Interview with vocalist Vladimir Korg
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: November 25, 2023
The Mist (as Mayhem 1986-89) were a Brazilian thrash metal band that released three albums during the band's first period of existence before they decided to call it quits in 1997. The first two albums, Phantasmagoria (1989) and The Hangman Three (1991), enjoyed the bright spotlight due to the aggressive and intense thrash metal they contained while the band's third album, Gottverslassen (1995), shone a not-so-favorable light on the band due to a change in musical style. The band broke up in 1997 and no one knew if they had reached the end of the road.
The Mist decided to reform in 2018 with a completely new lineup, and it took another four years to get their 4-track comeback, The Circle of the Crow, recorded which introduced a band that was full of fire and brimstone, metaphorically speaking, of course.
The Metal Crypt checked in with the band's vocalist Vladimir Korg to find out what has been up with the band and if metal fans can expect more new material from this, let's say at least semi-legendary Brazilian thrash metal act...
Hey Vladimir! How's life in Belo Horizonte these days? All good?
Vladimir: Hails guys, I'm fine. Here in Belo Horizonte it is some of the hottest weather and climate change is really making things a crazy mess here. Sign of the times...
NEW COMING OF THE MIST
Your band, The Mist, reformed in 2018, which is great, of course! You have a completely new lineup, so can you tell us about that? Was it easy to find like-minded guys to play in The Mist?
Vladimir: Well, it's the first time The Mist held the same lineup for two studio works, so I think finally I found the right dudes to keep the gears turning...
When you decided to make some new music in 2018, did you want a fresh start considering the fact that you are the only original member left from the band lineup?
Vladimir: I don't care about the original members of the band anymore. The music must go on. There are some bands that have kept their original members on the road, but it's so hard these days to keep guys with the same dreams about life on the road, playing gigs and all that music business shit. If your musicians have lost the motivation to show their art, they're not relevant to the road. The music has to go on. We're making history and that's more important than anything else.
You released your new EP titled The Circle of the Crow in January 2022, which has received some good reviews. How happy are you with it?
Vladimir: Definitely, yes. We're very proud of this new beginning!!! We started the engine and that made us confident enough to record our new album. We are The Mist again.
The opening song on the EP, "My Inner Monster," has a pretty strong Testament vibe to it. What kind of role has Testament played for The Mist as an influence and/or inspiration over the years?
Vladimir: Really? Oh, we're glad to hear that. Testament is an elite band. I was surprised when some American influences hit us through comments like yours. Historically, we've been very influenced by German metal and such bands as Destruction, Sodom and Kreator. But your mention of Testament shows that we're on the right track, I guess.
Would you tell us about the making of the EP, from the songwriting process up to the recording? Did everything go as smoothly and painlessly as you hoped?
Vladimir: Definitely NOT. We were in the middle of a pandemic, totally lost as to how we could go on without the old guys who had left the band. We had to restart all our stuff, totally broken, and with the big challenge of bringing The Mist into the 21st century without forgetting our roots. We had to make our thrash metal powerful with our own elements and bring it up to date for today, without sounding like all the modern bullshit that metal is incorporating. Of course, we're not against any style of music, but we have our own way of making our music and we don't want to be just another band trying to make easy music for easy listeners.
Would you say that the EP was a real team effort from the band, meaning each of you were a part of the songwriting process in one way or the other?
Vladimir: We do have a method. I write the concept that will guide the album and Edu Megale and I write all the songs and, when we've finished, we call the others to join us. It's working! Both for the EP and the new album.
A RECOGNIZABLE VOCAL STYLE
Your vocal style has stayed intact and recognizable since the days of Chakal, which definitely gives a unique touch to the sound of The Mist. Do you use some special vocal technique to come up with that very primal, beast-like vocal of yours? I mean, your vocal style truly is one of a kind...
Vladimir: Thank you very much. I've suffered a lot from all, I mean ALL, kinds of throat infections. In the past, I thought, "Well, I have the privilege of knowing how I'm going to die: cancer of the throat." So, over time, I've developed some techniques to avoid further infections and injuries. I respect my limits and the extent of my vocals, but I'm not a guy who has reliable techniques to share. For me, it works. I always say that what drives my vocal style is singing with hate, and I have a lot of hate.
As far as the band's lyrical approach is concerned, do you prefer writing more socially aware lyrics these days than let's say talking about occultism and satanic topics? The real world has turned out to be a pretty scary place for all of us humans these days...
Vladimir: Absolutely. The world has been a strange place to live in. My lyrics for The Mist are always about feelings, bad feelings, and have a lot of triggers that can be dangerous for some people. The EP talks about old monsters that we face every day. Monsters that live inside us. I think we live all the time trying to control these monsters. Our new album is about the suffering of the soul and how the outside world can make us sick. Fake friends, liars, manipulators, social media and how we can become a bunch of idiots. We're all sick.
LEAVING THE MIST IN 1991
Why did you leave the band in 1991? Weren't you happy with the musical direction the band was heading toward at that time or were some other reasons behind your departure?
Vladimir: I was something of an outsider. I was graduating in philosophy and had a lot of doubts about the music I was making and the need to make it happen and the price I was paying for that. In the '90s, everyone wanted to be Sepultura and that was the goal of most bands in Brazil. The goal was success, even if you had to abandon your musical style to follow Sepultura's style. I was confused, depressed, and was not motivated to continue, so I gave up so as not to be a "monkey see, monkey do." Sometimes you have to look at things in other ways and from other perspectives.
OTHER PAST BAND PROJECTS
You have also been involved with a band named The Unabomber Files who have already recorded a couple of EPs. The band's all about raw and straightforward heavy music, with sarcastic lyrics. Are you still a part of the band's lineup, or are you done with the band already?
Vladimir: The Unabomber Files was a project. We were just good friends making music with no pretensions. Just to make noise!
You were also in a band called Nut which released one self-titled album on Cogumelo Records back in 1995. What was that band all about? Was it a fun project more than anything else?
Vladimir: I joined forces with Ronado Gino, a fantastic guitarist from a Brazilian band called Virna Lisi, to make some experimental songs. We decided to record all this stuff and that was it. Just to have a record of our work. It wasn't a band in the true sense of the word really.
What's your relationship with your ex-band, Chakal, these days?
Vladimir: We're friends and we wish each other the best.
NEW ALBUM IN THE WORKS
I assume since the EP you have already written a pile of new songs for the band's comeback album. Correct me if I am mistaken...
Vladimir: You're not... definitely. We've just recorded our new album and we're waiting for the magnificent 2024.
What can the fans of the band expect from your new material?
Vladimir: Good old thrash metal with the old neck-breaking beat.
What does the second half of 2023 look like for The Mist, live-wise? Are you aiming to play outside of Brazil some day?
Vladimir: The second half of 2023 was a lot of work. We worked on a lyric video, a music video, and our new album. Now we're offering our work to record companies and, of course, we're very excited to go on the road. We're working on our first tour outside Brazil.
What kind of plans does The Mist have for the remaining months of the year? What about 2024?
Vladimir: Tooooooour... just to do tons of shows, if possible!
Do you still have some goals that you'd like to achieve with the band some day?
Vladimir: Make The Mist great. Unforgettable, part of world metal history.
What makes you proud of The Mist in the first place nowadays?
Vladimir: Our music, our resilience, and our love of metal.
That's all I had in mind for this "chat," so to speak. I would like to thank you, Vlamidir, for your time and wish you all the best with any future endeavors of the band. If you have any fitting closing comments, just spit them out...
Vladimir: Sorry for the long wait, Luxi, but I explained that we were very busy.
Thank you very much for your patience and for believing for all the past years. We really look forward to meeting you on the road and all our fans in Europe. We're preparing an incredible tour and we're looking forward to hitting the road, and Europe is our target. Please follow us on all social media, always search for @themistband. Cheers from Brazil!
|Other information about The Mist on this site
|Review: The Circle of the Crow
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