1.Slava Tchortu!How’s life Zhema? Are you still excited to be a part of Vulcano as you were when you first put the band together back in 1981?

I couldn’t say that I’m the same youth of 37 years ago, but my enthusiasm with 60 YO, leads me to have enough vivacity to continue composing and writing songs, as well doing live performances.


2.You are in this scene for about 37 years or more… How was the scene then in Brazil? I have often heard from Brazilian bands that the Brazilian fans prefer to support American or European bands and ignore their own underground. What about that?


When you say about the metal fans give more support to the USA bands and European bands you are totally right when you refer nowadays. In the beginning of 80’s it was different, the few headbangers of that time gave full support to Brazilian bands.The things started to change with the arising the second generation of fans in 90’s, because at the same time happened the invasion of the foreing mainstream bands, and those adolescents were enchanted with them and they simply left us aside. Many fans do not give importance to Brazilian bands


3.Can you still remember the early Vulcano days? For example, under what circumstances Vulcano started and what was the original idea to form the band? Do you think your initial ideas have still remained adhered, or they transformed over time?


Vulcano was formed by me and a friend of mine Carli Cooper with the propose to put out the mystic themes that we wrote in that years. We were looking for the sound like Black Sabbath, but it was impossible to get. Did not exist eqipments and instruments either talent to do that.So, in few time Carli Cooper left the band and Vulcano remains looking for a way.
It was at this time that we recorded the single 7 „.Vulcano found its way when Johnny Hansen come to the band. From then on, we evolved with our style, but never falling away from our roots, so I can affirm that we still retain our essence of the beginnings



4.I have to go back to the year 1986 with my next question, as that’s the year when Vulcano classic debut album,”Bloody Vengeance” was released. Now if you look back to those times for a short moment at least, what were, from your point of view, the things on that record that made it later such an important and vital piece of the whole Black/Death Metal history?


Impossible to say, because not even I realized that we were creating something that would become cult and important. Maybe the arrival of Flavio Rodrigues brought an unknown essence at the time, and this resulted in Bloody Vengeance.But one thing I must say, that album has become a kind of stigma, because even today, most critics of Metal music, expect every new Vulcano’s album to be the new Bloody Vengeance. Always compare us to that album



5.How do you value your debut „Bloody Vengeance” from today’s perspective? To release debut under cult Rock Brigade Records was probably success for you…


I have Bloody Vengeance like an album of the extremely important for me and my band. It’ is responsible to Vulcano to get this cult status and carry us to nowadays. I did others 11 albums after them and I thing those have good songs too. I don’t believe Rock Brigade Records helped us with that album,even because we were a short time on that label and even for them we were extreme and „dirty” too.
In fact, it was the Brazilian fans who gave support to the album and made it arrive at the Scandinavia, so this support was reciprocal.


6.Vulcano has had a long history in the extreme Metal scene and the band’s name is known all over the world by every extreme Metal fan. When Vulcano started, did you ever imagine that the band would still be alive and breathing in 2018? Keeping a band going for well over three decades is quite an achievement…Zhema what motivates you to keep Vulcano going?


I like to write songs in my own way because that pleases me, so that would be the main reason to carry the band up here. What happened to me was that in the 90’s, Metal got so annoyed and in the 2000s it got worse, so I thought if I made my own songs I would have something to please. It’s like that baker who needs to make his own bread to satisfy him.



7.Do you feel that songwriting becomes harder over the years; because you try to top everything you did last time? It surely isn’t always easy to reach perfection, if you know what I mean.


Yes, this is a real fact!. I agree with your entire words, It’s very hard to support yourself when we are talking about write songs. There’s a graphic curve where you have a steep acceleration and after you goes a platon. When that happens, you need to write more and more songs, far beyond those you need for a good album, and then choose the best ones.



8.What are some of the essential elements in Vulcano songs that will always be a part of this band’s sound?


When I decide to write a new album, I’m always write more songs that I’ll need, so I’ll have possibilities to edit that an album more homogeneity possible, but not bored.A mix of songs differents inside the same context can do your album become more interesting.
I’m always write songs tha I like, never do this for critics or something like that, maybe this reason Vulcano is not recognized for great magazines and recorded companies, as well as more modern listeners accustomed to polished and virtuous sonority.
Having said that, the essential elements of my compositions are, a) fast riffs in a kind of blast beats accentuated by snare drum, b) slow parts in the middle of the song and c) a strong and repetitive refrain. But the most important, I don’t care to use many diferent bar rhytimics and time, I abuse this!



9.It’s a hard-boiled fact that every album Vulcano has released thus far has been praised by the fans and media. People tend to say that Vulcano has yet to record a bad album. What’s the band’s secret?


As I said, I do songs that I like and as I belong to the first generation of headbangers that came out of the 70’s and entered the 80’s and lived all 90’s, I believe these people also like my music. Who entered the scene with Metallica’s Black Album maybe does not think the same.
The secret? Don’t try to do what you do not know, keep your roots!


10.I have noticed that the Metal Pride of São Paulo, Vulcano, has been playing quite a lot of gigs in the past few months. Would you say this has been a busy year for Vulcano?Is there more demand for gigs than you are able to handle these days?


Here in Brazil, different of Europe, did not happen gigs every days in the week, so we have only Fridays and Saturdays sometimes Sundays. This fact reduce a lot the opportunity to play more than a gig in a week, even because Brazil have a dimention of a continent and the logistic to travel is chaotic.
Even so, Vulcano plays a lot of gig here in several cities. I have in my mind that only playing live you can show yor true talent, so the people realize it and become fan of the band!


11.This resulted in the latest material, a live album under the very expressive title of „Live III – From Headbangers to Headbangers”.It seems to be a completely D-I-Y album. Did you enjoy that process of doing everything on your own and having full control?


It was very interesting how this album cames alive.An old friend of mine Wilton the owner of the heavy metal store, the same guy who promoted the show in 1985 when the live album came out, invited Vulcano to the commemorative gig of the 37th anniversary of his store.
Few days before the gig date, he asked me if we could record the event and possibly produce a new live album. At first I was not excited about this, but when I heard the final result, I put my producer on the circuit and we did the mixing. There’s no overdubs on the album and there are some performance flaws, but we decided to leave it like this, honest! So I used the name: „From Headbangers to Headbangers’
Since the begining Vulcano was an independent Band, I always produced my albums. When you see a logotype from some record company on Vulcano’s album, it’s because I gave a license. In 2003 I created „Renegados Records” to manage the copyrights.


12.Have you done any shows where you played one of your albums from start to finish, like many bands seem to do nowadays?

Yes, since the beginning of this year we are performing ”Bloody Vengeance” album in full.



13.If we start talking about new music you may have composed since „XIV” came out in 2016, is there any news on that front? Is your new material going to follow the same recipe featured on the „XIV” album? By that I mean highly energetic straightforward Metal with absolutely killer hooks, riffs and melodies done uncompromising Vulcano style?


I have a lot of songs composed since after XIV was released, so I think they have the same atmosphere, I only need to listen them again. By the other hand I started to write new songs that carry the same raw and direct sound that you can listen in XIV, but It’ll be a new album, but not a reprise of XIV.



14.Now that you have some distance from that record are you 100% happy with it or did it turn out exactly the way you planned? What’s your personal verdict on „XIV”?


Yes, I’m totally satisfied with the result! I spent lot of time inside the studio arranging that album and when I decided that it was ready It was because I hit my target.


15.Have your songwriting methods changed at all since you recorded „XIV”? Has anyone taken more responsibility for the actual songwriting, trying to make sure the new album will come out in near future?


I have in my mind my own way to compose, even without to think it. It’s something like known involuntary. I’m always in front of any album that Vulcano will release in future, that’s my way!



16.Since „XIV” , I suppose that you haven’t had much time to rest on your laurels but have started working with some new material for your next release? Will there be any radical changes or total surprises, as far as your plans for new Vulcano stuff?


No changes! You can wait for a strong and the same time simple songs, not polished but raw and intense, short songs but not boring, fast but audible with slow parts and everything that is on the 80’s menu with a lot of angry!



17.How vital is it to stick to a certain formula for Vulcano, without adopting too many crazy or absurd ideas into new songs? How do you balance pleasing yourself with new stuff but also look after the fans?


Like I said you, firstly I write songs that I like, so when a guy feel the same, he’s a fan. Vulcano don’t have a milion of fans precisely for this reason. It takes a fan to like the same songs I like.
I can feel it here in Brazil, there are many who do not identify with our music, only the older ones, those of the first generation of Extreme Metal.On the other hand, I also can not exaggerate in this opinion, there are some younger fans, but you can be sure that these are also into the 80’s and 90’s.


18.How critical would you say you are toward what you create for the band? Do you think being too harsh or critical of your own work may sometimes work against you?


I don’t feel like a severe critic of my work, but quite an enthusiast. I work a lot and hard on a new song because I’m not lucky talented, that is, I do not have a natural gift, I have to work hard to get the same result as a virtuosily of the song.



19.After more than 38 years in Metal Underground how would you explain a young Metal fan that Metal is not a trendy rebellion for 15 / 16 years old kids? And here comes the unholy terror question: please define word Metal!!!.


I would tell him that Metal is not a passion but love. Passion is a passing fire that cools fast, but love is a seed left by the passion that you will carry throughout your life until the end of it. That’s what I would say.
Define Metal in our context?
Everything!!!!! I wake up every day and I’m ready for Metal!



20.What’s your relationship with today’s new Black/Death Metal bands? Do you believe Black/Death Metal still has something to give to people, even if good things tend to get recycled by this new generation of Extreme Metal bands quite a bit? What are some of the new Black/Death Metal acts that have, in your opinion, something great to offer?


My relationship is limited to watch gigs and listen all those stuff that arrive me, principaly the Brazilian Bands. I can’t get excite me because I have an impression that I already listened those songs. I think the bands from nowadays have a great defiance most bigger than ever because they need to stand out from a musical ocean where everything has already been done, It’ very hardI like of a lot Brazilian bands from nowadays principaly those carry 80’s style.



21.What music is listening in Vulcano band? I suppose it is some old underground metal. What about non metal influences? Are they present?


Vulcano is formed by different persons when we are talking about musical preferences.Generally in the band we hear Heavy and progressive Metal from 70’s, NHOBH, Thrash Metal, Black and Death Metal, etc.But in something common we agreed, we did not appreciate Pantera, Metallica, and those sort of bands


22.What can people expect from Vulcano in the following 2-3 years or so? New album, lots of gigging, even more determination to crush the ground below our feet and stuff like that?


With sure a new album, but we’ll be working hard to get another European tour for 2019 as well here in Brazil. I hope to found a good Booking Agency to do that.



23.Ok, it would be all from me, if I forgot something important, you have the space.Thank you Zhema for answering my questions. I wish Vulcano only the best for the future, have a good time, Horns Up!


I think we pass for the most important points of Vulcano’s present days, and I must to say that we have a great video stuff recorded in last May here in Brazil and we thinking to release in DVD. Also, I should say you guys, try to listen to the EP from 2013 „The awakening of an Ancient and Wicked Soul”
Thank you for the opportunity and to take the ideas about Vulcano to your readers and also thanks to the readers for having read this far.