In metal, when I see Brazil as a band’s locale my brain automatically goes to blood curdling death metal or chants of ‘ROOOOOOTS.’ And because of that I’d never associate it with a powerfully progressive death metal band sporting a hint of black metal and veiled in rock regalia but Piah Mater have officially changed my reaction on this matter. If you’ve listened to their solid debut Memories of Inexistence I’m sure you’re already aware of their proximity to Opeth and Enslaved (not a bad place to be). On their upcoming second album, The Wandering Daughter, they won’t be shedding those comparisons but as much as they’ve grown musically since 2015 they can stand tall as a band that ACTUALLY pulls this marriage off. And does it extremely well I might add. Comparisons alone don’t tell the real, or whole, story but the thought provoking and ingenious songwriting, extremely talented chops, and impressive vocal range do – and a beautifully memorable story it is. Just ahead of the October 5 release date, we had the chance to ask drummer Kalki Avatara our set of Profile questions, read on to see what he had to say and don’t miss the links contained within to grab your copy.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
I started playing guitar at the age of 14 and the drums came next. My relationship with the guitar did not go forward and it was on the drum kit that I found myself as a musician and fell in love.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
I had to play with an old band of mine in an extremely dangerous place, literally on top of a truck with the drums attached with ropes to keep from moving. The sound was horrible. My girlfriend at the time had her camera stolen. But there were a lot of people who liked our sound and because of this horrible show, we were invited to play at a good music festival where none of this was repeated.
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?
One of the best things is representativeness. There are many bands with at least one woman in their lineup, or completely formed by them. Things like this have had more and more space and prominence. This is something that makes me very happy, because I am a big fan of several of them. The worst thing that has happened in the current scene is the fascism and extreme right fanaticism that some bands have adopted. In my view, there is no place for that kind of shit in metal.
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?
I am quite politicized and progressive. For me, music and politics have always walked together and it’s ones duty to know how to get the right message to unite people and end hate speech.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My family has always listened to rock. So it was a natural path for me. When I was 13 I was already listening to heavier things but not metal yet. Then one day, watching MTV in the early morning hours, I saw a video of Pantera and I had to ask my parents to buy me the album “Vulgar Display of Power” on my next birthday. I totally fell in love with it.
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?
I think my advice would be to look less towards the mainstream and pay more attention to what has actually been going on in the underground scene. And I mean that through a worldwide perspective. The countries that have never had much coverage from the bigger magazines are the ones promoting the new face of metal today. It is necessary to decentralize from the typical territories that metal media focuses on for one to know what is actually new in the genre.
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.
(Laughs) I do not want to dominate anything. I want to add good things and live good experiences. I always want to evolve and share this with the people that enjoy our work. And most importantly, I always want to have fun in the process.
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)
I’m pretty eclectic, despite the main style seen in my Spotify account being metal. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brazilian music recently. There are some highly technical and conceptual things happening in the music created here. And of course, Behemoth. I am obsessed with them.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
On our horizon right now is the release of our new album, “The Wandering Daughter” on October 5th by Italian label Code666. I would love to do a proper tour to promote it but we do not have anything planned on that regard at the moment. But it would be awesome if we did (if anyone has an offer to make, I would love to hear it!).
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 Kalki and Piah Mater for their time!