Chunks [2-sided single], July 2017

buy digitally here | contact me for vinyl

chunks cover

This wasn’t the plan. After “Come Flames”, I expected to dedicate my time and effort to HOOFMARK’s first LP which would see the project return to its breed of old metal. One of the perks of being free though is being able to fail on your promises, even on the ones you do to yourself. In most cases doing so would make me feel uncomfortable. But my failing here comes from a good place. I’m cool.

“Chunks” is HOOFMARK’s most personal release yet and that goes beyond the actual tracks. This 2-sided single was recorded with an old and very special Spanish guitar that has been in my family for many years and that I restored for the purpose of playing these songs. And although its contents can be rather desolate, this new release is also a celebration of new life and I dedicate it to a grand new smile on Earth.

“Ready Before Long” comes first on the track list. It’s not the title track, nor was it written before “Chunks” (it was actually written in May of 2017), but it’s the one that sounds better coming first. It’s the second most hopeless song I have ever written and it came to me after a most joyous day out with my mother. This was Workers’ Day, or May 1st. We don’t spend that many days together anymore. My girlfriend was out of town and I was at home alone, so I made plans to be with my mother. It was a very nice, very pleasant day. Good temperature, the sun high in the sky, mostly blue skies. We went to an Italian restaurant by the river and had pizza together. After that we went to a museum and I think it was the first time I went to a museum with my mother as an adult which, again, was fantastic. Everything was pretty much perfect, you know? I had recently become a vegetarian and I shared the news with her that day. She was very understanding. When I got home, I sat on my chair and pretty much wrote “Ready Before Long” from start to finish. Took me about a month to learn it on the guitar. Nice song, I think. A bit fragmented, perhaps, but that only highlights its organic nature. And organic is always better.

“Chunks” is the harshest song I have ever written and I did so way back in April 2016 (so even before “Stoic Winds” was released). I was at a restaurant. It was a regular day at the office and it was lunch time. I probably had a steak or something and I was drinking wine, as I usually did at that place. It was red wine, fresh. And I don’t quite remember if I asked for a piece of paper or if I had a tissue with me, but I basically wrote the song right there and then. Expect for the final two verses, I think. I remember going home that day and showing it to my girlfriend and she enjoying it, though she seemed afraid that something was wrong with us or with me at the very least because it was so sad a song. I was fine, of course. It’s just how the song emerged. I can’t write when I’m sad or generally feeling miserable anyway. What’s more, me with songs and lyrics and melodies I feel I really need to put them down fast and get a hold of the moment or risk losing it forever. It has been like that for a while now. I know I have already lost material because I didn’t get there sooner. The day after I wrote the song I picked up the guitar and started playing it in the simplest manner I could. It’s what made the most sense for this mostly spoken word track.

Lisboa, 3 de julho de 2017

This record is dedicated to a grand new smiling face on Earth. Bem-vinda, Leonor!

Special thanks to Filipa Vargas, Patrícia Bernardo, Paula Monteiro, Ivo Bernardo e Clara Estanqueiro.

Produced and engineered by Sid at Brugo Studio, Lisbon, Portugal
Recorded live at Brugo Studio in May 28, 2017
All selections composed by Nuno Ramos for HOOFMARK
Acoustic guitar and vocals performed live by Nuno Ramos
HOOFMARK logo by Filipa Vargas
Photograph by Filipa Vargas
Design and layout by Filipa Vargas
Vinyl pressed by Vinilificio

Come Flames [2-sided single], April 2017

buy digitally here

come flames cover

In both cases the lyrics came first which was kind of a new thing to me at the time. Last year I was on vacation in the northern part of Portugal, in Viana do Castelo, and there was this really tiny room on a fourth floor or something we were staying at. It had a charming little crt television on top of an ancient looking wooden side table and a very small window from which you could see the most beautiful scenery: a number of tile roofed low-rise houses paving the way for a hill dressed in green on top of which rested the stunning Santa Luzia Sanctuary. There had been this big fire in the district the day before (it was fire season) and by dusk the view from the window was shrouded with a densely eerie purple mist – quite the sight. While trying to fall asleep the birds outside chatted furiously as if both confused and angry with it all. The entire thing was remarkable and, perhaps not surprisingly, led to the writing of “Come Flames”. This is a place I want to come back to eventually. Hopefully it will inspire me to come up with something new again.

About a week later we made our way to the south and ended up in the city of Sines (a pretty metal name for a place on earth, I think). Not the most lively of towns, certainly not morally corrupted or reprehensible in any way, just generally uneventful. A good thing if you’re looking for some monotony. Two things stood out for me though: a wonderful, actually old-styled and traditional restaurant with delicious meals and great human beings to boot and a ridiculously kitsch hotel with the smallest bathroom sink I had ever seen in my life. Some rooms even had bidets right at the foot of the beds. Not something you see every day. Put “Little Town” on paper right before we got on the bus for the journey home. The cats were fatter and the house needed some cleaning. All was well with the world.

Loures, 7 de abril de 2017

HOOFMARK would like to show its honest appreciation and thanks to Filipa Vargas, Nelson Calvinho, Jiné Lourenço Costa, Sid Camarinha, Vanda Duarte, Hugo Andremon, Jorge Lopes Fernandes, Nuno Fonseca, all the good people of Viana do Castelo and Sines for the inspiration, my family and everyone who supported HOOFMARK’s debut demo.

Listen to Satan Made Me Do It! Shouts to Decayed, Disthrone and Midnite Madness!

Produced, engineered and mastered by Sid at Brugo Studio, Lisbon, Portugal
Acoustic guitar and bass recorded live at Brugo Studio in November 25, 2016
Electric guitar, tambourine and claps recorded in December 9, 2016
Howls recorded in March 11, 2017
All selections composed by Nuno Ramos for HOOFMARK
Acoustic and electric guitars, howls, tambourine and claps performed by Nuno Ramos
Bass performed by Jiné Lourenço Costa
Additional electric guitar performed by Sid
HOOFMARK logo, symbol and illustration by Filipa Vargas
Photograph by Filipa Vargas
Design and layout by Filipa Vargas

Stoic Winds [demo], November 2016

buy digitally or CD here | contact me for tape

stoic winds cover

Shouts out to (in no particular order): Nelson Calvinho / SMMDI (you have my sword, my bow AND MY AXE!), Mário Valente, Gonçalo Brito (how you put up with me for so long, I have no idea), Andremon & Jorge Fernandes, Jiné (sempre que nos cruzamos algo de bom acontece…), Rui Simões, Filipa Vargas (my turquoise black hole), Diogo Ribeiro, Dylan Hughes / AFITFOG (heavy metal is ours!), all the bad dudes from BAD GUYS (still dreaming about that sweet drum solo), the entire Rádio Quântica fam, Luís Darkim (*bifes*), Miguel & Carina (*nhecs*; best of luck to you out there), Diana Rosa, António Marques, João Gata, my dearest sister, my loving brother, mom, pop, Jesse James & Sadie the Goat, Joana Arnaud, Joana Soares, Bruno Wallace, Bruno Silva, Nuno Castêdo, the underground, those who get it and everyone truly committed to keep the flame of metal alive.

This demo wouldn’t exist without the numerous and relentless fists (and occasional smooch) in the face of god by: Bathory, Motörhead (thanks Lemmy&Phil), Hellhammer/CF, Amebix, Darkthrone, Poison, Tormentor, Törr, old Mefisto, NME, Pagan Altar, Manilla Road, Paul Chain, Slaughter Lord, old Sepultura, Sarcófago, Sabbat, Parabellum, Mayhem, Burzum, Tangorodrim, Death Strike/Master. Also TVZ, Guy Clark, BFI, Steve Young, Steve Earle, Cash, DAC, Mance Lipscomb (evil blues!), Lightnin’ Hopkins, among others.

Days go by. Suns rise and fall. Much like we do. Can’t shine for long. Brings too much attention.
Been two days since I died. Not a pleasant smell. It wasn’t in life either, now it’s just worse. That’s fine. Keep beauty at bay… Don’t come now; stay away!
Funerals are for the living. Went to one once. My father cried. Grandfather too. I never did. Calm before the storm.

I liked the cat. I liked the funny noises. I liked his softness. Made me miss my own. Now I just miss the cat. He would have loved the birds.
Look at how they love me…!

They eat and shit, little else. Leave holes, little carvings. All meaningless. The cycle of life.
Got scared soon after. They fled away. I was left with my killer. She gleamed silver gray.
Had her gun held high and stared. My flesh was out to dry. It made the desert care.

Woke up to a porch fire. They were all there, all sitting on a chair, all strange and transformed. They flared red. Soon they burned.
My father, my grandfather, the cat, the birds, the killer, even the desert.
I was delivered the dust. Force-fed the dirt. Brought to my knees.

(to be continued…)

Produced by Hugo Andremon & Jorge Lopes Fernandes / No Sleep in Sodom Prods
Engineered and mastered by Jorge Lopes Fernandes at SoundScapes Studio, Cacilhas, Portugal
Recorded by Gonçalo Brito between 2012 and 2016 at Wild Hard West Lab, Lisboa, Portugal
All selections composed by Nuno Ramos for HOOFMARK
Guitars, vocals and tambourine performed by Nuno Ramos
Session bass by Gonçalo Brito
Session drums by Ricardo Martins
Session vocals by Diana Rosa
Cover art design by Ana Gomes
HOOFMARK logo, symbol and illustration by Filipa Vargas
“Prelude to blood” and “Becoming” pieces by Diogo Ribeiro
Photograph by Filipa Vargas
Design and layout by Filipa Vargas
Cassette pressed by Edisco