Interview with Andre Andrade (Drummer) of Stalker by IcedMojo 02/06/04

On behalf of myself and Maximum Metal, I would like to thank Andre Andrade (Drummer) of the up and coming group Stalker for allowing me this time.

When did the band get created?

The band was created in 1996 and has had a lot of changes both in our musical influences as well as the members.

How is it that the current lineup came to be?

Since from the beginning it has always been me (Andre) on drums, Davis on Guitar and James on Vocals. I can say that in 2002 the band really found itself. We were all friends that got together to make music. Recently, Thiago Mourao joined the group as a great friend and bass player.

Who produced and mixed the album?

We did almost everything because all we had was us ourselves! Even the bass parts were recorded by Davis (guitar). Only the keys were recorded by a friend of us, Walber Assis. We are still looking for a keyboardist, but in the mean time, we will use samplers. The production could be better, but thatís what we could pay for and we donít have sponsors, so we recorded the drums and voice in studio and everything else at home.

Who did the artwork for the album? It is great, whoever handled it?

All the artwork (CD Cover, website) was made by Davis (Guitars). As we donít have much money, even the Cds were on us! We liked his results a lot. They may have been better if they were made by others, but because we love what we do, we made every single detail with absolute care. The cover is about the Zero Zone, one of our songs and the CD Title.
"...its cool to see people singing with us on those ones, but when they start to sing OUR songs, well, I can tell you, thereís no amount of money that can pay for that..."

What is the Zero Zone?

James Galv„o (Vocals) can better explain that one. Ok, about Zero Zone, its where, in the space, starts a new planet. A planet that represents hope for mankind, where we could start everything from the beginning but doing it right...

Sounds very cool, can you explain the album cover?

Thereís a guy holding the earth that symbolizes humanity, the two women represent life,
one of them holding earth and the other a planet from Zero Zone. You probably didnít understand, but donít worry I donít even get it . The idea came from the minds of James and Davis. I (Andre) just thought it was cool even without understanding.

The demo is wonderful. Should I expect another anytime soon?

We don't really know when we'll be able to record another CD; because we spent too much money and we have our responsibilities out of Stalker in our private lives. I wish I could dedicate my life to music. Thatís what I love the most. That is why I donít think that weíre gonna record anything else on our own. Itís really expensive and we donít have the money at all. Weíve spent what we had and some we didnít have on that one. That is why we recorded many things from home. No way that we can afford to do it again, unfortunately.

What do you mean by ďsome we didnít haveĒ? I am confused

We have something called "special check' on banks here. It is money that we can borrow and pay back with "juros" (I donít know the word in English, I think it is interest) We used everything!! We are trying to be hired by some heavy metal record labels and we strongly hope that it happens soon.

I love the entire album, but if I was to pick one favorite, it would be ďMy MissionĒ for the glorious instrumentation, mixed with the perfect vocal range. What is your personal favorite and what made you pick that one?

I love all the songs, you know. Itís hard to say the one I like the most. Itís like telling you which son is my favorite. But I can tell you the strongest points on each one. On "My Mission" I agree with you about the vocal melodies, I donít know where James hides his balls to reach those notes! :) The instrumental work is nice too, but I like it better on "Zero Zone". We put ourselves to work on that one. "Higher Price" is a typical melodic fast song with a power metal instrumental and "Fight Again" is the heaviest one, without losing the melody.

You referred to your sons. How many children do you have?

I have a one 3 year old daughter. I love her and if someday I have another child, I know that Iíll love him/her with the same way, just like I love my family, my friends and STALKER. Because thatís what real love is about, different from gold, it doesnít become smaller when shared.

You said you guys canít afford to do another release on your own, which I fully understand, but have there been any writing of new songs?

We have got many more songs and we are still composing. Weíll never quit on that. This may sound slushy, but thatís what makes sense in our lives. We live, breathe, and die for music and during our entire spare time (which is not much) is dedicated to that. We will keep on composing, performing live and having fun. I canít picture myself quitting in music, no way! And thereís a special "detail", and although I played in many other bands, playing in STALKER is different. We have a great friendship. My best friends are there! Weíve been together for almost ten years and always have had good moments together, inside or outside the band! Thanks to James, Davis and now "Thiagao" (Big Thiago in English)!

Band Website
Band Email

So what has everyone been up to? (Shows around town and a local following, school, work)

We all work and study. Me, Davis and Thiagao work with computer stuff (networking, support, and web design) and James works at the International airport. Davis and Thiago study computers. Iím tired of that. James and I are going to study law. About shows, we play whenever we are called. There will be a lot this year and people are always asking for that, sending us emails and signing our guestbook. I guess thatís what gives us the power to carry on, the fans! We play some covers in our shows (Symphony X, Angra, Masterplan, Ect.) its cool to see people singing with us on those ones, but when they start to sing OUR songs, well, I can tell you, thereís no amount of money that can pay for that. It makes everything that we do worth all of our effort. Thank you for everybody from Rio, Juiz de Fora, Bangu, and Ilha do Governador and everyone that support us.

I am just a bit curious...what is (and has been recently) in your CD player?

I like a lot instrumental music, especially jazz fusion. Thatís what I listen to most of the time. But there are some heavy metal bands that I adore!!! Adagio, Ark, Ring Of Fire, Elegy and Planet X. Just mentioning their names makes me want to listen to them. Those bands are fantastic! I hope someday that Iíll be able to watch these guys live!!

I am gonna throw out a few bands and I want your thoughts as it pertains to their influence in helping to shape the metal world (and the band): Sinergy, Dark Moor, Edguy, Voice, Hammerfall, Iced Earth, and Grave Digger.

Every band that rocks with sincerity and honesty should be respected. Of the ones you mentioned, I am more familiar with these:
Dark Moor: very good, I think they have a new vocalist now; they used to have at very good women. I want to listen their new work.

Edguy: I know their work until that album with a blue clown on the cover. Iíve already seen them performing here. Excellent, that guy, Tobias Sammet seems to be a great person and heís joining the metal community. Thatís fantastic!

Voice - James (v) showed me this CD. The one with a yellow cover (sorry, bad memory, Golden Sign if I am not mistaken). I liked it a lot--voice, drums, music, great bass work! The others I know superficially and so I canít say much them.

An off the wall question for closing. What is your opinion when it comes to file sharing? Actually, this should be is a two part question. What is your opinion of file sharing when the person doing the downloading fully intends on buying the album if he/she finds it enjoyable? Now, what about the person out there that just downloads a lot of music and just burns the cd? To hell with buying it, it is free this way! And keep in mind that the up loader has purchased the albums and is willing to share them with others.

I will answer with statistics. Most of the people who buy Cds are the ones who download it from Internet. I understand that people download it and if itís something they like, they buy it! If I like an album I downloaded, you can be sure Iíll buy it! I got hundreds of CDs and I think itís a way to say: "Thank you for the good music. Never give in!" I did the same in the past, but I copied the vinyl discs to the tape, if I liked it, as soon as I could I bought the vinyl. Well, our songs are completely available on soulseek and soon they will be on our homepage. We didnít do it before because of space questions, but now we have a domain and itís ok. Weíll keep on doing that while itís legal (wait, itís ours; we can do whatever we want). But if someday a label wishes to sign with us, then I donít know if it will be ok and I hope our fans understand, and want see how interesting our new stuff is. Many people who download our album, asked for the CD later.

I believe I can sum up this experience with one word. MEMORABLE! Then I have these words and phrases that sum up the group as people: extremely talented, funny, down to earth guys, very intelligent (but donít use big words to make you feel like a dumb ass), and as real as they come.

On behalf of myself and Maximum Metal, I would like to thank Andre Andrade of Stalker for taking time out of his busy schedule and giving metal fans a chance to hear from you. But most of all, for gracing me with a glorious friendship! Their newest CD is titled ďZero ZoneĒ. This is the demo release from this band and a must have for any CD collection. Any last words for the readers in Maximum Metal land?

Congratulations to Maximum Metal (already bookmarked and linked in our site). You guys do a beautiful job! Thanks to everybody who supports heavy metal and my band Stalker. Thanks SydCesar who introduced me to you, a real friend who deserves a BIG THANK YOU.

You said something important, friendship. Stalkerís been together all this time for many reasons but the most important is friendship. We respect each other and itís a pleasure being together playing, performing live, hanging around or even chatting on internet. We hope someday to sign with a label so that weíll be able to showcase our work easier and who knows, doing gigs and knowing other people around the world, maybe people will be able feel this positive power that Iím talking about in the band.

Our website, yes: www.stalkeronline.com, itís only in Portuguese but soon itís gonna be in English too!

Thanks, peace!

Andrť AndradeAnthony Burke2/6/2004

Zero Zone
Anthony Burke1/30/2004

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