quarta-feira, 14 de junho de 2017

Silent: Melodic Rock/AOR Guided by Heart

Formed in 1991, in Rio de Janeiro, by Gustavo Andriewiski, SILENT has a story that yields a book, and with several emotions, going through that initial determination to form a band, compose music, perform shows, record videos , gaining prominence in a TV program, putting songs on the tracks of programs on a known TV network, recording the first album, receiving positive reviews on magazines like Burnn, from Japan, going through the famous musical differences, ending activities, attempts to return and even a tragedy.  (VERSÃO EM PORTUGUÊS)

After a few unsuccessful attempts to return, things were finally moving towards at the end of 2010, when 3 original members gathered to decide that the band would return, but early next year, Alexandre França died on a natural disaster in January 2011 (floods and landslides at Rio de Janeiro), which shook the other member a lot, but also to honor the will of their friend, decided to move on. Marcos Ferraz, another original member, return to the band, but soon replaced by Douglas Boiago. And also recruited Alex Cavalcanti for the guitars, completing the current line-up.

In 2015 they present the single "Around the Sound", a born hit, that brings excellent melodies and great chorus, showing a modern sonority and that the band was definitely back. In 2016, after 14 years, "The Lando of Lightning" comes out, bringing 16 pearls of Melodic Rock and AOR. And they did not stop poe there, because through its official site they continue to make available unpublished songs, live tracks, rare tracks and remixes. We talked with Tilly and Gustavo, who told us a little more about this story, which will still have many chapters, and also about the new album and future plans! Check it:

RtM: To begin with, I'd like you to talk a little bit about the causes that led the second album to take a relatively long time, from the debut with "The Bright Side" (2001), to be released.
Tilly: First of all, thanks for the space to talk a little about our band. In 2001 when "The Bright Side" was released, this album was recorded between 96/97, coincided with Gustavo going to live in USA, the band was actually stopped. With the good reviews obtained and the interest of a brazilian label to release our second album, we threatened a return, but, the thing did not evolve and we decided to decree the "end" in 2005. In 2006, Gustavo returned to Brazil and resolved together with Alexandre França to put together a new band, called REPPLICA, which lasted until 2010.

RtM: In addition to the difficulties to keep a band, even a little bigger when it comes to Melodic Rock and Hard, there was also the loss of Alexandre França.
Tilly: In December 2010 the 3 of us sat down at a bar table to play chit-chat and plan the following year, when França suggested we return with SILENT, we scheduled to start work in 2 weeks .... wanted the Fate that did not happen, unfortunately. Me and Gustavo took a year of "mourning" and we considered this return as a mission and we started working in 2012 for what would be the "Land Of Lightning".
This type of sound (Melodic and Hard Rock) was never popular here in Brazil, even in the golden years (80's), but we never really thought about it! (Laughs) We did what our heart and will command.

RtM: Between this time of an album and other, summarize to us what happened to the band, in what you both (Gustavo and Tilly) remnants of the first album, were involved speaking in musical terms.
Tilly: I was trying to reassemble the band to record a second album for the label here in Brazil, and then I played in cover bands (Country and Classic Rock). A little before Gustavo came back in 2006, I played with two bands from Rio de Janeiro (Lion Heart and Krystal Tears) and then went straight to REPPLICA until December 2010. In 2011, Gustavo and I were part of a DJ project , where he wanted to play the bases of Dance Music together with a Rock Band.
Gustavo: I worked as a producer of some artists in the United States and played two cover bands, one of which I met Douglas, our bass player. I worked on an author project in partnership with my friend James Rose, whom we called Mr. Rose, but it was never published. From this project we took advantage of some songs like "Land Of Lightning" and "One More Time", for our last album! I also sang the closing song of Dragon Ball GT!

 "Melodic and Hard Rock was never popular here in Brazil, even in the golden years (80's), but we never really thought about it! We did what our heart and will command."
RtM: Before we talk more about "Land of Lightning", let's talk a little bit about the beginning of the band, a little of history, of how the idea came up to put together a band of the style here in Brazil, and if you aimed to promote the band in another countries.
Tilly: The band was formed from a desire of Gustavo, who no longer wanted to make songs for vocalists who did not understand what he had thought as a vocal line, so he decided that he wanted to sing.
I'm going to speak for myself, I did not think about the market outside, which was my biggest mistake, I thought at that time just make good songs, with passion and trying to get a contract with a label here and the market outside would be a consequence.
Gustavo: The foreign market was a dream in 1991, a great desire, but it seemed unattainable at the time!

RtM: And what would be your main influences and inspirations in style?
Gustavo: We have a great influence, who is actually a producer and not a band in particular. Mutt Lange produced Def Leppard, AC/DC, Bryan Adams and many others. I think he is the greatest influence of the original formation. Nowadays, with Alex Cavalcanti, there comes a strong Brian May footprint in the solos and it is logical, Bon Jovi has great participation in all this!

RtM: You also had a video to an MTV show, at the time we could still say they were a music channel, then it became impossible to produce videos, because there was nowhere to run, but fortunately, with the growth of the internet, and the popularization of channels such as Youtube and later other digital platforms, independent bands were able to publicize their works.
Tilly: True, MTV was a channel that could hold us to watch their programming. The video in question was the song "Watching", we had recorded its demo in June 1991 and the video in January 1992. As the final result pleased us a lot, we decided to send to the extinct program "MTV Demo", the clip passed in the program and was voted the best of the night, entering in the regular programming of the channel. Today, we have YouTube where you can find everything or almost everything, post a video and at the same time someone in Japan can watch. Streaming platforms are today an essential tool for bands and they have access even without having a record label.

RtM: And about the debut, with "The Bright Side" (2001), i woul like you tell us how was to have the first album released?
Tilly: I remember the day I got the lot of CDs and I opened it to check it, nowadays in any backyard you can press your CDs, at the time it was more complicated, you had to go behind factories, in our case we did it at Microservice. I also remember talking with Gustavo to turn the cd and see it silver, this was proof that the CD had been made in the factory, the CDRs were golden or blue, never silver.

RtM: And also how was the opportunity to have two songs in TV Globo novels, "I Found Faith" and "Bitter Tear", in "Vira-Lata" and "O Amor Está no Ar"? Was nice to hear a song of a independent band, in a novel of the most known brazilian TV.
Tilly: Listen to your music on TV, in the end of the chapters with credits rising or being themes of characters, it happened to both songs ... Priceless. There was a gap of 4/5 years between appearing in the sountracks of that novels and the album's release, that is, we could not reach the people who liked the style. In order to have the songs they would have to buy the soundtracks of the novels. It was a time we did not enjoy, we were young, naive and we had no entrepreneur spirit.

RtM: And the repercussion of the album? After all this, did you have a positive return? I remember it was a bit difficult to get the album, and I even introduced the band to several Melodic Rock fans.
Tilly: The repercussion of the album was very good, many interesting reviews, high notes, but, we had to send to Germany and then there began to be search here in Brazil. We entered into a partnership with an extinct SP store that started to sell our CDs and advertise in the specialized magazines.

"We've always been very concerned about the quality of recording and using current elements." (Tilly)
RtM: Despite referring to the traditional names of the style, the band sounds contemporary, like many current groups, and we can perceive a band that is on an equal level, or at least very close to the material we have seen from labels like Frontiers, Melodic Rock and Aor Heaven, for example. What have you been following with this scenario, which has a loyal audience, and can this be observed by the growth of these specialized labels, and their perspectives, not only abroad but here in Brazil?
Tilly: Yes, we've always been very concerned about the quality of recording and using current elements so the sound would not be "dated". In fact, this audience was what was left of that explosion in the 80's, after 30 years, has people that started to be interested in this style, case, which is happening in Sweden, where "popular" bands of the style, has a festival, the Sweden Rock Festival, aimed at this audience, which is very faithful. Regarding the labels, I followed all the growth of the Frontiers Records, which is the biggest label of the style, and perhaps the only way that bands of the 80's still manage to release unpublished material.

RtM: Yes! Thankfully they had that determination, and there are several other labels betting on style now.
Tilly: I think if I did not have the Frontiers, we would hardly see a Nelson album, Night Ranger, Trixter, etc ... Besides showing the world new bands, already having a "label of approval", kind of, if is a release of Frontiers Records, is worth checking out.
About Brazil, I am very impressed by the quantity and quality of bands that are appearing in the style, I hope it continues to grow.

RtM: Well, "Land of Lightning" was finally released in late 2016, and even being released later that year, it appeared on several "Best of the Year" lists. And the repercussion around the album? 
Tilly: Actually it was released (on CD) in August 2016. Yes, we had good reviews, the reception around the album has been very good, we had our photo on the cover of issue 87 of Rock Meeting magazine with an interview of 4 Pages, plus some radio and TV interviews. "Around The Sun" and "Love Is" entered the normal programming of a Portuguese radio (Cascais 105.4).

RtM: Oh, "Love Is" is a real hit from the first CD !! (And it's as a bonus in the new) Well, the album is very well produced,  in the graphic part, with a very beautiful and simple aesthetic, and a great sound.  What do you think is necessary to the national bands have more recognition of the public?
Tilly: Space. Spaces to play, space in the media to generate a curiosity of the public and most important, that the guys who enjoy the style attend the concerts, give support to these bands.

RtM: As for the market for style, Melodic Rock and AOR more specifically, here in Brazil, do you think that is more complicated? Do you think that perhaps Silent could have a bigger repercussion trying to release the album in European countries? We have spoken before of Frontiers, which has grown a lot and has released many things from traditional names and new names.
Tilly: Yes, I see this as a very closed market. Frontiers is currently the biggest record label of this style. At the beginning of the process of creating the album, we thought we would get in touch with them, but we declined the idea because we thought we could get "plastered", so we did it in our time and how we wanted it. I doubt that some record company would do what we did in the graphics. After everything was finalized, we signed with a label from Brazil (Planet Music Brazil) that just finished a partnership with Sony Music. As for launching in Europe, there was a proposal from a label, but, we had just signed and as we would be free to press some copies, we chose to do so.

RtM: Speaking a little bit about the tracks, comment a little about choosing the "Land of Lightning" to be the title track, and also about the lyrics.
Gustavo: The song Land Of Lightning is one of the reasons that we have really carried out the resumption of Silent. We had recorded a demo and we were experimenting and the reaction of a friend when he heard the song was decisive to start the whole process!
The lyrics talk about the artist when he gives up everything he is to enter in the world of art. It was written in partnership with James Rose!

"The song Land Of Lightning is one of the reasons that we have really carried out the resumption of Silent." (Gustavo)
RtM: Another highlight is "Around the Sun", which was also the clip that preceded the release, and has all the characteristics of a Melodic Rock/AOR anthem with great melodies. I would like that you also comment a little more about it, which was an excellent choice to present the new album.
Tilly: The funny thing is that this was the first song ever. It was the first that Gustavo composed exclusively for the album, it was the first one we rehearsed, the first one we recorded and the first video, it turned out that it had to be the first one on the album (laughs). The sound of this song "guided" the album.
Gustavo: It is a song that deals with death and separation and continuation of life, deeply influenced by the death of Alexandre França.

RtM: Besides these two that stand out a lot, we have many songs that will please fans of the style, like ballads like "Bye Bye Superman" and "Home", with the album following this more emotional atmosphere. Of course, there are more Hard tracks and a little more direct, but this emotional side has stood out. Was it something natural or a matter of direction and personal taste?
Gustavo: The process of composition was very natural. All songs are loaded with emotion because they portray many years and very intense moments of our lives, of spiritual awakening as in "Home" and "Where Are We Going Now", or the realization that our children grow and that time does not return more like in "Bye Bye Superman".

RtM: I think it's a difficult question, but besides the songs we mentioned above, what else would you highlight in "Land of Lightning" and why?
Tilly: I'm suspect to talk, but besides the 4 you mentioned we have: "Hello, Hello" the lyrics are very cool and the song has a very cool rythm, "Numb" was the last song we recorded for the album, "Scene" I really like its mood and it has a part that Gustavo took advantage of a song that he did in 2002, when I said that I had a label interested in releasing our 2nd album, and in "Dancing In The Morning Light" we kept the guitars of Alexandre França.

RtM: Tilly, I would like you to comment about what you wrote on booklet, where said thanks to Gustavo "for believing, even when I thought we did not have an album".
Tilly: When we decided to make a new album we went to make songs, we reviewed old ones and we got to a number of 21 compositions, of those we separated 15, I looked at the list and I thought I was missing a song, I do not know, I could not see or find what It was, but, had that feeling. Gustavo said that we had enough, even our initial idea would be to release 3 EPs of 5 songs each, as it was finalizing the songs we were putting together the puzzle, 3 stayed by the way and then came to "Numb". When the 13 were ready and I could hear them all in sequence, I saw that he was right. (laughs)

RtM: On the current scene of AOR/Melodic Rock and Hard Rock, and current names of the style, which bands or artists you would highlight?
Tilly: Difficult question, I know several by name, but some I've never heard of. What comes to mind and I heard a lot was Eclipse's "Armageddonize" album, I heard "Dark Angel" from Find Me a lot, but I think this is a project, the HEAT's more recent album and some of Reckless Love, but what caught my attention the most It was Winery Dogs, I found it fantastic, especially the 1st album. I keep listening to the bands that marked my generation and who were influences, I'm always curious to hear new things from these guys, those who stayed active or those who came back or are coming back.

RtM: And what features do you see as essential for a Melodic Rock band?
Tilly: Songs with a great chorus, a cool guitar riff and guitar solos.

RtM: Guys, thank you for your time, congratulations for the album, we hope it has a great repercussion and the next one does not take so long:
Tilly: We thank you for the space. Rest assured, it will not be long. I would like to talk about our site, http://silent.band, in it there will be a part called Silent Land where people will have access to unpublished material of the band, just register. This material will be available for 1 month and may be a video or unpublished song, and I can assure you that there are at least 25 songs, all of them from the first two years of the band 91/92, which were recently recorded.
Gustavo: It was a pleasure to talk about our journey! A big hug to our fans and for those who do not know yet, our album is available in digital format on all possible and imaginary platforms besides the CD that you can buy directly with us by e-mail cd@silent.band

Interview: Carlos Garcia

Silent are:
Gustavo Andriewiski: Guitars and Vocals
Alex Cavalcanti: Guitars
Douglas Boiago: Bass
Luiz "Tilly" Alexandre: Drums

Official website



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