Interview by Arto Lehtinen
Live pics by Vera Diniz
As always I usually tend to praise the Brazilian extreme metal bands in every article published in Metal-Rules.Com. Brazilian bands are simply great and present the rawness and brutality of what is expected from these kinds of black/death/thrash metal bands. Torture Squad have belonged to my personal fave list for a long time after getting a hold of ASYLUM OF SHADOWS and THE UNHOLY SPELL. The four piece torturers recently took a part of Wacken’s Metal Battle and of course dominated and kicked and won the whole competition. It would be about time for Torture Squad to spread their unholy brutal deathrash more and more in Europe. The band’s bassist Castor tells more about the next album and tours.
First of all Torture Squad is without any doubts a rather unknown band for most readers, therefore it would be great to have a brief history background about the band…
Well, the band was formed in São Paulo / Brazil in the early 90´s and the band’s first line up from that time was Vitor Rodrigues (Vocals), Cristiano Fuso (Guitars), Castor (Bass) and Amilcar Christófaro (Drums). So, we recorded our first demo-tape intituled “A Soul In Hell” in 1993. Soon after that, we started to make some local gigs here in our hometown São Paulo and in the year of 1995, we went to the studio to record our debut cd self-produced called “Shivering” which we just could put it out in 98.
In the following year, we sign a contract with a very small Brazilian label called Destroyer Records and released our second album “Asylum of Shadows” and then in October 2000 we made our first foreigner tour in Germany playing in small venues there with a local band from Stuttgart called Grin.
In December 2001, we released our third album “The Unholy Spell” and then, in the beginning of 2002, our former guitarist Cristiano Fusco left the band and then we invited our long time friend Mauricio Nogueira (ex-Krisiun, In Hell) to replace him.
In 2003, we released the album “Pandemonium” featuring Mauricio Nogueira in the official line-up. In October the same year, we recorded the live CD and DVD intituled “Death, Chaos and Torture Alive” which was released in 2005. We came back to Europe to play 18 gigs in Germany and Austria between March and April, 2006.
So, when the European tour ended up, we came to the studio record to work on our new album which will be named “Hellbound” and put out an EP “Chaos Corporation” that was released in December 2006. Now we are searching a record company to sign our brand new album “Hellbound”
The line-up doesn’t feature any original members. As far as I know the line-up went completely new around 1993, when so called original members pulled out leaving guitarist Cristiano Fusco alone to carry on Torture Squad. How close was the permanent termination of the band?
In fact Cristiano Fusco decided to leave the band for his personal decision. He just chose another way on his life. It did not have any effect on the band although we had a long, long time relationship with him but we overcame that situation very good.
I may be mistaken in a way or another, but I can’t help asking if Mauricio Nogueira played in Krisiun?
Yes, he played on their debut album called UNMERCIFUL ORDER.
ALBUMS FROM TORTURING SQUAD
As for the new release, what was the purpose of putting out a mini CD even though cosy four years have already passed by since PANDEMONIUM?
We have a full-length album completely done! As a matter of fact, we just put out the EP “Chaos Corporation” because we are searching for sign up our upcoming album through some label which can release and distribute it all over. All of our albums before was just released in Brazil, and that’s why we’re waiting so long to put out a full length album.
The mini CD features a couple of cover songs Judas Priest’s Hot Rocking and AC/DC’s “HellAin’t a Bad Place to Be”, how did you end up picking them up?
No, in fact both songs are included on our live CD “Death, Chaos and Torture Alive” as hidden tracks. On our new EP features two brand new songs called “Chaos Corporation”, “The Beast Within” and three tracks taken from our first demo-tape “A Soul in Hell” .Including also a bonus video clip for the song “Pandemonium”.
As said above it is four years since the as kicking PANDEMONIUM album, why on earth it took some many years to get the new stuff out? Did you however work on the material during these years?
Yes, although “Hellbound” wasn’t release yet, we are working on new stuffs besides. We had a couple songs completely done to full fill another album after Hellbound! The band is always composing stuffs and looking to play in everywhere!
The upcoming TS album titled HELLBOUND is about to see the light of day quite soon, how long did you work on the album what comes to composing the material, rehearsing and producing?
Actually, the majority of the album was already composed in the end of 2005 and then we’ve made a pre production of it for around December the same year. So, we started working on the official recordings soon after our European Tour was accomplished last year. It took around 5 months to be done. It’s an amazing album; I hope everyone will enjoy it!
I am pretty much sure that HELLBOUND is the best release by TS to the date, but have you been able to find out or recognize some parts on the album which should have been re-done, re-written or re-recorded in some way?
I am pretty much satisfied about we’ve done on the album. I don’t fell like changing something here or there when I am listing to it. I think every one of us is completely satisfied with the album.
Are you able to pick up some particular songs which might become your personal fave to play on the stage and what kind of album can expect from Torture Squad?
Oh man, that’s a hard question to me! I really enjoy playing all of our songs on stage.But, letting me think which one is my favourite….Ok, I would pick “Chaos Corporation”.
As the debut album SHIVERING came out in the mid of the 90’s how much has the Brazilian metal “know how” amongst the producers increased since then, are producers more aware of what to do with thrash/death metal bands than in the mid of 90’s?
Yes they are! I can tell you that we got a couple of great producers here in Brazil nowadays which is doing excellent jobs!
Who actually produced the new upcoming album and where did you record?
We’ve been worked with the producers Marcello Pompeu and Heros Trench from MR.SOM studio which are working most of the great Brazilian’s metal bands to date. Also they are musicians from Korzus.
As for the DVD release put out by Paradoxx, right ? And it is called DEATH CHAOS TORTURE, what does it include anyway ? And where was it shot ?
Paradoxx is not distributing our DVD anymore. Voice Music is the label which is distributing our stuffs here in Brazil nowadays. Well, this DVD was shot in October 2003 in a venue here in São Paulo called “Led Slay” and we were the band support from the great german band called Desaster that night!
This is the main concert of the DVD actually. We also have included on this DVD our video clips, backstage scenes, extra concerts including one gig we´ve made with Dimmu Borgir.
To be honest I have always been wondering when listening to your high quality and catchy stuff why these albums are more or less unavailable in Europe and elsewhere. But I assume the main problem has been the dubget and distribution of Brazilian labels, right ?
Yes, that´s right.That´s why we are seaching for sign up our upcoming album with a label outside!
Anyway how have you managed to get the older albums distributed in Europe, have you done some kind of deal with underground labels ?
No, not yet, but we are able to talk to every one who´s interested in working with us now!
As far as I know you have a deal with the Brazilian label Paradoxx, how has the co-operation worked with so far ?
No, we are not working with them anymore. We are working with Voice Music which is more responsible and professional guys here nowadays!
Well I can’t help if the deal with Mutilation Rec expired or … ?
Yes of course dude! In fact all of our albums are available to be released outside Brazil! It depends on the labels only.
Due to the visit to Wacken You are about ink a deal with Armageddon Music, how did this come about ?
Well, we have a guy who´s working as our manager in Europe called Hansy Heider from Aschaffenburg, Germany who is in touch with the guys from Armageddon Music since a few months ago.
I think if they put us on their cast we will work a lot to accomplish tours as well as release all of our stuffs over there.
What kind of deal are you going to have with Armageddon Music ?
We are looking for put out our upcoming album and put us on tour all over the Europe and everywhere.
GIGGING AND TOURS IN BRAZIL AND EUROPE
Torture Squad have done a plenty of gigs with so called big names such Dimmu Borgir, Anthrax.Monstrosity etc, have you ever faced any kind of problems with these headliners or have you already got along with them perfectly ?
Actually , the only problems we had was the same ones which every opening band always have like no sound checks, only 30 min. to perform, etc.
I have noticed that Torture Squad have gained huge and wide fan base in Brazil, how many people do you usually attend to your shows and do they arrange memorable gigs like arranging one hell of mosh pits and stage divings ?
Nowadays , most of our concerts here have 800 to 1000 people to see us!
People are considering us here as the 4th great power before, Sepultura, Krisiun and Angra.
Besides where you have a strong following indeed, but as for other South American countries as far as I know you have visited Peru, Colombia etc.. What kind of following do you have there ?
That was fucking great! We’ve been toured over 11 cites there! We got a great impression from the south American’s audiences!
There was one night which we played with Dark Funeral in Bogotá / Colombia and that was one of the highlights of the tour!
Torture Squad have toured in Europe twice, the first one covered seven towns in Central Europe. Well how did you arrange that short visit to Europe, did local and smaller bands book gigs for you or.. ?
The first tour was booked by a local band from Stuttgart called Grin which we met each other by internet.In the second time was our manager from Germany called Hansy Heider who booked it to us.
Then you did a little bit longer tour going thru 16 cities in 2006, how did this happen and what kind of experience it was after all ?
It happened when Hansy got our stuffs in Germany, actually it was in Wacken last year and decided to work with us since that. So he booked all those concerts to us out there and everything was great to us! In fact we got two extra gigs more in Germany and Austria. We could get experiences such like be on the road and face different kind of situations everyday.
How did you succeed in getting an opportunity of playing at Wacken ? How were you chosen after all ?
That was a contest of bands which happened all over Brazil managed by Roadie Crew Magazine and the winner would perform at the Wet Stage in Wacken 2007 and run for a contract with Armageddon Music.
And fortunately we were the winner band from Brazil which will play and play our asses off to get this contract! there!!!
Before Wacken you have scheduled to do a gig with Distort featuring a couple of former Torture Squad members, well isn’t it some kind of irony of fate to share the stage with former members ?
We just invited them to play with us that night. We all still great friends , that´s it.
METAL DO BRAZIL
The old school Brazilian extreme metal has always had a large following and adoring amongst the true extreme metal freaks, Have you ever thought of why these older Brazilian metal bands seem to appeal to several extreme freaks ?
I think that because we had a huge metal scene here in the 80´s with Sepultura, Sarcofago, Mutilator, Korzus, Viper, Vulcano etc…
Unfortunately some of them had quit a long time ago , but their albums will be always adored and remembered by headbangers all over the world.
Well which albums released by these older Brazilian bands are your fave ones ?!
All Sepultura´s albums before” Arise”, Korzus” Mass Illusions”, Sarcofago “Inri” and “Laws of Scourge”, etc…
Krisiun has gained the massive cult following amongst the death metal freaks, and in my opinion several brutal death metal bands from Brazil are influenced by Krisiun more or less. In general how do you view the quality of new Brazilian death metal bands and in general the state of Metal?
I think that we got lots of great band all over the country, the only problem is that we don´t have great supports from any record companies here. That’s why Sepultura and Krisiun had to sign a contract with a label outside to give them support to put out their albums and worlrdwide tour .That´s all we are looking for too!
All right before concluding the interview, I can’t help asking which albums are the most played ones in your player at the moment ?
Paul Stanley “Live To Win”, I am a great Kiss fan dude, If it wasn’t for Kiss I wouldn’t be in this business!
Thanks for the interview and hope to see Torture Squad soon, but the last words are yours !?
You´re welcome man! We are working our asses off here to achieve all of our goals and torture every fucking metalhead in the face of the earth!!!
THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS!