Angra - Back With A New Look
Brazilian Rockers Return With A New Line-up and Material
Interviewed by Keith McDonald
Angra, with new members vocalist Edu Falschi, drummer Aquiles
Priester, bassist Felipe Andreoli and founding members/guitarists Kiko
Loureio and Rafael Bittencourt, are currently recording new material for
their forthcoming new studio album that's due in late 2001. The
Brazilian power/progressive metal band recently held a listening party
in their homeland in front of industry people and fans, performing their
trademark powerful guitars, explosive rhythm section and catchy riffs. I
had the opportunity to speak with Rafael Bittencourt who filled me in on
what the band's been up to.
When can we expect a new studio album?
We are working at the moment on the songs, the recordings start in June
and we believe it's going to be released in November this year.
Tell me about the new members of the band.
Well, They are very experienced and known here in the Brazilian
scene. Eduardo Falaschi, the singer sold thousands of copies with his
previous band Symbols, he was the most voted by the members of Angra fan
club to join the new Angra and every year you see his name on the best
singer charts of the magazines. Aquiles and Felipe are also known as the
best metal rhythm section here, they have recorded and toured with Paul
D'ianno for the album Nomad, and now a live one with their performances
is just ready to be released.
How did Angra start out?
It started in the Music University, when the majority of
teachers and students were going for the contemporary experimental field
of composition, me and Andre still wanted to combine the traditional
elements of classic music to metal, and so we started to compose some
material that started to call the attention of many sorts of people.
did you get signed? How hard was it?
When, we started there were only few bands doing it, it was
during the top of the grunge period, everyone in the business were
saying metal was dead, and we knew how devoted are the metal fans
because we still are fans. So, we truly believed that Metal was in time
to be recycled, it was the time to mix different flavors to it and so we
did, bringing some exotic influences and trying to sound very
sophisticated. Very soon the record labels, starting with JVC Japan,
agreed that maybe Metal was going down because of the lack of quality on
the releases at the time. The Metal fans are very hard to please they
just don't accept anything, so we signed to JVC and later to many other
countries, but I can say we were also lucky 'cause it was the right time
and the right place for the connections.
Any tour plans?
We are concentrated on the album now, but also very excited to tour as
soon as possible with the new songs and team, then the new boys will be
able to speak for themselves. I believe in the end of this year we will
Who are your influences?
The rock music of the eighties had a good atmosphere and quality one of
my goals is to try to recreate that, I believe that the study of classic
composition helped us on the way we construct the music and ideas, but
the naturally born influence is the Brazilian music filling us with
rhythm even when we are not paying attention to it and showing us a lot
of resources to combine complex elements to popular music.
How is the Brazilian music scene?
I see a lot of quality metal bands coming out of Brazil. The major scene
here is for pop afro-Latin stuff, but the scene here is getting bigger
for rock music, many good bands are appearing and we started to be route
for the international band tours because of the amazing audience.
How would you compare the metal scene in Brazil to the U.S?
It's quite similar in someway, they're all under the hands of a few, it
is usually a small but very organized chain of magazines, record
companies, bands, managers and audience. I think maybe we don't
represent too much on the mainstream but we all on different levels have
a very close relation to what we do and believe, the very technical
people don't survive on the business cause Heavy-Metal still lives
because of the passion we all put into it, its essence is very emotional
but also very rational on the details you have to be "initialized
on this order" to understand it but everywhere it is the same
language, It is very global.
How has the label support been?
They're doing fine, we are glad that they are helping us during this
period of changes, and that they are now agreeing with the potential we
have on hands. But only after the record is out I can say if the work
How has radio support been in U.S? Brazil? Europe?
As I said Heavy survives in a small but very organized chain,
the specialized radios are always very supportive even with new bands,
but there are not so many, maybe for the near future more radios are
showing up to be part of it but still we wait for this day.
What's the future for Angra?
I don't like to predict anything when I can be wrong, but we are very
happy inside the band with the fresh atmosphere the new guys brought in,
the new songs and the new dreams. I think people will love it, we kept
the concept and the new blood brought a lot of life to our music. I can
only see great records and awesome concerts ahead, Thanks, of course to
our audience who is also being very supportive for our return.
For more information visit www.angra.net
©2001 Metal Rules!!