Metal needs more women: that’s just a fact. But it’s also true that a good band is a good band, regardless of gender. Brazil’s Mortarium is, most importantly, a good band and the fact that they are recording their debut album is a cause for celebration. ZT catches up with the trio from Rio to discuss past, present and future…
ZT: How did Mortarium first get together
Tainá Domingues [guitar/harsh vocals] – I can’t remember the first meeting, because in the beginning we weren’t so focussed on rehearsing to play, but rehearsing just to see what was going to happen. I can remember the first rehearsal with the present line-up, which was full of expectations, it was very great because it got to be exactly what we wanted.
Vivi Alves [bass/vocals] – The first one I don’t know, because I wasn’t in the band yet, but my first meeting with them was a very informal get together when the band was looking for a bass player, in 2011 (if I’m not wrong).
Julie Sousa [drums] – To be honest I can’t remember, but we didn’t have great expectations. Tainá has summed it up quite well (laughs).
ZT: When did you all first become interested in doom metal?
Tainá -Actually, in the beginning we titled ourselves gothic metal, but the public started saying we were a doom metal band. We knew only a few bands in the doom style, only the “grandpas”, such as Candlemass, Black Sabbath and such. Julie recorded a CD full of several bands, I can’t forget it because I loved that.
ZT: Who or what would you say are the biggest influences on the band?
Tainá – Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Anathema, November Doom and others.
Vivi – My Dying Bride
Julie – We all have our own particular references, but as a band I believe My Dying Bride is our main one.
ZT: Do you all listen to other kinds of music as well as metal?
Tainá – I think it’s important to listen to a bit of everything, even to know what every kind of music is. Music is an art and to appreciate other artists and styles is also part of inspiration process.
Vivi – Yeah, I listen to other kinds, mainly the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
Julie – I listen to a bit of everything. I’m open minded to new experiences in music.
ZT: Did you always intend to be an all-female band?
Tainá – Not in the beginning, it was very natural. Nowadays, we can’t imagine another line-up.
ZT: I know you have had a few lineup changes, but you seem to work very well as a trio, do you intend to stay that way now?
Tainá – Yes, for sure. The harmony between us is excellent and we are fine the way we are.
ZT: Do you think the fact you are an all girl band has helped your career so far or has it made it harder to be taken seriously by people in the music industry/metal scene? (not that it should, but unfortunately it’s still a relevant question to ask in 2015)
Tainá – I think so, but it wasn’t the main thing.
Julie – In the beginning we faced many difficulties just because we are a female band. It has given us more strength to keep on playing.
ZT: Do you think people compare you to other female bands rather than to other doom/death bands?
Vivi – Yes, people do compare us, but many times they have said our sound is ‘peculiar’ and it is hard to compare it to another band’s sound.
ZT: There was a long break after your first release, the Awakening of the Spirit (2012), was the band busy in the time since then?
Vivi – After this release we had an intense period, very full. Shortly after that, we had a brief pause to put out a new release, which was “My Distress” together with the video. Now, we are getting ready for a greater release, our debut album.
ZT: Will the songs on the album you are recording be similar in style to that first single?
Tainá – Actually, Mortarium isn’t very fond of following standards, but I believe the songs will be different because the single was almost from a different band.
Vivi – The only thing I can say about it is that doom will always be present in our songs, but the elements can change at some point. We are quite free about composing.
ZT: There are some great live clips on your YouTube channel, do you get the chance to play shows often?
Tainá – Yes, but in 2015 we have given special attention to the recording process. The public who follow us will be surprised!
ZT: Brazil is well known for its metal scene, but probably less for doom metal than other kinds, is it easy for a doom/death band to get noticed?
Tainá – No, definitely not!
Vivi – No, we need to work very hard to get that.
Julie – The most reasonable way to get noticed is to take things seriously, fully and to work honestly with ourselves and with the ones who follow us and to stay focussed.
ZT: Have you had the opportunity to play outside of Brazil yet?
Tainá – There was an invitation to play near here in Latin America, but for now we are focused on finishing our debut album.
ZT: What is your ultimate ambition for Mortarium?
Tainá – Right now, to record the album.
Julie – To play in different places, different countries.
ZT: When will the album be released? Do you have labels interested?
Vivi – We are hoping to release the album this year. We haven’t received any proposals from labels yet.
Julie – I’d like to take this question to say we are waiting for a label proposal. (laughs)
ZT: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans in the UK?
Tainá – Thank you for this opportunity. Thanks to our British public, thanks for reading this and enjoying our music and for this interview with us. Thank you very much. Muito obrigada de verdade!