Friday, June 20, 2014

Interview with Despot's Marcelo Murrer

Here is an interview with Brazilian Black Metal musician, Marcelo Murrer, the man who plays all the instruments in the band Despot. Recently I reviewed the band's first full-length album, "Satan in the Front Row" which is available for download via the band's bandcamp. I highly recommend this album for all fans of Black Metal, and metal music in general! 

1) Hello Marcelo Murrer! Thanks for taking the time to do this short email interview. Now, how does it feel to have your first full-length album, “Satan in the Front Row,” out and available for people in the metal community to hear?

Marcelo Murrer: Hello! No, thank you for the support! It feels awesome, that's for sure!

2) The songs on this album were extremely well recorded, and the production really stood out. How long did it take to record this album? Also, where did you record this album and who was involved in the recording process?

Marcelo Murrer: Thank you! It took me about 2 months if you discount all the pauses I had to make due to work and other "real life" issues. I did everything on this album.

3) Now, Despot definitely falls into the Black Metal category, but I heard some other extreme metal musical influences throughout this album. What bands influenced you growing up and helped shape your own musical identity? How long have you been making your own extreme music?

Marcelo Murrer: Oh yes, definitely. I'm into all sorts of Metal and it definitely shows in my songwriting. I listen to so many different bands that I'd end up with a huge list if I were to include them all. But in broad strokes, some of Despot's biggest influences are Celtic Frost, Bathory, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Candlemass, Emperor and Sarcofago. I've been playing in Metal bands since 1998.

4) On multiple songs I noticed that you incorporated some technical acoustic parts. Growing up did you take any classical acoustic guitar lessons, or did you teach yourself?

Marcelo Murrer: I took classical guitar lessons for about 2 years.

5) Not only do you play guitar on this album, but you play all the other instruments too. What are some of the benefits of being able to play all the instruments? Do feel you have more creative control?

Marcelo Murrer: I would say that playing all the instruments gives you as much control as it takes it away from you. Granted, you can play the parts the way you envision them, but that can be really hard. My primary instrument is the guitar and I'm much better at rhythm guitar than I am at lead guitar. So, anything other than rhythm guitar and about half of the lead guitars in "Satan in the Death Row" was challenging in varying degrees. Some of the bass parts were really difficult for me to play since it's an instrument I don't practice regularly. I had to play it safe with the synth parts too or it would sound way to sloppy. So, at the same time playing everything gives you control, it also exposes your shortcomings.

6) “Satan in the Front Row,” presents some sinister lyrical themes, and I was wondering, where do you draw inspiration to write such haunting lyrics? Growing up in Brazil did you ever watch José Mojica Marins films? Those films are awesome and are pretty metal.

Marcelo Murrer: The lyrics in "Satan in the Death Row" are all about religious and ideological persecution. Some of them were inspired by real life and historical events like Auto-da-Fé, Satan in the Death Row, Egregious and Purified by Fire. I used to be a fan of Jose Mojica when I was a kid, but nowadays I'm really not into most horror movies.

7) Although you are a one man band in studio, do you ever plan to get some other musicians together and take Despot out on the road?  Any tours planned?

Marcelo Murrer: No concrete plans as of now. Truth is I don't have enough time.

8) Lastly, I want to say thanks again for doing this interview and hope more people check out this album. Do have any last words on the album/a final pitch to get people interested in checking out, “Satan in the Front Row?”

Marcelo Murrer: Once again, thank you for taking  your time to listen to my music and for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. "Satan in the Death Row" is available as a name-your-price download from the bandcamp page and you can download it for free if you'd like. The songs are available for streaming there, too.

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