today I am very honored to present to you this awesome interview to the war metal band par excellence Holocausto, a true kult from Brazil. This interview is here because I contacted them through the evergreen FaceBook, and their guitarist Valerio Exterminator, a very nice and likeable person, replied already to my request. But, behind all this, there is a funny story: in fact, before I received the long answers that you will read soon, Valerio confounded the interviews done by some 'zines, so he sent to me the one by a Clandestine 'zine while it looks that this one received the interview by me under the name Timpani allo Spiedo! Fortunately, after this funny mess, everything's worked out and here you are an interview focused mainly on the past of this influential band with some news about their recent and new efforts (for example, do you know that they are recording a new full-lenght album now?). So, don't still waste your time and read what Holocausto said on this interview, from their very early days from their recent gigs with Nunslaughter and Blasphemy!!!
Hail! How you doing? When and why did you found Holocausto? Who was the inventor of this moniker? I think that a moniker of this kind gave a lot of impact back then, right? And did you play in another bands before Holocausto?
EXTERMINATOR: At the end of 1984 I met Rodrigo (Führer, the singer of Holocausto. - ed.) and we were rockers with the same desire to put together a Metal band. We were together at the 1st Rock In Rio Festival and when we got back we were determined to set up the band. The band would be called Asmodeu. When we went to Sepultura's first show, Rodrigo and I decided it was that metal style that we wanted to play. So we started to looking for the new components that also wanted to play in the style of Sepultura.
I've never played in another band.
FÜHRER: In 1984 we rehearsed the name of Asmodeu, the name of a demon and we had some songs ready with this theme. Already in 1985 we were influenced by the Finnish Crust punk bands and also by the Punk/HC scene of São Paulo, so we incorporated elements directed to the subject of the horrors of the wars. At that moment Igor Cavalera, drummer of Sepultura, gave the idea of the name Holocausto, a very strong name and cursed until today.
Also I've never played in another band.
In your early days, you were known for your strong Nazi imagine. But what was your real purpose behind this controversial imagine? I know that, just for this, you were very criticized a lot by many people back then.
EXTERMINATOR: Rodrigo Führer was a War fanatic, so we decided that this would be our theme. Consequently, in “Warfare Noise” we already used this theme while in “Campo de Exterminio” we added the issue of Nazism. The proposal has always been to report the atrocities caused by humanity.
Of course, because of the lack of contacts with the members, since there was no internet, most who only saw our look with the swastikas, the name of the band, lyrics, title of the disc, finally would say that we were Nazis. I understand this thought from others, but the Belo Horizonte's friendly bands always knew that it was the way by us to show our kind of aggressiveness, so we had a swastika look, lyrics about Nazism and wars but without apology to Nazism or terrorism.
Curiously, you weren’t the only band in Brazil to sing about Nazi themes because there were also bands like Exterminator or even the very first Sepultura. But why was Nazism so fashioned among the ‘80s Brazilian bands? Don’t you think that Nazism was used also to exorcise, in some ways, the military dictatorship lived by your country from the ‘60s to the early ‘80s?
GUERRILHEIRO: Yes, the answer is this. As we lived in a military regime we shown a theme like Nazism that would be an affront but at the same time also a memory of how history could be repeated, this everywhere in the world. But talking about Nazism was no more than a theme at the time because we could talk also about communism.
At a certain point of the ‘80s, Brazil was invaded by an endless legion of extreme bands. In your opinion, what are the reasons behind this metal explosion in Brazil, a country surely not so famous before for the rock music?EXTERMINATOR: I believe that some regions of the country have stood out in this overwhelming emergence of extreme bands, due to that teenage dream of having a Rock band, and certainly Rock In Rio.
But the lack of quality equipment, lack of technique to play a traditional Heavy Metal, plus the influences that came from outside, type Venom, Slayer, Hellhammer, Possessed, etc… pushed the musicians to direct their efforts to play the extreme metal style.
As soon as Sepultura recorded the split with Overdose, everyone noticed that the doors of hell were opened for the extreme metal, as there was public and without forgetting also the great support of the label Cogumelo Records. Then came “Warfare Noise”, that consolidated definitely the emergence of the extreme metal bands.
So in several parts of Brazil, many bands emerged playing in this style.
How was your city, Belo Horizonte, back then? What did people think about you metalheads? Was the metal scene strong in your town?NUCLEAR SOLDIER: The city of Belo Horizonte has always been very quiet and the miner is always hospitable, but at that time the city had an even more religious influence, and those who were not of the crowd who enjoyed the sound of Metal had had very little contact with Metal, only through the images on the television of Rock in Rio I, so most of the people did not understand very well our people with very long hair, black band shirts, torn pants and sneakers, basketball type only talking about extreme metal, collecting records and playing in underground bands. In fact the people who were not metal were really horrified by it, like "these guys are lost". Today, after about six Rock In Rio televised, the things are improved a bit. The scene of the extreme metal at that time was very strong. The guys of the gang met every day.
How many gigs you played usually in a month? Were there many places where you can played? Who were the bands that divided the stage with you? Do you remember your first gig?EXTERMINATOR: The first show was in 1985 with Freax, a deathcore band from Belo Horizonte. I'm not sure, but we probably did a maximum of 3 shows in 2 months. It is always good to remember that the contacts were made via letter in the mail, so the delay in negotiation didn't allow so many shows.
Besides, in the 80's, the trips were by bus, and everyone was studying, so it was a show on Saturday and back to Belo Horizonte.
We divided the stage with Freax, Deth (BH), Sarcófago, Mutilator, Chakal, Cruelty (DF), Attomica, Psycho Possessor, Nervo Chaos, Torture Squad, Nunslaughter, Kataklisma, Anal Vomit, Death Yell, Ratos de Porão, Blasphemy, Sabbat , Impurity, Goatpenis, Gore, Kamikaze, Sepulchral Voice, Witchhammer, Komando Kaos, Colt45, Sflexia, Necrobiotic, Em Ruínas, Drowned, Metalucifer, Savant, Monstrah, Violator, Devastation (GO), Vulcano, MX, Death Slam, Terror Revolucionário, Bode Preto, etc...
How were the recordings of “Campo de Exterminio”? How were the reactions about this album after its release?
NUCLEAR SOLDIER: The members of Holocausto have been and are very professional. At the time the band was very well rehearsed. In fact, we rehearsed about 2 to 3 hours daily, so the recording flowed very well and fast, and, in addition, the staff of the studio João Guimarães of Belo Horizonte - MG was also very professional. Thus was generated this album with the classic formation of Holocausto. The reactions on this album surpassed our expectations, the band got more respect in the technical analysis of the musicians that composed the extreme metal scene of the time. And don’t forget that the fans, until today, sing our music during the shows, they shake the heads and I love when I see in the audience they dubbed my machine gun drone techniques and mosh grooves in the songs. In this way I feel honored and respected by the people (the Portuguese word “galera” in the original text. - ed) who enjoy the extreme metal.GUERRILHEIRO: The recordings were made in a short time, if I'm not mistaken in a single week. The band was very well rehearsed and so had no problems with time. Regarding the album was very well received as soon as it came out, good reviews of the magazines of the time.
After “Campo de Exterminio”, what did you lead to abandon your original style to play in different ways, experimenting even with a commercial album like “Negatives” of 1993?FÜHRER: Album: Blocked Minds
Training: Rodrigo (drums), Anderson (bass / vocals), Renato Decapitator (former Armageddon / former Megatrash - guitars)
Style: Crossover, Metalpunk
Lines: Corrosion of Conformity, Discharge, Basement Mice, Sacrilege, Voivod
Concepts: A combination of two styles that have always influenced the band: Metal and Punk
Themes: Violence, dementia and sex.
There is only a former member of the band. Rossio (ex - Sepulchral Voice - vocals), Rodrigo (drums), Renato Decapitator (guitar)
Style: Technical Thrash, Prog Core
Lines: Voivod, Violence, Spermbirds, Cro-Mags
Concepts: Incorporation of new, more technical and fast styles
Tags: Serial Killers, Crimes, Sci-fi
Album: Tozago as Deismno
Training: Rodrigo (drums), João (bass), Rossano (vocals), Rodrigo Lobão (ex Aamonhammer, ex-Insulter, guitars)
Style: Avant Gard Metal, Industrial, Jazz Core
Lines: Godflesh, Ministry, Laibach
Concepts: Exploring new forms of musical expression
EXTERMINATOR: It was undoubtedly a milestone in Brazilian metal. While São Paulo released excellent compilations of heavy metal bands, Belo Horizonte came up with this destructive collection of extreme metal. Of course in these days, you make a critique of the recordings, but it would be a great cowardice not to understand the context of the time:
The “Warfare Noise Vol. 1” has been a
fundamental part for the Brazilian extreme metal, also because it contains even
the mighty Sarcófago. What do you think about this compilation? And what does
it mean for you?
stereo equipment, lack of knowledge of recording technicians about the sound of these bands, the scarce time to record the songs, the recording features because they used roll tape.
But what was recorded was the aggressiveness of the bands, that can’t be ignored. An authentic sound of each band, already presenting to the world its musical proposal.
What do you think about the so-called “War Metal”, that is the “genre” founded by you along with bands like the same Sarcófago and Blasphemy? Are there some modern war metal bands that you like?EXTERMINATOR: I do not remember that Sarcófago used the genre War Metal, only Holocausto and At War in 1986 used that term.
Today I am keen on GOATPENIS and JUSTABELI (SP).
If I say correctly, every album by you were released for Cogumelo Records. Do you want to tell us something about this seminal label? It was born as a rock store located in Belo Horizonte in 1980, right? Was it a store with a lot of stuff?NUCLEAR SOLDIER: Cogumelo Records was the only record company that believed in the extreme metal bands of Minas Gerais that existed at the time, such as Sepultura, Overdose and all the extreme metal bands that I played, (Sarcófago, Holocausto and Mutilator), besides the Chakal band, when nobody but us band members and half a dozen fans believed in our work. Particularly I am and I will be very grateful for the opportunity given by the great music impresario Mr. João Eduardo and his wife Patti. Cogumelo Discos e Fitas was the record store, most notable in the metal miner scene in the 1980s. Ninety percent of the movement's people of the time attended this store in downtown Belo Horizonte-MG. It was compared with the Woodstock of São Paulo, which I had frequented before moving from São Paulo to Minas Gerais. I always went and all the people of the movement were treated with much respect and consideration by Mr. João Eduardo and his wife Patti. The store was and is wonderful, there are always and there were albums of the underground extreme metal, videos of imported shows, t-shirts of the bands, patches, buttons, everything of the highest quality, for extreme metal fans and rock fans in general. I recommend the Cogumelo Records and the Cogumelo store.
Why did you release “War Metal Massacre” not for Cogumelo but for Nuclear War Now! Prod?EXTERMINATOR: We took the invitation from Nuclear War Now! Prod for the festival of the same name in Berlin and we negotiated with this label for the album “War Metal Massacre”. This album was planned exclusively for this label, and for this festival. At that time we were in the 2nd pre-production of the album “Diário de Guerra”.
The cover artwork of “War Metal Massacre” seems to me a kind of continuation of the inhuman and brutal atmospheres of the one of “Campo de Exterminio”. Is it a right impression?GUERRILHEIRO: It was a rescue of the essence of the band, its true style, so you can wait for the next album to be in this totally brutal style.
What are the precise reasons behind your decision to re-record, for your new EP, 3 old songs of your book, even “Massacre” taken from your very first demo? I realized also that there are some differences between the original and the new versions of these tracks. For example, in “Escarro Napalm” there isn’t the guitar solo present in its original version. Why?EXTERMINATOR: The idea was definitely to make a sound with the identity of Holocausto. Brutal War Metal, and for that nothing better than to be inspired by our 3 first songs (“Massacre”, “Destruição Nuclear” and “Escarro Napalm”). As soon as we played them again in rehearsals, we created the 3 new ones (“Eu Sou a Guerra”, “Corpo Seco”/Mão Morta”, and “War Metal Massacre”) as if we were recording a “Warfare Noise I part B”.
As for the presence of the guitar solo in "Escarro Napalm", I do not even like to play solos, every solo comes out in a way, because I do not use scales, it is 100% improvisation. So at no point I don't remember, whether we talked about having or not having solos, we simply did as in the essay, that it was without no solo.
Why do you prefer to sing in your native tongue?FÜHRER: it refers to the beginnings of the band and the way of singing in Portuguese was developed naturally.
The incredible thing is that your new songs (like the same titletrack) seems really to be written by the early Holocausto. Was it difficult to recreate, after many years, a sound with the same hateful and raw spirit of your first days?EXTERMINATOR: As I answered above, we started by rehearsing the first 3 songs, and then it was like a natural sequence to create the other 3. There was no difficulty, even because it was exactly the original formation of the band that was present.
If I say right, the first Brazilian heavy metal record was released in 1982, and that was the debut album of Stress. What do you think about them? In according to them, they are one of the very first real thrash metal bands that anticipated even Slayer and Metallica. Are you agreed with this opinion by Stress?EXTERMINATOR: 100% certain. It was the first band in the world that used elements of thrash metal in media registration. The 1st Stress album for me will always be the best album of this style released in Brazil. I remember our friend Rony Studios had this vinyl, and he lent us to record.
Today, the South American extreme metal is very known for its sound so incredibly violent and ferocious. So, in your opinion, what are the origins of this ultra-violent rage by the South American bands?EXTERMINATOR: I think the best way to protest is through art. So, the poverty present in South American countries in the 1980s, and the dictatorship of large parts of these countries, encouraged young people to use this peculiar aggressive form of South American extreme metal.
Around here when you are born, you soon get a ball, so with almost daily practice, you develop talent, or enhance innate talent. Outside I think one of the first gifts is a guitar, so they do the same, they improve the talent.
The bands that originated in the 80's, much of it stood out with extreme metal, so the legacy for the next generations was well directed.
What’s about your recent gigs? I know that, a month ago, you divided the stage also with the legendary US death metal maniacs Nunslaughter. How did this gig go?EXTERMINATOR: It was excellent. So also with the Blasphemy folks, who are really cool, communicative, and the same goes to the Nunslaughter folks. We talked a lot in the dressing room, we drank, we took pictures, they were very sociable and funny. Excellent band with excellent musicians.
Future projects for Holocausto? When will be ready a new album?
GUERRILHEIRO: This new album (Diário de Guerra. - ed.) was already well advanced, it only needed to record 3 more songs, as there was a change in the band the idea now is to re-record the new songs, still without official release day, but we hope to publish it in 2018.Last message for the avid readers of Timpani allo Spiedo ‘zine? Say what you want and thank you for responding to my questions!
EXTERMINATOR: Flavio, first of all, Holocausto apologizes for the delay in the answers. It has been months of accumulation of professional tasks for each one, so we are sorry for the delay.
We greatly appreciate this opportunity to speak about the band on TIMPANI ALLO SPIEDO 'ZINE.
We are very happy with the achievements of 2017.
And now we are happier with the return of our drummer Armandinho Nuclear Soldier (ex Leprous / Sarcófago and ex Mutilator).
The rescue of Nuclear Soldier happened at the exact moment, because his return to the stages were in November, and therefore was the celebration show of the 30 years of “Campo de Exterminio” along with bands of the level of Blasphemy, Goatpenis and Sexthrash.
Still in December we will give another show also in our city, and this time with a very intense emotional aspect because we will play in the same street where we rehearsed with this classic line-up. In this street, in the house of Rodrigo Führer, we created the entire “Campo de Exterminio” and 30 years later we will play a few meters from this old rehearsal room, but it will be the last show on the spot (Molduraria Bonfim), considering that the property will be handed over to the owner.
Next year we will do the 3rd and last pre-production for the “Diário de Guerra” album. Expect even more war metal arrangements and an album well played in the best Holocausto’s style.
We left our embraces to the readers of TIMPANI ALLO SPIEDO 'ZINE and we wish you HAPPY METAL!!!