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Wednesday, 22 November 2017
INTERVIEW WITH RAVENSIRE, DONE BY PATRICK (22-11-17, HEAVY METAL)
1.Hello how are things going in Portugal these days?
Hail, Ancient Visionz! Nuno, guitar player of RAVENSIRE here! First of all, thanks a lot for your interest in our band. Regarding your question, things are going a bit better, these days. Still a fucked up economy, but at least there are some hopeful signs of things improving. Let's hope some lunatic doesn't fuck things up again.
2.You all formed Ravensire in 2011 what gave you the idea to start this band?And how did you choose Ravensire as the name of the band?
Well, I have been playing guitar for a long time (since the 80's actually), and had lots of riffs and ideas in stock for a Heavy Metal style of band. But I never found people with whom I actually
wanted to play this type of music. By the mid 00's, Rick and I teamed up for some jams but nothing came out of this.
Finally, around 2010, I was showing my friend F (who played guitar) some ideas and riffs
I had, and he got so enthusiastic that he said he'd learn how to play drums, so we could start things rolling. And that's how Ravensire came to be. He did learned how to play drums and a year later we were jamming alongside Rick (Bass) and later Zé Rockhard (Guitar) and Zé Gomes (vocals) joined the fold. As for the name, I wanted something that conveyed the mystic/mythical/historic side of our lyrics. Since the raven, beside being a very intelligent animal, is the symbol of our city of Lisbon, we thought about naming the band about this elusive character that's the lord of the ravens.
3.What is the current line up of the band?And who would you say are the bands biggest influences?
After a relatively stable line up from 2011-2016 (only Zé Gomes left the band, assigning the vocal duties to Rick), we had a bit of turmoil in the last year and a half. Shortly after our second full album "The Cycle Never Ends" was released, Zé Rockhard had to leave the band, so we replaced him with
Mário, our current guitarist. Unfortunately, towards late 2016 F also had to close his Ravensire collaboration, so in came Alex for the drumming duties (also the drummer in MIDNIGHT PRIEST). Right now we are: Rick (Bass/Vocals), Nuno (guitar), Mário (guitar) and Alex (drums).
Our main influences range from the old classics, to the contemporary heroes. We are not like a lot of people who say that only the 80's are worthy. There are way too many GREAT bands and releases happening today and most of the times go unnoticed because everyone is praising the rerelease of some obscure mediocre demo from some buried and forgotten band.
Bands like SLOUGH FEG, RAM, SOLSTICE, TERMINUS, WRATHBLADE, DOOMSWORD, BATTLEROAR are releasing great stuff and should be heralded as heroes as much as lots of older bands.
4.Tyrant's Dictum is the bands newest 7Inch how long did it take the band to write the music for this release?Does the whole band work on writing the music or does one person write everything?
Actually, of the two songs on offer on the single, one ("Facing the Wind") was already released in another version on our first mini-CD "Iron Will", whereas the other ("Tyrant's Dictum") was left out of the last album "The Cycle Never Ends". This version of "Facing the Wind" was rerecorded during our first album "We March Forward" sessions. We always looked at our mini-CD "Iron Will" as a demo, so we thought we'd pick the most emblematic song from it and record it for the first proper album "We March Forward". But since we had so much new music available for the album, we ended up leaving "Facing the
Wind" out. As for "Tyrant's Dictum" the reasons were a bit similar. We wanted around 40 minutes of music for "The Cycle Never Ends", so something should be left out. We didn't leave the song out because we thought it was inferior, far from that... We just thought that within the main theme and atmosphere of the album, this song could be "lost" and would work much better as a single on its own!
Normally, our songwriting ethos is always the same: someone comes up with the main structure of a song and then we work together the remaining layers and structure.
5.Besides the new 7Inch does the band have any other releases or merchandise available for the readers?If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
We have released so far:
1) mini-CD "Iron Will" in 2012 (still a few copies left from us)
2) split-single 7" with TERMINUS on 2013 (sold out)
3) Album "We March Forward" on Eat Metal Records (sold out from us and the label on all formats- maybe available on some distros around)
4) Album "The Cycle Never Ends" on Cruz del Sur Music (we have a few CD's left. For LP's contact the label)
5) Single "Tyrant's Dictum" on Witches Brew (contact the label for a copy).
Other than these, all the tshirts we had are also sold out.. Cruz del Sur still has a few left on their store.
6.I know Portugal has a strong death,black metal scene but what is the Portugese heavy metal scene like?
Right now it's great! These last 10 years saw a lot of bands coming up and releasing great stuff. Bands like IRONSWORD, MIDNIGHT PRIEST, CRUZ DE FERRO, THUGNOR, SHIVAN, WANDERER, LYZZARD, ATTICK DEMONS.. even old guys like ALKATEYA are still doing the rounds. So, yeah, although in the 90's and early 00's Heavy Metal had basically disappeared except for some ocasional stuff here and there (IRONSWORD being the frontrunners), right now it's healthy.
7.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of the Portugal metal scene?And are their any new bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
I'd say ALKATEYA, IRONSWORD and MIDNIGHT PRIEST are the holy trinity. As for other bands, apart from the ones mentioned in the reply above, I'll add a few more: PERPETRATÖR (Thrash), FILII NIGRANTIUM INFERNALIUM (Black Metal - going for more than 20 years and recently signed to Osmose), DECAYED (Black Metal - you probably know these guys anyway), DAWNRIDER (Doom Metal), LEATHER SYNN (Heavy Metal)...
8.Does Ravensire play live very often? If yes what have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years?
We don't play that often, but we play regularly. I'd say 5-6 times a year in average. Fortunately, we also play regularly around Europe with shows in Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France and next December in Germany with a few others being talked about for next year.
It's hard to talk about a show in particular, as everywhere we played we were most welcome and treated very well.
But when you go to some place and see the love that the organizers have for the event and the heart and money they pour into it (sometimes even getting personal problems out of the ordeal) I'd have to give a great, big, shout out to David & Christine from No Compromise Fest in Belgium and Hylde Aos from Anthems of Steel Fest in France.
9.Are their any shows or tours coming up in support of Tyrant's Dictum?Who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
For Tyrant's Dictum, not really. We view this single as the closing of a chapter in RAVENSIRE's history. Kind of a treat for everyone that has followed us and an opportunity to finally work together with Cheryl and Witches Brew, someone I personally hold in high esteem for a long time!
As for the next shows, we'll be playing a festival here in Portugal destined to raise money for our firefighters called Oeste Underground Fest with bands like SACRED SIN, ACRANIUS, RAW DECIMATING BRUTALITY among others and in December we'll head to Marburg in Germany where we'll play with IRONSWORD, BATTLE RAM, ARKHAM WITCH and others.
10.Besides heavy metal music do you or any of the members listen to any other forms of underground music?If yes what genre's do you listen to and who are some of your favorite bands and artists?
I'd say we listen to Heavy Metal 99% of our time. Probably some oldies goldies might creep up into our ears occasionally.
Stuff from the 60s, 70s, both mainstream and some others not so well known. There are great gems from this period waiting to be discovered like, for example, HORSE, URSA MAJOR, IRON CLAW, POWER OF ZEUS, JERUSALEM, among many others.
11.When not working on new music or band business what do you like to do in your free time?
Well... It's actually the other way around ahah! When we are not working on our jobs, we occupy our free time with
band business and new songs! Seriously, though, when our free time does not involve band related stuff, we're probably on the lookout for sexual activities with the opposite sex, outdoor activities (sometimes mixing both!) and stuff like that.
12.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers?
Well, thank you for the opportunity to talk about RAVENSIRE. If anyone wants to know more about us, or listen to our
songs, you can do so either on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ravensire or on bandcamp: http://ravensire.bandcamp.com
If you want to contact us for ordering stuff, drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org