– Hello and, first of all, thanks for taking your time to answer to our questions. How’s everything going in the band’s camp?
Void Me: Hello. It’s a pleasure for us to answer this nice interview. BTW everything is doing ok with us, thanks for asking.
– To begin with, what was the motivation of forming VOID ME, a politicized band with dark imagery? And what does the name of the band represent?
Void Me: We’d been friends for a long time and during the pandemic we decided to join our forces and creativity to make some music and art. First we sent stuff back and forth through the Internet and after the vaccines we met each other to rehearse and to play the songs we had written. We’ve been in the punk/metal community for a long time and we’ve always written about political and social issues, then we knew the RABM community and we decided to follow our hearts and play some obscure and combative music. About the name of the band; Void Me is a strong name because; if we didn’t follow the standards that society expects we could be canceled by this same selfish and capitalist society.
-You state that VOID ME is a non-conformist expression. Does this apply to your music or does it go beyond that? How do you translate that to the band scenario?
Void Me: Yeah, we face our music/art as a way to express our feelings and ideas. This is our weapon to fight back against all injustices, prejudices and far-right ideals that infest our society as a whole, and underground music too. Of course, we know it’s necessary to apply those ideas in our daily lives and we try to do it. We always try to improve as human beings.
-Your lyrics –even if in a poetical or metaphoric form- deal with different struggles. What are for you the most relevant struggles taking place in the world right now?
Void Me: This is an excellent question, my friend. There are so many fronts we can fight as people: feminism, to protect the environment, to fight fascism and authoritarianism, starvation all over the world, etc. These are topics that can be used if you’re a musician or an artist who chooses to be politic. But we believe that the great evil we all must fight is Capitalism, neo liberalism and their strong arms, because all the problems in the world are caused by this sick system we live in.
-Sound-wise you mix Black Metal and Crust. What are the first bands you ever fell in love with?
Void Me: We try to mix all the powerful dark mass from the early black metal bands and the rawness from Japanese crust punk d beat bands. There are too many acts we’d love to mention.
-Any women that you could consider role models for you and your art or expression?
Void Me (Darlene): There are many women fighting in society to get respect, space and equality and the same happens in the music scenario, you know. I could mention Patti Smith as a musician and writer, Rita Lee and her constant fight in the Brazilian music scene since The Mutantes, Angela Davis and her important role in political fights to combat racism, sexism and others prejudices and her constant fight for feminism and equal rights. These women had some impact on my personality and me.
-Last year you released your second EP and a split with IT IS DEAD, from the US. How did this arise?
Void Me: Our second EP feels more like a single; it contains two songs and during the same sessions we recorded another five tracks so we could put out a split tape. We love It is Dead al all the message and power into their songs so we decided to call them for a split this tape and they said ok. The split tape came to life through a collab among three labels from different places: Vita Detestabilis from Spain, Fiadh Prod. From USA and Vlad Tapes from Brazil.
– When it comes to working with other bands, be it for splits or bands you share stage with, is it important for you that share your same values?
Void Me: To release some kind of split or compilation we think is very important that the artist/band has the same ideas or principles. As to share stage we have a different opinion: if the band doesn’t have the same point of view as ours we’d play with them and use the stage to show our ideas to their crowd. Of course we won’t play at any nazi-fascist shit festival or gig. Sometimes the crowd is full of kids and we think it’s better if they receive some sort of choice, you know. RABM feels and seems like an alternative for minorities or even for people who don’t agree with the standards that mainstream black metal bands spread.
-And as for labels? You’re now working with Fiadh Productions, who released your split album.
Void Me: With labels, we always choose to work with antifascist ones as Fiadh from USA, Vita Detestabilis from Spain and Vlad Tapes from Brazil, our labels. We released a split tape with Ritual Atrophy from USA last year and this split also was releases by an antifascist label named Mutual Aid Recs.
-How did the cooperation with this label come to be? Since, as far as I know, you had previously self-released your material.
Void Me: Our debut tape was released through a partnership with Vlad Tapes from Brazil, Mutual Aid put out our split and right now we have some new partners as we said: Fiadh and Vita Detestabilis. They are more than labels, they are friends of ours.
– You seem to keep a DIY/subculture way of doing things. How important is this for VOID ME and why?
Void Me: Like we said before we both come from the punk culture and DIY is the way we know to do things. We won’t sit down and wait for someone do things for us. We book our own gigs, we contact people to make tees, stickers, pins, tapes, etc. There’s a true DIY network; bands, and people supporting each other.
– How do you bring together the Black Metal part of your music and aesthetic with your political ideas? What connections do you make?
Void Me: We love obscure and dark music. Black metal is even kind of spiritual music. However we don’t like the way most of bands deal with the themes and subjects in their lyrics and their behaviors. Some years ago we learnt about some bands playing metal music -and even black metal music- who deal with political issues in their lyrics. It was pretty much people who came from punk, grind, metalcore that are now playing Black Metal and its ramifications. The RABM community is growing every day and it’s a safe space for everyone.
-Black Metal doesn’t precisely stand out for this kind of involvement (f.e versus Hardcore/Punk). What have you ran into during the process? Has it been a hard journey?
Void Me: Yeah, we know it’ll be a hard journey but we wanna try. We want to be an alternative to a extreme scene full of sadness and prejudices. And we’re not alone.
-Anyway RABM is taking more power these days. Are you into any of these bands?
Void Me: Totally. We are into the RABM community and we’re very happy to see it growing every day.
-In your home country, Brazil, there had been some not too positive political developments during the last years. How does this reflect on your art or how much of a fuel for expression this kind of things can be?
Void Me: We must to be aware because there are far-right parties are becoming stronger in every single corner of the world. And they are prepared, so we must be too. Music is a strong weapon to spread ideas, especially among young people. We had a bad experience here in Brazil with a neo-fascist government ruling the country but our fight as citizens is greater and it’s just began.
-Is there a reaction to that in the scene or in art in general? How is the underground scene like in Brazil?
Void Me: Brazil is a big country and we have quite many different scenes here. So much art and lots of interesting stuff has been created here. I mean, not only in extreme music but beyond that: zines, paintings, theater, etc.
-I’ve seen you’re a pretty active live band. In what kind of spaces do you use to play?
Void Me: We go to every single venue where people want to see us, listen to our music and ideas and share some experiences.
– Talking about such, there are generally no women or not enough at your average Metal shows. From the point of view of a musician, what actions should we all take to start changing this? And what actions should artists invited to play at these festivals or gigs should take?
Void Me (Darlene): We must fight back patriarchy everywhere. There are many bands with women in their line-up, a lot of women making zines, booking gigs, running labels, etc. so we must support their art, help to distribute it and share their names because they are so damned talented. If you are a booker invite women bands or bands with women. Artists/bands: support their illustrations, photos and everything made by women.
– Anyway during the last years there have been more and more organizations and movements in the Metal scenes that take actions against sexism and different forms of discrimination and oppression. Would you say the Metal community is more inclusive or at least being more aware of certain issues that seemed unaddressed until recently?
Void Me: More inclusive; not yet. But maybe more aware about some topics, and its happening just because of our fight as women.
-And finally, what’s next for VOID ME?
Void Me: We’ve been writing new songs for future splits we received invitations for and we plan to release our first full length album. And, of course, we’d like to book as many gigs as possible to meet old friends and make some new ones.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Void Me: We’d like to thank you Tania for this excellent interview and for the intelligent questions and for your support. We’d also like to thank everyone who spent some time reading our words. Support RABM artists/people and follow us on our social media.