..:: Interview ANGRA ::..

16th September 2004

by Alex Ory

 

We are meeting a few days after the Raismes Festival, where Angra offered us an exclusiv show but also an accoustic gig. What are your feelings after that ?

Kiko Loureiro : Felipe, what are your feelings after the Raismes Festival ? (laugh)

Felipe Andreoli : Well, people enjoyed it. We had the first opportunity in Europe, to show some new songs from the new record. We played 6 or 7 of them. The response from the audience was fantastic, even though they didn't know the songs yet. But their applauses shew they really like'em. For us it was really important to give this european "Premiere" here in France because the French Fans are very important to Angra. So it was really good to have this opportunity.

K.L. : I could say the same because in France, fans are supporting us a long time and they were always very open minded to the music we always did and that's why we could show some new songs even if the cd is going to be released only in november, but also because we are very happy with the result of the album. So we wanted to show these new songs as soon as possible. And all the people who talked with us after the show, they all like them. It was also a good thing for Angra to play these new songs, because we've just started the tour. It was our first concert.

During this show you played Angra hits like "Carry on" or "Nothing to Say", but you also played some new stuff from your new album "Temple Of Shadows". Can you tell us about it ?

K.L. : We had this "open minded concept" and we started playing a lot of different stuff. We had more than 20 songs and in december we chose which songs we had to go on with. Then we started working with Denis, in January and then Raphael decided to do a concept album, regarding the lyrics because the music itself was very dense.

How did he came to write on the theme of the Crusades ?

F.A. : That's something we talked about a lot. Especially Raphael who is really into religion and all these kind of mess behaviours. One say and everybody follows (laugh). It's a trial to make people think about faith, religion and god. The concept itself talks about a knight, a crusader called the Shadow Hunter, who's in the army of the pope during the crusades. Basically, he's in the middle of a holy war. During the story, something happens and he starts questionning himself about what's the reason for all that. What's the reason for killing people for religion. What is religion after all ? What is faith ?

Is it a way to talk about what is happening currently ?

K.L. : Yeah ! It's also a parallel to what happened with the discovery of Brazil. People coming and trying to change the mind of people living there, imposing their religion. And that happens all the time. Ever. In the lyrics you can find different ways of thinking, and maybe discover what's your own way of thinking. It makes you express yourself, to know who you are, to speak for yourself.

F.A. : The final conclusion is that no one should say what you can believe. No one should decide for you what is good for you. Each of us is able to decide what is good for himself. And this is freedom of mind. And this is also a part of the album's concept. Freedom of mind, freedom of artistic expression.

On this album, we really have the feeling that Edu has affirm itself. And it wasn't easy thing to take's Andre's place. Was it ?


K.L. : Yeah. For sure. And I think for everybody. But Edu of course, because he had more pressure on him than we. Now there's a real unity. It's a result of 4 years together, with a long tour. We know more each of us, as musicians, as persons so it was easier to prepare songs each one could give his best.

Did Edu take part to the writings of the lyrics ?

K.L. : No, the lyrics not much. But the music, yes.

F.A. : The lyrics were all made by Raphaël. Of course he talked with us about it, we could give some opinion because he was talking about something that could bring different positions. And we have different way of thinking. So he got all the points of view of everybody.

Most people who had the opportunity to listen to the new album, had the feeling that it was close to "Holy Land".

F.A. : This is really interesting because each one who listens to the album and tries to compare it with the previous ones, each one has a different opinion. And even the biggest part of those I've heard they cannot really relate it to a previous thing. And I think it's a part of the richness of the album, which can remind you of old passages of Angra, but also show something new. This is what we tried to do, and this is a proof that we achieved it.

On this new album, 4 special guests appear. 2 of them are well-known singers of the Metal stage, Kai Hansen (Gammaray) and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian). How do you came to ask them to collaborate ?

K.L. : It was to show to the fans both big influences Angra always had. The heavy metal, melodic metal. We are fans and appreciate very much Kai Hansen. And we are friend of him because we recorded Angel's Cry and Holy Land with him, and after a lot of festivals we kept meeting him. Hansi Kursch because I think that Blind Guardian they have the same way of thinking, a little bit like Angra, to search for different ways of doing heavy metal sometimes. Milton Nascimiento, it was to show the brazilian style because he is a great brazilian singer. He's very famous in Brazil. And who knows more about brazilian music than Milton Nascimiento ?

Wasn't it too difficult for him to join a metal band ?

K.L. : I don't think so because, just like us, he loves all kind of musics because he loves music above all. And it's very great to share and play other kind of musics, make music to connect people. When we called him, first he wanted to make sure about the songs. But his manager knew about Angra, so he knew we had a good quality band. So he accepted and was really excited to sing because right after he agreed, he was really optimistic to sing in a heavy metalband.

It was the first time for him ?

K.L. : Yes. But he sang with Peter Gabriel, Joe Anderson from Yes or Duran Duran… He's a very special brazilian musician because he's not doing bossa nova or things like that. He's doing one unique music, the Milton Nascimiento. And we really hope to make the kind of music people could say "That's Angra music !".

What about Sabine from Edenbridge. Was it a way to provide some help to the Band ?

F.A. : She was able to do what we wanted. We needed both a female voice because the record is so dense musically and sometimes so dark. A female voice would help us to have this kind of mood and also because there's a female character in the story that she plays. And she has such a beautiful voice. And if it can help the band, great ! (laugh)

So, the new album "Temple Of Shadows" is going to be released in November. What's the next step for Angra ?

K.L. : End of January, we are coming for a tour here in France. About 6 dates. We are not sure yet but it's end of January. Well, after we come back to Brazil today, we'll start touring there until the end of the year. And then we'll come for Europe and Japan.

Something to say to the fans ?

K.L. : As we said in the beginning, we always have to thank the French Fans to understand and respect a lot the music we do. French people understand the most when we go a little bit far away from heavy metal. We appreciate that a lot. And it helps us going further.

F.A. : And I would ask, I don't know if I need to, I would ask people to listen to that record with an open mind and an open heart because sometimes the music can be very dense and, for some people, hard to digest. This is what I'd like to have from the french fans.

www.angra.net

 

..:: Line-up ::..

Edu Falaschi - chant
Kiko Loureiro - guitares
Rafael Bittencourt - guitares
Felipe Andreoli - basse
Aqualis Priester - batterie

 

..:: Studio Releases ::..

Angels Cry - 1993
Holy Land - 1996
Freedom Call - 1996
Fireworks - 1998
Rebirth - 2001
Hunters and Prey - 2002
Temple of shadows - 2004