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Alex Zeralb (Scars)

Interview with Alex Zeralb from Scars
by Michael Dalakos at 07 September 2006, 12:45 PM

Scars really impressed me with their second album The Nether Hell. This Brazilian act can definitely kick major ass when it comes to thrash metal. With no hesitation I hunted down their guitarist, Alex Zerlab, and I demanded answers.

 First of all congratulations for your head smashing new album. Can you please tell us the history of Scars?

Thank you! I’m glad you like it! Well, Scars had its official kick off in 1991, in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is currently composed by Regis Frederico on vocals, Alex Zeraib and Eduardo Boccomino on guitars, Andr? Sterzza on bass, and Patrick Leung on drums.  Along its history, Scars has already played with Anthrax, Kreator, Rata Blanca, among others. It has got a back-pack with over 500 concerts in it, done mostly in Brazil up to 1998, year when the band split up. In April 2004 the band got together for rehearsals and recordings.

 Why did it take so long to release a second album?

Brazil was going through a lack of identity phase as far as music and metal go, and due to the cultural aspect of following the American market and waiting for the new trend to come up, metal started losing space, like radio, concert houses, media, the press… For some idiotic reason, pop music discovered distortion on their guitars and some even more idiotic metal bands thought they could be or already were pop, and started losing it.  So the whole scenario here from around 1998 to 2003 was really not helping, especially thrash-metal and some more underground metal branches.

 I found your sound heavily influenced by the Bay Area thrash acts. Do you agree? What bands influenced you the most?

Oh yeah, absolutely Bay Area! We always refer to Forbidden, Vio-lence, Exodus, Possessed, Dark Angel, Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, and also, if I may, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Tankard, Death Angel, Overkill, Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, MOD, Metallica, Biohazard, Assassin, Venom, Napalm Death, Death, Testament, Iron Maiden and on and on and on!  These and many others are what we wish we could be, a little of each one.  They’re all heroes to us, they’re beyond human!

 What can you tell us about the recording process of The Nether Hell?

The whole concept around the EP The Nether Hell is based on Dante Alighieri’s (1265-1321) masterpiece Hell, of 1310.  From there we drew out the whole artwork of the CD and also a great part of the lyrics.  As for recording, drums went first.  And Fabricio spent some 40 hours to get it right.  Then I recorded the rhythmic guitars together with Edu.  Afterwards Andr? put in the bass and Regis taped his vocals along with Eduardo’s solos.  The whole thing lasted some good 5 to 6 months.  We took our time!

 Thrash has seen better days in the past but lately more and more new acts appear in the scene. Do you think that slowly we witness a Second Coming of thrash dominion?

I like this definition! Second Coming of Thrash Dominion!  Sounds like a song title!!  And oh yes I believe the world has finally been drifting away from new metal bands and rescuing the good ol’ thrash metal, just because that’s where it’s at.  Thrash got it all: fast beat, blast beat, slower and crunched tempo, real guitar sound up front, guitar riffs, guitar solos, heavy bass lines, double bass to the extreme, aggressive vocals, man, that’s my music!

 What is the process Scars follow to compose a song?

It flows in very naturally.  Either Edu or I bring in a riff, and from there Regis fits some vocal lines over main riffs… Patrick is in the back trying to find what the beast beat would be to that metal-salad we’’e doing, and Andr? stands back drinking and watching the whole picture and chipping in with crucial perceptions.  We take two to three weeks to close up a new song.  Right now we’ve already got 5 new songs to the new album.  And that’s where our focus is now.  So we’re listening to a lot of different sources of inspiration.  I go for Annihilator, Death, Forbidden… Edu is more nowadays into Nevermore, Testament and Exodus for his riffs, Andre has been lately checking out bands like Amon Amarth, Legions of the Damned, Vader.  Regis worships Slayer and Patrick likes Lamb of God, Fear Factory, Slipknot…

 Brazil is known for spawning relevantly few but excellent bands compared with other countries. Can you explain this? What is your opinion about your country’s scene?

2004 was a year where underground came up again, and many bands started appearing and re-appearing. So all over Brazil there’s now a movement of consolidation, where bands are launching albums and doing shows.  With all this, Brazil is undergoing a very rich phase right now.  There are also many international first line concerts every two weeks here, which motivates the scenario.

 If you had the ability to change one thing in the music industry what would that be?

The way concert houses and show clubs and labels tend to follow trends and thus discontinue whatever cultural movement of whichever segment of music.  There’s no sequence in a country’s metal history if they don’t help establish a lasting scene.  Europe is a good example of having metal in it’s festivals, stores, shirts, radios… We don’t.

 A set of less serious questions. If the band gets abducted by aliens what song will you play for them?

Alex: We would play Welcome Home, from the King’s Them.

 While on stage you realize that most of the audience has fallen asleep. How would you react?

Alex: I’d really think my whole career over.

 While renting an adult film (not that we do such things) you discover that you music has been used as a soundtrack. How would you react?

I’d clip it and post it on our webpage so that everyone could see that Scars also gives you a hard on and makes chicks double-cum!!!

 Thanks for the serious answers. What are the immediate plans of the band?

Spread the name of the band throughout the world with The Nether Hell as the main driver.  From there get somebody to distribute this CD in Europe and America.  Right after that a deal to push us into studio to record the full length album.  Meanwhile we’ll be gigging around Brazil and South America.

 I want to thank you for your time. Close this interview with a message to all our readers…

Thank you and Metal Temple for this great opportunity to cross the seas and get to your millenary land.  We’ve heard that the Greek metal crowed is a wild one and we wanna get to meet you all soon. Um forte abra?o!!



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