EMQ’s With ESTAMIRA
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Brazilian Death Metal/Metalcore band Estamira. Huge thanks to guitarist Clarissa Carvalho for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Clarissa Carvalho, I’m one of the guitar players in Estamira. Our band arose from the encounter of five women who had just got out from mixed (composed by women and men) metal/hardcore bands in 2007 in the Federal District (the capital of Brazil). We weren’t looking for creating a female metal band, but surprisingly, three friends met other two women. We all wanted to play heavy music and after a year we played our first concert and it was the thing we most did until 2012. We recorded only four songs at two different moments. The first demo (2009) was uploaded at myspace at that time and then we recorded two more songs in 2012 that generated both of our video clips (still available on YT). So, we decided to take a break and wait for Ludmila (vocalist) to finish her PHD in Mexico.
The “break” took 6 years because when Ludmila came back, Maiara (drummer) was pregnant; Sara (guitar player) had formed a new band; I wasn’t so excited to play the guitar anymore and I was more into drums; and Camila (bass player) was then focused on her Art PHD and living in São Paulo. We weren’t willing to end the band, but it wasn’t a good time to get back, so we waited. Our “return” was the concert we played at IV Bruxaria’s Festival in November 2019. Our plans for 2020 were to finally record our first full album and play in concerts out of our state and country. As we all know COVID-19 is making us wait again, we are taking this time apart to update our social media, producing some merchandising stuff and composing.
How did you come up with your band name?
It’s inspired by an actual woman called Estamira Gomes de Souza. She worked as a garbage collector in Rio de Janeiro, therefore, a poor black woman who had suffered many kinds of abuse. She became notorious for her philosophic wisdom, and critical view about the unequal society of Brazil. She was considered schizophrenic because of these views. She was a strong woman and her notoriety was shot in a documentary movie. So, we were shaken about the “symbolic status” in which she was placed: labelled as mad because of her untold wisdom. This is the same label all women are given here when they speak for themselves and against oppression. We feel like all women are “Estamiras” because of the madness label & status we are symbolically placed in every day when society does not treat us like citizens.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from some cities in the Federal District. We have a strong underground scene here considering the great bands we launch every year, but not so much by the support of festivals, concert halls, size of the public etc. Some of the Federal District’s 80’s punk rock bands gained national notoriety from this scene. At this time, a lot of metal bands were releasing great material too, but almost no band can make a living from heavy music in the Federal District. Regarding the music styles, I guess we live with “waves”. For instance, in the 00’s the hardcore and metalcore scene was very strong, and now it isn’t so much. Punk and heavy metal are always current, but I would risk saying that today we have a great doom stoner post rock and black metal “wave” increasing in the Federal District.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We released two videos in 2012: ‘Quem Morre Sangrando Por Mim?’ and ‘Raimunda Honório’. They’re available at YT. Our profile on Spotify will be available soon with 2 EP’s.
Quem Morre Sangrando Por Mim? (Official Video)
Raimunda Honório (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
When I was a child I listened to a lot of classic rock with my family. So, my first influences were Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, and some Brazilian rock bands such as Titãs, Paralamas do Sucesso. I still listen to it, but when I was a teenager I started to listen to grunge bands, and they became one of my great influences for the guitar. Later I started to listen to metal bands like Sepultura, Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse and then metalcore, hardcore and crust bands. I was very influenced by Lamb of God, Walls of Jericho, Meshuggah, and other bands. As I play the drums as well, I think I have a lot of influence from Type O’ Negative, Carcass and Soundgarden. Nowadays I’m more focused to know better Brazilian underground bands and, trust me, we have a lot of great bands and musicians here.
What first got you into music?
I guess Rock ’n Roll was the first symbolic place that I fitted as a personality. I started playing the guitar at 14 years old. I like the rebel feeling that rock gives us, and even the sadness feeling that comes from it sometimes. I like music because it makes me feel a lot of things that are taken from us when we spend most of our days just working. I like to express my anger, my sadness and my joy into brutal music instead of just existing, working for others and hating people.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
In Brazil I would love to play at “Abril pro Rock” that takes place in Recife and at “Facada’s Fest” in Belém, because there’s a great underground scene in the North and Northeast coasts nowadays. Abroad it would be maybe Hellfest or Obscene Extreme Fest. I Know there’s a great one in Mexico too.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A tattoo with Estamira’s name on her back. Actually, it was not a gift for me, but I think it was the biggest thing a fan did for us.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
I wish our songs made you feel anything. I hope they make you feel like putting out your anger, your joy, your sadness, if you want that. I hope they make you feel connected with some ideas you believe in.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Can’t I bring two? Yes, I can: David Bowie and Chris Cornell.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy creating songs that express what I’m feeling. I love the vibration of our concerts. I hate the sexist way that a lot of people treat women in the scene, such as when they get surprised with women making brutal music. Really?? Still? Or when they support us, hoping to focus on female bodies on the stage and not our music.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The price of instruments. They can’t be bought by everyone and it sucks.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Meshuggah – “Nothing”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
They’re different. Downloading is easier but I love the way vinyl sounds.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I‘ve just remembered that I’ve experienced an ecstasy feeling playing Estamira’s concert at Verme’s Fest last December. A tiny but great gig produced by our friends from the band Device.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Actually, being a professional musician is what I would be doing if I could live from it. Hahahah. I would enjoy being a Cultural Producer, too.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
The prudent answer is my family. I would not be silly and make the missing friends sad. hahaha
What’s next for the band?
To FINALLY launch our Spotify profile, and then record our first full album.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
As I said earlier: our Spotify profile will be available soon!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I have no idea what Jaffa Cakes are.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
It’s usual to be questioned about why we sing our songs in Portuguese. Well, it’s our mother language. Our lyrics talk about oppression and one of the greatest forms of oppression is to fit to hegemonic languages to be heard. Besides, we might not express our real feeling in a language different from ours. Sometimes there is no translation for a feeling. ALSO: buy bands’ merch, people!
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