|The interview is a discussion with Hugo Santos of PROCESS OF GUILT, a bottom heavy progressive Doom band from the outskirts of Lisbon. Despite the bands grumbling vocals and thunderous tribal drone communicating waves of desperation, sadness, suicide & isolation, Mr. Santos was in fine spirits.|
|1. Talk about Lisbon in general and tell me about the music scene here...|
I have a band called PROCESS OF GUILT but we are not from here, we are from a place 100 miles from here, so I play here sometimes, we are going to play in a week or so. There are a bunch of gigs happening here, perhaps too much at timwa. There is a big festival called Rock In Rio, but I guess Lisbon is like other places in main cities in Europe. Some big concerts, some small...
2. What is the overall message of PROCESS OF GUILT?
That's too deep to talk about, ha ha. The overall thing is that we are trying to express ourselves in the best way possible. We like heavy music, meaningful music and sincere music – that's our main purpose of playing music. All our influence and lyrics are mostly based on our everyday experiences. I guess our daily experience has a lot of potential to write from. Our latest album, our new label is a Swiss label called Division Records. The new record was mixed in New York with Andrew Snider. He worked with some bands, like CONVERGE, so he's a good one to work with. Everything went to Chicago, and New York via internet...
3. Have you toured a good deal?
We've played in some other countries other then Portugal and are going to do a small tour later this year. It's really hard to tour here, but if you aim for the central European countries there's more venues, more listeners, but its far from here. Our geography, as it is -- we're a small country in a small corner of Europe and we are apart from the main scene. Concerning PROCESS OF GUILT it was almost 10 years before we could perform a small tour in Portugal with 5 or 6 dates, because there are not too many people into underground music. I guess perhaps thats the meaning of doing underground music. Of course we reach our audience, but being in an underground band... Like METALLICA – as it is, it is a big trend. People seem to look up to them like a football or basketball team. So people cannot relate themselves to underground music, but it's always been like that, I guess.
4. I know it's difficult to get to Central Europe from here, there is such a distance to go through Spain, and little to play along the way. How long does it take to drive from here to Barcelona?
About 12 hours. We played in Madrid two times, so I guess they have a tiny scene with good bands, but mainly the doomier side of things, some sludge, but its small. You have to go along through Spain, it's a long distance.
5. Stuff like METALLICA brings people, but say MOONSPELL, the well known local – do they draw a large audience?
I don't know, but they can drag 2 or 3000 people to a gig in Lisbon. You can draw a parallel between METALLICA all over the world and MOONSPELL in Portugal. They deserve the credit that they have but they are not an example of what our music is in Portugal or the scene here. I play in an underground metal band in an underground county. Thats how I see Portugal right now. It's not a good place to live right now because we are it he middle of this crisis, this global crisis, financial, basically a living crisis. I'm happy but I don't have any other chance right now. We are in Portugal & trying to make it possible.
6. What are some stereotypes of your country that you'd like to dispel?
I don't know, ha ha -- perhaps the guys with the big mustaches? Its not true. We all have mustaches, but, ha ha. I guess we were stuck in this dictatorship for almost 40 years and we still have some traces that come from that period of time. Friends in other European countries think Portugal is still almost a third world country, but its not like that. Sometimes we are the last frontier between organized Europe where everything is so polite and clean and we are, still, I don't know -- more savage? Rugged, yeah. I don't know if guys in other countries relate us to more of that rough quality. I guess we can translate that we are more at peace with ourselves, we have more liberties with our actions. We still are free and with all the good stuff and the bad stuff. We have corruption, like everywhere else, but here perhaps its more... we have our own lives. I guess thats a misconception...
The interviewer, Ryan Bartek is a freelance journalist, road junkie & all around freak. His new book “FORTRESS EUROPE (The Big Shiny Prison Vol. II)” is a 222 page odyssey which covers his journeys through the European Underground in 2011. FORTRESS EUROPE is a FREE PDF download HERE
Visit the Process of Guilt bandpage.