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Fracktura

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Andre Machado of Fracktura from 2018

MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music sort of a "highlight reel?"

Nothing too unusual. I grew up in a musical environment where, more often than not, there would be music being played on the stereo on a daily basis. Although I am the only professional musician among my relatives, my musical and artistic inclinations were always met with strong support from my immediate family, which granted me the necessary freedom to find myself and build my own voice. I have always been a radical sort, which led me to wander through the less loved corners of human expression: The Second Viennese School led by Schoenberg, the less commercial progressive Rock, the extreme metal that even extreme metal fans hate, to name a few in the music field. My career started at a very young age. I was around 13 years old when I played my first concert with a band. This concert was interrupted by gunshots, and the whole venue turned into chaos. A little over a decade of numerous musical projects and collaborations later, Fracktura came to life.

MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

I've been involved with music since a very young age, which makes it difficult for me to imagine my life without it. But I can easily see myself working with other artforms and still feel fulfilled. I'm a huge fan of artistic cinema, for which I am very often writing music, for example, as well as theatre and modern dance (although I believe there's no chance I could ever become a professional dancer). I am also a fan of intense sports such as martial arts and American football, which I could see myself doing professionally had I been born in the right context for it.

MSJ:

How did the name of the group originate?

The idea came to me as I was listening to King Crimson's song “FraKctured.” “Fratura” is the Portuguese translation to that, which was added to the verb “to frack,” which basically means “to extract something from subterranean formations through high pressure injection.”

MSJ:

Who would you see as your musical influences?

That would be a vast list that ranges from expressionist music to progressive rock, American jazz and avant-garde music in general. Composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Heitor Villa-Lobos, along with bands like King Crimson, Ulver, Puscifer,  Dodheimsgard, Bjork, Portishead, among many others.

MSJ:

What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

So far, I have enjoyed all the comments and feedback we have received, including the negative ones. They usually reveal more about the commentator than about the music, though. We've been called a full range of different adjectives, which makes me believe that the music is reaching different people that are communicating with it on a personal level.

MSJ:

What's ahead for you?

We are now working on our upcoming release, planned for sometime next year. It will be longer, conceptual as a whole, and it will bring about some interesting new collaborations from the outside. Furthermore, we are once again working with Brazilian filmmaker Diogo Oliveira as our lyricist, and our music will continue to be the soundtrack of his newly released channel on YouTube, Canal Quimera, an ongoing project containing a series of short films that express much of Fracktura's 

essence through images.

MSJ:

I know many artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?

Sickeningly human.

MSJ:

Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?

I'm sure there are many people I haven't met yet that would fit perfectly with something we will come to create in the future. I love collaborating, and I do it often. And although I am a shy person for many things in life, I don't abstain from reaching out to people that I want to work with. But realistically speaking, Fracktura is not an easy fit for most people. When we look for someone, we are not seeking a hired gun with impeccable skills on their instrument, but rather a strong personality with a certain degree of adaptation skills, someone that will bring a unique voice that will add something extra-strange to our world. So far, we've been lucky to collaborate with everyone we've wanted to.

MSJ:

Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?

Some of both, but certainly more of a hindrance than a help. Illegal downloads hurt mostly those who won't compromise, the true artists that do not want to sell themselves short to the will of the majority. Artists still need strong support backing them up, if they want people toknow what they are doing. Very few people have the passion and the willpower to look for new things on their own, while the vast majority still follow trends and/or wait for someone to tell them what to listen to (even if it's within a bubble).

MSJ:

In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?

That's a symptom of a sick generation, self-absorbed masses suffering from celebrity syndrome. The stage experience is irreplaceable, and it seems like some people are trading it for a false sense of importance in the digital world. It's one of the things I dislike the most in this age.

MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?

No one. Life is just too short for that. I am here as a visitor, and do not intend to fight people's right  to make a fool of themselves.

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

I believe the best bands are not made of a compilation of the best possible musicians, but rather a combination of elements brought by certain people that will finely balance the final artistic result. Usually, the right person for an open position in a band is not the best player, but a missing link. This could very well mean a very technical player, or someone that can barely learn the music themselves but emanates creativity. That being said, I think the world is filled with several ultimate bands already, and history has shown me that putting together your favorite musicians usually doesn't lead to anything special.

MSJ:

If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?

King Crimson, Dodheimsgard, Arcturus, Ulver, Bjork, Puscifer, Ihsahn,  Vulture Industries, Behemoth - a very eclectic festival indeed.

MSJ:

What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

The last one I bought was Portishead's Third, which I found in a nice CD shop last week in Chicago.

MSJ:

Have you read any good books lately?

Just started Sam Harris' Waking Up - seems promising. Recently finished Adam Nergal's Confession of a Heretic, which I enjoyed very much, and I am often catching up with Charles Bukowski's novels and poems, my favorite writer of all time.

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

The premiere of Norma, by Bellini, a few weeks ago at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. Although not a big fan of Bellini's orchestration here, Jamie Barton's chest voice alone was enough to make the whole experience worth it.

MSJ:

Do you remember the first concert you attended?

Sure, it was a big local music festival in Brazil approximately two decades ago, when I was just a toddler. I don't remember who was playing, but I will always remember the overall atmosphere of that place.

MSJ:

Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

Just ordered a 9-string classical guitar from guitar maker Martin Woodhouse. Really looking forward to having it in my hands.

MSJ:

Do you have a musical "guilty pleasure?"

I generally don't feel guilty about the things that I like.

MSJ:

If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

That depends on my mood. Right now, I would say Charles Bukowski, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Jon Nödtveidt.
MSJ:

What would be on the menu?

The last scene of Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. (Laughter)

MSJ:

Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

I appreciate the space and interest in our work, and hope to come up with something new and meaningful in a few months that will provoke new travels within. Look through the cracks!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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