Press - Interviews
01st June 2002
Interview for Ancient Ceremonies #9

Click for a larger viewWhen the MCD "Melégnia" was released, in those days under the moniker Thanatos, I immediately defined this to be a band to watch out in the future, though many where quite sceptic about it. With the release of "Schizo Level", ThanatoSchizO have taken us to a new level of their music. Coming forth with all their potential, they have created a strange and very interesting work where we can evolved by their unique way of looking into metal.
I was really curious about this gigantic step taken by this band so I've spoke with the charismatic, and sometimes misunderstood, mentor of this band, Guilhermino, a good friend for some time now.

First of all, congratulations on your new album, it took me by surprise and you know I had high expectations for it.
Well…thanks. You know…it's very challenging to arouse others minds. Ok, we do what pleases us. We create music to satisfy ourselves but it's surely a great victory to know that people are really surprised with "Schizo Level" and are finally starting to understand that ThanatoSchizO is not a regular metal band.

Since Melégnia, there have been quite some changes in the band. First an obvious question, the change of name. Not why (because it is obvious) but why ThanatoSchizO?
You see…we have been particularly familiar with the Schizo word since the beginning. Sometimes people who listened to our "Melégnia" EP called us a Schizo Metal band (whatever that means).
The irony of all this is that our bass player got seriously injured in middle 2001 and had to leave the band due to schizophrenic issues. So it came obviously clear that we should add SchizO to our previous moniker.

Second question relating to the new changes, the line-up of the band… Who's out and who's in, and, of course, why.
As I said, the former bass player had to leave us during this album's composition process. So I had to manage all the bass lines in "Schizo Level". After all this, we found that we needed a vocal evolution, in order to continue and follow up our path towards a musical maturity. Then we asked our previous vocalist to leave the band and started to rehearse with this one guy who worked sometimes for us as a roadie and lives like two headquarters away from me. Eduardo was our friend since childhood (he was the lead vocalist of some local death/black bands) and reached a life's philosophy that fits perfectly our will. Moreover, he has done an excellent work when he chose such interesting voice paths and even contributed with two lyrics.
Besides this, Filipe - the synths player (the one who helped us as an invited guest during the last part of the 2 years-"Melégnia"-tour) - and the female vocalist Patrícia (who was only a guest until then) became ThanatoSchizO's official members, in order to help our purpose evolution.

Are they all fully in tune with the musical style of the band?
Naturally! They are fully synchronized with ThanatoSchizO music style and lyrics' philosophy.
Let me also add that right after we left the studio we gathered forces with an excellent bass player (who also played in some local black/death metal bands) who originally was a guest musician but now is also a truly official ThanatoSchizO member.

And, to end this series of changes, I must say that all that was missing in the previous CD, in terms of layout, was largely surpassed in this one. Do you have a tendency to jump from one extreme to the other, don't you? This new layout is excellent!
Well…that means that our next layout will suck…(laugh). No, really…what we have - I think - is a natural tendency to surprise. It's true that we were kind of careless with our self-financed debut EP (there's a long, long story behind that), so we wanted to compensate all this creating - together with the guys from Misdeed Records and the excellent webmaster/designer artist and good friend Pedro Caldeira (Eternal Evo Designs) - a wonderful layout.

Now, a very difficult question, define your sound to all the readers that unfortunately haven't had the chance yet to listen to the album.
Have you ever tasted the feeling of trying anything new in your life? Have you ever tried to feel something really original about your life? Can you remember the last time your senses were aroused? That's what ThanatoSchizO is all about!
If you really want a defining word, I can try to tell you that ThanatoSchizO is Dark Metal with an ever-present depressive aura, mixed up with such strange things as ethnic music. ThanatoSchizO - at least in this album - deconstructs all the metal clichés that are kind of boring. To all this you can add lyrics that are sometimes ironic and sometimes expose what we really are (the undisguised version of the lyricism).

You have chosen to mix a lot of different styles, are you not afraid that this will "scare" away a lot of people? … or you just don't really care about it! (laugh)
This will never be music for a regular/normal individual, for a regular metal fan that loves all the clichés inherent to this style of music. You know, I really care for bands like Arcturus that created something unique and - as they are - we don't really give a fuck if one can't understand our deep world.

To what extent did the new formation influence the making of this album?
This is a band! Not a pseudo-band where one guy makes all the things and teach the others to play it. Everybody in this band contributes (and will always contribute) with ideas, riffs, visions, etc.

What are the main differences between "Schizo Level" and "Melégnia", 'cause there are quite a few.
In a word: maturity. As we move forward, it's quite natural that we begin to perceive some details that we weren't aware of before. Moreover, maturity brings the eternal search for good taste in our music and feelings.
"Schizo Level" has an approach somehow different from the one present in "Melégnia". It's globally more powerful and live-oriented with a direct feeling that was not included on the EP. "Melégnia" was more oriented to the progressive path without big and strong heavy moments.
I can just say that our album takes in the progressive veil of the EP and turns it stronger and heavier. The progressive way is still there but with other links, in order to show our ideas as you can feel in the ethnic and the (little) electronic stuff.
Both records are two steps in a long, long walk …so be aware of that.

Looking back to the first CD, and comparing it to the new one, what do you feel? Are you still proud of it? Do you still feel it to be the right choice for the time?
Of course I am proud of it. "Melégnia" represents what we were back in 98/99. And we have only reasons to face it in a positive way. It opened the scene for us. It showed us for the first time to the world…and I still love all its songs.

By the way, is it still available?
Yes it is…at any good store or by contacting us.

In this album you have giving new steps in the story of Suturn, the character around which all the lyrics evolve. Can you tell us more about it's, or he's meaning?
Suturn is the real personification of us, dramatized in a schizophrenic world. We use this character in order to expose our deepest feelings. Suturn is a fact!

How have been the reactions to this work at the moment? Did it meet your expectations?
We were a kind of surprise to everybody. Like it or not, almost everyone was like: "WOOOO…is this u, guys?!?!" (laugh) and that is really, really great to hear. Surprise - as I said - is our "middle" name.
The sells are going just fine and the feedback is very strong in a positive side.
As for the reviews, they're in 90% of the cases very congratulating specially outside Portugal. You see…even though we get a real support from some parts of the Portuguese scene, there's still a lobby, which insists to suffocate the scene and refuses to believe that bands like ThanatoSchizO exist and are really healthy and catching attention.

I was not familiar with your new label, Misdeed Records. How did the chance to work with them come to be? Did you have other offers?
We had three more offers. Two of them were from foreign labels. But we already knew the people from Misdeed (that worked under other names and had other aims in the underground scene) since "Melégnia". The guys were great fans of our sounds/philosophy and were the most professional, honest and motivating during all the "Melégnia" promotion.
Thus, why signing for a foreign label?
It became quite natural to join forces with Misdeed Records!

Now that sometime has passed since the release of the album, do you fell that the label is fulfilling its obligations?
Misdeed Records is fulfilling everything that was agreed. The album is being distributed abroad; we've answered dozens and dozens of interviews since the releasing of "Schizo Level". Then, this can only be a good sign. And recently, Misdeed Records invested on the merchandising of t-shirts, in order to promote the band more widely.

You are now going to start a tour to promote this album. What can be expected from a ThanatoSchizO live performance, and where are you going to play?
It is going to be sweaty, dramatic, ferocious and intense, very progressive, but violent too. There are going to be some impromptus.
We will play just in a few places, where we can find the adequate conditions. We have already performed more than a hundred gigs until now. Therefore, we are more than able to handle an audience. But we will no longer play unless the minimum conditions are assured, because that can completely distort everything the band stands for.

Now, I know you have been working real hard on your upcoming album, what can be unveiled about it at this time?
It is going to be recorded in the first trimester of 2002 and it is already completely pre- -produced. As for the sound, I don't want to reveal anything but I can guarantee that it will be (once again) a surprise and that is more focused on the aspects we think to be our best ones.
Eduardo has composed almost every song, then he has been having a much more intense participation in this phase leaving me more space to focus on the structure of the themes. Besides this, he also plays - very well - guitar, contributing to the strength of our sound.
The releasing is scheduled to middle 2002. Prepare yourselves for another surprise.

Well, we must end this conversation. I hope to see you soon live, 'cause I really am curious about the effect of the songs in a live performance.
Thank you very much for this interview. I hope you have the guts to taste our "Schizo level".

Pedro Félix

5 CDs + 1 EP
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