For the 1st time we have the opportunity to make an interview direct from Brazil. Our guest today is Dewindson Wolfheart, vocals of one of the best representation of the Brazilian Gothic Metal music: RAVENLAND. This great band have been around since 1997 and shared stages with famous gothic bands like Moonspell, Tiamat and Theater of Tragedy…between many others.
ZEPHYR: Hails Dewindson & welcome to Zephyr’s Interviews. For me is a great joy share with you this interview.
Dewindson Wolfheart: Firstly, thank you so much for your support and this opportunity to introduce a little bit more from our music to other fans. I really appreciated.
ZEPHYR: Are you originally from Brazil? How challenging is to form a gothic band in Brazil?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Yes, we are from Brazil, we live in São Paulo, but Timo (one of the guitar players) is from Finland; however he lives here in São Paulo as well. Since the beginning we always faced many challenges, firstly because Brazil is a tropical country, culturally is a kind of music almost outside of our reality, but at same time, we have disillusions and other dark moments in our lives as every person has in any place from the world. Other great challenge is the support from media, our country never supported the metal music, even so we got many things like magazine´s cover, video-clip on MTV, our music is abroad at common radios… Really we don´t have what to claim, because here in Brazil we have the respect from the Gothic Metal music fans and they see us as one of the few groups which represents our country in this kind of music.
ZEPHYR: What’s your story as a band? How did everything take shape?
Dewindson Wolfheart: The band was formed in 1997 by me, André Cardoso (guitar), Clécio Christian (bass and backing vocals) and Alexandre Brito (drums), after some years one by one took different ways, but they are great friends of mine, like brothers until nowadays.
Everything took shape since that we started the composing process in 1997 in the Andre Cardoso´s house, we always knew about the direction of our music, dark, intense, melodic, doom, heavy, doom… Together we composed the first songs, “Mournfulness”, “The crow”, “Visionary of the Night”, “in the night eternally”, “The spring loss the smell of flowers”… In October of 1998 we released the first Demo-Tape “October of 1998” for me this dream called Raven´s Land started to take shape on this amazing moment… then, on the following year we signed with the MOONSSHADOW Productions to release our first album “After the sun Hides” in 2001 and the rest of history we can have some beers talking a lot about it…
I think that we loss a little of our direction after the releasing of our last EP “Nevermore”, but now with the new line up I feel the same feeling from the beginning of the band!
ZEPHYR: Tell me about the actual members of RAVENLAND, where and how did you came together?
Dewindson Wolfheart: After the last EP, we had a great change in the lineup, as I said, I thought that we loss a little of our essence from the beginning, the focus which we had in the past, the real essence from RAVENLAND, but, with this new lineup we take back that feeling from the first Demo-tape “October of 1998”.
Victor (drummer) is a special friend, like a brother, he is a great drummer and he has the same goal in common with us. Playing around the world and giving the best for this, he referred Renato (guitar) who is a really nice composer and has a nice feeling in his leads, he has the feeling that a Doom guitar player must have. Timo (guitar) is a kind of Viking playing a guitar instead of caring an axe, he is a destroyer! His performance are killer, he was a great find. Then, when the last guitar player left the band, the first name which I thought it was Timo Kaarkosky; we played together in other festivals in the past, but in different bands, but when I saw his performance and talent as lead and base guitar player I became his fan and when I invited him, he accepted on the spot and said that he was a big fan of us too and, now we have a great team who admire each other as musicians and persons!
ZEPHYR: Why did you choose the name RAVENLAND?
Dewindson Wolfheart: I am a big fan of Edgar Alan Poe, since when I was a boy, the Raven´s poem (Nevermore) was one of my favorite, but, after the movie “The Crow”, I realized that our name needs to have something connected with these mysterious and mythic black birds. But mainly after meeting a band called LAKE OF TEARS from Sweden; because they were exactly as we wanted to sound: a mix of Doom, Rock, Metal. Plus, they had a song called “Raven Land”, and after realized all this mentioned elements on the song and lyrics, was the reason I choose the name RAVEN LAND, separated in the beginning, but after the hiatus between 2004 and 2006 we returned with the same name but the words joined as one.
ZEPHYR: For someone who has never heard RAVENLAND, how would you describe your music?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Our music is a mixing of gothic beauty with the heaviness of Metal and the simplicity of Rock but with some few electronic cold
and dark elements… But this is my imaginary world, (laughing) I think that every person has a different and own opinion, sometimes is better to appreciate without expect or judging something from a label or created rules… Rules are limits, and in music we have no limits to reach the heart and mind from people. Don’t establish limits, set free your mind from this!
ZEPHYR: What three words best describe your band?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Persistence and a Real Dream!
ZEPHYR: Every band has it’s musical influences. Which are some of the bands that have greatly influenced you and your music?
Dewindson Wolfheart: I say only by me, but now RAVENLAND is a mixing of different influences and feelings from each one of our members. I say by me ok, in the beginning our great influences came from the European Gothic Doom Metal bands like MOONSPELL, PARADISE LOST, THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, MY DYING BRIDE, CREMATORY, DARKSEED, EVEREVE and the American one TYPE O NEGATIVE. Nowadays I still love these bands, but I think that RAVENLAND gets express itself using all feelings from our diary lives like love and hate, death and life, flesh and spirit, heart and mind…
ZEPHYR: How important are lyrics for you? What do you want to project through them?
Dewindson Wolfheart: When I write, I don’t push myself because my heart must express everything naturally, is better, of course that I just accept good and deep things, real or unreal thoughts; but they must sounds like a poem, about love or death, but deeper… I don’t want to project a mere nice trip in an imaginary world, but whenever I touch a heart, change a mind about something or a concept, it´s something that I didn’t expect when I wrote them, but we know that music has this power.
ZEPHYR: How do you compose your songs? Music first and then the lyrics or maybe all at the same time?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Depends, in the past I wrote first and add the music later, but it was more difficult. I prefer like now, lately I received the songs composed and almost finished (sometimes adding an unexpected line), so I just listen them, think in a different melody for the vocal parts (I don´t like much do the same note with the guitar) and make the first accord after trying to do the best interpretation from that moment. Then, try to get the feeling with each note or part that now the music projects me; from there I inspired the lyrics related with each part of the song; writing them on the very last inspiration moment.
ZEPHYR: Can you mention all the recordings that RAVENLAND have done so far?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Yes, in chronological order:
The Demo-Tape “October of 1998”,
The live Demo-tape “Live at Kalimar” 1999
The first CD album – “After the sun hides…” 2001 by Moonshadow productions
The “Tribute to Darkness” EP 2004
The first single after our return – “Black EP” in 2007
The “Back” EP 2008 by Armadillo Records
The second CD album “…and a crow brings me back” 2009/2010
The “Memories” EP 2011
and the “Nevermore” EP 2012.
ZEPHYR: Your last EP “Nevermore” sounds great. Can you tell us a little about the creation of this EP?
Dewindson Wolfheart: This EP contained 3 songs from 10 tunes which would be on our third album with this line up. I composed the “Nevermore” track and Banes composed “Sad afternoon” and “Memories”. João Cruz (ex-bass player) our sound engineer, technician and producer; helped a lot to set the vocals parts and recorded in his studio with us. After that, we took all the recordings to a good friend and great producer, Rafael Zeferino. He knows well our music, so he recorded the guitars for us, mixed and mastered the “Nevermore” EP. There are other 7 songs for the album, but when Banes left the band, we decided to compose new tunes.
ZEPHYR: I’m curious about “Nevermore” cover art design. What is the meaning and who created it?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Thank you so much for your observation, I developed that image, I´m not a designer, but I tried to paste different images, sometimes part of the figure it was totally finished and mix them with other elements, reaching a different result from the original. That woman face was on the web, I just created the mask and other elements… I gave the direction for the “Memories” EP cover for the great Brazilian artist called Jean Michel from the DESIGNATIONS Art Work, he got the perfect feeling that I wanted since the beginning, I said to him: “I want a woman fading in ravens like the cover of the “Perfume” movie and he got it in less than an hour! He is a great artist. Another great and the best Brazilian designer artist for me is Gustavo Sazes (ABSTRACT Art Work) who developed the concept and cover for: “..And a Crow Brings Me Back” album.
ZEPHYR: I read on RAVENLAND’S Facebook page that you are working on new material currently. What’s coming up next?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Yes!!!! We are proud about it, Renato has 14 new songs composed and we are pre-producing them together with João Cruz, Timo Kaarkosky, Rafael Agostino and Victor. We´ll start record them in this spring/summer, our plan is release our third CD album after the Brazilian Carnival, but we know very well that sometimes fate play with us and we will need to change date plans… but we hope not and we´re working for this!
In the first hand we announce here though your web magazine, that before our next album, will be release a new single called “Poisoned (with love and hate)” with a free compilation content the following stuff; our last two EPs, some songs from the “…And a Crow Brings Me Back” album, “Among Two Storms” the Rotting Christ cover released on Tribute Compilation CD, “Fire in the Sky” Ozzy´s cover, and the unreleased song from the Camilla Franklin age called “Living a lie”, around 18 tracks representing part from the male/female vocals age.
ZEPHYR: About live performance…any plans for tours, shows, festivals lately?
Dewindson Wolfheart: We were negotiating some gigs, beside of AMORPHIS and POISONBLACK here in Brazil, but I’m not sure whether they are gonna happen or not, because on the last weeks, we decided keep the focus on the next album. After the release, then we´ll return to negotiate the European tour by ON FIRE booking agency. Also, on the next year we´ll have a South and Central American tour, our agency STORMBLAZE entertainment is planning with us do it. In this exact moment we are concentrated on the next album.
ZEPHYR: The social media is quite a big chance for promotion at world-wide scale. Tell me about the people’s feedback around the world?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Yes, I agree with you about it, the social media renew the way which we used to disclose our music, now we are closer and in a permanent contact with our audience, fans, promoters, entrepreneurs, producers and other musician friends!
That´s really great, because we have a good feedback from several different places around the World, Indian, Korea, Japan, Africa, Israel… but according to the Google statistics, the most interested fans who access our official web site and visited the official Facebook’s page are from United States at first, Germany at second and Brazil at third. They send message inbox or e-mails with nice words about our music…
I would like to join this interview to thank these people who access our official pages on the internet and who supports disclose the RAVENLAND´s music around the world. Thanks Ravens!
ZEPHYR: How can our readers find out more about RAVENLAND and gain access to your music? Do you have an official website?
ZEPHYR: Anything else that you would like to share?
Dewindson Wolfheart: Yes, first, thank you so much for your support to the music and I´d like to say something to all readers: Never give up of your dreams, go ahead and you´ll be successful and happy always doing what you love to do!
ZEPHYR: Thanks for share your time in this interview and let us enjoy your music. Love, kisses and hugs!