Interview by Carlos Garcia
Brazilian SPLEENFUL was formed in 2012, in the city of Porto Alegre, with the proposal of making a differentiated Metal and without being tied to labels.
With influences that go through Gothic and Dark Metal, Black, Death and even Prog Metal and Djent. Obscure symphonies from the perspective of damned poetry, the occult and horror tales are also elements that constitute the musical universe created by Spleenful.
After EPs, singles and videos that got a very good response from audiences and critics, as well as several shows, including as a support act for names like Moonspell and Therion, the band went through a period of reformulation and now in 2021, with a new line-up, is producing their first full-length, probably one of the most anticipated debuts in the Brazilian Metal scene.
Certainly a long-awaited debut by those who follow the band, and that will open new doors for this original and great band from the south of the country, which always reveals important names in the Brazilian Metal scene.
We spoke with the band to know more about this important step, which is the production of their first album, the progress of production and some of the short and medium term plans. Check out!
Well, there’s a phrase it sayd that everything has the right time to happen, so finally it’s time for Spleenful to release your full-lenght? In addition to the experience gained over the years, what other factors would you place as fundamental for the realization of this debut?
Bia Giovanella: In my opinion, as a co-founder of the band, I believe that the key was to find people who had the same ideas as us, it’s difficult to have people who think alike in a band or even in a family, it’s impossible, but in Spleenful that happened. Even though we sometimes had disagreements, we entered into a consensus and this greatly strengthened Spleenful in what it is today.
Elias: We believe that there is a right time and a right time for things to happen, but mainly with planning, hard work and with everyone with the same purpose.
Tell us how the activities were in the last year, without concerts because the pandemic, and if you took the opportunity to create or develop compositions that will make the debut.
Drax: Absolutely, the home office and isolation contributed positively in that regard.
We managed to do a good creative immersion and work on good material that you’ll check out as soon as it comes out. In the last month before the start of drum recordings, Elias and I did weekly guitar and drum rehearsals, to finalize the drum lines, working out the details to get as ready as possible at the time of the official recording.
And how has the way of writing in the band been working?
Elias: The compositions for this album were made by me and Tiago Alano (vocals), but everyone can collaborate both with compositions and arrangements. Everything is written in sheet music first, before the pre-recorded.
We have two musicians with academic background, Bia and Draxl, but all members master the theoretical part, which makes the whole process much easier. We don’t stick to concepts, we always try to get away from the common, not following existing clichés in Metal.
Bia Giovanella: The way of writing in the band has evolved a lot, in the past Tiago created the songs, I added my vocals and the rest of the band followed the score, today it’s different, the band became more united from the moment we have a idea and we evolved from it, writing the songs using programs like guitar pro and musescore helped a lot.
Will the album only include new songs or will we have new versions of the EP tracks and singles?
Drax: Only new songs, one or the other not so new. There’s “Noir” which is a track that has even been played in concerts, but as it wasn’t officially recorded, we made a new arrangement and it will be on the new album.
The new songs are very good, we have great expectations for the release of this material, it was all done with great care and passion for the music, each one adding a little of their knowhow.
Spleenful emerged with the intention of making Metal without being tied to a specific label, and the band’s EP and singles show this diversity, with a sound that transits through elements of Dark, Gothic, Death and Symphonic. And the current compositions? Could you describe a little bit of what listeners can expect?
Elias: That was the factor that made me join Spleenful six years ago, not being stuck with labels. And this is maintained with the entry of Draxl on drums and Lucas on bass. The new compositions will have elements of Industrial and even Djent, very technical, keeping brutality and melody.
Bia: Each one adds your own musical characteristics, whether me, mixing lyrical with belting, Elias joining technical death metal with dark, Drax joining progressive metal. As a musician I see that compositions are on another level, as each one of us has added a little bit of ourselves to them.
What are currently the strongest influences that make up the band’s sound?
Drax: Absolutely, Scepticflesh and Gojira, the folks who compose the melodies are heavily influenced by Devin Townsend.
And you Bia, as a musician and composer, as well as a co-founder of the band, in this current phase, what would you highlight about the new elements and techniques that you used in the new compositions?
Bia Giovanella: One part that’s been challenging for me is that I took over the keys, cas i have a degree in music, my background is popular piano, but i have never played metal and it has been a super cool experience, i am learning and also adding details of popular music to the songs, as we are brazilians why not add parts of bossa nova? It’s an influence from most of the band, so there will be new things on our album, but we’ll keep doing the dark metal we’ve always done, but with a new face.
What about the lyrical part? What themes will the band address? Did these almost chaotic times bring any kind of inspiration?
Elias: The new songs still address themes like the occult and horror literature as before, but this time they have a much more personal approach and open to interpretation. Tiago who writes the lyrics and he has inserted themes such as psychoanalysis, astronomy and politics in a very metaphorical way.
For example, we have a new song called “Zeitgeist” which is our way of expressing a protest against the devaluation of art and culture in these dark times in which we live.
Thanks for the interview, there is space for your closing remarks, and we’ll keep an eye out for updates on the album, hope it’s available soon and we’re also in better times!
Bia: Spleenful has a new face, I believe that whoever listens to the new album will experience something different from what we had already done. We’re happy with the results we’re building and excited to show Spleenful’s sound to headbangers all over the world.
Tiago Alano: Vocals
Bia Giovanella: Vocals and keyboards
Elias Mendes: Guitars
Drax the Ax: Drums
Lucas Ollé: Bass
“Winter Solstice Dream” video:
More information at https://m.facebook.com/spleenfulband