Dalton Castro (guitar) talks about Ignited’s debut album: STEELBOUND and announce the plans for a live release soon this year.
Interview by Cristóbal Torres
IGNITED is a heavy metal band from Brazil and born in 2017. At the end of 2019 the group released their debut album entitled: STEELBOUND, a work with ten songs that has caused a stir among lovers of the genre in many parts of the world.
We contacted Dalton Castro (guitar) and Denis Lima (voice) to talk to us about the genesis of the band, the process of writing the album and their future plans. This is what they told us.
Your first rehearsals date back to 2017, when did you realize that this project had all the potential to be a band?
Dalton: In fact, we did the first trial in January 2017, but months before we had already defined some things at a distance because I lived in another state. We had created 2 songs in their basic structures, which were “Ignition” and “Pain”. We also knew each other from 2001-2002 because we had a band called Herege and we even put out an album in 2008.
Why did you decide to call the band IGNITED?
Dalton: This idea of the name came from Denis, at that time we thought of names that would show a certain energy and a certain strength. Let it be something direct and inspire us! As if something is connected forever!
I was surprised by the voice of Denis Lima, is it fair to say that we have a potential Brazilian Halford; how do you handle this comparison?
Dalton: In my opinion, it’s a great compliment! Compare him to someone we are all fans of here and we respect his career very much, both in Judas Priest and Fight and in his eponymous solo work. That comparison is really flattering and everyone here is very happy about it.
Denis: There are many different techniques throughout the album, but the comparison with Halford is obvious, as he is one of the best voices rock knows. It is very rewarding to be compared to a legend.
Your heavy metal is very straightforward, did you want to sound like that from the beginning or was it something that happened spontaneously among all of you?
Dalton: Yes, we wanted something destined to amuse … in a more natural way, being something more assimilable for the public. The idea was to simplify things. I was particularly inspired by work like Vinnie Appice on Sabbath drums! Like in the song “Letters from the Earth”
Why did you decide to write all your songs in English? Is there any chance that you will write in Portuguese in the future?
Dalton: The fact that the songs are in English is because we want to reach an international audience and conquer more distant territories. About writing in Portuguese, I think yes, at some point we can certainly think of writing some songs in Portuguese.
How did you meet Thiago Bianchi and what role did he play in making IGNITED formally become a band?
Dalton: I met him when I was looking for a professional studio to mix and master our initial two demo tracks, which became the STEELBOUND album. We had already formed the band before we met him. Technically, his work was very good in producing and directing the recording of the album.
Of the songs that make up STEELBOUND, what are the oldest songs you wrote and how much have they changed from the first version to what we hear on the album?
Dalton: “Ignition” and “Pain” are the oldest, they have had considerable evolutions since their first versions and their first drafts. Always keeping the initial form and the main riffs, but modifying certain things in terms of time. Especially when recording there were different suggestions from Thiago Bianchi to make the tracks level up. But on my computer I have multiple versions at each stage of pre-production. I think the solos were the ones that I modified the most, heh, heh.
I read that the work with Thiago Bianchi was remote, how was that experience of working remotely; did you find any advantages that could be used in the future?
Dalton: It is totally possible to carry out this type of work today with the technological resources that we have. It is very easy to communicate and exchange ideas. I emphasize that having a home studio helped a lot with the construction of the structures and all the adjustments during pre-production.
The advantage is that the musician must increasingly master the ability to record himself, with the aim of having quality materials so that they can be sent for evaluation by the producer and the other members of the band. Finally, in this way, ideas mature comfortably and great results are obtained.
I know that you have recorded more songs than the 10 that appear on the album, are you going to save them for another release or what do you plan to do with them?
Dalton: We have a considerable amount of tracks that did not make it to the STEELBOUND album and were only in the pre-production stage. Here they are all saved, including the new ones that I already created and that are waiting to know what we will do next.
How was the process of choosing the STEELBOUND tracklist, what criteria did you use?
Dalton: We were looking for an exciting sequence of songs, that there was a balance between them and it was possible to listen to the entire album almost without realizing it. As it is our first album, we chose two powerful songs at the beginning to, in a more electrifying way, “invite” people to know the rest of the album.
Your IGNITED video was very well received, what was the experience of recording it like, considering the restrictions due to the pandemic and the fact that your bass player has already been infected once?
Dalton: In fact, we recorded this video for the song Ignition in April 2019, just under a year before the pandemic broke out here in Brazil. If it were today, sadly there would be no way to record safely. But I’m happy to hear that the guys liked the video!
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Will you be promoting STEELBOUND or are you already working on new material?
Dalton: We will continue promoting our first album and we are also working on the production of a live album, with the material recorded at Bar Opinion in Porto Alegre-RS in November 2019, when we were one of the opening bands of Noturnall with Mike Portnoy, that it was our first live show.
We hope to release live material in 2021, only in digital format. Also, we already have good ideas for the second album, but we need to post the material live to have space to dedicate ourselves to the new studio album.
Brazil does not stop surprising with bands of enormous quality. From your point of view, how do you evaluate the Brazilian scene; do you agree that it could be the most advantageous scene in Latin America?
Dalton: There are hundreds of good and promising bands here, I can assure you. I even selected a few in recent months on a playlist called Brazilian Metal Factory on Spotify, I invite you to listen!
However, what is missing is that the style is treated with the respect it deserves and there are also new ways of making the works known without depending on people who have been here in the music industry for a long time and do not innovate at all, closing many times the spaces creating hard-to-reach circles, or dodging when new bands arrive. Regarding Latin America, I can’t honestly say it because I don’t know other countries closely, but I notice that in Argentina and Chile there are a lot of heavy metal fans.
Thank you very much for your time and responses! Any final words for readers?
Dalton: Stick to your truest goals and dreams, they will come true! Do not listen to the losers and always be prudent to overcome ignorance. Heavy Metal is our home!
Thanks for the questions and we are always available!
A big hug!