Desalmado: São Paulo-based deathgrind quartet talk to Chaoszine about their aggressive and original sound


Author Flavia Andrade – 5.2.2022

Desalmado is one of the most influential extreme metal bands in Brazil. Caio Augusttus (vocals), Estevam Romera (guitar), Bruno Teixeira (bass) and Ricardo Nutzmann (drums) formed the deathgrind quartet in 2004, in São Paulo, and have since performed at numerous music festivals in Brazil and the United States. ‘foreigner. Their lyrics bring political and social themes, as well as reflections on human nature. After the critically acclaimed album “Save Us From Ourselves”, released in 2018, Desalmado saw growing media interest, which led to an international deal for a limited edition vinyl release. The following tour had more than 100 concerts in Brazil and Europe, in festivals such as Abril Pro Rock, Overload and Bordoada (Portugal). The group has shared the stage with big names in extreme music, such as Krisiun, obituary, Buried and Ratos de Porao. Their latest release “Mass Mental Devolution” is distributed digitally via Blood Blast Distribution.

Chaoszine had the opportunity to catch up Desalmadowho discussed their latest album, talked about the rock and metal scene in Brazil and how the pandemic has affected them.

Hello. Thanks for talking to Chaoszine. How have you been during the pandemic?

Augustus: I think we are doing well in general, we have been very productive during this period. We have problems like everyone else, strange feelings about the future and many such situations, but in general we have been able to move on.

The band was originally formed in 2004, under the name El Fuego. How did all this happen, and how has your musical style evolved since then?

Augustus: It was a very active start, lots of races and lots of different line-ups. It took us three years to be stable and move on. Then, we had to adapt to the circumstances. We started with the fantasy of going in the same direction as Brujeria and cannibal corpse, but we failed at that. Instead, we ended up gravitating towards Death by Napalm, Ratos de Porao and burial. Nowadays, we continue in this direction, and many compare our sound to Napalm Deathwhich is an honor for us.

Desalmado is a band that represents death metal and grindcore in Brazil very well, with a unique touch that gives you a very original sound. What are your main influences and how do they affect your music?

Augustus: We are currently influenced by new bands, like Gojiraas good as the Secret, an Italian band that few people know. We listen to a lot of death metal, especially the new stuff, and it’s the same with grindcore, like Dumbass, Nails, pig destroyer and Rot. I think these bands have something to say when it comes to musicality, because a lot of them try something new without losing their essence. So that might be the biggest contribution to our sound.

Your sound is very aggressive, as are your lyrics, which are very critical. What inspires you as artists and how is that reflected in your music?

Augustus: Our willingness to expose our outrage at the contradictions and problems of capitalist society in general.

How important is Desalmado’s political message in the messy political context in which Brazil finds itself today?

Teixeira: I believe the importance of this goes beyond our words. Whenever we get the chance, we talk to people who follow our story, always eager to debate, point out issues, and brainstorm possible solutions. We talk about the importance of getting organized to achieve a common goal, and that’s how we do it. Many people who are in the group tell us that we have helped them to better understand certain political issues, even if they do not agree 100% with what we say. It makes me happy to know that some people are trying to become better informed about certain themes that we talk about in our music.

In October 2021, you released the album “Mass Mental Devolution”. It brings a more emotional feel, in addition to the ever-present political critique. The album is extremely well produced and brings new elements to your sound, plus some special guests. What was it like writing more introspective lyrics? And what was it like collaborating with Argentinian singer Noelia Recalde and Krisiun’s guitarist Moyses Kolesne?

Augustus: About the lyrics, it was a bit weird. I wasn’t used to that, but I think it worked well, better than the lyrics where I proposed to have a more critical reading of the world. Talking about personal and introspective things is much easier!

Teixeira: The coolest thing about special guests is that we didn’t write music with a certain special guest in mind. In Noelia’s case, as soon as we finished recording”Hollow”, Hugo Silva, the producer, suggested having his voice at the end of the song. He had worked with her before, so she said yes and did an amazing job. This took the song to a whole new level! Moyses has been our friend for a while, and when we heard pre-production of “foreignersit was clear to us that we needed a more chaotic solo, much like Killer. We didn’t think twice before inviting Moyses to do the two guitar solos for this song. It’s a huge honor to have him on a Desalmado album, because we are big Krisiun Fans!

Desalmado has been part of the Brazilian metal scene for a few years now. What has been the public reaction to your sound over the years?

Teixeira: I believe that since 2014 things have changed a lot for us. We ended up taking the road a lot more and started to develop a bigger audience. There is no other way: the groups are made on the road, in direct contact with their public. That’s what we love the most. With “Estado Escravo”, we started to refine our sound a bit, to do something that felt more like us, and that brought more people to be interested in our band. “Mass Mental Devolution” is the result of all of that: a lot of people are raving about the album, and it shows us that there’s more interest in our sound.

How is the rock and metal scene in São Paulo these days, and how do you think the pandemic has affected it?

Teixeira: The pandemic has really affected São Paulo’s cultural scene, but that was expected. It’s hard enough to keep a group united and active, and a situation like the pandemic has made that much harder. I think we are living a great musical moment, there are a lot of good bands releasing excellent albums. But not being able to play live makes things complicated, because extreme music depends on concerts and the exchange that is done live, with the public. I can’t wait to get back to gigs and see so many great bands perform live.

After the pandemic, arts and culture have been extremely affected. Do you think there is a possibility of government incentives to help lift the sector?

Teixeira: With this current “government”, I see no possibility. These are people who hate culture and do everything to destroy it. The fact is that it is fundamental to create public policies so that professionals in the cultural sector remain active, remunerated. There are many people who are going through financial difficulties and who have to work in other fields to survive. I hope that a next government will invest massively in culture, because it displaces many sectors of the economy.

Photo credit: Maya Melchers

The heavy metal scene in Brazil is very much alive, despite the fact that some people claim that rock is dead. Could you suggest any Brazilian bands you like to our readers?

Teixeira: I always forget to mention a band when I’m asked a question like this… I’ll mention a few that are closer to us, and that I still listen to, like Eating Corpse?, Vazio, Corja!, Forceps, Postmortem Inc., Cras, Angry, Creexpo, surra, Punho de Mahin, Aneurosis, maddiba, Blackening, Vomit Bag Squad… there are many groups! I’m sure I’ll remember many more as soon as I finish this interview.

Thanks again for talking to Chaoszine.

Teixeira: We thank you. And you can always count on us. We hope to see you on the road soon. Cheers!

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