Rock Meeting Nº 143 English Version

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WORDS OF EDITOR

MONUMENTS "CARDINAL RED"

. PEI FON @PEIFON JOURNALIST, PHOTOGRAPHER AND ROCK MEEETING'S GENERAL DIRECTOR

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he first time I heard 'Cardinal Red', the opening riff caught my attention. But I was really surprised by Andy Cizek's versatility on vocals. This does not mean that the new member is bringing the spotlight to him, on the contrary, he was the missing piece for Monuments to be the embodiment of unity.

Just before the pandemic, Monuments was already undergoing line-up changes and, like any change, you must go through a period of adaptation. It is never easy because it is necessary to understand how that new person will keep pace with what is already underway. Andy played a few shows, but we were all looking


Photo: Joeseth Carter

forward to hearing him on songs made for his voice. The surprise came with some singles released last year, but it is with the album “In Stasis” that we get a real sense of how much he is fully integrated into the band. “Cardinal Red” is a great example of how Monuments are at their best, I dare say that, but that's what I feel when I hear the new album. And I have the courage to say

that I like this current Monuments much better. This single is a supreme of technique, melody, daring and emotion. And I've heard it so many times that it should appear on the most listened to list of 2022 (laughs). For those who haven't heard it, here's a tip of a great album. He will certainly be among the best of the year. This is a sure bet!


SUMMARY 2022

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54 06. PRIDELANS “LIGHT BENDS” 16. INVISIONS “DEADLOCK”

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26. INFECTED RAIN “ECDYSIS” 42. AS IT IS “I WENT TO HELL AND BACK” 54. KROSIS E.V.I.L. 62. INRETROSPECT “CURRENT STATE”

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GENER A L DIR ECTO R Pei Fon EXECUT IV E DIR ECTO R Felipe da Matta COV ER PHOTO Joeseth Carter S TA F F Barbara Lopes Fernando Pires Gustavo Tozzi Kayomi Suzuki Marta Ayora Mario Van Bayle Mauricio Melo Murilo da Rosa Rafael Andrade Uillian Vargas

34 MONUMENTS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TO BRAZIL

C O N TA C T contato@rockmeeting.net

WWW.ROCKMEETING.NET


INTERVIEW. PRIDELANDS

“WE’RE RIGHT WHERE WE WANT TO BE AND WE’RE MAKING MUSIC T H AT W E W A N T TO M A K E ”

PRIDELANDS B Y G U S TA V O T O Z Z I PHOTOGRAPHY PROMOTION

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INTERVIEW. PRIDELANDS

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s connoisseurs of good music, we are more than used to hearing two vocalists sharing the melodic lines, but with the Australian band Pridelands this vocal division transcends expectations. This statement can be seen on the debut album “Light Bends” by Sharptone Records. With ten years on the road, you ask yourself: why did it take so long to release the first full? Like every band, “given the change they’ve gone through in terms of lineup”, these guys make sure they’re where they want to be. Formed by the vocals of Joshua Cory and Mason Bunt, Liam Fowler (guitar), Daniel Larry (bass) and Joseph Lipsham (drums), the quintet talked to Rock

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Meeting about this new play and what they want from now on. Follow up! With almost 10 years on the road and two EPs released, Pridelands presents its debut album, “Light Bends”. What is your assessment of the band’s trajectory? It’s kind of hard to answer that question, given how much change we’ve gone through as a band in terms of lineups, ambitions, commitments and lifestyle etc. So, I’d say despite it taking as long as it has to get to our debut album, we wouldn’t change it. We’re right where we want to be and we’re making music that we want to make, so it’s all about moving forward with that kind of ambition behind us.


INTERVIEW. PRIDELANDS

Music is an instrument of feelings, and “Light Bends” is a reflection of that, there are 11 songs that tell stories and life experiences. In the midst of the pandemic, is this album a mirror of the uncertainties of that period? Not exactly. Most of the songs were written before that, but they were designed to be interpreted differently. One meaning for me can be parallel but opposite to another person’s as they listen to the record. I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything we write has to be interpreted in the way that we wrote it. That’s not to say intent isn’t important, but we want people to be engaged in their own way when they listen to our record. The song “The Walls” is intense from start to finish. It brings a balance between chaos and calm and this is

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clear in the vocals. With more than 170k plays, did you imagine it would have such a repercussion among listeners? Interestingly enough, that one seemed to be timed well with the whole pandemic issue coming up. The song was at its core about facing adversity and the constant beatings that you must endure before overcoming it and battling with those feelings of futility the whole time, but the literal interpretation of the metaphor of these ‘walls’, at a time of mass lockdowns and such was timely I suppose. It was a crazy coincidence that we released that song during such times when you consider how long before it was written.


INTERVIEW. PRIDELANDS

“The Lake of Twisted Limbs” is one of the highlights of “Light Bends”. There is complexity and melancholy that surrounds an individual who is on the verge of self-destruction. What message do you leave for the listener who identifies with the theme? The message behind that song is a feeling, rather than a literal message itself. It’s about that unspoken pain and trauma

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that creeps into relationships that can either be silenced or does the silencing. It’s our intent that people draw from their own tragedy to apply meaning to that song. It is good to embrace the memories of these feelings in retrospect, so that we may learn from them and see how far we have come as people. “Heavy Tongue” is perhaps one of the heaviest tracks on “Light Bends”, it’s energetic until the end. It is also one of the sounds in which Mason appears more than


in other songs with the screams. What is it like for you to work with two distinguished and extremely talented vocalists? Working with Mason is a dream come true all the time. He has blown me away with his abilities since we were kids and I never expected that I’d still be making music with him all these years later. We’ve been singing together for so long that it all just feels so symbiotic now. We’ve become two sides of the one coin, and I love that.

“Antipathy” is one of the most visceral tracks in “Light Bends”. In an interview, Josh said that the song was written to take away the negative emotions they had during the time, especially anger. Got it? Yeah, I suppose all of the songs are meant to have that effect of catharsis on both us and the listener. Being able to voice so many suppressed emotions and project


INTERVIEW. PRIDELANDS

them onto a song is really special and it helps to let go of the more difficult and challenging things in life. Feelings of bitterness and frustration are never good things to hold onto and writing and listening to music that brings those into the light is a good way to start letting them go. With shows scheduled in Australia, how is the return to the stage after the most acute crisis of the pandemic? Thank you very much and success always! Greetings from Brazil. The return to live music has been blissful. I for one didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until I was on a stage again. We’ve become so accustomed to this new way of life that I never considered how it would feel once we went back to what could be considered normal. I’m just glad that we can start looking toward the future and that we have a finished record to share with the world wherever we go. Hopefully that will include Brazil in the not-so-distant future!

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INTERVIEW. INVISIONS

“WE’RE SUPER GRATEFUL FOR EVERY OPPORTUNITY THAT WE’VE HAD SO FAR”

INVISIONS BY PEI FON PHOTOGRAPHY CRIS GREAVES & BEN BENTLEY

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INTERVIEW. INVISIONS

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ince 2022 started, many bands have been releasing new material and for those who like to venture out and discover new plays, you can’t miss the new album by the english InVisions. “Deadlock” is a true work of art, an album that will cross time and will have the same weight and same message ten years from now, for example. With songs like “Annihilist”, the quartet formed by Josh Hardy (drums), Lucas Gabb (guitar), Alex Scott (bass) and Ben Ville (vocals) knows very well where they want to go to conquer listeners of heavy music. Rock Meeting spoke with Lucas and Alex about the new album, the band’s trajectory and what we can expect from them tomorrow. Follow up! With six years on the road, three albums released and important tours alongside big names of the scene, what is your assessment of the trajectory you are traveling? Alex Scott - We’ve been together for 6 years and began touring in 2017. Add in the 2-year hiatus due to COVID, and we’ve only been actively touring for around 3 years! We’re super grateful for every op-

portunity that we’ve had so far, we’ve made some lifelong memories through these experiences. But it’s no secret that we want more! We’re not the type of band to settle and reflect on one good show or tour, we’re always looking for the opportunities that could take us to that next level. Ultimately, we want to be playing the same stages we grew up watching our idols play! Making music and making it timeless is a challenge. With “Deadlock”, did you have this sensitivity to make your songs have the same impact 10 years from now, for example? Lucas Gabb - When we began writing ‘Deadlock’ we knew we wanted to write a record that was more of a testament to everything we have learned and experienced from being in a band over the years. Looking at all our favorite albums, our go to playlist is still 90% classic


INTERVIEW. INVISIONS

metalcore albums like Bullet, Killswitch & early Asking Alexandria because those records had such a lasting impression on us growing up. Whilst we love modern and heavy tracks, the songs that we always go back to and play from our previous records are the more emotive/melodic tracks so instead of writing a straight up heavy record, we wanted to lean into the melodic/emotive side of InVisions and explore that more than we have on previous records. Modern Metalcore is a mix of influences from the past with the present and this fusion is clear in their songs like “DEALER”, “Annihilist”, for example. At what point did core rap and orchestral elements add to the sound of InVisions? Lucas - I was always a fan of hip hop growing up as I was introduced to both at a similar time! Some of the first CD’s I owned were the Marshall Mathers LP, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot! I think the biggest pull for hip hop for me is the ability to tell a story. Artists like J Cole and Mac Miller were a massive inspiration for me lyrically on this record as their ability to tell a story and really deliver an experience through their lyrics is something I think the metal genre often lacks! Not to mention the delivery and flow of lyrics in

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INTERVIEW. INVISIONS

hip hop is so dynamic and interesting, it’s something we pay a huge amount of attention to when writing vocals! As for the orchestral elements, we’ve always had string sections and large production elements subtly blended into our music but as time goes on, we’ve found better ways to incorporate them and really let them become part of our sound. There’re so many similarities in classical music and metal so incorporating these elements just works so well and makes it feel bigger than just some guys in a room! We’re huge Periphery fans as well so this is something we’ve definitely fallen in love with the more we’ve listened to Periphery! “Annihilist” is one of his most listened to songs and you can understand why, the song takes the listener’s hand and leads him through each passage until he reaches the chorus to sing along. Did you imagine such repercussions? Alex - We knew Annihilist would probably be the most accessible track

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from Deadlock for those exact reasons. The chorus is a huge sing along moment, and the ambient sounding breakdown section adds some cool dynamics to the track. It always goes down an absolute treat when we play it live! With lyrics that bring the listener closer, added to the aggressive and engaging melodies, “Deadlock” puts InVisions in the spotlight and this is noticed in more than 1m plays on Spotify and great reviews from the press. What is the next step? Lucas - It’s been incredible to receive so much love for the new record and we’re super excited to get out there and tour it as much as we possibly can! ‘Deadlock’ came at a weird time for us where we didn’t know the future of this band, but I feel like it’s kicked us into overdrive and made us more motivated than ever! Bigger tours, new territo-



INTERVIEW. INVISIONS

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ries and take everything we’ve learned from this record and ramp up the stakes even more!

Ben Ville’s vocal versatility on “Deadlock” is impressive. Transitioning between clean and aggressive vocals in a subtle way, where does the inspiration come from? Alex - The vocal style on this record has definitely evolved from our previous music. Inspiration for those pushed clean vocals is taken from the likes of Linkin Park and Architects. The mission statement was to go for massive sing along choruses, but with harsher sounding vocals, rather than a typical clean sound. Ben is well known for his outrageous screaming abilities, but he deserves credit for his clean vocals too. We hear it every week in the rehearsal room, he’s

getting better and better! You did some shows last year and already have dates scheduled. After a period away from the stage due to the pandemic, what was it like to meet the public again? Thank you so . Alex - We did a short run in the UK towards the end of 2021, and it was just what we all needed! We hadn’t stepped on stage for over two years and getting back out there was a massive release of energy. Catching up with friends and fans on the road was absolutely amazing. It reminded us of why we do this and gave us even more drive to continue and make a success of this.


INTERVIEW. INFECTED RAIN

“OUR DETERMINATION BROUGHT US WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW”

INFECTED RAIN BY MURILO DA ROSA PHOTOGRAPHY VICTORIA WONKA

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INTERVIEW. INFECTED RAIN

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ith almost 15 years on the road, the authentic group from Moldova Infected Rain has just released what is certainly one of their most definitive works then. With its genuine mix between Nu Metal, Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore, but still maintaining a unique and indescribable identity, the band led by the powerful Lena Scissorhands still has musicians who have been proving to be legitimate masters of New Metal - bassist Vladimir Babici, drummer Eugen Voluta and guitarists Vadim “Vidick” Ojog and Serghei Babici. Gather with the release of its newest album - a masterpiece that discusses living with modern social terror, in addition to traumas and ghosts of the past - we from Rock Meeting managed to exchange some thoughts with Lena which dye’s modern metal with its dark and avant-garde genius. Check it out! Infected Rain has almost 15 years of career and in that time you guys have experienced some changes. Evaluating the band’s journey, what is your analysis of this period until now? Lena - I would say that, besides it being a really hard working and struggling journey, it was the most beautiful thing we did

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for ourselves as people in the first place. When I say this, I mean that music and specifically Infected Rain with its adventures and supporters gave us a purpose and determination. Belonging to a scene that’s not well known worldwide yet, Infected Rain puts Moldova at the forefront of the New Metal universe. How did you stand out in a country with little reference in Metal? We never thought about it that way. We just followed our dreams and made music from our heart. We knew that this is what we want, and we will do it no matter what for as long as we can. Our determination brought us where we are right now, and I know there is more to come. Full of references to different musical styles, in addition to Metal,

also having Hip Hop and electronic elements in its lore, “Ecdysis” is a reflection of this mix of genres. Where this idea of mixing such musical elements came from? This is not new to our band; we mixed styles and sounds since the very first album. We always loved it and we think that by mixing genres like that we are able to achieve specific emotions and deliver them more accurately. In the album’s narrative, we notice an interesting structure that establishes for the listener a passage, which trills through the two parts of “Postmortem” (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2). How important is this narrative concept to the album’s discourse? It’s not the most important part of the album however, we really wanted to bring the listener to the mood of the beginning


INTERVIEW. INFECTED RAIN

of the album. Almost like, closing the circle where it started. Among some of the themes discussed in “Ecdysis”, there are such as the weight of guilt, the consequences of our actions and ghosts of the past. Besides these, what other subjects are consisted in this new album? The subjects are very diverse you are right. Depression and fear of abandonment are some of the subjects also, the search, the constant search for something better something else. Among the songs that stood out the most so far, there’s the overwhelming “The Realm of Chaos”, in which you have the iconic collaboration of Heidi Shepherd from Butcher Babies. How did the idea for this partnership come about? We never planned this. That idea was born when we were listening to the raw versions of the songs and analyzing them. We thought about this song and one other being perfect for a collaboration. Naturally and organically, I thought about my friend Heidi from the Butcher babies. It was a perfect choice and, she absolutely loved the idea right away.

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INTERVIEW. INFECTED RAIN

In the videoclips compilation, “Postmortem Pt. 1”, “Longing” and “The Realm of Chaos”, the artistic conception emphasizes cold colors in contrast to the Gothic and surrealist aesthetics. What’s the importance of this harmony for the transmission of the music’s message? This was only because we wanted to set a certain mood for the videos. A mood that is definitely connected to the message of the lyrics as well as the visuals themselves. We care a lot about our visuals just like we care a lot about our sound and the music itself that’s why, every single detail

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is important. The color and light sources are one of the best vehicles to deliver or underline a mood. With a long tour coming up, how are you guys feeling about returning to the stage after this troubled period of the pandemic? What’s your expectation? Thank you very much. Success and we hope to see you in Brazil. We never have any expectations when he comes to touring and people. We are extremely happy to get back on doing what we love. Traveling and sharing our music around the world makes us very happy so we are very excited.


MAIN. MONUMENTS

“WE ARE EAGER TO CONTINUE EVOLVING IN THIS NEW CHAPTER OF THE BAND”

MONUMENTS BY PEI FON PHOTOGRAPHY JOESETH CARTER

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MAIN. MONUMENTS

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ince the change of vocalist, all the fans have been waiting for a new album from the British Monuments. “In Stasis” was released in April with very high expectations and, you can be sure, surprised! Making a joke with the album’s name (but also with that bit of truth in it), this new Monuments play takes the listener to ecstasy. It’s a sound journey that transcends any expectations, it’s much better than you can imagine, truth be told! With the arrival of Andy Cizek, the (now) quartet, together with John Browne, Adam Swan and Mike Malyan, is much more

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comfortable and this is felt in the ten songs that make up the new play. “In Stasis” shows how much Andy’s arrival left the environment favorable for new experiments and the result of this will be seen on this album and the next ones, and the band already says “that there is much more where it came from in the rest of the recordings”. Rock Meeting had the privilege of talking to Andy again and finding out about this news and what’s to come. After a period away from the stages and without releasing a full album,


you present “In Stasis”. Flirting with the album name, what level of ecstasy do you want listeners to reach? Andrew - The highest level!! We hope the listeners achieve a receive a healthy dose of aggression, passion, catharsis, and balance. Basically, we hope you have a blast listening to it. “In Stasis” is the first full-length with Andy Cizek. When listening to the new album, the impression it gives is that he was always in the band, there is a particularly good synergy. How much freedom did he have to build

this new album? Thanks! Andy had full freedom over his vocals for the album, as well as contributing broadly to the songs as a whole. I’d say we all had an equal amount of freedom during the writing process. Each member would sort of run their own way with each song, and then we’d come together and work on the songs together. It was a very collaborative and synergetic process. In a speech by Mike about Andy’s involvement in the composition, he says that now the songs make more sense. And I can reaffirm this in the


MAIN. MONUMENTS

first few minutes of “No One will Teach You”. Can it be said that Andy brought the versatility you needed? Without a doubt. His dynamics and personality definitely bring something fresh to the table. I think Andy helped us refine our songwriting approach to create a more cohesive and structured body of work. I dare say that “In Stasis” is a collection of mathematical riffs, surreal vocals and enveloping atmospheres that enrapture the listener. Is this the sum you expect us to have? Couldn’t have said it better ourselves! 38

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We were hoping to deliver a dynamic yet balanced experience. “No One Will Teach You” has the participation of one of the main names in the world of games, composer Mick Gordon. How was this partnership born? Tell us a little about this writing process. We were fortunate enough to enlist Mick Gordon for the entire record! This partnership came from Browne who already had a pre-existing friendship with Mick. They both had immense respect and admiration for each other’s crafts, so asking him to write the record with us was a no-brainer. Luckily, he was stoked on


the idea, and we were able to work closely with Mick throughout the whole album process (which was an absolute dream). “Arch Essence” has intense melodic dialogues between Andy and Spencer Sotelo, another cameo in “In Stasis”. How did his name come up to be present in this song? Spencer is another amazing talent that we’re fortunate enough to have a pre-existing relationship with. Andy felt strongly about having him on the song, and Spencer was up for the task! He’s previously been featured on our track “Denial” from our first full-length, so having him back for In Stasis felt just like coming home. The mixing of the new album has the signature of George Lever who helped to sharpen the sound and thus brought a new beginning to Monuments. Can we say that you already have a basis for new songs in the future? It’s safe bet to assume that Monuments and George Lever have a future working together. Andy’s vocal melody combined with Browne’s riffs on “Cardinal Red” won me over. With almost


MAIN. MONUMENTS

700k plays, it is not difficult to understand how this song fell in the listener’s taste. How are you analyzing these numbers? We are blown away by the response, and incredibly grateful to our listeners for spinning the track. We are happy to say that there is plenty more where that came from on the rest of the record! Intense and fast, “Collapse” is one of the songs that the fans will like. Each stanza is a mix of distinct emotions that come together in the chorus. I

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wonder what it would be like on the show... this song will be on the setlist, right? All I can definitively say is that you will hear it live at some point or another. Other than that, our lips are sealed. Now as a quartet, what can we expect from this new Monuments? Success always and we hope to see you in Brazil. Thank you! We are eager to continue evolving in this new chapter of the band. You can expect more content, more tours, and more tunes from us moving forward. Thank you for the interview, and thanks to our fans for your continued support!


INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

“WE NEVER EXPECTED TO GET EVEN HALFWAY T H I S FA R ”

AS IT IS B Y S U Z U K I K AYO M I TRADUTOR FRAN ALBINI PHOTOGRAPHY PROMOTION

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INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

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ringing nostalgia to top, AS IT IS is a trio that immerses us in the classic emo-punkrock style we all heard as teenagers. Their new album “I Went To Hell And Back” tells us the journey of Patty Walters (Vocals), Patrick Foley (Drums) and Alistar Testo (Bass) in their recent years and makes it clear that AS IT IS still has more to say and share with your fans. In an interview with Patty Walters, we delve deeper into what it was like to express himself on “I Went To Hell And Back”! So, first of all, I’d like to first ask, you guys have been in this emo-punk, rock scene like, have been in it since 2015, right? Patty Walters - Yeah, so, we released our first album in 2015, we formed the band in 2012, we started releasing our early EPs back then, that’s when we started playing tours. And because we formed the band in 2012, this year we’ll be turning 10 years old, as a band, since we started writing and releasing our first songs. So, it’s been a while now, I’m grown up now, crazy! It’s a crazy journey, so how do you evaluate this journey? We never expected to get even halfway this far, we just started this band to play a couple local shows, may-

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be if we were lucky do one single tour in the lifetime of the band. But here we are. We’ve toured North America probably more than ten times, we toured the UK and Europe, even more than that, we’ve been to Japan four times, and Australia three times. This has been truly a dream come true, we’re so fortunate to be in this position, and we never take it for granted, you know, through the pandemic I missed live music, missed my band mates, missed my fans and our families, so so much, and to be out here again, it feels just as exciting as the first ever tour!

Yeah, I can imagine, you mentioned that you already did concerts in Japan, how was doing a concert on the other side of the world? Phenomenal, this is the thing, I have never been to Japan before, we were there playing our first ever shows, and the fact that there were hundreds of people who knew the words to our songs, wanted to meet us after the show, get autographs on their CDs and their merch, unbelievable. We’ve been fortunate enough to be there four times now, and every time it is bigger and better, and it’s one of my favorite countries. I love being in Japan, I love live shows in Japan, and, yeah, we’re so lucky. Walter, you have mentioned before the release of “I Went To Hell And Back” that maybe your fans would not be the same person they were before since the last time you released an album, do you think your audience have changed? You know, I think so. So much about my life and who I am, and my outlook on navigating life, going through the pandemic, I’m sure that’s true for all of our fans. Since we’re now releasing singles and subsequently our 4th album, our numbers on digital streaming platforms, like Spotify and Apple Music, is growing pretty substantially. I think we reached new people as well, and that’s exciting, it’s nice when you reach a new audience, but it’s even nicer to maintain the audience that supported you


INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

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for three records, if not longer, now we’ve been doing this for 10 years. Like I said, being able to maintain, and keep, some of these core fans for all 10 of those years… that’s something we really do cherish and is very important to us. Yeah, and you even said that you call your fans as friends, so you actually see them as a friend, right? Absolutely, when I imagined larger shows with thousands of people, I imagined I’d see as anonymous faces, but in fact the matter is I’ve come to know many of our fans on a first and last name basis. I know where they call home and how far they travel to attend the show, this is the thing, you get up there and you know these people, you’re familiar with them, you know their stories, you know their favorite songs, and you just love to see them coming over and over and over, travelling and supporting the band, and being part of this universe.

That was the final track to be written towards the record, and when you are finishing, finalizing such a substantial project… I mean we’ve been writing and recording this record for over two years at this point, because of the pandemic. On the one hand you’re extremely proud and extremely relieved that the hard work is over, and then you have something to be proud of and you show to the people, it seems intangible for all that fear, the doubt and the pain, and equally you’re a little sad that this really magical time has come into a close. I think we were feeling a little sentimental and nostalgic for all the bands that inspired us to pick up instruments in the first place, all those many years ago, and are without a doubt the reason that we are in this position that we’re so thankful to be in, I think that is what inspired that song, we were so much in tune, were so many emotions, so it is pretty sure touching talking about writing this one. It was a lot of fun to write.

And about your new album, “I Went To Hell And Back” was released already, and one of the songs that really got into me was “I MISS 2003”, which is pretty much a tribute, it’s like a homage to the style that was part of so many people’s lives, especially me, when I grew up listening to this type of music; where did this idea come from?

Seems pretty fun because, as I say it’s like, as you mentioned, it’s pretty much a nostalgia all the way through the whole song! That’s right, I think because of the pandemic we were all sort of missing and mourning a simpler time in our life, let that be as recently as two years ago, or back in twelve years ago, or fifteen years ago, when we were younger, when there


INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

were fewer responsibilities and our life was more exciting and promising, you know what I mean? For sure, and continuing talking about the album, another song that I really like is “In Threes”, and this song have a more dark, kind of gloomy tone, compared to the other tracks, and the lyrics really speak to many people who maybe feel the same, or they already felt the same before, how music has helped you clear your mind? Absolutely, so, historically the band has written probably even sadder and sober songs, with sad and sober lyrics, and I always gravitated towards sadder artists and lyrics, because I find them to be more helpful, I find them to be more sincere. There are songs and artists that try to guide you out of the darkness, you know what I mean? When somebody is dueling in their sadness, their depression, and their struggles, I find it comforting know that I am not alone. That’s what we have always been inspired to do through our art, through our lyrics, and “IN THREES” is not different, that’s a song that is truly placed in the suffering and the struggle, not search-

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ing for a way out, just searching for answers, searching for a feeling, and that is absolutely one of those songs, one of the darkest on the record, musically and lyrically, it was such a joy to write, so much fun to write with Cody Carson who are here on tour now, with Jordy Purp involved, it’s one of my favorites from the record, for sure. It’s actually one of my favorites too, and the way you say “right now” feels like the whole album “I Went To Hell And Back” is you speaking your heart out to everyone, maybe someone can relate to that and help someone, was


that the intention? Absolutely. These lyrics, they’re always written in hope that they’re going to resonate with somebody, but first, and for most, it is written from a place with authenticity, sincerity, transparency, and I do them for myself before I write for anybody else. This is my truth, my catharsis, my therapy, to transport these thoughts from my head into a piece of paper and then to the microphone. Then they find the audience, but that’s really at the back of my mind, for me this is just self-expression, and if that resonates with somebody then I appreciate that, but it’s never the intention, it’s just about self-expression, it’s about honesty at the end.

I see, and talking about self-expression, another track that really got my attention was “I Want To See God,” which in the other hand have a heavier kind of tune, is there any specific reason why this song sounds a little bit more aggressive, especially because of the title, there’s any reason why? Yeah, so that song “I Want To See God” at the core is about desperation, it’s about feeling like you are a passenger in your own life, that you have no autonomy, and that’s a song where, you know “I wanna see God, I wanna go blind”, you’re so desperate for answers, for an escape-through, that you would rather be behind the wheel of destruction, than a passenger going somewhere that you have no sort of say or sway, over when and how we get there. The aggression in that song, musically, is directly inspired by just how desperate, angry, and frustrated those lyrics are, and I think was pretty effective and fun to piece it together. Is one I’m most excited to be playing live, I feel like that one is going to just have a ton of energy and that totally gonna re-


INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

lease myself on stage tonight, I’m looking forward to that. That probably will be good, especially because you talk about you being in a place where you don’t control much of things, do you ever feel like that in your life, like, you lost control or that you have no control of anything? Absolutely, it’s a frustrating feeling, sometimes you have to dig in deeper, be stronger than you have ever been, and try to navigate out of that. Yeah, I think that that was clear in “I Went To Hell And Back”, the whole album, because as you mentioned before, the album was actually idealized two years ago, and you also mention there was a moment when the whole band was questioning your decisions, can you tell us more about this?

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Yes, as soon as we began to tour our album, our guitarist was wanting to withdraw from the band, and we thought “how we going to fight this?” and was sort of the most extensive cycle we ever done. Probably did over 200 shows. By the time that tour was done, our good friend and guitarist and vocalist Ben just separate from the band. We were writing “I Went To Hell And Back” when our drummer separated from the band. We’ve gone from five members to three, and each of us individually thought, is this something that still worth pursuing? Is this still the same band? We still have the drive, still have the desire to create and say something new. And in fact the matter was that through the pandemic, there was nothing but time, nothing but raw emotion and fear and doubt, there was so much to say, and we choose to channel that into this record, and to not look away from the pain and the fear, and instead channel it into something productive, something


that we could heal from. This record is a product of that, in a way it’s a product of that uncertainty, like I told you, find and create answers out of uncertainty, and this record is a light when there’s only darkness. It was a joy to create, honestly, with everybody. So now that you released the album you feel, I don’t know, a little more light, more relieved that you decided that “no, we’re going to continue the band, we’re going to continue doing this”? Absolutely, it feels great to be finally sharing this record with the world, we spend so long, and this record was ours and only ours, sharing it with a few people who shared few thoughts on it. So, to see the overwhelmingly warm reception that this record has received, in less than a week after I shared it with the world, it’s extremely humbling and extremely gratifying to see and to read.

Now, we can see that a lot of people are reacting pretty well to the album, and one thing that is pretty common in doing the whole record is the balance between more positive kind of tunes, the lyrics are a little more gloomy, a little more dark, a little more sober, and one perfect example for me was “I Hate Me Too”, which has a lyric that is pretty much “I hate myself” but the tune is super exciting and you just wanna have fun. How you balance between these two opposites, to not end up with an album that’s too dark or too gloomy? It’s something that ever since in our early EPs, our first record, which comes really natural to the band. Music that is fairly upbeat paired with lyrics that are particularly pessimistic, and I find that is a really effective combination, a really effective pairing, I think duality of


INTERVIEW. AS IT IS

the tune balance each other out extremely well. So, it’s something that historically we’ve been doing for some time now, and I enjoy doing, and I continue to do and implement it on this record. So is something natural for you. That’s actually pretty cool, and you mentioned that before you released “I Went To Hell And Back” you said that As It Is still has more to say, you guys have any more plans coming out, what people can expect for the future? So now that the album has been released, the plan is to tour as much as possible, as

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safely as one can do in 2022. Now we’re out here in North America currently, supporting our best friends and later in the year we’ll be supporting other great friends Mayday Parade in the UK, playing in the biggest venues we played, and we are looking forward to that. But most of all I think we are looking forward to headline again. We just couldn’t wait to be reunited with so many friends that we haven’t seen in such a long time, there’s so much to catch up on and out, and hopefully this record means as much to them as it means to us. Yeah, definitely, you guys have a lot to catch up on, I think everyone after the Corona times, nobody was step-

ping on stages, and how does it feel being back on stage again? Yeah, it feels really surreal, really wonderful. There are some moments where it feels like no time has passed, but we’re just doing what we do best, just being on stage giving every show 100%, and then there are moments when you are aware of how not normal this is, frankly. It used to be so normal, playing in shows more days than we were home. And now that’s a rarity. It kind of feel like a distant reality, you know? But thank you so much for your time and have fun on stage! Absolutely. I appreciate your time for us, thank you so much!


INTERVIEW. KROSIS

“WE ARE REALLY GLAD TO HAVE NEW AUDIENCES ENJOYING THE RECORD!”

KROSIS BY MURILO DA ROSA PHOTOGRAPHY PROMOTION

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INTERVIEW. KROSIS

W

ith roots in Technical and Extreme Metal, Krosis raises the bar for its heaviness and the depth of its message. Founded in 2014, the North Carolina (USA) group has three studio albums, the newest being released this year. Fueled with apocalyptic and mythological themes, the band was formed by Mac Smith (vocals), Brian Krahe (bass), Nathan Andrew (drums), Adam Thiessen, and Brandon Scurlark (guitars), exceeds all expectations with their recently released album E.V.I.L. With a new approach to sound, the band experiments with elements of Progressive, in addition to the use of Djent techniques and crushing Deathcore vocals. In this way, they build a reflective, moving, and intense work for fans of extreme music. Check out below how was the Rock Meeting interview with these guys. It's been more than 7 years since the band has been formed, with a discography of 3 albums and the newest release gaining space in the modern metal market. Receiving good reviews from both the public and critics on important

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music sites, what is your assessment of this reception of E.V.I.L.? We are all very satisfied with the E.V.I.L.’s reception. We were looking to mature our sound, which can be risky for many projects as they accrue longevity. Instilling more death metal influences and grounded structures was our goal in achieving this maturity, while still attempting to hold onto our signature sound that we’ve been building for many years. The continued press releases and articles pertaining to E.V.I.L., particularly in international markets, has been a very pleasant experience for us. We couldn’t be happier and are really glad to have new audiences enjoying the record! With a total of 8 songs, the album's structure divides the tracks by titles that, for the most part, are associated with names as if they were characters that are part of a great story. What is the concept of these nomenclatures? The concepts of each song title refer to a specific flower that symbolizes the emotions that the main protagonist is feeling throughout the


INTERVIEW. KROSIS

EP’s story. This has many historical influences from Nordic, Greco-Roman, and Japanese cultures. In addition to its tangible aspects, it is designed to let the listener form their own interpretation through lyrical content and the atmosphere portrayed by the song itself. “Begonia” is the song that stood out the most among the others, marked by a sound intensity concentrated in the hard crushing mainly of the vocals, but also has its gaps for melodic and melancholic passages. How was the writing process for this song? This track was actually one of the most challenging songs to put together originally. Our focus

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was to encompass the characteristics of traditional well balanced song structure with the depth and complexity of advanced theory. The song needed to feel natural, but also highlight the elements of the story through the melodic phrasing and chord voicing. Being the highlight of the new album so far, “Begonia” has a music video as well, produced by Seek & Strike, with which the band recently signed. In the clip we have a post-apocalyptic style setting with


three main characters. What is the idea implicit in the narrative of the clip? The idea resonates around the album’s concept and its pairing with our previous installment, “A Memoir of Free WIll.” It is meant to represent the post-apocalyptic world created by the alternate choices of the protagonist and its implications. In summary, the idea is to show an alternate universe as compared to our previous release, in which the character chooses to live on a path lacking virtue and suffers because of it. It is reflected in the imag-

es we have shown of his family, which are the two female figures in the video. Amidst the heaviness of the fusion between Metalcore, Djent and Deathcore that’s proposed by the band, “E.V.I.L.” has several moments with insertions of ambient and industrial sound effects, giving more authenticity to it and creating an almost realistic atmosphere. How did you arrive at this concept? When we were first putting the concept together, we agreed early on that we wanted to establish the world of the character as vividly as possible. Without any visual cues, it was necessary to create a linear theme for the listeners to follow. The act of world building further instilled the reality


INTERVIEW. KROSIS

of the character within the songs, and when paired with the lyrics you find that the story becomes much more intricate. To gather with what is represented both in the songs and the video for “Begonia”, “E.V.I.L.” has a very striking cover art, with a painting style that refers to Renaissance and Surrealism, dyed by very intense colors. What is the relationship between the tracks on the album and the illustration? Conceptually, the album art is tied closely to the EP’s narrative and is meant to represent a world completely lacking in benevolence and virtue (hence the EP title and closing song). This is the result of the character’s choices throughout the story, which are detailed within the lyrical content and are meant to represent the dark emotions within human nature that can prevail if not cautiously managed. The album artwork was constructed by Alberto Filipponi,

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in La - Kev o t o Ph

who did a masterfully immaculate job portraying the atmosphere of E.V.I.L. At last, the Rock Meeting family wishes to thank you for your attention and would like to know: what can we expect in this new phase of Krosis? Thank you very much, good luck and until next time! Thank you for taking the time

a

Chian

to dive into this new release with us! We had a great time composing this and are looking forward to releasing many more works of art in the near future. We have several releases already planned and in progress, so you can expect more music sooner than later! Thank you, Rock Meeting, we can’t wait to be back with another release for everyone!


INTERVIEW. INRETROSPECT

“WE WANT TO UTILIZE EVERY ELEMENT OF OUR MUSICAL CHARACTER TO GIVE LIFE TO S O M E T H I N G T R U LY U N I Q U E ”

INRETROSPECT B Y G U S TA V O T O Z Z I PHOTOGRAPHY DANI WILLGRESS


Photo - Pearl Cook


INTERVIEW. INRETROSPECT

W

ith the COVID-19 pandemic, many bands had to find a way to survive it just like all of us. With social restriction, bands had to reinvent themselves to stay active in the best possible way. It was like this with the guys from InRetrospect, who started their work in 2019, released the first single in 2020, the year the pandemic spread around the world. James, (guitar), Jerome (guitar), Nathan (vocals), Tobias (bass) and Geromme (drums) were not shaken by the problems caused by COVID-19 and used the time to connect themselves even more and in a harmonious way as a band, providing, as a result, singles and more singles. Enjoy what InRetrospect has to share about all of that. InRetrospect started in 2019 and released its first single Sun Settings in 2020, demonstrating a versatility that it is not possible to define the band in just one musical style, but the presence of modern metalcore is undeniable. How did InRetrospect get started and what were

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your influences? Originally InRetrospect was a band birthed by James and Jerome who have played in bands together for a long time. Since our inception we’ve found the missing pieces this band needed in Nathan, Tobias and Geromme, formulating our final line up to date. Once we initially started the writing process for this project, Sun Settings was the first song we took a step back from and thought, this is where we need to start and build from here. Throughout the band, there are a lot of similar influences, the main one being that unforgettable metalcore sound that started to really surface in the mid 00’s to 2010’s, but our individual background in music varies from nu-metal to thrash to classical in some respects as well. We want to utilize every element of our musical character to give life to something truly unique.


INTERVIEW. INRETROSPECT

InRetrospect released the first singles during the pandemic. Making music in the period of social restriction must have been one of the biggest challenges for the band in its beginnings. What has the band been through, and would you like to tell us about such a turbulent period? Following our debut single, Sun Settings, we were incredibly keen to jump straight back into the studio and continue where we left off. We recorded six tracks, formerly to be an EP but due to the nature of the pandemic and us as a band being so new, we decided that releasing it single by single instead would be the best way to help us continue to grow when everything came to a standstill. During the pandemic there was a lot of time for us to work on things like chemistry between all the members and develop our writing techniques, structures and styles leading us to the new music we’re releasing today. Being able to tour now is something we’re so grateful for now considering we never knew whether we would be able to, due to such an unpredictable pandemic. So far, you already have almost 200k in streams on Spotify since the first single in 2020. Did you

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INTERVIEW. INRETROSPECT

imagine receiving such prominence in such a short time of being a band? 200,000 streams is quite the milestone and since Sun Settings, we as a collective have been truly appreciative and humbled by every single stream, ticket and piece of merchandise bought and everyone who has joined us on our journey, from day one to today and we will be forever. Without people to share our experience and music with, artists and bands would be nothing.

The single “Choke” is the song that has the most streams. The lyrics are as heavy as the song in the excerpt “Endless torment, you’re obsolete; I’ll find my peace of mind in your own suicide”. How was the process of this composition? When it came to writing the lyrics for Choke, I listened to the instrumental and was hit with the feeling of anger. There was nothing melodic about this

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song, just aggressive riffs and a heavy breakdown. I always try to link a song to a personal meaning or one that as a band we want to be talking about. This specific song was written about bi-polar, but it speaks as a metaphor rather than a literal sense. ‘With your hands around my throat, stealing what’s left of the air that I breathe’ this line in particular relates to how your own body is taking your last breath away. The sense of being choked by the hands of this mental state. One of the possible interpretations of the music video for “Substrate” (which premiered in 2022) when analyzed together with the lyrics demonstrates a conflicted mind that does not seem to let the person (Nathan) be able to leave the same place without suffering the “same” pains. Where did the inspiration for this song come from? The meaning behind substrate actually relates to addiction. It speaks about how sometimes no matter how



INTERVIEW. INRETROSPECT

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hard a person tries to help them self; they always find that they fall back on the path they recently stepped off. It speaks from a 1st person sense in regard to ‘I’m taking the same damn road I always took before’ and ‘I’ve tried so hard this time I swear’. It speaks from somebody who wants to be helped but can’t hold on to that light at the end of the tunnel. People don’t always realize that addiction is something that can’t always be helped. I think deep down everybody wants to be helped in that position no matter what they say, but not everyone is strong enough to turn it around. Finally, what are the band’s plans for this year? Currently, we have shows lined up across the whole of the UK, alongside Death Blooms, Tyrants and many more on the horizon. We’re in the middle of releasing our brand-new EP “current_state”. We’re incredibly excited to share all of this brand-new music with everyone and this era of InRetrospect.