Sorry guys if all of them were not answered, there were a lot of questions and it would definitely have taken too much of Andre’s time!
A.M.Official Fansite: You played an awesome show in Porto Alegre, with an orchestra. Do you think that a concert like this would be possible in France, or Europe?
A.M.: In France, I don’t know… I hope yes! That’s actually a big project that I have in mind, for the future, for the near future maybe.
A.M.Official Fansite: Imagine something like this in the Opera Garnier… wow!
A.M.: We have to prepare this project, must be very well prepared. Once we do the first one, it’s gonna be easy to do more, cause then we already have the arrangements, all the scores, everything. And that’s what I’m looking for, actually; I really wanna try to do more and more. Then it wouldn’t be so difficult, if you have the scores, you just need some time rehearsing, and find the right orchestra, the right sponsors, because this is not a cheap project. But I’m very sure that if we do it, it’s gonna be very interesting and many people would like to see it. And also a nice thing to be released on a DVD. And, you know, as I have a classical music training, it’s something really special for me, I wouldn’t be just to put an orchestra somewhere, play some notes and say ‘Ah, band and orchestra, great!’. There’s a huge difference between this and something that’s really made to be… bombastic.
A.M.Official Fansite: What you did in Porto Alegre was really great! It was different, but great.
A.M.: That was really cool, because they took their time to do the arrangements, it was done by real music professionals and students, so the guys were even calling before and asking ‘Is it ok if I do the arrangements like this or that…’, and I said ‘Pretty great, let’s do it like this’… It was very cute actually because, after the show, they all brought me the scores as a present, you know, that they had printed… and that’s also great for the classical environment, I think, because they are not used to the warmth that our audience has. They could have good applause of course but, never they had somebody screaming during the songs and singing together! And all the musicians who were playing there would look at the audience and were like Wooow… is it real?? – Yes, every time is like this! So you don’t know what you’re missing! (laughs)
And another very nice thing was when I was doing the Rock Opera “Tommy” in São Paulo; many young musicians from the orchestra, people playing flute or violin or anything, good players, came to me and said: “Thank you Andre because I started music because I was listening to your songs first. Then I started with the electric guitar, but now I play violin”. And I said “great choice!” Haha.
A.M.Official Fansite: And what about inviting some classical musicians on the next tour, like you did with Shaman?
A.M.: Then I wouldn’t stick to one or two only. I would really wait until I can do the whole thing. Would be nicer.
A.M.Official Fansite: You’ve written a song on Lisbon, one on Rio… when will there be a song about Paris?
A.M.: It would probably not be so original!… Anyway, I don’t really do it on purpose; it was just happening due to some inspiration. Lisbon was because I had a very strong experience in Lisbon. I don’t know exactly how to describe that, maybe because it’s the land of my ancestors, and that was my very first time in Portugal; and Lisbon is a very unique city, in a way; because of the whole atmosphere around, everything is very old and historic, and it’s very special. And when I was there, for the first time I was having a walk in the old town, alone, and I was seeing some things that were really registered in my mind. And later on, when I suddenly had this melody line – one day I just woke up and played that on the piano – then I thought, it maybe recalls a little of the Portuguese traditional music, you know, the fado. And I could actually confirm that when I met Fernando Ribeiro from Moonspell; he was invited to sing the song with me in a promo concert, and he told me “This is a real Portuguese music, this is real fado.” I could guess that but was not 100% sure. And he set his compliments to me because the song was really beautiful, about his town; so I felt really honored with such praise from such a guy, he’s a great writer too… So, it was a quite strong feeling.
And then, years later, I wrote the song Rio because I was also deeply impressed with one of the best Brazilian movies ever, which is City of God. First, when the movie came out, I thought maybe there’s been too much of a noise about this movie and maybe it’s just one more movie about violence, you know…
A.M.Official Fansite: No, it’s really special.
A.M.: …Yes, this movie has something really subtle, really deep, because it’s not only about violence, it’s about violence and the opposite as well, so it’s a big contrast. It shows a lot of the human side, the art, the beauty of the city. And Rio also for me personally has a strong role in my life because my parents are from Rio, my family comes out from Rio, I was born in São Paulo but I spent basically all my childhood in Rio and I remember in the late 70’s, how it looked like, how it felt like. And when I got to see the movie, all those things suddenly came up to my mind again and it was a deep impression again. So I decided to write a song having the movie as an inspiration, and those who didn’t watch the movie, they should, because it’s one of the best Brazilian movies that was ever done. So, I’m still waiting… you know… for other inspiration… It really depends on what kind of experience I have. I just don’t choose a place and write a song, otherwise I could write about Mexico city too or whatever. But you need to live something deep there… So, for Paris… maybe! Let’s wait and see…
A.M.Official Fansite: I have another question from a French fan, who asked: In any love story, as beautiful as it may be, with time come regrets… Angra and France, France and Andre: from that great love story, what would be your biggest regret?
A.M.: Well, my biggest regret is that I can’t be there more often! (silence) But… I remember, during the Angra times – it was not only because of the band, it was also because of the moment – the French market was going up like hell, so big bands like Megadeth or Angra, or even Sepultura, everybody was going up like a rocket. Maybe it was the strongest market in Europe by the time; I’m talking about 15 years ago maybe or 10 years ago… It has changed. And I’m saying this because it’s not only about me or Angra; I’ve been talking to lots of people and lots of bands who used to be also very popular in France, and they also say, the market has changed. Somehow there was that boom about hard rock in France, but all of a sudden, more than a half of the magazines shut down, radio shows shut down, even some TV shows in France, which don’t show this kind of music any more… Now, what remains is that basically the old big bands are still making something (Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and so on) but you don’t hear a lot about the new come-ups, and also not a lot about the proper French bands; there should be an activity now in France or outside France… I think it’s a pity that such a promising market didn’t go bigger, because you can see that in other countries like Germany for instance, although its very overcrowded with bands and stuff, they always manage to have that ‘rock circuit’, really stable; you can play on all over the country, there are rock clubs… it’s a tradition. In France it was not a tradition before; it started to be, and suddenly it went down again. So I really only can hope that it comes back, because that was a great feeling. I remember some Angra tour that we did all over the country; we played like 50 gigs in France, I’ve been to places that I never could imagine I will be one day, like Montpellier, Lille, Rouen… everywhere. And this is not happening any more. I wish that one day, it would be possible again. I mean, the people deserve it, the fans deserve it, it’s more a question of business than any other thing, so when the people realize ‘Oh, maybe we don’t make so much money with that’, then they stop doing that… and that’s a pity. So, with my solo carrier I just expect than we can revive this somehow, build up something solid that grows up more and more and then, you know after such a time, I can say that France is still one of the biggest markets… which was very nice by the time; I was always happy to think about “nice, I’m gonna be a tour in France!”. It feels like home.
A.M.Official Fansite: A question about Brazil: You who live at the heart of the Metal world, how do you see those many management and relationship problems that happen to Brazilian bands, Sepultura, Angra, or what you lived with Shaman… Do you therefore feel more free with our own band now?
A.M.: Coincidentally, there were always management problems with the Brazilian bands, maybe because the Brazilian managers might not be that trustable. Brazil is a great country, it’s a beautiful country, we have nice mentality, we are friendly and things like that. But I have to be honest, there is something about the Brazilian mentality that really sucks, which is: the corruption. People sometimes are not so honest and not so straight; they do many things under the table. Countries like Mexico, Brazil, Latin America in general has a little bit of this mentality, which is a shame, I would say, a big shame. I was living in Europe for a couple of years, and thank God I got the chance to live together with people who were very straight, especially the Germans; and there I learned a lot – how it’s possible to live a life being honest to yourself and honest to the others around. And I can’t fake any more, In this regard I could say that I’m more European than Brazilian, you know, because I always want to do the right thing, I never cheat; nor my band mates, or manager, or the public either. That’s also another reason why people always ask me ‘Andre, why do you ever break up with the bands? you go away, you start something and then you finish’?…- Because it’s the most honest thing I can do once it’s not working out any more! I mean, it’s the only way I find to not stop with music, so that I get some new input and some new will to keep on doing what I’m doing. And finally with my solo band, just to answer this question, I can say that I found a perfect balance, at least so far – let’s hope it’s gonna continue. We are real friends, we have an open relationship, we discuss everything together, there is nothing being hidden… And I feel really good with that, because sometimes I have to play more the role of a manager here, for it’s my name which is in risk, and I have to take really good care of what’s coming out… sometimes it takes more time than usual, but at least I have the surety that I’m delivering something which I can trust and which I can really stand for. So in this regard I feel more free with my solo band, but on the other hand it’s more work, because I care more about it.
A.M.Official Fansite: Another fan question… What’s the meaning of Z.I.T.O.?
A.M.: Oh, no… You might ask the current Angra line-up, if they wanna talk about it.
A.M.Official Fansite: The title’s not from you?
A.M.: No, it’s not from me, and when I left the band I made a vow, I said: I’m not gonna talk about it, because back then we said ‘this is a secret between us’; so I still honor this. If they wanna talk about it, it’s their problem, but I honor the word that I gave. And to be honest it’s not even so funny, so don’t worry about it!
A.M.Official Fansite: During your concerts, you almost always include guitar solos, keys solos, drums solos… why never any bass solo?
A.M.: I heard a joke once… but some musicians told me this joke was nice, so:
There was some wreckage on the sea, and the people of the boat went to a desert island. Then they found a native Indian, who was able to speak their language. But it was very scary, because they were hearing like some drums, very far away. So they asked the native guy: “What’s that music coming, that drums sound, this is scary!” And the guy said: “No no no, drums can not stop. Drums never stop.”. Then the next day, and the next day…. “Drums never stop”. And they were getting crazy about it, they wanted to know where it came from, and the native guy was always saying “No! The drums can never stop.”. Then after 2 weeks they were asking the same and the guy was still answering the same and they went “WTF, why do you always say The drums never stop?? – Because if they stop then comes the bass solo!…”
A.M.Official Fansite: Not kind for Luis!…
A.M.: But you can ask any bass player, he will agree! And Luis – he hates bass solos!… You know, I can’t remember any bass solo I’ve seen that really caught my attention. Ok, there are these jazz players like Jaco Pastorius… this was good, this is a different thing. But I remember for instance, when Metallica came to Brazil, before the Black album, during the show, at one moment the music stopped and there was that bass solo and that was boring like hell. If the bass player makes an interesting thing, though – I was talking about it with Luis and we said, he could do something together with the drums. Then it could be something interesting, cause he’s a very good bass player. But then it really means to build up a nice solo; not only play the bass as if it was a guitar. Bass is bass.
A.M.Official Fansite: But it could be part of a whole instrumental moment.
A.M.: Then I agree, then I don’t have any problem with it. I just don’t like when it’s just a ‘show off’ of technique. But that also stands for guitar solos and drums solos and keyboards solos, I don’t like when it’s just… showing up your musical exercises, you know. It has to be about music.
A.M.Official Fansite: Do you plan to play again in Porto Alegre, and to do more shows in Brazil?
A.M.: Yes, Porto Alegre is always a place where we use to play; south of Brazil, we have a very nice audience there, it’s one of my favorite cities in Brazil, so, absolutely we plan to play there. Probably with Andre Matos Solo band it’s one of the places we’ve played the most already.
More shows in Brazil, yes, as long as there are good places to play and good promoters and trustable people, we should be playing in Brazil. We just did a very nice show in Manaus, and the people there were great, great production, so I was very happy with everything. Now we’re doing some shows in south of Brazil when I’m back and there are many invitations for the next months, I hope it works out, as long as we can establish a professional level and nice spectacles for the people, we’ll always be there to play in Brazil, I really love to travel around the country.
A.M.Official Fansite: How do you take care of yourself as a singer, and how do you warm-up before a concert, for an optimal performance?
A.M.: To be honest, I used to be very careful with my voice at the beginning, when I was still learning how to sing, so there are of course some basic care that you should never forget… but I try not to be too worried about it. The things about not to drink cold stuff, for instance… it’s more like a folklore; what’s really important is your mind. If you have a good state of mind you can perform well. And your body should be healthy as a whole; so, one thing is for sure: if you don’t get a good rest, you’re not gonna sing well. This is rule N°1, and maybe it’s the only one that’s really true. Sleep is very important. So, don’t blame the singers if you see they’re lazy and sleep too much because they’re taking care of their voice!
A.M.Official Fansite: Why don’t you more concerts, is it because you prefer to be composing in a studio rather than being on the road? Is it a way to revive your inspiration?
A.M.: Yes, of course when I record a new album I have to be some time away from the shows; it’s very difficult to hold both things together, to be on the road and record at the same time. Sometimes you have to give yourself little breaks so you can work on new ideas and inspiration and everything, because it’s a very different kind of work, to be in studio and to be on the road. Sometimes we don’t know what we prefer; maybe to be on the road is more fun, but it can also be more exhausting, and studio is a very particular thing because somehow you need to recreate some kind of live atmosphere in the studio. But on the other hand it’s also important because that’s where you’re gonna show your work and ideas, and you have to do it the best you can. So yes, basically if I was a bit away from the concerts, it’s because we’ve been really working hard on the news songs and on the next album, and… the album is gonna be out soon!
thanks to Andre for his time and kindness, and
to the fans for their questions
to the fans for their questions