You can complain about how no bands ever come from Portugal. Or you can get of your ass and discover bands like RAVENSIRE. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
-We are RAVENSIRE and we come from Lisbon, Portugal. We have been active since 2011 and released a mini-CD (“Iron Will” – 2012), a split-single with TERMINUS (“Drawing the Sword / Centaurean” – 2013) and two albums (“We March Forward” – 2013; “The Cycle Never Ends” – 2016). We’re currently promoting our new album that just came out on Cruz del Sur Music. Right now, we have 4 members which are: Rick – vocals / bass; Nuno – guitars; Mário – guitars and F – drums. We play Heavy Metal without compromise, in a raw and passionate way!
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-We wanted a name that suited our lyrical content and our general concept. Ravens are highly intelligent birds that also have some mystical conotations and, interestingly enough, are also one of the symbols of Lisbon. With all this in mind, we came up with this “lord of ravens”, the Ravensire. On our first mini-CD and our first album we had a couple of songs talking about him and his adventures and we’ll probably go back to the concept on future releases.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of metal you play? What inspires you today?
-We all have been into Heavy Metal for a long time, so we’ve heard lots and lots of bands! From the biggest names to the most underground out there, we follow the scene very closely and we draw inspiration from several sources. Of course, if we had to name our main inspirations, it’d be a mix of more well-known bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar, Omen to more obscure stuff like Solstice, Holy Terror, Brocas Helm, Doomsword, Slough Feg among so many others.
What came first; the band name or the sound? How did you settle on a sound?
-The sound was the first thing to develop. Every since we started rehearsing as a band, even before we had decided which name we’d use, we already were playing in the same style we play today. As I said before, we’re all quite veteran metalheads, so we knew exactly what we wanted to do with the band and simply followed that trail.
Is digital killing the album format? Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-Speaking in wider terms, I sincerely don’t know! Speaking in terms of Heavy Metal, I don’t think so… You see, most of the bands invest a lot in trying to make interesting albums, instead of only coming up with a “hit-single” and promote it to death. Besides, there always has been a “culture” in the Metal scene of owning the actual releases, be it on CD or LP. So, unlike other mainstream musical styles, I don’t think Heavy Metal suffers from that disease yet.
What part does art work and lay out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-Artwork is an integral part of the Heavy Metal world. Who hasn’t spent hours looking at an Iron Maiden cover, sorting out the details in it? So, from the start we also wanted to build our identity through the visual elements of our releases. We were fortunate enough to meet Pedro Rebelo and knowing his skills with black and white drawings, we asked him to be our “illustrator”. His covers are great and really capture the raw nature of our essence adding a visual aspect to our sound.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote a cd? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Touring, word of mouth, paper ads etc?
-Yes, for sure it has changed the rules completely. Almost everyone is on social media and it’s so much easier and cheaper spreading the word out there. So, as a promotional tool, social media nowadays is essential as it helps bands keep in touch with their listeners. But in order to really build a meaningful, lasting relationship with people, I think playing live is still the most important aspect. That’s why our goal for this year and the next is to try and play more frequently, and on more countries than we did so far.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-The Heavy Metal scene nowadays is fragmented a lot. If it wasn’t for the internet and its capacity to unite people from several places, things would certainly be worse than they are. Whereas in the 80s, there were strong local scenes that would communicate with each other frequently (shows, parties, etc), now there are a few “islands” of metalheads in each country. Maybe Germany and to an extent Greece are the exceptions, but elsewhere it’s like 25 fans on a town, 4 fans on the neighbouring town, etc… So, when I think about a “scene”, I normally don’t think about it in geographical terms, but rather in stylistic terms. And that’s where Ravensire can easily fit into a “scene”. A scene that has bands like Terminus (from Northern Ireland), Wrathblade (from Greece), Solstice (from England), Midnight Priest (from Portugal), Gatekeeper (from Canada), and so on…
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We’re not that young anymore and we have family and professional responsibilities, so our gigs have to be well planned and surely we couldn’t commit to a tour that would last more than 2 weeks. But with the profusion of weekend festivals these days, I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find a few slots and play in a few countries around Europe. As I said before, playing live is what Heavy Metal’s all about so we really want to bring our songs to the stages everywhere.
What will the future bring?
-Right now, we are in the process of integrating our new guitar player Mário and hope to start playing live shows next month. In the meantime, and since we talked about playing in Europe, we’re already confirmed for the excellent No Compromise Metal Fest to be held in La Louvière, Belgium, next October. Also, we’ll probably start writing new material soon, as there are already some new ideas floating around. But the most important thing right now, is focusing on promoting “The Cycle Never Ends”.