Sunday, September 7, 2014

StampKase Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Hi, great to spread the word over Extreme Underground Music Zine. Well, the band has going through some line-up changes, for over a year to be precise. This period served to be an introspected one, setting the next step and clearing up on the best way to survive in such a small land! Faith has kept us pursuing a new guitarist and I think we are near to rest the case - indeed, we just don't want to make it official right now! Besides, during this incompletion, we'd never stopped rehearsing and some new songs have come out of the box, as Nuno (bass player) also plays the guitar and he has thrown out some riffs together with me (drummer). This way we keep the engines oiled and certainly saving some ideas for when the line-up is complete again.

2.In 2012 the band released an album how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
I think it is, overall, a modern fusion of melodic, heavy and technical music. We don't like to call it progressive, but it certainly can cause some surprise along the tracklist as the songs can create many different moods - since the thrashy «Random Shot», to the radio friendly «Faded», coming across the calm «Déjà-Vu» and finishing with the schizoid/experimental «Mechanorganism». I think we aimed to create a dynamic and modern record and I think we've made it!

3.The band has been around since 2003 but so far has only released one album, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Simple! If you know what it is to be a metal band in such a far, recondite and small place like Azores, you would certainly understand it. The metal community here used to be vast and strong but never enough to make a band able to play that much and make some money out of music. So, it was really tough to finance this record, and most of all, we don't have that much professionals in the music industry out here - not to say most of them are unprofessional. To be precise, «Mechanorganism» was to be released around 2008, but the studio we were working on got closed and we lost money with that! Therefore, we needed more time to resettle and we ended up refreshing our tracklist and recording part of the album outside of the islands. Should I say we are about 2.000 km from Portugal mainland? Yeah, if every local band wants to play in a bigger circuit they need a two hours flight that would cost us nearly 1.000 euros! Yeah, that's why you don't hear about Azorean bands so often! But this is old stories, no room for complaints! We survived and we are honored for this!

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We are not that kind of band sticked to just one specific topic, but «Mechanorganism» ended up pretty much like a concept album. Not like that ones with a story guideline but every song has a strong connection. «Mechanorganism» is basically about observing human behavior and how Mankind is becoming self-destructive. It also states about very trivial subjects as bipolar and epilepsy diseases, as it reveals the complexity of the human body. We also talk about addicted gamblers and mad scientists that try to create the perfect human being.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'StampKase'?
Oh, this is a great question. Not every band name has a deep story behind! It was a very simple idea. Our first rehearsal room was a very small one built with styrofoam inside Ruben's (vocalist) parents garage. We couldn't use the whole place, just a corner, inside that box! Besides, the neighbors weren't that kind! So, the word "stamp" was taken because we were really into this project and felt like each one should leave their mark on everything we do. We really wanted to make something honest, solid and professional. Actually, our small town never had such a heavy band, it is a very calm place.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
No doubt to say that opening Mnemic was a milestone for us! It was also the first time an international metal band came to São Miguel island... it was really memorable! Afterwards, we played with Fear My Thoughts, Dagoba, Exilia, Switchtense and many great bands from Azores like Morbid Death and Tolerance 0. Concerning our performance, I'm not the best person to tell, but everyone that comes to our shows really gets caught by our energy! We used to have two vocalists which really fill the place and the rest of the guys also kept very dynamic, mainly our former guitarist which uses a typical face painting.  

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Not at all. In Azores we can't think about touring, we have to think about recording and trying to get outside the islands. Anyway, the main goal for us now is to find a new line-up and finish our forthcoming record.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Indeed, we had a proposal very recently. I think it will be something really great for the band, but we haven't signed anything yet, as we need to solve the line-up subject first.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
As an independent artist it was very difficult to make all the promotion by ourselves, so we didn't get dozens and dozens of reviews and interviews, but I would say we made a great job anyway and got even a great review in Terrorizer (I think we were the first band from Azores to get reviewed there). In Portugal we have a good reputation but we want more. I'm sure in a next record with more support and experience we can reach a higher level!

10.When can we expect another album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I'm not sure where we are heading musically wise. We really love many kinds of music and we don't see ourselves establishing just one goal for our next record. I would say we might keep the melody, the groove and some experimental/technical elements. That's how we feel comfortable. We love bands like Textures, Intervals, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah... So, despite not trying to be none of them, we like to play with all their elements. About a new record, I can't say until we get working with a new guitarist, but once it happens I'm sure the process will be quick and smooth. We have some ideas on the running and maybe a shorter album, an EP, would be the right step to take next.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Well, I've already mentioned some of the bands that inspire us, but they are so many to tell. I'm not sure... I listen to so many genres - post-rock, black metal, thrash metal, prog metal, djent... everything we find it's good music, diverse, dynamic and creative. It really depends on the mood... we are that kind of guys that never close their minds to whatever music people are making. It just has to feel good to our hears. I remember that Pantera, Metallica, Cradle Of Filth and even nu-metal played an important role in our first years as metalheads and musicians. Besides, even Dream Theater got us immersed in all that technical majesty. We learned many things with them!

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I think as pretty normal and healthy guys we are, we love to hang out with friends, be nonsense, laugh, play videogames (yeah, not only children do that), watch soccer, have a walk in our beautiful islands, dive... Well, I'm not sure if I disappointed you, but this is what we do when not playing... and working of course! I forgot to say that the three of us also keep busy on bands like Sanctus Nosferatu, Fake Society and Human Hate! So, we have plenty of work and music to create!

13.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just wish that everyone gets really supportive of the Azorean scene! Bands here struggles really hard to have their music out! It is not like other places where you have many venues to play and a big audience. You have to be really strong to handle it! So, please spread the word and listen to the great music coming out of Azores!

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