Machinergy are a Thrash Metal trio hailing from the Lisbon District in Portugal. In September they dropped the physical version of their second album "Sounds Evolution" via Portuguese label Metal Soldiers Records and Greek label Secret Port Records worldwide. Prior to this on the 2nd June, they released the digital counterpart to the second album and this earned them sensational reviews:
"From the first to the final breathing, they attack relentlessly with a track-list overall vigorous and brutal, keeping the standards high-leveled with no relevant ups and downs between songs" Rock & Heavy [Chile]
"Remember when thrash bands did ten tracks of brutal, fast, pounding music and released it as an album without a thought for appealing to people outside the genre? Machinergy have recaptured those days" The Moshville Times [UK]
"They will no doubt blow your speakers" Metal Galaxy [Canada]
"This is one bad-ass album" Woodbangers [USA]
Following this success, Global Metal Apocalypse decided to take time out to speak with Vocalist / Guitarist Rui Vieira about the album, their award-winning documentary, the Portuguese Metal scene and the destruction of the Euro currency.
Hi Rui, now you are releasing your second album this month in CD format, how does it differ from 'Rhythmotion'?
Hi there! Well, one of the things is the speed! 'Sounds Evolution' has faster songs than "Rhythmotion'. Besides that, I think we created more simple structures in comparison with the first record, and because we're a trio we recorded the songs thinking about the playing live part. I could make a lot more solos and leads but if I cannot replicate that live, it's better not to do it. Concerning some reviews, they frequently mention our old school heritage (80's Sepultura, Metallica, Slayer, etc) that is way more declared than the first CD.
Machinergy has been going since 2006, what has been the highlight of the band's career thus far?
I think we achieved some important things in these 8 years but, besides our records, our documentary of 2012 is a big highlight for us. It was something new in the Portuguese metal scene and a fresh way to present the EP 'Rhythm Between Sounds'. The cherry on the top of the cake was the award we received recently in a film festival in our homeland, Arruda dos Vinhos.
Focusing on the Portuguese Metal scene, what do you feel lacks within the scene (if anything)? What is the support for metal like in Portugal?
We have some good publications in the underground, from paper fanzines to webzines, there are some venues and festivals where you can play but in the end, you always reach the same conclusion: You must 'fight' for your band! It's very hard nowadays to top a band, your band. There are hundreds and Portugal is not a big country. So, you must keep the publications updated, play live frequently, have good conduct, try to be active in the scene and do your work as best as you can! And persistence. That's one of the main things that's not easy and only some achieve.
Are there any lyrical themes you tend to turn to for each release? What inspires you to write these lyrics?
There's no criteria for the lyrics. In 'Sounds Evolution', there are some common points but, in general, it's very diverse. Some lyrics are more simple and straight to the point, others are more camouflaged. But I try to write always about something that's worthy of writing and transmitting a message. Some may understand, others may not.
If you could spend a day with anyone from Portugal who is famous, who would it be and why?
Maybe a day with Jorge Jesus, the GREAT Benfica FC (best team in the world) coach. He's possibly the best stand-up comedian we have 'round here!
How (and if) has the change in currency, from the Escudo to Euro, affected the scene with regards to instrument prices, live fees, etc?
The Euro is one of the causes of the current crisis situation we have in Portugal. When the Euro appeared, prices increased dramatically. In some cases it increased 50%! Taking into account the salaries remained the same and we have more and more taxes to pay, you can imagine... concerning the tickets for live gigs, it's curious, the prices have been the same for years. For a medium show with 3 to 4 international bands, you'll pay 25 Euros.
Can you give us the background behind the new album? From the planning to the recording, and to the releasing stage?
We started to write 'Sounds Evolution' in 2010. I don't remember if it was 'Cada Falso' or 'Sounds Evolution' we wrote first but we soon realized the new material would bring outside our thrash root in its plenitude. The first record is more industrial, slower and I think we felt the necessity to do an album like this, straight to the point. We recorded it in our home studio and took the time we need to do all the things, to gain more experience, that's a fact.
Concerning the physical release, again our friend Fernando Roberto from Metal Soldiers Records helped us out with it. This partnership extends to the Greek label Secret Port Records. For the next record, I think maybe it would be a good idea to record in a studio and let someone do the job. We've been making everything since 2006 without stopping, we need a rest.
Outside of music, you recently won the best short film category at the Curt'Arruda film festival, can you give us the background behind that, what it entails, what this means for Portuguese metal and the band of course?
The documentary is about our roots, our beginnings in the 80's. We talk about our influences and difficulties that I'm sure are common to the old school metalheads. It was the tape-trading times, the snail mail, the lack of information and money, well... good and passionate but difficult times. We also paid homage to the radio stations and important people that helped us in discovering heavy metal. The documentary was well received in general but, since it was something new and pioneering in our metal scene, I think it deserved a little more attention but... dear friends out there, check it! I'm pretty sure you will like it!
[You can watch the documentary on YouTube here] - it is in Portuguese but has excellent visual representations.
What plans do you have for the rest of the year and into 2015?
Right now, we're committed to bring Machinergy to the world with our new record. Thus therefore, we have just discussed about having a possible live recording to make a DVD. It's a way to fill the gap between albums and keep the band active in the scene.
Finally are there any hello's, thank you's, etc you wish to send out to friends, family, etc?
Thank you Global Metal Apocalypse for this nice interview! We also want to thank all our friends around the world that are helping us, especially with reviews and interviews, radio stations and, of course, our closest friends. A special big thanks to Fernando Roberto from Metal Soldiers Records (Portugal) who has been a great friend and professional in the last few years.