Cult of Luna
Voivod: Part 2
Voivod: Part 1
Dillinger Escape Plan
The Year In Metal
Dead to Fall
Tapping The Vein
High On Fire
Metal Meltdown IV
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2002
Century Media Records
My Dying Bride
The Year In Metal
Metal Blade Records
Maudlin of the Well
Thrash of the Titans
Dust To Dust
Six Feet Under
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2001
Metal Meltdown III
Pain of Salvation
Children Of Bodom
Cradle Of Filth
Lamb Of God
Garden of Shadows
March Metal Meltdown
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2000
Flotsam and Jetsam
"Metal is not just a musical genre, it is a way of life." Such a mantra is easy to recite, but more often than not, accomplished metal musicians drift away from the metal scene, adopting new influences and / or growing tired of the music they once loved. Not Krisiun. Although drummer Max Kolesne is quickly gaining renown as one of the best drummers in metal today, his thirst for the true metal feelings is far from satiated. Hailing from Brazil is only part of the Krisiun equation. Truth be told, Krisiun's exciting musical blend of brutally fast death and technical precision is only another element. It is the love of metal that oozes from everything this band does that causes them to rise above the mediocrity of the pack. On the eve of the release of 'Ageless Venomous' on Century Media Records, and the band's upcoming slot on the fifteenth edition of Milwaukee Metalfest, the Metal Update caught up with this metal machine to discuss his love for metal music.
METAL UPDATE: Would you agree with the statement that Krisiun are the new face of Brazilian metal?
Well it is great to hear that some people really support the band. We are getting some respect and recognition from the real diehards around the world, be it the U.S., Europe or South America. We have been playing this kind of music for more than ten years. In the beginning there were not that many people in Brazil supporting this kind of music. Most of the bands back at that time were not playing brutal death metal. It was just Krisiun and maybe a few more. We just keep playing music. We keep things brutal, keep things fast, and just keep trying to improve musically, trying to play better, play harder. I think every new album, every new tour, every new show is a step forward for this band. We've proven to the true fans that we are a brutal death metal band, and that we are not trying to wimp out, or give up. We aren't going to quit playing brutal or fast music.
MU: Which bands are leading the Brazilian metal scene today, as it is represented internationally? Is Krisiun part of that list?
We really appreciate being thought of that way. The reason why maybe we are one of the main bands from Brazil is because we have been playing for a long time and we never stabbed our fans in the back. We didn't wimp out. We didn't give up, we kept playing brutal music. I think we have this real metal feeling when we play.
MU: When Krisiun was first getting started, was there such a thing as a Brazilian metal scene? What bands were the first to achieve international acclaim?
When we started the band, Sepultura was a main influence for us, especially the 'Beneath the Remains' and 'Schizophrenia' period. Sarcofago was a good band in the 80's. They were playing such brutal music for that time, '86 or '87. They were playing, like, black metal with blast beats and crazy riffs. I think in the beginning of the 90's, a lot of bands started to wimp out. I think it was the beginning of this alternative metal music. A lot of bands were changing. They were trying to mix up metal with some more commercial music like rap and industrial. A lot of bands were giving up playing metal because the trend was getting so big. So many bands which were not metal at all trying to say they were a metal band. There's so many fake bands trying to say they are metal bands.
MU: What do you think of the evolution of Sepultura?
I really respect them for what they did in the past, especially during the 80's. I think after 'Arise', for me, they started to lose the roots. The real roots they had. I remember when I saw them play in 1987, during the 'Schizophrenia' tour, they were saying that they were going be playing very aggressive, fast music. I think they lost their aggressive and brutal roots.
MU: I hear about these big Brazilian festivals like Rock in Rio, and you know there is a lot of rock and even metal music fans in that country. But what is the underground scene all about? Are there a lot of people into brutal death metal down there?
I think the scene is getting better. There are a few more bands playing brutal death metal, and they are taking it very seriously.
MU: Who are some of those bands?
Ophiolatry and Abhorrence come to mind. There are quite a few bands in Brazil playing some good death metal right now. Some of those bands will keep playing, but a lot of bands are now just trying to follow what older bands were doing. Maybe they are trying to copy a bit too much.
MU: What size crowds does Krisiun play to in Brazil?
It depends. Last show we did in Sao Paulo, there was like 1,000 people. Some places we have played already for 2,000. But sometimes it's 400. It really depends on which city we are playing. I think things are really going well for us in Brazil now. We are seeing more people coming to the shows and we are selling more Cds.
MU: What are the strong markets for Krisiun in the rest of the world?
MU: Let's talk about the U.S. market. You're playing Milwaukee Metalfest this year?
MU: Is that something you've done before?
Yes. We played there in 1999.
MU: How did that go for you?
It was great. It was one of the best shows we ever did in North America. It was such a great and crazed crowd. A lot of metal people and diehards. It was awesome.
MU: Are you looking forward to touring again this summer?
MU: Do you take note of the other bands who play at these festivals? Do you find yourself getting excited, as fan, to see some of these other bands play?
Sure. I'm excited for Immolation at this year's fest. I remember the first time we played in the U.S., the beginning of 1999. We did a tour with Incantation and Angel Corpse. And then we got back to the U.S. in the same year to play Milwaukee Metalfest. And I remember having met a lot of people from different places like Texas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, etc. And those people, that I had met from all over on the tour, they were all there. It was really cool to have met all those people and to have made friends and then see them all show up at this one place.
MU: Let's talk about the music. You play some pretty crazy drums.
MU: Who are your influences as a drummer?
Well, I have a lot of influences. Ever since I started playing drums, I was into metal bands, and trying to play their music and understand what the drummers were playing. But I can tell you that, over time, my main influences have been Pete Sandoval and Dave Lombardo. I have some jazz influences too.
MU: Let's talk about Lombardo.
Dave Lombardo was my main influence, especially in the beginning. I remember when I was listening to Metallica, I was kind of inspired by the drummer back in the 'Master of Puppets' and 'Ride the Lightning' days. Then I heard Slayer and I thought the drummer was unbelievable. It was so unbelievable when I heard 'Hell Awaits' and 'Reign in Blood' for the first time. It was so fast, so brutal. The fills, and a lot of things. I remember hearing the song "Silent Scream" from 'South of Heaven' for the first time. It just blew me away. It was like fast double-bass, fast kicks during the whole song. That was very inspiring for me. Gene Hoglan from Dark Angel was another great influence upon me, especially 'Darkness Descends' and 'Leave Scars'. There was some amazing, fast double-bass, a lot of crazy fills and some amazing speed.
MU: Should drummers try to execute big fills? Should they try to be "busy"? Is that a metal drummer's job?
No, I think. . .
MU: There's a difference between listening to the drums on a Slayer record and drums on an AC/DC record, but both are often highly regarded. Old AC/DC is right in the pocket, it's right there. But it can be boring, you know?
I think I just try to play what's right for the music. Try to really add something to the music. If I was going to play for AC/DC, of course I'd have to forget about using so much double-bass and playing so fast. I would try to play a lot more simple and basic drumbeats.
MU: But Krisiun is a lot more about going balls-out, going for the jugular and killing.
Yeah, that's it. I think it has a lot to do with your feelings about music. When I play, it has to come from my heart. I have to feel it. When I'm not feeling the music, when I'm just playing with my mind and my body, I don't feel that I'm playing well. I feel like it's cool, I'm just playing for fun. But when I really get into the music, and really feel the music and the vibration coming, from inside, I can play a lot better. Especially when we are writing songs and putting them together. I think that the most important thing is that feeling. When you are playing live or practicing or whatever, it is very important to first have the music coming form your heart - then you can use your mind and your body to think about how to play. But it has to be more of your feeling driving you.
MU: What drummers today inspire you?
Well there are a lot of great drummers today.
MU: Who are some of your favorites?
Derrick from Hate Eternal. He already played for a lot of bands. He recorded on Nile's 'Black Seeds of Vengeance', like additional drums. And Tony, he's playing for Nile now. He used to play for Angel Corpse. He's a great friend of ours and an amazing drummer. The guy who plays for Malevolent Creation, Dave Culross. He's fucking awesome. The guy who plays for Diabolic. And of course, Pete Sandoval. He is one of the kings, and cannot be compared to the new breed of death metal drummer.
MU: Both Morbid Angel and Nile have taken part in higher-profile tours this summer. Does that give you hope for brutal death metal in the U.S.?
Yeah, sure. I think so. Bands like Pantera are really big in the metal scene. So maybe lots of kids are going to see Morbid Angel play live for the first time and will be really blown away. It is so fast, so brutal! Sure, a lot of those fans will be Morbid Angel fans in the future. Death metal fans. And they will start looking for more death metal bands.
MU: Do you think Krisiun will ever get to do a tour like that?
Sure, we can play with big bands. Pantera or whoever else that might be. It would be a great honor for us to one day play with bands like Slayer or Motorhead. We don't care, it is better. We don't want to just play with death metal bands. I love to play with death metal bands, of course. But if we can play with heavy metal, thrash metal bands, whatever. I don't care about the labels. If the band has power, and has good music to play, then it is alright by me.
MU: What do you think of Slipknot?
I'm not really into that.
MU: They are very popular in America.
Yeah, I know.
MU: They give interviews and talk about how they really come from brutal death.
Yeah, I heard that they used to play for death metal bands. I know that they are good musicians. The drummer can play some really fast shit. I really respect them as musicians, but it is not the kind of music I listen to.
MU: What do you think of Slayer's new material?
MU: Yes. What do you think of it?
I have heard a few songs. It is not the same Slayer. Not like 'Reign in Blood' or not even like 'South of Heaven' or whatever. I think they are mixing a lot of typical Slayer riffs and drumbeats with this new metal and alternative bands. They are getting some new influences from this new generation of mainstream bands.
MU: What do you think about that? Why do bands change? Why do bands move away from the original intensity and complexity?
I don't understand it. I've always felt real disappointed about a lot of bands of which I was a great fan, and now they just stab their fans in the back. Maybe the guys get tired. Maybe they've lost the feeling. I think the most important thing in music is the feeling you have inside you. You have to have the will to play brutal shit. You have to really care about playing well. Some guys never lost it. If you listen to newer works by Dave Lombardo, like Testament's 'The Gathering', he is still kicking ass. He is still playing really fast, even better than he was doing in the past. I was so impressed by his performance on that album.
MU: Does that inspire you?
Totally. For example, Pete Sandoval is not a young guy, but he is just a machine. Just unbelievable. When you play metal, I think it is important to have this warrior feeling. We are warriors. You are fighting for something. You're not just trying to make big money or whatever. You're doing something for honor. You play music because you love to play this kind of music and love to listen to this kind of music. You really appreciate great bands like real metal bands. You listen to Motorhead, for example. Their new album kicks ass, just like they did in the 1970's. They kick ass. They keep the same style and did not change their sound. It is very inspiring to see a guy like 56 years old playing aggressive music.
MU: Are you guys happy with the work that Century Media has done for you?
We are very happy with them. We think that now, for the first time, we have a label really supporting the band. Giving the band some chances. For example, since we have signed with them we have been playing around the world like the U.S., South America and Europe. We have had the chance to share the stage with great bands such as Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Nile and Immolation. It has been a great experience. Century Media is doing a very good job. They are doing promotion for the album. And they are very cool people. Whenever we go to the offices, whether in Brazil, the U.S. or Europe, they treat us really well, like friends. They invite us to barbecues. They talk to us like friends. They really respect the music and respect us as musicians. It's not just a business relationship, it is a friendship. And, for me, that is very important.
MU: Describe the new album for the fans.
'Ageless Venomous' is totally brutal, straight, fast, pure metal music.
MU: Do you think you have changed anything?
I think we have changed a little. I think we are a bit more technical. Not just blast beats all the time. We have some slower parts. Even though it is still really fast, the guitar is doing some crazy shit, some harmonies, etc.
MU: Why did the band decide to develop in that direction?
It was very natural. When we got back from the tour last August, we started jamming in the rehearsal room. And Moyses is just a riff machine. He comes up with crazy riffs which, in my opinion, are real metal. They might be technical or fast, but they have metal roots. That is really important for this band, to keep those metal roots. Whatever else we are, be it fast, brutal or technical, the influence is metal. From the 80's or the 70's. The real roots. Anyway, 'Ageless Venomous' is much more technical. I think the production is much clearer than on 'Conquerors of Armageddon'. But it has the same feeling and the same roots. It is a pure, 100% metal album.
MU: Do people get bored when there is too much speed and too many blast beats?
For me, to see bands play really fast and brutal shit is great.
MU: But everybody always seems to be waiting for that one breakdown part when they go fucking nuts. A lot of the fastest stuff just seems to be build-up for the slower groove riffs.
Yeah, I know, but I think that as long as I can bang my head, it doesn't matter whether it is a slow or fast part. As long as I can feel the riff in my head, and I can feel the music. I think that is what is important. It is not just about being fast or technical. It is about making sure the feeling is in the music. When you see people standing around watching your music, you want to make sure that they can bang their head. That is important. It is important to have a guitarist like Moyses who is very creative and can maintain a style while playing different songs and keeping it interesting. He has a lot of different inspiring ideas.
MU: Besides Milwaukee Metalfest, what other tour plans do you have in suport of the new album?
We are going to play with Immolation in the U.S. Before we go to the U.S., we are going to play Wacken for the first time.
MU: Will that be the largest crowd you've ever played in front of?
Maybe. Last year we played the With Full Force festival in Germany. It was really packed, I'm not sure how many people. Anyway, after that, in September, we go back to Brazil to do some shows there and maybe in Argentina and Chile. We're still not sure what is going to happen. Maybe a tour of Japan. We've never been there before, so hopefully that is going to happen. In November, we are going to start touring in Poland, which will be our first time playing there. It will be a ten-day headlining tour for Krisiun, and afterward we wil lstart a tour with Cannibal Corpse and Kreator in Europe. We'll get to play some places like Greece and Ireland.
MU: Is Kreator going back to their old sound?
I heard they are going to back to their roots, playing stuff like 'Extreme Aggression'.
MU: What do you think of Cannibal Corpse these days?
For me, Cannibal Corpse are one of the best death metal bands ever. They play great music, and have been playing for a long time. They never wimp out and never give up on playing brutal music.
MU: What about Six Feet Under?
I'm not really into that.
MU: Chris Barnes is a death metal legend.
Yeah, sure. But I think he should keep doing the same kind of music he was doing with Cannibal Corpse. Not exactly the same, but the same style, the same feel. Maybe he just wanted to change, that's why he quit the band. Maybe he was just looking to play some slower music or whatever.
MU: Do you read metal fanzines?
Yeah sure. We are totally into metal. Metal is not just a music style, but a life style. Most of my friends are metal people. Most of the people I know, I met at a show or someplace like this. We keep in contact with underground people. I write some letters for some small 'zines. I do email interviews. I do a lot of interviews for small 'zines, big magazines, whatever. We are totally into metal. We are into supporting small bands. Every time we go to other countries like Europe or the U.S., we always bring demo tapes from underground bands to give out to fans and labels. We are totally into metal. We spend most of our time. . . If we are not playing music, we are doing something else, getting in contact with people from the metal scene. We love metal, it is in our hearts.
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