Not counting this year the interview with Extreme Noise Terror, and some years ago with Protector, i beleive, i made the most interesting interview this year with Howard brother via e-mail, at least for myself.
Today for those, home this name, Incubus or the cult thrash-death albums titles as Serpent Temptation or Beyond the Unknown say something are about 30 years old (or they’ve already passed it). This is not the rock-pop band, which is popular nowadays between youth, but the monster from Metair borned in 86. It can be mentioned as an interesting fact, that Francis left his fingerprints in the songs of Cannibal Corpse – Skull Full of Maggots and Sepultura – Stronger Than Hate, and now let’s what we’ve been talking!
First of all, I really would like to thank you for this interview, the truth is, I wanted this for a time now, but I didn’t know what the topic of the interview should be, so the finishing of the new album was a perfect timing. And because I already mentioned it, what exactly should we know about the new material (as I saw on your myspace site, you have no bass guitarist now), and after such a history, how come it will be published by the authors? Didn’t you find a publisher yet or you didn’t even looked for one?
(Francis) First I would like to thank you Zoli for this great opportunity to be feature in this great interview, well concerning the Record companies we decided to release our new 12 songs online only for now, but we are now negotiating with other Record companies to release our 12 songs on physical CD only, we will have all the rights for online sales and since we did all the recording production and cover, etc..
Our fans Worldwide can purchase our new song for our new album Mandatory Evac by going thru our www.myspace.com/opprobrium and there they will find the link for Indistr to download our new songs.
Concerning a Bass guitarist for this recording as usual as I did for most of my albums Beyond the Unknown , Discerning Forces and now Mandatory Evac I did all the bass. But we have some great people in mind and if everything works out ok, we will have a great bass player that loves music , just like we do.
(Moyses) And we thank you for this interview my friend. We will be auditioning bassists
soon. Also we would like to mention that we have been pick up by Poland’s Metal Mind Productions and all our earlier albums will be re-released by them along with our new album Mandatory Evac on November 3, 2008 in Poland, November 10, 2008 in Europe and on January 20 of 2009 in the U.S.A. (North-America) and we are very happy by it and to work with MMP, they’re great!
I just mentioned the past, don’t you think that choosing this name wasn’t really lucky? (Though the meaning of the word Incubus matches what you stand for, however at the time of your ‘birth’ in ’86, there was another band in Florida called the same and the half of Morbid Angel‘s people were part of it.)
(Francis) It was real difficult back in 1986 to know if there were other bands with such name, hell back then there was no cell phone, internet LOL, It was a brutal time to start a band, band now days have it made, they can even record their own song and release it online without a record label. It’s much easier now I think. Thru that when we were called Incubus the name did not match, cause we were never a Black Metal band, Our lyrics is about real life and Christianity. To tell you the truth Zoli, I prefer our new band name now OPPROBRIUM, because I really like the meaning of the name and it does match what we are as a Death/Thrash band.
(Moyses) Back in ‘86 we thought that we were the only Incubus on earth. We were really young back then and our middle brother Reginaldo who painted the 1988 Serpent Temptation album cover got it from the dictionary and he suggested to us and we tought it was cool!
We just wanted a brutal death metal name. But I really have to agree with Francis, I think that the Opprobrium name really represents this band and our music, and yes I must say. That the Incubus name was cool, but a little too Satanic for us, which in our case we really never were or will be, we just play brutal and musical death metal with a message.
We prefer to talk about the everyday sufferings and struggles of mankind and touch on what we as human beings have to go thru in this life.
So finally you had the problem of not tradmarking your name? Surely was it necessary after two LPs? Is it more tiresome that a rock-pop-metal band took the name instead of a simply pop or perhaps rap band snatched it away from you?
(Francis) To tell you the truth Zoli, We did try to keep the name, but since Worldwide we could keep it and not in the US due to it’s Trademark laws here, we decided to change the name, yes, it did heart us in the beginning because there are lot of Incubus fan out there that does not know we changed our name to OPPROBRIUM, but that’s water under the bridge now, All I see is a great musical future for my band and I think That our new album Mandatory Evac speaks for itself, that it’s brutal and the best album we ever done.
(Moyses) Yes, it was hard to change the name years ago, specially with the close release date of Discerning Forces in 2000, but after some time the word got around and the Incubus name is now in the history books of this band. The important thing is the music that we do, and our new record Mandatory Evac shall solidify that our fans knows that we are Opprobrium now and Incubus is another band.
The Serpent Temptation‘s original ’88 record version (and if I’m right it was STEREO – you know I mean the pirate „Maxel” tape and the cover was photo sticked in – back then I first met your music in this way at the age of 14, haha). So there are lots of myth around here, but the thing that’s sure that it was released by Brutal Records and only on LP, and Scot Latour was singing it, and then the lyrics were changed and then the cover and finally Francis was singing it. Why did Scot leave the band and why was this different version necessary? – because if I’m right the music didn’t change at all, but Scot‘s voice was brutal at some places, but funny at other places.
(Francis) Well, Serpent Temptation was released on LP and Cassettes at that time back in 1988 thru Brutal records and Metal Works. The first version of Serpent Temptation was Scot singing, Then we’ve rerecorded Serpent Temptation with me singing later in the 90‘s.
Scot is a real cool guy, very professional and very friendly too, But when he left the band, I think he was going thru a very difficult time in his life at the time. Scot and I are still good friends, and we hope that in the future, we can do a show together again, like I said, He is an awesome bass player, I wish him and his family all the best, Scot is a great guy.
(Moyses) Yeah, we recently got in touch with him after many years, it was really cool to talk to him after all this time. As for the Serpent Temptation record, the 1994 version sang by Francis was something that we wanted to try like a separated project, it was cool. I see the original and the remake as two different albums, both have it’s strong points, but on the original 1988 version I think it’s a very dark album, and Scot’s vocal gave that darkness and that morbid feeling, and now days, our fans worldwide say it’s a classic, a masterpiece and that make us very happy.
Which cover was made by whom? (I mean all of them, and which one’s appearance did you like the best)
(Francis) Serpent Temptations cover was done by my middle brother Reginaldo, The re-release of Serpent Temptation , Beyond the Unknown and Discerning Forces was done by other great Artist, our new album cover was done by me, The concept idea was my brother Moyses and I. To tell you the truth, All covers for me are great looking.
(Moyses) I think Francis said it all.
The Serpent Temptation is a heavy and raw thrash death, which was followed by the more strain and technical-complex Beyond the Unknown two years later. For me personally Serpent was the determining one, but in light of elaboration and ideas, Beyond is obviously the better one. How do you see it, and what kind of bands, feelings, books, movies – or anything had an influence on you?
(Francis) Influences, well, I never had them when it comes to writing my own songs, but when I write my own songs I do keep in the music style of Death/Thrash. In the beginning when I was learning the guitar I was a big fan o Vivian Campbell the guitarist from DIO, and I did enjoy a lot of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden back then when I was like 15, 16 years of age. Van Halen and Steve Vai are some also that influenced me to pick up the guitar and start playing.
All listen to all kinds of music, if it sounds good I am there jamming to it, Concerning books I do enjoy Metal Magazines, and any other magazine that has something that I am interested on the spot. But when it comes to movie, I enjoy Super Heroes movies.
(Moyses) We only were moved by raw speed and brutality in every riff, every drum beat and every song we did for those albums, I think that we were technical since Serpent Temptation, being the drummer, I must say that we were only much faster in the debut. Both albums speak for itself, It’s like both “S.T.” and “B.T.U” are brothers in a sense, but Serpent Temptation being the wilder of the two. I love both albums! As for influences, we only think about what we are doing when me and Francis writes a song, it’s just something that we do.
Exactly when and why did the band break up? According to more Internet portals, Mark Lavenia was singing and playing the bass guitar in the band until ’92 – I don’t have any certain information, whether this is right (you could clear up everything now), so this means there was supposed to a third LP? – if yes, you are late 10 years with the first Discerning Forces. If the story of Incubus was a film, and the you were the directors, what would you change? Where would you rewind the tape and where should scenes be cut off?
(Francis) Well, Mark was our bass player back in the Beyond The Unknown release, But he was never the singer, he only played Bass, Mark is a real great guy, we had a lot of fun when we were Touring in Europe, He’s super cool.
I think the only mistake that I regret was, staying out of the scene for sow long, that would be the scene that I would cut from my past. But thank God we are back now, the World of metal needs us LOL.
(Moyses) Yeah, I only wish we had continued, but certain things in the past made us take this long break. We never broke up as a band, as me and Francis is the back bone of Opprobrium, but now we back in action with a vengeance! Get ready for Opprobrium!
What do you think of present day’s leading trendy genres? About the fact that the big thrash metal bands (let me not mention any) also joined the row of core bands, you always remained loyal to what you have been standing for. Honest and true thing, but the road of the band was never going upwards, you became cults, and eBay sells your albums on horribilic prices. How do you see the past now in the present?
(Francis) Well, I think that every band must follow their heart, Music is an emotion and if other band decides to change style, more power to them. As for us (OPPROBRIUM) we remain true and brutal. True that we became cult but we are not dead , we are back, stronger then ever. We are aiming for the top now and we must have our true fans support by spreading the word that we are back, because it is the fans that makes the band known, if it wasn’t for them we would not be here, I thank them all, they are great and very honest about everything that we do.
When I see my past and present, I must admit, in a way we are starting all over again, it’s not easy, but we keep going and going and going, This band now is here to stay, check out our new songs and you will know what I mean.
(Moyses) It certainly have change. We now see those twenty something year old dudes with this hybrid system of hardcore/punk metal bands with a little death in it everywhere, sometimes looking licking Blink 182 or something! I don’t really absorve them images and their songs don’t even have guitar solos! It’s all weird man! Some new stuff now days are ok, but this new generation is far way from playing the true and original speed/thrash and death metal style. I think we need more bands playing real metal, not a hybrid system of metal. I think Opprobrium can inspire younger bands to carry on the tradition.
Can you mention bands you were listening to back then and today as well? And perhaps some new ones but still good?
(Francis) Back then we would listen to Sabbath, Maiden, Dio, Van Hallen, now days I listen to everything, I listen to everything that sounds good. I like listening to Segovia, his an amazing classical acoustic guitarist, like I said, if it sounds good I listen if not, I change the station LOL.
(Moyses) Yeah, Maiden, The Police, Boston, Black Sabbath, Rush the old stuff, Motörhead, Van Halen,Venom, Blue Cheer to mention a few. Now days I go for what sounds good to me, not necessarily metal, but any style in general. Being a drummer, I’m listening to a lot of jazz lately. Stuff like Buddy Rich, and many other classic jazz drummers is really entertaining to me. I even listen to the old new wave like A Flock of Seagulls, Devo and Wall of Voodoo.
What did the meaning of the word death mean to you, I ask this because it was a central theme on both of your albums, and it appears also on Opprobrium disks?
(Francis) Well, I strongly believe in an All Supreme God and Jesus Christ, but there word Death means only that Death, on our past album we always spoke of the fight against good and evil, stuff that we go thru everyday. Many people think that Metal is about Evil, well it is not, Metal is only a form o music, There are lot of great Metal band out there that write lyrics with meaning. We also write lyrics with meaning, for an example, our new album entitled Mandatory Evac it’s about Hurricanes, I don’t know if you knew, but we were hit by Hurricane Katrina, we lost everything there, it left a mark inside of me, that is why our new album was entitled Mandatory Evac I like to write about real things, for me it has more meaning.
(Moyses) Death to me is only this; death. I’m a Christian, raised as Catholic but now I only focus in the scriptures, and yes I have being thought where do we go and who is the first person that you see when you die. Probably that’s why we play death metal!
How old are you? Do you have a family and what do you do besides playing music?
(Francis) Well, I don’t believe in age, for me it’s all genetics, I am 39, I am divorced, no kids at the moment, but in the future I do want one.
I consider myself very down to Earth, a musician. As far as my personal life goes, I enjoy family and friends, I love going to Bar-B-Q’s and Drink beer with great music, well, I am a simple type of guy that plays Metal LOL. My favorite futbol team is Vasco from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
(Moyses) I’m 41 right now. Married and planning to have my first child next year if God’s willing. I have work on many different occupations. I love watch to movies and drink a nice cold beer on the beaches in Florida or in Brazil, and my passion is football (Brazilian football), my favorite team in Brazil is America Futebol Club from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (1914) AFC-RN.
Would you like to send a message to the readers of Fémforgács?
(Francis) To all the readers I would like to only say that, check out our new 12 songs ready for download on our Myspace website. And we are now working on where we will play our first show after so long. And keep reading Femforgacs, it’s a great place to stay updated on your favorite band.
(Moyses) Thank you all for reading this interview and for you support for Opprobrium! We hope to play in you city during our European tour next year. Also thanks to Femforgacs for having us here. And please check out our official Opprobrium Myspace site for band news and informations. Thank you all once again and keep on metal!
How good is Metairie for living, what should we know about it, and how well known is the name Incubus or Opprobrium in your native town? (I assume your first concert was there, probes and it’s the place where you recorded the Supernatural Death demos – is there perhaps any personal experience?)
(Francis) Well Metairie, was a great place to live before Katrina, as of now we are living in Tampa, Florida so I really couldn’t say. We are well known in the Metal community of Metairie, and yes, that was the place we recorded our first demo Supernatural Death.
(Moyses) Metairie is a quiet small town close to downtown New Orleans, where all the action is like clubs, bars and restaurants. We recorded our demo Supernatural Death in Metairie. We are known not only in our hometown of Metairie, New Orleans but in all the state of Louisiana, where we are considered as a the main death metal band. We were the first death metal band in the state of Louisiana back in ‘86 and yes Metairie was the first place that we played as Incubus, in a pub opening for a heavy metal band back then, it was fun! But we played there way before we formed Incubus as another band, that played mainly heavy metal covers along with some old original material, that was back in ‘84, ‘85. Metairie is where we first landed since we first came to the U.S. from Brazil, there where we spended our childhood, went to school, worked and started to play music and formed Incubus. So there’s lots of memories of Metairie. We’ve been living in Tampa, Florida for about 3 years now since we got hit by the hurricane in ‘05, and as of right now we decided to live here permanently, since we are already established in here with our families, but we missed it very much and Metairie and New Orleans never became the same before the hurricane Katrina in August of 2005.
What do your parents say about you playing music? Could they accept that both of their sons joined the army of metal, haha?
(Francis) My parents loves Metal, they are very open minded, they support us in everything that we do concerning our music, I am very close to my parents. And yes they have accepted that we are all in the army of Metal LOL
(Moyses) At the beginning I started to work as a kid to buy me a drum kit and my parents used to get mad because I was spending all my money on it, ha, ha, ha. But with the release our first record Serpent Temptation they saw things getting more professional then they started to respect our work and supporting us! Now they are very proud with what we do. We now can seat down with our father and talk about death metal, the music business, bands and he will know everything, not so much for my mother, she knows some stuff! Ha, ha, ha! But my father is always there for us, and also my mother! My father is like another band member of Opprobrium! Our parents are awesome and we have to thank them for all the love and support over the years.
Something you’d like to say at the end?
(Francis) I would like to thank you Zoli for this original interview with very cool questions, I would like to thank our fans around the World and also check out our www.myspace.com/opprobrium website in order to buy our new album Mandatory Evac via download. Because it is only available for now via our website!
(Moyses) Thank you Zoli for this great interview and Femforgacs for featuring us here! Your support is really appreciated friend! I would also like to thank all the Opprobrium fans out there for all the support over the years and don’t forget to get a copy of our new album Mandatory Evac on Metal Mind Productions records. And hope to see you guys on our European tour in 2009!
Thanks for the interview and the opportunity, the Opprobrium is not such a name that can suffer all the things happened before, take care!
Here you can donwload the quite a lot mentioned original Serpent Temptation by Scot Latour from 88, which has been realised by Brutal Records only on vinyl.