Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shikabala Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the project?
1- Shikabala is a project that I started recently with the goal of producing harsh, relentless sounds. There is pretty much no order, it's all chaos x chaos, in a battle where we all loose.

2.Recently you have released your first ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
2- Well, the music on the debut album, "Calor do Desert" (something like "Desert Heat", translated from portuguese to english) is pretty much noisy,chaotic drones. In my other projects I tend to explore genres like ambient, drone...but on this one I decided to create the most relentless, uncomfortable experience I could. Everything improvised on the spot, of course. That's the way to do it. The idea is to test the limits of endurance and what noise can be, and how far from traditional music it can be. It seems all very conceptual and abstract but it's actually not.

3.The music on the ep is all in the harsh noise direction, do you feel this style is making a comeback or will ever reach the same amount of popularity it had in the 90's when Merzbow and some of the Japanese artists where starting to get very well known?
3- That is a very good question. I dunno if there is ever going to be a comeback, the thing is that underground genres never really go away. We live in strange days ( generally speaking, not in the Kathryn Bigelow movie ), there are black metal bands headlining pop festivals and artists like Pharmakon all over Pitchfork and Stereogum and the like. Then again, she has much nicer legs than I do, so that might help...

4.What are some of the themes and images you bring out with your musical sound?
4- The themes are mostly confusion and, again, chaos.You know the scene from "Antichrist" were that fox comes up and growls "Chaos reigns" to Willem Dafoe? Well, that fox was talking about "Calor do Deserto".

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Shikabala'?
5- There is no real inspiration nor meaning behind Shikabala, I just like the name, I like the way it sounds. Shi-ka-bala. It sounds somewhat exotic, I dig it. Plus, it's the name of a soccer player from Sporting Lisbon. The first time the media spoke of the guy I just thought "now that's a great name for a noise band".  He's a talented guy, with a knack for getting into trouble,my man.

6.Have you done any live shows with this project or is this strictly a studio project?
6- Until now,no live shows, and probably never will. I'll probably keep this as a studio project only. And by studio I mean my computer and midi. So yeah, this is a "midi+computer project only".

7.The ep was released by Sirona Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
7- Sirona is a french netlabel, and a good one, to boot. They have been active for a couple of years now, and released like 666 records, so they really know what they are doing. I'm already writing a new album for them, but more on that later. They are an awesome place to start this noisy journey, I'm grateful to release my debut on such an esteemed label.

8.On  a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of harsh noise?
8- The feedback was almost non-existent, as you might imagine. It's hard to promote an album like this one here in Portugal, there's not a blog scene dedicated to noise and the like, at least that I am aware of. There are a couple of reviews out besides yours, but I'll probably do another round of promotion for this album before releasing a new one.

9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see this project heading into musically during the future?
9- Well, I'll probably never record a proper full-lenght, not as Shikabala. Very much like the soccer player with whom I share my name, I'm good for a solid 10,15 minutes, then it gets out of control real quick. You know that cliché, "good things come in small packages"? They were thinking of Shikabala (me,not the soccer player) when they came up with that one. Like I said, I'm working something up for Sirona, but it's way to soon to talk about. I have also a draft of an Ep, but I dunno when it will be released, not until next year, I guess. Whatever I do in the future, the artwork will always be pink, you can count on that.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on this project?
10- There aren't a lot of bands that inspired me on this record. This one is more inspired by images than sounds. Bleak, post-apocalyptic images, under a scorching, unforgiving sun.  Hence the name, "Calor do Deserto". The new record is more inspired by nights out in decadent bars. And "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!". A teacher of mine used to quote John Cage every now and then, something like "some artists have something to say, I don't". I'm with Cage on that one.

11.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
11- Thanks for taking the time to listen to the record and to talk with me about it. Those interested in 15 minutes of uber-noise, can check it out here :
https://casaamarela.bandcamp.com/album/calor-do-deserto

It's free!

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