Though metal isn’t incredibly huge down there (even though proportionally, it has the most interesting scene in all Sudamerica), Brazil remains an exciting place to be a metalhead. And what’s more exciting than a new and delicious Thrash band? Facinora are four hot-blooded metalheads reared on the stuff you worshipped in your earliest metal days: Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Kreator, Testament. These guys are all crunchy guitars, spitfire vocals, and layers of aggression. But the only product they got out on the market so far is a powerful EP titled “Born In Fear.” But give ‘em a year, two years tops, plus tons of roadwork, and they’ll release a smashing first full-length that’s gonna make them everybody’s favorite. Here’s the band on shows, their hometown, and hot sisters.
Hello Facinora. I’d like to know what you’re looking forward to this 2009?
Igor Rodrigues (vocals, guitar): It’s all play, play, and play. Play as much as possible. We would like to play a lot of concerts. Now that we have a brand new EP, we need to show it to everybody. Also we must try to find someone to support us because here in Brazil it’s not that easy and cheap to record. Just me and Allen (drummer) recorded this EP and the cost was too high to get a very good result, so now we would like to see this investment lead to some concerts in support of it.
Thrash Metal huh? To be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with the genre. I hate it when ‘Thrash’ bands recycle the 80’s sound and actually think they’re reviving it while I absolutely worship those bands who inject the music with new vitality, like Biomechanical and Jesus Martyr for example. How about you guys, when did Thrash Metal start playing a big role in your lives?
Igor: It appeared some years ago. Allen and I, we had a band that played only Metallica covers but it didn’t work. We saw that we needed to play our own music, so we came up with a few ideas and Facinora was born with some friends of ours; we had a different lineup then. I also wasn’t the first singer as it was our friend Fabio (who’s our roadie) doing vocals. The sound then wasn’t focused yet. We used to play Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Exodus, Slayer, and a lot of other different bands.
Allen: Don’t forget about Kreator! We also played Kreator covers. We didn’t think about creating a thrash metal band then. But here we are now. Our genre came natural to us. It was the kind of music that we liked.
How long has Facinora been making a name for itself in the Brazilian metal scene?
Igor: To be honest, we are only starting now. In the beginning it was just me and Allen playing in a small room. Later came Eder (guitar) and Ferret (bass). When we finished recording “Born In Fear” we started to show everybody our work and just after that, Eder and Ferret joined Facinora.
Allen: Only after this did we start to play some gigs.
What happened to the previous lineup of Facinora?
Igor: Since it started with me, Allen, Rodrigo and Flavio…It didn’t work with Flavio as the singer, so we invited another friend called Leo and that didn’t work either. After that we started recording sessions for “Born In Fear,” but our bass player decided to leave the band for his own reasons. He just didn’t want to play with us anymore. So only Allen and I were left to record the EP.
Are there any ex-members Facinora is ashamed of?
Allen: We aren’t ashamed of anybody. We still talk to our former bass player Rodrigo. He actually asked if he could rejoin the band but one guy came and got his place instead—Ferret.
What brought all four of you together in the first place?
Igor: Just like we said, since it was only me and Allen recording the “Born In Fear” CD, we always thought about a new guitar player for the solo parts. The additional member would also add a new dimension to the band, and we were lucky to find two very good musicians that really wanted to play with us.
Allen to Eder: How did you come to join us?
Eder: it was a friend of mine who recommended me to you guys. Even if this friend had never seen me play, he still told you that I was interested in joining the band. I could have been some shitty guitarist and he would never have known.
Igor: But you still are!!! (Laughs)
Ferret: I saw the ad on the internet that you were looking for a bass player, so I sent an email to Igor telling him that I really would like to play some thrash metal and he called me. The following week I was already playing with the band.
You’ve finally managed a demo, "Born In Fear." Who is the band’s main songwriter and composer? Is one guy responsible for most of the music?
Allen: It’s Igor. He came up with some riffs, recorded them, and sent it to me. We listen to our stuff together and try to get some ideas.
Igor: First I make some riffs and try to imagine to song. After that, when I have an opportunity to show my stuff to Allen, we check how it will sound with the band. But now, with Eder and Ferret, we have some new ideas to work with.
The cover of "Born In Fear" looks pretty good too. Who came up with it?
Igor: It’s by Jorbert Mello (www.jmellodesign.com) from Rio de Janeiro. He makes a lot of cover art for different Europeans bands.
Where did you find the studio to record it in?
Allen: It was pure luck. We went to this party in March 2008 and Igor was wearing a Death t-shirt. So the owner of the studio came, started talking about music, about the t-shirt, and later he told us about this studio. So we went there one day for a rehearsal and we listened to same bands that he recorded like Severa, who are also from our city, and liked what we heard.
How about distribution? Is "Born In Fear" available anywhere else aside from the band?
Igor: You can find it in some places here in our city. I am also sending copies to some independent label and trying through the internet so it will reach some fans. I am always sending some magazine our Myspace, but so far, we’re just getting started. We are seriously looking for ways to make the EP available in other cities.
For those people who have never heard of your band before, how would you advertise Facinora?
Igor: It’s very simple. When we are playing a show I try to give away some CDs. We also have a lot of friends who help us.
Was there an official launch party or a special gig you held for the benefit of "Born the Fear"?
Igor: We didn’t have one, but maybe in the future we will.
Allen: Now that we have Eder and Ferret playing with us, it’s possible to have one.
Does Facinora already have a devoted following? Are there people whom you’ve befriended who are always in your gigs?
Allen: Yes. There´s Flavio. He has been with us since the beginning. Now he is our roadie, manager, photographer, and everything else.
Igor: There’s also Rodrigo, another friend of ours who helped me with some lyrics
Allen: Daniel too (the studio owner). He is always with us.
What about favorite songs? Does your audience already cheer for a particular song whenever you play live?
Allen: No, because so far we are only starting to play some gigs here.
Igor: But the first songs from our EP are always the best in our shows. They (the songs) have a lot of energy.
Can you name the places where you play gigs? How would you rate them in terms of quality, service (y’know, if the waiters are very receptive to the customer’s demands), and the kind of drinks they serve (beer!)?
Igor: We had a party in the studio where we recorded. It was very nice.
Allen: There’s a place in Belo Horizonte called Matriz that is very good for our kind of music. That’s the place to start playing if you’re an independent band.
Ferret: About the drinks…there’s beer, beer, vodka, and beer.
Has Facinora ever been in a serious disagreement with a club owner or manager?
Ferret/Igor/Allen: Not so far
Has Facinora ever played gigs outside Brazil? Which was the farthest place the band has traveled to for a show?
Allen: No, just in some cities next to ours. The farthest place was in a city 600 km from us. But we are trying to get some concerts in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are the two most important cities in Brazil. We also want our presence to be felt in the North of Brazil. There are some guys over there calling us to play but we are only checking so far.
Ferret: We are trying to see if we can go to Europe next year. I have some Danish friends from the time I lived there and they are checking venues for us in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.
What do your parents think about Facinora?
Igor: My mother is great. She always supports me because she knows that I like it.
Allen: In my place, my parents never thought that I had a band but when I showed the CD, they enjoyed it. They never helped me nor did they do anything to hinder my aspirations.
Eder: In my place, they think that it’s cool and they never say anything against it.
Ferret: My mother still thinks that I just play Metallica covers until today. She likes Metallica very much. She watches every DVD of theirs that I have. She is metal. She has gone to some concerts already such as Kiss, Black Sabbath, and Queen.
Igor: My mother likes it too because my father was a hippie.
How often does the band practice? And what kind of regimen does each member have to keep your individual chops tight?
Igor: For us it’s twice a week.
Eder: I always practice in my place to get better and better.
Ferret: Allen doesn´t do anything.
Allen: Go fuck yourself!!! (Laughs)
Ferret: I am always listening to music in my car. Always.
Do you consider yourselves gear heads?
Allen: Yes, I guess so. We found some serious equipment to play with.
What kind of amps, instruments, effects, and whatever electronic shit you use does Facinora have?
Igor: I have a Ibanez guitar with EMG pickups and some pedals
Allen: I currently use some shit pedal. I need to buy a new one, but I have some good cymbals, ride, splash, hi-hat from a Brazilian brand called Octagon.
Eder: I use a Ibanez 350, a metal core pedal from Boss, and a Behringer multi-effect pedal.
Ferret: I have a five string bass made by a local luthier with DiMarzio pickups, a home made distortion, and a wa wa. Nothing more.
So many interesting bands drop by Brazil all the time. Can you name some of the concerts you’ve watched recently?
Igor: It was Carcass. They kicked so much ass live.
Allen: The last that I remember was Slayer.
Eder: I went to Satriani and Megadeth concerts.
Ferret: Carcass was my last one. It was great.
In retrospect, what are the good and bad things that happened to you and the band in 2008?
Allen and Igor: For us it was recording the EP. That was the best for sure.
Allen: The bad is the football team that I support was terrible this year.
Eder: The good thing was joining the band. I didn’t have any bad thing last year
Ferret: For me the good thing was also the band and the bad is that I still need to work to earn some money.
Igor: The good thing also is that we met Eder’s sisters. So nice!!!
You can also include good and bad albums—have fun!
Igor: The bad was Guns n’ Roses. I didn’t like. But the really good one was Destruction’s “Devolution.”
Allen: I liked the ones by Metallica, Destruction, and ACDC. I don’t remember any bad albums right now
Eder: I liked the Guns N Roses album. Really liked. Also Metallica and Korn.
Ferret: For me the best was “Death Magnetic” and the bad was the new one from Slipknot. It was shit!!!
I guess it ends here Facinora. Thank you for everything. I have one last question though. What’s a Facinora?
Igor: The word “facínora” itself refers to a member fo the underworld, a criminal. We were thinking about a name and tried to find some word that was short but had a strong meaning. Allen came up with the name and we liked it. The band for me is what I like to do the most. That’s what I wanna do for a living.
Allen: Facinora is all about having fun, with serious thought, and a lot of drink.
Eder: It’s a band that I always wanted to play in and now the dream has come true.
Ferret: For me it’s also a dream to be part of Facinora and it’s the best way to meet Eder’s sisters!!! Hahahahaha!!!
…Eder did not like to know that!