03 Mar. 2016
Q&A With M.H.X’s Chronicles
M.H.X’s Chronicles is a young quartet from Brazil which plays some blistering melodic death metal that can’t quite be ignored. Produced at Sputnik Home Studio by Michel Oliveira and Murillo H. Xavier and released on June 1st, 2015, Infinite Ocean is the group’s first full-length and features 10 tracks of impressive playing and songwriting.
Murillo H. Xavier – Guitars & Vocals
Raphael Carvalho – Drums
Michel Oliveira – Guitars
Wallace Ribeiro – Bass
Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
M.H.X’s Chronicles was not always what it is today. I never intended to concept a band neither something beyond an instrumental project of mine. I started to compose these songs because, on that time, I was invited to play in a guitar clinic. I had no songs, so I composed our first EP (The Preface) which has 5 instrumental tracks. A lot different from our sonority today.
But the things took another way. I started listening some new stuffs and experimenting other kind of sonority. In the beginning of 2014, I called great friends who played with me in other projects to join the new “M.H.X’s Chronicles”. Michel Oliveira for the guitar, Raphael Carvalho for the drums, Wallace Ribeiro for the bass and I (Murillo H. Xavier) took the vocals and the guitars. Michel and Wallace play with me on “Code 3-7” (a Djent/Math Metal band) and Raphael Carvalho played with me on “D.Volvo” (a Prog Metal band I founded on 2009). They are excellent musicians and great brothers. They make the machine work!
What your genre means to you, or why you chose this genre basically?
When I meet the Melodic Death Metal I understood that it was what I’ve searched for. The ambience this genre allows us playing is magnificent. A mix of heavy, brutal and aggressive riffs and drums with beautiful, epic and, sometimes, melancholic lines crashes into a unique thing. This is what I wanted to this album. This kind of texture and ambience.
But being frank, I’m not the kind of guy who is locked on an only genre. As you can see, there are other influences beyond the MDM on this album. Prog, Heavy, Metalcore and others are part of the entire composition. Everything depends of the texture I wanted to put on.
How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
In the beginning, there was nothing defined. I was not sure what I wanted to do. I believe now I have found my own path. Now I know where I want to reach musically and thematically. I’m building our style. We are improving every time we play and compose.
Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspect of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
Happy? Yes, but never completely satisfied. As I once heard “The perfect music only exists inside the musician’s head. When it comes out it becomes imperfect. The musician mission is getting the closest of perfection”. Sure there are a lot of things I’d want to change. We nailed on the proposal we intended to do. I don’t have a thing to say about it. I believe we did good job. However, I believe we could improve upon in the post-production process. We are an independent band. I (Murillo) practically did everything alone so there are some mistakes that, unfortunately, have passed. Nevertheless, it is good! This is my first released full length. I learned a lot with it.
How has the overall reception been?
It has been good! Much more than we expected. This is our first album, so the reception has been very nice. The most part of our public is from abroad. Here in Brazil we are still trying to find our place. It’s hard because the things here are getting more difficult. The venues don’t open their doors to new bands (mainly if you are an authorial band). We are betting our chips on the other countries.
Is the band going to get more involved in performing live at some point? What’s next? Album? Touring? Any international tours?
We are searching for some agents and venues that are interested on bring our show. We are intending to tour on the next year to divulge more our album. About international tour, our focus is on Europe. So, venues we are available! (lol) About a new album, only in 2017.
What do you see for your future? How is it looking?
We are searching for consolidate our audience. We want to be heard. We just made the first step. We are still constructing our sonority and our fan base, so we have a lot of work to do. We see our future touring a lot more and producing new cool stuffs increasingly!
Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process?
“M.H.X’s Chronicles” already is a concept. I intended to tell a kind of history, a chronicle, on every album we release, using allegories and metaphors to communicate a kind of “hidden message”. I got the inspiration from the “Chronicles of Narnia”. C.S Lewis used this form of writing on these books. Every album will be a history (not necessarily interconnected) starting with “Infinite Ocean”.
On this album, we tell the history of a man who have lost everything in his life. The only thing that remained to him was a boat. Therefore, he took the boat and jumped into the sea. There, he faced his fears, he reached the deepest of his soul and, finally, he rediscovered the meaning of his life. The ocean is an allegory to the life. If we want to navigate on it, we have to face it!
The ideas can come anytime, influenced by anything. A situation of our own life, a movie, a book, sometimes a feeling. I use to say that I’m much more productive on could rainy days. I don’t know why rain and cold inspire me.
About plans, the next album’s concept should be a continuation of “Infinite Ocean”. After the man finishes his journey, he starts the process of restoration. I’m thinking on a double album.
Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
On the road, with no doubts! It’s on the road that the magic happens. The feeling of being on the stage is unpayable.
Who is composing the songs? Writing the lyrics?
I (Murillo H. Xavier) make every composing process. Since the first wave sound until the last violin line. Michel Oliveira is responsible for the production parts (mixing and mastering).
So what bands do you guys draw your inspiration from?
I listened many different things to reach this kind of sonority we have done. From the Melodic Death Metal: Insomnium, Amon Amarth, Wolfheart, Before the Dawn, Omnium Gatherum, Soilwork and others. I got some elements from Devin Townsend Project too. I also use to listen to movie soundtracks and a lot of Enya to capture ambience and textures to my songs.
What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
For me the both should walk together. I use to think that what impresses me, almost certainly, will impress who like my music. If I compose a riff, and I like it, in the same time I’m thinking on my audience because I know they will like too. On the other hand, the things can happen in other order. What my audience likes I, certainly, like too.
When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is to have released a good album at an early age. I know many friends that only could release some stuff at an advanced age. I’m into the music since I was 10 years old. When I was 17 I released “The Preface EP”. Now I’m 19 years old and released my first full length. It’s faster than I expected.