Metal group Vandroya have a great new album called One, and now our readers can find out more about this Brazilian band in Scott Jessup's recent interview with lead vocalist and one of the band's founders Daisa Munhoz.
SoT: Your vocals sound fantastic on the new album, really suited to Vandroya's material- so what attracted you to singing in a band that plays this kind of progressive/power metal?
Daisa: Thank you very much. The heavy metal got me, that's what happened. I started my career as a child, at 9 years old. At 14 I've played many concerts and short tours singing Brazilian music. Starting so young gave me a lot of experience, but it was when I discovered rock and heavy metal that I really found myself as a performer. That's what I like to hear, that's the sound that moves me, that's how I feel accomplished musically. I would not feel happy singing something else.
SoT: When did you join Vandroya?
Daisa: I am one of the founders of Vandroya, so we've been together since the beginning, since 2001. When we started, our intention was just to get together in the weekend and play covers of bands we admired, without any pretension of composing.
SoT: I read that an EP was released by the band back in 2005; that's quite a gap between then and this first full length release?
Daisa: Yes, it is. Like I said, Vandroya was born as a group of kids who loved heavy metal and which used to meet to play covers, exchange experiences and learn together. One day, at a rehearsal, Marco Lambert came with two songs of him, I made the lyrics and we thought it would be cool to record them. It turns out that people liked it, which was quite a surprise for us. We decided, then, to record an album, but many problems had come, many members left and then we felt that we could not go on and we took a break in the band's activities. The willingness to come together and finish the album only came in 2010 and had everything to do with Soulspell. Heleno Vale encouraged us a lot and we thought it would really be a shame to put aside our creations. We decided to record it and do it right, with a good production, and wait for the results. From the beginning we were prepared for possible rejection of labels and partners, but that was not what happened: it has been only joy and good news so far, and we are very happy with all of this.
SoT: How long has One been in the works?
Daisa: We started choosing the songs we wanted to record in late 2010. We went into studio in the middle of 2011 and finished the album in July 2012. In September 2012 we had the album ready, but the contacts and contracts were coming and we had to postpone its launch for a while, because even the record companies involved needed more time to promote the album properly. But I never get tired of saying that nowadays I'm sure that this album came out at the right time, otherwise it would be just another one.
SoT: Will Vandroya be touring outside of Brazil?
Daisa: We really want this to happen, but for now we have nothing set. I hope we get good results with ONE and we will do what we can to take the band out of Brazil, but at the moment we need to be calm not to trample things. What I can guarantee is that we will try to do the most amount of concerts we can in Brazil and we'll cling to the opportunities that will come.
SoT: Where would you like to be given the opportunity to perform live?
Daisa: Anywhere in the world where we can present our music is a perfect place, and we have received many positive responses coming from so many places in the world that our willingness to play our music in each one of these places has increased even more.
SoT: I take it Symphony X are an influence on the band- are you a fan and if so do you like how their sound has gotten heavier? Myself I still think V is their best album.
Daisa: I like this heavier Symphony X, although I also think V is their best album. But that doesn't matter that much to me as long as Russell Allen continues giving these true singing lessons every album Symphony X releases. But yes, it is a band that many of us are inspired by. We admire their work, as well as we admire some others that were also important for our musical formation.
SoT: What other bands do you sing for? I noticed Soulspell mentioned.
Daisa: It is a great pleasure to be part of Soulspell. Heleno Vale made my hope in the Brazilian heavy metal rise again, and so many wonderful things happened to me since I said yes to Heleno's invitation, including Vandroya's return. I've said that I will never leave Soulspell, unless Heleno doesn't want me there anymore. Other than that, I do many concerts playing covers with two other projects with my friends: Inlakesh that plays Classic Rock, and Black Dog, a tribute to Led Zeppelin.
SoT: Other interests beside music?
Daisa: Design, furniture design specifically, and I've been working with it for some time already, it is a family business. It's something that I love, especially using wood and twigs that fall naturally from the trees, roots and vines.
SoT: Some of my favorite bands have female singers- are there many popular female fronted metal bands in Brazil ?
Daisa: Actually, we have two very popular here. Shadowside, which has Dani Nolden as singer, and a female power trio of thrash metal called Nervosa. But I know a lot of female fronted metal bands that have not yet achieved a greater projection that are very good, coming from all "corners" of Brazil. I believe that woman was able to break another barrier of prejudice and is now well accepted in heavy metal.
SoT: What is your favorite album release for 2012?
Daisa: It's a DVD, actually, Celebration Day (Led Zeppelin), that I was anxiously waiting, since I'm a huge fan. But I cannot leave out the third act of Soulspell, Hollow's Gathering, as it is an excellent album, besides it has a strong importance in my career.
SoT: Thanks Daisa and I hope you and the band have a great new year.
Daisa: My pleasure. Thank you for this opportunity. I really feel that 2013 is going to be a wonderful year for all of us and I hope Vandroya can realize some dreams, among them performing live for as many people as possible!
(Click here to read our review of One)