Thiago Ribeiro


The mix of Modern Metal, Melodic Death Metal and aspects of Heavy metal done by the Brazilian sextet HATEMATTER found its peak at “Antithesis”, their latest album was released back in 2023. And it marks a turn in the career of Brazilian sextet HATEMATTER due two facts: the sad loss of one of their founders, the guitarist (and friend) Gustavo Polidori, and the overcoming of all troubles and pain that became the inspiration for their songs. Now, we had the opportunity to have a talk with them, and to know about the band’s past, their present and their plans for the future.
April 30, 2024

The unveiled truth of Metal - Interview with HATEMATTER

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To begin with, I’d like to thank you for the interview. And let’s talk about the 5 years between “Metaphor” and “Antithesis”. Why did you take such time between these albums?

Thiago Ribeiro: First of all, we appreciate your interest and your time!

The “hiatus” between “Metaphor” and “Antithesis” were weird and turbulent times, to say to least. The sudden loss of our brother-in-arms and childhood friend, shortly followed by a worldwide alert for a pandemic, was not easy to deal with, at all. For a moment, the future of the band itself was put to question. So, we decided to take our time to mourn, and to heal.

In the early days of 2021, Martins and Buck officially invited me and (Rafael) Lopes to join the band as rhythm guitarist and supporting vocalist, adding upon my songwriter/lyricist duties. I promptly accepted, and not very long after the announcement, the writing process of “Antithesis” began.

There are differences between the HATEMATTER’s lineup between “Metaphor” and “Antithesis”. What happened, and how such changes influenced the composition of the band’s songs? And as you worked during the Covid-19 pandemic, do you think that the pandemic influenced the band in some aspects?

Thiago: Besides Polidori’s untimely demise, Lucas (Emidio) decided to pursue his own projects, and is still a close and dear friend to the band. The songwriting dynamics was put to the test, once we were in the middle of the pandemic. On top of that, I’ve been living in Sao Paulo’s countryside, at least two hours away from the capitol.

To everyone’s surprise, this challenge was easily subsided, and the long-distance writing process adjusted on its own, flowing pretty much smoothly. Once most of us have functional home studios, and cloud-based file sharing at our disposal, in December 2022 we entered Casanegra Studios with all songs structured and ready to blast. The first of us to go was Marcus Dotta (Warrel Dane/Roland Grapow), arranging and recording all drums for “Antithesis”.

The pandemic changed our band’s dynamics forever, and of course had a weight in the themes, especially in the lyrics.

“With Mankind Beneath my Feet” was released as a Single as homage to Gustavo, but there’s a reloaded version of it on the album. Are there differences between the two versions? Of course a load of emotions can be on the second version, but do you see things in such a way?

Thiago: Yes, we have released “Mankind…” as homage to our fallen brother, shortly after his passing. In retrospect, there were a few technical and mix-related issues that were overlooked by grief. After pondering the theme together, we decided to give the song a new whirl, with alternate voices as a choice, and a few adjustments to the lyrics and vocal arrangements.

In the end, we see both versions as independent, with voices of their own. Both are unique portraits of distinct moments of the band.

Now going into “Antithesis”: how the album’s title chosen? And what do you want to express with it?

Thiago: As lyricist for HATEMATTER since “Foundation”, my duty is to synthesize all intentions and feelings behind an album, in a single, memorable word. For this record, “Antithesis” was a natural choice to me, once themes such as grief, control, hope, anger, violence, exploitation, are in essence, dialectical. Clashing against themselves and each other in the pursuit of truth.

This is an easy one: what do you want to express with the lyrics of “Antithesis”? Is there a central concept behind them all, or each one has its own lesson to express?

Thiago: Besides the aforementioned dialectical dynamics between the underlying themes, the lyrics and inspirations per se work as independent, with lives of their own, like we chose to do in “Metaphor”.

You worked with your keyboardist Rafael Augusto Lopes at Casanegra Studios on the production and recording, and he did the initial mixing of “The Veiled Truth”, “Precognitive Dissonance” and “Unseen to Lesser Eyes”. But on a second moment, you chose Brendan Duffey to make the final mix and mastering of “Antithesis”. Why such choice happened? And are you fully satisfied with the final result?

Thiago: Brendan is the man behind HATEMATTER’s sound since the very beginning, and so he has been ever since. Besides that, Lopes worked with him at the Norcal Studios for a while, so in the end we’re all buddies for a very long time. In the end, now we have more eyes and ears watching over production, and “Antithesis” is the living proof of it.

Still about Rafael: he is now a member of the band playing keyboards and synths. How you brought him into the band? And he had some participation on the composing of the songs?

Thiago: Lopes came into the HATEMATTER naturally, after his astounding contributions in the interludes for “Metaphor”, and for co-writing the hauntingly beautiful “Unseen to Lesser Eyes” beside our late Gustavo. The synthesizers have brought a whole new dimension to our sound, and we could not be happier to have a guy with all his musical stature aboard our ship.

Comparing “Antithesis” with “Metaphor”, “Foundation” and “Doctrines”, it sounds more mature and solid, showing that you’re living on an excellent moment. But what are your considerations in such matter? Do you see things in a different way?

Thiago: I mostly agree with you on this one! “Antithesis” actually rings as mature and more seasoned than the previous records. To see an opus that endured such pain and loss in its process, to come alive and resonate so well with those who enjoyed it, is as humbling as it is refreshing for us.

On “Liberate Me”, you had as guest the voice of Mayara Puertas (of TORTURE SQUAD). How the idea of have her singing appeared? And how things worked to have her on “Antithesis”?

Thiago: As (Rafae) Lopes told us, Mayara was in Casanegra to record FANTTASMA material, and he took his chance to show her our work on “Antithesis” so far. During Luiz’s and mine vocal recordings, we were talking about the movie behind the lyrics of “Liberate Me”, the timeless cosmic horror classic “Event Horizon”, and how cool it would be if we could have a feminine guest to perform the narrations from the movie’s first minutes. With that in mind, he showed her the music, and explained how he envisioned her voice in the song. For our joy and luck, she said yes on the spot, and on the same day tracked her mighty voices, even expanding it to a few scream and growl parts, that altogether became indissociable to the song.

Today, more and more bands are using the internet platforms to release their albums, and not releasing physical copies anymore. So was “Antithesis” released as CD or not? And if not, are there plans for it? Are there offerings for a release of it on USA and Europe?

Thiago: We decided to keep the record strictly digital, once we still have closed boxes of “Foundation” CDs in our stock. The investment required to release physical copies, as a fully independent band, is just not feasible. Regarding international release plans, so far, we got no offerings on the horizon.

By now, how is the feedback from fans and press to “Antithesis”?

Thiago: The response has been very good, given the circumstances and boundaries imposed by our daily lives and day jobs, that prevent us from touring and promoting the album further.

Until this moment, no track of the album was released as a lyric video or even an official one. What happened? Don’t you have plans for a video by now?

Thiago: We have the lyric video for “Mankind” in the final production phase. It was not released with the album due to budgetary restrictions.

And what about live shows? How are things working? It’s clear that Brazilian scene has some problems and hardships are usual, but do you have plans or invitations to make shows out of São Paulo?

Thiago: As I mentioned earlier, everyone in the band has a full time day job, which makes it close to impossible to attend touring dates as we wish we could. Nevertheless, we plan on playing as many dates as we can this year, before starting to work on a new record.

That’s it. Again, I thank you for your kind words and attention, and please, leave your message to our readers and fans.

Thiago: It was a pleasure, thank you for your time and patience!

For everyone listening to HATEMATTER worldwide, everything we put in this band is a token of life-long dedication to the craft. Above all hardship and heartbreak, making music is our most inevitable need, and we’ll carry it on for as long as we’re able.

Thank you for partaking in this journey! We love you all!


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