I couldn’t believe my eyes staring at a concert announcement I received some years ago: the event was entitled "Old Metal Attack", taking place in Rio De Janeiro. So far, so good, but the mentioning of the bands playing there really drove me crazy: Chakal and VULCANO (together with Apokalyptic Raids, Farscape, Diabolic Force and another act hailing from Rio)!!! Ok, I yet knew of the first mentioned group’s nowadays’ activities, but I didn’t know that VULCANO were among the living again as well!!! HELL, this definitely is one of my absolutely favourite South American oldschool acts, this is the music I’d die for! An interview with band leader, scene pioneer and rhythm and lead guitarist Zhema simply had to find its way into my "Blood Of The Ancient" zine back a few years ago – there was no excuse! And this honest and dedicated guy answered my countless questions immediately, I must pay respect to this! So another dream of mine became true, below you can read a very, very extensive feature about one of the greatest bands of this whole fuckin’ planet… Ok, I personally prefer to listen to their early works, but meanwhile I know that their latest output "Tales From The Black Book" is one hell of a great record as well and totally in the fine old Brazilian underground direction! An album about the occult roots of VULCANO, and Zhema is very curious about being back with one of South America’s most influential, most aggressive and violent Black/Death/Thrash Metal acts… So take a trip with me into the time back when “Tales From The Black Book” was yet just released in South America…

Interview from the year 2003 / 2004

Alright, so let’s start this interview with the question who founded VULCANO actually? Some people say your founding dates back to the year 1981 and the city Santos / Sao Paulo, is that right?
"Yeah! VULCANO was founded in 1981 by me and a friend of mine called Carli Cooper. In those times we played together in a band called Astaroth."

Did you play this kind of brutal and aggressive music right from the start or have you been dedicated to a different style, a little bit softer before? Did you play any covers before you tried to write own songs?
"No, we never played covers. Since the beginning I aways played own songs. I’m a composer and I like this! I can tell you that back in the early days VULCANO sounded a little bit softer than nowadays. We played a raw kind of Heavy Metal and we had many problems to find a good vocalist. Just in 1984 we found Angel, our current vocalist, so our songs could be written in a more brutal way, because his voice allowed to do that."

What were the bands that inspired your style back then? I guess music / image-wise it must have been VENOM, and image / lyrics-wise perhaps groups like Black Widow, Witchfynde, Death SS etc…? Am I right with my conjectures?
"I think so! We’re influenced by bands like Motörhead, too. About the lyrics, all of them come from an old book called "Metal Negro". That book was written by Carli Cooper and revised by me around 1978. It contains a trilogy and some more texts and it had never been published . The main lyrics of all VULCANO’s albums come from this book. I’m used to say that VULCANO is a literary work."

Did you put out any releases before that obscure "Om Pushne Mamae" single, like demo tapes, promos, rehearsals etc…? What does the title of this 7" mean in English? Did you sing in Portuguese exclusively on that record?
"Yes, all songs were sung in Portuguese. ‘Om Pushne Namah’ is written in ancient sanscrito and means something like "the universe sound embodied in the physicist". I always studied mysticism and any relative subject to the hidden. We only recorded some rehearsal tapes, but they have very, very bad quality."

By the way, where was "Om Pushne Mamae" recorded at all? I guess there haven’t been many studios around in Brazil yet that did have a clue about what Heavy Metal was all about, not to speak of extremely harsh and aggressive Thrash like in your special case…
"That single was recorded in Top Tape Studio in São Paulo. It was produced in eight hours. We started to record it at 14 p.m. and finished at 22 p.m. In those times no studio allowed Heavy Metal bands entrance, it was not usual! It was very hard to get it, and very expensive, too."

Who put out "Om Pushne Mamae" at all? I know that one year after its release (1984) Lunário Perpétuo Records put out a live album of VULCANO, so were LPR responsible for the release of the aforementioned 7" single as well?
"Actually I produced and released the single "Om Pusnhe Namah". It’s an independent production, under the label Vulcano Records. This label was fictitious. I created it! About Lunário Perpétuo, they didn’t exist like a label neither record company. "Lunário Perpétua" was a record shop, they just sold Heavy and Hard Rock long players."

How did you get in contact with LPR at all? What about Cogumelo Records and Rock Brigade Records, had they been active at that time yet?
"No, in that time Cogumelo Records didn’t exist as a recording company, Rock Brigade Records didn’t exist either. The "Cogumelo" was a record store (as "Lunário Perpétuo") and "Rock Brigade" was a fanzine. I helped to build up Rock Brigade Records! If you look at the first editions of our “Bloody Vengeance” LP you will find two catalogue numbers, ZHLP 004 and RBR 001 (the first record of Rock Brigade that I produced for them). The owner of "Lunário Perpétuo" was just a friend of mine. LPR released just 1,000 copies of “VULCANO Live!” and the following year they put out “Antes Do Fim” from Dorsal Atlantica."

Which other releases did LPR put out? Had there been many underground acts around during those days when you started that disappeared after a while, and no-one ever heard of later?
"LPR released “Antes Do Fim” from Dorsal Atlantica after our “Live!” album and nothing else."

Do you know how many copies of your very first live album as well as your debut album "Bloody Vengeance" have been pressed? Do you have a clue about how much die-hard-collectors are ready to invest in your early works? What was the highest amount you got aware of somebody paid for a VULCANO-release?
"I’m not sure because here in Brazil we didn’t have any control of the pressing. I can tell you that for ‘VULCANO Live!’ there had been pressed something about like 3,500 copies (1,000 by LPR, 500 by me and maybe 2,000 by Cogumelo Records)."

Whose idea was it to call the band VULCANO at all, and did you choose that name just due to the fact that it sounded cool or do you see parallels between your music and the wild aggressiveness of a volcano eruption? By the way, there have been several acts in Heavy Metal history using a similar name: have there ever been any confusions?
"Some time ago we were researching the Square Alchemic’s meaning of "Sator", or the "Magic Square Of Mars". We were led by curiosity because in another study about the sect of Pitagoras we became enchanted with the meaning and the importance of natural numbers in the universe’s regency. We worked with the numbers in this way: first we associated the year of my birth 1958 (1+9+5+8=23) 2×3 = 6) with the one’s of Carli Cooper 1960 (1+9+6+0 =16) 1×6 = 6), both in the same month – October – 10 (1+0=1). The product was alike to 36 (6x1x6x1). The secret value of 666, the number of the beast (from now on I advise people that have interest to study the "Magic Square Of 6", also well-known as "Sun Magic Square") ("The Square Of Six" is available to natural numbers in a matrix of 6 columns and 6 lines, where the total sum is exactly 666 and the result of ciphers sum that composes the columns and the lines, when summed is 666. The sum of the diagonal is always 111 (111×6=666)! Subtract the square contained inside the magic "Square", or be the "Sun Magic Square" heart, the sum of their diagonal is 37 (man’s number), as well as the number’s sum that compose the four square edges (also 37). So, the 6 was our Number!!! We did more research and found out that the number 6 is seen in the eyes of the alchemist as the "Perfect Number", because: It can be factored into 3 numbers, 1,2 and 3 that have a product and addition equal to six. Given that 1 was always associated to the Great Unit, the 2 to the matters related to the dual principle, tied to life and death, and, the 3 to the trinity, the big result of creation, that is why the six is perfect!!! We went deeper into the theme and we found the "Sun Magic Square", or the "Magic Square Of Six", or yet "The Square 6×6". If we were to dissect the meaning of this magic square we should write a treaty. So, I suggest that anyone interested in it to search the theme, remind of the following warning: "Minor Arcanos, they are the ones that can be revealed to the profanes, already Major Arcanos, the ones that belong to the tradition, that explain how to accomplish the supernatural – can only be revealed for themselves, to the elects." Through research, we arrived at the band name when we transposed the meaning of this allegory to our solar system, given the "Magic Square" that belongs to Sun. In the solar system the first planet is Mercury (1), then we have Venus (2), Earth (3), Mars (4), Júpiter (5), Saturn (6), Uranus (7), Neptune (8) and Pluto (9). The orbits of these planets obey rigorously a mathematical relation among them, except from fifth to the sixth. There is an asteroids belt, that scientists admit have been a planet that exploded billions of years ago and some authors gave the name "Vulcano" to it. We should occupy that space that was reserved to us!!! Live Vulcano!!!"

Let’s return back to VULCANO’s biography: why did you decide to release a live album as a first official output? Where did you record those songs at all, and which tracks can be found on this extremely rare vinyl?
"VULCANO didn’t manage to do any gig in São Paulo City because of our very extreme sound, so in 1985, after several attempts to play in São Paulo City I decided the following: "If São Paulo City doesn’t want to watch a show of VULCANO, at least it will hear it!" So I decided to record a live album and "push it" in São Paulo Capital. I already had contact with Wilton of "Heavy Metal Rock" store in Americana City (a town about two hours from SP by car) and with his help we produced the show that later would become the album “Live!”! We spread through our "underground net of news" and everything was ready for the hell portals opening!!! As I said it was recorded in Americana City. I really don’t know how to find this album on vinyl! There were three presses of that album: 1,000 by Lunário Perpétuo, 500 by me (independent) and 2,000 by Cogumelo. All of them with a different label!"

VULCANO broke up any limits of extremity with the release of “Bloody Vengeance”: do you know how many copies of this album you sold all in all? Furthermore I guess you’re very proud of the fact that there are many, many bands around nowadays that hail your band as ultimate inspirations…
"As far as I know, just 3,000 copies of the vinyl version were released by Rock Brigade. I’m really very proud of the people’s and bands’ recognition. Thanks to everybody!"

Do you believe that it’s possible to re-create such an extremely raw and brutal atmosphere as presented on “Bloody Vengeance” nowadays? Or do you think this was one single, legendary event that should kept hidden deeply inside of the history of extreme Metal…?
“Bloody Vengeance” was rebellion against the system (laws, moral, ethics and any kind of religion). Today, the system changed and our society is much more permissive and tolerant but became extremely individualistic. In this way, an uprising can happen again, not against the system represented by the traditional family values (that no longer exist), but against the system represented by the state (that becomes more impersonal and faceless). Nowadays there are many bands doing an extreme and brutal "Death Metal", so everything’s gonna sound like common tunes. VULCANO has just launched its newer album called “Tales From The Black Book”. Listen to it and take your own opinion! I think we got a great result!"

What do you believe: in which way had VULCANO something "new" and revolutionary to offer back then?
"Originality!!! We always compose with total freedom of expression."

Most people in Brazil are Christians (correct me, if I’m wrong): did you ever get in big trouble because of your extreme antichristian image? Have there ever been any attempts to ban or censor VULCANO-releases and shows?
"No! Here in Brazil the population is very tolerant as a result of a deep cultural mix. We never had any problem with our songs neither with the covers of our albums."

Brazil’s got a long tradition as far as natural religions and spiritism is concerned: Are you interested in such kind of things, did cults like i.e. Condomblé, Macumba and Umbanda inspire your minds? Or was VULCANO simply all about rebellion against laws, moral, ethics and anything "accepted"?
"I always made a continuous search for anything that could explain the contradictions of the human being and its destiny, but I never believed in religions, sects or dogmas. In this way, I was not inspired by Condomblé’s, Umbanda’s or Macumba’s ideas. My biggest influence came from alchemistic and occult beliefs."

Why did you dislike the Christian belief so extremely? Or was this just some kind of tradition most extreme Metal bands at that time hailed?
"We do not dislike just Christian belief: we always disagreed with all the revealed religions, be it Christian, Islamic, Jewish etc."

So let’s talk about the South American scene back then: did you realise what was going on in the rest of the world or was Brazil in some way isolated from the big scene in the USA as well as in Europe?
"Yes, in spite of the difficulties to follow the European and American scene, we did it here in Brazil. All that we heard about heavy music came from Europe and the USA."

Have you been able to obtain quality instruments, equipment back then, have there been many concerts at that time? Did you stay in contact with any other groups from outside of Brazil? Also the Mexican, Peruvian and Chilean scene has been very fine back in those days, I think…
"No, it was very, very difficult to get good instruments and equipment. In the 80s, it was necessary to be a great friend of a smuggler!!! There were a lot of concerts in very different places. We had many friends of bands like Dorsal Atlantica, Sarcófago, Chakal, Vodu, Viper, Massakre and Pentagram from Chile, V8 and RetroSatan from Argentina… as well as many, many others!!!"

Do you believe there was more "friendship" among bands back in those days compared to the present "scene"? What do you believe are great Brazilian acts nowadays?
"I think it is the same way! The difference is that today there are more bands than ever! So we can to keep in touch with more people. Nowadays, here in Brazil there are many good bands like Chemical Disaster, Hierarchical Punisher, Siegrid Ingrid, Apokalyptic Raids, it is very hard to talk about all of them! There are many!"

Do you sometimes wish the ancient times to come back? Furthermore, what do you think are the reasons that South American Metal heads were (and still are!) much more dedicated than maniacs hailing from other parts of the world? It nearly seems like you’re living just for Metal and nothing else…!!!
"For centuries, Latin America has been plagued by brutal political regimes and social inequalities backed by the system’s institutions (the church and the army especially). This does no longer exist: Today we have democratic regimes, the church changed, but the inequalities remained. The dedication of the South Americans, in part, can be related to the expression of the necessities of change that is inside the people, the youngers in particular. I think that in Europe these changes (political and social) occured in much larger scales decades ago. So, I don’t want to set back the clock of time, if this means social and political change. But, frankly speaking, all of us would love to find the Ponce de Leon’s Youth Fountain."

What do you think were the reasons why VULCANO never received much recognition outside of Brazil? Nowadays many maniacs world-wide regard your act as a cult-group, but back then everybody seemed to head for US / European acts (at least in the Western world, I don’t know how the situation was in South America), leaving the rest of the world simply aside… One reason for this was for sure the fact that VULCANO were not supported by any record companies or distributions abroad: Import prizes like 30 DM (quite a big amount of money back in those days!) for one single output of your band have been usual…
"I always produced my albums, so VULCANO never was supported by record companies and distributions abroad and that restricted the fame to Brazil. Our albums only arrived in Europe and USA much time later through the fans and not through distributors."

Have there been any prejudies of countrymates or did the people hail your music right from the start? You know, there’s a famous quotation around that says that the prophet in his own country isn’t very popular usually…
"Yeah! There were a lot of people that were not addicted to the kind of Heavy Metal music in that years. They didn’t like us! Though we had Metal in our veins, besides that there was a lot of enthusiasm and vibration, too."

Hasn’t any foreign label shown interest in the work of VULCANO during all those years? I hardly can believe that… Nowadays I think there would be queues consisting of many, many companies offering you a contract due to the cult-factor of your group… Strange, isn’t it?
"No! I don’t know about any record company interested in VULCANO. Maybe they don’t know how to contact us, or simply they aren’t interested."

The music on “Anthropophagy” and “Ratrace” differed from “Bloody Vengeance”: you got more and more technical, the primitiveness went away, and what was left? – Good Death / Thrash Metal! Why did you choose to change your music this way? And what were the reactions from the Metal press, the labels etc…?
"It’s very hard to explain! I don’t know exactly why our composing style changed. I think it was due the fact that in those albums I did not write the lyrics and I also had very little influence on them!"

Who was responsible for the cover artwork of “Ratrace” and what’s the meaning of it? It looks quite strange…
"A friend of mine called Paulo Ciste was responsible of it. If you look well at it, you’ll be able to see a skull in the foreground and inside of that skull you’ll see faceless people. Or if you want, you can see an atomic bomb mushroom and inside of it crippled people!!!"

The lyrical aspect changed as well: you left those anti-christian, aggressive and hateful texts aside in order to adapt more social-critical lyrics, words that had a reference to reality… So would you say that the lyrics changed the same way as the music did? And did you also include more personal aspects in your songs?
"Although I produced this album, I didn’t write it. It was written at the request of Metalcore, an English company. They gave me enough money to write, record and send that material to England. “Ratrace” was never released in South America. See that even the logotype of the band is different!"

On “Ratrace” there’s been the info that you produced this album: so did you have got a studio on your own back then, and do you have it till this day? Who produced “Bloody Vengeance” and “Anthropophagy”?
"Let me explain: I produced all VULCANO albums, except “Ratrace” and “Who Are The True?”. As I said, this album was produced under request of Metalcore Records. Then, here in Brazil, we just wrote the album due to an agreement with John Austin (an English producer); we sent everything to England and we never knew anything about this album: I only have one copy of it because a friend of mine bought it in France and sent it to me. VULCANO never received a single cent of copyright for that album!"

What did you release after “Ratrace”? Have there been any "secret" releases being put out in South America exclusively nobody could get aware of in the rest of the world…?
"We didn’t release anything after that album."

When did VULCANO finally split up and what were the reasons for this, whose fault was it? – I ask this because over here in Europe you couldn’t read very much about this in the press back then… ignoring a classic group once more – what a shame!!!
"VULCANO stopped in 1989, a year before “Ratrace”’s release. The Metal scene here in Brazil was imbued with posers and wimps. There were many false Metalishers, bad labels, false press. All of them were walking to the Metal fancy, Grunge, Faith No More (erghh!!). So I thought it would be better to stop with VULCANO."

What did all the former VULCANO-members do after the band split? Did everybody retire from music business or had there been any new acts / projects etc…?
"I stayed playing guitar in some amateur bands, I created a project together with Arthur (drummer) called Talavera, but nothing serious, just to spend time. Angel works with piercing and tatoos in Santos and Guarujá: Metallishers all over the world interested in piercing look for his services. Arthur teaches Rock drum playing and started another Rock band. Laudir Piloni moved to Japan and lives there now. Soto Junior stayed to play guitar in a band called Testas Com Dentes until his death in 2001."

What about the festival together with Chakal, Apokalyptic Raids and a few other bands I mentioned in my introduction above: will this be the very first VULCANO show after many, many years? What can we expect of this gig? Will you go on stage with all this leather, chains and spikes stuff again?
"Yeah! It’s our first show after a long, long time! You can expect the best of VULCANO. We will play all songs from the ”Live!” album and all songs from “Bloody Vengeance”. From the middle to the end we’ll play tunes from our new full-length called “Tales From The Black Book”."

I guess not only the people in Brazil are very curious about seeing VULCANO alive once again… But will you play as many classics as possible or will there be songs of “Ratrace” or “Anthropophagy” in your set-list as well?
"As I said, we’ll perform all tracks from “Live!” and “Bloody Vengeance”, as well as all tunes from our new album “Tales From The Black Book”."

How did it come that VULCANO started playing live again? Are you willing to feel the fire again, what will the future bring for you?
"We have just released a new album. It has eleven unpublished tracks as well as two bonus track, too. It was released in digipak-format. So, the event in Rio de Janeiro will be the first gig of our Brazilian tour!"

Who’s part of the VULCANO-line-up nowadays at all? When this band started writing new material, how did it sound like? How would you describe the songs of “Tales From The Black Book” – I think it’s returning back to the glorious days of the “Live!” album and “Bloody Vengeance” again!
"VULCANO are: Zhema, Angel, Arthur, Passamani and André. I think “Tales From The Black Book” sounds close to “Bloody Vengeance”. The songs are very raw, brutal and fast like in the old days."

Hm, is there a chance for us here in Germany to see you alive on stage one day over here? That would be really awesome…
"Of course… We would be very pleased to play in Europe and in Germany in particular. Just now we are planning a tour at the east coast of the US."

Has your personal music taste changed throughout all those years? What would you say are the 20 most impressive albums of all time?
“Dark Side Of The Moon”, “Black Sabbath”, “Mob Rules”, “Led Zeppelin 3”, “In Rock”, “Seven Gates Of Hell”, “Reign In Blood”, “Hell Awaits”, “Morbid Tales”, “Apocalyptic Raids”, “Sentence Of Death”, “Bonded By Blood”, “Iron Fist”… Those records are in my mind now! For sure I forgot many other pearls because it’s very difficult to choose only twenty albums."

Do you nowadays still get fan mail? What do you think about those people that dare to limit VULCANO just on “Bloody Vengeance”? I mean, most people know this album of this band, and it seems like most people prefer this record above all others your group has released throughout the years: does this fill you with pride or are you in a certain way sad due to the fact that too many people just refer to this single album when hearing the name VULCANO…?
"Yes, I receive a lot of mail… and the internet multiplied it with 10!!! I have never been concerned about it… so I never looked for a formula of making songs. As I produced records for my own pleasure, one record was never similar to those made before and I feel good to know that “Bloody Vengeance” was and still is a legend for all Metallishers!!!"

Even Sarcófago, Dorsal Atlantica, Chakal and Mystifier are still alive nowadays: what do you think about their new material?
"Sarcófago and Chakal follow their ways into the Metal scene, but Dorsal Atlantica stopped their activities! VULCANO will perform live with Chakal this August."

Pew – right now we’ve reached the end of this quite long interview. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! I gotta say thank you very much for your time and your support! Do you have got any last greetings, do you want to add something – feel free, you got enough space here as you might have recognised by now, hehe… Thanks again, let the VULCANO erupt once more!!! I wish you the best…!
"Thanks! I really appreciated this nice interview! I must say you that VULCANO has a new album out and in a few days we’ll start our Brazilian tour. I hope to tour in Europe as soon as possible, and if this is occuring, VULCANO will surely be in Germany. Cheerrrzzzz!!!!!!!"

Interview from 2008

The above mentioned interview once appeared in Vol. 4 of my fanzine “Blood Of The Ancient”. Some years after it’s been published I’m happy that it also finds its way onto the Voices From The Darkside homepage which is one of the very, very few webzines I support… But in order to update also this great chat with VULCANO’s Zhema, I decided once again to get in touch with that Brazilian maniac. And after some difficulties and some delays (mainly produced by me, I have to admit), I’m able to present this intense second part of an extensive interview devastation…

Hails Zhema, how are you, what’s going on in the VULCANO camp these days, any news to tell?
"Nowadays we are working very hard on the new album. Maybe we’ll get to release it in December. Furthermore VULCANO are playing in several places here in Brazil."

Let’s start this journey through history with your main lyrical influence, the "Metal Negro" book written by Carli Cooper: how did you get this book and what story / stories does it tell?
"That book was written by Carli Cooper and revised by me around 1978. It has never been published. It contains a trilogy and some texts more, you can have an idea reading the lyrics of ‘Shadows In The Mirror’ on the “Live!” album as well as ‘The Gates Of Iron’ on the “Tales From The Black Book” album. The main lyrics of most of the VULCANO albums come from that book. The themes of them are inspired by alchemy and occultism, they express a part of my knowledge about the occult science."

How can dedicated VULCANO fans get ahold of the tunes of the rehearsal tapes that were recorded before the release of the "Om Pushne Namah" 7" single?
"I have some cassettes recorded with some tunes before 1983, but they don’t have enough quality. So I think it’ll be very hard to release something like that."

Did you ever play any songs of the ominous "Om Pushne Namah" 7" single live? Would be exciting to listen to those Heavy Rock tunes in a "raw VULCANO-version", hehe…!
"Once a time we played a version of ‘Besta Cibernética’. It was great! That happened in 1999, after that we did that never again."

The album title "Antropophagy" tells us about these lunatic people turning into wolves etc.: so in which way was the lyrical concept of this record different to the concept of "Bloody Vengeance"?
"The lyrics from that album were very influenced by the new members. VULCANO changed the line-up on that full-length. “Anthropophagy” was written by me and Arthur in seven days."

The music almost stayed the same, I only disliked the rather weak production of "Antropophagy", furthermore the real underground Metal "hits" are on "Bloody Vengeance" and the infamous "Live!" album… What do you think about this opinion of mine concerning this record?
"In that time it was very hard to get a good prodution because the studios and producers were very expensive. It was impoosible to pay them! “Anthropophagy” was recorded during one weekend and with low price, but I like the songs of this full-length."

After this "Who Are The True?" was unleashed: who are "the true" (ones)?
"The Brazilian scene during that time! “Who Are The True?” was a very ironic album. The correct title would be “Who Are The Real”…"

I guess "Who Are The True?" broke with many of the early VULCANO trademarks, such as aggressive and dark as fuck songs, an evil atmosphere, occult lyrics etc. Furthermore there were even some hints to the Mosh-/Crossover-scene back then on this record
"Of course!!!"

Do you think that "Who Are The True?" marked the end of an era for VULCANO? Do you believe this album was in a certain way "the beginning of the end" of this band?
"It was the intention! The main reason that we wrote that album was to attack the Brazilian "fancy" scene. "Who Are The True?" is an ironic album, all those songs except ‘Witches Sabbath’ and ‘Hercolobus’ were dedicated to somebody false in that scene. In that scene there wasn’t any place for VULCANO anymore, so we did that album and stopped the band!"

Why did you decide to re-record mighty ‘Witches Sabbath’ for the "Who Are The True?" release?
"Like I said to you earlier, that album is totally ironic except ‘Witches Sabbath’ (The beginning) and ‘Hercolobus’ (The end) – The beginning and the end, that’s it, simply said!!!"

What were the reasons for Soto Junior’s death in 2001? How did you hear about his death, can any newer VULCANO song be considered as "tribute / homage" to this guy?
"He died of heart attack. I was travelling through Southern Brazil when I received the news about his death. He was a very cool guy and my personal friend. ‘Obscure Soldiers’ can be considered as tribute to him because he wrote it!"

How have been the reactions concerning your "comeback album" "Tales From The Black Book" so far? I personally think this was an awesome, breathtaking experience, fucking great record!
"That album was very well accepted by the fans of VULCANO and the Metal media in general. I personally think that it is a good record. Many people told me that this full-length would be the natural sequel to "Bloody Vengeance"."

However, despite the huge quality of "Tales From The Black Book" I think that this record was more or less only hailed by VULCANO maniacs over here in Europe, the general public didn’t notice your "reunion" so much, at least this was / is my impression. Did you get aware of different kinds of reactions both in your home country and South America in general as well as overseas?
"VULCANO is an ancient band, we had our time in the 80s. Nowadays there are many, many bands and Metal heads all over the world and the majority of them doesn’t know about VULCANO. That’s the reason why VULCANO don’t manage to play in Europe and another countries, except South America. We aren’t enough known to do that!"

What persons are nowadays involved in VULCANO, what old pioneers from the early line-ups are still part of this band?
"Nowadays VULCANO is Zhema, Angel (original line-up) and Arthur (from the second line-up), but me and Arthur are the ones that compose almost all of the songs. There are others guys that give us support concerning live shows: Diaz on bass, Fernando on guitar and Arthur Justo on drums."

What were the reasons for you to re-animate VULCANO?
"At the end of the 90s Soto Jr. called me frequently asking to join VULCANO, then in 2000 we played in Santos and just after that we started to work for a definitive return, but Soto Jr. died in the following year."

What did you do in the meantime since VULCANO’s split and the re-animation, besides your musical involvements?
"I played the guitar in a Hard Rock band which sang in Portuguese, and I played bass together with Arthur in another band called Talavera. This group was a power trio and their songs were very heavy and strong. I play acoustic guitar, too."

How did your first live shows after all those years together with Chakal, Apokalyptic Raids etc. turn out in the end?
"We played together in 2004 in Rio de Janeiro. Back then it was very cool because the audience was very crazy and totally oldschool. That concert was the first after our return."

Why did you decide to feature two re-recorded old VULCANO tracks on "Tales From The Black Book" (namely ‘Guerreiros De Satã’ and ‘Total Destruição’)?
"We recorded ‘Guerreiros De Satã’ and ‘Total Destruição’ because the first VULCANO drummer Laudir Piloni was on vacation here in Brazil and visited us in the studio. Finally he recorded the drum tracks of those songs. So we decided to complete those tunes as an homage to him. Despite this those tracks were never recorded in a proper studio, and I’m thinking about recording ‘Riding Hell’ and ‘Legiões Satânicas’ for the next album."

Did you play many live shows in your home country yet? Any plans for extensive touring, perhaps even in Europe?
"Currently we’re looking for important shows because we don’t have enough time to spend. We’re playing about two gigs each month. In December we’ll tour through Chile. There are no plans to tour Europe, sorry! But I’ll work very hard to get it done!!! If you know somebody interested, please let us know!"

You once announced an US tour, so did this take place? If yes, please tell us more about it: with which bands did you play there and how did the North American crowd react when seeing VULCANO alive on stage?
"No, we didn’t to do that tour. We didn’t get the visas to enter the USA."

Are there any bands around you would wish to share the stage with one day?
"We don’t have any preferences concerning this. We think local bands are more interesting because we can work together quite fine."

What do you think about nowadays’ Brazilian scene? I think there are many Krisiun followers around, but also groups that are totally dedicated to the ancient 80s scene like i.e. Farscape, Apokalyptic Raids, Necronomicon Beast, Bywar, Violator etc
"Yeah, currently the Brazilian Metal scene will not split! There are some great underground festivals these days but it is very hard to organise awesome and expensive shows. However, all bands are on the same level…"

How did the idea for the split-7" with Nifelheim arise? Do you know those two evil twins, have you been in touch with them before or did they ask you to join forces for this split 7"?
"I knew the ‘Witches Sabbath’ version on the "Headbangers Against Disco" release, but the idea originally came from Peter of I Hate Records. I don’t have any contact with Hellbutcher and his brother. We just decided to do that split single."

Do you personally like Nifelheim’s music?
"Yeah! Nifelheim sound very good and they have an honest attitude. They are great!"

And how did I Hate Records, that released this 7", come into the picture? I mean, did the Nifelheim guys ask I Hate to put it out?
"I really don’t know!"

Do you know any other releases from I Hate? There are some great bands in their roster, I just think of i.e. Eidomantum, The Gates Of Slumber, Subrosa, Ereb Altor, Jex Thoth… Besides this there’ve been awesome re-releases of classic stuff of cult acts such as i.e. Pagan Altar, Protector, Czech Crux or Mayhemic Truth on I Hate
"I have some stuff of Burning Saviours, Isole, Serpent Cult, Hundus, Pale Divine and others."

Do you also know my band HELLISH CROSSFIRE? We put out our debut LP "Slaves Of The Burning Pentagram" through I Hate at the same time as the NIFELHEIM / VULCANO split 7" was unleashed
"I just received some flyers, but I did not receive your album. Where can I listen to HELLISH CROSSFIRE?"

Everywhere but not on the internet (at least not “officially”), hehe… Anyway, back to VULCANO: will you continue co-operating with I Hate in future?

Who was responsible for the cover artwork of the above mentioned split 7"? The VULCANO "demon" is manifested there, but where’s the reminiscence to Nifelheim?
"I don’t know who made the artwork, I think it was I Hate’s Ola. Nifelheim is presented through the mountains."

By the way, did you recognise the mistake in the song title ‘The Evil Always Return’? Correctly it should be ‘The Evil Always Returns’…
"Of course, the right grammar is … “returns”!"

Do you regret there is no lyric sheet inside of the split 7" or did you consciously refuse to print lyrics?
"Peter and Ola decided about the artwork and lyrics sleeve."

Do you agree when I say that VULCANO’s sound is much more oriented back to the roots of the infamous "Live!" and the legendary "Bloody Vengeance" album nowadays?
"Yeah! I think so! That’s the way we compose our songs."

I personally think the VULCANO re-animation has been really awesome. I mean, you used to come up with marvellous new tracks that are 100 % VULCANO… Considering all those lame and pretentious attempts of former 80s "cult" acts to re-invoke the spirit back then, you really succeeded in this! There are countless useless reunions around these days, except of VULCANO’s as well as the comebacks of i.e. Candlemass, Hirax, Exciter, Necrodeath etc… What do you think about this whole topic "reunions"?
"When I decided to return around 2001, I felt the need to do a great album. VULCANO couldn’t come back to the scene without delivering a great new record, so I asked the other members for total freedom to produce that full-length. I wrote fourteen songs and chose eleven of them to be included on "Tales From The Black Book". I think it was a great result!"

Definitely. But let’s have a look at other Brazilian (former) cult acts: what do you think about Max Cavalera perhaps joining Sepultura again as well as the whole Cavalera Conspiracy stuff?
"I think that Sepultura does not have anything to contribute to the scene from now on because they have been infected by fame and success, so they can not do anything honest here nowadays anymore."

Will we ever be able to experience a reunion of Sarcófago, Mutilator, MX or Dorsal Atlantica, what do you think?
"Mutilator is back (killer!!! – Ed.) and Sarcófago just play live, furthermore the band has only one original member left – the bassist. Sarcófago played a show in Santiago last month. As for Dorsal Atlantica, their return is impossible because their band leader is not interested in Metal music anymore. VULCANO is back for true reasons, we are playing gigs and producing albums, so I think we could only imagine to play live together with other real acts such as i.e. Chakal or maybe Mutilator and Sextrash."

By the way, do you know if Genocidio, Mystifier, Sextrash and Attomica are still alive (again)?
"I heard about a gig of Genocidio recently, Mystifier is always in combat and I listened to new stuff of Sextrash. Furthermore Attomica are still alive."

Are there any plans for re-releases of old, previously unreleased materials of VULCANO?
"VULCANO don’t have any old stuff to re-release. Nowadays we are working very hard on writing a new album. I hope to release that new full-length soon."

What are generally your future plans for VULCANO? Are there any new songs already written, where will you destroy stages soon etc.?
"We are going to Chile in December and when we return we will start to record the new album. The twelve killer songs are finished! I personally will work very hard to tour in Europe in 2008, so I’ll need somebody to give me a support there, if you know somebody, please let me know!"

Alright, that’s all, I think. Thank you very much for your support, the last words are yours! Anything we forgot…?
"Ok Chris, thanks for the opportunity to appear in “Voices From The Darkside” and I really hope to see you and the readers in 2008 in Europe – Thank you all!"

1983 – “Om Pushne Mamae” (Single)
1984 – “Devil On My Roof” (Demo)
1985 – “Live!” (Live Album)
1986 – “Bloody Vengeance” (Album)
1987 – “Anthropophagy” (Album)
1988 – “Who Are The True?’ (Album)
1990 – “Ratrace” (Album)
2004 – “Tales From The Black Book” (Album)
2006 – “Thunder Metal” (Split-7” with NIFELHEIM)


Christian Wachter

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