Denis Kandle's Short Bio
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 5, 1974. Denis Kandle is my stage name. My real name is Denilson Freitas da Silva. I come from a suburban family from the north zone of Rio. I have two older sisters. Since kid, I was really into music. My first musical passion was for Michael Jackson. I discovered him when I was nine years old, and became obsessed with his records Thriller and Bad. I would constantly listen to them very loudly. Later, in my teens, I fell in love with bands like My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails and Dead Dance. But the band that really, really captivated me was Nirvana... I loved it so much that it made me want to form a band. So, in 1993 I started a grungy-punk-rock band called Pregnant Felix with Fabio Pires, a coworker at Varig Airlines, where we worked as mail clerks. We used to talk a lot about music, and he told me that he was a bass player, so I invited him to form a band with me as the vocalist, which he promptly accepted. He happened to know Marcelo Vasco – who currently plays guitar in Troops of Doom – and the drummer Duda. We went to one of the rehearsals of their duo project Zombie Head. We ended up jamming together, with Fabio on the bass and me on the mic, playing some covers by the likes of Sex Pistols and Ramones. We felt the chemistry was good, so we decided to form a band on that same day. Every weekend we used to rehearse at Marcelo’s studio in Ilha do Governador.
Pregnant Felix, 1993
After about one year of writing new music and practicing, we decided that we were ready to do our first live presentation, so we started to look for venues to play. One day I was coming home from work and I saw a poster announcing a Bands Festival that would take place in a club near my house, in about one month. I thought it was a great opportunity, and on the same day I took our demo tape to the producers. I called them on the next day and they said that they liked it, and that they could include us on the bill. We got very excited and rehearsed even more. The concert was on April 9, 1994. I woke up that morning feeling really excited. I would be onstage in a few hours, and for that reason I was the happiest guy in the world. Only to open the newspaper and read about the death of Kurt Cobain.
When I first met the bandmates on that day, the first thing that they said was: “Do you already know?”. Yes, I already did. We were all shocked, but we decided to play anyway, because we longed so much for that occasion. I played using a Nirvana T-shirt. Performing the show was a great pleasure, even though we were all feeling confused. I think that everything changed on that day. I didn’t know back then, but grunge died with Kurt Cobain. It took me twenty-seven years to realize that. I really thought that grunge could still go on. It was only in 2021 that I finally came to terms about it. Not that Kurt was “the face” of grunge, but his death kind of poured cold water in the scene. So, despite my passion for that kind of music, I decided to move away. I absorbed the ashes of the grunge supernova and reinvented myself in post-shoegaze.
In 2018 I moved to this house in Monte Albano, a hill in Tuscany, Italy. I find it a very inspiring place to write music. I still used to write and play music under the moniker of Pregnant Felix. In 2017 we released our debut record Boycott Morality. I had also released music under two different electronic music solo projects, one called Colortronic – with the album Sonic Rainbow released in 2007 – and the other one called Aliencore – with the album Over the Moon released in 2018. But, from 2021, I decided that I would write more shoegaze-oriented music, as it has been my favorite genre since early ‘10s.
The first shoegaze song I ever wrote was ‘Flame’, in early 2021. It would originally be a remix for the single ‘Tumulto, Barulho e Confusão’ by the Brazilian band Wry. The band’s lead singer, Mario Bros, asked me to make a remix for this song, as I had already written another remix for their song ‘Come and Fall’, with my electronic project Aliencore, and they really liked it. As I had in my mind that I wanted to shift my writing orientation to shoegaze, I decided that I would write a shoegaze remix for them. I sent it to him, but he said that they were actually looking for a dance remix, with no guitars. It was then that I decided to release the song myself. I would just add new vocals line and lyrics.
I announced about DKANDLE on a Facebook post on April 9, 2021, and released ‘Flame’ on May 13, 2022. I then invited my friend Ricardo Azevedo to join me as a band. He was an old friend from Rio who lived in the Netherlands. Although he lived in another country, there are very cheap flight tickets from Florence to Amsterdam, so we arranged that I would go there once a month, and we would rehearse at his home studio. But before it could happen, he tragically suffered an accident at home and passed away in June 2022. I was devastated. I decided to release the album, but I would not play live gigs for a while. I needed some time to recompose.
On September 23, 2022, I released DKANDLE’s debut album Mondano. After a few weeks, the compilation Aspirin Age: Volume 2 (A Shoegaze Compilation) by Broken Sound Tapes was released on cassette, featuring DKANDLE’s first single ‘Flame’. It gave me a lot of encouragement to make more music.
On November 2022, I released the single ‘Dissociation’, and then winter came. I travelled to Amsterdam during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I stayed at a friend’s house, where I wrote most of the material for the second album, More Drag Queens Less Drama Queens, set to be released on October 6, 2023. This title has a political stance against the current the demonization of bigoted Christians and politicians against drag queens and the LGBT community in general. I hope this album will bring a message of resilience against the rising fascist wave the world is facing.
I spent the whole first semester of 2023 recording and editing the new album, as well as writing the new lyrics. I released the singles ‘Hanging Out In Stars’ on July 14, 2023, which was selected for an exclusive world premiere on DKFM Radio, and De La Shower on December 8, 2023. The tracks are part of the second album, which was mastered by Kenneth Estrada, from the Berlin Shoegazer YouTube Channel. He also mastered DKANDLE’s first album Mondano.
Finally, DKANDLE became a band. I invited Fernando Menezes, a bassist player who used to play with me in some bands like John and Mary and N.O.P.E. We are going to do live shows in 2024 as a band to divulge the album More Drag Queens Less Drama Queens. I will then return to Italy to organize a tour in Europe to promote the album.