One of the most respected Brazilian bands in the world returns with a new album, after the interesting "Eye In Hell" from a few years ago, this "Stone Orange" maintains the elements that are part of the essence of Vulcano, but with a better address. Vulcano are currently Zhema Rodero on guitar, Carlos Diaz on bass, Luiz Carlos Louzada on vocals, Gerson Fajardo on guitar, and Bruno Conrado on drums. The album was produced by Zhema and Marco Mastrobuono. This new album has some drawbacks such as the number of songs, but in general the band has achieved a good handful of songs that will make you review the past of these Brazilians if you never knew about them, and that the old connoisseurs will leave satisfied. Due to this Vulcano agreed to an interview with Zhema Rodero to talk about this new release, the band's plans and other topics.
Lee la entrevista en castellano aquí: Entrevista a Vulcano (Zhema Rodero)
Metallerium: Welcome to Metallerium website. First of all we want to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions about the band, the new album “Stone Orange” and other things related to the music. Before we begin. How are you? How has the band been during these complicated times?
Vulcano: I thank you for opportunity to put some words about Vulcano and its new album "Stone Orange". During those two years under the pandemic, we were obligated to keep far from stages, not because we want, but because the situation everywhere so forced everyone. During those days I had time to spent with my family and write "Stone Orange" album.
Metallerium: Can you tell us when you decide to compose and record this new album? Also, how was the process of composing and recording this record during the pandemic?
Vulcano: Vulcano did its last live gig in Barcelona in 7th of December 2019. When we arrived in Brazil obscure times starts to happen and a lot of gigs and festivals were canceled. So, I started to write some songs and I kept in contact with "Mighty Music" telling them about it and I received green light for a new album. They had intented release it in october of 2021, then I started to work with a deadline for 15th of May, and I got it!
So, I can to say that album was produce in five months.
I usually write my songs starting from riffs that I have created and kept in my folder. I listen to them and hope that my intuition draws on the main ones and those that go hand in hand. On the other hand, I also have a drawer with lots of written phrases in which I also go to get them and then I create the rest of the song. After the song is complete, I write it on "Guitar Pro" and show it to the drummer and together we think about how the arrangements should be, and then send it to the others. We recorded the drums in a single session, and in diferent days, the guitars and finally the bass and vocals. we don't all meet together at the same time; we communicate a lot using movies and whatsapp.
Metallerium: You are pioneers in the Metal scene and Xtreme Metal scene not only in your country. How are you feeling about this release in comparison to your early records?
Vulcano: They are totally different situations and conditions, we can say that even the songs are not close to each other. It's been 36 years since "Bloody Vengeance" so it's impossible to reproduce what happened at the beginning. These days only I keep that fingerprint of the band there at the beginning. Still, it is necessary to consider that there was a radical change between the resources and knowledge available at the time and those of today. So these are situations that are difficult to compare
Metallerium: What can Vulcano fans expect in terms of lyrics and sound from “Stone Orange” in comparison with the previous record?
Vulcano: Concerning the lyrics and themes I think "Stone Orange" kept the same found in the last albums where we always reserve a part to approach alchemical and hermetic themes and another to put lyrics that immediately identify the band with the headbangers. Regarding the songs and their arrangements, I believe that in this album we are delivering in some songs an atmosphere closer to the beginning of the 80s. Well, I think.
Metallerium: About the song “Vulcano Will Live Forever”, I read that it is a cover. Can you tell us a little bit about this song? How did you come up with the idea of recording this version?
Vulcano: I won a demo tape "The Most Hauted Cemetery Songs"." by Cadaverise in 2015 and I was able to listen to the song “Vulcano Will Live Forever” there, I thought it was an excellent song, lyrics and also an honorable tribute. For many years I kept this song with the intention of recording it one day in the future. So on this album this opportunity came and I got in touch with the guys from Cadaverise and I told him about my will to make a new arrangement for that song and record it and they authorized me. It's an excellent song! .
Metallerium: What are your plans after releasing the album? How is the situation in your country for the music industry? Are there chances for touring?
Vulcano: This is a great question. I really don't know what to do in these days. The gigs and live performances were they're scarce around here and we don't have any offers to tour in Europe so I can't say anything about the next few months of this year. I don't really have plans, sorry!
Metallerium: You have been active for more than 40 years. Obviously, you have seen a lot of changes in the Metal scene. Which was the most difficult period to have a band in your experience? The 80s, 90s, during the pandemic?
Vulcano: 90s were the worst years for Vulcano and because of that the band was inactive. It was a time when all bands here in Brazil wanted to sounds like Metallica and Pantera, so had a standardization of the bands and Vulcano didn't fit into that.
Metallerium: In addition, do you prefer the 80s Metal scene or the current one?
Vulcano: Sure enough, the 80's scene!
Metallerium: Now going back to the 80s when you began as a band, it is amazing what you achieved in such a difficult period, I mean you could record albums when few Metal bands could do it! You could even record a live album which is a true classic! This could have been the beginning of a big Metal scene, not only in Brazil but why not in the whole South America. But after 40 years, of course we have big bands or big names in the region but on the other side we can see that iconic big festivals and huge labels are on the other side of the world. What is your perspective about the Metal scene in your country and South America? Why do you think we could not grow up as much as other Metal scenes around the world?
Vulcano: I believe there was an abrupt transformation in the second period of the 90's here in the Brazilian scene, the Underground scene could not survive the infestation of Foreign Bands from the Mainstream that brought along a new type of fan that gave more importance to foreigners, and this legion left from being a fan to being a band musician also, then created chaos where there were more metal musicians in the audience than fans and this fact weakened the scene. In this way, the Brazilian scene was losing strength to the American and European scene, Brazilian record companies and producers stopped investing in bands and things went to "fade out".
Metallerium: By the way do you still have time to listen to some new bands? How do you see the Metal scene nowadays?
Vulcano: I'm sorry but I've been listening to few new bands because I have the impression that I've heard that before and so it takes a new band that catches my attention a lot, for me to put it on my playlist. I see the current scene as a very difficult scene for new bands because everything has been done before and there's nothing left to build on, it's a shame. I have a theme on this new album that addresses that.
Metallerium: Also, when we do a quick search on digital platforms like YouTube, we can find many bands that have done versions of your songs. Have you had the chance to check some of these tributes? How do you feel about being so influential after many years?
Vulcano: Certainly! I listen to all the versions that make of Vulcano and I like of them all. On our official website there is a page only with links to almost all these versions and also in the past we were honored with a tribute album with more than 20 bands performing our songs. A pride when that happens
Metallerium: Now the technology allows us to work at home, even musicians can record an album without going to a studio nowadays. You can release a song and thousands of people from all around the world can listen to your music. Considering this. What is your idea about the word “underground”? Do you think we can still use this expression even if thousands of people from all around the world can listen to most of these underground bands?
Vulcano: The word "Underground" for me, nowadays, no longer refers to its essence, even because you said it yourself, Metal music is no longer restricted to a group with defined borders, so when I refer to Underground I'm doing the same way I use the adjectives "Psychedelic Hard Rock", "Progressive Rock", "Southern Rock", "Traditional Heavy Metal", etc. Underground has become an adjective to define a kind of "Attitude and Metal Music"
Metallerium: Before we finish. I always remember your show in Lima, Perú in 2014 if I am not wrong. It was a great show! What are your memories of that show? How can you keep your energy on the stage after so many years?
Vulcano I also remember that gig! The venue was crowded and the merchandise sold out almost immediately. It was the first and only time that the Vulcano was in Peru. It's been almost eight years and maybe I don't respond as much, but the Band has the same energy that night. I remember there was a guy who traveled 27 hours to see Vulcano and gave me two bottles of Pisco, saying it was the best in the country.
Metallerium: Again, thanks a lot for your time and congratulations on the new album! We wish you all the best! Anything you want to say to your fans in Latin America?
Vulcano: I thank you for kindly giving this opportunity to interview and I also thank the readers who had the patience to get here. All the best for you all, too. Look for us on Bandcamp!