Alcides Burn

Alcides Burn

In the late years of the 1990's, in Brazil, a new name came out on the graphic artworks for bands covers: Alcides Burn. The legendary artist from Recife, in the Northeast region of Brazil, is the one who signs graphic works for names as BLOOD RED THRONE, KEEP OF KALESSIN, KRISIUN, MALEFACTOR, NERVOCHAOS, HEADHUNTER D.C., REBAELLIUM and others.

Metal Temple veteran writer Marcos Garcia had the opportunity to interview such a well-known name on the graphic arts. Here is the result of our talk with him, who attended us tenderly.
February 22, 2020
Alcides Burn interview
Well, first, thanks a lot for this opportunity, Alcides. So let's begin with a pretty easy question: when did you become interested in Metal, in doing graphic arts, and when did both passions get together in your life? And what was your first work with Metal bands? And when did things get into a more professional way for you? Please, tell us your story.

Alcides: Well, first of all, I appreciate the opportunity. It is an honor for me to have my story and my works shown here on your website. My passion for arts started at a young age, I always liked to draw, so it was a natural process to me. My mother always liked music, not metal, but I grew up being exposed to a lot of music. In the 1990's I met friends who also started to like metal, so when I saw "Eddie" from IRON MAIDEN for the first time I went nuts. Then I got a computer from my uncle and that's where it all begins.

There's a feature that can be thought in the same way: as musicians are influenced by previous musical works, the same works for graphic artists, isn't it? So who were the artists who awakened in you the will of becoming a full time graphic artist? And do you consider that regional graphic arts from the Northeast region influenced you in some ways, just like "Cordel"?

AB: Derek Riggs, Andreas Marschall and Dan Seagrave were some of my biggest influences. I have always enjoyed these artists and their fantastic covers. Nowadays, everything around influences me, especially the culture of the Northeast, which is very rich. Cordel is a magical thing, it is carved in wood and then printed on paper like a stamp, everything is handmade. The scenery of the wild, the caatinga, all these are inspiration for my arts.

As a Brazilian artist, obviously your first works were done for Brazilian bands, but what was your first graphic work for a foreign band? And was it the one who made you become recognized outside Brazil?

AB: The first foreign band I did was ICONOCLASM, from Belgium. In fact, it was a re-release of a label here in my city. They preferred to release a Brazilian edition with a new art for the album. The next one was ACHERON "Rites of the Black Mass", a re-release as well. But I believe that the art that had the greatest repercussion was the KEEP OF KALESSIN one, which became their merch. The art was chosen after a contest that the band had promoted worldwide.

As a professional, you have a company, Burn Artworks. When did you set out the company? Was it a demand as a professional, or something like an old dream that came true?

AB: My dream of making a living with art is starting now. In fact I have always been an advertising person. I have always worked in advertising agencies and I reconciled that with my artistic work. Working for those agencies, helped me a lot in that sense because I always worked with excellent art directors, and have always showed them what I was doing and they used to give me very valuable suggestions. Now I'm putting my dream into practice, I have my own business.

Even working with graphic arts, you also have bands. You're the vocalist for BURN IN PAIN, INNER DEMONS RISE, VERMIIS, and maybe did something on other bands. How do you conciliate both things? I guess you have a family as well, that should make things pretty hard sometimes, isn't that true? Maybe you don't sleep (laughs). And please, if there are some Spotify links available, tell us!

AB: I've recorded and had several projects and bands, now I'm just with VERMIIS, we are going to release an album this year, I believe (laughs). It's an awesome project with two more long-time friends, Davi Barroso from KRENAK (a band from Fortaleza-CE) and Cláudio Slayer from EXPOSE YOUR HATE (a band from Natal-RN). Cláudio has many more projects. He plays for several bands (laughs). I dedicated 10 years of my life to my former band, INNER DEMONS RISE. I had made many concerts. It was an awesome experience, but as things at work were starting to hinder the band, I decided to quit, but I still see the guys often at shows and barbecues, they are like brothers to me!

An unusual question: in Brazil it is extremely difficult to make ends meet with music. Sometimes, musicians and studio workers have to work with other musical genres out of metal. Do you work for something out of music? Tell us about it, and about your feelings of doing it.

AB: As I said before I worked in an advertisement agency for almost 20 years, it was a cool experience because I learned a lot from great art directors. But now I'm getting to work with what I've always loved.

This is a lousy one: doing graphic arts for Metal bands means that you're a Metalhead. So what are the bands you like and what are your favorite metal genres? And do you listen to other musical genres out of metal?

AB: I like from A-HA to NAPALM DEATH, I have no restrictions on music. I have thematic restriction; I do not support bands with Nazi themes, skinhead shit, those ones, never.

This is a hot one: what is the graphic work you did that you're proud of, that one that has a special feeling for you?

AB: All are special to me, I don't have a favorite, each one has its own particularity and story.

Let's make some noise, and speak about a polemic matter: as we are talking now, you did the artwork for Setembro Negro Festival folder (a famous Metal festival that happens every year in September). But as soon as it was released, some fans accused a band of being "White Metal". What do you think about that?

AB: I think Brazil is full of metal "inspectors"! The band is not "white", the producer himself, my friend confirmed and spoke with the guys and they denied it, including one of them is Wicca. The guy was never going to put a white metal band in the festival. But, this is something that happens here in Brazil, I see a mix of bands in festivals outside Brazil. I want to make myself clear that I don't like white metal or defend it. I have Christian friends and I respect them very well, each one on his own place. The worst thing is to see people who two years ago, when the festival returned, praised everything and sold out the festival days and now they talk shit Social networks are a necessary evil, I've always said that, we need them in some way, but people use it to judge. Everyone is now a judge, say what you want without time to defend yourself. Shit!

By now, some works are being done by you. Can you reveal some for us? And what are your future plans for Burn Artworks?

AB: I'm working on several arts, yesterday I finished one more for TAURUS and I'm working on four more that will soon be released.

Well, that's it. I want to thank you again, and please, leave a message and contacts for our readers.

I would like to thank you so much again. Thanks a lot!

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