(The fans from the Czech Republic and Slovakia who don’t speak English can read this Andre Matos interview translated here:
Read part 2 of this interview by scrolling down, in today’s next entry)
A.M.Official Fansite: Hi Andre… First of all congrats for the success of the Time To Be Free Tour! What’s your main feeling after such a big tour all over the world?
A.M.: It’s never enough! It’s never enough places, it’s never enough time… Things are too fast, you know. I remember some artists in the past that used to record an album every five years or ten years – some people still do, like AC/DC. But more and more now you have to put off new things and do new tours… There’s a whole industry behind that kinda forces you to be faster and faster. So I still think there would be some room for promoting more shows of Time To Be Free record, and different places maybe; I’d really return to some of the places we’ve already been. But then, it felt like it was time to start producing a new album. Thank God we had already many ideas that we’ve been collecting, also during the tour time, so it was not so difficult actually to put those ideas together. And if I’d have to say what’s the general feeling, I think, you know, it was something very important, not only because we could promote it all over, but especially because that gave to the band a better relationship as musicians. For some of the guys in the band this was the very first time that they were touring the world and I’m pretty sure that everybody was learning a lot out of it. And even the ones who were more experienced, like me and Luis, it’s always nice to be back on the road and to live the read experience one more time, as intense as it is; because it might not be an easy life, you know, to be on the road playing concerts every day, away from home and in different places… but, definitely, when it’s finished, we miss it! It’s turned into a routine. So, every time we record an album we’re basically thinking about the tour, and we’re already looking forward to the next one.
A.M.Official Fansite: Let’s then talk about the new album. Is there still some work ahead?
A.M.: Yes. I’ve done already a lot of work and I came to Germany these last weeks to start the final process with Sascha Paeth, and also Amanda Somerville, who’s taking part in this work; but definitely there are some things to be accomplished, still, and after this season here in Italy I will be back in Brazil to finish some stuff that’s still missing for the album; some vocal lines are still missing, some arrangements too… But I would say it’s very close to the end, the album is already 80% completed. And we’re very happy with the result so far! Good songs came out very spontaneously, without losing our own style, but as I use to say I’m always trying to get a little bit further, to develop more and more these things that we’ve started… So I think it’s gonna be a perfect development and follow-up for Time To Be Free.
A.M.Official Fansite: So it fits in the line of Time To Be Free, it’s not completely different?
A.M.: No, I wouldn’t say. It’s not completely different, it’s maybe more… accurate, more mature. Some things in Time To Be Free… I really like this album and I think it was perfect as a debut album for Andre Matos Band, but I’m afraid that some things were a little bit too mush overdone. There are sometimes so many details that people just wouldn’t be able to recognize what’s done there. This is an art, you know, to make something a little more simple but still have the same message, the same power, and the same ‘class’ so to say. I think this is part of the development, also, to be thinking how this would sound if we would play it live, so the live wouldn’t differ too much from what’s in the record.
A.M.Official Fansite: You always keep this in mind? How it would sound live?
A.M.: If possible, yes. Of course there are some songs that were already born like complex songs, for instance in Time To Be Free you’ve got a song like…
A.M.Official Fansite: … A New Moonlight.
A.M.: Yes – how to do that live? Except if you use playback stuff, you know, only with a big orchestra – which is also a possibility one day; it’s a dream of mine to perform something like this; but then, such a song you already record it knowing that’s it’s not supposed to be played live. But we wanted to have an album now that’s a little bit more ‘easily digestible’, more straight to the point – which does not necessary means the album is simple! It’s still full of elements, some of these elements are even more extreme, but somehow we were taking care that it doesn’t go to far in terms of ‘overdoing’ something.
A.M.Official Fansite: In French we say ‘Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien’ (‘the better is the enemy of the good’), which means that when you rework and rework something too much –
A.M.: you start ruining something,
A.M.Official Fansite: …and you lost the original ideas.
A.M.Official Fansite: That’s the point! It’s very difficult, I think only the maturity can bring you enough knowledge so that you are able to handle this, to choose between what’s wrong and what’s right. It’s a very thin line between those things because, on the other hand, if you don’t care at all about what you’re doing, then it can be pretty much rough, pretty much poor, and that’s absolutely not what I want. It’s very hard to get the good essence out of something, but still being refined.
A.M.Official Fansite: How many songs will be on the album?
A.M.: About 15 songs. Something like 4 songs should be released only in Japan, as a special bonus….
A.M.Official Fansite: Why Japan again?
A.M.: It’s getting more and more; I mean in the past we worked they were usually asking for one song and now we’re going for nearly 20 minutes of music! It’s easy to understand… They have a big time problem there with imports; because some import albums can arrive in Japan for almost a half-price of the Japanese product, the same album, if it comes from China, or Korea, or anywhere else. So, that’s their way to protect their market, they would need to have something really original, really unique there so they wouldn’t suffer for the import so much. And their idea would be to release maybe a separate CD, only as a bonus, like an E.P., a double thing that comes into one package and then the Japanese product is a little bit different from the rest. But we will be very careful while choosing; we don’t know yet which songs are gonna be the bonus tracks, it really depends…
A.M.Official Fansite: …at least the cover, maybe?
A.M.: The cover for sure.
A.M.Official Fansite: There is one cover only?
A.M.: Yes, which is gonna be a bonus track…
A.M.Official Fansite: Is there any reworked version in this album too, like The New Moonlight?
A.M.: Well, err… (smile)
A.M.Official Fansite: You don’t wanna say.
A.M.: I think I’ve already talked too much! (laugh)
A.M.Official Fansite: Ok, it’s gonna be a surprise, then!…
So, when is the album scheduled for release?
A.M.: The album’s gonna be ready around July / August, so I guess the release will be around September.
A.M.Official Fansite: Do you plan any videoclip for this album? Would be nice…
A.M.: Maybe more than one. We have a good chance to shoot it probably in Europe, when we’ll be back here. Maybe the clips are gonna come a little bit later, but for sure we’re gonna do at least one.
A.M.Official Fansite: Will it be a ‘story’ videoclip, with actors and so on?
A.M.: Yes. I prefer to do like this. I think if it’s well done, it’s less boring – anyway I’m not a big fan of videoclips, I don’t like it so much. I think they always look a little bit silly, I don’t watch videoclips! But it’s a good promotion, it’s good for the fans… so, once you have to do a videoclip then you should do a real interesting thing. I mean, to get a band inside of a hole, a dark hole, and just the band playing… it doesn’t make so much sense. Then it’s better if you record the live shows and release them in a DVD.
A.M.Official Fansite: Let’s talk about the upcoming tour, which countries do you plan to play in?
I got requests for you, on the fan page, for Holland – Argentina – Mexico – Brazil, of course – Italy – Asia – Chile – Peru – Puerto Rico – Germany, that you missed this tour – France…
A.M.: If we would play all of this, I wouldn’t complain!! (laughs) Very nice… Well, I think we’re much probably gonna start from Eastern Europe, after the album is released. Actually the first gig will be in the USA, at the Prog Power Fest in September; it’s pretty much around time the album’s gonna be out; but we won’t play more than one concert there, and after that I believe we will come back to Europe in October to do some special concerts in the east of Europe… and then, there’s a good possibility we expend this tour, until November or so, to all the other countries. And this time, hopefully we’re gonna do a headliner tour, then we can play the entire set with the new songs also. I’m looking forward to that!
A.M.Official Fansite: Will you play only headliner shows or would you accept to be openers as well?
A.M.: We plan to play as a headliner. It depends on a lot of factors, also what kind of promotion we have for the album, and the record label support, but I think there’s a good chance, after what we’ve done in January, playing together with Edguy, but we also did some headliner shows back then in Europe and soon… we had some invitations for Latin America, also as headliner, so I think this will happen until the end of the year. And next year, that will be about time to perform some summer festivals, so we have plenty of time from the album release, for booking the festivals, we’d do headliner tour before, then everything should match.
A.M.Official Fansite: Will you make an acoustic tour, like for Time To Be Free?
A.M.: I don’t know yet. That was very spontaneous back then, the label wanted to do some special promotion. I don’t know how it’s gonna be this year, if there is a budget for that, if there’s an interest on doing that. Of course it’s nice for the fans…
A.M.Official Fansite: Yes! A lot of people asked about it.
A.M.: Yeah… and for us it’s cool, too; it’s something really easy to set up – I don’t say easy to perform, but easy to set up – and it’s somehow a good possibility to be real close to the people. But even if there’s not acoustic performance, I believe we’ll be around for promotion, doing more interviews and stuff like that.
A.M.Official Fansite: Regarding the ‘creating process’… How involved are the other band members in writing and composing? Which of them contributes the most in his instrumental parts?
A.M.: I think Hugo is the most frequent partner for composing, but it doesn’t mean that the other guys don’t work with me as well. All the songs are the result of some collective friendship. It’s very nice for me to work together with others, because it makes my mind a little bit clearer, it’s better this way than only doing the things by myself. I appreciate more. And that time the process was also the same; the other guys were bringing ideas, and working them together so everybody gets their credits for them. I’m not a jealous composer in this regard, I don’t wanna sound like my name is there alone.
A.M.Official Fansite: Is there a member in the band – or out of the band – who most often plays the role of ‘supreme adviser’? When you don’t know what choice to make, when you can’t decide something?
A.M.: Yes, I use to consult… all of them.
A.M.Official Fansite: Together?
A.M.: Together, and sometimes individually… I don’t have any problems with getting their advice for something… But of course, as it’s a solo band, many times I have to take decisions by myself. Many times I’m also searching for new things by myself… and then I tell them later what’s happening, but I don’t like to work as a ‘boss’, you know, like “now you do this, now you do that…”… never. It’s always nice when everybody knows what’s going on, it’s their life as well. I really wanna feel like that, although the band name is Andre Matos, it shouldn’t depend on one guy, on one figure only. It’s not only when I’m on stage that the show starts, it should start already before. That’s why there are some parts on the show when I let them play solos and stuff like this, cause I really wanna show to the people the good musicians that are playing together, so that they feel comfortable as well. I would never feel good if somehow they would fear me or fear what I say – There was some time that they were avoiding to touch some subjects with me, just because they were afraid of my reaction and I was really angry to them and I said Never do that! We have to talk about everything, even though there are sometimes not so nice subjects to talk about, such as money for instance and stuff like this, everybody should feel free to talk as friends. Maybe I am a little utopian in my mind, when I believe it’s possible to run together the business side and the friendship, and still be a musician. Because those are 3 things that are sometimes not compatible: to be musicians, to be friends, and to have a business together! Most of the time it doesn’t go along so well.
A.M.Official Fansite: And when working with Sascha, for the production, does he take part in the composing process, does he add his personal touch?
A.M.: He gives his opinion, yes, but this time actually, I brought like everything basically finished to him. And he also admitted that he wouldn’t dare to change too much of what’s been done, because then that would be very much of a work, once the things are already done. And he was also having a different mentality about it, saying, I will think about it the way it is, and if there are slight changes that can be done, we do it, but we don’t touch the structure of the songs. He said for him, that’s the perfect way of working because some bands come to him with just a rough idea and he’s supposed to develop the idea from then; and he doesn’t like it so much. Cause that costs him a lot of effort, and creative power as well. But I think he plays a big role anyway, he’s also working out the sound and some arrangements… but that’s what he really likes to do: instead of fixing mistakes, just trying to perfect something.
A.M.Official Fansite: For this album, did you mostly write the lyrics after the instrumental parts were done, or is there any lyrics that came to your mind, not completely written of course, but even before thinking about the music, because it was more important to you…?
A.M.: Yes, some ideas came up to my mind before, but that doesn’t mean that I wrote the music based on that. Probably it was matching to some music that was also done on the side, that didn’t have the lyrics yet, and then I had this lyrical idea so I could adapt one thing to another and it goes along well together. I had 3 or 4 different ideas that came to my mind only as lyrics but not necessarily as music, and then I could find a way to fit all things together.
It’s curious, you know, I cannot really explain how this process goes, it’s not so easy. It’s like… I don’t know, it’s like when you cook something; every day is different. Or how the people were born with different faces; it’s the same thing but it’s different from each other. It’s so funny. Sometimes there is some music where lyrical ideas come to my mind right away. I start singing something, and when I start singing something, the words already come. Not finished, not complete yet, but the basic structure is there, the basic idea and concept is there. So… I try not to skip too much away from that; I have to respect this spontaneous lack of criteria, so to say, and try to stick to that idea.
A.M.Official Fansite: Is there a song, from this upcoming album, that’s more special or important to you?
A.M.: Yes, there is… but this kind of things tends to change with the time. Sometimes a song that you believe is really important at the beginning, when it’s finished, either you get a little bit tired of it, or it didn’t develop in something very impactant, or there might be other songs that are even more impressive in the end… Yes, there are some songs that right now speak a lot to me, but we’ll see what they’ll turn into. I still don’t know what the final result’s gonna be; I hope it’s as I can imagine. I hope that they’ll keep developing the same direction that it’s right now and if that’s happening then I think everybody’s gonna actually enjoy it.
A.M.Official Fansite: There were rumors about a DVD; are they founded?
A.M.: Yeah, we plan a DVD for… maybe, to be released before the end of the year; would be a nice idea. Then we need, after the concert in America and also the European festivals – I’d like to have all of this also recorded for the DVD, and we have tons of material from the past two years, it’s a lot of things. It’s gonna be a big work again, to select, and compile, and edit all of this, but it would be very nice. And I think we can say now it’s about time to release a DVD, after the next album. So yes, hopefully by the end of the year. Would be a good season for that.
A.M.Official Fansite: What about the side projects: Virgo? Avantasia? Aina? Any ideas of the dates…?
A.M.: The only one that I’m aware of is Avantasia; I know that there are some recordings already going on, probably, and that they’re writing the whole stuff; I think it will also be released by the end of the year…
A.M.Official Fansite: You take part in how many songs?
A.M.: I don’t know yet; I just know that I was invited to take part on it, and it really depends on what’s the story’s gonna be, what kind of character I’m gonna play; I don’t think I’ll do the same as I did on the first two albums… But it’s cool, because Avantasia, especially the live stuff, was really good, very good atmosphere, so it became a sort of steady team. I think that for this album also, there will have some big names singing some parts or playing, but the basic team is gonna remain the same. And I’m glad I’m taking part on the album again. That also means that next year there will be a tour, and it was absolutely a very nice tour all over the world.
A.M.Official Fansite: Do you still wanna work on the following of Virgo?
A.M.: I want! But you have to ask this to Sascha… (laughs) Tell him that I want!… I mean we both want, you know, it’s always the same, it’s always a matter of time, because we have our projects and own stuff. So we would really need… some time like this, you know! sit down, relax… and then compose some stuff. Virgo should be like a vacation, if you know what I mean. Instead you go to the beach or something like that you just sit down and make an album. That could be very nice, actually! I remember when we did it, it was like that.
A.M.Official Fansite: A lot of fan pages appeared on MySpace, Facebook, etc these last months and your fan club seems to grow faster and faster; how do you feel about that?
A.M.: Seems you’re doing a nice work! (laugh)
A.M.Official Fansite: I’m not the only one! It’s just a general…
A.M.: You’re not the only one, let’s be fair, but…
A.M.Official Fansite: …tendency.
A.M.: Yes, let’s be fair, there were people even before you came in who were already doing it, but I really appreciate when something is well done, seriously done. I’ve never been really fond of fanclubs and stuff like this because normally, it was only a way that the people used to feed their own egos; they think that, just because they belong to a fan club, or are the president of a fanclub – I had this experience in the past – that they are somehow more special than the others. That’s a big risk, in fact. I think this is a message that should be spread away.
A.M.Official Fansite: Ok… it will be.
A.M.: I mean, it’s not your case, absolutely, it’s not the case of some other people that I know, but it could be something dangerous. So, I really appreciate when it’s seriously done, when you can notice that there is a real passion for music there, and I have a lot of respect for that. And nobody should criticize that. But the fake fanclubs, I really don’t support them, because when you really need their help, they’re not there, and they’re basically only there for the sparkles, you know… it’s an easy way to feel yourself more important than the regular people. So, for all the new fanclubs that came out and people that I had the chance to meet… they’re very respectful, very nice. So yeah, in this regard, I completely support the idea, and respect it, because I know it’s something born with a very good will. You know, I would be very proud, I’d be very glad if one day I can see like lots of fanpages from all over the world, and all connected together… So I really hope it grows up, and as long as there are responsible people taking care of it, they will always have my big support!
A.M.Official Fansite: Thank you…
Here we switched to the questions from the fans and Andre answered some of them.