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Rock and Roll Brazil
[Interview] 'It is a long way to the top,' yes, but hard work pays off
Antonio Carlos Rix (carlosrix)     Print Article 
Published 2009-02-05 13:13 (KST)   
I was worried I did not have the opportunity to write a single word about Rock and Roll in Brazil yet. You probably heard of the largest Rock festival in the world --"Rock In Rio," but what about the day to day down on earth reality. Truth is, I am 47 and tend to enjoy Samba, Choro, and Brazilian folk music more than any other.

What a good surprise was it then to have found among my work colleagues Joao Charnet, someone who's been on the road for more than 10 year - as the music says, "it is a long way to the top when you play Rock and Roll," right?

Jao, as he is called in the group, and the other members of The Flanders invited me to hope on board take the road from Campinas to the capital Sao Paulo and see for myself Brazilian Rock. The place could not be better; yes, in an amusement park in Sao Paulo a place called Play Center where many bands would be playing. We had two major stages facing each other and all the public had to do was to turn around at every new performance.

So there I was ready to face eight to 10 hours of continuous Rock. I had secretly brought ear plugs to avoid a headache. They did prove to be good for filming on stage while The Flanders played for I had to be very close to the sound boxes -- don't forget I am 47 already. But let me tell you I enjoyed all of it. I saw many fantastic performances.

The Flanders is producing now their third CD, this time an independent album. All the groups performing at Play Center were like then: people who like Rock and Roll and work in regular jobs to be able to keep their passion as they wait for a success opportunity or stardom.

I interviewed The Flanders so you get the whole picture.

Who's who in the group?

Tchelao - Vocals
Coelho - Bass Guitar
Jao - Guitar
Marza - Guitar
Dener - Drums

What are the major Rock and Roll groups that influence Brazilian bands today apart from your own taste? What are the ones that inspired The Flanders specifically?

Each band has its own influence, favorite artists, and so on. Since today there are so many styles in the rock industry it's really hard to say what other bands are hearing. The Flanders, gets its inspiration in bands like Simple Plan, Relient K, and then some of the band members have their own influences, like Dave Matthews Band, Hateen (a Brazilian band), Good Charlote, MxPx, Rappa (a Brazilian band), Barao Vermelho (a Brazilian band)

One thing I liked and was surprised with your group was the music - The Flanders play The Flanders. Who writes the songs? Do you play other groups songs too?

Normally, we play just our songs. For the first two albums, Tchelao was the main responsible for all the lyrics. Moving on to the third album, the band shared more ideas. Coelho had a great deal of responsibility. Tchelao also contributed a lot. But again all songs are ours.

You guys are at a stage where you are already known by many people. I saw the young people asking to take pictures and for autographs at the end of your show. How far is it to the mainstream yet?

The mainstream is our goal, but it is a long way off. We are working really hard on this third album to reach the mainstream. We have some important contacts that could help us get there, we hope ;)

Have you performed outside Brazil already? Where? If not, where would you like to play and why?

We haven't had the opportunity yet. You bet it is something we think about. I think our continent (South America) has some awesome places to play: Argentina, Chile, among others. If anyone out there liked our music, and would be interested in booking The Flanders, we would go right away.

How about a message to OhmyNews International readers?

Do what you love. Work hard, and it will happen. Have faith, be patient, but always, ALWAYS, work hard. You won't regret it.

Thanks Jao!

You may see and listen more of The Flanders here at The Flanders Web site and on YouTube.

In the video below, the group is finishing a song and starts the last one of their performance in Sao Paulo. Pay attention to the crowd.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Antonio Carlos Rix

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