Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Andre! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Andre: Hi Hanna, I am very well thank you.
The concerts are going great, we got a fantastic reaction at festivals during the summer and things are feeling really positive. We are currently booking UK Tours and talking to promoters for European shows, it looks like we will be visiting Portugal in April too. We're due to play at InLive (Lisbon) and Metal Point (Porto), but if any of your readers want us to play anywhere else, they can get in touch via our Facebook page and we'll see what we can do.
Hanna Tsepesh: for those who do not know the band, could tell us a little how it all started?
Andre: Ok, the band started in 2009, founded by Andy (Lead guitars) and Duncan (Vocals). Scott (Drums) joined a few months later, Charlie (Rhythm guitars) and I joined pretty much around the same time. The plan since the beginning has been to make our sound honest and original and to try and give the fans what we would want to hear as fans.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics and what process the band use to create the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Andre: Basically we work 50/50 in different locations. We write individually at home, e-mail the ideas back and forth, and then we meet at Andy’s place to finalise the basic structure. Afterwards once the main idea is set, we learn it, take it to the studio and work around it and add or delete things, until we all feel comfortable with the direction it's taking. Lyrics wise, Duncan sometimes comes in with a whole set of lyrics almost complete from the demo stages, or he might write lyrics at the same time that we're arranging the song in the rehearsal studio . We hear him shouting in the corner of the room or with his paper & pen in hand! It's normally music first though.
The inspiration to write the music? Well it is basically our daily lives, all the things that go wrong, all the things that go right, anything and everything can inspire. Sometimes, being frustrated about being stuck on one song can inspire a whole other one, that's what happened with Forsaken from the E.P.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any musician that you admire the most?
Andre: Yeah definitely, I could be here the whole day mentioning great musicians but, recently I have been listening to a lot of Opeth and I have to say I really admire Martin Mendez (bassist). I am not sure if there are many people mentioning him but I really think he is a great musician, if you listen to their records and the bass lines he puts in, it is just amazing, they are so clear, precise and very catchy!
I also admire Dick Lovegrn from Meshuggah, for his unique sound and presence as I am sure that took a while to define that sound!
There is a band in the U.K that are doing quite well too, called Evile, check them out.
Favourite bands: I can say, Metallica, Opeth, Gojira, Meshuggah, Machine Head, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Sabbath, Purple and so on and so on! I listen to a big variety of music, Classical, Flamenco, Jazz and Blues.
Hanna Tsepesh: When you start to play bass and why? It was difficult to learn? What brand bass you prefer?
Andre: I started playing bass around 2001. I was in the Conservatory of Lisbon studying for my degree in Classical guitar, I was already playing fingerstyle, so the bass was an instrument that caught my attention more than the electric guitars. I don’t know, maybe because there are too many Electric guitarists (laughs)?
Learning an instrument is never easy, but that's why it's so rewarding, you could pick up an instrument every day for 100 years and learn something new every time. I am trying always to improve my playing, always searching for new techniques, listening or reading about bass players experiences or opinions. It all helps but of course the main ingredients if you want to be a good bassist, dedication and passion.
My main bass is a Fender Deluxe Precision, which I can't say enough good things about, it's such an aggressive sounding instrument but in a very full way, the guys at Fender UK have been really supportive of me as an artist.
Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk about the “Scar The Silence” EP. For sure one of the best EP that I listen to this year... is really excellent! Congratulations for the entire band. Can you tell to our readers what they can expect from this EP?
Andre: Oh thank you very much, we're glad that you like it. Expect crushing brutality together with melody, but most importantly expect well written songs. We all come from different musical influences and backgrounds, these will naturally end up incorporated in the sound of the band. We try to keep our sound honest as possible.
Hanna Tsepesh: at recording studio, you guys faced with difficulties? If yes, tell which was and how as the whole process?
Andre: It's always a long process when it comes to recording, patience is the name of the game .
The drums were recorded in Cardiff, Wales then taken back to Andy’s studio in London to record the guitars, bass and vocals. Andy is not only a great guitarist but also a good producer & engineer. There weren't really any technical difficulties apart from running short on time, which is normal, unless, “do it again!” “nope, you can do it better!” etc can count (laughs). The important aspect is doing what's best for the band and the final product, the process is just a way of getting there.
The mixing engineer was Rohan Onraet, who previously worked with Machine Head & Slipknot, and the mastering was done by Hippy at Metropolis Studios.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the EP by the fans and media? I read some cool reviews about this EP...
Andre: It has been really overwhelming; the press have caught onto the E.P. as something high quality that stands out from the rest. Thanks to people like you, the word is really getting out around Europe. Radio stations have been giving us airplay and we're always looking for more coverage.
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy “ Scar The Silence”, what they can do?
Andre: They can be careful with their speakers as, the minute you play our EP, it will brutalise them!!!
The E.P. Is available digitally from all the usual retailers, i-Tunes, Amazon etc You can also get hold of CD's & T-shirts from our website www.Collapse.co
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this EP and why?
Andre: I would say Burn as One, as it's the most difficult song to play for me and it has very catchy riffs. And Forsaken, as well it's “punch in the face” type of song.
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Andre: Sure. Have a listen to our EP, we're sure you'll love it. You can talk to us on Facebook/Myspace/Youtube etc all the links are on www.collapse.co, spread the word about us to your friends and the metal community in Portugal. Thank you! We will see you all in April, keep watching for more details about our Portuguese shows and we'll see you all soon!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. I wish the entire band a big success in this EP and for 2011! Hope to see you guys very soon in here…
Andre: Thank you very much Hanna for this interview and yes we will hit Portugal very soon!
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome Andre! All the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
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Publicada por THE GATES OF METAL Webzine