Interview With Edu Falaschi
Edu is no stranger to the underground Metal scene, with his career with the band 'Angra', one of the most successful band to come out of Brazil along side of Sepultura. Angra have had some impressive success on a world-wide basis. Edu first joined Angra on the 'Rebirth' album. Edu is one hell of an awesome singer and properly the best Brazilian singer. Almah is the side project of Edu, which features Felipe Andreoli on bass, also from Angra. Almah debut album released in 2007 featured some interesting musicians such as: Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish), Lauri Porra (Stratovarius) and Casey Grillo from Kamelot. Guest appearances of Mike Stone (Queensr˙che), Edu Ardanuy (Dr. Sin), and were signed to AFM Records in Germany. The debut album was a major success for Edu and he later on released his 2nd album released last year in 2008 titled 'Fragile Equality' which now features a steady line-up been: Marcelo Barbosa (guitar), Paulo Schroeber (guitar), Marcelo Moreira (drums). I managed to have a chat to Edu about Almah and what's happening with Angra right now, here is what Edu had to say to the following questions. In the meantime check out his band, especially if you like Judas Priest, Primal Fear, Metalium, Angra, Queensryche and more....
So I'd like to start off by asking what is happening with 'Angra' right now? Have you guys broke up?
"Well we are about to have a meeting and we hope to be back together in 2009 at some point. We intend on making a CD and DVD here in Brazil in 2009, maybe in March just to let our fans know that we are still together and we will be making a new CD in 2009."
I know when you first joined Angra you releases a awesome live DVD which was also recorded in Brazil, is this the same place where you will record the next DVD?
"Well we have done many show in the same venue, and we were going to record a live DVD for the album 'Temple Of Shadows', but because of problems with the management it was not possible for us to record a DVD for that album. We tried to do the same thing for the 3rd album and but there were problems within our management back then. So in March we will have a new management company and we intend on recording something live here in March 2009. We are thing of doing a live DVD with Angra doing a live acoustic show with a orchestra."
Looking back at the albums you have recorded with Angra, which one is our favourite album? Do you have any least favourite albums?
"Well that's a tuff question, I consider all 3 albums I recorded with the band are all important. The first one is very important to me because it showed me just how much i had to put into the album and impress the fans that I could do an excellent job. I put a lot of effort into that album and I really like it a lot. The 2nd album is important to me because that album is very rich and very sophisticated and I learnt a lot from this album. With the 3rd one, it didn't work too well, because the album was difficult to record and the band were very sad within the whole band, were we had fights and the atmosphere for this album was not good to say the least. Even with the band atmosphere the album is still a great release. I still think that 'Rebirth' for me is the most important album in my career."
After the last Angra album some of you went separate ways and Kiko Loureiro recorded a solo CD, what did the rest of the band do?
"After we decided to stop Angra in 2007 everybody Kiko recorded his solo album and Rafael Bittencourt released his 1st solo album in 2008 and he also sings too, he is a god singer believe it or not. Aquiles Priester, our drummer is working with another band right now and he is very busy."
So moving on.., why did you deicide to call your new band 'Almah'?
"Well to beginning with, it was my 1st solo album for the debut and I did not intend on making it into a band, but the debut was such a success I realized that I needed to carry it on and make another record, that is why I decided to look for musicians for the next album. The debut album was released in 2006 because of the situation with Angra, we were all sad of what was happening. I am an artist, a singer and so I needed to be happy and to work with people which I am very happy to work with. So I decided to record a new album with a fresh and new line-up with different songs and different styles and I released the debut album in 2006 with lots of guest musicians on it. When Angra stopped in 2007 I spoke to Felipe, who was my closest friend in Angra who told me why don't I use the name 'Almah' for the band. As I didn't know when Angra would be reforming I decided to sue the name 'Almah' ad create a new band which would not be a solo project. I invited some brilliant Brazilian musicians to join me and Felipe Andreoli to create the 2nd album."
Your debut album featured some impressive musicians such as Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish), Lauri Porra (Stratovarius) and Casey Grillo from Kamelot. Guest appearances of Mike Stone (Queensr˙che), Edu Ardanuy (Dr. Sin). How did you hook up with them to appear on the debut album?
"Well it was my solo album and we were not a band back then, like I said before it was just something I wanted to do whilst Angra were sorting out their problems. I wanted to make something different and new for me. I have never recorded an album with other musicians from other countries and cultures, so I was excited to find out just how well the album would end up when it was finished. So I called up Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish), who happened to be a good friend of mine and I invited him to record the album with me, and he agreed to record it with me. I then called Lauri Porra (Stratovarius), and he was cool to record the album, he just said buy me some beers which was fine by me haha!! In the end I called Casey Grillo from (Kamelot) who also agreed to record the drums. I do like Kamelot a lot, there a great band."
How did you see the debut solo album differ from that of Angra's music?
"I think it is totally different, but I do have some influences from Angra because I have been with them for 10yrs now. The songs on the Almah album are more straight to the point and more direct and the new album is more sophisticated and the guitar parts are very complicated and very nice., but at the same time its much more simpler ro that of Angra's music. Sometimes Angra's music can be over sophisticated and I do like Angra songs and I do understand that people can understand Angra's music to that of Almah style. I also think that Angra have different styles of mixing different elements like Thrash, some Pop music. Almah are more free to try more different styles because it is a new band, we do have more freedom, our music is more straight forward and straight to the point."
Besides choosing the name 'Almah', did you have any other names for the band? If so what were they?
"No we didn't have any other names, it was the first name that came up and we used that."
What sort of press reviews did you get for the debut album?
"Yes we did, the focus for the debut album was totally different from that of our new album. As the debut was a solo album and featured guest musicians it did receive some excellent reviews. I was totally free when that album came out and I wasn't worried about the reaction of the people and I didn't really care what people thought as it was only a solo project. I just wanted to be happy and make some good music. All the songs on that album are very different. I believe that all bands need to have some identification and appearance. That is why we thought a lot about the title of the album and the styles of the songs. The songs on the album were more concentrated and more focused and you can hear it is one piece of music. You can hear that the 1st song is a Thrash style song, one can be a Pop style song and a lot of the songs are very different."
Do you feel that a lot of Angra fans would of been scared that you were leaving Angra to carry on with your own solo project?
"Yes I did feel that some of the fans would be thinking about that. I remember when I released the debut album many Angra fans very worried because they knew it would be hide away from the fans what is happening with Angra. Also with the internet with rumours going around it didn't make things any easier. When I released the debut album for Alham people were talking about the end of Angra. When I was doing my 1st interviews I was telling people that I was creating something new and Angra were alive I we would come back one day. I don't like to lie and I tell people the truth about what's been happening."
So what songs on the debut album do you like and why?
"Well I do like the song 'King', because it is a very powerful song and it works very well to play live and the people love it when I play it live. I also like the song called 'Breathe' as it is a heavy song and I believe that the atmosphere and I like the lyrics and vocal melodies to that song."
Was it hard to write the lyrics for that album? Also where was it recorded? Was it a difficult album to record with so many musicians from various bands from around the world?
"Well I had to fly to Finland to record the guitars and the drums were sent over by Casey. As we recorded the guitars and bass in Finland and we ended up recording everything there, expect for the drums which were recorded in the U.S.A.. I did the vocals here in Brazil and the acoustic guitars as well."
So moving on.., where did you find the new musicians for the 2nd album?
"Actually I found the 3 guys and Marcelo Barbosa is very famous in Brazil only our guitar player. He is endorsed by the biggest guitar company here in Brazil. The other guitarist and drummer are unknown but sometimes we would meet those guys at Angra concerts or at festivals so everybody knows everybody here in the music scene here in Brazil. I didn't know those guys personally and I just called them and I asked them to come to my house for a meeting. I saw the guys playing and I knew they were the ones for my band. I didn't play with some other musicians, but they didn't work out."
So could you now tell me why you decided to call the new album 'Fragile Equality', and did you have any other names for the album?
"Well there is a history about the title for this album, I am co-writing a book which is a manga book and the story of the book talks about the balance of everything in the world with the balance we need to find in our life's, since the balance within the planets with need to have the right balance within the band. There is a very thin line which which divines the order and the chaos and that thing is been told in the story. There are many fights and it is a good book for those people who like this kind of stuff. I then decided to create the lyrics based on the story which is connected to the CD. The CD I have released before the book is finished, which I hope to have out in early 2009. The book with also have the CD in it, but without the vocals. It will be like a sound track for the readers who buy the book. The book will be wrote here in Brazilian for now and I hope to have it released in English later on in 2009."
How long did it take to write and record the new album?
"Well from the very early beginning it was written in December 2007 and we were composing in January till April and then we started to record the album in May 2008 and I think we had the master tapes in July 2008. It was recorded here in Brazil and now we have some really good studios for Meal bands. That was the problem here in the past, we had no good studios for Heavy Metal bands. We were trying to record our albums in either Germany or England but this time we have some good studios here in Brazil."
Did Dennis Ward from 'Pink Cream 69' record the new album or mix it?
"No Dennis works with Angra, but the debut album and the new one I did myself with the bassist Felipe."
Who writes the songs within the band, do you write all the lyrics and the rest of the band writes the music?
"Well I wrote all the songs, but in 2008 we were composing the songs together and contributing. I play the guitar but only to come up with the 1st ideas which I put to the guitarist who then work around them to make the songs."
What's you're favourite songs on the new album and why?
"That is very difficult for me to say as it is very fresh. I am loving all of the songs on that album, but I would have to say I do like the 1st song 'Birds Of Prey', as it is a true metal song and it has some great guitar riffs. I like all the album really, it's just a great album!!"
You can certainly hear the difference with the debut as this one, as the debut album was a solo album with various musicians, this one has a steady line-up.
"Yeah you're right, here is a vast difference, this one has a steady line-up. I really wasn't that worried about the reaction from the fans and writers for the debut album, but this album is a vast improvement as I was learning to produce the 1st album and now I know what I am doing for the new album. I had to fly to Finland for the debut album but for this one everybody is from Brazil so we all put in our own talents and we create a superb album I think."
How do you see this new album as a step forward from the debut album?
"Well I see this new album as a very important album and I believe it is a evolution of the 1st album as I told you that it was simple and very nice and strong but this time I feel that all the arrangements are more improved and the orchestral arrangements and guitar arrangements are better as well. My drummer plays fast which is cool and he is also able to play many different style of stuff too, which does help. We can now reach new horizons and with a big improvement."
What does the rest of Angra think of you're new album? Do they like it?
"Well Rafael likes the new album and he told me that he can now see what I can do for Angra, he loves the new album. Kiko was very happy for me but he is very cold and he is very shy and he didn't talk too much, but he thinks it's a great Power Metal album."
So as you will be doing a new Angra album in 2009, what's the future hold for Almah? Will you be touring and recording a 3rd album?
"Well I am now concentrating on the Almah stuff right now with touring plans for a Brazilian tour and Intromental management are trying to get us a tour in Europe in April of 2009. We will then be releasing the live Angra DVD I told you about May 2009 and then we need to concentrate on recording and writing a new Angra album."
So when do we expect to see Almah here in the UK?
"Well we do plan on hopefully been here in the UK in 2009, hopefully in April. We only did 1 show with Angra here in the UK, so it would be nice to come back and play more shows in 1 tour."
Well Edu, thanks for you're time and I want to wish you all the best with Almah and Angra. Do you have anything to say before we finish?
"Yes, thank you to our fans for supporting Almah and Angra, we hope you lie the albums and please come and check out our shows if you can. Take care!!"
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