Interview with WEB

Original Portuguese version here:

Founded in 1986, WEB is almost a legend of the national metal. Like many other bands of its genre, they’ve suffered several adversities through the years; but, as few, they’ve always managed to overcome them and impersonate the word “persistence” that’s on one of the band’s t-shirts. Having released their second album, “Deviance”, in March, it was Backstage’s cue to talk to them.

Backstage Music Forum: Hi boys! Let’s start with the most mediatic subject, which is your new album. You’ve been playing live, already since 2007, some of the songs from “Deviance”, like “Mortal Soul” or “As We Crawl”. Why only now the album?

Web: The songs “Mortal Soul” and “As We Crawl” were written not much after the release of “World Wide Web”. We started to play them live because we wanted to show new material to the public while the album wasn’t complete. The fact that the 2nd album took so much to be released is related to the devotion that WEB put on their live shows, leaving little time to songwriting. That’s why we decided to take a break in 2010, so we had the chance to write more songs and polish some rough edges on others.

BMF: How did you choose Paulo Lopes and the SoundVision Studios for this work?

Filipe Ferreira: When we were “querying” for a possible recording studio, we heard from some bands friends of ours that great works had come out from SoundVision Studios and we should consider recording there. So we decided to arrange a meeting there with Paulo (Lopes). He showed us the studio, the conditions he works under and some of the works recorded there. We liked his job and especially his philosophy and his working method. We chose SoundVision and we’re very happy with that choice!

BMF: What about the title? Why “Deviance” and what’s the concept behind the artwork which represents it?

Filipe: Most songs in the album talk about deviations of human behaviour, psychiatric disorders and introspection. Meaning there’s a focus on the mind/spirit. “Deviance” is defined as a deviation from the normal behaviour, from what’s considered acceptable by society and we thought it was the perfect title for what we wanted to transmit. The face that features on the cover doesn’t intend to represent one individual in particular, but the different “characters” on the songs in general. The paper clippings represent his thoughts, memories and life events. By pushing them one by one (and in this case through the eyes, which are “the mirrors of the soul”), he gains conscience of them and eventually understands himself better (a little like psychoanalysis). The clipping he’s removing is blank as he isn’t totally aware of it yet. The bandages aim to show he’s ill, that he’s “damaged”.

BMF: Why is it that “You” (song in memory of late singer David Duarte) wasn’t included in this album? Do you intend to record it later?

Victor Matos: When we started to define the album structure, we soon realised that “You” didn’t fit the “philosophy” of the other songs, it seemed like it was just another track to make it full instead of making it richer. So we opted to leave it out. Given the meaning which “You” has to us, there are strong possibilities of recording it one day, yes.

BMF: In “Life Aggression”, “House Of Salvation” and “The Journey” you used 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars. Was it something you had already thought about or did it come spontaneous during the recordings, sort of “let’s see how this sounds here”?

Filipe: Those parts were already composed when we entered the studio. The idea of using 6-string acoustic guitars was pre-established. However, during the pre-production, when listening to the outro of “Life Aggression”, Paulo suggested a 12-string guitar as well. We liked the sound and result so much that decided to try it in several other places. I think it brought a very interesting resonance to the parts where it’s been applied.

BMF: And the almost 11 minutes of “The Journey”? That was also something completely different for WEB

Pedro Soares: Yes, it was different and, at the same time, intentional. The goal of creating a more epic theme, more theatrical, more doom, was something long determined and now it felt like the perfect time, given the context of the album. It has acoustic passages and restless ones, it has agitated but sad parts, and others which are explosive and violent! We managed to create a diverse atmosphere but its predominance is based on the lyrics.

BMF: You are, undoubtedly, a thrash metal band – but there are several shades of doom in this album (and I know that at least one of you is a fan of CANDLEMASS). Which bands inspired you the most during the writing process of “Deviance”?

WEB: We’re all fans of CANDLEMASS:D The truth is that each one of us has his own strongest influences and they all end mixed up in the moment of writing and making arrangements. Among them are (without any specific order): MEGADETH, NEVERMORE, SLAYER, BLACK SABBATH, OPETH, DREAM THEATER… who’s up for more? ;)

BMF: Back in the “World Wild Web” times you filmed a video, “The Valley Of The Sacred Souls”. Now that YouTube is more popular than ever, do you have any plans to film another? And would you like to make it with any song in particular?

Pedro: We thought about it and it’s still under analysis! We knew our time investment would be directed towards the recordings so Filipe could leave to Spain to study between October 2010 and February 2011. So the video would have to be filmed before – but before we were all in the studio. It’s a postponed situation but which we’ll try to turn into reality when possible.

BMF: WEB see their 25th anniversary in October. I believe it’s fair to say that this is the strongest/most stable stage of the band. But in the “shaken” hours, with all the line-up changes and so on… have you ever thought about giving up?


BMF: And what you think has changed in the national underground in these 25 years? What got better and worse, generally speaking?

Victor: The national underground is evolving in a more mature way, unlike the “boom” we had in the middle of the ‘90s. People (bands, public, promoters, etc.) have a more mature and wiser attitude concerning not subdividing even more this style, this way of being. Fans of death, black, doom, thrash, power, etc., they all mingle now at concerts and celebrate all together, turning some concerts and festivals into big parties.

BMF: Filipe, how does it feel to be as old as the band itself? :) 

Filpe: It’s always a good way of “breaking the ice” when talking about my relationship with WEB! Eh eh! For me it’s weird to think that WEB is 25 years old! I don’t look at the band with that thought because these people (we 4) work with the same enthusiasm and dedication of a band of “newbies” in the beginning of their career. Apart from the bigger experience, I don’t see the weight of time on the band.

BMF: The release of “Deviance” is celebration enough or can we expect something else to celebrate the “Silver Anniversary”?

Pedro: “Silver Anniversary” is a funny expression but WEB are more wrought iron and rusted metal! The release of the second album is an important mark but it will be only part of the celebration of these 25 years of WEB’s life! We’re preparing a birthday party for the last trimester of the year where we want, once again, to provide an excellent night to everyone who’ll give us the pleasure of their presence! Party menu? We’ll announce it in due time! Stay tuned!

BMF: Thank you, guys, and keep up the good work!

WEB: Thank you so much for the support! Stay thrash!

About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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