Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Ruy! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you?
Ruy: Hello Hanna! First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity! It’s a pleasure and I must say THE GATES OF METAL will be the very first zine to interview Machinergy! So… this is historic, (laughs)! Things are all ok with me and with the rest of the guys. At this moment, we’re broke but we are ok, (laughs)!
Hanna Tsepesh: That is so cool! Thanks a lot and you are very welcome! How are the things doing with your concerts?
Ruy: Machinergy is actually working on its promotion with some concerts in Portugal. We finished and already released our debut album “Rhythmotion” in the 1st of September 2010 and now we’re on the road to promote it and, most of all, enjoying every single night at the venues with our friends and bands we play with! Our concerts have been cool and we enjoyed them a lot! We would like to have more public at the venues but… in a way, nobody knows us, we’re still, in a certain way, perfect “strangers”! Also, we’ve done, recently, a mini-tour with a Brazilian band called Uganga, where it performs, on vocals, Manu “Joker”, ex-drummer of the legendary band Sarcófago, and it was very, very cool! We did three dates from south to north of Portugal and it worked for us as a small lesson for a medium/bigger tour in the future, something we want and I believe will achieve. We learned very much with Uganga by hearing their stories and how they went in their European Tour from Poland to Portugal and all the situations around it. I must say: Guts! Above all, that’s what a band needs! And then… money!
Hanna Tsepesh: for those who do not know the band, could tell us a little how it all started?
Ruy: That’s a big old epic story, so to say (laughs)! Really! I’ve known Helder (the drummer) since the late 80’s and the first contact between us, I think it was already to start a band. Helder heard in the school I was “recruiting” members to play (although we didn’t have any instruments besides the school book notes and a pencil where I would write the constantly changing line-up’s) and talked with me if it was possible to enter the “band” (laughs)! We live in a village called Arruda dos Vinhos and, by that time, we were only four or five guys who would listen to heavy-metal so we made the “band” and then some of us bought the instruments to give light to Mortalha, the very first metal band in Arruda. I think I was the last one to buy the instruments! Then we started to do some noise, always under the fire view of locals, (laughs)! The embryonic Mortalha later split-up due to Helder and Nuno had joined Imunity from Vila Franca de Xira, a city near Arruda. Imunity was the first death-metal band there and had some reconnaissance all over the country. Later, I entered the band and it was already a band’s wish, it started to sound more thrash. We recorded some demos, did some shows and then split-up, already under the name Groundustry, in the year 2000. We follow different ways and we entered other projects but in 2006, Helder convinced me to start a new project. I had a certain “trauma” from the past, because we always wanted to achieve better things such as an album recording and, because of this, because of that, girlfriends, bla, bla, bla, we didn’t. So, we started to play together again and the chemistry was instantaneous! But this time we swore: “This is no bullshit, this time is for real!” And, it was. Here’s “Rhythmotion”.
Hanna Tsepesh: Yeah, is a really big old epic story (laughs). What inspired the most to create the lyrics?
Ruy: I’m the one who writes the lyrics. I write the lyrics mainly because it’s something I will have to sing too. So, I have some difficulty in singing words and even some points of view or opinions written by someone else. You know, it’s very strong, eventually the most in a song, the power of words and the right way to sing it and express it. I like and can write about almost everything, from something more abstract to real and direct issues. In Machinergy it’s a 50/50 term, so to speak, a kind of hybrid. It’s a natural thing. But when has to be raw, raw shall be! When it has to be lame…! No shit!
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any musician that you admire the most?
Ruy: First of all, I like and hear everything! I’m into every kind of music and I’m not a radical listener! I like to discover new bands (old shit and modern ones) and not only metal bands. (And it’s not because of my age. As far as I remember, I always loved music and I don’t have a tradition in my family. I loved Agent Steel but still listen to “La Bamba” [laughs]!!) Then, I do my own selection, my own play list. But, the main roots, as a listener and as a musician, are in the late 80’s in the thrash-metal scene. It was when we started to discover heavy-metal and this passion that will remain for life. The most important bands to me were – definitely – Sepultura (the band that made me buy a guitar and wanted to start a band), Sodom, Slayer, Metallica, Kreator, Anthrax, Exodus, Overkill and Megadeth. The core of thrash-metal! As inspiring musicians, Mr. Frank Blackfire is the man! He truly inspired and still inspires me in the creation of riffs and that energy he puts on it, fuck… that’s real astonishing! I must say “That right hand… man, that’s perfection!” Other musicians as Max Cavalera (old Seps era) and Mille Petrozza, make the perfect trio and these last ones were a big and crucial influence, because they played guitar and sang. Max was the model to follow in attitude but Mille was and still is the men live! To me, he is the perfect frontman!
Hanna Tsepesh: You have another band or some future project?
Ruy: Yes. I and Helder do some extra exercise in-between Machinergy! Actually, we have a couple new projects, not with the importance of Machinergy of course, but to embody some ideas we thing good and to fulfill other things that don’t fit in Machinergy. We have Bicéfalo, a grindcore project in the vein of Terrorizer and we released the promo-track “Tank Child (Homework In The Crossfire)” in 2009. This project is like an homage and tribute to Jesse Pintado, the grindfather. We have some new songs to record and maybe will release a demo with three or four songs in the future. But it’s a studio project. Also, we have Miss Cadaver, a punk/crust act in Portuguese. This is no shit! Straight to the point, fuck off and die! It’s a good way to express in our language and write about all the shit we’re seeing nowadays! We released a homonym demo k7 with four tracks this year and we’re planning to release the album “Manifestvm Raivus” ‘till the end of 2010 or in the beginning of 2011. Maybe this project goes live.
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know if you had or have any guttural technique lessons?
Ruy: No, not at all. I usually say “I don’t know how to sing!” And it’s true. I don’t. I think I started to “sing” a little better and my voice evolved a little bit more with an industrial project called D2A2N, where I was the solo singer. Back then, I tried a lot of stuff like different vocal pitches and effects. But because I played guitar, and it’s a common error, I always putted the singing part for second plan and it was a big mistake! HEY! Young people that are reading these lines, if you want to play guitar/bass and sing, do it all together, ok?! It’s hard in the beginning but it will be much easier after and especially when you perform live. I have a friend of mine that already invited me to have some lessons with her vocal teacher, to try out. But, sincerely, although I know it’s important, so far I don’t see me in a class doing some stuff like that. Sorry, my friend! I’m so lazy!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks for the advice for the young people out there! When you start to play guitar? It was difficult to learn? What brand guitar you prefer?
Ruy: I start in 1990, I think. I bought a small amplifier and a cheap guitar, both of the same trade, Samick. It was a special pack (laughs)! Those times were really great! We learned to play by viewing VHS tapes, watching the details in concerts and things like that. It was and still is a self-learning process. I remember that I and the bass player of Mortalha, we went on to have some theory but the guy put us learning some acoustic shit but what we wanted was heavy stuff, power chords (laughs)! We then said… “Fuck! This is not metal! We want metal!” I remember seeing the first power chord in my life. Power chord is the basis of heavy-metal and I remember it was on the store in Vila Franca de Xira where we went to see the records and buy the instruments. It was revolutionary! A whole new world (laughs)! Actually, I use Gibson Flying V. It was my second guitar and now I’m married with that shape (laughs)! I have two, the black and white “Cabramacho” and the red and white “Caveirão” (laughs)!
Hanna Tsepesh: (laughs) Good one! What was the highest and lowest point of your career as a musician?
Ruy: “RHYTHMOTION”!!! For me and I think also for Helder, this is the highest point ‘till now! Definitely! It’s an album of, not officially four but 20 years of struggling since the beginning and, most of all, it’s like a dream coming true! It means a lot to us. I’ve done other things with other bands but “Rhythmotion” is so far the most important. It’s like a newborn child!
Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk about the “Rhythmotion” album. I have to say that, I am really surprised with this album! For me is one of the best metal albums in this year! I liked everything on this album and also the cover album is very simple. I send my congratulations for the entire band for this amazing work on “Rhythmotion”. Also, I saw that the songs titles are very short! Very interesting thing and once again very simple and direct… Can you tell to our readers what they can expect from this album?
Ruy: This album is the product of two friends and, more or less, four years of hard working. So, people can expect honesty, simplicity and the best of us, right in this moment. Simplicity may be the fundamental adjective to classify this record, from music to artwork, etc. We wanted the main focus to be just the music, people to concentrate just in the power of the music. We decided not to put photos or images in the album because of that. We even thought not including the lyrics in the inlay but, in the end, we did it. It’s a kind of an old feeling/trauma exorcised (laughs)! In the 80’s, we had the LP’s and a lot of them didn’t have the lyrics! It was a kind of a game where you had to devour the music to understand the meaning, lyrics, etc. We’re traumatized people (laughs)!! The fact the song titles are formed just by one word was a detail. We had three or four songs like that in the beginning and then we agreed to continue and in the end it stayed like that. We also love to cross words and create new ones (laughs)! I think people who listen to different kinds of metal and even other genres such as punk, may like this album. It’s direct, simple and powerful! We are satisfied with the final result, we think the 10 songs are all well connected between them and we like them all. We don’t feel there are fillers or bad/weaker songs. These were the chosen ones; we worked hard on them and gave the best to achieve this final shape.
Hanna Tsepesh: at recording studio, you guys faced with difficulties? You guys also worked with Daniel Cardoso. Why the band decided to choice him to mix and mastered your album? It was good to work with him? Did the band learned new things with him?
Ruy: We recorded the album in our micro-studio. Daniel only mixed and mastered. We invested in soft and hardware and did the recordings, step by step. That’s why we took almost four years to conclude the album. Ok, two years were for song-writing! It’s a nice way of making things. You have time to do it the right way without the studio stress (God, I hate that!), to listen the songs, re-record some parts, etc. The other side is you take more time for that and, in a way, that’s not totally good. But we still didn’t have enough experience in mixing and mastering, so we decided to search a producer. We talked with Tue Madsen in the beginning and he would be our choice but then we thought that a Portuguese producer would be better because of proximity and those things. We knew of Daniel Cardoso and he’s now an experienced producer and since he had a slot in his agenda (by summertime), we advanced. We didn’t want to lose more time and the album had to be released in 2010. About working with Daniel and this kind of work relation, well, we took some conclusions. First, we did everything by mail, so, Tue Madsen would be ok too, (laughs)! We only met with him two times, in the beginning and in the end. We thought it could be other way, with more personal contact in order to express some opinions in loco, that was our wish. About the final result, it was not easy to achieve. We had in mind a certain type of sound for the scenario. Not like some productions, polished to the bone and polluted with medium frequencies and highly saturated. We didn’t want that. We searched a powerful sound but also a little raw and natural. We gave him some references, like Metallica, Sodom, Obituary, Kreator and even Rammstein or Fear Factory, mainly old stuff shit, some to understand the kind of guitars, other for the drums, etc. In the end, we think we achieved some of what we wanted but I think it could be even better if the method was a little bit different. I usually say, “Rhythmotion” is a good first record, a good presentation for the band. But the second will be even more consistent, destructive and powerful. That I assure you! Get ready!
Hanna Tsepesh: In the music “Godus” is one girl singing. Who is she? She has a cool voice. I liked a lot because she brings another feeling in this music.
Ruy: The singer in “Godus” is Célia Ramos, most known for her career in Portuguese gothic/metal act Mons Lvnae. She is a friend of mine and since we started to record the album that “Godus” had a kind of “calling” to her voice. First of all, the lyrics are heavy stuff and were inspired in a friend of mine. He died a long ago but suffered a lot during years straight. I felt an immense anger and still do and this music is like an exorcism, not only about that particular person, but also a kind of homage to some of my friends that suffered so much before dying and were a few. No one deserves that. So, we’re searching for a voice somehow like a whispering angel, transmitting a kind of ascendancy to something better, a voice that could create certain equilibrium for such words. And I think we achieved it. The final result couldn’t be better and even now, I don’t believe we made such an epic song! It gives me the creeps when I listen to it!
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the fans in your concerts and reviews?
Ruy: We started working on the album’s promotion recently, so there are only a couple of reviews and they were good. We are in a first phase, contacting the media here in Portugal and the second phase will be Europe and rest of the world. It’s by degrees. The people seem to like Machinergy’s sound and the most curious is the fact opinions are someway different from person to person. I’ve heard some but the nicest one was that my voice remembers Cronos from Venom, (laughs)! That was very funny! About the live shows, I say it every time: “A good show is 50% band and 50% public”. It’s completely different when you have people in front of you headbanging or saying shit, it’s the best feeling! When that’s not possible we still enjoy and try to give the best. All I can say is: “Wait energetic, raw and interventive shows!”
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Ruy: Well, we have the album and other merchandise available in our concerts. But you can go to machinergy.com, myspace.com/machinergy or writing us a mail to email@example.com. Simple as that!
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Ruy: Well, I think it’s “Godus” because of the feeling, meaning of the lyrics and, obviously, the final result with all the beauty created by Célia’s voice. I never thought we could achieve such type of song.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your opinion about the metal in our country?
Ruy: It’s completely different from the 80’s in terms of concerts, bands, quantity, quality but, in the end, we still need to work harder to develop and project our bands to the outside and even here. First of all, the culture in this damn country is buried! Dead and buried! There’s no place for different proposals. There’s no space for these bands besides the underground, there are no incentives, what so ever. It’s a D.I.Y. or die! It’s very hard but what I can say is that bands must sweat even more their shirt, have guts and confidence, fit capacity and learn to suffer because nobody will give you shit! Anything! So, this means war!!
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Ruy: If you read this interview until here, thank you very much! You are a patient and good person, (laughs)! Seriously, I hope you can discover Machinergy and enjoy our record. We’re very pleased with the album so I think you may like it too. Seat back comfortably and hear it some times, preferentially loud! There are many things to discover in this album, from words to their meanings, from the band’s message to the sound itself. Believe me!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. I wish the entire band a big success! Hope to see you guys on stage very soon.
Ruy: Thank you so much and we wish the same success for your initiatives! It was a pleasure and remember… this was the first one!
Hanna Tsepesh: (laughs) I think it was great for the first interview! Thank you so much for this interview (and also very funny too)! All the best…
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to some MACHINERGY music’s and for future information’s go at:
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