Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of More Than A Thousand when the band came to be. Has that intention / the spirit changed until today? What kind of philosophy is the basis for what you are doing with your band right now?
More Than A Thousand: We've always wanted to be in a band and make music. We love music, either playing it, producing, writing, listening to it. So even after this band breaks up we wish to stay involved in music somehow.
No real philosophy but the spirit remains the same from when we started, we might know some more stuff now and have some more experience than 11 years ago but we still love touring, we still love hanging out with fans and playing live, I don't see us getting tired of it soon.
Musicscan: What is it for you guys to be called a metalcore or modern extreme metal band - is it somehow annoying or fine with you? At least you are often told to be such kind of a band in reviews…
More Than A Thousand: We're not really bothered by it to be honest. People who are more into heavy music's sub-genres and more informed call it Metalcore, people that are into pop will call it heavy "loud" music and extreme metal fans will say it's soft, so whatever helps people describe it it's fine by us. We never go into the studio and say "let's write a metalcore song!", it's just what we naturally feel like writing at the moment.
Musicscan: Being around as a band with an own identity and vision, does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore you or have a different understanding of what your music and your style means to you?
More Than A Thousand: Not really, we try to focus on the people that really like our music. If it's a live show we'll try to put on the best show and get as many new fans as possible, but on record it either moves people or it doesn't, there's not much that we can do, when people are listening to it at home. No band will ever please everybody so we try to think of it as a "glass half full" kind of situation.
Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal-hardcore scene as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the metal heroes you grew up with did before More Than A Thousand were around?
More Than A Thousand: I think that what stands us a part from the other bands is the melodies and the singing and how that helps us write a good song and not just a bunch of heavy riffs and beatdowns, which are great but we try to think our song construction in a more traditional way with some more modern elements, but at the end of the day in our perspective a good chorus and hook will always win so we bet on that.
Musicscan: Looking on extreme music in general you can find lots of sub-scenes and styles, the underground is changing all the time. Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have withMore Than A Thousand? What are you heading for in general?
More Than A Thousand: We don't think of it like that at the moment, spending so much time on the road we write songs by knowing what works best live, so our aim is for the live performance not so much for a particular genre or sub-genre. But people will say that we sound like a mix of this band with that band when they try to describe our music which is fine by us.
Musicscan: What was the biggest and the most primary reason you got into heavy music? Has this reason changed over the years with experience? And how do you stay motivated with what you are doing?
More Than A Thousand: Besides that it's the kind of music we listened to the most growing up, another reason was the live show and it's an outlet for energy really. There was a period in our carreer that we stopped writing heavy songs but then when we played live we weren't having fun anymore. So when we started touring a lot we also started writing heavier songs again. We stay motivated by having fun with it and trying to write a better song every time.
Musicscan: The style More Than A Thousand is playing finds separation through passion and honesty, something you are not hearing too often these days. It's well balanced, brutal and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. What is your attitude towards metal in general and towards being More Than A Thousand in particular?
More Than A Thousand: The balance you mention is really what we're going for. Also our message isn't very complicated, it's very honest and simple, we're not a politic band talking about the big problems of the world and society we're actually trying to use music as an escape from that, we want our lyrics to be easy to relate to on your daily life. Friendship, relationships, being motivated to follow your dreams, our struggles as a band, those have been our main subjects for lyrics and it's something most people can relate to.
Musicscan: With your heavy sound and the “extreme crossover” style that you guys have does it give you a lot more freedom when you're going to record new material to go in a different direction and not be constrained?
More Than A Thousand: Absolutely, we've never been constrained to any sound really, we try to write what's exciting for us at the moment. This is our fourth full length and even though all of our albums are different, the essence of our music remains the same, you'll always find our big choruses and guitar riffs in all of them. On this new album we tried to keep what we liked the most about "Make friends and enemies" but it's once again very different, we have a new drummer, new bass player and that allowed us to explore different things, also on the technical aspect of playing. We never want to write the same record twice.
Musicscan: Vol. 5 - Lost At Home is a pretty aggressive and self confident record. It is intense and stands somehow outside competition due to the fact you are not following trends. What is your view on the album?
More Than A Thousand: We're very confident about it, like i've said before we try to write good songs with a traditional construction but with a modern sound and style. What happens to bands that really dive into trends is that when the trend is over most of them break up because they don't appeal to people anymore and feel dated, so we try to not dive in completly and maybe just dip our toes into what is exciting to us in today's music.
Musicscan: A more general one: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern extreme music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?
More Than A Thousand: That's what's so great about music, every few years a new band comes along with an incredibly fresh and exciting sound and this happens in all genres, and I don't think it will ever stop. That's how music has been since the beginning, There's always been someone pushing it. It might be simple stuff, it might even be re-cycling old trends but in a different approach, it will never stop.
Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Vol. 5 - Lost At Home?
More Than A Thousand: Not really, they're songs about personal experiences from our last four years that everyone can relate to.
Musicscan: Did all of you guys have had an equal vision about how the new album should sound like right from the beginning of the working process? What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording of Vol. 5 - Lost At Home? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the final product?
More Than A Thousand: Usually, me, Sérgio (other guitarist) and Vasco will bring in a riff or sometimes a verse and chorus to the room and then we all jam to it until we have a full song, our new drummer Wilson is super talented and that allowed us to explore a more technical side on this record's drumming. We actually wrote 3 songs in the studio this time, we tend to work very well under pressure and we wrote "I Am The Anchor" which is one of my favourite songs on our last day of pre-production in the studio. On the last album we wrote "First Bite" also under pressure and it's still one of the crowd's favourite songs.
Musicscan: What type of “success” did you hope to gain with Vol. 5 - Lost At Home?
More Than A Thousand: Our goal with this new album, and having signed to a new label is for it to open new doors and markets like the US for example where we never toured before. We love touring and being in a band you get to visit so many countries that otherwise you might never afford to, hopefully this record will give us that chance. Obviously we'd love for it to do well on the commercial aspect to reward the people who believed in us and to allow us to release new music in the future. On the personal side, having our album released worldwide is already a success.