Sunday, October 25, 2020

catching up with Deafkids

I first made contact with São Paulo's Deafkids when their third album Metaprogramação was released through Neurot records. Recently, the experimental post-punk trio released Deafbrick, a collaboration with Petbrick (an experimental/electronic duo with none other than Iggor Cavalera in its line-up).  Deafkids guitarist Douglas Leal and drummer Mariano de Melo were kind enough to take turns in answering my questions about how the collaboration came to pass, and what to expect from their upcoming tour with Oranssi Pazuzu.
photo by Felipe Pagani

Dreams of Consciousness: Hey guys, it's been over a year since our last interview. What have you been up to since then?

Mariano: Oh god, so much stuff! After that interview we released Metaprogramação, our third full-length, toured Europe with Rakta in support of both our collab 7'' and Metaprogramação. Afterwards, Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke came to Brazil to produce a still unreleased record for us. Right after, we went for our first U.S. tour in support of Neurosis with Bell Witch and a tour sharing stages with Big | Brave. After all that, we went to Europe again by the end of the year, where we played for the first time in places like Greece and Ireland, as well as having a quick stop in England to play some concerts, where we also recorded the Deafbrick album. 

This year we were supposed to go to the U.S. to tour in support of Old Man Gloom and go back to Europe as well, but as we all know, things went sour very fast, and as such we're trying to adapt and understand. I'm in the countryside of São Paulo at my mom's house (I came to visit her before the tour, and in two weeks all plans were already cancelled, so I ended up staying), the guys are in the capital. I released my first solo album (as Sarine), Douglas is about to release a new collab album from his solo act Yantra together with Acavernus (Paula from Rakta) on LP... we're all trying to keep ourselves active in this meantime, as to keep from freaking out from isolation and the fucked up political and social situation of our country.

DoC: You have a new album out with the London-based duo Petbrick. How did it come about? What was the collaboration like - were the two bands ever in the studio together, or did you trade files back and forth from your respective locations?

Mariano: Iggor once got in touch with us to say he liked our music, and that resulted in a Petbrick remix for the Configuração do Lamento Remixes album. From that, we performed a collab set on Roadburn, playing songs from both bands in an extended fashion. That really worked, and we realized an all-original release would be really something. We went to Europe at the end of the year for a tour and arranged three days to experiment, write and record in Wayne Adams's studio. The record was pretty much done there, with everybody together, creating songs and collaborating on each other's ideas. After that some stuff was recorded and traded over the internet, but around 90% of the record was created and recorded there.

DoC: Petbrick includes Iggor Cavalera, who was one of the founders and original members of Sepultura. Would you consider him to be an influence on Deafkids? What was it like to work with him?

Mariano: It was really great to work with him and Wayne, for they are really down-to-earth, humble people. I really like some of Sepultura's stuff, mostly Beneath the Remains, Arise and Schizophrenia. I don't think it's a direct influence, as we're not a metal band at all, but as a reference on aesthetic independence, as well as diligence in terms of touring and contacting people through the DIY scene. It's really inspiring to work with him, specially when we realized he's all for exploring new directions, all while including everybody in the process, without any hierarchical mindset.

DoC: The collaboration includes a cover of the Discharge song "Free Speech For The Dumb". Why did you choose this particular band/song to pay tribute to?

Mariano: Discharge is a strong influence for everybody involved, and we are heavily inspired by d-beat, so it came out naturally. Iggor actually thought about that particular song, and we all agreed on it.

DoC: You've released three albums as part of your "Quarantine Live Series". How did the series come about? How many concerts have you recorded, and are you planning on releasing any more live albums?

Douglas: This idea was born because of the Bandcamp Fridays - which was initially announced as 3 dates. As all of our work went downhill because of the pandemic, I tried to think of some creative way to continue working as possible with the band, and to our surprise, Bandcamp Fridays has been of great support to us during this difficult time. We have no concrete plan to continue releasing these live stuff as I believe that at this moment it is flowing more according to our needs and it is kind of weird to think about releasing new material every month. Not directly related to that, but we have a live recording of a collaborative show with RAKTA that will be released on LP in the near future, and we are very excited about it!

DoC: You recently announced a 2021 tour through Europe and the UK with Oranssi Pazuzu. How did the tour come about? What special precautions have to be taken for the bands to play live and tour through Europe?

Douglas: Basically we got an invitation from them for a direct support through our booking agent, and of course we got very excited for that!

Mariano: We don't know what to expect, but of course we're thrilled! Can't wait to meet these guys and be back to the road... It's still hard to measure which would be the right precautions for a context like this (besides everything we already know - masks, physical distance, washing your hands as much as possible, the whole thing). It's even hard to know where we'll stand when the tour comes to be, in terms of what the pandemic represents as a global threat, if vaccines will be something closer to being materialized... so far we're waiting for the best course of action, fully sure we want to make this happen the best way it can.

DoC: What's next for Deaf Kids?

Mariano: Thanks for the opportunity! You can order DEAFBRICK through Neurot Recordings in the U.S. and Rocket Recordings in the U.K. and Europe. We have the tour with Oranssi Pazuzu to be excited about, and trying to figure out what can be our next steps! Stay sharp, reject neo-fascism and its normalization, peace and rhythm!

photo by Felipe Pagani

Deafkids on Facebook

Deafkids on Bandcamp

Deafkids on Instagram

Deafbrick through Neurot Recordings [US Orders]

Deafbrick through Rocket Recordings [UK/Europe Orders]

Free Speech For The Dumb:

an interview with
Deafkids (2019)
Episode 121:
Human Impact