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Attick Demons' Artur Almeida: "We don't really like the idea of being at home sitting on our couches, selling music over the internet… we want to be with our fans and audience, performing live for them and showing what we can do"

Interview with Artur Almeida from Attick Demons
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 August 2020, 12:35 AM

Between horrific tales and historical facts, between darkness and light, all are coming together nicely when finding the twist. Metal music has always been into the Occult and Horror, yet also finding its way into storytelling and reminding the listener of historic events, which some made quite a difference. The Portuguese Heavy Metal band, Attick Demons, surged in order to prove their powerful mindset and great talent at coming up with songs that would win one over. Steinmetal had a chance to talk with vocalist, Artur Almeida regarding the band's new album, “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales”, the signing with a new label, a little lyricism talk and more…

Hello Artur, it is a pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hi Lior! First of all, thank you so much for this invitation! It´s a pleasure to be interviewed by you guys! I´ve been great. In the last months, during the pandemic, I've been busy with the new album and working in other projects. I haven´t stopped since.

Covid-19 is still with us, with several predictions, which some have already been fulfilled, of a second wave slowly spreading. How are things going on in Portugal? Where do you think this pandemic is going?

In Portugal, the pandemic of Covid19 is showing signs of regression, but in the major cities there are still high rates of the disease. Everybody’s talking about a second wave in September… All we can do is hope for the best, maintaining all precautions that the health organizations recommend.

Into the depth of darkness with stride, and within the blackness, hails Attick Demons’ new album, “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales”. From where I am sitting, it feels like a contradiction that is a pure provocation of the mind. Can you elaborate and put some order in the mystery of this interesting title?

The lyrics talk about many different things… Some are happier; others are sad, or even, creepy. Some are obvious and report historical facts (that may have been forgotten in time); others allow the listener to take their own considerations. Mixing this all together, the title would have to be no less than contradictory.

Talking about contradictions, how is the artwork related to what is being unraveled within the album?

The funny fact about the artwork is that we found the amazing artist Mayte CG, almost by chance, but when we explained the concept, she was very excited and a few days later she presented us the first sketch… and when we saw it, we also got really excited.

To explain a bit… the big scary Crow is Kikimora, a spirit, or a Demon if you will, related to nightmares. The innocent child is the contradiction of the title. If you take a closer look, we still have our mascot present in the artwork.

It would appear that you guys are striving to go forward and fast, one of the moves that you made with the incoming of “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales” is shifting between labels. What went wrong with Pure Steel Records after "Let's Raise Hell"? Were you contacted by Rock Of Angels Records, which eventually led to a relationship between the two parties?

Nothing went wrong with Pure Steel Records. The contract we had ended last year and we just moved on. ROAR! had already reached us by the end of 2018, but because there was still an active contract with other label, nothing happened and couldn’t go forward with the negotiation. This year, they contacted us again, and it was easy to reach an agreement.

We’re very excited about their meticulous work, which is something that challenges the band to keep up with, even for our own growth.

After sliding through the album, I noticed that your lyrical content is rather spread, not merely focusing on the occult but on other aspects in life such as the devotion for Metal, history and what appears to be personal issues. In your view, what unifies these themes and how this unification is presented on “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales”?

The themes are not linked together they’re all different stories, different tales. Some are fiction and others are true stories… it doesn't go beyond that. About the true stories, I love that theme, mainly Portuguese history, we have a very rich history, and with these ingredients I can be inspired in several events that happened in our country's past. Another thing that fascinates me is the occult, I like to read a lot about that theme too, you mix these two formulas together and you have "Daytime Stories, Nightmare Tales".

Attick Demons has always been a band with a wide eye, and ears, to the old school prowess of vintage Metal, in particular the arts of NWOBHM. Your voice pattern and the musical perception of the band are clearly closer to Iron Maiden’s golden years. However, it also occurred to me that things became somewhat heavier, and different to a certain point, on this new record. Can you shed some light on this twist in the band’s career tale?

It's a natural twist… “Let’s Raise Hell” is heavier than “Atlantis”, but now, we don’t think that “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales” is heavier; I should say more contemporary, but never forgetting the NWOBHM. We think that this album is a good mix between the old and new.

What led you to stray a little away from your comfort zone into new borders? Would you say that this direction would take the band forward into future releases or is it a mere experimentation?

It was a natural move… it wasn’t anything planned, it’s just the normal growth of an Heavy Metal band, that naturally started to add more heavier tunes. It was just the natural path we chose this time…

With that said, how would you say that this musical approach, which is different from your previous records, influenced your songwriting style and perspective?

Our composing method is made together mainly in the studio, I line up the voice in a strange language, and after the music is fully composed, starts the songwriting. The ideas for the lyrics come from the "feel" of the songs, if they're more melancholic, blasting, or epic ("Condestável", for example). We try to have a good marriage overall with both music and lyrics, but it's not really a well-thought process. We kind of go with the flow, eheheh.

Hugo Andrade led the charge when it came down to the band’s production work, and it seems that the effect on the sound of the band was no less than positive. What is your impression of Andrade’s work? On what other aspects of the album did Andrade have his effect on?

We already recorded the Bonus Track for ”Let’s Raise Hell”, “Thank you”, with Hugo Andrade, and we were very happy with the result, so it was time to give a change to each other to record a full Album. We already knew that Hugo would bring more “heavy tunes” to the record, and … mission accomplished! Hugo is very thorough about small details and you can hear it on the mix.

Following the mass of guest artists that you had on your previous releases, what made it uncanny on “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales”? It appears that no one else was involved correct me if I am wrong

On “Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales” we didn’t feel the need to have famous guests. We did have, however, two great Portuguese guest musicians, our friends as well. Nelson Raposo recorded all the Keyboards on the album, and Pedro Sarmento recorded all traditional instruments on the track “O Condestável (Ode a D. Nuno Alvares Pereira)”.

Yielding the axe right from the get go, “The Contract” attacked without mercy, turning out to be a strong bargaining chip for the album. What can you tell about the song’s intensity along with the creative process to make it happen?

We always like for the first song of every album to be a powerful one ("Back in Time" and "Circle of Light" are great examples), curiously, “Contract” was one of the last ones to be written, and it was written to be the first one.

The creative process is always a group thing… we enjoy to compose all the songs as a band in our studio. We always have the challenge of managing egos, but it’s something we find as productive.

The album’s crown jewel, at least on my bill, is no other than “The Revenge of the Sailor King”. I have to admit that I didn’t know the story, can’t really understand if this is history or myth, yet if it had me repeating it a fair share of times, it says something. What can you tell about the musical direction on this track as it symbolizes a different approach by the band? And of course, if you can tell in short the story in question?

I don't really think that this music symbolizes a different approach to the band. To us is just a kick ass song and we enjoyed it as much as the other songs.

Regarding the lyrics, this is an actually a true story. The King of Portugal had on India a Navy  General that was like a Viceroy, D. Francisco de Almeida, and he had the power to rule India under the command of the King of Portugal.

This General was a great sailor and his son was a great sailor as well. Their job was to patrol the eastern waters against pirates and another kind of threats. So one day his son fell into a trap arranged by their enemies (the sultan of Egypt, Mirochem and his allies), that killed him.

Filled with rage, the Viceroy, against the will of the King of Portugal (D. Manuel I), set sail in search of his son's killers with his ship "Flor de la Mar" and 18 more Portuguese ships, against 200 galley of the enemy. In an act of pure personal vengeance, he destroyed the sultan's armada and all his allies' ships… until there was not a single ship left.

This was one of the most epic battles of the Portuguese Navy… And there´s more to the story…. But It´s better to leave it for other chapters…

Can you tell that I really love history? Ehehehe

General Nuno Álvares Pereira had quite an influence on your country’s independence centuries ago, and for that you made a tribute with “O Condestável”. What can you tell about the nature of the song for you personally? Did you feel the need to create this song in order to remind others that may have forgotten their origins?

I’ve been thinking about this story for a really long time. I thought: “Why not write a song in Portuguese?”. With some traditional instruments, our roots will be there, our language too, and why not remember such a big event of our history?

So when I presented this idea to the rest of the band, they just loved it. This song was made and the lyrics were written to embrace our past and history and also to remember every one of our origins, mostly the youngsters.

Looking forward into the future, once the album is out, how do you intend to support, especially in these crazy times where it is not possible to go live on stage in front of people?

We had 4 concerts scheduled for this year and another one scheduled for January 2021, both in Portugal and Spain. Two of them were already cancelled, and the other three we’re still hoping that they can somehow happen, following the necessary safety measures of course.

Having the album finished and not being able to play it live for the fans is a bit of a disappointment to us. We don't really like the idea of being at home sitting on our couches, selling music over the internet… we want to be with our fans and audience, performing live for them and showing them what we can do. It’s also great to hear their feedbacks and see their expressions and energy while we’re on stage.

Artur, I wish to thank you for this interview and for the time made for it. I believe that your newfound sound, along with the British Metal orientation, made it a win / win situation. All the best.

Thank you so much for the amazing support guys, the pleasure was all mine! Long Live Metal Temple!


 



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