– Hi Andre, it’s Ksenia.
– Hello Ksenia! How are you?
– Great! Thx.
– *Laugh* me too. So you’re in Moscow now?
– How’s your weather? Cold?
– Yeah … but without snow. How in Brazil?
– Oh, it’s pretty warm. Something around +27, I think …
– Yes, summer time here soon. But anyway I will be next to you on Christmas! In Sweden. So I guess it’ll be cold … *laugh*
– But isn’t it better? Snow, lights …
– Yes, yes, yes, it’s … cozy. Like real Christmas. So we can start when you’ll be ready.
– Ok, so let’s start. Many people says that ”The turn of the lights” is extension of the theme which you began several years ago with your first solo album – theme of freedom. What can you say about it?
– Hm, I would not say that it is about freedom. Yes, the first track even named ”Liberty” but I think this album have different conception than ”Time to be free”. In the first album I was talking about the need of break out and get your freedom but ”The turn of the light” is more about knowledge, about subconscious. It’s kind of freedom, yes, but ”The time to be free” was more philosophical, more detached and ”The turn of the light” is about concrete situations which we lived day by day. There is so many things which we must think about. For example, about end of the world according maya calendar. I can’t say that I believe in this but at least, it’s a good chance for us all to stop and think where we are, what’s going on with our planet and where we go. Brazil and Russia, for example. We live in a crazy race when people try to get more, try to become reacher and buy, buy, buy. But we don’t understand that there’s no resoures for all of us to get what we want. And if we won’t stop to hunt for material pleasures, I don’t know how many time we need to recover our planet, to erase all the damage which we made to it. All these thoughts I keep in my mind already a few years and I was try to look deeper in it by this album. So it’s not about freedom, is about conscience, awareness of the consequences of what we do. About knowing the truth, search the truth. In fact I’m just interesting if this world can be more harmonious place.
– I guess you know that part of your fans still dreaming that someday you’ll back to Angra. And this part are sceptical about your own career. How do you struggle with this pressure?
– I don’t know how many people think about it now. They are, it’s for sure, and I hear sometimes: ‘Ah, I don’t like Andre Matos solo band, it’s too different from Angra”. But if it’s true, I’m happy. I’m happy because it’s means that I don’t stay the same. When I was in Angra we created really amazing things … It was unforgettable period. I means music. But on the other hand, maybe people just don’t understand that relationship within band became worse. And it’s not simple in such situation continue to create. It all was started with jealousy, disadvantaged ego and so on. People stopped talk with each other, stopped trust to each other, stopped being friends. It’s sad when in your music you see aftermath of bad relations between people. That’s what I understood in the end. And I can’t stay in situation when I don’t enjoy being on the stage with band and out the stage, in the studio, during the tour. But we didn’t stop when everything is started, we had a contract and we had to finish it. It was real freedom when we decided to split up. Most of the people don’t know about it. And it was not my idea to start dirty talk behind each other. In any case, I just want to fans understand the reasons why we split up and why it’s impossible to play together again. It was inevitably. And those who so much love Angra with Andre Matos – ok, listen the old albums, watch the old records again and again and again. And if you want to listen something from those times live – welcome, but in my solo band.
– All songs of the new album are really great. But one of them sounds different … Is “Sometimes”. Could you tell something about this song? Why you wrote it? What prompted you?
– *laugh and sigh* This song, ”Sometimes”, is a very personal story, I have to say. *silence* Well, I have a family in Sweden and my son was born there. Of course, when I met my wife and we got married we knew that I’m a musician. But … Mm, my family lives in Sweden and I have to spend some period, very long period far away from home. It’s a constant problem with many musicians when you try to coordinate your family life and you professional life. But it is a new experience for me, I never had this kind of problem before. “Sometimes” is about my boy, about my son. You know, he’s growing up and sometimes his father is not there. *sad laugh* When you listen to the lyrics, it’s like it been said by his lips, not by mine lips. That what I imagine a baby boy 3 years old would be thinking about such situation when your father goes away with the train and you’ll never know if he’s coming back … It’s a very particular feeling. It’s a sad song, of course, it expresses the way I miss my son and the way I imagine what’s going on in his head. Strange guy coming home sometimes … But it’s one of the price which I have to paid for been an artist and I’m not the only one in such situation. But it was my very personal way to express it.
– Thanks for the frank answer, Andre.
– *laugh* Simply no one asked before.
– One more song which I want to mention is “I Don’t Believe in Love” by Queensryche. I won’t ask you why this band, I know you liked it for many years, but why this song?
– Hm, this song from “Operation Mind” album. 1999 or something like that … I mean that it’s pretty old song. And this album is one of the best ever. Masterpiece!
– Agree, really worth to listen.
– You know it? “I Don’t Believe in Love” is a bonus track for Japanese release. We did our best, we recorded the whole 5 bonuses! We all are old fans of Queensryche and this song is one of the best on it. It was really memorable experience for me, especially during record vocal line. Geof Tate is a pioneer of progressive music and his vocal style is different from mine. I had a lot of fun! I love record covers … You know, arrangement is already done and you don’t need to think about this part, can concentrate more on vocal line. “I Don’t Believe in Love” is one of the songs which I always wanted to record. So that’s why I did it.
– And did it great. Let me ask you about your future plans. What will you do next?
– Well, now I’m in Brazil and we almost finished our reborn tour with my very first band Viper. We celebrate 25th anniversary of our first album “Soldiers of Sunrise”. Actually we didn’t plan so long tour but because of a lot of request and big success, we added some shows. In the last weekend we opened KISS concerts in Sao-Paolo and Rio and it was amazing! A few thousands people on the each show … And I think it was special event for Viper. When we formed the band we was kids and KISS came to Brazil for the first time. And after 25 years we play on one stage and celebrate anniversary of the album which I wrote 15 years old. It was really great tour with more than 30 concerts but time has come to finish it. We have no plans like meet with each other next year and do something together. Now we rehearse for our next concert in Manaus and last one, farewell concert will be in Sao-Paolo in the beginning of December. And in the same time in Sao-Paolo will start reheals for the rock-opera where I will play – “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”. It’s like a challenge for me! I’m really excited! I had a similar experience when I played in the opera “Tommy” written by The Who. It’s inexpressible feeling when behind your back sounds such as great thing as Symphonic Orchestra! After that I will take my Christmas vacation and spend it in Sweden. With a lot of snow. *laugh* But actually it’s not real vacation, you know, so many things to do. A lot of dishes that must be washed, a lot of places that must be cleaned and that’s what I will do! *laugh* Well, you know, I’m kidding. But even when you on holidays, your head continue to work, you think about what to do next. Actually I’m planning to start tour with my solo band after Christmas. Maybe the beginning or middle of March … I so much want to play in Europe as well and maybe will participate some summer festivals. Because of the economical crisis is not so simple – make a solo tour and especially make it successful. So the best decision is summer festivals. Let’s see, for now it’s just plans!
– It would be great! But tell me honestly: if now you look back, do you regret about you choice to be a musician?
– Regret? *laugh* Hm, you know … yes. Sometimes. But sometimes not. “Yes” because musician’s life, no matter where you are, full of kind of dissapointment. I’ll give an example. Two weeks ago here in Brazil was Lady Gaga with couple of concerts. You and me knows that she’s a phenomenon on modern pop scene and I really think that she’s a first-class performer and even pretty original. But what happened? She came to Brazil for the first time. In country where people longing for such shows: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, or KISS, it’s all make people “WOW!”. So Lady Gaga came with two big shows in Rio and Sao-Paolo, each of which get something around 30-50 thousands of people. But. It was expect around 90 thousands. Sometimes reality different from what we think about it. Even Lady Gaga with all her fame sometimes suffer from unrealistic expectations. It happens with everyone. I had a pleasure to perform with great musicians who was my idols. Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie Dio, Robert Halford, Eric Adams … I had a chance to speak with them about a lot of things. Life of a musician makes you nervous. It’s not all about career or comercial things, it’s also about your ego, your self-concept and ability to objectively evaluate yourself. Especially now, when we have Internet and in any time can see what people write about us. It even can bring someone to suicide. We all want recognition and some people give you incredible support but some, as you said, are too sceptical: “What’s the hell he’s doing”, “he’s noone”, bla bla bla but it all as it should be. I mean the only thing which we can do in such situations is keep on working, keep on believe in yourself. But can I rephrase your question? What if I had not become a musician? I would absolutaly frustrated person all my life. It’s for sure. Maybe I could try to be a goalkeeper but I don’t have enough talent. *laugh* Also I could be a pilot … You know, it’s my hobby. But it would be something like wake up in the 4 am and then get to airport to 5 am and almost no free time with such crazy schedule. Spend day by day like it would get bored me. Well, hm, I like medecine as well. Anyway no matter which profession you choose, its always have a dark side. When you see what hide behind the scene of professional world which you like, you start love it a bit less. *laugh* Yes, it’s great when your job is what you really like to do, it’s becomes funny, not struggle. But in any case you will face with dark side of it. If we’ll talk about music so is commercial matter when everything is bought and sold. Of course, you see it all in any proffesion. Well, until now I never seriously thought about this question … And now it’s too late for regret, all we have to do is just keep on living. Music gives me a lot of things to joy so in the end I’m happy that I’m a musician.
– Let me change subjest a little. What do you think about all these numerous disaster which happens in the world now? Earthquake, fires, hurricanes … What we can do?
– We can invent anything we want, I have to say. Nuclear bombs, Internet, cell phones … But something not depend on us. Climat changes. Nature had its own secret movement and from time to time everything on the planet is changing. First was The Ice Age then all melted and it was in order. And now many people says that upcoming Global Warming is ok, is as it should be. But the fact is that the changes have been accelerated by our rhythm of life. If we won’t think about it, things can become worse. But what if suddenly someone will come to us and say: “hey, stop making hurt our planet. Let’s use power of the wind, stop use oil!” People just laugh at him. No one want to lose their money and we do what we do because it makes a profit. It’s not a secret. But I’m still hope that we can change. Brazil, Russia, India, South America – in our countries are born more and more new geniuses, and more and more dreams we make real. And I believe that all world can be as we … ‘Cause damage which we make to our planet affects to the whole Universe. I guess we are the first generation who don’t think about the danger for the future of our kids. We say that it all for the good but actually we put our responsibility for this shit on them and do not think about it.
– Sad but true. Can you say something about re-election Barack Obama? Is it effect on the whole world?
– Yeah, I just wanted to tell about it. He’s not perfect candidate, I would like to see someone with more brave ideas. He’s like a comunist for North America! And we should be greatful that we are not this Americans and we don’t have such politics but anyway it affect on us as well. I mean threat of World War III, people are scared. Really scared. In my opinion all what happens is an absurd. Especially all this bullshit on TV. I don’t know, maybe it’s question of different religions and so on. For the people most important to get as much territory as possible and have more power. I think we should be more unite. I don’t mean that we all should have one government and one territory. But one goal. It will make us more brave. Because that what going on now is similar to the Middle Ages and we all know how it ended. I think that idea of separate nation is bullshit. We all people and we all are the same. Like a musician I visited many countries and saw that we are really the same no matter where are we from. We all have the same problems. Maybe we’re just different to express and to solve it. And that what’s going on now it’s not our fault actually. Nature is always stronger then we. Bah! – and there is not a half of Japan. Bah! – and there is not a half of New York. It can happens anywhere and any time. I don’t really think that it’s a punishment from God or something like it. People think about it all in very mystical way but it’s a normal reaction from nature. You know, you asked a very good question! I even can say that this theme is similar with what I’m talking about in the album.
– Yeah, I see that you already thought about it.
– Right, many years actually …
– Do you remember your very first childhood dream?
– My very first dream? *laugh and start to sing*. Hmmm, let me think … Well, I can’t guarantee that it was my very frist dream … Actually it’s two dream which I remember well. No, three! First one it was play the piano. When I saw on the TV how plays professional pianists I was fascinating by them. It was kind of magic for me. I spent a few hours every day learning how to play. And I did it. I know how to play the piano! Second dream is become a goalkeeper. But it was two things which ruined this dream: first, I’m not so tall as I should be for the football, and second – bad eyesight. So my career like a goalkeeper is ended before it started. And third dreams is a wish to fly. Just imagine how it is – look at the world from incredibly height! Sky is so beautiful! So that’s why my hobby is paraplanerism. But I should be honest, I didn’t practice already a couple of years … I simply hadn’t enough time and now it makes me sad. I really want renew this hobby, I’ve being doing this for 10 years. It’s really impossible to describe feeling when you fly over the earth almost by yourself! This is adrenaline which you’ll never get from anything else. It’s so amazing like being on stage!
– After these words I really want to feel it …
– I know! If anyone could feel it, we’ll able to create more wonderful things …
– I remember how I was really in love with your Kate Bush cover “Wuthering Heights”. But I still wonder what do you think about “Wuthering Heights” like a book? Did you read it?
– Yes, yes, sure I read it. Actually I have a huge book collection from my grandfather. You even can’t imagine whom you can find there! And yes, “Wuthering Heights” was there also. I read the book even earlier than watched the movies. I still not so much want to remember about this book ’cause it’s really scary one. Very heavy. But it was pretty funny, ’cause I hard wanted to know what will be there next but on the other hard it’s becomes more scary and harder. In the end I understood that won’t read it again. It’s a dark book, even cruel. The way she describes events in the house .. it makes shudder ..
– Any of your songs, if you’ll see on your whole music career, was written inspiring by a book?
– Hmmm, it’s not so simple to remember! Actually, many of my songs inspired by a book or a movie. I constantly read books, especially classic books. For example, now I read famous Russian author. But when I say that I read something it sounds a bit strange. *laugh* ‘Cause I’m kind of a person who read about 5 books at the same time! It’s slower but I’m boring to read only one book. I choose it depends on my mood, you know, today some pages from this book, tomorrow – from another one.
– Well, actually I understand you. Some time ago I also couldn’t read only one book day by day.
– Yeah, I think it’s more funny! Especially when you leave for somewhere and should take all 5 books with you! *laugh* But the best part of reading, is, for sure, RE-reading … I don’t remember who exactly said it but I’m always liked this pharse: “I don’t judge people by number of the books which they read. I judge them by the number they RE-read”. It is really important – re-read books and re-watch movies. The same with music, btw. It’s not enough to listen song just one time to understand it. How I already said, now I read Russian writer, famous one … Michael … Bogdanov!
– Bogdanov? Are you sure?
– Mm, no now. Wait a second, I’ll check it. *clatter and noise* Michael Bulgakov!
– Ha-ha, yeah, I know him.
– But the title is really difficult, I don’t know if I can say it! *laugh* “Master and .. M .. Mar .. “, no, I can’t! Let it be “Master and The Flower”! *laugh*
– Yesss, it’s one of my favorite book!
– And now I understand why! It’s interesting that it was publish only after his death but became one of the most popular book. I read many Russian authors but about this book heard for the first time. My friend suggested it to me. Also recently I knew great writer Roberto Bolaño and now I can say that he’s one of my favorite.
– Ok, Andre, we almost finished. Thanks a lot for so interesting and detailed answers! Would you like to say something about Russia?
– Of course! I was in Russia just one time during the Avantasia tour and it was unforgettable experience for me. I never was there before and was very curious about your country. I’m a fan of classical music and, of course, I love Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and they all lived and created in Russia. Moscow reminded me my home town, Sao-Paolo, big city with a lot of people, cars and traffics. I’m really grateful how you met me in your country. Btw, not so long ago I talked with Eloy, my ex-drummer who play in Sepultura now, and he told me about their tour across Russia during which they were even in Vladivostok! I would like to do something like that someday. *laugh* Thanks to all for your great support through so many years. I hope you’ll enjoy my new album! Btw, do you remember Avantasia concert in Moscow?
– Well, actually I wasn’t there. I lived really far away from Moscow.
– Ah, yes. I’m trying to remeber the building … the venue where we played. Maybe you can help me?
– Hm, if you give me a few seconds, I can tell you.
– *listen* Are you googling? *laugh*
– Sometimes it’s usefull! DC Gorbunov.
– Exactly! Very intersting builidng. It was built in 1938, if I’m not mistaken … and had to be a venue for rock concerts. I lost my way in search of a toilet there! *laugh* All toilets in dress room were occupied and I went to down stairs. It was funny, feeling like you in ghost city! There’ll was no people, very dark and all doors was closed with a signs like “No entry!” or “Because of radiation, please, wear a mask”. *laugh* It was really funny, I even made a few pics there. And in the end, I was forced to back on the stage and didn’t open any of those doors without knowing why it was so dangerous. *laugh* I have a lot impressions about Moscow. Red Square, museums, subway … Many. Many impressions.
– I hope you will can to realize all your plans and we finally see you here!
– Yes, it’s for sure! If this world will still here .. *laugh*
– Yep, waiting for December 21!
– Write to me if you’ll still be alive! *laugh* Hope you have a nice evening, bye.
– Take care, Andre.
– Hi Andre, it’s Ksenia.