Literature, philosophy and stoner doom in Ruinas de Sade’s debut

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Here is Paulo, playing bass (Photo: Papoula Aniello)

Important note: text written by a non-native english speaker. If you find any mistake, please leave us a comment!

When I step inside the gate, I am welcomed by two very friendly dogs, which names I forgot to ask. In the second floor, Paulo Vitor Machado, bassist of brazilian stoner doom band Ruínas de Sade (“Sade’s ruins”, in english), waves at me and light one more cigarette. It’s the third pack of this week. When he was smoking the first or second, his band released it’s self-titlede debut, composed of three songs that goes around ten minutes each. Literature is there everywhere.

While we listen God is Dead, I discovered Night of the Living Dead is under public domain because of a error from the publisher of the film. “Yeah, man, I don’t know. The guy forgot to register, did it wrong or something… So we used it to our first videoclip”, he tells, very excited about graphics of the disc.

Art is done by Ars Moriendee, from Minas Gerais, well known artist for works with underground bands. “This cover summerizes what is this disc about“, says Paulo, referring to the sun, the octopus and the seamen dying. “Ars did what he wanted to, I just asked for these elements. He enjoyed so much the back cover was almost for free”.

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Art by: Ars Moriendee

And while listening to Funeralopolis I discovered that one of the reasons why he is doing doom is Electric Wizard. Every track makes references to low-tuned timbres, in the intrsumental and vocals. “People here say it’s too slow, or too heavy… And yeah, that’s it, we keep playing like that”, he tells. Ruínas de Sade is the only band making doom metal in Brusque, a little town in Santa Catarina. 

Band is composed of Paulo, of course, and Hugo Grubert (vocals), Vitor “Bob” Zen (guitars), and Carlos “Molly” (drums). In the disc, drummer was Gustavo Gamba. Besides playing togheter, they are good friends. That’s why we can’t hear them calling each other fat in a backward audio during Divindade Abissal. You thought it was something very doom, didn’t you?

In the very first time I left my room to create stuff for the blog, Paulo and I talked about production of the disc, literature, philosophy and stuff, while we were observed by the Beatles, present in the form of posters, photos, a clock, CDs…

WoY: So, to get started, talk about the recording sessions of this first album.

Paulo Vitor Machado: Our disc have hidden things… Like, some guitars recorded togheter with vocals in the studio, not separated. Depending in your player, you won’t be able to listen. We recorded everything at home, in Brusque. We invested more money in mixing and mastering. Everything was made with digital equipments, but we tried to make it sound as organic as possible.

We want to record the next one as a live session. We want to experiment stuff, if it don’t sound good, we don’t try anymore, if work, we keep doing it. An example is the semi-acoustic guitars we used in every song in our debut. There is also a Tonante, probably the worst guitar in this country. But it had Fender pickups, so we tried anyway.

WoY: How do you create new songs?

PVM: We rarely compose by jamming, almost everything is done riff by riff. We bring something and then work togheter on it, everybody writing and sharing ideas. If Victor were not in the band, it would not sound this way, and I if was not, it would be different, and so on. Like a gearwheel in a clockwork.

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After style changes, Ruínas de Sade stayed at stoner/doom metal  (Foto: João Schaefer)

WoY: How your music evolved until the style you play now?

PVM: I saw Queens of the Stone Age live in 2014 and it blowed my head. Lives are heavier than their albums. After that I started listenind Stoned Jesus, like two months stuck with their music. I wanted to take our music, more influenced by progressive rock at that time, and transform into heavier stuff. But it was pure feeling, you know? I talked with Gamba, our ex-drummer, about making it heavier… Everything flowed, we down-tuned our instruments, I bought some pedals. It happened naturaly. We never wanted to play like Sleep, Electric Wizard or any of it. The references are there, but we play as we like.

WoY: Talking about influences… I like reading Lovecraft and I believe his mythology is present in your music. Right?

PVM: Yeah, man. The singer like him a lot. He has that book with all the writings and such. Divindade Abissal is a music that have lots of Lovecraft in it. Besides that, talk about history, which Hugo (lead singer) studies in university. We came up with this concept, of literature related themes.

(Note: “Divindade Abissal” can be translated as “Abyssal Deity”)

WoY: How Hugo’s knowledge appear your compositions?

PVM: He creates the lyrics, so it is there. Some themes, like zombies, derive from pop culture, like in Funeral do Sol… Divindade Abissal talk about the explorers of XV-XVI centuries, about going into the sea, the creatures and other myths. If you look to old maps, you will see things like Krakens or dragons drawed there. In the song, that turns to be Cthulhu. He writes and show the lyrics to the band. I generally like it…

(Note: “Funeral do Sol” can be translated as “Funeral of the Sun”)

WoY: So your lyrics talk about negative stuff? Maybe pessimism?

PVM: Nah, neither negative nor pessimism. The vocalist and I follow a nietzschian philosophy, you know? Saying “yes” to life, a criticism about pessimism and nihilism. Wee see it like tragedy… Like the Greek tragedy.

WoY: What’s about Nietzsche? I don’t know much about his work.

PVM: A lot of people say Nietzsche was a pessimist. This is bullshit. In his first books he followed Schopenhauer’s pessimism and Wagner’s romance. From fourth book on, he dropped it and began to criticise these philosophies. He may have been nihilist in that short period of time, but his classic publications were not made in this period, but in the dionisiac phase. Hugo and I enjoy reading him a lot. You can even laugh. Deleuze said, if I’m not mistaken, “if you don’t laugh reading Nietzsche, you didn’t get it”.

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(Art by: sheralynnveronicaeve)
WoY: And the name “Ruínas de Sade” have relation with these ways of thinking?

PVM: Yes. It’s named after Marquis de Sade. He followed that philosophy of pleasure I mentioned before, he was not a moralist. We have other name before, though.  We played progressive rock, but with some grunge influences. We were called “Epitáfio da Lua” (Moon’s Epitaph) back these days.

WoY: Reminds of King Crimson

PVM: Yeah. Epitaph, Dark Side of the Moon… But it was casual. So, we were changing our musicality and then I said to change the name. We started to think without success… Then we came up with word “Ruins”. It’s a cool word. I watched Saló, by Pier Paolo Pasolini. He was considered the official director of Catholic Church in the 60’s, and made this movie everybody hated. It’s about fascist leaders who took teenagers to satisfy their desires. And that story is a tale by Marquis de Sade (without the fascits leaders part, of course). I look after some material from Marquis, and discovered he got all screwed up. He was crazy, did some shit, but no crimes… We would not rape or kill anybody, for instance.

WoY: The director must have suffered too.

PVM: He was marxist and homossexual in fascist Italy. He was found dead with his face perforated… I don’t know if it’s true, looks like conspiracy, but who knows? Anyway, there are leaders representing Justice, nobility, clergy and government. And then there are the cycle of manias, where they satisfied their sexual desires, the cycle of feces, where… Well, you know what, and the cycle  of blood, where they punished the youngers. 

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Pier Paolo Pasolini created some gore stuff in the 70’s (Photo: Ansa)

WoY: Almost an UDR movie.

PVM: Yup. I was watching lots of gore those times. And then, we decided by this name. Band was playing with an old formation, we played instrumental music. By this time Hugo joined. He was singing in a Black Sabbath tribute band. After that, there were other changes in the drums, and Vitor joined in the guitars.

(Note: UDR is a brazilian group that sings about scat and monkey cum among other related themes)

WoY: How these changes happened?

PVM: Our first drummer, Yuri, played at another band too. We talked because our band was starting to get serious and we didn’t want him to have to choose between one of the two groups. We were also looking for a different drumming style – he is not bad, we just need something else. Gustavo was in the guitar and decided to be the new drummer. But then there were no guitarrist. We thought of ending the band, did not even record anything. Gustavo recommended Vitor, a good friend and an awesome guitar player. That is the line-up that went to studio.

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They are the people who got to studio for recording this album (Photo: Papoula Aniello)

WoY: Closing words now. What is in your mind for the future?

PVM:  We started writing new songs in english. We also have Arabic lyrics and want to write some doom in Latin. Hugo is a historian, so he knows it. His last lyric was about Inquisition, the witches burned and that shit.

We are togheter with other bands and we want to travel through Brazil. Maybe a split come this year, a single, or a EP… Let it come naturally. We are looking for a label to release this EP, and we plan on playing in other countries next year. People, stay tuned and wait for news in July! Thanks a lot to everybody listening our music out there, and thanks for the interview.

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