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Edition #11
Rio de Janeiro, 2008

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“DKANDLE weaves swirling multi-colored vibrant unearthly soundscapes, blending fuzzy and reverberating Shoegaze textures, mesmerizing Dream Pop meditations, sludgy Grungey tones and moody Post-punk strains, heightened with soul-stirring lyricism and pensive emotive vocalizations”

TAGS: bands, interview, music, rock, underground, videos

TRANZINE - Why Transmission?

Stefano, Giana: After forming the band, we played for several months without finding a name that would identify the band and please everyone. One day, Edu (Space Rave) suggested the name during a Planondas rehearsal (Leticia’s side project) when he heard that our sound reminded him of Joy Division and Interpol. Everyone liked the name because it refers to these bands, which are some of our influences, and it also has a broader and more abstract meaning, like our sound.

Leticia: The band name took a while to come up... It was Edu's suggestion, and we were really into Joy Division at the time and loved the name. Shortly after, we discovered a band with this name in Curitiba (I even played with them with Planondas...).

TRANZINE - How do you define the band (without labeling or limiting your sound)?

Leticia: Dude, I think that's difficult... The four of us make, in my opinion, a blend of distinct styles with a collective energy that’s awesome... The guitars and vocals have strength and melody (I’m a huge fan of Giana and Stefano...), Carol's bass is incredibly awesome (I think the bassist makes all the difference in a band), and my drumming follows simply along with the various breaks and returns that the music takes... In this, you see influences from various things... A friend said he "never saw a band so indie." I understand that, at the very least, our sound is different, not easy to label...

TRANZINE - Nowadays, there is a lot of pressure, even from exponents of the underground scene, for bands to sing in Portuguese. Do you feel pressured to sing in Portuguese? Does singing in English help or hinder the band's exposure in the media?

Giana: There is this pressure, and someone always questions why we sing in English. Transmission is a band free to sing in any language, and I think it’s important not to give up this freedom in favor of external pressures.

Stefano: So far, we've only been able to achieve the intended sound to our liking by singing in English. There are several bands today singing in Portuguese, of which I like few, by the way (but that’s another discussion), and I don't think it’s necessary or makes sense to create a rule for the underground scene, where the objective and main characteristic should be the freedom of creation. I also don’t think it makes sense for an independent band to worry too much about its exposure in the media; instead, they should present their work in the best way they understand. "Keep the rock in the free world!"

Leticia: Man, we do a lot of things, work like crazy, get involved in many projects... When the band started, our motto was not to stress. We play for pleasure. For Gi and Stefano, composing in English is natural because the music we listen to is in English, the bands that influence us sing in English, we don't expose ourselves as much (hehehe), it’s easier... I don’t know... Since I have other bands, I know how much more successful a song can be if people will remember it because it’s in Portuguese and sing along at the show. I think it hinders the band's exposure in the media. But who cares.

TRANZINE - Easy access to technology nowadays allows anyone to record an album in their own room and share their music on the internet. How do you see this new landscape? Do you think it makes it easier or harder for a band to survive in the market?

Giana: For an independent band, the MP3 was a lifesaver, and today we can discover many more underground bands from all over the world... I’m very much in favor of MP3s. I don’t think MP3s harm bands in general, and CD sales didn’t decrease because of this type of distribution.

Stefano: I consider MP3 a technology that facilitates the dissemination of music, making it more accessible. I think quality music and, consequently, the artists, will always survive with the ease of promoting their work. It might be the end of the luxury for some artists who often don't deserve the level they are at, since much of the credit should be given to marketing artists and their masterpieces, as well as the sea of money that ensures (and forces) the promotion of their work, completely isolating artists with fewer resources. Piracy is inevitable, and while some effort to combat it is fine, there comes a point where it would be better to channel the effort spent fighting it into searching for new artists. Piracy affects everyone, but it's only lethal for fragile artistic work that relies on commercial garbage with albums that have just one good song. I don't want to go too hard on record labels here, but I believe that much of the art has been sidelined in favor of immediate financial return, which is understandable in today's world.

Leticia: I think MP3s are genius. I love being in front of the computer and having access to any music in the world. And, let's face it, a record label and selling CDs in stores benefit the artist minimally. This is a period of searching for alternatives. For us, being independent and used to doing things ourselves, it's great to be able to promote more easily...

TRANZINE - How is the underground scene in Porto Alegre? It seems like the rock scene there is pretty strong, right?

Stefano, Giana: Rio Grande do Sul has always had a strong rock vein, and recently (in the last five years), there has been growth with the emergence of new quality bands with their own styles, strengthening (or being strengthened by) an increase in the audience interested in alternative sounds. Porto Alegre, in particular, has a more ingrained tendency towards classic or '60s and '70s rock 'n' roll. Greater Porto Alegre, especially the Canoas, Esteio, São Leopoldo, and Novo Hamburgo axis, has several alternative bands focused on sounds inspired by the '80s, '90s, and current music.

Leticia: As far as the bands go, yes. But when it comes to bars, media, and the audience, it leaves much to be desired. The only reliable bars are Dr. Jekyll and now Garagem Hermética, which has reopened. The radio stations (except for Rádio Unissinos FM) completely ignore  the underground scene (since mainstream bands are not from the underground and are fabricated) as does "music journalism." The audience is blasé, and many bands (and their respective audiences) are rivals. But we survive. I love playing a lot. I would die if I stopped.

TRANZINE - What is the best show you have played so far?

Stefano: We had a great show at Dr. Jekyll in December, but the show in

January at the World Social Forum had a very good reception from people

outside of RS. We've also played in São Leopoldo at Casarão Hall with

Supermozart and Visionários, and the other times were in Porto Alegre.

Leticia: We're a new band (about five shows)... The show at the World Social

Forum was special because the audience was very diverse.

TRANZINE - What Brazilian bands do you like?

Giana: Viana Moog (RS), Amorfo (RS), S.O.L. (RS), Not so Easy (RS), Planondas (RS), Pública (RS), Fuso (MG), Dog School (SP), Pin Ups (SP), Hats (SP), DMX (SP)...

Stefano: Girlish, DeuseoDiabo, Valv, Viana Moog, Dominatrix, Low Dream, Nonsense, Pin Ups, Pública, Seven2nine, Farveste.

Leticia: Here in Porto Alegre, I like: Pública, Space Rave, Superguidis, Alcalóides, Walverdes... From São Paulo, Biônica, Hats...

TRANZINE - What do you think of bands like CPM22 and Detonautas and the current wave of emocore in Brazil?

Giana: I don't listen to these bands... and waves come and go, at least it's not sertanejo, axé, or o tchan...

Stefano: I think it at least opens, or maintains, a space in the Brazilian public for rock, breaking down some barriers... but creating others as well.

TRANZINE - If you were taken to a desert island and could only take three albums, which ones would you take?

Giana: I WOULD SUFFER A LOT HAVING TO TAKE ONLY 3... BUT currently, I would take: COME PICK ME UP by SUPERCHUNK, TO RECORD ONLY WATER FOR TEN DAYS by JOHN FRUSCIANTE, and SONIC NURSE by SONIC YOUTH... BUT THERE'S ALSO JETS TO BRAZIL, PIXIES, TEAM DRESH, YO LA TENGO... OH MY GOD

Stefano: Leaving aside the moment, it would be DOOLITTLE (Pixies), DRY (PJ Harvey), and DIARY (Sunny Day Real Estate)... (and in the coat pocket, THIS IS A PINBACK CD by Pinback)

Carol: YO LA TENGO - ELECTROPURA, PIXIES - DEATH TO THE PIXIES, FUGAZI - REPEATER

Leticia: 3 MP3 CDs???!!!! not allowed? Damn, for a lifetime on the island?? a lifetime listening to 3 albums? without going crazy?? impossible. Okay, for the spirit of the moment: MARQUEE MOON - TELEVISION, HUNKY DORY - DAVID BOWIE, WHITE ALBUM - THE BEATLES.

So, did you enjoy the music of Transmission?
Tell us in the comments below

previous page: THE GAY EGYPTIAN COUPLE (EDITION #10)
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