Musical statements like the newest split between CIENFUEGOS and DE CARNE E FLOR, able to carry so much weight yet seeming so beautiful and so natural, and all without the full length record time, are few and far between. A couple of weeks since its release on Selo Preto and No Funeral Records, this captivating split showcases the work of staggering complexity and immense beauty, remaining an under-recognized 4-track masterpiece, whose echoes should be heard throughout much of the finest post rock inspired post hardcore and screamo music issued in recent years.
Sonic wise, Cienfuegos creates a restrained brand of screamo, heavy with samples, and intense emotional parts, not unlike bands such as Raein, kafka., and tdoafs. De Carne e Flor, on the other hand, brings a much more polished sound, that will remind one of Daitro, Boneflower, and Respire.
To celebrate, this captivating offering, we have teamed up with both bands for an interview about their local music communities. Both bands discussed the determinants of their independent music scenes, local venues, and shared loads of recommended bands and artists worth looking into. See the full interview below.
Is your local music scene and community large and diverse, or would you rather clal it small and intimate?
DCEF: Both at the same time. Speaking locally, everybody knows each other in the circuit we’re in, but the bands help making it diverse by playing different styles while inspiring each other and getting along at the same time. We usually have bands like ours, and then chaotic/dark hardcore (MEE, Obscvre Ser), shoegaze (homeninvisivel), straight-up hardcore punk (Lili Carabina, Discordex), grindcore (Sendo Fogo), experimental/post-rock (Hiroshima Bunker, Cassanota), screamo (Ravir, Sivie Sue Mori) etc, all sharing line-ups.
All those bands mentioned (and so many others) helped attaining a degree of maturity and diversity that we usually wouldn’t see some years before, when every band kind of wanted to play the same kind of sound. Some of these bands also include/are formed by LGBTQ+, women and POC and we encourage the public to be the same, so the diversity is not only musical. But still, it’s a really small scene in terms of exposure. None of us have any considerable local exposure yet, so it’s not uncommon to form our own digital labels, collectives and such, to keep it going.
CF: Its a pretty diverse scene, focus on Hardcore Punk and its derivates, also Crust and Power violence bands. There is not a Screamo “scene”, in Chile there was one on the first decade of 2000, with a lot of nice bands! Fortunately in the last couple of years some bands have been created in different places of our country, so right now we have a sort of screamo revival here.
What does a typical South American venue? What are the best venues in your country?
DCEF: We usually go the DIY route, playing house shows (Breshow was one of our favorite gigs to date) or booking small festivals in the studios we usually rehearse (785 and Névoa for example). Sometimes we would get some venue offers, which are great, but we can’t depend on them all the time, since it’s hard to pick dates and they can be quite picky with the bands sometimes. We also managed to play in the middle of Paulista avenue once, which was insane. It is probably the busiest avenue in the city but it is occupied by people and artists on Sundays.
CF: In Chile the venues follows DIY ethics, old houses that are used as a Cultural Center, or little bars that support local bands. It’s commun to play in small places, with almost no crowd, but depends on how active are the “punk” scene at that moment. Right now, all the places are shut down, because COVID. One of the best places that we could play was LOF, Hangar Subterraneo, Casa Turquesa and the emblematic BAR 1, all of them in Santiago.
Are there multiple touring spots, or is the scene centralized in one city?
DCEF: Unfortunately the biggest part of the scene is centralized in the capital of São Paulo, which is located southeast of the country; also the metropolitan cities aroud it. We have amazing bands from further states that we would love to see live or play with (maquinas from Ceará northeast, Def from Rio de Janeiro southeast, Colligere from Paraná south to name a few), but distance/travel ticket prices/just the way that the country works regarding worktime and the economical situation all make it really difficult to tour different states or neighbor countries.
CF: As we said, before COVID there were a lot of places, in Stgo and other cities, as Valparaíso, Concepción, Chillan, all of them were pretty active to book shows. Anyway there is some kind of centralism in Santiago, but in all places it’s happening something, especially with screamo bands. That our goal, to share every project of our country, try to meet them, in order to generate friendship and a sort of scene here.
Does this affect touring bands coming through? Do you get many international bands touring in your country?
DCEF: It definitely does. International bands play mostly in São Paulo/SP (southeast) and Rio de Janeiro/RJ (southeast), sometimes Belo Horizonte/MG (southeast), Porto Alegre/RS (south) and Curitiba/PR (south). Once in a while a bigger metal band plays in northeastern areas like Recife/PE and Fortaleza/CE, but these are exceptions. The economical panorama and logistics centralize most of it in the southeastern area unfortunately. Brazil is a giant and diverse country but we have an extreme difficulty to connect to distant areas. Just think of all the great bands that might be hidden within these 26 states.
CF: We had bands from Argentina, Uruguay, Perú, among other sudamerican countries. Its commun they play in more than one city. There is a geographic limitation, travel in south america is so expensive, so it’s not so commun have bands from other countries here.
What are some of your favorite South American bands/favourite bands specific to your country?
DCEF: Bruno (vocals): sonhos tomam conta (homemade blackgaze with some Have a Nice Life vibes from São Paulo. They just release their new EP and it sounds great), Mastema (gothic techno with entranced spoken word from São Paulo made by Guimo, my boyfriend and bandmate in Ravir), Envydust (old post-hardcore with some Brazilian sauce from São Paulo that quit playing in 2013. One of the bands I listened to in high school that inspired me to play).
André (guitar): MEE (metallic hardcore with serious dark vibes from São Paulo), NOID (think of Dirt-era Alice in Chains, now mix it with shoegaze and post-punk, or think of shoegaze/post-punk and mix it with AiC. From Paraná), Labirinto (instrumental post-metal veterans from São Paulo. Gigantic, cinematic riffs).
Eliton (drums/vocals): maquinas (experimental band that fuses rock and Brazilian rythms with some dark jazz from Ceará), Messias Empalado (transgressive dark/industrial from São Paulo, composed of LGBTQ+ themes and an unhinged hate for our political situation that we all should be feeling as a nation), Folha (bass): Enema Noise (old-school style post-hardcore from Brasília), Bioma (feminist, straight-up hardcore punk from São Paulo), Rastilho (necessarily politically charged crust punk from São Paulo).
Dan (guitar): Just listen to “Só Quem Viu o Relâmpago à Sua Direita Sabe” by Kaatayra, from Brasília. Black metal made Brazilian by fusing it with our own folk rhythms.
We would also like to shout-out to Asamblea Internacional del Fuego and of course our friends in Cienfuegos, both from Chile. The passion and motivation that their music shows transcends any barrier that we could have in understanding it.
CF: All of us in the band have difference musical preferences, but there is some bands that we really love and we also meet them and played in shows as: Nepugia, Alegoriadelespanto, Esconder Micara, Marcel Duchamp, Inundarémisdesisertos, Fragmentado, La Conspiración de la pólvora and Bosque. There are some inactive bands that we really like also as: Vlado Petrik, Malevolentía, Teoría de un sueño muerto, Niño Symbol Ohhh!, Mal de Mer, Anaís, among others. And another ones that unfortunately we couldn’t meet them yet as Mirin Bide, Agni Kai and Kitsune.
Do you have any parallel projects?
DCEF: Bruno also sings in a band called Ravir (emoviolence/post-punk); André plays guitar in Obscvre Ser (chaotic hardcore/post-metal) and O Bicho de 3 Cabeças (instrumental math/post-rock); Folha plays bass in Navio (mathcore/post-hardcore) and participates in a collective called Caoticagem; Dan plays guitar and sings in Cassanota (progressive post-hardcore) and bass in Pollux e Castor (post-rock); Eliton runs the Selo Preto label, that he’s been using to re-release digitally recordings from some important bands that helped shaping ourselves in a way, while also of course giving light to other artists we believe in.
CF: Francisco (Drum) plays in Nimbos, a post rock band, also plays with Felipe (Guitar and Singer) and Alexander (Bass) on Baudelaire, a screamo/emoviolence band. Felipe also plays drums in LIO, one of the best fastcore band here.
Any endeavors worth mentioning during quarantine?
DCEF: Folha is part of a collective called Caoticagem, and since the whole quarantine thing started, they’ve been reuniting members from a lot of the bands that we’ve mentioned before to record remotely some covers and interviews. Some great music has also come out from Mastema (SP), Ultraluna (SP) and Aflição (RJ) during these times.
CF: Our biggest challenge under quarantine was working on the production of DCEF Split. The remote work with Juanjo, who did the mix and master of our songs took us much more time than we expected. In addition, we had to record our vocals in Cristian house. No one of us have recording equipment, so we had to borrow mics and an interface with some friends. It was pretty fun btw!
What are some difficulties about playing music in your region? What are some positives?
DCEF: The struggle is probably the same for every independent artist, with the economical structure/situation probably being a heavier factor here than in other places. But the friends, stories and experience gained all make you forget about any burden. Also, being most of the time in love with what we create and appreciative of every accomplishment makes everything worth it. Being able to connect with a band from a neighbor country, getting our music out there in distant corners of the world, simply because someone believes in what we do… We can’t measure how humbling it is.
CF: There is no such organised “touring route” as Europe or USA here. The distances in South America are bigger than those places, so it’s so expensive to travel here. Anyway, at least in Chile, most of the places are really cheap, and you can have a nice deal almost in everyplace, based on DIY etics. It’s not so difficult to set a show when there is a will to do it.