Their latest album NU is a captivating piece of art that showed us that First Breath After Coma is set to achieve big things with their music.
They have been touring Europe (include Portugal) during two months presenting these new eight songs that form part of NU. But now that they have finished touring (for the moment), it was a real pleasure to have them answer a few questions about their music, the vibrant Portuguese music scene and much more. Enjoy.
What is the story behind such a poetic name as First Breath After Coma?
Above all, a history of friendship, because we have been knowing each other for a long time. It is a name that makes us believe that there is always hope in a new beginning, even in difficult situations.
First Breath After Coma is part of a new generation of Portuguese artists who are leaving the traditional route of music, and are showing the world the immense musical possibilities of Portugal. But do you think that language can be an obstacle when it comes to promoting Portuguese music abroad? Is that why you chose to sing in English?
The new generation of Portuguese artists is quite talented, but unfortunately faces much higher obstacles than the language when comes to express themselves musically in their national territory, let alone abroad. We sing in English, because we feel good doing it this way, because we consume, mostly, music sung in that language. Never thought about it as a more accessible language to promote our music out of our frontiers.
A few weeks ago you ended a tour that took you through countries such as Germany, Luxembourg, France, Spain and Switzerland, among others. What was the reaction of the foreign audience to your music? Are you going to announce new shows for the rest of the year or are you going to have a well-deserved rest?
The reaction to the new album was excellent out there. We have noticed a growth in the number of people that appear at our concerts every time we make a new tour. We came back full of desire to play; there is no time to rest. By the end of the year, we expect to have many more concerts than those that have been already marked, just stay tuned.
For your third album NU, you all decided to bet on a visual album. Something that is usually done on the Anglo-Saxon and American scene, but in Portugal it was rarely done. Where did the idea for a visual record come from? How was the recording and filming of NU with CASOTA Collective?
Yes, it is not normal in Portugal, but for us, it made perfect sense to do so. We live daily with sound and image. Since the first album, we make most of our own videos. On the second album, we wanted to have a video for each song, which did not happen, but later, with the skills and know-how acquired through Casota Collective, the idea of a visual album was developed in a very natural and easy way. It was a brutal experience that brought us enormous pleasure, apart from the madness and fatigue throughout the process. It was, without a doubt, another dream come true.
In relation to your sound, it is easy to hear and see that with time, it becomes more and more polish, and you all are not afraid to try other musical genres. Do you feel any pressure when creating new songs? Did you all give much importance to what music sites and magazines say about your music?
It is always good to receive positive reviews about your work, but it is terrible if you continue to develop the same work around those critics. Fortunately, we don’t do that. We like to take risks, to explore new sound paths and to feel this pressure on ourselves. “The only truth is music” is a hymn to your creative freedom, with no labels.
The aesthetic aspect has always been essential for First Breath After Coma. How would you describe your visual and aesthetic appeal to the NU?
Intimate and Visceral.
Concerning to your creative process. Are you all continually working on new songs? Or would you all rather disappear for a few months in a remote place to write and record?
We are always exploring new instruments and trying to reinvent the ones we already have, but when we started a new album, we like to take refuge in our rehearsal room. Not everyone can say that they made music next to the mountains that see the Lis river born. Why should we change that?
What was the biggest challenge you had to face as a group during all those years?
The biggest challenge was and always will be live from our music.
What do you think about the current music scene in Portuguese? Any recommendations beyond your music?
It’s very rich. Very much. Portugal is small for that quantity of quality projects. From Surma, Whales, Fugly, Bruno Pernadas, Noiserv, Selma…
What is the purpose of First Breath After Coma for years to come?