Bio: Clutter’s a progressive metal band from Portugal started by me, Gonçalo Crespo (guitars/production/songwriting). It started as a studio project, a collection of my home recorded songs that eventually came to life with the help of some friends. After a small period of peaceful growth with the release of the first EP, “Emergence”, the band went through some hard times and all members left. With an album on the oven, I got new members to raise the band back up and, finally, things started rolling again, with renewed strength and a lot of dedication. The band’s formation is now solid with Sergio Ferreira (drums), João Vendeirinho (vocals), Diogo Barbosa (guitars) and Miguel “SakE” Pessanha (guitars). The spot for a bass player is still being studied.
Genre: Our genre is bound to change slightly with every new record. As It all started with me recording stuff at home everything I compose felt natural. I took inspiration by artists that I admire for doing that exact same thing, which is recording albums and other crazy stuff with technology that is now available to everyone. Now, with the help of the band, with whom I’m very happy to work with, I can’t tell what’s coming next, but you can always expect some groove!
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements: This new album that we just released, “Obisidan”, is a different product when compared to our first EP. It has this whole concept behind it, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. The whole album is linked to a story I wrote about a girl, a martyr of a revolution in a fascist country from a not so distant future. She ends up in jail where she’s put to sleep, then she’s induced a dream in which she’s a stone for eternity (The Obsidian Dream). This thematic inspired me to give this release a heavier approach, which can be felt on songs such as “The Entrance part II” or “The Enemy”.
Lyrics, themes and concepts: I started answering this on a previous topic but I can add that the lyrics in “Obsidian” tell the story of that girl, the martyr, from the moment that she’s put to sleep (when she enters the Obsidian Dream) to the moment when she decides to wake up (yes she does it willingly!). Eventually we get to know that she’s got real mojo, like a true super hero, as she gathers strength from all her anger. She even manages to fall asleep within the Obsidian Dream to search herself for clues on how to get out of there. Then there she is, confronted by a shadowy figure, some part of herself that knows all the answers that she’s hiding from, and this prophet (the figure) tells her that she needs to kill herself in order to move on. There’s a lot more to this new album but I guess people will have to read it on our bandcamp page if they are interested, I don’t want to keep spoiling it!
Ideas about the album: Are you happy with the album? I can say that I am, we all are. This album took its toll on me ‘though, I’ve been working on it for more than a year and I almost gave up on it several times. But that’s all part of the past thanks to the support of my bandmates! It could probably be a better product if the band’s structure didn’t break almost 2 years ago. I could have deleted it and re-written all of it with the new band but I chose not to because it also represents a period of my life in which I learned a lot and grew as a musician and even as a person. I look at it as a new beginning!
Reception: The overall reception was good, all 250 free downloads were used in the first 4 hours after the release, and then people started to buy it. We feel very happy about how people seem to be enjoying our work. We’re now preparing our live performance to make a release party for the physical version of the record.
Preference; live or studio: We haven’t had much of a road experience so far, so I’d have to say that I’m really excited about it! I really love being on the road ‘though and I’m looking forward to start recording new stuff.
Next step; live or studio: That’s the main objective right now! We are looking forward to start hitting the road. We are finishing some minor adjustments and then our goal is to play as much as we can.
Future plans: I see a lot of work to be done. We’re really excited to start playing live and I am really looking forward to our next record, to hear the band’s thoughts on songwriting and see which musical approach we’ll take next.
Composers: Although this is a process that’s going to change in the near future, I wrote most of the songs and lyrics for this new record, exception made for track 4 which was written by Helio Sanna, a former clutter member, and track 11 which SakE and I wrote together. Sergio also helped me with some lyrics and concepts. Now that I know that I can count on this new band formation, you can expect our next stuff to be more Clutter and less Gonçalo.
Inspirations: I began this project inspired by artists such as Keith Merrow and Bulb, who made awesome music at home. Though I’m a very open minded person and I can say the same regarding my bandmates. I think you can even hear some gothic rock influences in a few choruses!
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: We’d never go metal to please an audience, especially in Portugal.
Greatest Accomplishment: I think that my greatest accomplishment and I’m sorry that I’m taking all these questions so personally, was to get to know and work with such amazing people. I love y’all guys!
Anything else? We have lots of love to give you all, be ready to take it!