What's the name of your band? What's the origin of that name? Have you changed the band's name before?
Our band’s name is Hourswill, we never had any other name. The origin of the name comes from an idea about time having a certain will, a certain power to control lives and how nobody can escape it. It sounded original and different, so we stuck with it.
Please list the name, age, and respective instrument of each band member.
José Bonito (40 yr old) – guitars
Nuno Damião (36 yr old) – vocals
Nuno Peixoto (35 yr old) – drums
Pedro Costa (30 yr old) – bass
Rodrigo Louraço (30 yr old) – guitars
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
People have categorised us as progressive metal. We never thought about it really that much, and back when we started people would ask us what genre of metal we played and we would simply reply “Metal” (horns up!) because we really didn’t know what to say. I guess we blend Heavy, Thrash and Death Metal on our music with a bit of the 70’s and afterwards progressive spirit, which really doesn’t fit into a specific sub-genre we could identify. We guess progressive metal it is… if that’s what people want to call us. Our major influences go by the genres I said, especially the 80’s and 90’s music, but also anything previous or later than that might just catch our attention.
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
The band was formed in the beginning of this century, the exact year is blurred with the passage of time and abusive amounts of alcohol… It all started when José (guitars) and Peixoto (drums) decided to quit their previous bands and join forces to start something new. They invited me back then but I was caught up with jobs and studying post-labour college that I just didn’t had the time for it. About 2008 the college factor was finally wrapped up and the invitation was still up, so I joined in. The line-up was then completed with the arrival of our previous bass player and Rodrigo in about 2009. Rodrigo meanwhile left the band and was replaced, recently we had another line-up change and Rodrigo returned along with the arrival of our newest band member, Pedro, the bass player.
The three of us, José, Peixoto and me, we have known each for a long time now and we always wanted to do music together for years, and time finally arrived for us to join forces with that goal in mind. We try to do music that can make us feel proud of, mainly, and that would make our influences feel proud of too.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Like said before, the three of us know each other way back since when we were teenagers living in the same area, almost close neighbours. The other two members, we basically met them just before they joined the band. We met Rodrigo and Pedro while performing for other previous bands we were involved with or for other bands of friends we have in common.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
The main writer is José who usually come up with the main riffs, but we all contribute to song-writing between ourselves. Lyrically speaking, I basically write all of the lyrics (at least until now it’s been that way) and themes revolve around social, political and religious unrest, basically all the “good stuff” happening on our planet and life in general. These topics may change over time, but with such a “rich” inspiration on this bullshit planet we live in, I guess there won’t be any lack of topics to write about in the near future, unfortunately.
Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
José usually comes up with some riffs he finds cool enough to work on, present them to us and we gather on the rehearsal room with each one doing their parts. We then start adding stuff that we see fit on the song that’s building up and gradually add “flavours” to it. If something doesn’t really work, we re-write them. Lyrics usually only come up when at least the main structure of a certain song is already built and set.
Do you have a record label? Are you a member of any music organizations?
Yes, our debut (and only one up to now) album was released by Ethereal Sound Works. Not sure what you mean with “music organizations”, but my guess is we don’t belong to any that may be.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
It depends… When we have an upcoming show or we are more focused on song-writing we generally set certain days aside for rehearsals, like a certain set time each week, but we also gather, at least some members, spontaneously ever once in a while when feel the “need” to play whenever we are not busy or even when we may have a set time scheduled.
What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/colour preference?
Well, I was basically born with my own instrument (laughs) so I can’t really tell about it on behalf of all the others. But my guess is we will play with whatever is available, since to buy top gear (or even at least good gear, to be honest) money is an issue. Of course, we all have our own preferences for certain brands and models and we would also love to have endorsements (Attention! If any employee or member of a certain brand of any kind is reading this please contact us urgently!) but we get around and work with whatever we can get our hands on (or what our pockets manage to get, to be fully honest!), so there’s no actual brand loyalty, at least for now. I would say that preferences, from most influential to least influential, would be cost/brand/model/style/colour, although we all have a certain taste for black. Because it’s Metal!, you know? (laughs)
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
When we first started, because we spent some amount of time just with drums, one guitar and voice on the rehearsals, our music was a bit more raw and stripped down back then. With a second guitar we got more focused on writing great melodies and solos to add to powerful riffs. I would say our music has evolved on all senses since then: song structure, melodies, harmonies and even more powerful. I couldn’t say more about it since we only have one album out right now, so I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.
How do you get psyched up for a gig?
Well, alcohol is a great friend to us (laughs) and some of us won’t say no to some smokes as well (laughs). Personally, I don’t really need to get all psyched up for a gig because I start to feel a certain adrenaline rush just before getting on stage. I would say our passion for music and playing get’s us psyched enough already before getting on stage.
Where is the biggest you have performed? Do you have any upcoming shows?
Since we are a relatively new and small band, we haven’t really played any real big shows. Although I must mention some gigs we played opening for an older and bigger band here in Portugal called Sacred Sin, which we are good friends and also fans of them, which went really well, and a festival we played recently called Hell In Sintra, which was also great. We are scheduled to perform at Pax Julia Metal Fest in November this year.
Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?
Since we only have one album released to this date and we usually play on opening slot, our set-list is relatively short and there’s just one or two songs that jump out of the list when we need to further shorten it. I personally have some live favourites that I hope we’ll be playing for a long time, especially “Vows Of Submission” and “Inevitable Collapse”, which I think really work out great live. We don’t play covers, not a special reason for it, we just never did one.
What have you got planned for the next 6 months? Hopefully something fantastic.
We are planning a few gigs here and there but we’ll be mostly focusing on writing new material for a future upcoming release. We’ll also be seeing what comes along the way, but my guess is it won’t shift a lot from this.
What is your favourite festival (played) / (been to)?
We only played a small underground festival back here called Hell In Sintra, so until now that’s pretty much it. We’ll be playing another one, Pax Julia Metal Fest, later this year. My favourite festivals I’ve ever been to are Vagos Open Air and Barroselas Steel Warrior’s Rebellion (local Portuguese festivals) and Hellfest. Finally got to see King Diamond there, along with a bunch of other great bands, so that was pretty special to me.
If you could play alongside any band which one would you pick?
Just one??? There are far too many bands we would like to share stages with; I can’t really just name one…
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Actually, a drunken wasted guy wearing only a robe and a pair of slippers, rockin’ is ass off in front of the stage in a show we did a while ago. It was really something worth seeing dude (laughs).
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
I would have to say recording and managing to get a label to release our debut album, for sure. We overcame this challenge with a big load of hard work, perseverance and some help from our good friends. But mostly hard work and managing to stay really focused on our goal.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Where can people buy your merchandise?
Well… we really don’t have any merchandise to sell… (laughs) I mean, we only have CD’s of our first album to sell right now. We tried to get some t-shirts made, but we really had too much of a big thing planned for it with the cover on the front and another artwork on the back, full colours… We failed to keep it simple and it was just too much of a “grand design” for a band like us, because the t-shirts would really get to be pretty expensive to get them made and we would not be selling too many of them to cope with it. It’s fine when you manage to get simple one-coloured t-shirts with a good design for your band like most to almost all bands do nowadays. Since that failed, we got a little frustrated about it because the t-shirts looked really great on the computer screen (laughs), but it was just a little bit too much for us to get it done and still have a reasonable amount of t-shirts at an accessible price, so we dropped the idea and haven’t talked about it again.
What's your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
Well, the sky is the limit when you’re playing rock and roll… (laughs) but it’s also a long way to the top like AC/DC say (laughs). No, seriously, we take things on a daily basis and as they come along our way and there’s really no way of telling what the future holds for us. Fame and fortune is probably too much of a best-case scenario for us… I would gladly settle for being able to manage to get around just making music for a long time and have a meaningful career on the music business. And I would really love to at least leave a mark on Heavy Metal like the bands that came before that made us love this music genre and really inspire us to start playing did / do.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
One word: don’t! (laughs) No, seriously… don’t! (laughs) Well, things like they are nowadays in the music industry are just seriously fucked up. If you want to form your own band to seek fame and fortune, to take your previous lead, then you’re really on the wrong musical genre playing Metal and doing it for all the wrong reasons. Getting lost and frustrated will probably be the end of the road for you. But if you really love music and have a passion to make up your own stuff, rock the shit out of people around the world and play for any live crowd, deal with the fact that you’ll be sweating blood with a lot of hard work, manage to achieve a break-even point between income and investment / expenses and it’s really your dream, then I would say go for it! Because then you’re doing it for all the right reasons: your love, your passion, your dream. And even if success doesn’t knock on your door, at least you’ll probably be enjoying the ride.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Yeah, we actually do. We’re also on facebook, reverbnation, bandcamp and we also have a youtube channel, among others. We also have our album for sale on almost any popular platforms like spotify, amazon, whatever. If you want to buy our record, especially abroad, we would suggest you to reach us on bandcamp, since it’s simple and you’ll be buying it directly from us, no intermediaries whatsoever. And we have both digital and physical copies for sale. Just type Hourswill bandcamp on google, you’ll get there.
Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
Of course, our families, friends and fans for keeping up with us and helping us grow. Anyone who helped us in any special or other way, who keep an eye on us and have a genuine interest on what we’re doing, regardless if they’re just listening or buying our records, certainly deserve to be mentioned here. I would probably be forgetting someone if I were to personally name someone, so I won’t.
Any last words?
Hope you enjoyed reading this. A big thank you for you who are reading this to get the time to know us a little bit more. Also, a big thank you for you guys to giving us this opportunity and sending us these questions. Please, take the time to listen to us and if you find our work interesting, then support us. Keep it Metal!