Process Of Guilt interview (01/2010)
|Conducted by:||BitterCOld (e-mail)|
Process Of Guilt
Do you have any big plans for the new year?
As far as our musical duties go we'll keep writing new music, play wherever we can and hopefully record something new along 2010. We just hope to develop our activities in a more stable way while searching for a true sense of expression throughout music.
How was 2009 for the Guilty? Touring wise, what were some high points for you in the last year? Any particularly amusing stories you can share?
Looking back to it now, 2009 was definitely a busy year for us. Not only did we release our latest full length Erosion we also made some items from our back catalog available again and released a 10'' split with Caïna that kept us a little bit busy in early 2009.
From a more personal approach we believe this was also the year when we came closer to our envisioned musical concept, as we're definitely more comfortable with Erosion than anything else we've released in the past.
While supporting Erosion we played a fair amount of gigs over Portugal and got the chance to play abroad for the first time in some great festivals, like Madrid is The Dark or Dutch Doom Days. We enjoyed every gig we attended this year and, perhaps as a consequence, the reactions after those shows are still among the best I can recall since the very first beginning. We committed ourselves truly to these performances and spent awesome times both while playing and partying afterwards, so perhaps the best amusing stories are now a little bit blurred in our minds...
Erosion certainly looks to have been well received - at the time of my writing this, it currently holds the #1 spot on Metalstorm's 2009 release Top 10 based on user ratings. Considering some of the fantastic doom released this year, as well as the good stuff released in other metal subgenres, I imagine that is rewarding to hear (well, read).
It's always rewarding having such nice feedback and of course were happy with that as, at least, it's an additional way of supporting our music. Based only on the 2009 reactions, Erosion is by far our most well received work. Since its release there's been a continuous interest and demand, exceeding anything we had released prior to it. But being an underground band in a small and peripheral European country draw us back into the ground and to our everyday routine. This way we try to focus ourselves mainly in what makes us fulfilled both as musicians and listeners as most of the times its hard to 'translate' the positive feedback into better conditions for live performances or even for releasing new music.
It seems like a continuation, yet refinement, of the path taken on your prior releases. Personally, I like the intensity of it, but the inclusion of some post-metal influences add an extra layer of complexity to it that really hooked me in.
While writing "Erosion" we tried to develop a real balance between our previous work and our actual tastes and aims. We listen to so much music nowadays that it's hard for us to detect one major influence on Erosionin comparison with our earlier times, when there was a more recognizable edge to it. I believe the post metal term came out mainly to suppress the lack of categorization for some bands who were mixing different approaches and styles, ambiances and crescendos within their own music, while trying to innovate without losing the extreme tag. In the end, perhaps there are some similarities between our approach and the one included by that tag.
Nevertheless we don't waste a lot of our time thinking about it. We just play what feels right to play and within our concept of what our music should be.
What are your thoughts on the album - the overall concept, the process of crafting it, and the response you've heard from fans?
This time around we tried to focus ourselves in the creation of a real album instead of a collection of tracks. Even now I can recall this concise moment in time when around 80% of Erosion was written, right before the recording sessions. We just played some riffs until we felt they sounded 'right' and tight, 'hitting' something in us.
Afterward it was mainly a conscious decision of join the different parts in order to establish the overall mood for the record. Looking back to this process it was definitely a refinement of our way of creating music and, at least for now, it seems far more suited to us. We tried to focus on the stronger riffs and structures with which we were really confident and satisfied, trying to obtain the right feeling throughout a somehow minimalist approach.
Who are some of your primary influences or inspirations within the doom world, outside of doom, and outside of music altogether?
Writing music is always a growing process where gradually you leave your major influences behind in a quest for finding out what's your own musical expression - unless you're a genius, of course. There are a few names that acted as major influences to us, mainly in the beginning, within a more death/doom oriented field. However, we were, and still are, committed to this process of searching for our own identity and nowadays the influences are definitely different to when we began.
Sometimes some of this influences are scavenged directly from our oldest musical backgrounds, sometimes they come from some music that just came out or even from something happening in our everyday life. In the end, it's always a hard pick as there are so many factors that influence us that we mostly try to find a sense out of what we're doing while we write or play music, regardless any influences.
Nevertheless, along this personal 'quest´ there have been different moments and therefore different influences, being difficult to quote only one or two, but perhaps inside the doom world I'll go for Khanate, Asunder, Evoken, Graves At Sea, Mindrot, Winter... and outside doom I'll state Neurosis, Godflesh, Jesu, Autopsy, Iron Monkey, Gorefest or Entombed among so many others.
How did Process Of Guilt come about in forming?
I started listening to extreme music in the early 90s but only had the time to start thinking about writing some of my own in the beginning of 2002. By that time I was still in college, met Nuno and soon we realized that we shared some common ground music-wise. I had been into extreme music for a while but never considered the option of forming a 'proper' band before so this common ground was indeed the trigger that pulled out our intentions concerning writing music.
After some reluctant attempts we started to work on a more regular basis and that's how Process of Guilt came to life, almost simultaneously with our first demo release, which was mainly a project featuring myself and Nuno. Later on, in this same period, Gonçalo (drums) and Custódio (bass) joined us, completing the line up that lead us to our second demo.
In the end, I believe it was a kind of an urge, as it comes almost through a sense of needing, and the music definitely works as a release or therapy towards our everyday routine.
Is there anything at all of a "doom scene" in Portugal?
I wouldn't call it a doom scene as I don't even know what that could be around here. There are a few bands playing within the doom field and being a small country we do hang out with guys from other bands, but apart from that I wouldn't call it a doom scene. Like in every other place there's a sort of underground scene where some bands support each other, but not within a strictly doom fashion.
Can I get your thoughts/observations of the doom scene abroad? Based upon the war stories I've heard from Marcel at Dutch Doom Days, it seems a small, tight-knit community.
As the doom 'niche' in each country is always so small perhaps its easier to find some similarities and mutual tastes abroad and that just gets inflated in doom oriented events. It's always rewarding finding some old and new friends in those occasions, sharing mutual backgrounds within music or life in general.
As someone in an "up and coming" band, what are your thoughts on the internet? Has it been a boon to the band? Does the practice of downloading albums help or hinder?
The internet is an unbelievable easy tool to get your music played in everyplace in this planet, even more if you're in a small and independent band. The internet acted almost like a blessing, making it really easy to upload every new track or video. From a personal point view, as I'm still into buying records, the internet helped a lot - you can always download and listen to the music prior to buying it. From my own experience, I believe the true music fans will always support their favorite bands and buy their records and merch.
Right now we're living in this odd period where the balance between the record industry and the internet is not reached yet, but I believe the overwhelming scope of the 'net will soon force the labels to search for alternative ways of spreading their music out.
Ok, you're stranded on the proverbial desert island. If you could only take 10 albums with you, what would you choose?
Can I take a mp3 player to the desert island? It's so difficult to pick only ten, I'm sure I'll be kicking myself as soon as I send you my answers, but I'll try.
Neurosis - Through Silver In Blood
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Katatonia - Brave Murder Day
Swans - Soundtracks for the Blind
Khanate - Khanate
Autopsy - Mental Funeral
Entombed - Clandestine
AmenRa - Mass III
The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls With Sand
Mindrot - Soul
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks a lot for your questions and support. If the readers of this interview relate to something in the above lines be sure to check us out and, if possible, attend to one of our gigs.
Thanks once again for allowing us the opportunity, have a great 2010.
MetalStorm would like to thank Hugo and Process of Guilt for taking the time to field and respond to some of our q's.
||Posted on 23.01.2010 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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