Brazil is not all about Sepultura. There are other metal bands, bands that are not extreme like VANDROYA. DAÍSA MUNHOZ was kind enough to answer my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
What were the reasons for forming Vandroya? How has the story of the band turned out so far?
-The band was formed in 2001 and in the beginning we were just a group of kids that used to meet to play some cover songs of the bands we admired the most. We just wanted to do some metal, talk about our favorite bands, exchange CD’s and experiences, this kind of stuff. However, Marco Lambert and I already had some experiences with others bands. But things change, we grew up, we gained experience, so we felt able to create our own songs and in 2005 we recorded our EP, Within Shadows, which was very well accepted. Then, the problems came and we decided to take a break on Vandroya’s activities, and I believe each one of us became more mature with this breaktime, and none of us stopped playing and learning music: Rodolfo Pagotto, for exemple, became a very renowned music teacher and Marco Lambert dedicated himself to musical productions besides his role as guitarist in Soulspell’s recording sessions and touring. It was only 2010 when we decided to finish what we started and we felt that was the right time to do it. Now I realize that if we had launched this album before, we would be just a bad band launching a bad album.
To me Brazil is pretty much all about extreme metal but lately I’ve come upon more and more heavy metal bands. What kind of scene is there really?
-Brazilian people love power metal too. Brazil is a huge country, so there is room for all kinds of scene. We have many new bands emerging with very well produced albums of several styles of heavy metal. Besides the renowned ones like Angra, Sepultura, Krisiun and Korzus, we have the new breed like Pastore, Soulspell, Shadowside, Torture Squad, Tierra Mystica, Hibria, Almah and so on. The scene is becoming diversified and larger each day.
I know very little about Brazil outside of Rio, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. What kind of country is it for a metal band?
-We are almost a continent, like I use to say, so we have a lot of places to explore. But things are not that easy, actually. You mentioned three big cities, but it is in Sao Paulo that the scene gets bigger. It is the state in which we live in so I am able to see the scene here really exists and it is strong. I had the opportunity to travel with Soulspell by many Brazilian states (from the south to the northeast region) and I could see that the heavy metal scene really is alive in each one of these states I’ve visited, although it is smaller than the Sao Paulo’s one.
Can you make a living out of playing metal in Brazil? What kind of market is there for metal?
-Vandroya is not our financial source right now, so we have “regular jobs”. Vandroya is made of journalists, publicists, music teachers, furniture designers, audio editors, musical producers. But we really want to go touring, no matter what: this will always be our priority because that’s what moves us, that’s our passion and we will not let any opportunity to spread our music pass by us without holding it tight. So I really hope to go touring soon, in a very near future. I can say that we’re not gonna stop making music, we really want to record many albums as possible, and right now we really don’t care about getting money, because this is not our goal, this is the consequence of our goal.
5. When you have a new album out is it big news at home or do you get bigger headlines from abroad?
This is a very difficult question to answer at this point, after all it is our first album, but we’ve been very lucky so far.We released our album in Brazil two months after Japan’s release and I can say that Brazil response has been amazing. I’m very glad with Brazilian audience support.
When you write songs for an album how much do you clear you mind to avoid any outside influence or do you embrace outside influence?
-Neither one thing nor another. We just do our songs and then we direct them to sound exactly the way we’d like it to sound. We are very influenced by bands we admire and we will never abandon these influences. But regarding the process of composition itself, I can say that it has to happen as it happens, the most natural way as possible.
How important is that the album looks right and not just sounds right? How much thought do you spend on the lay-out and art work?
-It’s very important, actually. One sense complements the other. In the case of the cover of ONE, we invited Felipe Machado Franco to transform our sonority into images and he was very unerring: you can clearly notice feminine elements and the figure of a woman almost as a deity reveals a little bit of the content of my lyrics, for example.
I’ve tried thinking about what I would write lyrics about had I been in a band but I always end up with the most pathetic words. How do you write lyrics?
-You know what? I believe everybody who writes lyrics thinks exactly the way you do right now because I talk with many songwriters who report exactly the same thing. I sometimes believe my lyrics are not that good, especially because I use to write a lot about myself. I use to externalize all my anxieties and beliefs to my lyrics, and I use a lot of metaphors to do that, for example.
What kind of touring scene is there in Brazil? I don’t hear too much about a bands touring Brazil.
-When it comes to huge gigs of huge heavy metal bands, Brazil has become route for the biggest presentations of the planet, and at least twice a month you can attend incredible concerts of amazing foreign bands, especially in Sao Paulo. But of course this is not exactly what happens when it comes to smaller Brazilian bands. Bands here don’t have support and the scene is almost completely underground. But still, like I said before, bands don’t stop emerging, and the audience has been amazing in its support.
How do you view your chances to make it outside of Brazil/South America? How will you beat the competition?
-We don’t think about it like it is a competition. We are on the scene; we are on the market, as well as a million of bands. Quality is what counts in this trajectory and we really want to do it well. We don’t want things to cool down, so we are already composing for our next album and we will work hard to make it better than ONE.