Brazilian rockers Black Bell Tone have recently unveiled their album. The latter is indeed now available on major streaming platforms. The band is now here to talk about this new release, as well as their upcoming plans!
Picture: Letícia Moura
Hello, Black Bell Tone! Thanks for taking time to answer a couple of questions for us. How are you guys doing?
We are great! We hope you are fine too! Thank you for this opportunity to talk aboute the release of our new album and video!
How would you describe the Brazilian alternative rock scene, overall?
Rock music in Brazil as in much of the world has not been part of the mainstream for a long time. However, the quality of productions and quantity of excellent bands is amazing! Every week on Spotify and Youtube we see new singles, videos and albums coming out. And it’s getting harder and harder to keep up. In the past decade, a circuit of independent festivals has been happening, gathering audiences of 20, 30 thousand people with alternative or independent bands. After a long time between the end of the record companies and the present moment, it seems that things are finally moving forward for the bands.
You’ve just released your new álbum, “Engenho Que Fabrica Opinião”. Would you mind introducing this release to our readers?
“Engenho that Manufactures Opinion” is our first album. It has 12 songs, 8 in portuguese and 4 in english. There is no absolute translation for the word “Engenho” which gives the full meaning of the title. Basically, “Engenho” was the place where slaves worked at the time of colonial Brazil. Brazil, for decades, has brought slaves from Africa who were forced to work in the sugar cane fields.
In the album title, we make a comparison of this whole system where slaves produced sugar with today’s system where “virtual slaves” manufacture opinions for whoever can pay the price. The theme of the album revolves around issues such as modern society. The digital age and the anguish and contradictions of our time. Where the technology that could ultimately bring people together has only generated more detachment and polarization.
How was your writing process for this record?
The production of the album began on the first day we band met in the studio to rehearse, two and a half years ago. We always intended to release a full album. But as we knew it would be a long time before we had all the songs arranged and ready to record, we decided to release some singles and videos first. This helped us to introduce the band to more people who have been following our work on social networks and now are waiting for the album.
Most of the songs came out spontaneously in the studio or eventually someone brought a melody and we played togheter until we had a full song. All lyrics were written by Taba Kuntz (lead vocal and guitar). But the themes were discussed and improved throughout the process, which contributed to a convergence of the record.
Which song is the one that, according to you, best represents the spirit of this álbum?
Track 2, “Love, Order, and Progress” was chosen to be the releasing single as it is a starting point for various discussions along the album. The aesthetics of the scenario and the alternation between black and white make reference to the album cover. Which is an allegory of the political polarization lived in Brazil in recent years. The song goes further and addresses how people succumbed to the possibilities of communication brought by technology. And how they have created cold and callous avatars in a virtual war to destroy opposite ideas. In the chorus, the song deals with the suppression of the word “Love” on the Brazilian flag.
The motto “Order and Progress” was influenced by Auguste Comte’s sacred formula of positivism. “Love as a principle, the order as a foundation, and progress as a goal”. However, the symbol of our nation seems to be incomplete. Coincidence or not, it seems representative that a nation is failing to establish the understanding to find peace when it lacks of the essential principle for all peoples, which is love. We will never achieve order and progress for everyone if there is no peace. And that only happens with empathy and love.
Along with this new release, do you guys plan on touring a little bit?
For sure! Initially we will do two album release shows, one in our hometown Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul – Southern Brazil). And another show in the city of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest capital and cultural hub. In 2020 we intend to do a series of shows in other states and to participate in the independent festival circuit.
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!
Thank you very much for the opportunity to spread the word about our new album. Soon our Youtube Channel will have the full album with English subtitles. Which certainly should make life easier for those who want to understand the full context of the record. We’re very excited to hear what you guys think about the album! Please send us questions, feedbacks and comments that we will be very happy to talk the people who listen Black Bell Tone outside of Brazil.