This week, the Portuguese band Burn Damage steps into the spotlight for our Meet The Band feature. Their debut full-length album is Age Of Vultures. Drummer Alex Gracio introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Burn Damage.
Alex Gracio: Burn Damage is a Lisbon based four piece band that was originally founded by me and three other ex-members, Nuno (guitar), Silvia (bass) and Gonçalo (vocals) in 2008. In 2011 Inês Freitas replaced Gonçalo and brought the edge the band was needing. The first EP, Reborn, was released independently in 2013 with five tracks.
In 2015, Nuno and Silvia quit the band due to personal reasons and two months later Ivo (guitar) and Rui (bass) joined Burn Damage. In early 2016 we went into the Ultrasound Studios Moita to record our debut album called Age Of Vultures which was released in Portugal in November 2016 and worldwide on January 17, 2017 by Raging Planet label.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Age Of Vultures.
The instrumental part was composed gradually and the lyrics, written by Inês, have many literary influences. According with contemporary subjects such as global warming, war and the social and political degradation, there are many authors quoted if you take a closer look, like Nietszche, Plato and Orwell.
The recording process took place at Ultrasound Studios Moita, with Nuno Pardal and Hugo Almeida from Switchtense, and it lasted for a few weeks. It was a very nice experience where we learned a lot.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
Well, some people say it reminds them of ’90s death metal with groove and thrash metal twists. We guess we can agree at certain point, since we all have different influences and we try to combine them and make something good out of it. How do we characterize our sound? An explosive mix of attitude and rage.
What has the response been like so far?
So far it has been very positive! Of course we can’t please everyone and that reflects on some reviews. But overall we have been receiving a very good feedback from fans and webzines. But we did find a pattern on some reviews that are not giving much focus on our message. Inês is an excellent writer and our lyrics are part of what Burn Damage is. We try to bring awareness to some important issues of our society. So, go read them.
How was the video shoot for your “Acid Rain” clip? Are there plans to shoot any more videos?
The video shoot went very well but it was a hard and exhausting work! Especially for Inês since she is the main character and had to do these multiple versions of it and deal with the subtle characteristics of each. This being said, we do have a nice collection of bloopers that we hope we can share with you all! Apart from “Acid Rain” we do have plans to release more videos. We have a live video ready to release maybe in February and we are planning to do another one later.
What has been your most memorable Burn Damage live show so far?
Every show is memorable, good or bad. Every single one has its moments, but every time we play at RCA in Lisbon is a hell of a party!
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
At this moment we have some shows lined up in April and May, starting with the iconic Moita Metal Fest with Sodom and many other great Portuguese bands. We are lining up some more shows for the rest of the year.
What’s the best concert you’ve attended as a fan?
Tough question. It’s hard to choose just one, but every time Gojira or Machine Head comes to town, it’s awesome.
How’s the heavy music scene in Lisbon?
Growing, not just in number but in quality also! Many talented bands rising and recording albums, organizing gigs and everything that helps to create a brotherhood of bands. Portugal is known for the food, nice weather and sandy beaches. Try to look deeper and you will find some of the best metal bands in Europe. It’s really a rising scene that most of European metalheads still haven’t found. We just wish that there was more rock/metal venues to play at, but the few that exist are very good.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
All the good stuff from Swedish death metal to French heaviness, some American thrash and Brazilian groove. We could name a lot of bands but this sums it pretty well
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
We encourage everyone to give a listen to our metal scene. It’s rich, heavy and all done with the utmost passion. We do believe that in some years it will become one of the main metal scenes in Europe. Thanks a lot for this interview and the support! Burn ‘Em All!
(interview published January 21, 2017)