7 December 2015


The Uruguayan scene may not be very popular but I´m sure that you, creatures of the underground will agree with me…who cares…quality prevails!  To confirm this statement emerges PHERETRUM, a Death Metal band loyal to the oldschool spirit. The band have just released their debut full-length so we contacted Fede and he kindly answered our questions. Read on and follow the path to your Pheretrum… 

Please introduce the line-up  to the readers and tell how and when Pheretrum was formed?
First of all, thank you for investing time in this interview and hi there to all metal maniacs from everywhere!
Pheretrum is Damian - drums, Vik  - bass, Danilo – guitar, Federico vox/guitar from the very begining formed in 2009, in July to be more precise.
How did you end up choosing Pheretrum for your band's name?
We ended up with this name after an extensive search of a unique name, something that wasn't in existence yet. It's extremely hard due to the amount of bands nowadays but i guess we succeded in that. Besides it's own meaning... we wanted something fresh but also something extreme in relation with the old metal vein.
In 2010 you released the demo re which included cover versions from Morgoth Massacre and Obituary, are they among the bands that influenced you or did you play this songs to pay tribute?
I think it's more related to the second part... we love these bands [their older compositions of course] but it was more like a tribute to them, like... when the audience see we were playing those, understand what the spirit of the band really is. Those covers were what we could perform and what we all agreed to. And to be honest, we never know what the direct influences are in our compositions hahahahaha...
Then in 2011 you released the single “Sentenced Until Dying Out” and two years later the EP “From the Underworlds”, how was the response from your scene and abroad? How was the feedback received from fans and zines?
Well, as far as I remember, the single was for free as a promo, we were about to play in some local shows and in argentina for the first time and we wanted to record something more polite than the rehearsal. May be it was a mistake, I think is not too good and we never received any kind of response for that... The EP was well received and criticized around the globe thanks to Southernhellish label which spread it through all latinamerica and some other friends who spread it in US and Belgium, when the tapes sold out and appeared over the internet, more people started to comment on it and some  fanzines from europe got in touch for interviews. This release opened new doors for us in every way and the feedback was great.
Let´s talk about your latest release, the debut full-lenght "Still Being Maggots" how was the recording process like compared to your previous recordings?
Disgusting I guess... the EP was released in 2013, then we started recording the album, the idea was to release it in august 2014, but we weren't achieving what we wanted, so we recorded it like three times, after the third one we gave up, we spent lots of money and the valuable time of Juancho Rodriguez, who was doing all the engineering stuff on it for free, just to help us releasing it like he previously did with the single. All the album was already planned, it was going to have 11 tracks, we had already started working on other tracks to record another EP after the album, and for that EP, we already had another metal warrior offering his help to record it, and when he knew we stopped the working process on it he was quiet annoyed, so I told him, if we do it in three weeks, we record everything again with you, if not, this album is never going to be out. So we started recording everything again for the last fucking time and thanks to him [Bruno Pastorelli] this is out now. So the process was not funny at all... just the vocals parts and the outro Hahahahaha.
How would you describe the style and sound on this album?
The style is death metal with thrash influences, we tried to be as classic as we could, the sound is in the same vein, is not perfect nor professional, but sounds quiet well... we would change lots of stuff but the thing is , the creator is never satisfied with its own creation.
Tell about the meaning of the album title. Where do you draw your inspiration for the lyrics? Do you feel inspired by movies, places, literature or other things?
Indeed, the inspiration comes from the shallow and meaningless reality we are living in, the violence on the society in everyway, the inner war among people dissolving the concept of life itself... all these mixed with science and obscure madness coming from the mind of horror masters like Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Poe, Tesla, etc. . As a result, I feel abhorrence, repulsion for the human race, so I think we are the maggots consuming the last sign of life in the earth, despite having technology and being able to think for ourselves, we are still being maggots.

There is a song on the album titled Death Metal to the grave, a great title, and a strong statement  indeed! How important is death metal in your life?
What a difficult question... Metal is in my blood, the whole concept of the track was to explicitly claim the legacy won't die, the black flag will be carried from the ancient ones to the new metal minds until the end of times.  Death metal is what we are but it transcends flesh.
I really dig the cover artwork, how this concept relate to the songs of the album?
At first we thought it could be misinterpreted because of the name of the masterpiece, it's called “Die Höle”, Hell... and people could believe it connotes some religious stuff, we are all atheist so it has nothing to do with that, but the word hell is also used to refer to chaos, madness, torture, insanity ... and there's the idea we tried to expose with the artwork, the destruction among all, people, nature, the universe but it could also be tightened with religion being one of those scum of the earth.
The album was self-financed and released on CDR and tape, are you in touch with labels for a possible wider distribution?
Yes, we are. Southernhellish released the EP on tape and now is going to release the album which is great. We are in touch with another label to see if we have the chance to release it on vinyl, but this is not confirmed yet and I prefer not to mention more labels until we have something concrete.
How do you see the evolution of the band since the first recording?
We learned from our mistakes, we learned from metal friends coming from other scenes like the scenes in Chile, Brazil and Argentina throughout the time, this helped us to strengthen our visions and to never give up. Uruguayan scene is not so good, but depends on someone to make it better, so we fight for that, we believe some day this will have to change, so we contribute as much as we can and even more.
You recently played some gigs abroad in Brazil and Argentina, tell us how was the whole experience? How was the response from the people?
Our visit to Brasil was a dream come true, Felipe CDC, a brazilian underground fighter, got in touch with us and gave us this excellent opportunity, the first time we played in Brazil and in front of a thousand people. Everything was perfect from the beginning to the end. We have no words for him to thank all what he, and all the QZO fest staff, did for us. The response was terrific, lots of friendly metal maniacs there, we spent lots of time with them talking and drinking. We got in touch with DL50, a hardcore band from Paraguay were their members happen to be metalheads too and ended up being great friends! This opened a new door, may be next year we could go to Paraguay to spread our madness there too. Now we just came back from Argentina where we played with our great friends Dark Warrior, the show was really good too, this of course is a different situation, %100 underground self financed, again Dark Warrior let us play with their equipment and this time with their sound manager, so everything was really good. The response was good, may be not during the show but after the show lots of people got our CD and approached to say few words about the performance, the album, the concept... most of the people seemed to be really interested in getting our stuff. I think the price was quiet high for them, but that's the reality in Uruguay... we cannot do it cheaper than them.
What about your local gigs? What can we expect from a Pheretrum show? How frequent do you play live?
As we were recording, during the year we almost didn't play, then those opportunities to play abroad came across so we couldn't finance local shows at all. We used to play more frenquently but few people went to shows so we perefered to create more music, then play. Now we felt we had the obligation to do a concert for the album so now we managed to self finance a show with our great metal friends Dimwrath, who are also releasing their new album, and with a new Grindcore band called Deforme, which is amazing. What to expect from our concerts ? Well... your tumors will be possessed by joy while we drunkly spit our bloody death.

The band didn´t suffer any change of the line up since it was formed, is there any ideology or philosophy that keeps the band members united?
Hahahaha, this is not the first time we hear this question. Yes, we are all into  classic extreme metal and the fact that some are couple, some are family and some great friends, It helps to keep this working quiet well.
The Uruguayan scene had great extreme bands in the past like Graf Spee,  Angkor Vat, Morbid Blood…and then Ossuary, Eclampsy… What bands do we have to take a look at from the local underground?...[besides the mighty Inner Sanctvm, luckily still active]
I am quite critical here because I only support bands with classic influences, the ones I believe are into real metal... so I will only mention the ones I give them my support. Karnage thrash/death, Putrefaxion thrash/death, Burial black, Magna black/thrash/death, Vlesdli black, Deforme grindcore, Mythicus heavy metal, and the still active from the ancient times now as Marca Acme [Atrozer].  Inner Sanctvm released dates for a southamerican tour but still not happened so I don't know how much active they are... And naming those godfathers of uruguayan metal, there will be some great news about Graf and Angkor!
You are the editor of the “Extreme resurrection” zine, for all of us who love oldschool printed zine give us some info about it!!
Well I always try to keep this apart from the band but now that you asked hahahah... well, this zine is done with the help of Bruno pastorelli too, he draws and reviews some releases I don't want to review, like those from pheretrum hahaha, and I do the other part. It's completely in spanish, only includes uruguayan metal bands which I consider to be metal and not a wind of fashion shit, based mostly in bringing back the glorious uruguayan metal times, each issue has an interview with some old band, may be two, it depends on the amount of paper it takes hahaha, we know we cannot spend more than 25 pages, it's done with a typewriter and self manufactured at home, it's pretty limited due to lack of money, 50 copies per issue may be 75 as happened with the first number. We just released the issue #2, time is not enough for doing more, so we will try to keep that rhythm , two per year.  In the next release we are going to try to add a new ingredient, we are planning to become a label/distro and we will add a compilaton on tape for the issue #3, but this is in progress, not confirmed yet.
What records have been spinning a lot at your home lately?  Are there new bands that have caught your attention? 
Lately , i've been spinning the LPs I could find... Morbid Tales from Celtic Frost, the Evil Metal compilation from the canadian band Voor, Brutal Legions of Apocalypse from the australian act Martire and Funeral Bitch 7'' with their demos still pending to be played. And yes, there are great bands coming from chile, for instance Hellish, Ripper, Insanity, Deathly Scythe and Unhallowed, there are many more to name from there... a strong scene.  One of the bands that I really enjoyed was Evil Force from Paraguay.
What´s the strangest place and the most shocking place you have been? 
The first time we play in Argentina we were shocked by the fact that were no equipment for us to play, Dark Warrior lend us their amps, playing in a wooden stage over beer boxes was really extreme hahahaha
What are your plans and goals for the near future of Pheretrum?
Finish the next EP with new 4 or 5 tracks... we still don't know and to find a record label to release it on 7'' … then we will see. We are finishing an official DVD and in few weeks we will start recording a videoclip for one of the tracks from the album.
Thanks for your time.  Leave your last words and let  the readers know how to get your album and merch…
Thanks to you for the diffusion and the time on this. Thanks and cheers to all the metalheads around the world, don't forget to write, critics are always welcome, and alcohol too! You can get our stuff directly through the band (pheretrum@gmail.com) , you have all the info you need in our official website http://pheretrum.no-ip.org or through southernhellish label (southernhellish@hotmail.com). The album is US$3+shipping and trades are welcome. Keep fighting for metal!!


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