Rebaelliun - Interview
Every once in a while, after their (in)famous ‘half-naked women’ carnivals, Brazil opens its gates and spills a group of young men to take over the metal world. Guys that don’t like to dance... That was the case with Sepultura (until they started dancing again), Krisiun and now Rebaelliun. After the very successful debut "Burn the Promised Land," Rebaelliun is ready to solidify their top death metal position with a brilliant follow up known as "Annihilation" that will take you for a spin through the realms of hell. The guitarist Fabiano Penna gave me a glimpse of the band’s past and what’s in store for the future...
It’s been few weeks from the release date of "Annihilation", how’s the reaction over the world been so far?
"Annihilation" is gonna be released in September, so till now we have received some reaction only from the press, and it seems the album will really have an impact in the scene when it's out.
There are already legends flowing around the Metal circles about the sacrifices you had to make to tour Europe. Did you really have to sell houses and quit your jobs to make the tour?
First time we toured Europe, we sponsored everything by ourselves. Rebaelliun had been formed around 6 months before this journey, and since we knew how hard would be to start promoting the band in Brazil, we decided to go to Europe in order to make a better promotion over there. So we all quit our jobs and also sold everything we had in Brazil at that time, equipment, furniture, some clothes, etc. But of course that was the better decision we could have made, Rebaelliun is nowadays a very known band in the Death Metal scene, and this is the response of that first step in '98.
I know that when you started the band you asked Krisiun for help and support. Are there new young bands doing this same to you and, if so, what do you tell them?
After that first tour in Europe, when we came back to Brazil, a lot of bands from all over the country got in touch to know more about our trip, they wanted to know how to get a record deal with an European label, how to get the gigs in other countries, stuff like that. We gave them some addresses and telephone numbers, if they were successful I really don't know, it depends 100% on the music and on the professionalism.
Do you have any favorites from the young Brazilian scene?
I think that Nephasth is the band with more chances to get bigger in the scene. They are very dedicated and have their own style.
Why after a very successful "Burn the Promised Land" and European tour with Limbonic Art and Mystic Circle, did Ronaldo Lima decide to leave the band and what happened that he changed his mind and returned to the band?
That was a bad moment for him, he had personal problems and it would be impossible for him to dedicate himself for Rebaelliun with so many problems. As a trio we recorded "Bringer of War" Mini-CD and once more toured Europe. Right after this last tour, when Marcello (b/v) then left Rebaelliun, Ronaldo decided to come back, and we all thought it was the right moment for that.
Have you ever thought of ending Rebaelliun while there were just two of you? Why did Marcello Marzari leave and how did you find his replacement Lohy Fabiano?
That was a hard moment for us. Anyway I and Sandro kept rehearsing and already writing the new songs, after a couple of weeks Ronaldo decided to come back and then we all started to think about the new frontman. Lohy Fabiano had played with us before in another band, he knew about our searching and he decided to try to join Rebaelliun. We rehearsed a few times with this new line-up and it worked out in a very nice way. And this is the best line-up we ever got, in all aspects. About Marcello, after a very long tour in Europe he was probably tired and he thought that was the better decision.
Going back to your tour with Limbonic Art, I know that you missed some shows due to a visas problems. What exactly happened during this tour?
When Rebaelliun was booked in this tour, nobody in Europe realized that we should have VISA to go to some countries, mainly the countries in the East. When we were going to play in Poland, the tour bus was crossing the border and so we were not allowed to enter, 'cause we didn't have the papers. We tried several times thru different roads, but it didn't work. So we missed 2 or 3 gigs, and of course we were pissed-off about that. To cover those countries, a new tour was booked, when we played over 15 European countries with Vader.
I assume Morbid Angel is one of your biggest influences. Is that why 'Day of Suffering' made your MCD "Bringer of War"?
When Rebaelliun was formed, 'Day of Suffering' was one of the cover songs we played, this song was played a lot live as well, and when the idea for the MCD came out, we decided to record it. Morbid Angel is the biggest Death Metal band all over the world, and a big influence for us.
"Annihilation" is definitely your best work to date. How long did the writing process last and did you feel any pressure writing it after the very well received "Burn the Promised Land"?
Not at all, a lot of changes happened during the writing process, Ronaldo left the band, Marcello left the band, and all those problems were just one more reason to write extreme songs and lyrics. We wrote all the songs naturally, without any pressure, with all the tours we had improved a lot and we knew that we were able to write a better album. We never thought that "Annihilation" would be worse than "Burn the Promised Land", we were very sure about the quality of this new album all the time. We started to write the songs while recording "Bringer of War", in April '2000, and we recorded the album in February '2001, so it took around 10 months to write all the songs.
"Annihilation" and previous albums carry a strong anti-Christian, anti-religion message. Is this something you really believe as a band? What are your religious beliefs?
We don't have any religious beliefs. We have our own philosophy. Religions make people blind and weak, and we believe that we can get a lot further in life being our own redeemers. Rebaelliun is one of our beliefs, 'cause to be in this band we have gone against a lot of different things thru these years.
What aspects of the music or songwriting did you change from the previous album "Burn the Promised Land"? Any similarities? Differences?
I think that the feeling is basically the same in both albums. But we were much more careful about everything this time. You can notice that in "Annihilation" everything is clearer, the riffs are very clear, drums are much clearer as well, you can hear the bass, you can 'understand' more the vocal lines. And the composition is in a higher level, the structures of the songs were more well planned.
Are you completely satisfied with the final outcome or there are things you would like to change?
"Annihilation" is the first recording that we are 100% satisfied with. Of course we have now a different view of the album and some things maybe could be changed to sound better, but these new ideas will be part of the new album.
Do you have an unspoken war with Krisiun on who’s the most extreme and brutal band in Brazil or you can care less and each one of you do your own thing without checking the competition moves?
Not at all, it doesn't exist. Krisiun has been in the scene for longer than us, they have a solid career and they don't need any kind of competition with any band. Rebaelliun arose 3 years ago and I can say we already did a lot in the worldwide Death Metal scene since we came. However we know we have a huge potential and much more can be done on coming years.
By the way, have you heard "Ageless Venomous"? What do you think of it?
Not the whole album, I've heard 1 or 2 tracks. It sounds more technical than before.
Give me your top 5 CDs in the Metal world. Who do you listen to the most?
- Judas Priest "Painkiller"
- Slayer "South of Heaven"
- Slayer "Reign in Blood"
- Manowar "Triumph of the Steel"
- Morbid Angel "Covenant"
Beside these bands I listen to a lot of other artists, classical music, guitarists, other Metal bands.
What are the promotional plans for "Annihilation"? Any chance to see you in US?
There's a plan for our first apparition in the U.S. this year, but this is not 100% right. It will depend on the response of the album in the States, but be sure we will keep working hard to tour the States as soon as possible.
Are you already thinking about a follow up to "Annihilation"?
Yes, we have already 2 new songs, and I just can say they sound different than the songs from "Annihilation", we wanna go to a higher level once more.
Any final words to your American fans?
Thanks for all the e-mails and letters we have received from the U.S. on last months. As you all know our main goal is touring the States, we've heard for years about the American fanatic fans and we are sure that this tour will happen soon. Visit www.rebaelliun.com and keep supporting this fucking scene.
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