Interview with Jairo Guedz of Eminence

Questions by Arto Lehtinen


Eminence hailing from Brazil is more or less an unknown extreme metal band to several readers, but in their home country they have gained a pretty good reputation. An interesting point in the Eminence line up can be pointed out is the former The Mist and Sepultura dude with whom I did this interview. The interview was done on the eve of their upcoming Euro tour, go check out at 

Good morning Jairo, what's up down there in Brazil, what have you been doing today, did you watch the Formula One race or some football match?!?

As usual I am at the studio for a recording session... But I can see that Rubinho Barrichello, the Brazilian racer is not too good now...


As usual, but I gotta repeat myself once again, but there are a bunch of questions to go through as you have been a very active and visible person since the early 80's until now with your current band Eminence. Eminence is definitely an unknown band for most of readers of Metal Rules, so could you politely introduce the band who are involved and play what and how the band started out in the first place?!?

We started the band EMINENCE in 1995...Alan, the guitar asked me if I could play bass in 1999 and I told him YES...I recorded bass on Morbid Visions and composed a lot of bass lines for SEPULTURA and THE MIST so..."let's do it..." EMINENCE is on its 3rd European Tour now, and we have two MCD's and an official CD "CHAOTIC SYSTEM".


Well despite your name is familiar to thousands of metal freaks around the globe because of your past, but Eminence is not, so how would you like to describe the stuff you play to all the readers of Metal Rules then?!?

I think I brought some of the OLD SEPULTURA inspiration to this band and the other guys love all kind of metal music... So, I think we are doing a MIX of every influence of ours... Death, Thrash and New Metal Music as well...


So how many albums have Eminence released so far ?!

Just 2 MCD's and the CHAOTIC SYSTEM album...


Speaking of the latest output titled "Chaotic System" released by Diamond Rec…How did you end up having a deal with that Danish label and doesn't that Diamond Rec have a tie-up with King Diamond and how?!?

We met Mr.Ole Bang from the label DIAMOND RECORDS here in Brasil, when we supported the Mercyful Fate Tour. He is a very nice man and had a lot of interest to release the album CHAOTIC SYSTEM in Europe, Russia, Israel, etc... This label belongs to him and Mr. King Diamond...


Hmm Diamond Records is however a kinda small one, so I can't help inquiring if some bigger lables would have already pointed out their interest to pick up and sign Eminence and if yes, could you unveil something about that?!?

No Arto, sorry... We still looking for something bigger, but I can tell you that DIAMOND RECORDS is really small, but they work seriously and hard to help us and the metal scene too...


Eminence have done two bigger tours in Europe, going through mainly several Central European countries, but how is that possible for such an unknown band like Eminence is, I mean your albums are hardly available here and you don't have any proper agents or management over here, it is obvious that you must have spent a lot of time and money in order to arrange and finance your tours in Europe?!

We went for the first time and people became very interested to bring EMINENCE again. That's the truth, we play alive and people became surprised in the band. After this first tour we managed to come back again in 2000 for the Y2KAOS TOUR and now for the CHAOTIC SYSTEM TOUR 2001 with KRABATHOR... I do not know how to answer, but I think we have been working a lot for the band and people became our friends on the "ROAD"...


Let's continue this tour conversation, as far as I know you are about to arrange the third tour to Europe along with the deathrashers Krabathor, could you unveil about how you work in order to arrange these tours to Europe from Brazil as the distance ain't that short and do you have to pay some money in advance for some clubs?!?

Internet my friend Arto... INTERNET... The present and the future... Technology... And some phone calls also...


How have you been treated by the European audience and other bands with whom you have toured in general?!?

They treated us very good and that's the only reason why we are getting back to Europe for another tour. People asked for us again... Europe is very nice and very different from Brasil...very...


EMINENCEBut instead Eminence have done gigs all around in South American countries, especially in Brazil and you have opened for all kinds of bands from a wide range from hard core bands to traditional metal names and everything between. But as far as I know the biggest festival you played in Columbia in front of 90.000…That is a lot indeed, but I guess it wasn't a normal metal festival though, right?!?

It was fun in Bogota/Colombia and really crowded too - There was 90,000 people there and that was amazing... The ROCK AL PARQUE FESTIVAL (something like Rock at the Park) wasn't only Metal bands and this is funny cos' people stayed there, watching EMINENCE, Control Machete (Rap/Mexico) and Earth Crisis (Hardcore/NY) in the same way...


I have always been under the impression that the Brazilian metal crowd is extremely wild, aggressive and definitely fanatical in every aspect, so you have played a lot of local shows with Ratos De Porao, Sepultura, what kind of response have you got from the local metal heads?!?

EMINENCE has a crazy fan crowd here in our city and in other big places in Brasil. We are one of the biggest bands here now and unfortunately, we do not have a lot of great and good bands these times...


THE MISTLet's leave Eminence behind for a while, let's take another direction to the interview. I guess most of people don't know you used to play in a damn great thrash metal combo during the 90's called The Mist which released… Let's count now right… Four albums…right....well anyway how did you get hooked up by The Mist ?!?

The guys were tired from the band (THE MIST) and I was working alone on the business side of the band, so... The guys from EMINENCE hooked me up asking for more work and I accepted...


The Mist was basically a super group, in my opinion, consisting of ex members of other great Brazilian bands like Chakal, Mayhem(Bra) and of course you from Sepultura, but I can't help asking why the band never gained that big reputation what it would have deserved after all, was it because of a lousy promotion and distribution of Cogumelo Rec or something else ?!?

Right Arto... This is the biggest problem here. The labels, like Cogumelo, are very lousy and unprofessional also ( is that right...??? ). That's because we don't have a lot of bands anymore and that's because THE MIST and other bands didn't come out...


The Mist line-up suffered from a number of line up changes and for example the current Soulfly bassplayer Marcello Diaz used to play in the band earlier, hmm have you ever been thinking of gathering together to play with The Mist some day and one day?!?

We spoke last year during the EMINENCE and SOULFLY tour in Europe (separate tours actually...!!!) and I do not think we have too much time for it now, but, in the future, who knows...


The whole back catalogue of The Mist have recently been re-issued by Cogumelo Rec, and some of them are available through either Pavement Records and some tiny Spanish label, but anyway what was the purpose of this re-issue thing?!?

People asked for it all the time... And Cogumelo makes a lot of money with it also... So I think this is a good market... REPULSE RECORDS from Spain released the album in Europe, and PAVEMENT also in USA... But I am still working out to get my Royalties on that...for 4 years...


The Brazilian metal scene has always been known for several to be honest sadistic bestial brutal death/black metal since the early 80's, bands used to have leather, pikes, bullet belts and corpse paints on faces for instance Sarcofago, Mutilator, Vulcano to mention now…Actually I just got a hold of some old bootleg video of Vulcano's show shot at some Trash Fest back in '86, and holy hell that amount of bullet, rivet belts what they had, but why or how did you come up an idea to take the image more to the extreme direction ?!?

I think it's my own evolution...I used to show me as a devil's creature, an unborn child of Satan, as a goat blood blessed motherfucker... But now, I still love Metal as always, but I am 33 years old and have two kids and a lot of work to do... Now I am just a musician and a headbanger, a son of my own creation...


I have always wondered all the bands of the 80's hailing from Brazil used to be more death/thrash/black metal oriented which managed to get more attention all over the world and not these traditional heavy metal bands, did these traditional metal bands sound wimpy and crap that they never got a chance to come out or why?!?

I don't know why, but, I don't listen to a lot of these bands... Well maybe one or two.


It may sound and look odd in the eyes of readers, but let's ask this one anyway, how much have the Brazilian violent life and Brazilian people's hot temperament effect you guys to play the extreme metal?!?

It affects us everyday, and that's why our Music sounds really authentic...


So it can be said the death/thrash/black metal explosion happened down there in Brazil at the same time when Slayer, Possessed, Exodus and other bands came out in The US and Destruction, Sodom, Kreator came out in Germany, you have a long extreme metal history in Brazil as well, or how do you view that stand point?!?

Just as you described it... Almost at the same time... Me and Max had some contacts in the past with guys from Kreator, Sodom and Possessed and they were our masters... Our idols...


But Cogumelo Rec has had a strong role in the Brazilian extreme metal scene as they signed a lot of bands for example one of them was your previous band Sepultura and of course other bands mentioned earlier, but I guess the co-operation between the label and bands haven't been on good terms, but how do you view Cogumelo's role in the local metal scene?!?

I don't see them as a really serious company in these times... I think they use a lot the old releases to make more money for them and just give a fuck for the guys on the bands, but, that's just my opinion...maybe it is only in my head...maybe not...


Do you think it is a good thing from Cogumelo to put out the re-issued versions of the most classical metal albums with all kinds of the bonus stuff for example the live album by Vulcano and so on?!?

I think that, the best idea is for the bands to make it by themselves...try to arrange a small but honest distribution in Europe ( for example ) and do it by themselves...independent market...that's the future.


All right I am obliged make a few questions about Sepultura or I will get a lot of questions why I didn't ask anything about Sepultura…Hmm…Sepultura seems to have lost a lot of success what they had in the beginning of the 90's and seems like people smack the band quite hard and criticize their latest albums and the selling figures have dropped a lot, how have you followed the current situation of Sepultura anyway?!?

I heard some of the new songs and I think that they are doing what they really want and love... I do not like to criticize this, or that band... I do my work and that's all. Some friend doesn't like the new stuff, but I know some who like it a lot...I like the language of the lyrics... The new ones actually.


After writing and composing 95% of the material for Schizophrenia, you decided to leave the band, was the time and the moment kinda confused for you in some way?!?

Oh yes...very hard for me that time...drinking, drugging, hanging out...fucked !!! But not just for being out of my band ( I choose this that time ) but I forget to make music for a while, forget my family and friends...and one day, I stopped with everything and put my pieces together I am as a hard rock...


You still have a strong bond with Sepultura as Eminence have opened for them and you joined Sepultura on Derrick Green's first gig in Sao Paulo doing the mighty Troops Of Doom, why haven't Eminence and Sepultura joined forces together and then hired or invented some third band from Brazil to make a real metal strike from Brazil and would set off for a tour?!?

I really don't think they would like it. Maybe in the future...


Back to Eminence "Chaotic System" already came put '99, when can the new Eminence be expected to see the light of day?!? Or have you already started working on the next release?!?

Actually yes. We are working on the new material and 4 of the new tracks were recorded in a single CD for this Tour in Europe...maybe we get some good friendships with that...


All right Sir Jairo Guedz aka Jairo T(ormentor), unveil the tour dates of Eminence if people happen to drop to your show and I for one wish you all the best luck with the tour in Europe… ANTES DO FIM and gracias!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Herr Arto and let people know that the truth is on the way... Keep shaking your heads and necks... Thank you all.

Jairo Guedes.


Eminence (Brazil) + Krabathor (Czech)
19.04.01 - France - Marseille @ Espace Julien
20.04.01 - Spain - Irun @ Tunk
22.04.01 - Portugal - Barroselas @ Metalfest Attack 4
11.05.01 - Switzerland - Sursee @ Kulturwerk 118 (with Exit)
12.05.01 - Switzerland - Bulle @ Ebullition
15.05.01 - Slovenia - Ljubljana @ (tba)
16.05.01 - Austria - Graz @ Explosiv
17.05.01 - Austria - Vienna @ Zugabe (with MPC)
18.05.01 - Austria - Höchst @ Stadel
19.05.01 - Switzerland - Geneva @ Usine (Transit Festival)
22.05.01 - Germany - Salzgitter @ Forellenhof (with Cornucopia)
23.05.01 - Holland - Groningen @ Vera
02.06.01 - Germany - Wheinheim @ Café Central

Eminence (Brazil) + guests
03.06.01 - Holland - Tilburg @ Club 013 (with Mindstab)
06.06.01 - Belgium - Gent @ Frontline (with Mindstab)
08.06.01 - Belgium - Aubange @ Ride'n Roll (with No-Lokost)
09.06.01 - Holland - Utrecht @ De Pit
13.06.01 - Czech - Horovice @ MKC
14.06.01 - Czech - Ceské Budejovice @ Velbloud Club - TBC
15.06.01 - Czech - Mnichovo Hradiste @ Vostrof Open Air
16.06.01 - Czech - Pardubice @ Zluty Pes
17.06.01 - Czech - Liberec @ Golet club
18.06.01 - Czech - Plzen city @ Divadlo Pod Lampou
19.06.01 - Slovakia - Bratislava @ KD - TBC
20.06.01 - Czech - Zlín @ Golem Club
21.06.01 - Czech - Brno @ Living Stone - TBC
22.06.01 - Czech - Prague @ Palac Akropolis

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Saturday, April 28, 2001