First of all, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk to you.
There are few bands which are inspired by Poe's work. You've decided to show that admiration in your band' name. Can you tell us how did you come up with that idea in general? Are there some other authors who inspire your music and lyrics?
Miguel: Well, back in the day I was playing keyboards for an Azorean band called Sacred Tears and for many reasons I felt the urge to create my own project to dwell a bit more into the realm of Gothic/Doom. I wanted to have the freedom to create my own music without being subject to the acceptance of other musicians. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely amazing to put various minds together to create a song and sometimes I do miss that, but at that time that was what I wanted to do.
Anyways, Paulo Pacheco was the singer and of course in charge of the lyrics. We had one song, one of our best, Amadeus (The Return of Winter) that at the end of the song there was this passage “One of us must go, into a dream - A Dream of Poe”. And for me, at that point in time, made all the sense in the world!
Paulo Pacheco: Not really. Generally, I’m more inspired by general themes than by specific authors or stories. I’ve been thinking about what I could write next for AdoP; maybe an album in the style of a play, a diaristic manuscript or an album of sonnets, but these are not influenced by authors that I may be reading at the time. After choosing the style I would like to explore, I pick a theme I want to talk about and just go for it.
There are only two names in your current lineup, Miguel and Paulo. Obviously, the collaboration is working really great. Can you describe how your process of making new songs look like? Who is the „mastermind“? Are there any bands who influence your work and what kind of music do you listen to?
Miguel: The process for me is very straight forward. When I decided to start A Dream of Poe, one of the conditions was to learn how to record and get the equipment necessary for that. So whenever an idea comes to me I just pick up my guitar, fire up Cubase and record that idea. I then start working on it, developing the riff, write a drum beat that would suit and complement the riff and from there I start to think about the next part. Having the equipment and the know-how makes it very easy, the songs naturally then start to grow the more I work on them and start adding all the elements, and because I’m in full control I can go back and change something to make it flow better or simply to change the “flavour” of a particular part.
I do listen to many things of many different styles, sometimes if a riff transmits too much of some of my influences I’ll try to work it in a way that the influences are not too obvious but other times, especialy with “The Wraith Uncrowned” I decided to let it show a bit more of my influences and the music I listen too. I believe, at least to my ears, it is possible to hear influences of Therion, Dimmu Borgir, Lacrimosa amongst many others (that would include My Dying Bride too, it’s inevitable)
Paulo Pacheco: The process of making songs has been the same since I’ve been involved with the project. Ultimately, Miguel is the mastermind behind the whole project of course, but we work as two sides of the same brain: Miguel takes care of the music and he gives me total freedom to come up with the concepts behind the albums and lyrics. He may ask me once in a while for feedback on a specific song or melody but generally he sends me the demo tracks and I start putting ideas to paper.
Lyrically, I don’t take any specific influence from other bands. It’s more influenced by what I’m into at the time of writing. For example, "The Mirror of Deliverance" takes some inspiration on Greek mythology and the Victorian era, "An Infinity Emerged" sips a bit of gothic fiction and Romanticism and "A Waltz for Apophenia" dwells on eschatology and apophenia.
Regarding the music I listen to, currently I’m into bands like Ahab, Revocation, Slugdge, Spiritbox, Sulphur Aeon, Tomb Mold and Within Destruction.
The band was originally formed in Portugal. Now, you are located in Scotland. How and why did that transition happen? What do you do for living beside creating your music? Is there any profit in doom metal world?
Miguel: And maybe soon (1 or 2 years from now) will be based in Portugal again, but this time in Portugal Mainland instead of the Azores. I’ll thanks Brexit and all the shambles associated with it for that! Honestely better be in Scotland through this than in other part of the UK, here a vast majority of the country voted to stay in the EU... but as always Scotland is now forced out against its will! I really hope Scotland becomes independent soon! Brexit really brought the worse in some people and it doesn’t help when you have people from England looking at you, observing your every move, I cannot stop wonder if they are there judging me for being a foreigner, thinking what am I doing there when they voted to get us all out of the UK... it might be me, just my mind, maybe they are not thinking that at all, but nowadays I feel very uncomfortable when I have to stand in front of hundreds of English people. Well.. sorry for that, enough of Brexit talk!
Anyway, the reason for the change was professional, I got a job initially in London but then as I wanted a bit more quality of life I choose to relocate to Scotland. On my daily job I ensure the safety of passengers and my crew up in the sky, I have also been seen serving teas and coffees too ahah
Well, I don’t think Doom Metal is the ideal genre to make lots of money but to be fair in this genre it is not the money that drives me. Yes, it is great if you can get an extra income or at least pay for the investment you have to make but for me Doom Metal is genuinely about sharing the sentiment of angst, of loss, of saudade (portuguese for a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia) the darkness of one’s soul.
So far, you've released four full lenght albums. The latest „The Wraith Uncrowned“ was published in April of 2019. What is the main idea behind the album? Is it a conceptual album and what are the lyrical themes?
Paulo Pacheco: The album is dedicated to a friend of ours, Luís “Nox” Amaral, who passed away. It’s held together thematically by that event; it explores stages of loss, grief, anger, and acceptance but it does not have an overarching story like previous A Dream of Poe’s offerings.
You are known for covering the song „For My Fallen Angel“ by My Dying Bride. Why that song in particular and what role did they as a band play in your professional musical life?
Miguel: When it comes to making a cover I do like a challenge. It would be easy to cover “Your River” or “The Cry of Mankind”, but “For My Fallen Angel” would provide me with a better challenge. It is a simple song, naked of all the usual guitars and drums, and even the lyrics are delivered on a more frail style of speach. So yeah, I then had the pleasure to work the song from its bare bones to a more full on song, making it sound a bit more like A Dream of Poe. Lot’s of people complaint at the time about the style, direction and general approach I gave the song. I guess what the majority of people were expecting was a direct copy of what MDB did, I do not work like that so that’s why I choose to rewrite For My Fallen Angel and make it truly A Dream of Poe style.
MDB was one of the first Doom Metal bands and instantly became an inspiration for me. It has been part of my growth as a musician and in a way they helped me shape my own sound and style.
Can we expect you performing live anytime in the near future and of course where?
Miguel: Oh yes! In 2020 we will be celebrating 15 years of ADOP so we want to make it special and perform a series of gigs. We have one booked already here in Scotland, it is not public yet when and exactly where it will be, other than that I hope to be able to get some more dates, would be very special to play in Portugal and especialy in the Azores, dont know if that will be possible but would be absolutely fantastic!
Any messages for croatian doom metal fans? Have you ever been to our country? Do you maybe know any croatian bands?
Miguel: Tecnically yes, I have been to Croatia before, Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik, but unfortunately never left the aircraft. I do want to visit it in the future, it seems like a fantastic place to visit! I tell you, especially the approach to Split airport, is absolutely breathtaking! Awesome scenery!!
In all honesty I don’t think I know any Croatian bands. I actually went and looked for it on the internet but didn’t recognise any of the names. Any bands you would suggest me to listen to? Let me know on our instagram or facebook page!
Thank you for yor support throughout the years, I hope one day not only visit Croatia properly but to play for you too!
Thanks again for the interview! We wish you all the best in your future work.