A Constant Storm – Interview
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
In mid-2013 I started to write some loose songs and by the end of the year I realized that the potential to create a more structured project was there. Soon I chose the name “A Constant Storm” and released an EP in March 2014, which I named “Storm Born”. Then I took some time off the project but returned to it in early 2016, when I started writing for the debut full length album, “Storm Alive”.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
It’s certainly different than the first EP, for a number of reasons. When it comes to production, that album was recorded with nothing but the most basic resources, which included a small soundboard, a guitar, a keyboard and my own room as a recording place. This time around I recorded with a real producer: My Moonshade bandmate Afonso Aguiar ( who made a brilliant job in this new album, I reckon). Lyric-wise “Storm Born” was also a very furious piece of art: I was going through some tough times in my life and ended up venting a lot of anger, whereas this new album was recorded with me going through a much more stable phase. Finally, about the music, I think “Storm Alive” is a more adventurous effort than the EP. I have a very wide taste in music, which makes me listen to a lot of different musical genres and I always wanted my solo work to reflect that. I feel, however, that in “Storm Born” I ended up being too stuck to a sometimes kinda janky fusion of black metal and darkwave that I tried to create, whereas “Storm Alive” brings a lot of new sounds to the table, from oriental folk music to classic rock, melodic death metal and even some structural ideas mostly found in pop or hip hop.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I tend to write about myself and my own problems, doubts and worries. I try to do so, however, in a metaphorical way, taking my own experiences and turning them into stories and allegories. I believe that’s the best way to proceed because it takes something very personal and translates it into a universal language, giving it the possibility to mean something to more people. On the new album I wrote about existencial questioning and all the different stages one goes through when thinking about why the world exists, when did it start, when will it end and so on. I write most of the lyrics myself but this time around Ricardo wrote a couple of them, and I feel his writing, which is different than mine, helped the final product sound more varied not only sound-wise, but also in the lyrical ground.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'A Constant Storm'?
I came up with “A Constant Storm” when I realized the original name I had for this project wasn’t as good as I first had thought (The name was “Vendaval”, which is a synonym for the word storm in portuguese). It also contains a reference to “Storm”, a black/folk project that existed in the mid 90’s and consisted of Fenriz (Darkthrone), Satyr (Satyricon) and Kari Rueslatten (The Sirens). It is one of my favorite bands of all time, albeit a sort of obscure one and they released their only album in 1995, which was the year I was born, so there’s also some symbology there.
5.While the music is mostly solo you did have some session musicians on the new album, are there any plans to make this project a full time band and start doing live shows?
I write all the music for A Constant Storm but the collaboration I had from my two friends and bandmates was absolutely essential for this record. Afonso, on the one hand, knew how to draw the full potential from my compositions and also make everything sound just the way I hoped it would, plus he made a great job with the drum programming, something he was also in charge of. And as for Ricardo, he’s obviously a very talented singer and one who’s not afraid to try different things, which was also quite interesting. As for live shows, all I can say is that there have been some talks about that. However it’s very hard for a new project/band to play shows without losing a lot of money, which is a pretty big problem, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.
6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Unfortunately, nowadays it seems that there are increasingly fewer labels that are interested in offering fair deals to artists, something that’s fundamental for both parties to succeed. The risk absolutely has to be taken by both sides of the deal so I can’t conceive accepting any deal that involves me paying high ammounts of money for a label to do some editing and promotional work for me. So basically, until a fair deal comes along I will be doing stuff the independent way.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of underground metal?
The first few reviews and opinions have been pretty positive, which is very gratifying to me. I feel that music these days, and specially the metal scene, is in need of different sounds and artists that try to push boundaries and blur lines between musical genres. That’s what I try to do and it’s always great to receive feedback from people who like this kind of thing. There are bound to be some negative opinions on this way of doing things aswell, but that just comes with the business.
8.What is going on with 'Moonshade' these days, another band that you are a a part of?
We have been writing our new album for about a year, and right now we’re almost ready to start recording, so it’s a pretty exciting time to be a Moonshade fan! We are also playing some dates in our home country, and the band is growing each day in terms of popularity, something that’s reflected in the increasing number of people that keep coming to our live shows.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
Both Moonshade and A Constant Storm are projects I dedicate all my heart to, and as such they will definitely be around for a long time. As for myself, I hope to keep refining my writing and playing style, whilst trying to create music that’s exciting enough for music fans overall to enjoy it. What I can promise is that I’ll never be satisfied with doing the same thing over and over again. It’s way more fun to create music outside of confort zones!
10.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?
As I mentioned earlier I am a big music fan and I listen to a lot of different things. Ulver are probably my favorite band, so that alone shows I like things to be varied and unpredictable. In fact, it’s pretty normal for me to be in my room listening to black metal, then switch to a hip hop song and then put on some gothic stuff. So, essentially, everything from Dead Can Dance to Rotting Christ, from Eminem to Nile, King Crimson, Soror Dolorosa, Volbeat, Baroness, Emilie Autumn, Metallica, and the list is endless. Lately I have been listening to A LOT of Queen.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I have a degree in audiovisuals so photography is a big interest of mine and it’s an area I may end up working professionally on. I also enjoy sports and card games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk to OccultBlackMetalZine and for helping publicize the project, I really appreciate it. A big thanks to every reader as well and you can follow A Constant Storm on Facebook, Youtube and Bancamp, where “Storm Alive” is available for purchase and streaming!