Patria (Brazil) 26/10/2011
Patria is a quite new band (2008) from Brazil, faithful in the European and particularly in the Scandinavian sound, they don’t intend either to experiment with pseudo modern styles or to make money. They play the music they like, bounded and fanatic with the sound that they love… Raw, frozen, Scandinavian Black Metal. I contacted Mantus, the guitarist and creator of the band, and he gave me a very interesting interview about everything you want to know…
1. Hi Mantus, thanks for the interview. Firstly do you want to give me some information about the band? How did you meet Triumphsword and how was the band formed?
Mantus : I met Triumphsword in 2008, the same year I founded PATRIA. He lives about 10 minutes walking from my place, so everything turned really easy. We have the pretty same feeling, influences and similar metal tastes, so my choice to catch him for the vocals was natural. We're constantly meeting and playing which makes PATRIA move forward fastest than we could imagine. We're in 2011 and we already have a DEMO (2008), a debut full-length "Hymns of Victory and Death" (2009/Monokrom), a second full album "Sovereign Misanthropy" (2010/Monokrom), a MCD "Gloria Nox Aeterna" (2010/Monokrom) and our third full-length "Liturgia Haeresis", recently released by Drakkar Productions (France).
2. I think that both you and Triumphsword are involved with other bands apart from Patria. Do you want to tell me about those other projects?
Mantus : Yes, we're involved with so many other projects that's even difficult to say something concrete about all of them... Maybe the major ones are THORNS OF EVIL and LAND OF FOG (both Triumphsword bands) and my other band MYSTERIIS, that just completed 13 years of existence in March. We also have another project together called HELLSCOURGE. There are still other bands and projects but nothing so active at the moment, so basically that's it!
3. You are from Brazil although your sound is Scandinavian. What do you say about that? Which do you think your music influences are?
Mantus : You're right! We have a giant influence came from Scandinavian bands from the early and gold 90' years like Darkthrone, Burzum, Mayhem, Ulver, Satyricon, Emperor, among others... But we're also influenced, even in a small scale for a few South American metal bands like Sarcófago and Pentagram, for example. Despite that we're always trying to reach our own identity, but keeping the honest and harsh feeling and production as a real Black Metal band should be.
4. What kind of comments have you gotten for your latest album so far by the Black Metal fans and press? Do good or bad reviews affect you in any way?
Mantus : We got really good reviews from small and large magazines and zines worldwide and we're very glad that at least part of the specialized media is taking this album seriously and understand so well its meaning. We got 10/10 score in the biggest webzine in Brazil WHIPLASH.net, 8/10 in the German ROCKHARD magazine which surprised us in a very positive way. Also a good review on your zine. Well, we think all inputs are always welcome, bad or good, it doesn't matter... But in other hand, taste is something really subjective and normally mainstream media are looking for originality and fresh ideas, which I don't think it fits on the necro Black Metal way we worship!!!
5. How do you get inspired to write music and lyrics? I ask that because both your music is cold and your lyrics are about frozen landscapes, winter, etc, things that as I know you don’t find in Brazil.
Mantus : Actually we live in a place not so known by the foreigners where we have negative temperatures, reaching -20ºC sensation and even snow in the coldest winter days. During the winter you often see landscapes covering by frost, beautiful forests, rivers, valleys and canyons. We live in the mountains in the extreme south region of Brazil, close to Argentina and Chile as reference. So, we have inspirations enough to write our songs and lyrics! I know it sounds "strange" for a Brazilian band, but the people shouldn't believe and judge a country based only on what they read and watch on the TV. They show Brazil as a sunny and tropical place fully of soccer, beaches and samba, which is really what happens in the biggest part of our country, but in our region we have our cold parcel of darkness! At the end, the music and imagination are universal, that's the beauty thing!
6. In Greek Patria means homeland. Does Patria mean for you the same thing as in Greek and what it represents for you personally?
Mantus : Yes, exactly the same meaning, but in our case we're used to say that our real PATRIA is the DARKNESS!!! There's no any relation at all to "patriotism" or any other "ism"! It's not about a country, region or even politics as normally people think. It's an often question for sure...
7. In addition to the previous question, the references to the fatherland, nature as also your name (Patria) may lead some people to think that you are ns. Is that true? What is your opinion about nsBM in general?
Mantus : No! As I said we're not into politics or colors... We fucking hate politics to be more straight! Well, I personally like some bands labeled as NSBM and I don't see a problem with that, but I'm interested about the music only. We don't support any kind of fascism or racism at all. Our fight is on behalf of Black Metal!!!
8. I know that it is quite soon but have you begun working on new material? If yes give me some information about it.
Mantus : As sooner is better!!! Despite we're more focused on the rehearsals for shows at the moment, we're also talking about an upcoming album and putting the rough ideas on paper. We'll probably start to work better on this for the next months... But our goal is have the new album recorded before December to be released in the first semester of 2012, again by Drakkar Productions.
9. I’ve noticed that you play live. Where have you played so far? Have you ever traveled to Europe or Asia for a live?
Mantus : Actually we still didn't play live with PATRIA. We have recently formed a live line-up and started the rehearsals, which is going very well, but we'll probably have a few live dates in Brazil only for 2012. We already went to Europe some times in the last years but never for a gig. We went especially to Scandinavia, since I have many great friends there and also my job in Norway. We're going there again in February 2012, by the way! Can't wait! I freaking love that place! But back on track, there are no plans for a European tour yet, but it's something that might be happen in the future I think.
10. You have three session members for the live shows. Why you don’t make them official members of the band? Isn’t it more difficult to perform live with session members (I mean it’s easier for an official member to get into the atmosphere and feelings of the tracks so as to express them in a live show)?
Mantus : Cause we're used to do everything with only two minds thinking and we don't see reason to change that, since we're satisfied with the result we're getting... A full band influencing on the album composing may be change the music in a way we're not interested. Also there's the schedule problem because our bassist and drummer don't live in our city, which makes everything a bit more difficult, you know. What you said is also true, of course... But seems like everything is fitting great and our rehearsals are better and better every week, so at the moment it's the most important thing I assume...
11. Your first three releases (two full – lengths, EP) were released by Monokrom. Why did you leave them and decide your third album to be released by Drakkar? Are you satisfied with the promotion and support that you get from Drakkar?
Mantus : Monokrom was responsible for that to be honest! They're amazing guys, really fans of PATRIA music, and we just love to cooperate with them... But after "Gloria Nox Aeterna" release they thought we should look for a bigger label that could do a better promotion and worldwide distribution. They showed PATRIA music to Cyril from Drakkar and made the "bridge". Cyril got interested, we discuss some details and a few weeks later we finally signed for three albums. Sure, we're satisfied with Drakkar Prod. work so far and I hope we can make this cooperation grows up more and more.
12. Give me information about the videos you’ve done so far. How was that experience? In my opinion Black Metal and videos are two opposite things. Do you want to tell me your opinion about that?
Mantus : I really don't think there's different between you produce a video, an album or a live show... I try to respect and understand some bands that don't want to record an official album or even be founded on the internet... But since you record an album, promote and sell that, you're giving space to be discovered by useless trend hands... especially today with this digital world around us. But I don't think this unnecessary fear should make some bands don't move forward, if they are doing a great and honest job! If you do an album and live performances, there's no reason at all to don't do a video clip... It's kind of contradictory in my vision... I see a video production and live shows as a complement to the album promotion, but I assume that the bands should be careful if they want to produce a Black Metal video. I'm always very very auto-critical when we produce our videos and we try to do our best to express the dark feelings and concept behind PATRIA music and not exactly a worry about the business promotion of a product. We do our own video productions and we're pretty satisfied with the visual atmosphere we got.
13. What do you think about the underground Black Metal scene of Brazil? Are there any bands that you support and you want to suggest me?
Mantus : We have a really large metal scene here with many killer bands doing a great job... The problem of Brazil is the metal market that's so poor! There are no many magazines and zines, labels or local promoters interested to support underground bands. Everything is surrounded by money and to take advantage... I understand that money is important but I don't think it should come first than the passion about the music and art. Should be happen a "middle-term" at least... Of course it's not happening only in Brazil... in Europe is not different for sure... But Brazil is a continental proportion country and unfortunately with much less underground support than the smallest and worst metal country in Europe, I assure you. That sucks! Regarding bands, I could say SONGE D'ENFER if you never heard about them. They're not active for years, but they're for me the best Brazilian Black Metal band ever! You should check them! Really worth stuff! Also the first AMEN CORNER and MURDER RAPE albums... old MYSTIFIER, that you probably already know... The "classical" bands SARCÓFAGO, SEPULTURA, EXPULSER, VULCANO, DORSAL ATLÂNTICA, ATTOMICA, KORZUS, SEXTRASH... Well, there are tons of bands...
14. What kind of music do you listen to, in general?
Mantus : All kind of music! I'm very eclectic... But generally heavy metal, specially Black, Death and Thrash Metal. I'm also listening MPB, Classical, Progressive, Fusion and Hard Rock music...
15. I know this is a personal question but would you like to tell me what do you do in life apart from music?
Mantus : I live for METAL! I'm graphic designer and cover artist! I work as in house designer for the biggest Norwegian metal label Indie Recordings and also as freelancer for many others! I already did artwork for bands like OBITUARY, DIMMU BORGIR, VADER, BORKNAGAR, KEEP OF KALESSIN, BELPHEGOR, DARK FUNERAL + tons of others... and labels like Nuclear Blast, Napalm Rec, Century Media, Regain Rec, etc...
16. If I’m not wrong, you express some antichristian views in your lyrics. What is your opinion about religion? Does the fucking clergy have much power in manipulating people as they have here in Greece?
Mantus : You're totally right! Actually we have a strong antichristian view on our lyrics and a real opposition feeling against all kind of religions, not only christianity. Religion and politics are the scum of the world that should never exist! God has failure and money talks! We're over this and more interested to the pagan and spiritual madness!!! Regarding the clergy in Brazil, I should say YES, but actually it's more like a PLAGUE and not exactly something so powerful that can stop us! There are worst places than here I'm sure!
17. Tell me about your near future plans about live gigs or albums.
Mantus : As I said, we're still rehearsing and preparing a good set-list for future shows that might happen only in 2012. There are no many plans about that yet... But there's already an invitation to play in Rio de Janeiro and also here in our state Rio Grande do Sul. Nothing 100% concrete anyway!
18. Thanks a lot for the interview. Do you want to add anything for conclusion?
Mantus : Thank you for the space, interest and support given to PATRIA! Hope your readers enjoy the new album and if they do, feel free to order here: drakkar666.com