Crypta – Process of PainSunday, 30th July 2023
Photo: Estevam Romera
Quickly making their mark across the death metal landscape, Crypta returns for their second studio record in Shades of Sorrow. Continually challenging themselves as far as intricacy and technical prowess while remaining steadfast to the aggression and power of the genre, this is another step forward for the quartet that maintain quality songwriting and performances should win over the hordes. We reached out to drummer Luana Dametto for a conversation regarding the expansion of style songwriting-wise, the mental issue/pain content that comes through on a majority of the lyrics, the minimalistic cover art, thoughts on crowdfunding to keep the band alive through a tragic weather-related incident on a recent US tour, her love of antiques, plus what the next year looks like on the touring end of things for the band.
Dead Rhetoric: Shades of Sorrow is the second Crypta album – a strong follow-up to your debut from 2021 Echoes of the Soul. How do you see the evolution of the band in terms of the songwriting and performances between the two records?
Luana Dametto: Well, I think on the first record we were very much breaking the ice amongst each other. Fernanda and I of course had played together before in Nervosa, but we didn’t really know Taina and Sonia at the time, it was like getting to know how we like to write songs and how we would be doing this long distance. Fernanda and I had done this before, the others hadn’t done it, it was a process of figuring things out. With Shades of Sorrow, the members were already very used to each other. We are always trying to push ourselves to play things that are harder for us still, things that we believe will add to the band that we haven’t done before. It’s an evolution for us as musicians, not just the album in terms of the songwriting.
Dead Rhetoric: Did the lineup change on guitar with Sonia leaving and gaining Jéssica Falchi make a difference on this new album as well?
Dametto: I wouldn’t say so. We were writing very much with myself, Fernanda and Taina as well as Sonia on Echoes of the Soul – so the three of us continued to write the new material. After Sonia left the band, we kept writing ourselves, after Jéssica got into the band, we had the entire new album written. She had the chance to play the solos over the songs.
Dead Rhetoric: You shot videos for “Lord of Ruins” and “Trial of Traitors” – were these obvious first singles to issue for the record, and where do you see the importance in the visual medium to gaining more of a following beyond the records and live performances?
Dametto: We always try to choose the singles so that one song is very different from the other on the album. We wanted to catch more people with different tastes. We wanted one song that would be preferred by people who like melodic death metal, and another song with blast beats and more aggressiveness for people who are into that. We think it’s very important to make these music videos – everyone is used to the way that bands promote themselves through social media. If you don’t make videos and take photos, you don’t have good content to push and promote through your social media. It’s very key for us to keep recording as much video content as we can.
Dead Rhetoric: Is it important to also record playthrough videos, as I notice you like to do that and showcase the music?
Dametto: I do like playthroughs. Most of the time when I like a band, I like to see the musicians playing for real. I want to see everything displayed and well-recorded, so I think it’s very important. This is one of the genres where we have the most musicians listening and watching other bands. The majority of people have bands, play some (instrument), or like to play something. They are very involved in the technical part of it. I like it myself.
Dead Rhetoric: When it comes to the lyrical content for this record, I understand a lot of it was surrounding Fernanda’s mental health/depression issues and channeling thoughts in that direction. How is she doing now, using this as a sort of therapy/catharsis, was this helpful for her well-being?
Dametto: She’s well. It’s more the album being about mental issues and the process of pain. Just this huge relief, how anger can come from sadness, depression, and other things. These very negative feelings. We are all doing well.
Dead Rhetoric: Discuss the cover art of Raul Campos for the new record – as it seems like a much simpler, streamlined concept compared to the previous effort?
Dametto: It’s less detailed than the previous one, for sure. On the first Crypta cover we added so many little things to it: eyes, mouths, demons, coffins, bricks, chains, all sorts of things that you could cut out and make other artwork with. On this new one, it’s an album about the process of pain. We wanted it to be minimalistic in a way – I wouldn’t say simpler, but cleaner. The outfits are cleaner that we are wearing, the cover art is cleaner, it fits the music of the new album as well. Echoes of the Soul was very old-school in a way, but since everything now is darker, we decided to go on this path.
Dead Rhetoric: In the spring of 2023 you went on a North American tour with Morbid Angel, Revocation, and Vitriol – where you had to endure the tragedy of a fan dying as well as your motorhome being destroyed as a result of a natural disaster in Illinois. You were able to receive tremendous support through a crowdfunding campaign to stay on the road – discuss your thoughts on what happened and how meaningful the fans have been to help you through such a tough situation?
Dametto: Without the help of fans, we would still be thinking about how to pay for this. I simply don’t know what we would have done if people didn’t donate money. Even if we just said, let’s just keep on playing live and doing tours to pay for things, we would be playing forever to get that money back to pay back to the RV company. So that was not an option for us. Paying from our own pockets, also not an option for us. I wish I had the money – none of us have that money, even if we put all of our money together.
People didn’t understand that at first when we asked for the money. Everyone thought we were a spoiled band asking for money, just keep touring and pay things off. Most of the time, sometimes you don’t get any money at the end of a tour, and sometimes you get a little bit of money from the end of a tour. Paying that kind of a debt after a disaster like that was going to be totally unpayable for us. We are very glad that people donated, it saved us for the rest of our lives.
Dead Rhetoric: Was that the biggest weather-related tragedy you’ve had to endure on tour?
Dametto: No, that was definitely the worst. Fernanda and I when we were playing together in Nervosa, we were in a short earthquake down in Costa Rica. It lasted like a minute, and nothing happened as well. They were prepared to have that. Very different from what we had to experience in the US.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you think about Napalm Records as your record label – do you believe they have a proper understanding of what you are trying to achieve as a band and promote/ push your work to the best possible sources globally?
Dametto: Yes, definitely. We worked with Napalm before when we were in Nervosa as well. The fact that we have kept on working with them makes things much easier. We know the crew, staff, we already knew all the people when they signed us with Crypta. When we first started Crypta, we didn’t know we were going to be pushing this band forward as hard as we have now. It was very good for us to be on Napalm, they trusted our work before they even heard any of the music. They sent us a contract based on our abilities as musicians. They are a big reason that things are going well for us – otherwise it would take so much longer for us to move ahead.
Dead Rhetoric: How would you say you’ve changed as a musician and drummer from your initial times working with Nervosa into your playing and performances with Crypta?
Dametto: I have gotten so much better. I hope in the future I will get so much better than I am now. When I first got into Nervosa, I used to just play in local bands in my local area. When I got into Nervosa, I had to learn all these songs that were composed by other drummers. I got much better because I had to learn how to play things that I wouldn’t have thought of by myself. I am pushing myself so hard. Even in Nervosa, I had to write my own drum parts, I needed to be on the same level as the other drummers that had been in the band. I wanted to show that our new band Crypta had evolved. With this album, we are always trying to make things harder for ourselves, which is not always very smart when you are tired, barely have time to sleep, and then have to play all these difficult songs. If I don’t do that, I won’t push myself to get better with every album. I’m getting better as I play out more and record more albums, I am sure the next album will be even better.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the state of heavy metal across Brazil and South America? Do you believe there is more respect and admiration for bands from these countries now making a bigger impact globally, especially because of social media platforms and the numerous instant technology tools available because of the internet?
Dametto: I wouldn’t say that bands from South America are having more attention than others. I would say that it’s very cool to see a band succeed from there, because you know that things are very hard. We don’t have access to money to get good equipment or to be paying for good recordings, studios to do videos or even shoot good photos compared to other places in the world. That’s how it is in these third world countries.
Dead Rhetoric: How would you define success for Crypta at this point in your career? And has that definition of success for you personally changed from when you first started as a drummer to who you are as a person and what you’ve achieved today?
Dametto: That’s a good question. What is success for Crypta? I think it’s pretty successful that we can live off this music, and play. If I had to have another job and still play with Crypta, I guess it would be successful to a point. The fact that we can do this and live on touring is pretty successful for a death metal band. If I played a different style of music, I may have a different answer.
I don’t know if (the definition of success) changed. When I was a teenager, I always wanted to be involved in death metal. It didn’t matter to me which band, or how I would do it. It hasn’t changed very much.
Dead Rhetoric: What are some of your hobbies, interests, and passions that you like to engage in away from music when you have the free time and energy to do so?
Dametto: I like to buy antiques and study antiques a lot. From which era they come from, the year they were made, replicas and originals, what kind of metal or material they are made of, metal or wood. I try to collect as many antiques as I can, furniture, and restore them. I watch lots of tv series. I’m into finding new bands and new albums. I still listen to death metal, searching for new bands, find out about new bands.
Dead Rhetoric: What worries or concerns do you have about the world that we live in today? And what do you think the average person needs to spend more time and attention on to make the world a better place for everyone overall?
Dametto; A tricky question for me. I can’t choose to tell people what to do – when we are out touring, we have lots of extra waste – throwing even clothes away because we can’t wash them well enough, so we just buy new clothes while we are out there. It’s pretty bad for the environment. I hope people at home have a better way to keep an eye on the environment.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you see the next year or so shaping up for Crypta as far as shows, touring, promotion, etc.?
Dametto: We have tours booked until December. Not many, we are spacing out the tours this year since the album will be released very soon. We have to have time at home to really rehearse and practice the set list with the new songs. It’s going to be lots of touring, and we are already booking tours for 2024 for the US and all the other places that we haven’t toured as much.