written by Marko Jakob | 01.04.2022 |
Pix666: Hello Sergio. Thanks for taking the time for the interview. How are you doing?
Sergio: Hey there! My pleasure. I’m fine, thank’s for asking. All things running well after 2 years of pandemic! The positive side of all this dark period, was prepare ourselves for all the demands acumulated for the days after covid, for the music business. So, a lot of work happening at the same time. Hope you guys are going well, too.
Pix666: Please tell the readers how it all started with Semblant and what kind of music you make.
Sergio: Semblant started in 2006 as a project between 2 friends – me and J. Augusto, keyboards – to converge all our musical influences in Metal, under a dark and obscure atmosphere. So that times, we mixed cover versions for songs of Lacuna Coil, Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Dimmu Borgir, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth, Sentenced, Tristania, Dark Tranquility, etc with our firsts songwriting experiments. On 2007 we released a demo called ”Behold the Real Semblant” with a extremely positive feedback from specialized media, and our carrer has officially started.
Pix666: Have you been involved in other bands or projects before?
Sergio: Yes, I started at the end of the 90’s with some tribute bands to classic metal, a band called Ravenloft focused on traditional and epic Heavy Metal until 2002 and a gothic rock/metal band called Maelström who released an EP called ”Illuminati” and an amazing full length album, ”Decline of the West” between 2002 and 2005.
Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Semblant for more than 15 years now. What have been the most memorable moments with the band so far?
Sergio: well, so many of them. In our first album, ”Last Night of Mortality”, I had the pleasure to write an intro narrated by Charles Rytkönen, frontman of the legendary swedish band Morgana Lefay, one of my favorite bands ever. Our supporting acts for idols and friends, like Moonspell, Sabaton, Nightwish, Floor Jansen, The Agonist, our features with another friends like Evergrey, Warrel Dane from Nevermore on his last album before he passed away (include my extreme vocals on the song ”Madame Satan” was a beautiful experience).
Moments like my beloved partner Mizuho Lin share the stage with Fernando Ribeiro from Moonspell singing ”Scorpion Flower”, Mizuho singing ”Dreaming Neon Black” with Warrel, Alissa White-Gluz saying amazing words about my vocals alive comparing me with her friends Jon Howard from Threat Signal and Bjorn Speed from Soilwork, the songwriting process of ”Lunar Manifesto” and the most recent immersion on our new ”Vermilion Eclipse”, the comic book Universe inspired on our music that we’ve been creating and releasing for ”Semblant: Blood Cronicles”, side by side with my friend Andre Meister… a huge pile of highlights!
The most recent is the invitation from the man himself, Tilo Wolff from Lacrimosa, to record a version of their song ”If the World Stood Still a Day”, because he’s a great fan of our music and would love to see how we could made our own version for a Lacrimosa song. And we did, on their Anniversary special box-set side by sidee with another amazing artists like Lord of the Lost.
Pix666: Some weeks ago your single ‘Purified‘ was released. How have the reactions to the song been so far?
Sergio: Amazing reactions to both singles released, ’Purified’ and ’Enrage’. And the most amazing feedbacks keeps coming and coming, specially with our awesome worldwide audience speaking about feeling our essence like never before in these songs, comparing with their favorite moments in ”Lunar Manifesto” and ”Obscura”… well, I’m really amazed because I’m sure that we created our bigger masterpiece until now and see on all the reaction videos or even read on the massive quantity of comments, that the fans have the same opinion and are connecting themselves on a deep way, with the songs, makes me extremely happy and satisfied.
Pix666: What is the story behind the new songs?
Sergio: Both songs released until now was written by our guitar player, Juliano Ribeiro. Amazing songwriter and I’m extremely connected with this songs, too. ‘Purified’ says how long the pain washes our emotions and purify our purity, innocence, futile expectations, taking us to another level of experience. ‘Enrage’ is an ode to the fury, because sometimes there’s nothing wrong in let it flow, sometimes you’re right and must protect yourself from all those who wanna hurt you in so many forms. Sometimes, is your turn to tell the limits, your own limits and fight for what you believe and those you love.
Pix666:. The clip has reached a really impressive number of views on YouTube. Do you look at the statistics on YouTube and Spotify, e.g. do you know where your listeners live?
Sergio: Constantly. We all make it all the time. After millions of views in videos like ”What Lies Ahead”, ”Dark of the Day”, ”Incinerate” and even ”Mere Shadow”, we’re always tuned about our audience. The US, Germany, Brasil, Russia, France, Mexico, Finland, a lot of countries! Messages from Australia, Africa, China, Japan, each continent and country. And it’s so great, because we’re on a label that can deliver us to each part of the globe, on physical records in CD and Vinyl or even help us to be there with concerts and festivals being booked on.
Pix666: Now your album ‘Vermilion Eclipse’ will be released soon. How difficult was the way to a complete album, also in view of the complications and restrictions due to the Covid situation?
Sergio: We tried a new experience, write songs in our houses, locked in quarantine. I started to write some songs, Juliano and Guto did the same and they started to take form after some time. And after 5 or 6 songs from me and 5 or 6 songs from Juliano, for an example, we noticed how connected the songs connected themselves between each other.
We started to see each other too to create more, to write more and to plan the official recordings, with our producer Adair Daufembach coming from Los Angeles to Brazil to spend a month on our town producing it all with us, locked on the studio. Was amazing. And of course, intense. 3 of our mothers passed away with the pandemic. Mine, Johan’s mom (our bassist) and Thor’s mom (our drummer). So we put our souls and our hearts in all the album, each one of the songs. And YES, extreme feelings, agressive, melodic, intense things came outside this feelings. I’m so excited to everyone’s give it a listen, in the whole tracklist!
Pix666: Where can people buy the album? Is it already available for pre-order and in which versions will the album be released? Are there also shirts or something from Semblant?
Sergio: People can buy it in any physical record store worldwide or even on the webstore from our label, Frontiers Music Srl. Frontiers records prepared an amazing CD version and a limited quantity of Vinyl editions to be released after the usual release date for CD and streaming platforms. Shirts and a lot of other merch options comes out close to our European tour, between May/July.
Pix666: I saw that you have also published a book. What is this book about, where can it be bought and in which languages is it released? Will there be a follow-up to it?
Sergio: Yes, a graphic novel saga with a first number released on a luxurious and beautiful edition, in Brazil. A bloody dystopic tale about a future when we must resist Against our own extinction, loosinf the top of the chain for a nation of predators that want to makes human race, their own cattle. The physical publishing is written exclusively in brazilian portuguese, but we have conclude the english edition for the e-book format and probably, 2022 will be the year of this worldwide release in english. Is all written and illustrated by my friend Andre Meister, who also works for Marvel and giant RPG companies worldwide. Co-written and created by me, on an expanded universe inspired by some our songs thar we number and name as ”Legacy of Blood saga” in each one of our records.
Pix666: Do you have a release show planned for the album release and are there further plans for live shows in 2022?
Sergio: Yes, we’re planing something to celebrate the release in our hometown and Sao Paulo too, in Brazil. The European tour of 20 concerts, will be the first whole tour to release and celebrate the album.
Pix666: How big are the clubs you usually play and how big is the metal scene in Brazil?
Sergio: It depends on the concert, actually. We play on festivals like Armageddon, for 10k people sharing the stage with bands like Rotting Christ and Shaman, supporting acts or special guest features like Cradle of Filth brazilian tour for an example, and venues like my own place, Blood Rock Bar in Curitiba or Inferno Club in Sao Paulo, for 200, 300, 400 people. We surely adapt our concert for each reality.
Pix666: Tell me a little bit about your dreams…. In which locations or at which festivals would you like to perform and with which band(s) would you like to go on tour in the future?
Sergio: I think Sweden Rock Festival, Hellfest, Wacken, Graspop, Mera Luna and Summer Breeze are my favorite ones to feature on cast! And supporting acts or special guest features to Cradle of Filth, Moonspell, Dimmu Borgir, Epica, Dark Tranquility and mant others would be a blast too!
Pix666: Do you have any other news about Semblant or some interesting personal things about you that you would like to share with the fans?
Sergio: Well, just ask and invite everyone that’s reading this interview for listen to ”Vermilion Eclipse” track by track, in order, to pay attention on each song and feel the whole album. Not only the singles we’re releasing with videos, but each one of the songs! Buy the CD, the Vinyl, the artwork is wonderful and fully created by 2 of the greatest graphic artists in Metal – Giannis Nakos from Greece and Carlos Fides from Brazil.
I promise you all, the experience will be amazing, will be a journey of intense and deep emotions. And of course, watch our videos on Youtube! Not for the views, but to amplify the experience! Thank’s for being so close and so loyal to Semblant over the years and if you guys are listening us for the first time, welcome home! There’s a lot of material to listen, watch and include on your collection.
Pix666: Thanks for the interview, good luck with your upcoming album – and above all, stay healthy.
Sergio: Thank YOU for the interview, for the interest in Semblant and “Vermilion Eclipse”. Stay healthy too and we hope to see you in the road!
photos © by Marcos Delacoletta and Juliano Ferreira