Portuguese brutal death metallers Annihilation have just released their second full length The Undivided Wholeness of All Things which steps outside the typical lyrical content of its own genre. Instead of horror and gore this album focuses on the creation and destruction of a universe complete with an alternate reality ruled by a reptilian entity. A mouthful for sure but it makes for a fascinating story set to a bone crushing soundtrack. In conjunction with the album’s release, we recently had the chance to ask founding member and rhythm guitarist Fábio Da Silva our set of Profile questions. Head inside to see what he had to say and take a listen to the included streams while you’re at it.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
Since I was a kid, I´d always wanted to play guitar but due to financial reasons I never had the chance to own a guitar. While I was growing up that dream started to fade away until one time one of my best friends (who was one of the founders of Annihilation and the first drummer of the band) invited me to start this project. Back then I was 21 years old and living in the UK, so I saved some cash and decided to buy my first guitar, that was back in 2003 and 14 years after here we are ready to release a new album.
Well, music is not about success, it’s about expressing yourself and creating something that you love. So success was never something that I thought I would get by playing Brutal Death Metal, if I wanted to be successful I would be playing in a Pop band (hahahahah).
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
Well, I never had done nothing like that in order to try to put my band onto a show, or magazine, etc, but I can tell you a funny story about one show that we played in Spain:
We were promoting our first album “Against The Storm” and we were playing at Skulls Of Metal Fest XI a festival in Spain in 2010 , it was our first show outside of Portugal and we played after Tygers Of Pan Tang. We were the only Brutal Death metal band on the bill and as soon as we started playing the first song our drummer was hitting the drums so hard that the metal stand from the Hi-Hat fell on an extension cord and blew the generator and also one of the guitar amp heads. We all stopped without understanding what had happened, the crowd was so drunk (it was around 3 a.m.) and also without understanding what had happened, that they started to go ape shit since they wanted us to continue. As soon as all the issues were solved and we resume with our set the crowd went nuts, it looked like a war zone and even the metal bars that were separating the stage from the crowd was about to fall from all the movement in the pit. So it was embarrassing for us when the power went out, but once it was solved it turned out to be one of our best shows ever!
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The evolution of metal per se, I mean there are so many good bands appearing almost everyday and coming from all parts of the world that it is almost impossible to know them all. We have Internet and nowadays it´s very cheap to record an EP or even an album, you can even record it by yourself and release it on any digital platform. In the past, to record something was a barrier that only a few bands could overcome.
As for one of the worst things I´m gonna give an example about something that is happening in the Portuguese scene: it seems that in Portugal everyone wants to be a promoter and organize gigs, fests, etc. but not willing to pay for the bands to play. I mean we have a cachet that we consider the normal cachet for a band to be able to play a show and save some cash to invest in the band, and those so called “promoters” don´t have the means to pay for some of the bands. That happened to us a lot in the past, the promoters contacted us asking if we wanted to play and when we replied with our conditions the response was always “sorry but we don´t have the money to pay…” This is one of the main reasons that we barely play live shows, we are not going to play to a fest for free, I think nobody likes to “work” for free right?
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
To me the most important aspect is that one has to believe in himself and has to be positive always even when things are not looking bright. Life is a rollercoaster full of ups and downs and the way that we approach life, the way we live it, and the way that we think will attract positive things into our lives, or will push them away. So for those who don´t know Annihilation and never read the lyrics from our EP “The Undivided” and our new album “The Undivided Wholeness Of All Things” may think this strange, but I always try to pass a positive message onto my lyrics, a message with my view and understanding of the World, the Universe, the Law of Attraction. Music is my passion and I write it with passion, play it with passion, and will continue to do it for as long as I can!
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My brother was a DJ so I grew up listening to all types of music, but I guess that it was during High School when I started to listen to heavier bands. It was one of my best friends that introduced me to Pantera´s “Far Beyond Driven” and I was about 13 years old I guess. We had a radio station project at our school that was developed by my classroom so me and that friend started playing Pantera, Sepultura, Manowar and other bands at our radio show.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Well, music critics should focus their reviews on the aspect of the music that they are listening and not judge it by their tastes or preferences, if you know what I mean. Review not only the production of the album, but the song structure also, lyrics and all things you know. Also reviewers receive the mp3 version of the albums, so focusing only on the production of an album that you are listening in mp3 is a bit nonsense for me.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Hahahaha yes we want to dominate the world!! To dominate it with our music and our new album! Our goal is to be able to spread this new album “The Undivided Wholeness Of All Things” to as many people around the world as possible, and for that we count on our fans! So for those who are reading this, if you have a friend who likes metal show him Annihilation, spread the word, and remember “sharing is caring.”
We all have our day jobs and hobbies of course, I for instance love to read, listen to music, to travel and go to the beach.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
That´s a tough one since I listen to a lot of music genres. The list could go on for days, but I will leave these 5 albums:
QOTSA – Songs for the Deaf
YOB – The Great Cessation
Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains
Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man In Babylon
Gorguts – From Wisdom To Hate
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Fábio for his time!