Nameless Theory came here to stay! Their debut album, “Into The Void” is a superb metal record, which takes us by surprise with its quality and dynamics. Getting influenced by many different rock/metal genres, the Portuguese band has the talent and the skills to secure its place on the contemporary metal scene. Myth of Rock had the honor and pleasure to talk with Pedro Piedade (vocals), who answered politely our questions. This Theory shall not remain nameless!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
Hello Pedro! Give us a biography of Nameless Theory.
Hello everyone! First of all, many thanks for the opportunity and for supporting our work! Nameless Theory was formed in January 2013. At the time me (Pedro), Junior and André had worked together for around 3 months in a few songs with another drummer, but in December 2012 we had a disagreement with him, so we decided to split ways and in January we invited Igor to listen to the songs (without drums) for him to give his unique approach to the songs. It went so well that we decided that this was new band, a new sound and it would require a fresh start. So, we decided together the band name and recorded a small EP (2013, released on April that year) on the studio we used to rehearse, this EP was recorded with Igor Azougado (Shivers). Azougado was a real good friend of the band and mostly with his help we were able to get some gigs and play in a few festivals and cool spots in Portugal, opening to very cool bands. In 2015 we recorded the EP Ghosts in Le Baron Rouge Studios with Tiago Borges (The Royal Blasphemy), which was released in October and then we would also spend the next month’s promoting it but the thing is: we were never the richest or even the luckiest guys in the world so say the truth. We’ve had a lot of personal financial struggles, and even health issues during that period that made us put the things on hold and wait for better times. I guess what really hold us together was the true friendship and understanding we all feel for each other, we never once turned our backs or considered other paths than total support for the situations that happened. So, there are a few blurry years where we’d have a gig or two, but we never really stopped making new music. This leads us to September of 2018 were we really thought everything was aligned for us to record our debut album and we entered Ultrasound Studios, Moita (again with our friend Igor Azougado) to record “Into the Void”. There were still with a lot of financial limitations, but we tried to make something that we would be proud and could be released. The album was mixed and ready in September 2019 and we started building up some hype with the release of “Love” videoclip (December 2019). Finally, the album was released in February 2020 and then… COVID. Right when we had 3 promotion gigs in one month, which was a first for us. It really killed our momentum, and I guess what happened then was just the same as before: we survived. We rehearsed (when we could, due to the restrictions) and we made new music. Fortunately, when everything was getting back to normal and we were deciding what our next step would be, we got a hold of a contact with WormHoleDeath Records and got this amazing opportunity to rerelease our debut album and get a second chance of promoting it. Obviously, we grabbed it with both hands, and we are really happy that it happened. So, here we are today! Maybe I wrote too much but we are going in for 10 years as a band, so I guess a lot happened.
Why did you name the band Nameless Theory?
As mentioned before, we decided that we needed a new band name once we understood the songs with Igor’s drumming were really different. It really felt like we needed to cut ties with everything we had done before. So basically, the name came up during a brainstorm in a rehearsal. Someone threw out that we were “Nameless” and then another one said that we can put something “cool” to go with Nameless and “Theory” was one word that sounded cool and we could somehow build a concept out of it, and it had such nice ring to it that we decided immediately that that was going to be it. It was that moment when everyone looked at each other and went “yeah, this is it – no doubt!”.
You are releasing now your first album, “Into The Void”. Which are your feelings now?
We are extremely happy and grateful that we have this second chance of rereleasing “Into the Void”. We had released it independently in February 2020 and we were able to sell the 100 copies we made, and also upload it online, but we never got to promote it properly due to the pandemic. So, the album existed in what I feel of like a limbo where it was online, but no one was listening, no one cared, and we didn’t have a way of making it heard. Then WormHoleDeath appeared, heard our work and helped us in giving “Into the Void” a second life. Maybe it’s not technically, and production wise, the “cleanest” album but it has a lot of heart, sweat and tears and I really think it deserved better. So, we are just happy and grateful for this opportunity. We are already lining up dates and hopefully 2023 will be the year “Into the Void” truly goes to the stage.
You signed a deal with WormHoleDeath. How did this deal come up?
This is as random as it gets. But I would argue that it was one of those moments that lady luck presented itself and we simply couldn’t ignore. We basically got an email from a journalist that we never had talked to before, saying that she really liked our album and gave us the direct contact to WormHoleDeath Records. Amazing coincidence (and I promise I’m not lying) she sent us the email on the 10th of February 2022, exactly 2 years to the day after the release of “Into the Void”. So, we reached out to them, but it still felt like a longshot, but the truth is that in April Carlo replied and told us he really liked our album and offered us a deal. We feel really lucky for how it happened, but I know we worked for this “luck”, and I think we deserved it. The “luck” came after countless hours of rehearsing, composing, recording, promoting, sweating, screaming… But also came down to someone who really didn’t know us but trusted us and gave us a hand and we are extremely grateful for that.
When and where was “Into The Void” recorded? Who did the mixing and the mastering? Describe the whole production process.
“Into the Void” was recorded in Ultrasound Studios in Moita, Portugal. It was recorded between September 2018, and September 2019. The mixing was fully completed in December 2019, but we already had a few finished songs earlier so that we could work on a videoclip and singles release before the album. We’ve worked with longtime friend of the band Igor Azougado (from the Portuguese rock band Shivers), he produced and mixed the album. So, we’ve been wanting to do a full-length debut album for a long time at that point, but for the reasons we’ve been talking we’ve always had a lot of difficulties. Then by 2018 we agreed together with Azougado that there could be an opportunity for us to do this – he was also learning production (this was in fact his first album as producer) and he was also investing in expanding a studio he had in AJCOI (which was a spot where we had rehearsed since the formation of the band). In early 2018 (March I think) we actually made the pre-production there (we recorded live takes of the songs basically), but then the studio was robbed… A lot of his material was stolen, and we thought that the album needed to be put on hold, but at the time Azougado also started managing Ultrasound Studios in Moita (the home of the amazing thrash metal band Switchtense) together with the Switchtense guys. So, we ended up recording there. We tracked the drums in one full day in September 2019, and then we spent the remaining months tracking bass, guitars and vocals. We tried to be altogether in the studio when everyone recorded their instruments but due to our jobs that was difficult to manage. I think the only time the 4 of us were altogether in the studio was when we recorded the drums, but the truth is: these were songs we already played for years (some of the songs existed for more than 8 years at that point) so we trusted each other, we knew what the end result would be.
Who are the main composers of Nameless Theory? How is a Nameless Theory song composed?
We have a particular way of writing songs. Usually, it all starts with a guitar riff idea, and that 95% of the times comes from André, but then the 4 of us take that idea and we jam and see what the next part of the song could be, if it’s a verse, a chorus, a breakdown, etc. It’s a very dynamic and exciting process to say the truth because there’s never an entire song that already pre-exists it’s usually just a simple riff and then it can lead to a 7+ minute song. As we are jamming, we stop the song and say: “I think the drums should be doing this, and the bass this, and I think this is a cool part for the verse.”, “Maybe now we go for the chorus, or an instrumental breakdown” and the four of us together we try these variations. The only rule we have is to not put the song immediately in a box, meaning we never think about the structure upfront, or if it should be a 5 min song, or if it’s going to be an aggressive song or whatever. The rule is: go with the flow, let’s see where the song wants to go and then we will know that it has reached its end.
How would you describe the music of Nameless Theory? Which are your music influences?
It’s definitely metal. I don’t know if it’s Heavy Metal, if it’s metalcore or if it’s melodic metal, or any other metal genre. We truthfully never tried to label ourselves, we have so much different influences and I think they all mesh in Nameless Theory. For example: I’m really into the prog metal side of music (Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Haken), so I really like dynamics and to make “out of the box” riffs, structures and vocal lines, but I also come from the “Iron Maiden” side of the metal, so the most melodic and epic side, which we always try to add in our Chorus, for example. I know André is also a bit from that melodic side (Iron Maiden is also one of his favorite bands), so his riffs always bring up that melodic element but then again, he also comes from growing up in the hardcore and metalcore scene (Comeback Kid, Deez Nuts, As I Lay Dying, for example) so he also pulls a bit into that raw aggression. But one of André’s favorite bands is Deftones, which is also one of Junior’s favorites alongside Korn. Rounding this all up you have Igor with Lamb of God and Slipknot influences on the drums, so we have that high intensity going on even with the melody kicking in. Interestingly enough, the best description we’ve had of our sound was a really recent review we got in the last couple of weeks: High energy heavy metal with elements of metalcore and prog. In almost 10 years I never thought I’d read something that really made that much sense when describing our sound. But in the end of the day what we always want is to make music that people can relate and that we could pass all our emotion and energy in our live performances. I think we are really more of a live act than a recording act.
Who writes the lyrics of your songs? Where do your lyrics refer to?
100% of the lyrics are written by me, and I’m really thankful that the rest of the guys trust me in that manner. I find it really hard to sing about something I don’t relate to and to be able to put so much of my emotions in the songs is something which I think is key to our music. As I said before, we do the music altogether and during that process I’m singing vocal lines to create the melody, and when creating these vocal lines, the idea of the theme of the songs starts to build up and words start to appear and these words get stuck in the middle of the song and the vocal lines, and those words give then the general theme of the song, which I then write about. Naturally you start to say something about how you feel or an idea you want to describe, and Nameless Theory are all about that: emotions, struggles, inner demons, injustice… I found later on that this was my way of coping with a lot of things. So, some of these lyrics are really personal, and I think that’s something I’ll try to keep for as long as the guys keep letting me write them/I have something to say/it doesn’t’ get boring or stale.
Nameless Theory have played a lot of live gigs. How would you describe your live shows?
I think we really reveal ourselves in live performances, and I don’t want to sound arrogant by saying this. But I really think our songs are made for live performances more than recordings. I don’t think anyone that has seen a gig of us has left unentertained, we put our heart and souls in the performance. We are playing stuff that we truly feel and that mean so much to us, and we don’t ever want to take a performance for granted. We never know when it can be the last! So, it’s really blood, sweat and tears and trust me it get’s intense. Early on, in one of our first gigs, we had such a bad gig – basically we were playing for like 10 people in a place where easily like 500 people could fit in – and we had a bad time getting motivated since those 10 people were more interested in drinking beer in the bar, on the opposite side of the stage. After we finished another band (punk rockers Viralata, which had so much more experience than us) did an AMAZING gig, like they were playing for 500 people in fact. That really inspired us and at that moment we promised that no matter what we would give 110% each time, no matter where, no matter to who. We focus on the songs, we focus on the energy and we let it all go. If we need to go on top of the amps, or drum kit, or join the mosh pit we don’t care, we just need to have fun and then hope the audience has fun as well.
How are things for metal in Portugal?
I think things are getting better after the pandemic. Unfortunately, A LOT of bars and venues closed, but there are a few that were able to reopen, and we are seeing that they are now fully booked for several months so that brings a hope that the underground scene is remaining strong. We also see A LOT of new underground metal festivals which are so good and bring so much to the Portuguese metal scene that we really hope they continue. If you would’ve asked me this question a year ago, I would’ve been so much more pessimistic, but 2022 from what I saw was really interesting – people and promoters were really eager to get back on track, and the audience as well. For Nameless Theory in particular, we are feeling the weight of 2 years completely on hold and since we are booking everything ourselves, we are feeling a bit of a difficulty in reaching out to the venues and promoters and getting answers. It’s a real struggle to “break the noise” and stand out, but that ultimately is our responsibility. We just must keep on working, and insisting and never give up, eventually things will fall into place. But overall, I think the Portuguese metal scene is alive and well!
What do you think about internet and its advantages and disadvantages?
That’s a fantastic question for which we could spend hours discussing it, so I’ll focus only on the impact of the internet on the music community and even more regarding Nameless Theory. The truth is: without internet it would’ve been massively difficult to get our music spread and listened. Only in the last couple of months we’ve had our music played in international radio stations and answered a couple of interviews only because a journalist heard our music in Spotify and referenced us to WormHoledeath. The internet is such an amazing marketing tool. I guess there’s a valid argument that the internet has severely crashed the income of established bands that existed pre-internet as we know, but there’s nothing we can do about it, either we embrace the amazing things the internet can offer, or we sink and quit. It’s really a matter of adapt and overcome. I guess from a sociological point of view I’d personally have more arguments against the use of the internet, mainly on the cyberbullying and trolling aspect of the community (which we see sometimes happening). I’ve watched a band of kids releasing music online and sharing them to some Facebook groups and the metal elitist ripped them apart, demanding them to play and have the production quality like Dream Theater and that really made me sad, I think there’s a time and space for everything. If kids are making music and releasing them that’s great, that’s to be supported. If people don’t like it, ok I understand. I even understand that they make a constructive criticism – we actually had a few comments we sincerely appreciated – but just the trash talking I sometimes see… Makes me sad. But at the same time, I’d like to think that if 1 person is a troller there’s 9 people who liked or didn’t care but didn’t say anything, unfortunately we only seem to “hear the noise” more than the silence.
How did the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions affect you as a band and as individuals?
It affected us immensely. As a band we had the independent release of “Into the Void” made on the 10th of February 2020. We had 3 promotion gigs made in that month and we were aligning several others. We were really feeling the hype and then in the beginning of March it all came crashing down. The gigs were no longer there, the promotion was in a halt – we released a videoclip and a few content in the first couple of months in the hope that it would be a passing thing, but that was very naïve of us. The Portuguese restrictions made that we couldn’t rehearse for months on end since we don’t have a private rehearsal space. Due to the restrictions the spot we used to rehearse kind of closed for real and another spot was also suspended. So we had no way of rehearsing. Then when we finally had the green light to rehearse the hype was all dead, there were no plans to have gigs, and I guess some of us got in a really dark place at that stage. I can personally say that I was truly feeling in a bad place, something I think it took me around 2 years to figure out. We found it very difficult to stay motivated. Financially, although we don’t live professionally from music, some of us suffered a lot and one of us even thought about working abroad, which I guess would kind of put the band on a hold, so there were a lot of indecision… Then in 2021 we started making new music, I guess the “pressure” of the pandemic kind of relaxed, and we sorted out a bit of our inner struggles and financial problems (again) and then the WormHoleDeath deal happened, which I can say was a true light to us. It gave us something to focus, brought our motivation back.
What do you think about the war against Ukraine?
This is such a sad and horrible thing. Nameless Theory will always stand for peace and love. We truly think that music is to connect and unite people and not divide, and in an age of so much hate and craziness going on we shouldn’t contribute to that. I can say that we have different political opinions within the band, but that can’t divide us as friends and as human beings, since the main focus can and always be peace, love and respect for all political views, religions and cultures. That being said, I think I can say that we never thought that in 2022 we’d be talking again about nuclear wars, about countries invading other countries, about innocent people (including children) being killed due to political decisions made by individuals that put their personal interests above the interests of peace and prosperity. No matter what the motives are, the innocents are the one’s suffering and that is just horrible and unacceptable. We are simply hoping that the conflict ends as soon and that no one else needlessly dies.
Which are your future plans? A tour maybe?
For sure! We are booking as we speak a few dates to promote “Into The Void”. I think realistically we can only aim for a 2023 tour within Portugal with a few “solo” gigs and a support band, but we’d also be very happy to be part of the underground festival scene – that would be amazing! Hopefully in the next months will have good news regarding that. Also, as I previously said, we are making new music and we are enjoying it so much! I think this new material is even more solid and really defining what we call the Nameless Theory sound, so I think in parallel we will continue to make new music and perhaps even think about recording a new album to release in 2024. But that is just wishful thinking maybe. As of right now we are just focused in promoting Into the Void and booking dates. Let’s see what 2023 brings us!
Send your message to the fans!
We just want to say THANK YOU for supporting us, if you read this until this point you are a true warrior and a NT fan. We are just a bunch of friends who really like to make music, play gigs together and just want to spread positive energy to everyone. Hopefully life will still allow us to keep going together and the truth is I never thought we’d reach 10 years as a band, especially with the same lineup. And I know there are a few people that follow us since the first EP so for them a real true THANK YOU. For any new fans out there, we are also very happy that you just joined our Theory. Just reach out to us on our social media, usually we are very available. And to all the people of Myth of Rock, a big thank you for this opportunity and for supporting our work!