Interview: Depressed

Recently the Brazilian old school death metallers of Depressed released their new album, titled Beyond the Putrid Fiction, via Black Lion Records. DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen recently interviewed Depressed’s vocalist Giovani Venttura and guitarist Murillo Hortolan.

Hey, congratulations with your new album, Beyond the Putrid Fiction. It’s really nice.

Giovani Venttura: Thanks mate!

It’s been four years since you released your debut album Afterlife in Darkness. In what way did Depressed grow during those four years?

Giovani Venttura: After our debut we had a lot of line-up changes. It is really hard, here in Brazil, to find the right people for a band with such a specific sound. This, in a certain way, left us “In Darkness” once again, but our music has proven itself to be strong enough to keep the band alive and put Beyond the Putrid Fiction together.

Murillo Hortolan: I was on the band already when Afterlife came out, but it was recorded already. So, it could sound pretentious to say that I brought more power myself to Depressed’s formula, but Beyond is really a step ahead of Afterlife in many ways. Giovani is also directly responsible for this, as he’s grown a lot as a musician.

Since Afterlife in Darkness was your debut album and Beyond the Putrid Fiction isn’t a debut, have you experienced some differences in your approach during the creation process? If so, can you tell something about it?

Giovani Venttura: We had a set of songs from our demo that were written back in 1998-99, and when we came back from our hiatus, in 2012, we created a few more songs to have a full set to play live and to record an EP. It was actually our producer’s idea to record a full-length album that came to be Afterlife in Darkness. For the new album we had a few concepts and worked our way around that, with the sole purpose of recording it. Murillo and I were focused on this and when Douglas Ratam joined the band, we finished it.

Murillo Hortolan: Giovani, Douglas and I usually come up with riff ideas and lay down the song structure based on the guitars and some drums ideas. Everything else comes out naturally as we work together. The lyrics, almost all of them, are about some topic that incites our hatred and disgust, dealing with themes of this world’s putridity, and that sets the tone for the album as a whole.

In the studio you worked with Marcos Cerutti again, what made you come back to him for the studio work?

Giovani Venttura: Marcos is a great friend of mine. We’ve known each other for 25 years now, and he knows exactly how to produce our songs. He’s almost the band’s 6th member and I, as an Iron Maiden fan, love to have a sole producer working consistently with the band, keeping a sound identity, so he will always be our producer, no doubts.

He also does some guest vocals on Unholy Covneant, something he also did on your earlier album, Afterlife in Darkness. How was it to work with him again for this?

Giovani Venttura: Believe it or not, this song is dedicated to our partnership. As a friend and as our producer, he is always invited to lay down some vocals, and he really wanted to record some screams on this song, for obvious reasons.

I also really like the artwork, which is made by Mark Cooper. What made him the best person for this job?

Giovani Venttura: We were mesmerized by his art. And it reminded us of artworks of albums we love from the 90s. I think he was a perfect pick.

Murillo Hortolan: Depressed is committed to the old school death metal sound of the 90s, and that was a major concern when it comes to the artwork as well. Mark Cooper has a style that sometimes reminds of Dan Seagrave and that had our attention, obviously. I love the artwork and I think it matches Beyond the Putrid Fiction perfectly.

In September you announced Rodrigo Butcher as your new drummer. What makes him the perfect new drummer for Depressed?

Giovani Venttura: He has great technique and hits the drums ferociously. He is also into the same bands that we are, and he showed from day one that he was avid to be in the band. We needed a drummer and he turned out to be the perfect guy for the job.

Murillo Hortolan: If there’s any musician reading this, they’ll get it: we jammed together and that band energy was instantly there. It was only Butcher and I playing, and the feeling was amazing!

Gabriel Guerra drums on Beyond the Putrid Fiction as a session musician. What made you decide to go record the album with a session drummer instead of waiting until having a permanent drummer?

Murillo Hortolan: As Giovani stated, finding the right people is not an easy task. We found like five possible drummers in two years, tested them, and none of them had what we needed. The album needed to be recorded and we couldn’t wait much more, so we had to call Guerra to do the work. He is an amazing drummer and a great friend. He was in the band on Afterlife in Darkness, but he’s left the band after the recordings and have focused on his band Justabeli ever since.

Your debut album Afterlife in Darkness was the first CD release for Black Lion Records. In June they released their first ever compilation CD and they named it after your debut album. How does that feel for you?

Giovani Venttura: We were flattered and happy for the recognition of our partnership. Oliver always believed in us, and we’ll always be thankful for that!

Murillo Hortolan: Afterlife in Darkness has a soft spot in our hearts. For all of us. Giovani, Marcos, Oliver, myself even, we’re all working very hard for it to come out right, so the compilation name felt like a well-deserved tribute for it.

Beyond the Putrid Fiction is also released via Black Lion Records. What makes them the best label for Depressed at this moment?

Giovani Venttura: We believe in strong partnerships. Just like we have this bond with our producer, we have it with Oliver and Black Lion Records. We didn’t even consider working with someone else.

Murillo Hortolan: People sometimes ask us about the logistics of being a Brazilian band working with a Swedish label and, although there are a few difficulties on that, we could never find in Brazil a label that did half of Black Lion’s work. They’re still a growing label, but with high-quality work and set to be a big name in the market for sure. Their staff is really hard working and always willing to help the bands.

Can we expect some Depressed shows in support of Beyond the Putrid Fiction in the near future? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?

Murillo Hortolan: As you might expect, we plan to have a lot of shows here in Brazil, but we do plan to go abroad too. We firmly believe that Beyond the Putrid Fiction is a great album and it will open many doors for us. We hope to see you in The Netherlands in the near future!

Thanks for your answers. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Murillo Hortolan: First of all, we’d like to thank you and the readers for your time. This was a great interview. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and streaming platforms! You have all our links here. We hope to see you all live very soon!

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