Jupiterian | facebook | bandcamp |
By: Guido Segers
Though we may know Brazil as a country well known for its rabid death metal and passionate fans, there’s more to it than that obviously. Jupiterian is a whole different monster that landed with their debut EP Archaic, which was followed by their album Apothic.
The sound of Jupiterian is black as the depths of the cosmos and solid like a thick slab of meteorite hitting you in the face. Devoid of any frivolities, it’s a heavy listen, but well worth your time. So time to get to know them a bit better, before they head to Europe for some shows, where I hope to see them again.
I first met V. from Jupiterian at Roadburn and soon I got to know his newly founded band Jupiterian. An avid music fan and lover of science and sci-fi, V. is a creative force with plenty of inspiration from music and literature. Their sound to me is rather unique and unforgivingly heavy, so let’s hope they can head back to play Roadburn soon, because this band belongs on that bill. Time to get into it.
(((o))): How did Jupiterian get started and what brought you guys together as a band? Did you have any previous projects that you would like to mention?
V.: We started in 2013 while I was still playing with my previous death metal band The Black Coffins. I started to work on some riffs with a borrowed guitar I had at home, so I asked some friends if they would be interested to join me in this new project. When the band suddenly split up that year, I decided to focus 100% in this new project which would become Jupiterian. By that time, the band was called Codex Ivpiter, we were 5 guys, I was just doing the lead guitar and we had a lead vocalist, but I felt it would be easier to work only as a four piece, because I was working on the songs, themes and at the same time creating the vocal lines. After this line-up change, we also changed the name to Jupiterian and we entered the studio to record our first material, a 3 songs EP called Archaic. That was pretty much it.
(((o))): Can you start by explaining the name and the concept of the band?
V.: I have always been fascinated by mythology, especially the Greek-Roman mythology. I also love astronomy and as an amateur, I try to study and read about it as much as I can. But I am also into sci-fi books, authors likes Arthur C. Clark, Frank Herbert, Asimov, William Gibson blew my mind as a kid as much as Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard did with their cosmic horror novels. When I started the band, the first thing I had in mind was to create more than only the music, but an entire journey through all of that.
Jupiter is part of ancient mythology in the form from many gods for many extinct cultures and it could sum up all the references I had in mind. So the name Codex Ivpiter came up, but as you presume, it was terrible to pronounce and explain how to spell it. Jupiterian was a name that I was already about thinking for a while. When I talked to the other guys, it made much more sense and we thought it would fit perfectly for our purpose.
(((o))): What are the musical inspirations for you guys, both for the band as well as for yourself?
V.: We have a very different background in the band when it comes to influences. I try to keep my mind opened to everything concerning music. New bands, old bands. I still feel excited when I listen to something new that blows my mind, be it metal or not and it inspires me a lot to try to reinvent the way I play or the way I want to create new stuff. As a band I could name a few like Jacula, Fabio Frizzi, Arvo Part, Anathema (their firsts albums), Graves at Sea, Asunder, Worship, Winter, Deathspell Omega, Iron Maiden, Whitehorse, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Blut Aus Nord, Mercyful Fate & King Diamond, Funeral Mist, Goblin, Antaeus, Cathedral, Celtic Frost and, Svartidaudi, Thergothon and so on…
(((o))): You’ve just released some new music. Can you tell a bit about the recording and writing process? Who does what and how does it unfold?
V.: Yes! We recently release our Anathema’s ‘Mine is Yours To Drown In’ cover. Well, more like a version. We started to work on that and I didn’t want to just emulate the original version, so we tried to put some of our DNA on that. And I am really proud the way it came out.
(((o))): Where do you guys get your inspiration from further, because it seems that the inspiration is a dense mixture of the fantastic, absurd, horror and science fiction. Do you derive your concepts from books or films?
V.: That’s for sure! As I told you, I read a lot sci-fi and horror books. Also I am really into those movies, and my love for the genre is very specific. I am really into all Ray Harryhausen’s animated monsters, and also am obsessed with David Cronenberg’s work, John Carpenter, the Hammer Films movies, Amicus… you know, the Victorian-era horror movies, also mixed with some steampunk style like First Men in the Moon, The Time Machine and everything I can find from the gold age of sci-fi movies.
(((o))): When listening to your albums, the sound is so overwhelmingly heavy and devoid of most other elements. The returning themes makes me feel like that’s a very deliberate choice, also related to the subject matter. Is that so?
V.: That’s true. This is the core of the band, we want to deliver all the heaviness with a dark, yet melodic atmosphere within it.
(((o))): I would like to know a bit about your visual expressions. Rarely does a band pay so much attention to artwork, logos and thus creating such a complete picture. Can you tell a bit more about that?
V.: Thanks a lot. I am glad it called your attention. Well, we are telling a story with the band I want it all to make sense to the listener, be it with the music, the videos, t-shirt and everything. For me, music is much more than what you are listening in a moment, It’s a journey.
Most of the time I am the one behind the imagery, but we are very lucky to work with great artists that get our idea and deliver a great work for us.
(((o))): You’ve done some covers for the new release. Why did you pick those songs exactly?
V.: Yeah, ‘Mine is Yours to Drown In’ was the first one and the other one is Black Sabbath‘s ‘Behind The Wall of Sleep’. About the Anathema version, when we started the band, we talked about choosing a song to cover and this one was my first idea. It was one of the first extreme metal songs I ever heard when I was a kid, so recording it felt like retribution cause it means a lot to me. About ‘Behind the Wall of Sleep’, Cvlt Nation invited us to their new Cvlt Nation Session, and the chosen album this time was Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath. We chose that song for two basics reasons: 1. It’s Lovecraft; 2. It would be very challenging to record a song so different from what we do cause it’s a faster song. As we did with ‘Mine is Yours to Drown In’, we re-think the entire song and made it slower and with our approach and way to do things. Both will be available on digital format in our Bandcamp in October. They are part of this 2 songs EP called Urn.
(((o))): Like before you’re working with Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues) on this new release. How did you get in touch and get to work with him? What do you think that the impact on your sound is of his contributions?
V.: The first time I talked to Mories was in 2010 when I interviewed him for a metal website I used to keep here in Brazil. But I met him personally for the first time at Roadburn 2013 and then we became friends. The sound of his bands is outstanding, he is always releasing amazing albums, always working on something new and all I can say is that I am lucky enough to work with someone I admire and respect that much. I think Jupiterian sound so much darker, dense and intense because of his final touch in the process. Sometimes he also creates some extra textures and it’s by his will. Yeah man, he is definitively a big part in this band.
(((o))): If you could do the soundtrack of either a Lovecraft film or a sci-fi horror combi, which would have your preference and why?
V.: Good one! I never thought about it, but when I read the question, the first movie that came to my mind was Deep Star Six. I think the movie has an overwhelming claustrophobic atmosphere. Maybe Andrzej Żuławski’s On a Silver Globe (which is a movie we already used for the ‘Archaic’ video) or Tarkovisky’s Stalker. I’d love to do the soundtrack for a Lovecraftian movie if there was any good for his “dream cycle”, specially The Dream-Cast of Unknown Kadath.
(((o))): What can people expect from a Jupiterian live show? What kind of experience are they in for?
V.: We like to think our shows are like painful processions, an experience that hurts the soul cause it’s about heaviness but it’s also about sadness and darkness. It’s the worship of what doom metal means to us.
(((o))): Brazil is known as a firm and established metal nation, maybe even one of the biggest in the world if you may believe the documentary World Metal by Sam Dunn. Can you spare a few words on how the Brazilian scene looks and how doom metal fits in there?
V.: I think there is a romantic vision about the Brazilian scene because of all the amazing bands that came out from here in the past decades like Sepultura, Sarcofago, Mystifier, Krisiun, Violator, Facada, Rebaelliun and so on, but I don’t think we can say it’s firm and established. There’s a lot of passionate people doing their stuff, but in a very amateur way, you know. Brazil is a continental country and yet, we cannot arrange a proper tour here at least you are a real DIY band. Of course you won’t make real money and you probably will play with shitty amps on shitty venues. We have only a very few pro labels actively working nowadays, but we are still surviving because everyone involved in this, be it thrash, death, grind and so on, we are used to that. That’s how things are and still love it
(((o))): We know Brazil from its death metal scene of a while ago. Which bands from Brazil are on the rise and should get our attention (and why)?
V.: Facada is one of my favourite grindcore bands of all times. They are relentlessly brutal, it’s like a mix of the best things Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and Nasum ever released in one band, and of course with a strong (and relevant) politic approach on the lyrics. I recommend their last album Nadir. My favourite track is ‘Amanhã vai ser pior’.
Thy Light is amazing. They are one of the most relevant bands in the DSBM scene world wide and Paolo is a great guy. He also plays in a death metal band called Desdominus, which is also a fantastic band. No Morrow Shall Dawn, their last album, is perfect for cold and grey days.
Abske Fides is a great funeral doom metal band from São Paulo and reunite some of my oldest friends in the scene. N., the bass player, joined us for the Chilean tour we did this year. He also plays in Noala and Au Sacre Des Nuits and is always delivering amazing music, be with his bands or with his solo projects. We’ve been working together for many, many years now in a lot of projects and you can hear a jam we did on the track ‘Daylight’, in the end of the song.
Mythological Cold Towers is legendary. They are active for more than 20 years now producing great albums and putting amazing shows. Their last album, Monvmentvm Antiqua, is fantastic!
Infamous Glory is an old school death metal band featuring K. from Abske Fides. Bloodfeast is a death metal worship with all the elements we love in the genre.
Rakta is a brilliant – way beyond any label – band from São Paulo. I love what these girls do and to see them live is an incredible experience. One of the best active bands in Brazil nowadays.
Deaf Kids just released their last album called Configuração do Lamento and it’s one of the best 2016 albums so far in my opinion. This power trio deliver an hypnotizing punk with a lot of tribal-driven rythms. A trully unique band.
(((o))): What future plans does Jupiterian have?
V.: We have 4 shows in Europe in late October, it’s a mini tour with our brothers from Mythological Cold Towers. We’ll play 2 gigs in Belgium, one in Czech Republic and the last show will be at Dutch Doom Days in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After that we will focus on finishing the lasts songs for our next full length and record it in the beginning of 2017. We have 3 new songs, one of them are on our setlist, and 2 structures not finished yet, so I’d say the next album is 70% done.
(((o))): If you had to describe Jupiterian as a dish (food), what would it be and why?
V.: Maybe it’s a Brazilian feijoada, cause it’s black, dense, fat, it’s hard and slow to digest. Actually it looks like a disgusting swamp haha!