Every now and then someone comes along playing the type of music that, until I actually hear it, seems to exist solely inside my own head. Rio native Victor Whipstriker is one such guy: albeit one such guy playing in a bunch of bands that all happen to make the same noise as my imagination. The first band of his I heard was Diabolic Force, who I featured briefly in this semi-irregular column over two years ago. They are still my favourites, but with each release his eponymous Whipstriker project catches up a little, with Atomic Roar and Farscape not lagging far behind. Ranging musically from thrash to straight-up rock and roll to a more blackened crust sound on the most recent demo, to say Victor is prolific would be a disservice.
Thankfully, he applied that same work ethic to this interview, turning my questions into answers in the space of 24 hours.
VICE: Hey Victor. Can you give me some background info on yourself and your relationship with metal – how you got into it, who you grew up worshipping, and how it all made you go out and start playing music.
Victor: Well, I started to hear heavy music when I was eight years old. My cousin showed me stuff like Venom, Motörhead, Iron Maiden and Metallica, so I said: "I like it." Since then I've been completely into heavy metal, rock and roll and punk music. I started playing music in 1998, when I was 12 years old. I was friends with the guys in Farscape – we went to Christian high school together – and we decided to form a band to play heavy and thrash metal.
I read on CVLT Nation that you were once a pretty good football player. What happened to playing football?
Yeah, indeed. I knew the Farscape guys because all of us liked football and we played together in the streets. I was a professional football player until I was 14. I played in some official championships here in Brazil. But when we formed the band, I started to walk the other way: long hair, tattoos, alcohol, drugs, rehearsals, etc. Then I kicked the football life. My father stopped talking to me for two weeks because he wanted a son that was a football player and not a dirty headbanger. That's a shame. Still, I guess it was only a couple of weeks. Speaking of kicking back against The Man, many of the lyrics on the demos rage against the corruption within both the government and the church in Brazil. How have things improved since you were younger in that respect, and where do you see things going?
Yeah, on Whipstriker I prefer to talk about these themes because it's part of my reality. The civil war in Rio de Janeiro is so fucking sad. The war between the State and the drug dealers has killed and still kills many people day after day. The police are absolutely corrupt and kill innocent people, dealers, and anybody who gets in the way. Rio is very, very beautiful, but it's a violent city. Children holding guns is normal here in the poor areas. Some things are changing now because the football World Cup will take place here in 2014, so the state is trying to get the dealers out of the tourist areas, but it will not solve the problems. In terms of the church, well, you know all about it already – it's the same everywhere.
If we can leave the theme of systematic child abuse for now, Whipstriker seem to be a band of many faces, incorporating rock and roll, crust and black metal into the sound…
I like many kinds of heavy music. I like bands from the 60s and 70s like The Beatles, Thin Lizzy, Grand Funk Railroad, UFO, Kiss, Free, Bad Company, Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash, and I like punk/ crust, NWOBHM, death, thrash, heavy and black metal too. So I try to mix all the influences together in Whipstriker's music. I don't want to be restricted to play only one style.
Are you working on a new release?
Yeah. I'm always working on new releases. I have 24 songs ready to record here. But I have no money at the moment to record them. So I think I'll record a new album and some EPS in mid-2012. Me and the Farscape guys play in many bands: Whipstriker, Atomic Roar, Diabolic Force, Hellkommander, Sodomizer, Apokalyptic Raids, Discenary.. So we've recorded nothing with Farscape since 2007, but from 2007 to now we've been releasing a lot of stuff with our other bands. We're composing the new songs to record with Farscape in the beginning of 2012. I think the album will be different to our other stuff. I think it's gonna be more death metal.
Sounds killer. How is the scene there in Rio and Brazil? Which of the few bands you don't play in yourself do you rate?
The scene in Rio is very good, I think. We have few venues to play, but no problems. We do what's possible. We have good bands in Rio: Flagelador, Grave Desecrator, Thrasheira, Cold Blood, Corpo Sem Órgãos, Deaf Kids and many more. I think the scene is good nowadays because we have more unity between headbangers and punks. In the past it was not possible. So the gigs mix both styles nowadays.
How was touring with Toxic Holocaust a few years back? How did that union come to pass? Have you been a long-time correspondent with Joel Grind?
I had a good experience with Toxic Holocaust. We played some gigs together here and we recorded an official DVD release some time after. I already liked the band since 2002 when me and Joel traded stuff – demos, T-shirts, etc. I really appreciate Toxic's work and Joel Grind works hard, he plays very well, plays many gigs, records a lot of stuff, etc. I'm happy for him! But now he doesn't answer my emails any more, haha! No problem, he's become a rock star now. No Problem. That's all. I like the band too much! All the best for Joel! Haha, I actually interviewed him the other day, and he said it's because he changed his email address, which I will send you. Anyway. I am sorry to say that my favourite band of yours is the sadly now-defunct Diabolic Force.
HAHA, why are you sorry? Well, you know, 'cause it is finished now.
Well, I like Diabolic Force too, but we have no more time for this band. Diabolic Force started in 2001 after a Farscape gig. Me and another Victor who lives in Rio knew a drummer called Marcelo. He was a very cool and funny guy. But as time passed, we realised Marcelo was a complete bastard, rip-off liar. Everybody in the Rio metal scene hates him. Believe me, I know around 200 people that hate him. So we finished the band in 2004. In 2008, we decided to record some new stuff, but with another drummer. We invited an old friend called Adelson, who played in some old death metal bands. That's all. We made the songs and recorded them. We were back just to record it and finish the band again. Ah, I see. So hey, lastly, what the fuck is a bastard stealer?!?
"Bastard Stealer" is composed to our old drummer – a tribute to this asshole!
Great! Thanks Victor.
Listen: Diabolic Force – "Bastard Stealer"
Listen: Whipstriker – "Christian Wimps"
Listen: Atomic Roar – "Rats Can't Wait"