Monday, January 9, 2023

Choir Interview

 1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?

Created to serve as a music production laboratory and sonic explorations, Choir took full form in 2020. It eventually became a form of expression of my own thoughts on humanity, the abuse we spread, and what's in the future for the world in which we live in.

2.So far you have released a couple os singles, ep and a full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you weent for on those recordings?

This project in particular offers bleak atmospheres juxtaposed to angular, atonal metal riffs and off-kilter, sometimes odd-timed, grooves. Choir's sonic goal is always about high contrast. Music tends to make a stronger point when dissonance contrasts with consonance when fast contrasts with slow when despair contrasts with hope. And of course, the beautiful sound of black holes merging into each other and drums falling from a staircase.

3.The lyrics on the recent album cover the corruption of living in a Latin American country, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?


Allow me a small correction. Although the condition of life in nations in development heavily inspires Choir, Songs For a Tarnished World touches on different subjects. Anyway, addressing the question, I, as a person behind Choir, have been involved in politics since very early in my life. From family members participating in African-American movements from my professional career, where I worked in workers' rights campaigns and progressive political figures. Everything has been clearly solidified by the conditions of living of the people living in the same cities as me. I've been too close to abuse, murder, hunger, and other negative situations people are subjected to. I myself had guns pointed at my face many times – always by police officers.  Acting to promote change ended up being my main passion. Naturally, it heavily influenced my creative drive.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Choir'?

I wanted to tell the songs from the perspective of those who don't have a voice to be heard, such as the choir of the voiceless, or the choir of the rotten throats. Naming the project simply as Choir sounded like it could draw people in without sounding too preachy, however. Also, no band is named just "Choir" on Metal Archives.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

Songs For a Tarnished World tells stories of a world where life isn't any more, from the perspective of inanimate environments.

The artwork features an oil painting of the dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag. He registered many panoramas of the ocean, in its power and triumph, as frigates face its tempestuous waters. The decision of using it was to represent the persistence of life on this planet. As the legendary philosopher Jeff Goldblum once said in a movie, "Life finds a way".

6.You have lived in both Brazil and Singapore, how would you compare the two different countries?

Singapore is much less inspiring when you're growling about the bleak condition of human life. It still has its moments though, ask any foreign construction worker here who was literally locked for more than two years in terrible conditions during the pandemic. Great portrait of "progress" in late-stage capitalism.

7.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?

I'm a loner by nature and my best friends are my cats, so go figure. That said, I do collaborate with other musicians and bands as a producer. I recently created some electronic sounds for a Nightmarer track. My agenda is open for 2023, by the way, reach out to Solid State Rot on Instagram. Terrible, shameless, self-plug aside, Choir's process and interests are too particular to me, my points of view, and experiences to incorporate other people into it. Much of this process is slow, methodical trial and error and it involves a lot of isolation and poorly slept nights. I also see production and the technical stages (e.g. mixing and mastering) as part of my songwriting. The sonic aesthetic of music has a lot of narrative power, from my point of view. Owning the entire process certainly hinders the final product, but I'm not looking for perfection with this project. It's supposed to feel and sound human after all, like the late philosopher Daft Punk once said.

Probably sounds too self indulgent and boring to most of the metal folks I know, who are happily chugging power chords on their guitars and headbanging to the last Meshuggah album – as anyone sane should be. 

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

I'm actually signed to Total Dissonance Worship as of now and VERY excited about it. I feel so much chemistry both in aesthetics and ethics with Simon, the label's mastermind, and I can't think of a better match. Songs will be released in vinyl, tape and digital media via the label in March 24th.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and doom metal?

Considering this project was supposed to be a sonic laboratory and a way to vent my mind, it's wild. Choir's music was released in a "grassroots" form, fully based on the community's passion for extreme music. It really showcases the power of the internet to give people a voice. Since the music was featured on Odium Nostrum's Youtube channel, I feel privileged for my musical voice to be heard by thousands of people. Above all, most of the money received by digital sales so far has been reverted as donations to causes I'm passionate about. In particular, Instituto Marielle Franco and Movimento de Mulheres Olga Benario that support women in need, victims of oppression and violence.

10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?

Hopefully, not stagnant and still thirsty for promoting change – either sonic or social.

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?

I'm a fan of extreme music in any sense. Extreme in either themes, words, heaviness, sentiments, or in sheer nerdiness. For the years since Choir came to be, I've been consuming a lot of contemporary jazz and underground hip hop. Possibly everyone who listened to Songs noticed my love for Sunn O))), Portal and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And of course, much of my boomer teenage-passion-bands such as King Crimson, Fleetwood Mac, Caravan and Genesis, speaking of nerdiness. Although Choir doesn't do much alliteration of the aforementioned music, it's influenced it in many other ways, such as sonic exploration, musical freedom, not giving a shit about genres and having something to say. 

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Support people, support small local businesses, support artists, and support the entire roster of Total Dissonance Worship – it's all awesome shit.