Here is a new interview with Portugal's old-school band "Festering" the band released a few demo's and one E.P. And recently released their debut cd "From The Grave" through the label "Caverna Abismal Rec" so if you are a old-school death metal maniac be sure to pick this cd up today.
Interview with Koja Mutilator Bass player for Festering done by Patrick
1. Hello Koja how is life going for you these days in Portugal? Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Hi guys! I am Koja, bass guitar player and founding member of the Portuguese old school Death Metal band, Festering. Life in Portugal is going through very hard times. The country has been under a tough economic adjustment program, through the International Monetary Fund. Because of this economic recovery, the people are under strong austerity measures. This does we are going through a serious financial crisis, subject to large budget cuts, brutal tax increases and enormous cuts in pensions and state support. With very serious consequences on the budget of families and a severe increase of the unemployment in the country. All this is reflected in the various areas of society and music is no exception.
2. I believe you first formed Festering in 1992 what gave you the idea to start this band? Why did you stop the band back then?
Yes, me and two other friends, decided to start this project in 1992. At the time we all played in other bands. But we had in common the idea of creating a band within the old spirit of the Grind / Gore, influenced by bands like Carcass and Napalm Death. So, the three of us joined and started writing songs in that line, and thus came the Festering. But this band was never more than a project, a hobby, a side project. Therefore, it was nothing more than something temporary. We recorded a song and it got there.
3. Festering reformed in 2011 what made you decide to reform the band after so many years?
It all started with a conversation with a great friend of mine, Pedro, who had been vocalist in Extreme Unction (our main band - we recorded one album and a few demos). We both had the idea of making a band that would bring back the old Death Metal spirit in the vein of Entombed, Dismember, Death, Obituary or Bolt Thrower. Our friend João Galego (Guitar) quickly joined our project. I already had some material written: several riffs and songs that had been kept in the drawer waiting for the right opportunity. So, we grabbed that material and started working on it. We finished several songs and, in the meantime, Norberto (drums) also joined our ranks. But the name for our band was still missing... That's when I thought about reusing the name "Festering" and give it a new life. And thus, in 2011 Festering was reborn leaning towards that old school Death Metal sound, but retaining some of the initial Gore/Grind influences.
4.What is the current line-up for Festering? For the readers who have never heard Festering's music how would you best describe it?
As of this moment, after João left and Norberto is about to follow his footsteps, the band consists only of me and Pedro. As I said before, Festering follows that dirty early 90's Swedish Death Metal style, mixing fast riffs with slower brutal parts, sprinkled with some melodic touches more akin to Doom Metal. I think we manage to mix the right amount of brutality, speed and melody in our songs. We're a band focused on simple, direct, strong and accessible songs without any technical virtuosity
5.Festering recently released their debut cd "From the grave" through Caverna Abismal Rec. how did the band come in contact with this label?
Actually, the album is a three-label affair: Caverna Abismal, War Productions and Sinais Produções. In 2012 we released a demo "From the Grave" and a 7" single "Exhumed" through War Productions. In the meantime that label split in two, War Prod. and Sinais Prod. Later on, Nuno from Caverna Abismal had the idea of merging both releases add a bonus track and make a CD edition, which we accepted right away. Since all the labels had worked together in other releases, they decided to join forces again and make a better release.
6.When writing a new song does the whole band work on the music or does one member usually write everything? Who usually writes the lyrics for the band? What are some subjects you all write about?
At first, when João was still in the band, we would gather, pick a few melodies and riffs and work them into songs and the lyrics were written by me and Pedro. But right now, I'm the only one composing the songs and writing the lyrics with some input from Pedro. The subjects go from ancient mythology, to wars, ethnical and religious persecutions (old or new), apocalypse, etc... But always gore-oriented, violent and aggressive.
7.Does Festering ever play live or do you all prefer to work in the studio? What have been some of your most memorable shows to date?
We haven't played live yet. At first, the band was to be solely a studio project due to the difficulty of finding the right musicians. But since we're having a great feedback from both the fans and the reviewers, I'm committed to take this band a step forward and start playing live.
8. Who are some of the bands you all have had the opportunity to share the stage with? Are there any tours or shows coming up to support the new CD "From the grave".
As I said, we haven't played live yet, although some invitations have popped up, even in some important festivals. Nuno (Caverna Abismal) is willing to put the band on the road and even started planning some dates in Portugal. At the same time, I have some musician friends willing to help out taking Festering to the stage, so let's see what comes out in the future.
9. Festering comes out of Portugal's metal scene how do you feel Portugal's metal scene has change since the mid-nineties to now?
I think there's been a big evolution since then: there are lots of interesting bands and projects in various styles. The quality of musicians also took a huge step forward as well as the technical means at their disposal. More studios, more knowledge, more information, better material... All this makes up for a big step in quality.
10. Who are your all-time favorite Portuguese bands? Are there any new bands coming from Portugal you feel the readers should watch out for?
One of my all-time favorite Portuguese bands is Filii Nigrantium Infernalium. Nowadays, there are quite a few new bands and some old ones who are also great! Some names that come to mind: Midnight Priest, Ravensire, Grog, Dementia 13, Perpetratör, Holocausto Canibal, Simbiose, Martelo Negro. These are high quality bands, some with a long story on the Portuguese Metal scene.
11. Besides bands are there any good labels or distro's from Portugal the readers should check out?
Yes, we have some good labels and distro's in Portugal, who've been working hard releasing and promoting lots of bands. Besides Caverna Abismal, War Productions and Sinais Produções, I can say that Chaosphere, Helldprod, A Forja and Blood & Iron are doing a great job.
12. In your opinion what is the best and worst thing about the underground today? And what does underground mean to you?
The freedom to be creative and develop the sound without any restrictions or impositions from others is, for sure, the best of the underground. You can compose and record your songs and the labels decide if they want to release them or not. The underground is pure and true. It's the force of will and creativity that count, not the money. As for the worst, there are quite a few poor quality bands coming out every day that sometimes can overwhelm the best projects. Then there's also the quality of sound... Some bands have great musicianship and songwriting skills, but lose a bit of their sting due to the quality of recording and production.
13. Koja, besides Festering are you or any of the members of the band currently working with other bands? If yes please tell the readers about the bands you are involved with.
Besides Festering I'm involved in Extreme Unction, which has always been my main project. We've returned in 2015 with a new album that should come out in October. Expect melodic Death Metal with more care in song structures and more Doom influences.
14. Koja you handle the bass for Festering when did you start playing the bass? Who are some of your influences /favorite bassists?
I started playing bass in my teen years, with some childhood friends, around 1987. My main influences are Steve Harris and Cliff Burton (RIP). I'm very inspired by both these Heavy Metal monsters. Although I like quite a few other bassists, these two are the ones who have contributed mostly to make the bassist I am today
15. Koja, thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out. Do you have any final words for the readers?
Thank you on behalf of Festering for this opportunity and for your support. I'd like to leave a final message to all the readers: support the underground and the small bands that need your help to grow! Be faithful to Heavy Metal... \m/