics were all inspired by real life and fictitious accounts of religious and ideological persecution.

6.How has the response been from the fans and the press?

The response has been very positive. I only got positive reviews so far.

7.Is "Satan In The Death Row" still available if yes where can the fans buy it from?
Yes! You can stream it or download it for free (or pay as much as you want) at Despot's bandcamp page:
You can also buy it from iTunes:
It will soon be available at other large mp3 stores like Amazon.

8.I read you are working on some new E.P'S when do you think they will be available? Are you looking for a label to release these or do you think you will release them?

The new EP's are part of a very ambitious project. It's a monument to long-term thinking. There will be 3 EP's titled "The War Poems" and they will be released in between full lengths. The plan is to release a full length every two years with EP's in between them. I released a full length last year (2013), so the first EP in the trilogy will come out later in 2014. Another full length is due for 2015 and the second EP will come out in 2016. After the third full length hits in 2017, the final EP will come out in 2018.
Right now I'm leaning towards finding a deal with a label, but if I can't find any I'll release them myself.

9.What does Black Metal mean to you?

Black Metal is a channel for negativity and despair. It manifests itself in the form of a wide variety of music. What is and what isn't Black Metal is open for interpretation and this ambiguity gives the style an aura of mystery and confusion that I love. I like toying with the idea of pushing the boundaries of the genre as far as I can while still retaining its oppressive, uninviting vibe. This allows me to write music that isn't based on Black Metal but that is still unmistakably Black Metal.

10.When did you start playing the guitar, are you self taught or did you take lessons when first starting out?Who are some of your favorite/influences guitarist?

I started when I was 11 years old. I took lessons from 3 different teachers, none of them fans of extreme Metal, but I learned a lot on my own. I also have a ton of music theory and guitar books that are part of my daily practice routine.
My preference for guitarists changes a lot with time. Currently I can safely say that my favorite guitar players are Adrian Belew, Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour. I know this is kind of disappointing coming from a Black Metal guitarrist, but what can I do?

11.Marcelo you also handle the vocals when did you start singing? Who are some of your favorite singers?

I started doing vocals back when I started Necrocult. I shared vocal duties with the other guy in the band and our performances were wild, to say the least.
I really like the harsh vocals of Satyr from Satyricon, Paul Ledney from Havohej/Profanatica, Tom. G. Warrior from Celtic Frost and Triptykon, Rainer Landfermann from Bethlehem (you know, the guy who did that absolutely insane performance in Dictius te Necare), Fenriz and Nocturno Culto from Darkthrone, Quorthon from Bathory, Proscriptor from Absu, Wagner from Sarcofago and Diego from Mystifier. There are others I like, of course, but these guys are standouts in my book.
I'm also a huge fan of the clean vocals of Adrian Belew of King Crimson, Messiah Marcolin from Candlemass, Jon Anderson from Yes, Aaron Stainthorpe from My Dying Bride, Mats LĂ©ven from Candlemass and especially Therion, King Diamond, James Hetfield from Metallica before he lost his shit, Maynard from Tool, Bruce Dickinson from good ol' Maiden, Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost. Albert Witchfinder from Reverend Bizarre, and many others.

12.Marcelo you live in Brazil what is your opinion of the Brazilian/South American scene? Who are your all time favorite Brazilian bands? Are there any New Brazilian bands you feel the readers should check out?

I'm going to be honest with you: I don't feel like I'm part of a scene in any way. I don't hang out with groups of metalheads, I don't go to many live shows and I generally keep to myself. I think that musical taste doesn't define anyone's character and is not something relevant enough for me to bond with other people. It might make it easier to start conversations and such, but in the long run it's not enough.
When I was a kid, still finding out about the bizarre and contradictory world of Black Metal, I used to get a lot of hostility from older guys who didn't like the idea of a kid being into the music they liked. I mean, I was 12 and getting threats of physical violence from dudes in their late 20's. The result of this hostility is that you go to a Metal concert in Belo Horizonte and there are very few kids and the bands are just a bunch of 40-something guys whose lives went nowhere. That's the scene in Belo Horizonte for you. It sucks and it's obviously dying.
Most Brazilian bands I know of are more, say, conservative in their approach to writing music. If you're into the more traditional side of Black Metal I'd definitely recommend you check out In Nomine Belialis from Belo Horizonte.

13.Are you currently working with any other projects or bands? If yes please tell the readers about them?

Nope - Despot is the only musical output you're getting from me, though I can't say I won't get involved with other music in the future.

14.Well Marcelo we have reached the end of the Interview do you have any final comments for the readers?

Thanks for the interview! My message to the readers is this:
If you want to support Despot head to the bandcamp page, download the album, share it with other people who might like it and make sure you visit the Facebook page and "like" it so you can get updates directly from me.
Oh, and now you can make your iPod/iPad 1000% times more badass by buying "Satan in the Death Row" from iTunes:
Here are the links:

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