Monday, June 29, 2009

Marcelo Barbosa about Michael Jackson (R.I.P.)

I’ve always been a big fan of Michael. Besides his controversial personality, one thing is undeniable: his incomparable talent. Without any doubt, he is one of the most talented men who has ever set his foot on the planet Earth. He is not a human being anymore but a figure. This is also sad that I’ve never seen him performing live. (Who knows, maybe it could have been possible during this farewell tour, which will never happen).
It reminds me how my friends and me, while being teenagers, used to try to make a “moon walker” or after some years, used to try to play solo of Beat It. This is the inspiration, the history of life besides all the problems. This is a truth that Michael came to this world and changed it with his talent. He changed the concept of pop music, of show business, of clip making, developed his unique way of dancing and did many other things. Thus, he didn’t simply come here, he made some difference. And what kind of difference! Congratulations that you lived here and that you left us. Rest in peace and have a good trip to out there, who knows, maybe one day we will sound together again.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

English translation of the new interview for Guitar Player magazine (May 2009)

The guitars are at the perfect harmony on Fragile Equality, like double solos on “You’ll Understand”, for example. How it worked, this connection between you?

Look, thanks God, we didn’t have any problem regarding that. Paulo entered the band almost at the end of the process of pre-production, and he came full of ideas and arrangements for the songs. Also he composed some things with Edu and it was for good. We got to know each other one month before the recording or something like that and we got along with each other very well as the persons and as the musicians. That’s funny, but even during the recording both, Edu and Felipe, discussed that they already felt the influence of one to another regarding our concord and the way of playing. I hadn’t known about his work before he entered the band, but very fast he became a big friend of mine. I believe that our musical connection became possible due to respect and admiration from both sides.

How did you enter Almah?

I entered during the first album tour. At that moment the band consisted of the members of Angra without guitarists, and Edu Ardanuy. After a few shows Edu (Ardanuy) decided to leave the band due to personal reasons, and he indicated my name for his place. I’d already known these people due to our meetings at workshops, shows in Brasília with my other band Khallice, and Expomusic. I suppose, it also made their decision easier. Edu got in touch with me and finally he said something like that: Ok, it’s great that you were found. The problem is the following - the next show is to be in 10 days, and you should learn all this repertoir, 20 songs including Angra, Almah and covers before the next week, so that we can do at least two rehearsals together, ok? :) And it was a period of time I don’t remember much about except rehearsing…
Very heavy riffs are a constant thing of the album. Was it decided beforehand for this disc, or did everything flow out naturally?
Both things. We had already had an idea that the album would sound heavier than the melodic metal albums that we considered as a reference. It guided us during the composing and producing of the album. Besides that, almost the all tuning settings of the CD are in Eb with sixth string in Db. Only this made the songs heavier and it was also put together with that fact that Paulo used the 7-strings guitar in some songs.

What kind of electric and acoustic guitars did you use?

Basically I used my Tagima MB-1, my signature model, and for some rhythm parts a Carvin, which belonged to the studio, it had a hard tail and it was equipped with hard gauge strings, 0,13 I guess. The location of Almah musicians is a bit complicated. I live in Brasília, Paulo and Moreira live in Caxias do Sul. We finished all electric guitar parts close to the flight time to come back home. Thus, the recording of the acoustic guitar parts planned to be done after the electric guitars, were played by Edu himself and Felipe. They did it very well. They used Yamaha acoustic guitars.

Was Edu Falaschi coming up with some melodies, or were the guitars totally your responsibility?

Working in Almah we all have some good freedom to choose, even knowing that sometimes it can generate some certain climate. We knew that every individual part affected the final result, affected everything. Edu presented some ideas, yes, and he chose among others Paulo and me worked at. He did a job of the album producer, besides being the founder of the project, and even having some certain freedom for the others practically everything was being done under his decisions, which is natural under these kind of circumstances.

Which effects were used in order to achieve this kind of sound of this CD?

We used my Marshall preamp valve JMP-1 connected with Mesa Boogie Strategy 500 equipped with a cabinet of 4 x 12, also Marshall. In some moments we also used a stack 5150 of Peavey. Besides that, according to what every song required, we used different pedals like boosts (mainly, for the solos and some melodies) and one or another effect. I remember that Shred Pro and Dual Chorus by NIG were used and some others like Full Drive by Fulltone and Phaser by Van Halen by MXR.

Tell us about your other projects.

I play in two other bands. Khallice is a prog metal band already known by a big part of Brazilian metal audience, the band is going to do its second release soon. Zero10 is a band formed by childhood friends I have a pleasure to play with every week in night clubs in Brasília for almost 10 years. We play the best of pop, rock and metal of all the times. Since I adore to play live Zero10 supports this kind of desire when the shows are regular. Besides that, I’m the founder and the owner of GTR Guitar Institute that already for 15 years graduates professional musicians and music-lovers. At the moment I’m working a lot at my instrumental compositions. I suppose to record my first solo CD still this year, if everything works.

Where did the recording happen and who was responsible for the producing?

We recorded the album in Norcal Studio, right in São Paulo. The studio contains excellent rooms, the first class equipment and its technics really know what’s going on. It’s hard to believe, but it’s not too easy to find all this in Brazil. The producing became a responsibility of Edu Falaschi and Felipe Andreoli.

Since Angra’s back, what will happen with the tour dates of Almah?

This question still puzzles us as well. :) We still don’t know exactly, because we don’t know to what kind of rhythm of work Angra is going to come back. But we know that Almah is not going to stop, regardless of Angra. We still suppose to begin with a new CD this year, and there’s an idea to continue playing, maybe less frequently, but every time we have a “breach”. At the same time, it allows me to work hard at my other projects waiting what kind of life is reserved for me. Only time will tell what will happen.

Having two extra class guitarists in one band, how did it worke, the process of dividing the solos and bases without fight of egos in the studio?
We tried to divide the solos and passages rather in some equilibrium manner. We didn’t have any problem with that, it was a thing quite natural for us. We don’t have lead guitarist in Almah, like in some bands. Both played the roles of soloist and of rhythmist. It was some new experience for me to play together with another guitarist and I’ve used it for learning, not only the guitar.

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