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Matos, Andre - The divine messenger - March 2001


Most of you might know Andre Matos as the brilliant vocalist of the Brazilian Power Metal-band ANGRA, less will know that he had been with VIPER, a musically comparably, but a good bit straighter band, before. After ANGRA had split last year, it grwe pretty silent around him, but in the meantime his two bands VIRGO (with HEAVENS GATE-guitarist Sascha Paeth) and SHAMAN (with the two former ANGRA-members Luis Mariutti and Ricardo Confessori) are ready to take off. Reason enough to let loose a few question towards the super-sympathetic Brazilian, who speaks German excellently.

Concerning the ANGRA-split there are different opinions. Even though I am sure that you'd rather like to run screaming, could please still tell us what has happened and why and all of that?

The main reason for the band's split was our management. We found out many wrong things happening (including lots of bootlegs, etc.) and our aim was to get rid of the management and the contract itself. But the two guitar players didn't agree to do that and they decided then to stay with the manager.

How is your (Luis, Ricardo and you) relationship with Kiko and Rafael now?

Unfortunately I have to say that all the things that happened led us to be no longer friends together. It is very sad, after all these years, but sometimes that's something very difficult to choose... On the other hand, the friendship between us three is stronger than ever!

As far as I could read in the internet, SHAMAN is continuing the musical legacy of ANGRA. Where are the parallels and difference to ANGRA?

It would be very difficult to do something totally apart of what we did in the past. But there are, of course, many changes and a big progress. We tend to keep some elements, but we also dare to risk some new ones. And the fact that there is a new guitar player brought a new horizon to our music.

Shaman - how did you find the name and does it have a deeper meaning to you?

The name is an old idea of mine; actually I wrote a song for the "Holy Land"-album, called "The Shaman", in which I tell the story of a medicine man from the jungle. The meaning for this name is very vast, it represents the highest messenger or divine representative among the mortals. The one that has the power to heal, through the spirits and the magic. I believe that has a lot to do with music...

The Brazilian folklore already had some influence on ANGRA and apparently SHAMAN is no different in that. With ANGRA you also processed the history of Brazil. How important is the folklore and history of your home-country for you as musician?

Very important, but not the only one... We are very open to many different kinds of folklores and cultures. That's inspiration, and inspiration is everywhere!

Will SHAMAN also continue the conceptual line of ANGRA?

That's a natural consequence - but we still don't know whether the first album will be a completely concept one or not...

Which plans do you have with SHAMAN? Are there already contacts to record-companies?

There is s big interest from some labels; right now we're finishing our demo with vier songs and then we'll decide for the proper label. Our plans include the recording of the album around April/May 2001 and also some preview concerts to be done from February on.

Luis and Ricardo are with you in SHAMAN. Had it been clear from the beginning that you would continue together?

No. That's something we just decided after the split. We felt very empty and depressed because of that and then we imagined we could carry on with a band. It's something we did especially for the fans but also for ourselves.

Together with Sascha Paeth you have the project (or is it a band?) VIRGO. What can we expect from that one, musically and in general?

That's an ancient project of us both - we've been good friends for many years and the will to make music together was always there. VIRGO follows the Classic Rock-line; something very inspired by QUEEN, for instance. It's a wonderful thing, for I had the opportunity to develop myself in many different ways I never imagined before! The album is now ready and its release is previewed for April 2001, through SPV.

And how did you get together?

Sascha used to work as co-producer for the first ANGRA-albums. We know each other for more than eight years now - and besides being my friend, he's one of my favourite guitarists!

What is your priority? SHAMAN or VIRGO?

For the moment the priority is the release of VIRGO and also the recordings of SHAMAN. In the future, there'll be no problem to share myself with these two bands - they've got completely different styles - and I'm quite excited about doing these two things simultaneously!

After VIPER had changed quite dramatically soundwise you left them and formed ANGRA, now you have SHAMAN. What kind of feeling is that?

The feeling of always getting born again, of having no fear of the future, whatever it may be... It's a good feeling, though. I think that risking is the only way to always do something creative!

Do you know that the VIPERs are doing now? We haven't heard from them in years...

VIPER, as long as I know, no longer exists... I'm still a good friend from some of them and they've splited up some years ago.

Now looking back over the years, VIPER, ANGRA, SHAMAN, VIRGO, how do you see your career so far?

Very stressy, for sure!!!!! (laughs) But I believe there's much more yet to come and right now I'm really hungry for that!!

Do you get much response from the fans about all the events? Do you have an especially big/loyal fan-base in certain countries?

Yes, there are some good people that always used to support me and my projects and I'm very thankful for that! The fans are for me like friends and I'm always very concerned about not disappointing them!!

Could you tell me a bit about the person Andre Matos?

People say I'm a calm and quiet person; I can't tell whether that's really true or not... I think I'm a very cerebral person, but on the other hand also very emotional... Maybe that's good a mixture for somebody who tries to be an artist!

You are speaking great German. How that and do you also speak other languages?

I have a real passion for languages and I just try to get as deep as I can with them. Talking about German, I studied it when I was still a teenager... And the many times in Germany also helped me out a lot... But it's still not as good enough as to answer you a complete interview "auf Deutsch"!!! (Don't believe him a word, he's just far too modest ;) - Alex)

How did you end up in Heavy Metal anyway? Your voice sounds as if you had received a classical vocal-education...

I always used to listen to Rock-music and the Metal was a consequence. But my real training is the classical one, with no doubt.

And what did your parents/relatives/friends say when you started out in Heavy Metal? Did they accept it from the beginning or did they view it with rather mixed feelings?

It was such a natural process, I think nobody really realized what I was really about to do... One thing is for sure: I always got support from my family for doing music, no matter what music it should be. Well, my friends were the ones that also used to play with me, so how could they say something against it??

We always hear from great bands from Brazil, but still only very few make it to Europe. What do you think could the reason for that and how does the scene look like in general (if you have the chance to follow the scene at all)?

I think it lies on the attitude. Some people don't make the right effort or just give up too soon. To have a band and to have success is mostly a question of perseverance and that's something the new bands should learn...

Which bands should we keep an eye open for?

There are a couple of good bands that unfortunately didn't have the chance yet to go out of Brazil. One of them is DEADLY FATE.

How is the life for a Metal-musician in Brazil? Is this style accepted in any way?

I think it's the same problem as in Europe - it's not easy to live out of music in general, especially regarding Metal-music. In Brazil, unfortunately the only two well accepted bands were SEPULTURA and ANGRA. But the scene is very big, though, and there are big possibilities to expand it well.

Normally I end my interviews with the question about the favourite question of the musician about his band that he never has had been asked, but would finally like to answer. As SHAMAN and VIRGO are still before their first release, I'd like to expand the question to all the bands, VIPER, ANGRA, SHAMAN and VIRGO...

I think the question would be: "is it the same Andre Matos who plays all over these bands?" and the answer: yes and no. Everybody changes along the years but everybody keeps an essential being also inside. I think you can find myself over all of them - and even recognize it - but you'll also find something that's always evolving. And that's all that makes sense for me as an artist! Thank you!

Discography:

1990: Viper - Soldiers Of Sunrise (CD, Massacre)
1992: Viper - Theatre Of Fate (CD, Massacre)
1994: Angra - Angels Cry (CD, Rising Sun)
1996: Angra - Holy Land (CD, Rising Sun)
1996: Angra - Freedom Call (MCD, Rising Sun)
1998: Angra - Fireworks (CD, Rising Sun)

Alexander Melzer



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