Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Hazy Hamlet and how are you guys? Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! For those who do not know your band could tell us a little how it all started and also make a little introduction about yourselves?
Julio: Hi Hanna, we are great, thanks! I am Julio Bertin, 26, guitar and synth player, and well, you know, in the beginning we were just a group of friends, going to the same rock bar to have some fun together.
Fabio: Hi Hanna, I am Fabio Nakahara, 27, Hazy Hamlet bassist. Indeed, we enjoyed the same metal styles, so I decided to gather some friends, including Julio Bertin, to establish a band and play some cover songs of 80s heavy metal.
Arthur: Hail Hanna and The Gates Of Metal readers! I am Arthur Migotto, 27, lead singer and composer. I had the opportunity to become part of the group in the beginning of 2002, to help promoting Hazy Tales demo-CD, as singer Mario Bertin, Julio's brother, was leaving to another city to give continuity to his academic studies.
Cadu: Hi everybody, here is Cadu Madera, 24, and I have joined the group a bit more than one year ago, as Hazy Hamlet needed a new drummer. We were already great friends, always going out to have some fun together. We shared the same musical tastes, enjoying practically the same bands, and have playing together before with Fabio and Julio in a 70s hard project. It is being great to play with these guys.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics? The band writes the lyrics first or first the band creates the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Arthur: We write about wars, death, human degradation and also about motivation and metal itself. There is a bit of everything, sorted inspirations, but we mainly like to use mythological elements to present metaphors on our reflexions, so the listener can draw his own conclusions about what we are trying to say. That is why you will so commonly find viking elements in our tunes, which Is a theme that we love since the beginning. About compositions, there is really a bit of the two methods. Sometimes we get some riffs together in studio while improvising, and then we think: “Hey, this song looks like it should tell about human disillusions!” - then I go there and write down some lyrics to fit the tune style. Sometimes I have a main Idea in my head that I want to develop. Then I go and sit there with a guitar and try to get some riffs that match the style and energy of the idea I want to write about. Usually when I take these ideas to the group, they are very well accepted, and the guys finish the work awesomely! Both are working 'til now, so I don't see why we should changing anything.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands?
Julio: Queen, Black Sabbath, Rick Wakeman, Manowar, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Testament, Grave Digger, among many other bands and groups of heavy and classical music, etc.
Fabio: Black Sabbath with G. Butler, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Grave Digger, Running Wild, White Snake, Deep Purple...
Cadu: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Rainbow and a lot more I can't remember right now.
Arthur: Rainbow, Dio, Judas Priest, Chariot, Cloven Hoof, Testament, Grave Digger, Running Wild, ZZ Top and a bunch more from 70s, 80s and NWoBHM.
Hanna Tsepesh: Arthur, you have any singer that you admire the most? And also, I would like to know if you had or have any singing lessons or any other preparation? You have an amazing voice! Your voice remembers me the old heavy metal! Congratulations!
Arthur: Absolutely, and that is Ronnie James Dio. Besides being master of one of the best voices ever, he is someone who have being playing classic rock since its beginning and have accompanied heavy metal evolution in all its history - 70s hard, NWoBHM, 80s hard and metal, and had only stopped in the great heavy low-tempo classic metal he does today, having not flirted with disaster (I mean, new metal stuff). He is the grandfather of rock, and a true inspiration! About me, first of all thank you so much for your praises – I am delighted and honored, really! Indeed, when I was 15 or 16, I have tried one month of singing lessons. Then I realized that they could be great for lyrical and classical music, or maybe some melodic metal – you know, clean voices – but that was not what I wanted, and I decided I should find and develop my own style, resonance, posture, etc. Then I quit, and despite my limitations, I am happy with what I have. If you think it remembers old heavy metal, it is enough! (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: This question if for the other members: When did you start to play your instruments and why did you pick them?
Cadu: I have started playing some keyboard with 6 years. I have studied for about one year and then I quit. I tried acoustic guitar, and did not last long too. Only when I was about 16 years I have returned to music, now playing drums. It is the only instrument I have never had lessons, and it is the one is taking longer. I have always being influenced by rock, that I have been listening to since I was young.
Fabio: Influenced by 80s bands, like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Grave Digger, Running Wild, I have begun activity as a musician. It started with a covers band, for the pleasure of playing heavy metal and the style I love. Geezer Butler and Steve Harris are my greatest influences.
Julio: I had initiated my studies with acoustic guitar from mid 90s on, and developing electric guitar techniques in the following years. I have opted for guitars influenced by my rock idols.
Hanna Tsepesh: I read that you guys don’t have any record label and also don’t are looking for one. I stay very surprised with that because so many bands are looking for one and you guys are also very proud of it! What is the reason that you guys don’t search for a record label? The band doesn’t believe in labels or something? You guys have so much talent that I believe that soon you get one…
Arthur: Yeah, we have some friend bands that worked with renowned companies in Brazil and did not tell us good stories about them. Added to that, we strove and spent a lot of time and resources to get this album done the way we wanted, and it would not be fair letting it in hands of a fancy record company. We also are not in Europe or USA, and we live far from capitals or metal centers in our country, and so we believed that for a first album we could do a promotion work similar to or better than any small label really – with a lot of hard-work, passion and patience. It is still early to tell results, but we can clearly state that we love to be independent. It has the beauty of you keeping close contact to redactors, promoters and mainly bangers, what some signed bands miss. Besides, you can look back and see your conquers and be sure they are yours, not others. So yes, we are really proud of it all. However, we don't discard chances of accepting a good metal label in the future. It all have to be studied, but we want one that we feel really loves rock/metal spirit. And we are also open for distribution partnership, so if you are a label runner reading this and enjoyed our music, write us and you will be very welcome.
Hanna Tsepesh: You guys have a debut album called “Forging Metal”. Truly heavy metal sound and I really love it all the music’s and the feeling that you transmit to us! We can feel with Arthur voice that he sing with a lot of passion and you guys make a fantastic work! I love the music’s like “The Beginning of the end. Part 2” and “Forging Metal”, this music’s transmit a lot what Hazy Hamlet is in my opinion! For people who didn’t listen yet can you talk about this album and what the band wants to accomplish?
Arthur: Well, almost a decade on the road and having already released two demos and a single, we thought it was time to release our debut, a full-length. Forging Metal is completely independent, and presents 5 reworked songs and 5 previously unreleased tracks. We found that would be a great way of gifting old fans and yet present new tunes and all transition work we are doing, directing our music to a more “vintage classic metal” approach. Cover artwork was beautifully done by very talented and friendly Brazilian professional illustrator Celso Mathias. Being independent is hard, and although some media press like yours support us with great enthusiasm, filling us with praises that we had never expected before, many do not even reply to our mails. So if you ask us what we want to accomplish, we can say we want to show everybody our energy and passion for vintage metal, but also prepare structure to get an even better acceptance in our next one – so we can keep growing and playing for farther audiences.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band feels proud with the final result or you think that misses something? Everything went well at recording studio? It was an easy process for the band?
Arthur: Although we worked hard to present a good sound production - and we can say we are proud of what we achieved for a first work – we know it could be a bit better if we had better recording sessions. It was a tough and troublesome long process that took 4 years to be completed as we wanted. We had problems like former drummer with injured foot, bassist with broken finger, burnt tubes in guitarist's valve amp, lack of money, problem with liar studio guy, re-recording a lot of things, bureaucratic stuff, exchange of drummer, mixing the material and even problems with the factory. So no, it was not easy, but that makes us even prouder.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Cadu: It is being great! Much more than we expected for a first album, really. We are receiving awesome reviews worldwide, and the critics are usually very constructive, what motivates us a lot. With these results, we are being invited to some secret projects that will soon be promoted. And despite piracy, bangers are buying the album to support us, writing, and motivating us a lot!
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album safely, what they can do?
Julio: The greatest manner of supporting us and a really safe one is visiting our website, choosing what you want and write us a mail directly or through the form in contact page. We will get in touch and give you the cheapest shipping values we can offer, and we accept Paypal payment, that is fast and secure. You can also buy our album from the stores: Indie Rhythm, CD Baby, Sonic Age Records (Greece) and Rock Stakk Records (Japan). Our digital songs are also available from Amazon MP3, iTunes store (USA), Lala, Napster, Amie Street and WaWaWa (China).
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Arthur: Chariot of Thor, because of its variations and atmosphere, and Forging Metal, for being a purely classic piece!
Fabio: Metal Revolution and Chariot of Thor, because of their energy and for presenting traces of my influences.
Julio: The Faces of Illusion, because of the analog synths sounds and for sounding so different from other songs.
Cadu: Field of Crosses and Chrome Heart, for their energy and atmosphere.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band is thinking about a European tour? You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something?
Fabio: Surely we think about that, and playing in Portugal would be great! However we have in mind that being independent makes things much harder for us, at least for now. We will work hard for about a year to promote this album and build a better structure for the band. If until there we find support and a manner to travel Europe, we will absolutely do so!
Hanna Tsepesh: What are the things doing about Metal in your country (Brazil)? Is easy to get some kind of support? Like places to play, radios, webzines, etc.?
Arthur: In the passionate side it is awesome. Headbangers here are faithful, passionate and motivating. The media is fine, and we are getting some airplay in specialized radios and receiving some huge support from some nice webzines and blogs – but not all of them. About concerts, it is a bit hard. Metal in here lacks resources, and underground is commonly mistaken as amateurism. Some promoters really have intention of taking us to their cities, offering a good equipment, reasonable hosting, and seeing you rock on stage, but lack some resources. For those, we do our best to close a deal and play! Others just want to make some money and offer nothing for the bands – and as beginning groups want to play and accept that, things unfortunately never get better. We will keep working hard to conquer our space.Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Julio: Yes, musical scenery has changed a lot in the last years. The great music industry is declining and with Internet, new music is democratic and spreading a lot faster. So, if you want to help your local scene, please support your independent artists.
Arthur: Indeed, we are living in a new era and every support to independent artists, like you Hanna do, is essential, extremely valuable.
Fabio: Thank you so much Hanna and The Gates of Metal readers for your support. Keep pushing independent metal and motivating your local artists.
Cadu: I would like to say thank you for your opportunity and say to all your readers: Keep rocking! Stay metal!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and your words. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a big success! We hope to see you guys very soon in here…
Arthur: OK, we will work as hard as we can to get there soon. A huge hug, thank you all and see you!
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome! Thank you so much and all the best for you guys!
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to some HAZY HAMLET music’s and for future information’s go at: