He was laying on the sofa when I opened the door, surrounded by socks on the heating. I didn’t even have time to introduce myself, he just opened the fridge and asked: ‘Beer, man?’ Officially, the interview was scheduled to take 20 minutes roughly , but in the reality, it was longer by half an hour: he introduced his guitars to me, the black one, used on the interview day, and the white one, used on the day before. ‘Just to have something together’, he said while taking a picture of me with his guitar in my neck, and started to dig in his bag to find a signature guitar pick for me. This guy was Moyses Kolesne, guitarist of the Brazilian Krisiun…
How is the tour going, are you guys really tired?
This is show number 21, so 21 shows we still get, and 24 more shows to go, and I’m still good, man. No, I’m not burned out yet. I know I can do it now…
Your last album appeared in the last year, in 2018. What about the feedbacks?
Feedbacks are really good. This record took us to places we have never been before, like the first time we reached the charts in the US, in Germany, in Switzerland, in France and in Belgium. We hit the billboard in the US and that’s something that never happened before. So the record sold really well. I don’t know why (laughing).
What can we expect in the future? Are you working on any kind of new material?
Not yet, because the new record just came out almost a year ago, but the ideas are always flowing in your head, you always try to do something a bit different. So with this last record, we go back in time, it’s more straightforward, it’s a real, organic, raw record. For the next one, we still need to think about, but I got some riffs already, really fast ones, maybe some technical riffs.
Your first material appeared in 1990, that was The Courtesy of the Evil. Are you planning to celebrate the 30th anniversary?
Maybe, I’m not sure. I’m not sure because we are not that kind of band like ‘oh, what we did, we are thirty years of band, or twenty five years’. A lot of bands are concerned about that, but not us, we are always looking forward, we want to be on the road and keep playing, and don’t get the fancy parties. We are underground, man, we don’t care. Maybe one day we’ll do it, it has to be done, but we are not really concerned about that.
How did you start this band? You just had a family dinner, and you decided to make it?
No, no. We are three kids in the family, we had our older brother and older cousins, and they all like heavy metal. They were like 10 years older than us, and they liked Van Halen, AC/DC or Black Sabbath. So we were kids and we kept listening to what they are listening. And we felt really good listening to them, metal hit my heart like a thunderstruck… So I devoted all my life for heavy metal since I heard the first heavy metal song, and I think this is a spiritual thing. You must have it into you… you don’t choose to be a metalhead, you born a metalhead. So we started to listen to a lot of metal, and we decided to start learning some guitar or some drumming because we like it so much… Our father bought Alex a drum kit and I started playing the acoustic guitar, and then from the acoustic, I went to the electric guitar. Then Alex was playing the drums for one band, but he needed to move to another city to study, then Max took over the drums because Alex has left his drum kit there. So me and Max were playing, and I told Max ‘you have to sit down and play this and that’, when he was like 11 years old or something like that. And then when we met Alex again, we saw that Max is playing better than him, so he got the bass guitar and the bass was left for him.
Do you have any kind of musical education, or you just managed to sit down and started to play the guitar?
Yeah, in the beginning, I got some really normal and easy lessons, some chords, some really easy stuff to play from some guys. My mother was taking lessons too, so I learned from her books. She was taking lessons, went back home with the books, and I was watching and reading those books, and started playing better than her. Then I get some really easy stuff, like a C major or a D major… and from then, I started listening to Black Sabbath, AC/DC, easy stuff to play… it’s not so easy to play Black Sabbath, but playing one riff or two riffs was very easy. So I started progressing, and then I started learning from some other guys. Mostly I learnt from books, there was no YouTube at that time. So I learned from books and bought a lot of books. I started reading music, I took one lesson here, one lesson there, but never went to a school. I really learnt on a methodical way.
You were a trio except for a short period when Mauricio was the second guitarist. Why did you decide to change back and become a trio again?
We got another guy playing the guitar with us before Mauricio, namely Altemir. Altemir was our brother and he has left the band and he died afterwards. Mauricio also left the band, so we tried twice to have a second guitar player, then I said ‘man, you know what, we gonna be a three-piece band, and then we’re going to have fewer problems’. It’s easier to fly or travel, and it’s easier to keep the band together, the three brothers. Then we started to grow up as musicians, became a heavier and heavier band, the bass was filling in, the drumming is really busy all the time, so we felt we didn’t need a second guitar, our music is already really intense. So we decided to be a three-piece band.
You have no backup. How often do you make mistakes while playing?
It happens every night and…
…for me, the big mistake is a problem, but not the small mistakes, people don’t realize you did a mistake. And I think when I do a mistake, a new door opens to do something new in the music. I’m not really concerned to be perfect. Nowadays, everybody is perfect, using backing tracks… you can hear bands who are just playing backing tracks, and you can’t hear they are playing natural. So, we are still old school band, we play instruments. We don’t use samples, we don’t use backing tracks, it’s pure live play, that just means playing live for us. In our days, so many bands are using so many samples all the times, and you don’t listen them playing anymore. I’m not against that, but it is not our way.
You are three brothers together as a band. How can you manage the band things and the family things, so that it’s not confusing or it is not a crazy situation?
It is, it is sometimes because… besides being a band, we are three brothers who have the same mother, but sometimes we forget that we are in a band, and we just behave like normal brothers. We do a barbeque together, we celebrate birthdays together, New Year’s evening, or Christmas, and we go to visit our mother. So we don’t talk too much about band when we are in this situation. And then when we get together and concern about the band, then we really focus on it, and it’s good… We are brothers, and we have big fights sometimes… other bands also have fights. Most of the bands have fights, and they can break up. You can see all the bands have a different lineup, but as a brother, you know you can fight against your brother, but tomorrow you’ll say ‘okay man, forget it’. If it’s another person, then I feel to be really mistreated, but I don’t feel if my brother tells me ‘fuck off’, or ‘go and die in hell’, whatever. Okay, it’s not good, but in the end, I just say ‘man, that’s bullshit’.
Do you like to listen to any kind of non-metal music?
Yes, I listen to a lot of classical music, a lot of jazz, a lot of blues, Indian music, Arabian music, I like Brazilian exotic music too. I’m really into this really old, ancient music… Somalian music, I like it, and the Egyptian music, that’s what I like a lot.
I think the band takes a lot of time away from you, but how about the family during those periods?
We are a family on the road, man, mostly our mother misses us, and I’m a married guy, I live with my wife, so she also misses me. But she knows that the band is my priority.
And what about the kids, are they coming to watch dad on stage?
We don’t have kids yet. Not yet, but you never know. Maybe in future… It’s good that men can have kids as they are older.
Where does your inspiration come from when you are composing?
From everything, from everywhere, it’s not conscious. I don’t think I need to do this or that, because I heard a great guitar player or whatever. It’s unconscious like it comes from anything! I can watch a movie and something could inspire me to do something… or read a book, or see someone playing or walking on the street, or see somebody playing in the street or whatever. There’s no limit for my inspiration, this can come from everything, from everywhere… from a word talking to somebody, and something stucks in my head. For me, it’s really open, I don’t concern about being a crazy technique guitar player or whatever.
What’s the way of making music, how you are writing songs, what about the roles?
Since Krisiun is a band, we kept it running for so many years… and so many bands who are playing this style of music give up playing, they split up or did something different. So it’s not easy to keep it interesting for the people when you just play the true death metal thing in an aggressive, raw, straightforward way, but we try to create something different all the time, not repeating ourselves, and people can see it. Now the records… if you listen well, you can hear that Krisiun changes from album to album keeping the same spirit…. that’s what we’re doing. We always create songs together. Sometimes I write some stuff by myself, or Alex and… like I said before, we always try to find something new to inspire us. I think inspiration is the best thing. Inspiration can come from a movie, from a book, as I said before. If something really captures me, I know I can write the whole record… and I can really get crazy and think about that 24/7 and try to do something like that.
The last question is a Jolly Joker: what does death metal and music mean to you?
Metal nowadays means my lifestyle because I’m a metal guy in 24/7. I never quit being a metal guy. I go back home, I wear metal. I can’t change and go to a disco or somewhere else, I’m metal in 24/7. I don’t care. Music… my soul is guided by the music, and the music is everything for me. If I feel bored or angry, if I feel whatever, I know music will set me free, so music is my soul. Metal is in my blood, it is my lifestyle, and that’s what makes me happy, it made me travel the whole world to meet different people from different cultures. So this is the best thing in my life: it’s metal, it’s my band, those are the things that really made me a better person, a person to respect different cultures… I’m not saying everybody has to be a metal guy, you can be whatever you want to be, but for me, metal is where I feel safe. I like listening and I’m still interesting to listen to metal everyday. Tomorrow, right after this gig, I’ll put my headphones on, and I gonna be listening to some metal, but as I said, I can listen to classical music or whatever. Music is my life, but metal is my lifestyle, my spirit, my blood.
Written by Á