The Brazilian metal band Skin Culture became with no doubt one of the biggest Brazilian´s names on this new generation of metal/rock . In only 8 years the band achieved great tours with bands like: Sepultura, Korn, Ill Nino, P.O.D, Soulfly and other huge bands. With three albums and 1 DVD [documentary] explaining how Skin Culture became respected players in the music industry. Currently S.C is working on their next album The Flame Still Burns Strong. The album features guest appearances from Luiz Arthur [This Grace Found] Desi Hyson [The Original Wailers – former Bob Marley’s band] , Danny Couto and Ahrue Luster [Ill Niño] and much more … Below an Interview with Shucky Miranda.
This year has been restless for Skin Culture. Constant changes of line-up, intense touring schedule, recording process… this must’ve been the busiest year for you all, hasn’t it?
Shucky Miranda: That’s true, it’s hard to have a band in Brazil without any financial support. This was a decisive factor for the departure of the ex musicians of the band, because we all have families, kids and they couldn’t conciliate the band with their responsibilities. But our friendship still remains strong and this is what really matters. Even the delay on the new CD’s release was due to that, but we’re moving on.
What does 2012 still hold for Skin Culture?
Shucky: Amid a flurry of events such as exchanging members, studio and recordings, we still have done everything possible to keep the flame of the band; this happens on stage, because there’s no better place for you to exorcise the demons like the gigs.
In February and March we put on some gigs along with Soulfly in Brazil and Argentina and in September we played again with Sepultura. I believe that by the endo f this year we’ll still get some important gigs besides finally release the new studio CD.
Shucky: Skin Culture has always been my personal Project, and with that I always serached for musicians who could represent the band not just with a great professional effort, but also represent and respect what Skin Culture truly is. Nathan Soler (bass) has already played in the band and came just to replace the ex bassist Gustavo Tognetti to the show with Soulfly in Argentina, but he ended up staying to perform all shows definitely. Beto Nalin (guitar): we even shared the stage with his former band (Trino) in Vitória (Espírito Santo, Brazil). He appeared right in the middle of a transition of musicians and joining forces with us. Tueu Isaac (guitar) I knew him from a long time ago when He played with Slot (Thrash/Death Metal band from Suzano, São Paulo, Brazil); and was due to the fact he’s a guitarist of a more extreme sound that I invited him to join the new team. Because I want to redeem more of my musical influences in this new CD. Marcos Deep (drums) was introduced to us by Raul Dipeas (new CD producer) in the beginning of the recording process of the new album when Doug Silva (ex drummer) decided to left the band to dedicate himself to his personal Studio and his family. He, on the contrary of Tueu, who came from the extreme scene, isn’t a drummer of metal music, his musical lines are into jazz, fusion and funk, and this is pretty good to be explored by the band.
The recording process of the álbum “The Flame Burn Strong” started over a year ago. Did the new members that joined the group in that time bring any new Idea, or everything we’ll hear in this CD is what was previously written?
Shucky: With the old line-up we recorded the preview of the new CD in Santos (São Paulo, Brazil) with Bruno Armentano (from Ataque Verbal). Then, when the problems of the former musicians started, I moved on, working with the producer Raul Dipeas, until stabilize the new line-up of the band and, obviously, we put a new layout on the whole álbum.
We could explore many ideas, for example, record all the guitar riffs with 8-string guitars, bringing a heavier and clean sonority, drums are also in first line and the bass, insane. Vocals are also being worked thoroughly. It’s worth to wait!!!
Early this year you opened for Soulfly. There are few days to Sepultura concert and I know that there’s a chance for you to open for Cavalera Conspiracy, too. I think that it must’ve been a huge emotion to play with these names which are reference around the world, besides, how many bands had the chance to do all this in the same year? This shows that the name of Skin Culture is being well appreciated, doesn’t it?
Shucky: Dude, we’ve worked hard indeed to attend these very, very important shows to us. To be honest, there’s nothing about this thing of be “well appreciated” or not, what really matters is to have the right contacts in the right time. Of course that the release of its career counts a lot and opens so many doors, like the fact that we were invited by Fieldy to open for Korn at Credicard Hall (São Paulo, Brazil) in 2010. We’ll take all the opportunities we can with the gigs to show our new CD.
The band started playing a unique style of New Metal, then paving it with a blend of Metalcore and Groove Metal and a bit of Thrash Metal. By the way, the band was already classified as “New Metal” on Humangedom… what do you think about that label? How can your style be defined?
Shucky: Skin Culture is a band of Rock music very heavy, it has no label. Our style is Skin Culture, the songs are naturally constructed according to what we feel and live. The music of Skin Culture will never have a single style, because we play what we Love. This gives us total freedom to add other music cultures to the music we make; this is Skin Culture. I don’t care about labels and I have nothing against New Metal. The important thing is that the band must be honest and make good music. As all styles have their good bands, they also have bad bands. If New Metal has good bands, I’ll listen to them with pleasure.
Do you think that music really influences people’s lives, and what do you think about secular music?
Shucky: With all certainty of the world, music moves nations and behaviors. Music only doesn’t change the character of people because they were born with their characters already formed, but it can influence your attitudes and decisions. When you have wisdom to absorb or not the music and its content, you’ll have discernment to manage your life, whether it’s secular, cultural, gospel or not.
There’s no secular or gospel music, but lyrics with a goal. Music is universal.
Don’t you think the music of Skin Culture is too aggressive to talk about God, once Jesus is peace, love and meekness?
Shucky: The music of Skin culture is made for who don’t know this God that offers this peace, love and meekness. Youth, today, is aggressive, violent and without control. They no longer respect their parents, not even concern about who God is. Our music is not to please the believers, but to lead this lost youth to a path of righteousness, love and respect to the neighbor, as Jesus taught. In August, Skin Culture completed 8 years of career; what are the worst and the best moments of this journey and what would you say to those who just started out?
Shucky: I can consider myself a great winner, because Skin Culture achieved several victories. I was able to take its music to places and people far from fully exploited, especially without the proper financial support, this is a miracle for me. We’re privileged, undoubtedly.
Shucky: We have many obstacles and dreams to be achieved yet, and in 2013 we’ll put all this on practice. We have to keep fighting to overcome many obstacles, such as achieve our first American and European tour. We also intend to release an album only made of versions of bands that influenced my life as a musician, making me get to Skin Culture, plus an official DVD of the band.
If it’s possible make a brief comment about each song of the new work, what we can expect lyrically and instrumentally.
Shucky: We still can’t give informations of each song with details, because when a band is in studio, many things can change. A great example of this is the song “Here I Preach”, which I wrote exclusively for the participation of Sonny (P.O.D.), and their new recording label didn’t allow him, claiming to not authorize participation with independent bands. With that, I had to rehash the intention of the music and I invited Luiz Arthur from This Grace Found to be part of it. About the lyrics content, I stand strong in my convictions, the choice of the paths you follow, family values and salvation in Jesus Christ. In this album I’m kind of intimating the kids to open their eyes before it’s too late.
Did you suffer some boycott or prejudice because of the Christian posture of the band in many of its lyrics?
Shucky: A few weeks before the show with Sepultura, some black metal guys came and asked on my Facebook profile if we are a band that speaks of Jesus; I answered ‘yes’ and they said they wouldn’t attend the concert anymore. I said to them “each one goes with your truth”!
Shucky, have you always been a Christian? Do you mind to tell us your story along with Christianism?
Shucky: I converted to Christianism in 1997 but I ended up diverting. In 2003 I renewed my vows with Jesus after going to a reunion and God used a pastor to talk to me. I had arrived late there, and stood there in the doorway watching it, because it was already at the middle of the preaching. That was when the pastor called me and said in front of everyone: GOD IS THE ONE SPEAKING HERE, AMEN?? “SON, IF I TOLD YOU THAT YOU WOULD GO TO EVERY CORNER OF THIS EARTH TO PLAY, WHO ARE YOU TO ABNEGATE THE GIFTS I GAVE TO YOU?? YOU SHALL GO, BUT TO PROCLAIM MY NAME”. That was when I asked Him to, if He were my God Himself, then prove me if he was actually ahead of that purpose in my life… so, on that church SKIN CULTURE was born and since then you’ve seen what has happened to this band.
What bands did you have listened to recently and what are the Brazilian bands that, for you, have been highlights?
Shucky: I think music is in a moment of transition, because we’ve been through a hard time in the music industry worldwide.
Everything’s so void and without content and, mainly, everything too much equal. Today the bands are copying the formula of the bands of the 80’s and 90’s to keep themselves on duty. The last band that really brought something new was Slipknot, after they nothing has come up with something fresh. And with Skin Culture isn’t different, we’re putting everything we learned and absorb with time so the band can follow all this process.
I listen to many bands that made part of my childhood, basically Sepultura, Pantera, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Skinlab, Slipknot, Meshuggah, Soilwork etc. But I’ve listened to some things that caught my ears, such as A Plea For Purging, Sleeping Giant, Demon Hunter, M.A.N [My Own Sickness] , Dedvolt, Re-Ignition, Five Finger Death Punch etc. About national bands which I can remember now (laughs)… we have Project 46 (which is doing a really professional job) , This Grace Found , Ponto Nulo No Ceu (Santa Catarina, Brazil) , Eminence (from Belo Horizonte, which is one of the best bands of Brazil) , Error (Paraná, Brazil) , Soul Factor (Goiás, Brazil) , Mugo (Goiás, Brazil) , Puritan (Espírito Santo, Brazil) , Desalmado and some bands from Argentina that really amazed me, like: No Guerra, ST Grial and Findumonde (which is a mix of Napalm Death with Cannibal Corpse) among many others. We have many cool bands out there, you just need to know to explore!!!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you. Feel free to make the final remarks.
Shucky: I want to thank you once again for the opportunity that we have to be here to show the power of the Brazilian Metal and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless you all.
Written by Márllon Matos
Translated by Carol Mariana
Current Line Up:
Beto Nalin – 8 strings guitar
Tueu Isaac – Lead Guitar
Shucky Miranda – Vocals
Nathan Soler – Bass
Marcos Deep – Drums .