Gustavo Costa

Gustavo Costa started playing drums in 1989 in several underground band s. Since then, studied drums, classical and contemporary percussion, music technology, sonology and composition with among others, Miguel Bernat, Fritz Hauser, Clarence Barlow, Dimitris Andrikopoulus and Frederick Gifford.
As a musician played or collaborated with John Zorn, Damo Suzuki, Steve Mackay, Genocide, Tres Tristes Tigres, Stealing Orchestra, Alfred 23 Harth, Carlos Zíngaro, Barbez, Rafael Toral, Stephano Giust, Madame Pi, Mecanosphere, Drumming, Motornoise, Sikhara, Soopa and many others…

Besides his work as a musician he is also a co-founder of the Sonoscopia Cultural Association, the cd-r label Let´s Go To War, and member of Co-Lab, International Festival of Experimental and Improvised Music. We were happy to welcome him at at MADEIRADiG 2013 performing as Most People Have Been Trained To Be Bored.




What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Micro and macroscopic natural phenomena.

How and when did you get into making music?
I got a passion for drums at a very early age, and started playing it at 12 years old. My older brother had some Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin records that were fundamental for my interest in music. I wanted to be like John Bonham when I was a child.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Very difficult to resume but here are some: Naked City: Torture garden; Napalm Death: Scum; Iannis Xenakis: Pleiades; Miles Davis: Bitches brew; Led Zeppelin: II.

What do you associate with Berlin?
Cool artistic scene!! and second world war.

What’s your favourite place in your town?
My recent working space, Sonoscopia, where I have some nice music facilities and a small place for concerts. I also enjoy Ribeira very much, the oldest part of the town. It still has a unique feeling.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Cooking or agriculture.

What was the last record you bought?
I still buy as much records I can. I love record shops and they are one my first visiting spots in every town I go. I grew up in a pre internet era where having access to some records was extremely difficult, so I always regarded it as a kind of small treasures. The last record I bought was two days ago in Tokyo in a lovely classical record shop. It was Lutoslawsky´s symphony nº3.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I collaborate with many different musicians from completely different musical backgrounds, as well as with artists from other fields. All of them offer their own creative perspective, so sometimes the best collaborations emerge from the most unexpected and unknown artists.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Definitely not my best gig but I will never forget playing with John Zorn´s Cobra at Casa da Música, in Porto, 2005. I was a Zorn fan for many years and I got the opportunity to play with him conducting. One month before the gig I broke my arm and had to make a surgery where the doctors told me I would not be able to play. I did a lot of exercise to the arm and I actually played the show, even with reduced movements (which, for a drummer are important!) and with a lot of pain.
As a spectator, the last shows at the Blawe Aanslag squat in Den Haag, 2004, were amazing. It was the oldest squat in Holland at the time and it was going to be evicted and destroyed, so there was an amazing energy in every gig.

How important is technology to your creative process?
I use technology and a medium for the materialization of a creative process. I can use a piano, which represents the state of the art technological advance in the late 19th century, or a recently developed software. What is really important for me is the use we make with it.

Do you have siblings and are they proud or jealous of you?
I have a brother and a sister that I guess that are very proud of what I do.


Our Favourites: Gustavo Costa – Fontinha e outras historias populares | Most People Have Been Trained To Be Bored – Low noise flow control valve
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Photo credit:
Roland Owsnitzki |
| Interview with Gustavo Costa by Digital in Berlin