Pedro: Hi there Nicolae, thanks in advance for this interview, it’s always great to present ourselves to those who still don’t know GROG and our music.
BB: For those who don’t know about GROG, can you tell shortly how you see yourselves?
Pedro: Yeah, let’s go for it! GROG is a Portuguese Brutal Death / Grindcore band which exists since 1991. We had some line up chances during the years, but now we managed to have a stable formation, I am Pedro, the only founding member remaining and I do the vocals, then we have Ivo taking care of the guitars, Alex playing the bass and finally Rolando on the drums. Since the beginning we aimed to play as fast, brutal and heavy as we could and that set our goals throughout our existence. We like to surpass our own limits concerning the music we play and after several releases, including our 3 full lengths, I believe we still do it, also the music we create it’s based in our own perceptions and not in any kind of trend or mainstream hype!
Pedro: 1992 was the year when the original line up got together to record The Bluuaaarrrgghh Rehearsal.We did the recording at a friend’s garage Joaquim, at that time Decayed drummer, with the help of our good friend J.A. also from Decayed behind the sound board. I remember having fun and being nervous at the same time since I got no clue about the outcome of our music, I also believe that all the guys felt this kind of mixed feelings. It was a direct session, just like a normal rehearsal, but just knowing that it was being recorded add a little of extra pressure upon us.
BB: What feelings did you have when you released first album?
Pedro: Well, the first album came out in 1996, almost at the end of the year, again it was a mix of feelings because Macabre Requiems was our first official record after some demos and a 7´´ EP. A dream come true in one hand, because when you play music you always imagine achieving this stage and let’s not forget that back then it wasn’t easy to release a CD. We were all young kids at that time and we felt that we could make something out of the music for our life, so it was exciting to record an album and to see our music being known. Also we had the chance to record it in a professional studio because our label created those conditions, so seeing our favorite songs getting the final shape was very thrilling process since it was the first time we were able to hear all of them with a great sound.
On the other hand, it would be unfair to say nothing about the CD artwork because it gave us a tremendous pleasure creating it, a fantastic job by our friend V.J. that was able to read our ideas to the perfection. In addition the inlay has photos from an exposition of medieval torture instruments, including the bands photo that was captured in a private session near by the iron maiden. To see all of this in our hands and to receive the positive reviews in that time was a hell of a ride indeed!
BB: What memories do you have about your first live concert?
Pedro: My god, our first show was a chaotic excuse to play in front of an audience ah ah ah ah, but we did it anyway. It happened in my high school playground during the campaign for the students association, we played on top of tables always looking down to avoid the “stage” collapse. Anyway I think that the show was silenced because someone complained about the loud noise we were making ah ah ah ah.
BB: In your oppinion how the grindcore movement did change since 1991 when you started to play till present?
Pedro: I consider grindcore a primitive form of art you see, it’s dirty, it’s rough, it’s ultra fast, it’s incomprehensive, it’s uncontrollable, but it has a very direct message behind all the fuzz and all of these characteristics are essential to play it. So can we actually speak about a genre change? No and yes it would be my answer. No, because you have to have those elements in your music to call it grindcore, there’s no other way for me to perceive it. Of course we have a greater number of bands today than in 1991, but almost all of them play by those rules. So for me to be more extreme, to growl lower or scream higher are only alternative forms to achieve this goal.
The affirmative argument has to do with one thing that has really progressed a lot since 1991 and I speak about the quality of the studio and home productions, don’t get me wrong on this one, because in this case you still can play grindcore with all the first said commandments but with a greater sound value!
BB: Your last discographic material was released in 2011. Are you working on new album? (if yes – when you plan to release it?)
Pedro: Yes, we released the “Scooping the Cranial Insides” CD back in 2011, but also did the vinyl version with 2 unreleased songs which saw the light of the day in 2012, so we have been promoting this third full length in the past two and a half years. The time to turn the page has come and currently we are working in the new album which we wish to release during 2014. That’s all I can say right now.
BB: This year it’s almost finished, do you have any favorites albums from 2013?
Pedro: Yes, I have and like I did for the Puro Ruido webzine I will tell you who they are, only now I added a new entry:
Code - Augur nox
Carcass – Surgical steel
Goreguts - Colored sands
Gutural Secrete - Nourishing the spoil
Nolentia – May the hand that holds the match that will set this world on fire be blessed above all
Nails - Abandon All Life
Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
Scalpel - Sorrow and Skin
Steven Wilson - The raven that refused to sing (And Other Stories)
Squash Bowels Grindcoholism
Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn
Voivod - Target earth
Wormed - Exodromos
BB: Describe your local portuguese grindcore scene. Can you recommend some bands?
Pedro: For instance Brutal Brain Damage, Serrabulho, Antivoid, Utopium, Tinnitus, Raw Decimating Brutality, Extreme Retaliation, Holocausto Canibal, Besta, Simbiose, Matter, go find and listen to them.
BB: You have any plans for touring? What do you think about to make an East European Tour?
Pedro: We would love to play more often in Eastern Europe, let’s see if the new album can bring us this opportunity. We already played the Obscene Extreme Fest in 2012, for instance, and we had so much fun, so we want to return to Eastern Europe and play for you definitely.
BB: Thank you very much for talking to us! Do you have anything you would like to say to metalheads all over Moldova?!
Pedro:The pleasure was all ours Nicolae, thanks again for all the support and to all metalheads in Moldova I will invite you to check us out on our facebook page, facebook/grogpt and in our youtube channel at grogmetal. Keep it Sick and Grind Up!