Rabaelliun are, in my opinion, one of the best Death Metal bands coming from the underground. From their roots in the Brazilian slums to conquering Europe and the underground scene by storm, they have come forward with some of the most brutal musick ever. I had a little chat with Fabiano Penna about Rabaelliun before the recording of their next album, Annihilation. I bet the album is out by the time you read this, go get it and be brutalized!!!

REBAELLIUN Interview by Noorwan Ariff - Answered by Fabiano Penna (guitars) - July/August '2001.

Hail Fabiano! How are you today?

Everything is OK, REBAELLIUN is gonna unleash a new album soon and I just cannot wait to see the album out.

Why did Marcello + Ronaldo leave the band, and why did Ronaldo came into REBAELLIUN again? How did their departures affect the band? Who's taken their place? Do you feel that the 'new' line-up is more stable + powerful than the last? Why is the band not called Rebellion?

Ronaldo left REBAELLIUN last year for personal problems, his mother was sick and he couldn't dedicate himself to REBAELLIUN. He came back 'cause we were looking for a second guitarist when the band was a trio, and since he was in a better moment, we all thought it was the time to have him back. Marcello left 'cause he wanted time to dedicate for tattoos, he's a tattoo artist now. Of course it was not easy when both left REBAELLIUN, we lost shows and some opportunities with that, but the new line-up is by far the best one, and so in the end all those problems at least made REBAELLIUN even stronger than before... the new bassist/vocalist, Lohy Fabiano, is an old friend of us, he actually was the frontman of our old band, before REBAELLIUN. About the name, we chose this different spelling to avoid other bands with the same name.

Tell us about the new album. Why was it recorded in Germany and not in your native Brazil like "Burn..."? When will it be released? Tell us about the songs on the new album. Will there be a tour for the album?

Our new album is called "Annihilation", and it's gonna be released in September. It was recorded in Germany 'cause it's much easier and better than recording in Brazil, some German studios, as well as other studios in Europe and North America, have a kind of tradition recording Metal genre, and in Brazil we still don't have this. About the songs in the album, I can tell you they are sounding even faster and more extreme than songs from "Burn the Promised Land" or "Bringer of War", and the musicianship was really improved till "Annihilation". And a tour will follow for sure, in Europe and in North America as well, it will happen as soon as possible.

Looking through the lyrics in "Burn...", you seem to be really anti-Christian. I know Brazil is a Christian country, were you oppressed by Chirstianity in some way?

We are an anti-Christian band, and this is part of our philosophy as well. However this is not the main point in REBAELLIUN lyrics, we write against Christianity and the religions for all the fallacy they represent, for all the weakness they preach. Their philosophy is against nature, it's against natural human instinct, and for centuries they have tried to stop human evolution. What more can I say?

'...and the Immortals...' is my favourite track on "Burn...". How did you come up with those killer riffs? Who writes those really incredible lyrics? Was 'Flagellation of Christ' put on the album to slow things down a bit? What/Where is 'the promised land'?

'... and the Immortals Shall Rise' is our oldest track, it was actually written when we were playing in our old band, Blessed, around '95/'96... the riffs just come when we are playing at home, when you spend a lot of time practicing the guitar, it's much easier to create music, 'cause you are more 'opened' for it. About the lyrics, in the new album most of them are written by me, Ronaldo also writes and now Lohy Fabiano, the new bassist/vocalist, is writing some lyrics as well. 'Flagellation of Christ' was an old idea, we really wanted to write an instrumental song, and I personally think it has a very dark and powerful atmosphere. And about the 'promised land', it represents the 'perfect society', the perfect idea about mankind which was created by the Christians and which will never exist.

You told me the band is relocating to Sao Paulo. Why is this? Is it because you got a lot money now or there is a better scene in SP? How is the scene in your place and Brazil in general? Tell us about a typical REBAELLIUN show?

REBAELLIUN getting a lot of money? Is this a joke? We still cannot live by our music, we don't work in daily jobs but sometimes we have to work for a few weeks in 'black' jobs to make some money to survive. In the current time we just make money to keep the band existing, and that's it. We stayed around 3 months in Sao Paulo playing some shows and doing interviews, promoting REBAELLIUN... now we are back to our area, which is in the extreme south of Brazil. Death Metal scene is much better in Sao Paulo, but to live there you need more money. In our area the scene is much worse, however we have some good bands over here, such as Nephasth and Abominattion. About a REBAELLIUN show, I can tell you it's a powerful and strong show, we don't go on stage just to play the instruments, that is the best moment in a band, so we just try to be the best we can be in every performance.

I'm sure by now you've played loads of gigs in Europe. How was the reactions? Have you done any gigs in Brazil? Do you feel that REBAELLIUN is more accepted in Europe/Worldwide than in Brazil?

We started our career in Europe, talking about REBAELLIUN... the reaction has been great, we know that we still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve as musicians to make REBAELLIUN bigger and more known in the Death Metal scene, but we are on the right way. This year we played more gigs in Brazil, we played some concerts with Incantation in their Brazilian Tour and a few gigs like headliners. The response has been pretty good, most of the people know our music and the albums, we just have to keep this hard work to get more fans and to make our music more known in the Death Metal community.

Do you play football at all? I know this is quite old, but, what was your reaction to Brazil's humiliating defeat in France '98? Do you feel they will win the next world cup?

We still have the best football in the world, the problem is that there's a kind of mafia behind the big teams and most famous players in Brazil, and so the Brazilian team doesn't work out, they are there for the money and that's it. I really enjoy watching and playing football, but I haven't played too much nowadays, I spend most of my time with REBAELLIUN.

Why the hell did you guys go to Belgium 1st instead of Germany/Other European country to promote the band? How did the deal with Hammerheart come along? Do you feel Brazilian bands like Sepultura/Sarcofago/Krisiun paved the way for REBAELLIUN? Tell us about these bands, are you all friends?

We went to Belgium 'cause at that time it was the cheapest place to go, Germany would be too expensive. However we got a great response in that country and we can say that Belgium is our 'home' in Europe, we know most of the people involved with the extreme scene over there, most of the bands and pubs... about Hammerheart, they were one of the labels interested in REBAELLIUN between '98/'99, we were in Europe with a promo-tape and so we just sent this stuff to several record labels, some of them got in touch, and so we started to deal with them. Hammerheart did the best offer and they have supported REBAELLIUN pretty well on the last years, 3 years ago nobody knew REBAELLIUN and nowadays the band is very known in the extreme scene, the label has worked well. Regarding the results we have got on last years, of course it was not easy, we have worked fucking hard since then, and a lot of choices were done, you just cannot have everything you want at the same time, right now we are really focused in REBAELLIUN, and so we just cannot have other things... but this is what we like and so we are satisfied with the conditions, and we really believe REBAELLIUN still have a lot to do and will really grow a lot on coming years. About the other Brazilian bands, we know the guys of Krisiun since their beginning, they are great. Sepultura really did a lot in the past and they kinda 'opened the doors' for the Brazilian Metal scene in Europe and U.S. , this is what I think.

What kind of guitar do you have and how many? How about effects? What do you use? What would be the perfect guitar for you? Do REBAELLIUN downtune their guitars?

I have a Jackson Randy Rhoads model, with Duncan Design pick-ups. This is my personal guitar, Ronaldo's personal guitar is the same model with the same pick-ups. And we have one more guitar for the shows, it's an Ibanez RG model, very common guitar, but a good one. For effects, right now I'm just using the distortion from the amp, in the rehearsals I use a Marshall Valvestate Combo, and with not a lot of distortion... for the leads I use a Marshall Jackhammer pedal, it's not that sound, but it gives me more gain and it's OK. Of course this is not the perfect set, I will keep playing my Randy Rhoads, I will probably change the pick-ups and the bridge soon, and for the effects, I wanna buy a Marshall JPM-1 for distortion and maybe some Alesis effects for reverb and chorus. About the tuning, we always used half-step down, in all the albums. But after recording "Annihilation" we changed for 2 and a half steps down, it sounds like a 7-string guitar, without the first string.

You go into a record store to buy a CD. Which kind of CD would you buy: the most interesting cover, the one recommended by the shop or the one given the highest reviews in mags? What type of music do you listen to now? Do you still buy cassettes nowadays?

I just buy some CD when I already know the music, I'm very critical about music and so I don't listen to any crap around. And I do not buy cassettes anymore, they sound fucking bad... about the music I have listened to nowadays, some Death Metal bands such as Nile, Angelcorpse, Centurian, Behemoth and Nephasth, some old-school Metal bands such as Slayer, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest, guitarists like Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and Jason Becker, classical music, fusion, jazz, etc.

I'm sure you've done plenty of interviews now. What is the most boring question that they always ask? What would be a shocking question to you? On a scale of 1 (boring) to 10 (excellent) how would you rate this interview?

Most of the questions are the same for all the interviews and so they become boring in the end, but there's nothing to do, you just have to answer them 'cause they exist to promote the band and to show to the people what are your thoughts about your own project. I think this interview is a good one, but I cannot rate it, it wouldn't make any sense...

Tell us about Renegade Studio. Do they give you free tattoos for promoting them? How many tattoos do you have? What was the most painful? How about piercing?

Yes, the owner is a great friend of us, he gives us free tattoos and he is the designer of our home-page - www.rebaelliun.com - and he also made all the layout of "Annihilation". I have around 10 tattoos, I had some piercings before, but not anymore.

Thanx for your time and patience...
Thank you for the interview and support. "Annihilation" is coming out in September, and our first World Tour is already happenning with the Brazilian shows. Europe and North America will soon see REBAELLIUN, so we just hope to meet you all on tour. http://WWW.REBAELLIUN.COM