We've been talking a bunch about Siriun, the Brazilian metal band that broke into the world with their killer debut, In Chaos We Trust, and has no interest in looking back. Having the opportunity to not only talk about the band, but to the band, I had a quick chat with frontman, Alexandre Castellan, to gain a little more background on their music and where they're from.
During our interview, Alexandre talks about the metal scene in Brazil, the themes of the new album, working with drummer Kevin Talley and plans to tour the U.S.
Although Brazil is a country with a thriving metal culture, Rio De Janeiro remains a city many don’t think of as a metal hot spot. Can you tell us about the scene in your city, and how Siriun might fit in, or stand out from the rest?
Alexandre: Yes, Rio de Janeiro is definitely not the best place for metal. Sao Paulo, on the other hand, is much better. However, Rio does have some track record… we’ve had one of the pioneering metal bands from Brazil, Dorsal Atlantica, that was one of Sepultura’s main influences but in terms of audience/scene it’s quite unstable. For instance we had a show cancelled with Suffocation because of low demand however we opened for Obituary last year and that was completely packed.
Fortunately, there’s a lot more international bands coming over here so that certainly helps to change the scene and I have seen more successful events in the past years. Apart from Dorsal Atlantica and some other old-school bands, Rio have some great new bands including the likes of Vitalism, Reckoning Hour, Gutted Souls just to name a few.
Our sound is somewhat different from what is played here, I believe this is crucial factor that helped us stand out from the crowd. In terms of fit, again, the scene is not very strong. There are a few promoters/producers and most of the venues are not suitable, so we end up supporting/opening for the international acts that come here.
I always believe elements of your surroundings find their way in every artist’s work. How do you feel Brazil has helped to shape the band and what you do?
Alexandre: In terms of musicality, Brazilian music has definitely influenced the groove and the acoustic side of the band. We live in a country with an incredibly wide cultural background. It is such a big country with so many different cultures living under the same roof.
On the other hand, because of the difficulty of living and metal not being mainstream, trying to start a career in a place like this with so many economic problems and inequality…sometimes it feels pretty hard, literally swimming against the current. That's probably why our biggest focus at the moment is reaching Europe and the United States, where the metal scene is strong.
Your new album, In Chaos We Trust, talks about some heavy topics relating to human existence and the social system we all play a role in. What was it that inspired this to be the topic you wanted to write about, and has doing so helped your own journey in any way?
Alexandre: It’s an inner journey. Living in a world with so much inequality and suffering makes us question society, the meaning of life… all of that will make us start looking into ourselves, at the end of the day, that’s where the problem resides. The main idea of "In Chaos We Trust" is that from chaos a new order originates. So the idea is that of a chaotic society reaches a cathartic point where the old structures collapse and a new, more evolved society in terms of consciousness emerges, just as everything in the universe is constantly evolving. The inspirations range from authors like Carl Jung, Carlos Castaneda, Gurdjeff, to Greek philosophers, hermeticism, quantum physics and oriental philosophies.
Yes it definitely helped my journey, because by concatenating these ideas in form of lyrics, helps you reformulate your thoughts and thus refine your own actions.
As a fan of Kevin Talley, the album was something I looked forward to checking out, and it does not disappoint with all grooves, creativity, and brutality in the mix. How did you first connect with Talley to play drums for the band, and how was the recording conducted with the obvious geographical space between musicians?
Alexandre: I've always been a fan of Kevin. From his work with Dying Fetus, Chimaira, Dååth and many others… Back in the day I used to go to an audio production forum and i remember one of the topics someone had said that Kevin was organizing a contest in which he made a drum track available and we had to put guitar over it. Through this contest I was able to get in touch with him. So I joined over the fact that I admired his work with the fact that i was after a drummer of his ability to help me record the album.
The process was entirely online and very efficient.I sent him the demos and not long after he sent me back the drum stems…. I could have not been happier with the results! :)
As a debut album, this is the first taste of Siriun for most Metal Injection readers. If you had to pick one, what would you say is your favorite track on the album, and why?
Alexandre: I believe it would have to be ‘Intent’. Probably because it’s got a bit of all.. grooves, brutality, fast parts and lyrics have a very positive message.
Any plans to tour the U.S. soon?
Alexandre: Yes! That is one of our main goals! We are trying to contact booking agents, but as we are an unsigned band, it gets harder to get the good opportunities. But we will keep looking (if you know of anyone?:) and I hope it comes true soon!
Lastly, I’d like to thank you and the Metal Injection team for all the support you have given us since the beginning! So much appreciated.
Pick the debut album, In Chaos We Trust, via their Bandcamp page.