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Interview: Obskure (Brazil)

Hey, guys! Here we are again, for a great start in this new stage of The Book Zine with a traditional and solid band in the Brazilian northeastern scene, about to release their new album. For you, Obskure, from Ceará!

First of all, the basics: When Obskure was formed and what is its current line-up?
Amaudson Ximenes – The band was conceived in May 1989, in the neighborhood of Parque Araxá, a traditional rock music hub in the city of Fortaleza. Currently, the band is made up by: Amaudson Ximenes (guitar), Daniel Boyadjian (solo guitar), Jolson Ximenes (bass), Wilker D’ângelo (drums), Fábio Barros (keys) and Germano Monteiro (vocal). The first four members are in the band since its first CD, “Overcasting”. Fábio joined us in 2003, and Germano in 2006. With this line-up, we recorded our new album, “Dense Shades of Mankind”, that as now is in the factory for printing.

Which influences are present in the band's sound?

Amaudson Ximenes – Death metal, heavy metal, grind core, marginal literature, daily life, etc.
There is a pretty noticeable style evolution since Overcasting to the more recent songs that are in the band's Myspace. Can we expect this more aggressive characteristic for the next album?

Amaudson Ximenes – The new album is much more extreme than “Overcasting”. It has some technical, intense, extreme songs, that range from atmospheric death to grind core. There are brand new songs and a rerecording of our first Demo-tape “Uterus and Grave”, from 1990. The new album had its release delayed several times due to unstability in the line-up. With our line-up stable since 2006, we finally managed to finish songs, records them and give shape to them.
Keeping with the album issue, are there plans or forecast for relaunching Overcasting?

Amaudson Ximenes – Not at the moment, we are concerned with the promotion of our new work, “Dense Shades of Mankind”. We intend to promote it to the maximum, playing in the more different venues in Brazil and abroad.
Overcasting, the band's first full-lenght.
Regardless the band's time of existence, you have not played too much here (São Paulo) to the moment. Are there plans or possibilities to pass here to promote the new album?

Amaudson Ximenes – As we said before, if we have the opportunity, we'll be playing again in the city of São Paulo. The last time we have been around was in 2008, for the Metal Battle's selective. The gig was in July 2008, at Manifesto Bar.

The Brazilian Northern region always had a very healthy and fertile scene, though much of what is doe there do not reach the rest of the country. What, in your opinion, is missing to have a better promotion of local scenes throughout the country?

Amaudson Ximenes – I believe you meant to say the Northeastern region. Actually, the disclosure of Northeastern groups have even improved with the advent of social networks and the internet. What is missing, in my opinion, are more events in both regions in which the groups may interact more. I know that Brazil is a country of continental proportions, and it makes many of these project unfeasable due to distance, precarious access and high costs for displacement, both by land or air. However, I believe that someday we'll be able to overcome these hardships.
Is there a good mobilization among the local underground bands? Or things end up being each based on their own forces?

Amaudson Ximenes – In Ceará's case, there are several collective experiences that contributed a lot for the underground scene's growth. Here in our city there is the Ceará Cultural Rock Society (ACR, in Portuguese), of which we are one of the founding groups, and which has been achieving to open several doors, specially with public authorities. Ther is ForCaos, a traditional festival responsible for the exchange of groups of several regions in the country (www.youtube.com/forcaostv). The event exists for 14 years, and several bands have played there: Taurus, Krisiun, Stress, Vulcano, Decomposed God, Headhunter D.C, Violator, Funeratus, among several others in the genre.

Festivals such as BNB do Rock Cordel, promoted by Banco do Nordeste network of Culture Centers, is also another successful experience. There are more than 150 groups per edition, the festival is free, always in the month of January. Several rock genres are covered, from the alternative to heavy metal and extreme metal.

And how about interaction different scenes? It occurs smoothly, or are there is attrition between metal and hardcore, for example?

Amaudson Ximenes – In the state of Ceará, this kind of attrition, of difference, is not a hindrance between the groups. Among the audience, in some moments there is some discomfort when the styles are too much mixed up, but among the bands it is unusual, at least with people related to ACR, that is where I give more of my attention. People usually respect each other, get along together, drink together, etc. There is calm environment. Respect is essential in these moments, as we have a greater enemy, that is the prejudice of the so called common sense, the large-sized media and conservatives. If we fight and struggle among ourselves, nothing will remain and we will play by the system's rules.

An issue that cannot be set aside: what is your opinion regarding christianism and christian metal? Do you believe it is possible for a band to be sincere regarding both metal and its religious beliefs?

Amaudson Ximenes – We know that there is a lot of opportunism by churches that use this mechanism to draw their "clients". A gargantuan structure of churches and lots of money injected. Music, particularly metal and its variations, is an efficient manner to seize musicians and the audience. I do not aggree with this practice, however, this is not something that can be fought against with physical strenght, with intimidation, as I see happening usually. This kind of pracitce is fought with intelligence, with a well-based criticism. I know some musicians that claim to feel happy in playing and taking their christian messages for the faithful. Just like there is the option of satanists for worshipping satan, christians chose to worship God.  In the end, it is fanaticism, its religion just the same. The music, the metal, is made a vehicle for worship, for earning the faithful, for the formation of small groups, of fanaticism, actual conservative mills.
Thanks for your colaboration and for your answers, Amaudson. Be at ease to give your message to the readers.

Amaudson Ximenes – Thanks for the space, we expect to soon be rewarding everybody with the new album “Dense Shades of Mankind”, that regardless the more than three years delay, should be out still this year.

Best regards for you, Heder, and all the readers.

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