Hanna Tsepesh: Olá (hello in Portuguese) José! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL!
José Martins: Olá to you too Hanna! First of all, thank you very much for this interview, I sincerely hope all is well with you!
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome José! Yes I am well, thank you! How are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
José Martins: I’m doing great and our concerts have been going well, some better than others, but all in all it’s working out very nice!
Hanna Tsepesh: For those who do not know Coldfear could tell us a little how it all started?
José Martins: Coldfear goes back a few years, around 2005. Back then, our current guitar player (Hugo Serra) and an ex-member (Abílio) started the project more as an hobby than a serious thing. Later on, Bruno Araújo and Francisco Carvalho joined the band, and Nightstorm was formed (our previous name). Around 2006, Abílio departed the band and a space was opened for our current guitar player, Pedro Melo. With the band almost complete, they searched for a vocalist and at the end of that same year, after an “audition” I joined the band. We then started working to get out and play live, making it serious and not just an hobby. We changed our name to Coldfear and in 27th March of 2007 we threw our first gig. A great presentation in which there were around 200 people. One hell of a good start!
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?
José Martins: I think the writing passes through some stages, and the first for me was to talk about problems that I saw around me, affecting society, friendships and our own self. “Decadence in the Heart of Man” speaks about how “we” still get thrown with prejudice and bad looks from the “higher society”, although it is a very debated theme and it’s better than it was a few years ago. I still remember when I had my hair and my beard, wherever I walked in, I could notice people would stare at me and start to comment. It was funny because when they started to do that I just started to laugh for myself and got on with what I was doing. (laughs)
“Creators of Blinded Evolution” is a bit of a political song. Wherever you may be in Portugal, if you notice you’ll always have someone complaining about something, especially politics, but never doing anything about it. Criticizing is good when you support your comments and maybe suggest a better way of doing something. In my point of view, criticizing without arguments isn’t good at all, better not to say anything.
“The Failure” talks about trying hard to maintain something, being pushed back and stepped down but still trying to make things work. However, realizing that “enough is enough”, sometimes, is the smart thing to say.
On “Pull the Trigger” there is a lot of rage. When you’re just tired of your problems and want to explode everything in your path. Basically it’s a “very pissed off” song. (laughs)
Last, “Self-Inflicted” regards a once great friendship, but In time, due to pride and arrogance it ended. As the name says, it came to an end with self-inflicted stupidity.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any musician that you admire the most?
José Martins: They’re a lot, but I can name three more easily, Lamb of God, Gojira and The Haunted.
My top musicians are Steven Wilson, for me he’s a brilliant musician, does what he believes in without fear, a real model for me as a person and as a musician. Next is Peter Dolving, I love the way he transmits his feelings to the lyrics and songs, feels to me like he’s possessed when he’s singing. Gavin Harrison (I’m a part time drummer…), I simply love to hear him play because he can play anything and plays it damn good. Chris Adler, another icon for me as drummer! Mikael Akerfeldt stuns me with his harmony of both death gutturals and very soft and warm singing, a perfect mix of both styles. And a bunch more, but not as much influent as this ones.
Hanna Tsepesh: You have another band or some future project? Or your time is only for Coldfear?
José Martins: Although I’m a part-time drummer, I wish I’d have time to play in another band. Unfortunately Coldfear, college, part-time work and other hobbies fill all my time. Perhaps one day you’ll see me on stage but in the back, instead of the front, I’d be the back-man! (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know if you had or have any guttural technique lessons?
José Martins: As you may know, any vocal teacher would just say to drop metal and start singing like a normal person… (laughs) But after a very hard search, I found a lady in the US that said explained how it should be done. Her name is Melissa Cross, she recorded two dvds of guttural instructions named “Zen of Screaming” which gave me the basics for my guttural technique, the rest is personal work and development, I can’t really explain it.
Hanna Tsepesh: Humm,very interesting that DVD! since you join to this band, what is the most valuable lesson you have learned?
José Martins: That’s a hard one… (laughs)
I think it’s the feeling of reward. In the metal scene here in Portugal you have to sacrifice and work really hard to get somewhere, but after all that hard work, when you get there it really pays off. When I’m on stage and the crowd is just crazy headbanging to our music, I just go insane!! It teached me the value of working hard for something you love to do and the feeling of accomplishment.
Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk about the “Decadence In The Heart Of Man” EP. This Ep for me transmits a lot of energy and I liked a lot the lyrics theme….very interesting! I am really surprised with you guys…great EP! Can you tell to our readers what they can expect from this EP?
José Martins: Thank you very much!
Although it’s just an EP, I think readers can expect 5 songs of good modern Thrash/Death metal. I can’t really say more because it would be my opinion and I rather hear a fresh opinion from a person who doesn’t knows us at all and concludes his opinion by listening to our work.
Hanna Tsepesh: Everything went well at recording studio? The band worked with Daniel Cardoso in this EP. How was to work with him? The band learned something in this recording process with Daniel?
José Martins: It was a new experience for us as a band, it was our first time in a professional studio and we didn’t really know what to expect. We recorded the EP in eight days and it all went smooth. A lot of banging in the head and repeating until exhaustion, but that’s the daily basis when recording. We liked to work with Daniel Cardoso and Pedro Mendes, it was very enriching and productive process, a really valuable lesson for our future.
Hanna Tsepesh: Also, the art work on this EP is so cool! I liked so much the cover art! Who was the person behind this cool work? You think this artwork transmit what this EP are?
José Martins: The person responsible for the cover is Augusto Peixoto (irondoomdesign.no.sapo.pt/), he’s drummer of two Portuguese bands and a good friend of ours. Personally I didn’t really had an expectation of what the cover would be, and when we saw that one we really liked it and decided it was the best for our EP’s theme. The city background and the skull and heart in both hands really transmit what the title says: “Decadence in the Heart of Man”, a kind of biased modern death. The rest of the EP’s artwork as well as our myspace layout was the work of our bass player, Francisco Carvalho (CHK designs).
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the fans?
José Martins: It is to soon to answer that question, but so far it has been very positive and rewarding. We are very pleased! (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your EP, what they can do?
José Martins: They can order it on-line through our MySpace or our e-mail (email@example.com) and also in one of our concerts.
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this EP and why?
José Martins: Hum… I like them all, but if I had to choose one I would probably pick “Self-Inflicted”. I hear a lot of death metal and that one is, in my opinion, our most death metal song. I love to play it live, it rocks big time! (Laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your opinion about the metal in our country (Portugal)? You guys are searching for a label?
José Martins: I think we have very good metal bands here in Portugal, you didn’t see this kind of quality a few years back. In my opinion the problem is the lack of support we have, when we go to a bar to ask if we can play there, when they hear our music they say “Hum… that isn’t exactly what we’re looking for”. The places to play live isn’t that much, which makes it more difficult to show people what we do.
We searched labels for this record, but with no luck. It’s very difficult for a band to get a label with just an EP. Maybe with the future album we’ll get luckier. (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
José Martins: Thanks very much for your patience reading this, I hope I wasn’t too boring! (laughs)
We really appreciate all your help, it is you that makes this metal clock tick, if there were no people watching gigs, we’d still be in our garage playing for ourselves. Keep supporting the Portuguese metal scene, we need your help and we’ll try our best no to let you down! Thank you!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much for your answers and time. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a big success! Hope to see you guys very soon in here…
José Martins: We are the ones thanking this opportunity! Thank you very much Hanna, we really appreciate all the help you gave us and we wish you and The Gates of Metal all the best for the future!
Till our debut album! (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: Thank you so much José and I hope that we speak again about Coldfear debut album (laughs)! All the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to some COLDFEAR music’s and for future information’s go at: