Fresh from finishing a South American tour with Entombed A.D., Graham Matthews caught up with KroW vocalist/guitarist Guilherme Miranda to find out what’s going on with the Brazilian thrashers.
Since forming in 2006 in the city of Uberlândia, deep in the Brazilian countryside, KroW have worked tirelessly to get their brand of deathly thrash out there to the world. They’ve been duly rewarded with two full-lengths and a couple of EPs released and have played tours and shows across the world, from Europe to America and all around their home continent.
It’s just over three years since their last album Traces Of The Trade was released but a two-track EP entitled Relentless Disease did appear last year. Frontman Guilherme Miranda tells ZT about that EP, the challenges being a metal band in Brazil and the country’s problems, and what’s next for the band.
ZT: Why did you decide to record and release an EP with just two songs on last year?
Guilherme Miranda (Vocals/Guitars): We did that recording just to have some fun with a great friend we have in Sweden that is Ronnie Bjornstrom. He invited us to record two songs in his studio in a day off we had after playing in Stockholm. We had tons of fun doing that and it was really a great time. When we listened to the songs they were by far one of the best things we have done. So we decided to put it out as an EP and to tour more promoting this.
And how did the writing and recording for Relentless Disease go?
Writing was as usual, we had some riffs and put them together with the band. I got the lyrics with our friend Humberto Costa, who is our ex-bass player and he always senda me insane ideas for lyrics. We’d rehearsed a bit and entered the studio to do it. The recording session was amazing, we recorded everything in 10 hours on a Monday, and we were laughing a lot. In the end I was 100% drunk and wasted, then I decided to make the vocals haha!
It was recorded in Sweden, the other side of the world where you’re from in Brazil. Why did you travel so far to record it?
Actually we were on tour, and we recorded it on a day off. We were already in Sweden, so it was nice and easy. We have a good connection with Sweden. I don’t know what happens but we enjoy a lot of the vibe they have for music. We’ve just finished touring in South America with Entombed and it was amazing.
You’ve also toured in Europe a few times. How important is having fans outside of your home country?
It’s important to have your fans inside and outside your country. I think that this cultural exchange and the things that we learned being abroad are really important for us as musicians and as people. I’ve grown up significantly getting so many influences for myself, and now I see the band much more mature and ready to go on than ever.
What is the current South American metal scene like? Do you think enough people know about bands from the region outside the continent?
Yeah people know a lot of bands from outside the continent of course. Sometimes in South America we know more bands from abroad haha. But the metal scene here is nice and strong, we have a lot of diehard fans and that is pretty insane. People really enjoy this music. With the internet and everything, people now know loads more bands, I think it´s getting the same all over the globe.
Are there more challenges you face being a metal band in Brazil than if you were based elsewhere (in Europe or the USA for example)?
Absolutely. The point is that I was born in Uberlandia, a city in the countryside of Minas Gerais state. This has influenced me a lot in an awesome way. On the other hand we were really far from everything and even to tour inside Brazil was a huge struggle. Nowadays we live in São Paulo and feel things are moving on faster, but still, the problem is that to go to certain places that are important to be, a guy in Europe or USA, he just travel a bit and gets there with expenses that are not as high as for us. We have a lot of problems inside our country, insane taxes and an economy that is always oscillating, so you never know, it’s all a big risk. To make a long story short, all the conditions when you put them together, you see that we have to work our asses off like everywhere, but with some more difficulties and struggles. But that´s the way it works and I don´t care, fuck that!
What inspired you to form KroW?
Passion. I just wanted to record some tunes to listen to and show to my close friends. Then I wanted to go on stage, and since that happened that addiction took care of my life. It’s impossible to stop, or to think that another professional activity would give me the same feeling and wrath to do what I do every day with KroW. This is my life and I stand for this.
And what influences your music and lyrics?
A lot of things. Usually the song starts with a riff that is cool and that’s it. I listen to music all time and this is inside my soul. Usually I listen to old school death and thrash metal, a lot of black metal and modern bands as well. Maybe all that fast and aggressive tunes we recorded up to now just reflects our lifestyle. Something intense, that live fast die young style sometimes…
For the lyrics it depends so much, but usually it’s about this insanely strange world that we live, everything chaotic, and the absurd things I observe in politics and politicians and how their decisions and their fucking greed and mistakes causes tons of death, violence and everything else you notice about Brazil and the world. To make a plus you have that taste of the religious intolerance and ignorance to make it all even worse. On ‘Traces of the Trade’ for example I did a parallel between the slavery times in Brazil and how this has influenced our way of thinking and the deep core of building this chaotic, violent and unequal society that we have nowadays. How all the religious and social organisation has come to what we are now. It´s a long topic to talk about lyrics, if I start talking about ‘Before the Ashes’ and ‘Relentless Disease’ in a deep sense, this interview would never end haha.
What are the next steps for the band?
This year we will tour more around South America, we just toured here with Entombed and then we will do more dates then go to the USA. Besides this we are fixing all the business and backstage part of the band to record our new album this year and release it in early 2016.