Interview with guitarist Rafael Bittencourt
Interview conducted by Christian Renner
Date online: February 16, 2002
Angra’s troubles have been well documented since the departure of their lead vocalist, drummer and bassist. More than a few people were wondering if the band was done but with the addition of three new members and a killer album appropriately named “Rebirth” Angra has shown they are far from done. I recently had the chance to do an interview via e mail with Rafael Bittencourt and this is what he had to say… Enjoy!
First of all I have to say congratulations on a truly excellent album. I have to admit when I first heard about the split I was more than a little concerned about the future of the band but those concerns were definitely put to rest with this new release.
Thanks, It is very nice to hear that. I have to confess I got a little scared also after the split.
Speaking of the split I was wondering if you had ever thought of ending the book on Angra and just starting over or was it always your plan to keep Angra alive?
No, in the first moments of the mass, me and Kiko got very confused about our future plans. But we knew that we should stick together in order to keep the strength and development of style and ideas that we had through the years.
One of the biggest concerns of course was replacing Andre Matos since he is well established as one of the best vocalists in the genre. To be honest after listening to the new disc I was simply floored by Edu’s work. Was he someone you had in mind from the beginning of the search?
Yes, we also have tried a few others just to make sure but his uniqueness have always overtaken the others. We know him from long time since he became popular by been selected as a finalist to replace Dickinson in Iron Maiden in 1994, fortunately for us, it didn’t happen.
His vocal style just blends so perfectly with the music it seems he has been there for years. You can definitely hear a certain comfort level in his delivery. Did this take time to capture or was it apparent from the very beginning of working together?
He was very familiar with our work and proposals. He is also very experienced and he is being doing concerts for s long time singing all the types of different songs and singers, that certainly gave him a background that only few lead vocalists have.
This may not really be a fair question but how would you compare Edu to Andre’s abilities as a vocalist?
I Think Edu is a lot more versatile, he has a bigger range of notes from lower to higher pitches. Also, he comes from very aggressive to very smooth with a impressive facility. As a person he is very easy to deal with, a great guy, very modest on the way he behaves, loves a lot what he does and a good friend of us.
Edu is not the only new member of course and it seems all the new members have had a hand in sort of revitalizing the band. How has it been working with so many new faces?
Great, when they came in, they had no involvement with the problems we were having with the others, so all the conversations were very light and happy, all they cared about was the future and to show to the world that they would give this opportunity its deserved worth. So, for me and Kiko this was like an injection of optimism and much more than musically they contributed for us to regain our self-steam and joy of doing this job.
The new album seems more aggressive than “Fireworks”. Was this a conscience decision or was it just how the songs came together in the writing process?
It was a very natural process, we could not avoid even if we wanted to talk about what we were feeling at those moments of confusion and how excited we were when we’ve realized that a good light of hope was shining again.
The new album is not only more aggressive sounding but it really seems to showcase the guitars a lot more. Excellent leads and melodies abound. Was this something planned going into the studio?
Not at all, this was more an option from Dennis Ward, our producer, than from us. He thought that maybe having more guitar sounds and lines we would have a more aggressive overview in the end.
Are there any tour plans that include the USA or Canada?
Yes, but still nothing is confirmed. We plan to find some dates there for September.
If so, what bands will be coming along for the ride?
Too early to say.
What were some of your influences growing up? What were some of the bands that really got you into metal?
AC/DC, Queen, Kiss, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
Any musical influences that made you first pick up the guitar?
When I saw Angus Young shaking as crazy on the T.V. that showed me the type of attitude that I thought music should have.
I like to end interviews with something I call “The Final Five”. These are just five questions that aren’t meant to be serious but rather to add a little humor and to break up the monotony that comes along with answering the same basic questions 500 times in a day… :)
1. Which country that you all have toured has the best-looking groupies?
2. What the FUCK happened to Metallica?
Fist-fuck I guess, cause they became queers.
3. XBOX or Playstation 2?
4. Why does Donald Duck never wear pants?
Cause he lives together with Lars Ulrich. I heard they suffer from Cronical Hemoroid.
5. Can you please translate the following phrase into Brazilian Portuguese, "Fuck you and all your dumb ass questions"?
Vá te fuder e todas as tuas perguntas de bosta (e aproveita pra chupar o carálho do incrível Hulck pra ver se tem gosto de abacate).
I would like to thank you for your time and was wondering if you have any final words for your fans here in the good ol’ USA and Canada?
Thank you for the opportunity to show our ideas and
thoughts. I hope to be there soon for finally showing our power to the ones who
still remember what rock’n’roll is about.
|Other information about Angra on this site|
|Review: Temple of Shadows|
|Review: Temple of Shadows|
|Review: Aurora Consurgens|
|Review: Temple of Shadows|
|Review: Secret Garden|
|Video: Lease Of Life|
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