INTERVIEW WITH MOYSES KOLESNE OF KRISIUN
Krisiun is a death metal squad that never just rest on their laurels. The trio keeps pushing forward spreading their Brazilian death metal all over the world. The band’s latest offering FORGED IN FURY came out a year ago and offers true death metal sonic brutality. Metal-Rules.Com sat down with the Krisiun guitarist Moyses Kolesne before the band hit the stage.
Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen
BEING ON THE ROAD
It is a long tour again.
It’s a long tour again, yeah.
How many days?
29 days and a couple of day-offs, travel days. Yeah, it is the long tour. It is good to be back over in North Europe. I think last time we just played in Denmark. Actually we played in Sweden last year in the summer in a festival, but as for Helsinki it’s been a while. It’s like eight years.
You’re constantly on the tour all the time. Do you ever get tired at being on the road that you might need some break charging your batteries?
Sure. We always have some breaks, we kind of stay home for a few months. If you see like Cannibal Corpse, I think they tour much more than us and they’re an older band than us. We should tour even more. I’m not tired, I feel really good doing what I do. When I go home, eventually I start feeling bored. I want to go on the road again. Luckily Brazil there is a lot of places to play too. So I feel really good on the road, I’m not like feel like miserable. Like some bands they always say,” I miss home”. Sure, we miss our families. We have their time there too, but I love to be on the road. I love to play, I love gigs. I like the tour environment, like meeting different people everyday, traveling and getting to know about all the cultures. I’m still not tired of that, I’m still really energetic and enthusiastic for this.
Which country has been the most exotic place from your point of view, where you have played?
I think, maybe it might be Dubai, Emirates. It was a more different kind of place. But really good place, really nice metal scene. But the culture wise I think was the most different place we played, because it’s more like Arabian place. Where you see people in different cloths and different food and cultures. They have strict laws there. But a metal head is a metal head, don’t matter if he’s from Africa or from Finland or whatever. They will behave the same. They like mostly the same bands. So as we’re always in touch with the metal people, community. I don’t see much of differences.
But like you said, like the most different countries. I guess it’s like Dubai, but we have been to to a lot of places. Russia was very different too. It was kind of different type of culture and whatever. Nowadays we have the chance through the Internet. So everybody got to know more about their cultures and respect more the differences. So I think the most different country in that respect to play, I think was Emirates. It was really good.
We were allowed to play there, because we got a work permit. We got some problem when we were getting to the immigration. The guys wanted to know what we were doing there and checked. They saw our tats and some guy gets some piercings and long hair. It was strange, but they let us in and it was really good.
Is there some country, where you would like to play? I guess you haven’t played in China yet.
Yeah. China, Taiwan, Indonesia. We’ve never played there. Those more Asiatic countries I guess. It would be really good, because I know there is a lot of metal heads there. We had offers, but really bad offers. They barely covered the flight tickets and stuff and those countries are really strict. You have to work really well, like the documentation, the paperwork to avoid any problem. Because I heard a lot of bands already got problems. So we were waiting for the right opportunity, we’re in touch, we’re working on that. I think that soon we’re going to be able to play in those countries.
Do you consider yourself as a road warrior?
Sure, I’m a road warrior. I’m on the road every year and every day. The road is rough sometimes and the weather can be sort of really hot or it can be really cold. Sometimes the bus gets broken or the fan gets broken or we miss flights, we get sick. So you have to be a warrior, you have raise up your hand against those odds every day.
FORGING FURIOUS DEATH METAL
Regarding your latest album titled Forged in Fury that came out last year, It was the tenth album in a row, Right?
I think that was our ninth album, besides the demos that became mini EPs and mini LPS, Eps.
Where did you get the idea to have the name for the album?
Actually Alex had one lyric, one song name called Strength Forged Fury. So we told the record label, we want to have this style. They said, the English is a little bit wrong or whatever. So they suggested us Forged in Fury, which is almost the same meaning. So we went with that and then we told Erik Rutan, who was the producer of the record, he liked that a lot too. So we ended up with that title. It reflects our life throughout the years, that we’re a band and never gave up. I know some people can be tired of us, but we never gave up. We kept doing constantly like touring, like you said, releasing records, always believing in death metal. No we never quit the band to do side projects or big fancy bands or whatever. Also how we got it’s what Forged in death metal fury, how we got. Whatever we reached in our career was through the death metal thing, the brutal blasting stuff. So it’s a pretty suitable name I guess, there are those more than 20 years of death metal.
What about the cover? Does it reflect the name somehow?
I think so, because it’s Petagno again. There is a little bit of each cover we did, it took a little bit here, a little bit there and make a big mash-up of everything. We came out with the idea, we liked that. It’s not a computer design, its hand painting. We’re looking for something like that, not computer because our last five, six records were like computer covers. So we liked to do some more human.
Was it an obvious choice to have Joe Petagno to make the cover for the album, because of the Motorhead connection ?
Sure. He knew we were recording a new album and he sent us some emails, saying that if we want to work with him again. We said, sure. We want. Then our record label got in touch with him to do the business stuff they need to do and ended up like it is. We’re really happy with our, although some people say they think it’s gets weird. Some people really love, some people hate. It’s always hard to please everyone. We’re really satisfied with the outcome.
There was a four year gap between the previous album and Forged in Fury, because you usually get album out every second year. Were you on the road the whole time or did you have to take time to write songs?
Actually we had a lot of touring for The Great Execution record. We did a lot of touring, we did a couple of US, Europe, South America. We went to Australia, Japan, Dubai. So we had a full agenda. It was hard to write music in-between tours and stuff, we had a lot of shows in Brazil too. It took four years of touring. We did something, then we started writing the stuff. I hope the next record will not take that long.
Do you have to seriously sit down in a rehearsal room and start writing as you said that you’re not able to write the songs on the tour, because it’s quite impossible?
Actually I could have here my computer and start doing some stuff, when I have a spare of time. As I said it this tour is special. This tour we need to do everything, a better wide blast, complicated stuff and take care about things. But if I need to do it, I will do it. But our record just came out one year ago, so I don’t need to write right now. We like to do things like together, always going to the rehearsal room and start to jam together. We’re not the type of band that doing things on computer and send to the other and other parts. We’re old school like Motorhead. We start jamming and whatever comes out, we don’t like to overwork so much like doing so much pre-production. This record, the new record don’t have a pre-production. We went to the studio without pre-production, without anything. Even Erik Rutan goes like “you guys don’t have a prep production together”. We had no time this time and everything is not in our mind.
They both have a similar way. They move like a natural sound captured band. They don’t like to over-produce on computer or do editing the stuff, like some producers do and we hear this production really computerized and stuff. But I think Rutan he likes more like an old school type of song. Like we do, we like more raw stuff, the more natural analog. We don’t like computers. I don’t like digital stuff at all. Andy, he likes to overwork sometimes. He likes to clean up a lot, organize a lot and Rutan is more like capturing your performance. Andy also is like that, but I think he likes more like a clean production and Erik likes more like a raw production. So this is the biggest difference. For this record we were like looking for something raw.
Have you ever thought of doing the albums in your own country as going back to the roots again ?
We actually did a couple of records there, Works of Carnage. We did the Ageless Venomous, which has not a good production. We did that. We could do, but we like… I like to get away from my city, from my family to record. Because I can get more focused on the on the music. Instead of going to studio everyday, would start like loosing the focus.
Krisiun is known for the fast and furious death metal thing, but you have slowed down having more crew elements. I guess it’s a natural thing for you to progress the sound. How do think about that?
We have a lot of metal influences. We have like since from the early, like Black Sabbath, Slayer to Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Sepultura, Ratos De Porao, I love so many types of metal. I like the crossover metal, the thrash metal, heavy metal. So lately we’re trying to incorporate more our old influences like old thrash metal influences and heavy metal influences. We put more in those last two records I guess. We always try to have the Krisiun trademark there. Always we have the brutality, the relentless speed. We try to also do some more groove stuff, because we’re getting older and we feel good playing this. I like to play some slow, it can be boring playing only like fast. We have like nine records of pure fast death metal. When we started like grooving up a little bit, everybody said; “no, you can’t”. We’ve got so many records. If you want to listen to the old stuff, the records are there. They’re going to be there forever, you can just pick them and listen to them. If you don’t like the new music, okay. I can’t please everyone. Some people started liking us again because of this difference we’re doing now. Some old school metal fans complain about any change, those true people. They can’t complain. But I don’t give a fuck. We do what our heart leads us to do.
Morbid Angel did very radical changes and people did not like that much.
Yeah. There was a change that they stepped really outside of their stuff. Like then they changed too much maybe. So then you can really damage your career. I remember when I was a kid I got Reign in Blood and I loved that record, then after that record came South of Heaven. Then we started listening to the slow song, it felt like; where is the speed? Where is the fastness? It was a kid. I really later got into that.
I had the same feeling. I remember when South of Heaven came out. But I hadn’t heard any songs at advance. When I bought it and I put it into my player, I thought this was going to be like Reign In Blood, but this was so strange.
Yeah, it was so strange. But the second song, the Silent Scream. It’s a blasting song. It’s the fastest song Slayer ever did. But it was a different record. Some people they didn’t understand, they were like; what the fuck? The same happened for Morbid Angel after Altars of Madness then Blessed Are the Sick came with a really clean slow record and with just a couple of fast songs. So I guess it’s good when bands change, but don’t change too much. Don’t go like commercial. If you go commercial, then you’re really doing something else. Metal can be slow, it can be fast. But as long as its real metal. I still believe in metal.
You said commercial, but for example let’s take a classic band like Megadeth. They went to commercial in the late ’90s. When I listened to the new album Dystopia. Have you heard it?
I heard a couple of songs, one or two songs.
It sounds like going back to the Rust in Peace thing.
I heard one song really good. One song was really good.
I have never been a Megadeth fan, but Dystopia really surprised me.
I quit listening to them too, since like after I guess Rust in Peace. I was a big fan too, but then they started doing some… Like you said, then they changed it too much. They went like commercial. Almost like Ramones, something really… Different way what they did. So I quit listening, I got tired. But like you said, the new record is good. So you try, you listen again.
SHOOTING VIDEO IN THE DESERT
You have a bunch of videos.
Yeah. Maybe less, maybe one, two… I think four or five.
I make it to have registration of the time of the record, because when you’ll be really old people can see the videos and see the way we were at that time. Things that will stay there forever, the same with Black Sabbath; they never did that video clip like they did in the past. We will never see how they were playing at that time. So I think it’s important bands do videos nowadays, live videos or video clips. It’s something good, I like it.
As faras the Will To Potency video is concerned which was shot in the middle of the desert. Was it extemporaneously made or well planned?
No, it was nothing planned. We had a day off in New Mexico in US, then there was one guy with a camera. He was doing a DVD for Kataklysm and was filming them everyday. Then we talked with him to do a video clip and he is really good. This guy he even worked in the new Slayer video clip. It’s Tommy Jones, he’s a famous guy. We saw that the deserts, we had a day off in Las Cruces, near Albuquerque. The same place where they did Breaking Bad. Then we just parked the bus somewhere there and he shot the video, it was like so fucking hot. Like 45 Celsius degrees.
You’re used to heat.
Yeah, I’m used to hot. But then it was way too hot, because the desert is much hotter. It’s dry, a lot of rattle snakes around and stuff and also it’s kind of dangerous. Plus some rangers around there and some cops, that they came over too. But it came out really good, natural. Nothing was planned. But I’m proud of the video because it was really hard to walk up in the desert, bring the stuff. But then start banging the head and scorching sun. Like you said, I’m used to hot. Really hot, I’ve been in Brazil in my whole life. But when you go on the desert you see it’s a bit more than hot. It’s hard to breathe. It’s kind of hard. But I like that video a lot.
Are you going to make new videos from the FORGED IN FURY album?
Century Media did one. We played in Party San last year, they filmed it and they put a song there. Because sometimes to make shows you need to send videos, like Festivals. When we inquire a slot in a festival, they will ask you to send a video and CDs. They see the band, how they react. But we’re planning to do another video clip for sure.
THE WILL TO PLAY AND PASSION FOR DEATH METAL
You have been playing death metal 26 years. What actually motivates you keep going on and on?
The will to play death metal, the wish to play. Because we want to break this barrier and make death metal go stronger and stronger. A lot of bands gave up, good bands gave up. A few bands stay true for death metal. We took this as a mission; we said we’re going to do this until the end. We’re really influenced by Motorhead. So we see it like Motorhead, we want to be like Motorhead. We want to have a long career doing pure Death Metal, Rock N Roll brutal stuff. Like there is a lot of fashion nowadays, people are now so much commercial. Putting so much stuff outside of the metal world into metal. Like a lot of weird instruments. We still believe in the real roots of Rock’n’ Roll.
For example, the old school death metal like Immolation, Morbid Angel. They usually put album out every fourth year, then they do a tour and then vanish into catacombs
of the underground. But that’s not your way of working anyway.
No, no. For us it’s much more pleasure, I don’t know. It’s a wish, the heart that keep us doing this. We never can sit at home and say, we’re going to take a break. No, I never feel good. If I take a break I will die. Life is so short man, if you see life happening like this. So it’s good to me.
I watched your show at Rock In Rio. When you played with Destruction. I just was thinking that when you started playing, 26 ago in Brazil Did you ever dream that you will share the stage with your idol, meet with your idol? Slayer guys, Destruction guys or the Morbid Angel guys? Or do you feel that you’re living your heavy metal dream nowadays?
Sure it’s a dream that became true. For me like Rock In Rio, I started liking metal because of Rock In Rio one; Rock In Rio in Brazil in ’85, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC. They broadcast on TV. I was a kid, I was 12-13 years old and I watched that and said; I want to be a metal guy and it just happened. Then we started like, we got acoustic guitars and started playing and got electric guitar. But yeah, in my fondest dreams I never really wonder one day that I will be playing like the same day with Maiden, Slayer. Playing and sharing the stage with Destruction, which was a big event too. But at the same time, it is a result of hard work throughout the years. We never gave up, always doing this, doing this, pushing it, trying to be original, trying to be real for ourselves. Never being like a scumbag, trying to rip off people. Always being true, treating people well and be honest for yourself. Have a good attitude of life, like together with the music. I think this is a result of hard work, but also it’s a dream that come true.
What makes Krisiun so special, that you have been able to make the breakthrough on the international market? Because I know there is a bunch of bands in Brazil, really good death metal bands. But what do you see the obstacle for the Brazilian bands to make the breakthrough and to come to Europe?.
Yeah. I think Sepultura was the reason that made us dream to play outside Brazil. I think the style of music that we do, like we’re the first ones who started doing in Brazil. Like when I started doing this type of music, there was nobody doing this. There were the old black metal, thrash metal. But not this death metal that we…
True death metal.
Yeah, like the dynamics of the death metal. That we’re a bit more sophisticated, we’re a bit more technical or whatever. So we started doing that. Then suddenly guys from Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death. Started mentioning about us in magazines. I remember Trey one time, they asked him the top five records and he gave Black Force Domain. He mentioned it on the big magazines Rock Hard, Metal Maniacs. Black Force Domain was his favorite record. That opened the eyes of a lot of guys and record labels and stuff, magazines. They started looking; which bands is this? Suddenly we got signed for a record label, then released another record. Then Brazil came a wave of bands singing the same, trying to sound the same way. They say this is Brazil extreme metal, but it was not Brazilian extreme metal. It was a Krisiun type of music that they took and made it like… So I think why we happened outside of Brazil, was because we create our own style of music. Like we’re not ripping off Sepultura. Because when Sepultura happened outside of Brazil, a lot of bands in Brazil wanted to sound like Sepultura. They copied them. I remember as the extreme metal, we never copied Sepultura. They have their own way, we’re going to find our own way. We had influence from them, from Morbid Angel, Slayer, Venom. But we tried to add some more crazyshit be a little bit more relentless and crazy and have a record like pure blast bit for 48 minutes or 50 minutes. We pushed the development, we pushed it harder.
These are so many bands, that is hard. It’s also Internet. We were in the time frame… Back in time we received demo tapes, there were magazines. So it was not as many bands as nowadays. Nowadays I open my Facebook, everyday I see like 10 new bands and they’re really big. Nice, big shows, good production. There is no underground anymore I guess. Underground was when there was nobody, it was hard and you don’t see the bands anywhere. There is a band every night today, they are everywhere. They’re on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. They pay to expose themselves. So nowadays it’s kind of hard, this word underground because nothing is underground.
You loose interest?
Yeah, you lose interest. You don’t know, but I always get by. When I go play, there is always bands opening the shows. So at the time I can see some new bands always, to see they bring live. Especially these Italian and Hideous very good band. I never heard about them before, but now they still go there. They’re really good, it’s a good band So in Brazil there are so many bands. But yeah, I remember P.O BOX and I’ll always go open and get tapes from. I remember getting tapes from everywhere. There was no Internet, no nothing. It was a different feeling. There was no MP3, there was a tape. You put a tape and you listen. It was really different.
Do you still have your old demo tapes?
Yeah, some of them are at Home, safe. Yeah. I still have.
Do you have some really classic ones that you will never get rid of?
Yeah, I have a box full of stuff. That I even don’t know what is there, but I know things. I keep there a lot of stuff throughout the years, some seven-inches, some demo tapes. Some stuff. I never throw away, but one day I will go there and start going through the memories and whatever is there.
You’re now continuing the tour with Cannibal Corpse.What about after that?
We got a couple of shows in Brazil and I will tell you, I should not tell. But will do The Summer Slaughter too in US. The dates are not announced yet, but they announce Cannibal and Nile they’ll announce. Because it’s like 10, 12 bands I guess on that tour. It’s a festival tour. We’re going to do that July, August. That’s why we cancel a couple of festivals here in the summer. The Continental US books us there and they book here, so then crash with each other. But that tour was, we need to now to do because our work visas will expire in August. It’s a longer tour, it’s a bigger tour for us as we were more interested to do that tour in US than come here and do festivals.
When you’re doing your own headline tour and usually you have some unknown bands supporting you.
Yeah, it can be unknown or it can be bands in the same level as we are. But sometimes it bothers. Like one time we came here, like we played here in with Rotting Christ and we’re headlining there. But those bands are the same level we are, it was just some error of the promoters or the book agents. Sometimes like great supporters or otherwise we support them. One time we opened for Rotting Christ other time they opened for us. But sometimes it changes.
For example you make this kind of big scale store with several bands together. Do you check out those unknown bands?
I think it depends on what the band have to deliver. If it’s a band that you see that have a good music and a good attitude, I will be there supporting and watching them after that. But if it’s a bandthat I don’t like, it doesn’t matter. It can be big or small or you can have the same attitude. It’s more important like your human attitude, I think it’s really hard to find some good attitude in human beings sometimes. But when you see, you give them a value of respect. Always we’re lucky, we tour with a lot of good bands.
Before concluding the interview. Name the most five essential death metal albums that have influenced you?
Yes, Death metal.
Death metal will be, Altars Of Madness by Morbid Angel, Pestilence’s Consuming Impulse. Napalm Death’s Harmony Corruption. But Deicide’s Legion and Tomb Of The Mutilated by Cannibal Corpse.
That’s your favorite ones?
Yeah. Those came to my mind. If I start thinking, I know you’re wrong. There are bands I love, Suffocation, Immolation. Dismember. It’s really hard for me to say that. I know a lot of bands stay of the list, but there is nothing I can do. It’s only five, the first that came in my mind.
Okay man, Arto. Once again I know you supported us man for so many years. For all these years we’ve been in touch.
The official Krisiun sites :