sexta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2014

Interview: Amazon - Rising for a New Era!

With the objective of seeking a differential in terms of production in their third album,  and to walk some more steps behind,  Renato Ângelo, former member of the brazilian band Amazon (the former members, Renato and Sabrina Todt, are living in Germany), sought Amanda Somerville experience, who has a respectable knowledge and competence in many styles, and practically by natural, Sander Gommans also became involved in the production.

For many, the third album of a band is the landmark to show if it will establish itself, will consolidate its personality, and Amazon has shown that, confirming the consistent work that has shown since its debut (Victoria Regia - 2005), there are here to mark their territory with an album that can claim to be the best of their career so far, with strong production and music, presenting a more mature band and showing all their potential.

We spoke with Renato Ângelo to tell us a bit more about the album, the work alongside Amanda and Sander and more! Check out the following interview.

RtM: To begin, tell us how did the idea and the opportunity to work with Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville in this third work.
Renato: When I started working on the songs for this album, I decided I wanted something different in terms of production. Didn't want the album to sound like "the perfect album of symphonic metal". This was the main reason I wanted to Amanda. As she has experience in a wide variety of styles, I thought she would be the ideal person to work an Amazon album. She was very receptive to the idea of working with us and immediately suggested that the production of instruments to stay in charge of Sander, which would bring the necessary weight and cohesion to the album. He, in turn, involved the Ivo van Dijk for the drums production and some orchestral arrangements, and the result is there.

RtM: Amanda worked most part of production of voice, right? It is noticed that Sabrina is using its features even better, being more secure and also more varied interpretations. How was this process, and what aspects Amanda contributed most? I saw that Amanda including co-wrote the lyrics, that is, became involved quite even.
Renato: Both Amanda as Sander worked with us from the pre-production of the material. Amanda contributed in so many ways that limit the main just one would be unfair. She worked intensively on the letters we write, the details of the melodies and was responsible for recording and editing vocals. We prefer to work this way so that it couldn't be a break in the concept of the album voices, so that she and Sabrina could comfortably achieve the results they imagined when they started working in the songs.

Sabrina (Vocals) and Renato (Guitars)
RtM: Considering that part of the band is in Brazil, and you (Renato and Sabrina) in Germany, how was the writing and recording process?
Renato: In fact, during the recording process, we were still living in Brazil. We traveled to Holland for recording the voices in 2013, and the opportunity for this change came only later. Anyway, it was a totally different process than we are used to, because we had to do all of the pre-production distance with Sander and Amanda. But after we used to, is great and calm.

RtM: Sander and Amanda quite praised about the passion with which Amazon make his music, saying it was a factor that motivated them to work in the production of "Rise". I believe this must have given to you even more sure they were on the right way, it was time to take a step, or rather several steps ahead and invest heavily in your third work.
Renato: No doubt the positive feedback coming from renowned artists is something that makes any musician satisfied. I personally was very pleased to receive this return and read the notes disclosed by both the press about us. Somehow, it just reflects how Amazon works: doing what you love and what you want. Every band takes musical and aesthetic risks when deciding to make music in this way, without being tied to formulas or labels, and when it succeeds and an outsider say you're managing to express through his music, I think the band can consider successful.

RtM: Speaking about, those compliment which as the passion with the Amazon shows in his music, I believe the feeling, the music that sounds organic, it is always the difference, because we see many similar bands with each other, outside that other uses of technology and studio "tricks", sounding cold. What do you think about it, and what to do to avoid falling into the "traps" of the scenario and make the difference?
Renato: The Amazon is giving will, writes songs unplanned. What you hear on our album is what we desire to play. We have the goal of being commercial, the obligation to make an album that follows this or that rule. Of course there was and there is always a concern with the quality of the album. We want to hear something that gives us satisfaction when pushing the play, but stop there. Amazon begins with the music, not the obligation to make an album.

RtM: And what the title "Rise!" Mean to you?
Renato: RISE! has everything to do with the present moment the band. We believe that this new album is a watershed for the Amazon, because of the way it was made possible to reach an outcome that sounds "bigger" than the previous. This is because the work involved significantly more staff from around the world: work with 3 producers, besides the Republic studio team of Campinas Sound and Isis, who made the graphic. So "RISE!" Amazon translates that ascension toward the personal goals of each and also as a band.

RtM: Talking about the sound of "Rise!", I felt a very mature band, really ready to deal with any bands, whether in Brazil or abroad. Music with melody, drama, I believe, will please fans of the oldest stages of people like Nightwish. Including Sander himself mentioned that Amazon would please fans of Nightwish and After Forever. What do you say about this statement and what the main differences that you point between the first works and "Rise!"?
Renato: They are two totally different realities. The Nature's Last Ride, for example, has several songs that I like a lot, but it was all recorded in our homestudio. It was made to be a low-cost album, was what we could do at that time. The RISE !, addition to the production, brings the experience of 14 years of Amazon. 

Regarding the aspect "oldschool" I think this will always be a feature of what we write. Although I personally like some bands with a more modern sound too, still believe in the old way of doing non-disposable music, making albums that aren't replaced by later. I still believe in necessity to filter which songs will  album and what not, which currently is cheap and easy to record 150 songs. I think it's better to make a cool album with 10 songs than 2 albums median of 20. And I think that's where this comes impression that Sander had to listen to the Amazon.

In Studio, with Amanda and Sander
RtM: "Ball of Vanities" opens the album has a bombastic way, with a great choice, and I believe that already shows the listener striking features of the Amazon, that is, a strong work, with striking and catchy melodies, well produced, and uniform, holds the listener to the end. Even if I am not mistaken is the first song of "Rise!" That you presented to the public. I would like you to comment more about it and what you felt the reaction of the fans?
Renato: From the first time we played the Ball of live Vanities, we feel a strong empathy of the public for this song. Somehow, it connects people. In addition, Ivo gave a "tract" in orchestrating the introduction we like enough, so we ended up thinking that it was a good choice for first track.

RtM: Loved that too, although I have tanned the album as a whole, another songs that called me more attention were "Suicide Note" and "Three Lives", including the lyrics. I would like you to talk a little more about those songs.
Renato: The Suicide Note arose from an idea of Sabrina. She is probably the more "obscure" music in the album, and also being highly praised both live and in the trade press. The Three Lives had the letter written by Danilo, our old bass player, who for personal reasons can't meet the band's activities but continues to work closely with us in the compositions. Personally I think both quite interesting to have these characteristics both of Sabrina as Danilo, that those who follow the band from the beginning can clearly point out to hear those songs.

RtM: "The Path" also immediately caught my attention, with a melody and striking keyboard parts with heavy riffs, climate, and it was one that reminded me a lot of Nightwish in their first albums.
Renato: Yes, in fact it is no secret that I quite like the first era of Nightwish and metal of the 80s and 90s, then somewhere on the album such references would end up appearing.

RtM: "New Horizons" also differ by variations, with nuances of Prog Metal and Metal Symphonic, alternating with other more aggressive parts climate, highlighting the beautiful and varied interpretation of Sabrina. I believe it must have been one of you have worked more in the studio. Would you also comment on about it and the inspiration of the lyrics?
Renato: New Horizons mix a little of everything that Amazon has done. Those song has a huge weight in certain parts, a vocal quite melodious and progressive and modern riffs, but listen carefully, you will see that those "blasts" that are a feature of Amazon since the first demo of "Growing" are there. About the letters, each plays in a way, but a little hint about: Sabrina was watching a very famous TV series when he wrote it.

RTM: What if you were to choose your favorite songs on the album, what would be and why?
Renato: The Rise is a short album, has around 50 minutes, so it's hard to choose. Just to name one I would choose "The Prisoners of the Sea", the whole band loves to play live.

RtM: And how is life there in Germany? What are the major differences you felt, whether in cultural terms on a daily basis and with regard to work with the music?
Renato: It's more or less how to change to another planet. The reality and the routine change so brutally that we have to relearn everything, like a child. But the vast majority of issues is very positive. The daily work doesn't make much time in people's lives here, which leaves us with more time to music. In addition, there is the daily stress we live there, so we ended up being more productive people. Of course, there is the huge difference in price of things, especially electronics, musical instruments, studio equipment, etc., which means that the costs of making music here are significantly lower.

RtM:And how are the contacts and prospects for release of the album in Brazil, Europe and other markets? You recently signed with the Ravenheart is not it?
Renato: It is expected that the global launch to take place on 08 December by Ravenheart. The album will be available both in physical and in digital version.

RtM: Well, thanks to you for your attention and we were really pleased with the results that you have achieved in terms of music, we are confident that the album will be very successful and will open many new doors! I been following the band from the beginning, I m very excited! We wish success to you all, and is the space for your final message to the fans!
Renato: We wanna say thank the Road to Metal, and to you, always for your support and the space to Amazon. We hope that all short world the album, and rock bands and metal continue producing quality material. Make music! Always! Do not give up what you like to do because someone told you it will not sell, that has no future, you spend too much about it. Being a musician is to live the music, not live OF music. Whether you play for ten thousand people or in your room. And when someone ask you about your choice of making music instead of some other boring but more "normal" work, "politically correct" or that is trendy, or ask if you keep living the fantasy, answer the following:

- When I was a child, my dream was to be a musician, and today I'm a musician. And you wanted to be an astronaut or a soccer player and is now working on a bank?  (Interviewer: "Shit, i work in a bank too, in addition to the site! But, is not my first option, and i still dreaming! heheheheheh!")

Interview by: Carlos Garcia
English Version: Nanda Vidotto & Carlos Garcia

Amazon is:
Sabrina Todt - Vocals, Flute
Renato Angelo - Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Marcos Frassão - Drums, Percussion
André Pedral – Bass 

Danilo Angelo - Compositions

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