The band Hangar was formed in November 1997 with the initial aim of playing covers of some of the bands all the members liked. At the time, Hangar was composed by Michael Polchowicz (vocals), Cristiano Wortmann (guitar), Felipe Trein ( bass) and Aquiles Priester (drums). After several rehearsals, the first ideas for compositions began to appear and the first song written was “Absinth”. Hangar´s debut gig on the 23 rd of July, 1998 was very important to the band, for the audience that showed up was much larger than expected (using bills,the group had announced that they would play covers of bands such as Stratovarius, Helloween, Dream Theater, Primal Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen among others). From this date on, the band felt that they could aim higher and began composing the songs that later would be included in their first CD. Word of the good results of the gigs they had played soon got around, besides great reviews from the specialized media. 

With a fulminating career, they were soon discovered by the metal lovers in Porto Alegre, and with only a year of existence the band was already opening gigs for the band Angra. Gustavo Capitâni took over the bass since Felipe had left the band due to personal reasons. With this opportunity, Hangar established itself as the revelation of southern heavy metal in 1998. After this gig, the natural consequence was the recording of their first CD. Thus the band entered the studio in November to record the album Last Time, which would be released in March, 1999. The current bass player, Nando Mello, only joined the group after the recording of this CD, the bass of which was recorded by Cristiano. 

During the year 1999, the CD Last Time was promoted in the main heavy metal magazines of the country and all reviews were very positive and brought immediate results to the sales of the CD. Hangar performed in various cities in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul and in October 1999 played a gig at the now extinct Black Jack Bar in São Paulo. At the end of that year, the band suffered a new alteration with the departure of guitar player Cristiano Wortmann, due to musical differences. In his place, after various tests with guitar players of Porto Alegre, in came Eduardo Martinez, from the extinct band Panic, which during the 90´s was of great importance to the national heavy metal scene. 

Soon after, the drummer of the band, Aquiles Priester, took part of various gigs with Tritone, a parallel project with Frank Scolari, Eduardo Ardanuy ( Dr. Sin) and Sérgio Buss (Steve Vai) and was also invited to record the album Nomad,of the former Iron Maiden singer, Paul Di´Anno. The album was released in March 2000, followed by a national tour. The gig in Porto Alegre was opened by Hangar, and was very well received by the public. 

In 2001 the band got great news when Aquiles was confirmed as Angra´s new drummer, the biggest name of Brazilian melodic heavy metal. Up to now, Aquiles already recorded three studio albums, one EP and a live album with the band, besides having done three world tours. 

In the beginning of August 2001, the successor to Last Time was released: Inside Your Soul. The album was recorded in São Paulo at the Creative Sound Studio and was released by the record labels Die Hard Records and Rock Brigade Records. The novelty of this album are the sound elements that Eduardo Martinez brought to the new compositions, besides some keyboard arrangements composed and performed by keyboard player Fábio Laguna. The album also includes a musical trilogy entitled The Massacre that speaks about the discovery and colonization process of our country. All of this made Inside Your Soul a much heavier, faster and more elaborate album than its predecessor, Last Time.

During the same year, Hangar also took part of the project Shakespeare´s Hamlet Project, of Die Hard label of São Paulo. The project reunited some of the main heavy metal and hard rock bands of Brazil, interpreting the lyrics of the famous masterpiece in unprecedented compositions written by the bands. Hangar participated with the track “Hidden by Shadows” and Michael Polchowicz also lent his vocals to the operatic “To Be”. 

In February 2002, Fábio Laguna became a member of Hangar. In July of the same year, the band got together in Porto Alegre to record the demo of the song “Forever Will Be”. The band wasn’t able to follow-up its new compositions due to Angra´s extensive tour, which prolonged itself throughout the year. 

In February 2003, Hangar performed for the second time at the BMU (Brazil Metal Union), counting with the participation of Angra´s vocalist Edu Falaschi on the track “To Tame a Land”. That same month, the band did a tour in the northeast of Brazil, performing in seven of the main capitals of the region and playing to a very expressive number of fans. On Rádio Cidade, a radio station of Recife, the song “To Tame a Land” reached number one in number of executions of the year 2002, according to the general audience of the radio, including all styles of music played. In July, the band reunited again to play two more gigs in Rio Grande do Sul, one in Porto Alegre and the other in Caxias do Sul. 

Still in the second semester of 2003, the band began composing some songs that would be included in the following album. As Aquiles was living in São Paulo since 2001, the reunions became more sporadic and many people began to believe that Hangar would end its activities very soon. However, the band is still united in spite of the physical distance and the various engagements Fábio and Aquiles have with Angra. At the end of that year, Mello, Michael and Martinez recorded all the material that had been composed until then on a demo tape, with only guitar, bass and vocals. In July of that same year, Hangar was invited to participate in a tribute to Journey. The chosen song was “Ask The Lonely” and Edu Falaschi participated in the backing vocals. The tribute was never released, but the song can be checked out in a live performance by Aquiles in the DVD Inside my Drums. 

In January 2004, Martinez and Fábio got together to start arranging the songs previously selected by the band. The third stage took place during carnival the following month when Aquiles, Fábio and Martinez got together to finish the arrangements and record the first demo of the new album. 

In January 2005, the band finished the vocal arrangements of the six new songs that would be part of the demo that would be presented to record labels all over the world in search of international contracts. In the first semester of that year, singer Michael Polchowicz left the band, since the new material was leading them in a direction completely different to everything the band had already done and both parts agreed it would be in everyone´s best interest. 

After a new period of total inactivity, Hangar went through a long period of auditions to choose a new singer. After exactly a year, during which more than 50 candidates were auditioned, Nando Fernandes was chosen to be the new voice of Hangar. His debut happened in October 2006, at the Expomusic Fair in São Paulo where he took part of three showcases that were marked by a lot of energy. Thus began a new phase in Hangar´s career. Nando rapidly incorporated the spirit of the music and the power of his potent voice brought another dimension to all new songs already composed by the band and also to those that would be written after he joined the band. 

Parallel to all this, the band began recording their new album, The Reason Of Your Conviction, at Mr. Som Studio in São Paulo. The recordings took place in various stages during the second semester of 2006, being concluded in January 2007. Ten songs composed by the band were recorded as well as a cover of the song “Breaking all the Rules” by American guitar player Peter Frampton. The new album was mixed and mastered by Tommy Newton at Area 51 Recording Studio in Celle, Germany, in March 2007. Tommy has worked with bands such as Helloween, Conception, Ark, Elegy, UFO etc. Hangar´s new work is a concept album and speaks of the human mind and all alterations that can occur during a frustrating period in a normal person´s life. This person discovers new sensations through the death of other people. In a desperate search for forgiveness, he discovers that he became a potential serial killer and spends his life trying to re-counter his equilibrium. 

The Reason Of Your Conviction marks the beginning of a new phase in Hangar´s career and now the band is preparing for the world-wide release of their new album, that will take place in July in Japan, and in August in Brazil, Europe and the United States. 

After the release of the album, Hangar began a series of gigs in Brazil and Latin America in 2008, further consolidating the quintet´s name. However, in the beginning of 2009, Nando Fernandes decided to leave the band due to personal reasons. Aquiles, Mello, Martinez and Fábio then began intense auditions with candidates from all over the country. Over 150 candidates applied and 30 of them were tested by the band. At the end of this process, Humberto Sobrinho was chosen. He became known for his work as front man of heavy metal band Glory Opera from the state of Amazonas. According to Aquiles, “besides being a great singer, Humberto also has the spirit and determination we need in the band and now we are certain that the team is complete so we can continue our work”. 

Immediately putting things into practice, the band gathered at a farm in the Paulista municipality of Tatuí (where one of the main music schools of the country is located and that is why Tatuí is considered the music capital of Brazil) to begin the production of their fourth studio album. Initially, the musicians dedicated themselves to the composition of the 10 tracks included in the album (eleven counting the exclusive track for the Japanese market). Then, at the same location, the pre-production and recording of guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals took place by means of a mobile unit of the Daufembach studio, under the command of sound engineer Adair Daufembach. As to the drums, these were recorded at The Magic Place studio in Florianópolis, that counts with a room specially projected to provide the perfect ambience. Then, Aquiles, who signs the production, traveled to Germany to mix and master the album with producer and sound technician Tommy Newton at studio Area 51 in Celle, Germany. 

The album was released at the Expomusic 2009, an event that reunites the Brazilian music community and is held every year in São Paulo. Now the band begins another series of gigs in Brazil and the world, giving sequence to a history filled with achievements.

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I was born in Fortaleza and when I was two years old I moved to São Paulo. I awoke to art at an early age, I think I must have been six when it all began. I remember seeing Michael Jackson and being amazed. I promised myself I’d been an artist when I grew up. Not just a singer, but an artist! In 1989 I had my first contact with rock. I used to watch Kid Vinil’s nostalgic TV shows where I first saw Iron Maiden’s video clip, Wasted Years. I was blown away by Bruce!

In the 1990s, I moved from São Paulo to Taubaté, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, where I took my first steps. I joined a metal band with influences of both Iron Maiden and Helloween but we only had gigs once in a blue moon because we lived in the interior where nothing ever happened. I was very young, I must have been fourteen. My voice had not yet developed and I had to force it to reach Michael Kiske’s high notes, very different from my range. The result was catastrophic because I developed a vocal problem for not having a technique or physiology to sing that repertoire. I stopped singing for a year and that was very difficult for me because singing was what distracted me from a harsh reality since I had an extremely humble childhood. When I recuperated, a very close friend called Paulo Barbosa encouraged me to study and search for other influences. I fought against the bass in my voice because it was trendy to sing like Castrati, after all everyone wanted to sing like Michael Kiske or André Matos.

One day Barbosa showed me an album called “The 2120 Session”, by the great Brazilian guitar player Andre Christovam, who had an amazing singer called Andrew “Big Voice" Odom. That day he said to me, “Listen to this and understand once and for all that you have a “black” voice, naturally deep and husky, kid!” From that day on I tried to understand that both physical and psychologically, searching for artistic development. Trying to comprehend the fusion of my voice with rock, in all of its completeness, I discovered David Coverdale, nowadays my biggest influence. That was when I found in rock a new vision of my art. Coverdale will always be the great master! I also was greatly influenced by Jorn Lande.

Back then things were difficult financially speaking and I had to put my dreams on hold. In 1995, I joined a dance band where I had contact with various different styles and, as a consequence, I broadened my singing studies and musical vocabulary. I began singing at balls to sustain myself and started studying bel canto. Six years later I was invited by a great friend, keyboard player Jean Ikeda, to form a soul music band where I got to know incredible things from Marvin Gaye to Tower Of Power. It was a beautiful time of my life! I played with soul band Blacommodoro for some years, but I felt a great need to go back to rock music, for it is not we who chose rock. It is rock and roll that chooses us. So I went back to singing heavy metal and hard rock covers.

Time went by and I began feeling the need to compose. That was when my friends and I began writing, experimenting with a more alternative sound, a sound something like Soundgarden, but with lyrics in Portuguese. Despite the good quality of our work, the band, Tribunal do Rock, didn’t get ahead. We did some gigs in the underground scene and the public’s acceptance was quite good, but from the 1990s to today, most people don’t have a political and social compromise and that was exactly the theme of the band. During this time, even before the band ended and another project was born, I went through tough times in my personal life. It was when I was invited to join the band Iahweh, that nowadays exists 14 years. I accepted the invitation not only because of their sound, but also because of the ideology of faith and spirituality that came to me when I most needed them. At that moment a radical change in all senses began: ideological, physiological and artistic.

Time passed and courses changed, both in the sound as in the ideology of the extinct Tribunal Rock, which nowadays is called ID2. Now, thank God, I am part of Hangar. Besides being a singer, I am also a teacher specialized in popular singing and musical producer. I already knew Hangar’s work and know the story the band has been creating. I hope to add chapters with my gift, dreams and blood. The first contact I had was through Aquiles who called inviting me to the studio so we could get to know each other. At the studio, Aquiles proved to be a very serious and dedicated person. He asked me to sing “Time To Forget”. I recorded the song so that they could analyze it, but I confess I didn’t have great expectations since, based on previous singers, my voice was very different. However, what I judged was a point against me, worked in my favor. I remember being very impressed not only with the musicians’ incredible technique, but also with their musical maturity for they had joined various phases of a very heavy repertoire and transformed them in acoustic songs, making them sound as if they had been born to be acoustic.

Some days later we had a meeting where we talked and discussed thoughts and ideas. It was incredible to see their spirit of equality, respect, camaraderie and professionalism! They emphasized that they expected a fifth band member and also listened closely to everything I expected. Thank God I had the opportunity to join this band and meet people who, besides being great artists, are also great people, with their flaws and virtues. After this meeting, the recording of the new album “Acoustic, But Plugged In!” began. During the recordings we felt a mixture of emotions. I remember that we didn’t have much time, we had a deadline in which to prepare everything. I was quite tense because I hadn’t had time to prepare the repertoire and had to enter the studio ready for battle. Plus I had a bad cough and throat ache, but these are difficulties that make us stronger people. To record an album in this situation went against my fantasies because we imagine castles. Aquiles was my right hand. Besides being part of all the other processes, he still had a lot of patience, strength and creativity to help me with excellent ideas for interpretation.

Today I write these lines with immense joy! I have a story to be lived with Hangar and their public, conquered by the respect and dedication of these artists. Now I can say they are our public. I promise I will dedicate myself with a lot of love and I will give the best of me to deserve the applause and affection the band’s public will give me.

Thank you, God!
Thank you, family!
Thank you, Hangar!
Thank you, public!

Contacts: Facebook

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I was born on December 11 th, 1967 in a city called Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, due basically to the love of my father Eduardo, an architect, and my mother Sandra, a Portuguese teacher. Therefore I am a sagitarian, a Colorado fan, a skeptic, an anarchist, both disciplined and stubborn. I am wildly passionate about sports, music and amazing women. Of all human activities, music fascinated me the most, more precisely the act of playing an instrument in front of an audience and the interaction between either a small or gigantic group of people, even if only for a few moments. Until the day Diamond Darrell was murdered in a place made to enjoy: a stage. We should act like creatures of sound, art, sports, excellence, thought, and love. But the world is a tough place, a place in which too many mistakes happen. 

And what about The Beatles? They changed my mother’s world…  Whereas Motorhead, Venom, Black Sabbath, Dead Kennedys, Rush, Bach and Slayer changed mine. 

There were many records in our house.  Almôndegas (the band), Elvis, Peter and the Wolf, Chico Buarque, Elis Regina.    My mother taught me how to read at home. Dad gave me paper and pens which were everything to me until I discovered the outside world, not always very appealing, but which always became fun in their company. 
 
When I needed to get away, I drew (something I still do!)… This usually happened in the classroom where I used to pretend I was taking notes on everything the teacher said. I always thought that I´d hunger were I to become an artist but realized that architecture was not for those who hate rulers… 

TV was my second musical reference with things such as Super Boing flying on a Flying V guitar, The Monkees, Banana Split with all that freaky psycodelia, The Muppet Show, Star Trek. The sound track of Lost in Space was pure sidereal Stravinsky. I took up acoustic guitar lessons when I was almost 10 and learned basic chords and bad singing. I also practiced judo, swimming, karate, Olympic gymnastics. And then, Star Wars... my first opera. Of course Tommy, Hair, both the AC/DC and Zeppelin movies and The Wall would soon blow my mind. But that would happen later… 

In 1977, when we moved from an apartment to a house my new neighbors showed me “new” sounds. They had older brothers and I was first introduced to Stephen Wolf, ELO, Kraftwerke, Supertramp, Jethro Tull, Motorhead, Queen… Thanks Wilson and Wagner, Régis and Sérgio. 

I was somewhat of a nerd at Anchieta school and no new wave bullshit surf stuff or brazilian pop rock like Legião Urbana seemed to make me want to party. Too bad, I had no chance with the cute chicks. 

It was on stage at the first school festival where I saw and heard HER for the first time: the ELECTRIC guitar. And bass with no drums playing blues on the same amp. Amazing… The festival had gone through an evolution. Richard e Philip Powell brothers and their annual foreign guitars parade and the first “Tripulação Amotinada” gig; Little Sílvio and Solari Brothers and their first gig with Shiva´s and Drakkar…metal was making a comeback during the 80´s. I was fourteen years old when I went to a Van Halen concert in my hometown, in 1983. For good mothafuckn´ bloody Jesus Christ sake… nothing could be more damaging to a kid… What luck! I became a gig addict and I also went to Peter Frampton’s gig back then. 

At the school’s laboratory I got closer to a real guitar, a Sank. It was being “repaired” by my great friend and musician Alberto Siedler. My friend Zé Sacks bought the “thing” and we started taking lessons with a great teacher in Porto Alegre, Uruguayan guitar player Enrique Azambuja, the Quique. I also started taking classical guitar lessons at Palestrina´s conservatory with Eládio José de Souza, my first guide in the world of the great music. Thank you both for the infinite patience! I would really like to hear from you both, guys. 

In 1984 I was finishing my last year at school. It was time to think about college, but my focus was on the BMX local championship. We had a team partially sponsored by a cram school and I used to practice everyday after school. Until the day I made a great mistake on a long jump… It cost me half a month in the hospital and there I realized how unfair and short life can be. The accident involved lots of blood, pain and a surgery. While recovering, Sabbath and Ozzy kept me company (I listened to that solo in the Bat head’s Soup album, every day in ecstasy!) as well as Venom, specially while having fits of anger. Every single day I listened and listened to Sabbath´s complete discography until I knew the order of all songs of albums, while trying to figure out what to do with my life, that is, if I would ever have a normal life again. I decided to dedicate my life to the only thing that seemed to make sense to me: music. And thus the decision was made. 

By the end of 1984 I bought my first guitar: A modified Finch Flying V with customized painting, Michael Schencker style, and only one Gibson PAF humbucker pick up (thank you Siedler!). I also got a Sound pedal effect (and later a Boss Heavy Metal) and a Gianninni BAG 01 amplifier. 

We used to hang out with Ricardo Olsen (who would later play bass in my first speed metal band, Panic); in 1985 he had all bands on tape: Metallica, Venom, Exciter, Mercyfull Fate, Anthrax, Jag Panzer, Alcatraz, Hellhammer, Satan, Trouble, Onslaught, Dark Angel, Slayer. 

We joined drummer Marcelinho Russowsky, who played as bad as us but had lots of energy and a double 24” drum Ludwig monster kit with all tons of cymbals. That definitely was something at the time! We rented and acoustically isolated a trash deposit in the underground floor of the mall where record store Megaforce was located, and started rehearsing every day. There weren´t rehearsal studios for rent back then. I continued taking lessons and improving. We called in another guitar player and Rodrigo Terra (also Quique’s pupil) joined the gang. At that time I got my first good guitar, a Japanese Aria pro II custom, Thor Sound model, which I equipped with a Kahller tremolo unit. I had a motorcycle back then and sold it to pay for the guitar. We called ourselves Tormentor, later Massacre and then we were baptized by Walcir Challas de Almeida of Woodstock records: we became Panic, and released our first album, Rotten Church, in 1987. 

It came about as follows; we had 4 tracks and with the help of store owner, Ademir, we recorded a live demo. Ademir travelled to São Paulo in 1986 to shop for stuff he used to sell us and showed the tape to Walcir of Woodstock Records starting a label at the time. This was after Rock in Rio and a new scene was emerging. When he returned the band´s name had changed, we had a contract and had to compose another 4 tracks to complete the album! Boy, it was crazy! I mean, I was a 19 year old playing in my first band with my friends, none of which were professional, playing doing a totally non commercial sound. Incredibly things worked out! Things never were as easy after that… but for me that was a clear indication that I would be a musician forever. While all this was happening I was taking an economic course at the university and trying to get transferred to a music course, but I had to be first of the class to qualify. That would never happen… 

But going back to Panic, there was another very strange fact about us: We had never played live!! And we had a full length album! Our first gig would be as opening act for Venom and Exciter in Porto Alegre, at the same International Sport Club where I saw Van Halen a few years earlier. We were thrilled, but the Brazilian tour ended sooner for Cronos, Beehler and company. The Venom and Exciter Porto Alegre gig was canceled. So the real first gig took place at a club called Madame Satã, and we had a full house that night: October 11 th, 1987. We played everything we knew but the public wouldn´t let us off stage! There was no way to leave the stage from behind, so we played some passages of new songs without vocals, all the stuff we used to play for fun, like TV themes such as Spider Man, Batman, Bonanza, and some shitty punk songs in Portuguese that only had one riff and the chorus. They loved that stuff more than the “real” songs… So we never stopped playing that gig after the gig. The second gig was in São Paulo at the famous Espaço Mambembe a week after Sepultura had played there for 900 head bangers. Man, that was a new stage, but the release of Schizophrenia taught us who was running the show in the national metal scene at the time. That was when Panic came to an end. I started giving guitar lessons motivated by that experience and never stopped. My first pupil was Lincoln, and he played better than I did (I compared his dexterity to mine when I was the same age…)! But I could read music and we both learned a lot. My first professional side man gig was standing in for him in a pop rock band called Razão Social. We toured the whole state acting both as roadies and musicians! But I was already infected by the metal virus and while playing for money I started to revive Panic. I contacted all local drummers except one who contacted me too late. His name? It begins with an A… Aquiles. How strange is fate? We were both at the Iron Maiden gig, thinking about what the future held in store for us and didn´t know each other. One of his bands back then, Ecos do Silêncio, played at a festival at my school and I was there too… In 1988 I finally earned my place at the Federal Music University, becoming a composition student for 5 years in a 6 year long course. During the course I formed a guitar orchestra named OPPA! (Orquestra Profana de Porto Alegre) with some fine musicians and friends; Adriane Simionni (guitar and violin), Zózimo Rech (guitar), Marcos Machado (6 string bass), Cristine Freitas (guitar), Claudio Calcanhotto (guitar), Paulo Grillo (JEM 777), Ayrton Amaral (guitar), Adriana Scherer (keyboard). We played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and other baroque orchestra stuff. We toured a lot and became quite famous, but I moved to São Paulo in 1992 and thus stopped my academic activities and my collaboration with “OPPA!” 

So in 1991 Panic made a new beginning with Claudio Calcanhotto on drums, the original screamer Regener on vocals and Rexx on bass. A ten year old story. We played on the same stage with Sepultura, RDP, Korzus, P.U.S., Krisiun, Necromancia, Siegrid Ingrid, Chemical Disaster, MX, Leviaethan, Distraught, De Falla, Nervo Chaos. It was a long road, a long list. After three albums - Rotten Church, 1987, Best Before End, 1992 and Boiling Point, 1995 - the band ended it´s golden age when the fantastic drummer Claudio Calcanhotto left the band to play jazz. We returned from São Paulo pratically broke. From 1992 until the end of the band, Panic played some memorable opening acts and two very special cover gigs: Metallica for All and “Peões from Hell” (Pantera songs), two videos and influenced some guys and bands such as Lápide, a band in which I also played. On the thrash metal road I met and had the support of some special people in both Porto Alegre and São Paulo: Ademir and Megaforce, João and Cogumelo Records, Mara Marli Martins in whose kitchen the band lived for a year! Panic band members and partners who shared the dream for a while will probably be glad to find out that the story continues: 

Rexx, Leo Jost, Sandro Schneider, Fabinho Seellig, Paulo Neto, Gustavo do Ypu, Marcelo PT Cougo, Jean Uva, Julio Falavigna, Renato Machado, Renato Jardim, Paulo Cassio and Sandra Slayer, Gordo Miranda, Katia Suman, Marcelo Nunes, Alex Sernambi and Gastão Moreira of MTV´s Fúria Metal. 
Among the friends who supported us and whom I still deal with today are Pompeu, Heros, Silvio and Dick of the band Korzus. 

The last time the band was in São Paulo, Panic went through a very tough time, and guys like Samuca Samael and Ébano helped a lot loaning us instruments, providing a place to rest and even food. 

Back in Porto Alegre, Panic had yet another line up with Zé Madeira, a great and unforgettable singer, partner, friend and brother whose collaboration and gigs together still provide me with inspiration to compose. Unfortunately Zé suffered a serious accident and had serious brain damage while skateboarding. It seems he will never set foot on stage again. Life is unfair, take comfort my friend, and thank you for those wonderful gigs; second place at the Porto Alegre music festival, Skol Rock edition in Curitiba and freezing cold and tired waiting together at the bus station and having good laughs… 

Panic ended in 1998 and it was time for me to review my entire life and make some difficult decisions on my own. 

So when the dust settled in 1997 I decided to graduate in music and change my major to “Classical” guitar. Actually classical music is only a small part of the music history and the repertoire of an advanced music course is better divided into renascence, baroque, classical, romantic, modern, Spanish authors of XX century, Brazilian composers and contemporary authors. I prepared myself for a year of seminars and master classes. During a memorable master class I had the opportunity to meet Abel Carlevaro, father of the modern guitar technique and a genius composer. During that meeting he played an experimental piece of mine on first sight. 

So in 1998 I was back at the music academy preparing myself for an academic career. To be in the music area you must first be a musician. Bands and success come and go and I needed some serious qualification for my self respect. I was alone again; just me and my guitar performing that very complex music. And tests. 

I shaved my head and became a “monk”. The Zen phase lasted until I received a strange phone call from a veteran bass player called Nando Mello. He asked me for info as how to contact new talented pupils who were guitar virtuosos to join a new upcoming metal number called “Hangar”. I had already heard one or more songs of the album Last Time and told him that I could try out for the slot. The stuff was difficult and seemed to me more a man’s job than a beginners´ inexperienced gig. And I was right. Those guys were really serious about their music and musicianship, and that is the foundation on which to build something significant in metal music; no bullshit and lots of hard work. I played the songs of the repertoire as best as I could and after auditioning almost all local living guitarists, they decided that only I was crazy enough to enjoy that routine of madness and obsession. I was in heaven again!! It was the time and place to let my hair grow again… 

Almost all of the old material I had for a fourth Panic album was used in the compositional process for the album Inside Your Soul. That made me feel very comfortable in the band. We really shared the same musical attitude: we had no rules but a strong musical direction. My comeback on stage was as opening act for Paul DiAnno´s gig in Porto Alegre, on May 18 th, 2000 and all went well. I had already seen a DiAnno gig a couple of years before. He had asked me for a lighter to light his “birthday cigarette“ shortly before the encore! 

Soon the tracks were ready and Aquiles moved to São Paulo. We recorded IYS at the same studio where Nomad was recorded and I did everything analogically. I used amazing guitar equipment provided by exceptional guitarist and friend Chico De Hira. I used no Pro Tools but only tape, old school style… Nowadays I don’t give a damn about purism anymore, but I still like the guitar sound on that record a lot. We used to arrive at the studio by noon since traffic was always heavy. I recorded from 4 pm to 3 am the following day. Sometimes Aquiles would pick me up at home but when he wasn’t able to I had to take the 4 am bus. I would arrive at Aquiles’s house at 6 am, have breakfast and pick up my Roberto Gomes acoustic guitar to prepare for my fifth semester test. 
I played with a piece of cloth covering the strings so as not to wake up little Juju… Then I would sleep at 8 o’clock, wake up at 11 and start everything again. Of course I failed that test. But Inside Your Soul was recorded and that was just the beginning, once again. 

The album put Hangar and my musicality on a new level. I had the opportunity to work closely with singer Mike during his sessions and later we did recitals and workshops together. We prepared guitar arrangements for Nessum Dorma, Don´t Stop Believing, and other tenor stuff and played some recitals. Even on a local traditional TV show we played an acoustic version for To Tame a Land… Good luck, buddy! 

In the year 2002 I was voted as one of the 10 favorite musicians along with Mello by Roadie Crew magazine and had an interview published by Guitar Player magazine for the first time. Endorsements began coming in and we matured a lot as a band by playing at the Brazil Metal Union festival in São Paulo. We also were opening act for a Savatage gig attended by 4000 bangers at the Via Funchal club, which counted with an exceptional sound by Paul X. We also went on an extensive tour in the northeast of Brazil in 2003. 

In 2004 I finally graduated as a bachelor of arts at the university and played my final guitar recital, Hangar style, of course. This took place after a 12 hour long wait for a flight at Recife airport. We played an incredible gig in Caruaru but the return home was unpredictable. So I had a lot of time to think and meditate about the circle that was coming to a close. We can always choose what we want. Sometimes you may have serious doubts, but deep in your heart, your feelings will never betray you. First we must become what we must, by working well. After that we can do what has to be done. If we are lucky, we will be able do it forever. And I tell you, luck doesn’t exist, but I definitely am one of the luckiest musicians in the world. 

Among other things, at the moment I’m part of the Freakeys project, that is something of a Masters degree in music. I studied 2 years to finish my part ready and recorded it during Xmas 2005 in Mococa, SP, very far away from home. But I was doing something very special with great friends and recording music of great sensibility. It also gave me an opportunity to work with the outrageous bass player Felipe Andreoli. I also played many gigs with legendary thrash metal band Leviaethan and I hope we can play many more. 

Now it’s time to hit the road. While you are reading details that are part of my existence, new facts are happening, and we never know where life will lead us. But right here, right now my life is playing music, and that music is metal… and that’s good…oh yeah, it is very damn good!

LEMMY IS GOD! Thank you, God! 

Contacts: MySpace | Facebook | Twitter

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In February 1977, among millions of pseudo-individuals, I started my journey to become a complete individual. And, as any reasonable person, after nine months I was born on November 18 th, in a place called Mococa, a small and welcoming town, half “paulista” (from the state of São Paulo) and half “mineira” (from the state of Minas Gerais), land of imperial palm trees, the Mococa cow, Rogério Cardoso and other such bizarre things. My home town. Since I was a child, I learned the value of the simple things in life with Miguel, my father. He was an accountant and farm manager in the pantanal region, the Brazilian swamplands. At the time we traveled a lot and were constantly in touch with nature. Perhaps this explains my necessity to be on the road. Nothing can be compared to traveling in the front seat but unfortunately nowadays cars are so fast that sometimes we miss out on the beautiful landscapes. With my mother, Sandra, I learned to appreciate the simple things in life. She was a Portuguese teacher and responsible for my excellent grades at school. She taught me the advantages of being disciplined and, through the doctrine she followed, spiritualism, how to concentrate and see beyond the possibilities. Thus life passed by while I shared my childhood with my brothers, André (the eldest) and Rodrigo (the youngest), and with my cousins, Paulo and Helena. My maternal grandparents also lived in our house. Grandma Grácia showed me how two people can coexist inside of a single body. She was, and still is, a blend of infinite goodness and a sweet malice, grandma stuff, the kind of person who watches soap operas. From Grandpa Antônio, I inherited the dignity and satisfaction that work brings to men. In his workshop in the yard, my favorite part of the house, wood was transformed into the best toys that a child could possibly wish for: toy cars, houses, tops, ramps, stilts, etc. To this day we still use most of the tools he left us.

In at least one moment of life, everybody wants to be an artist or a soccer player, something I also wanted. Since I was a child I used to pretend to be an actor, using my dad’s Ray Ban sun glasses and an earphone. The plug was the microphone. Ridiculous! But if a man could imagine the consequences of his decisions, he would not even take the first step. And when I saw my brother, André, discovering the world of music and technology, I took my chance. I had already made up my mind and didn’t know it. My father allowed us to observe the evolution of microcomputers (or should I say macro?), from Scopus, whose disk drive resembled a LP, to the TK models, whose soft wares were recorded on K7 tapes. At the same time, my father presented us with a very small keyboard, with which I sampled the sounds around me and then executed melodies with them. And I’m talking about all kinds of sounds you can imagine, like burps, doors, farts, dogs, parrots, etc.

Some time later André and his friends started to jam. I was still hanging around, wondering how I could join the team. So on a beautiful day, when I was about ten years old, I joined my brother’s group, playing drums with my fingers on another keyboard or on a loaned electronic drum machine. Perhaps this is the reason for my fascination with drums. My father used to play a little bit of acoustic guitar and, because of his interest in music, he had contact with the local musicians amongst them keyboard players Vitor Luciano and Granito, who always showed us their new acquisitions. I was amazed by the sounds, rhythms and all those colorful buttons. Aware of my brother’s and mine increasing interest for keyboards, our father presented us with a DSR-1000. At the time it was a sensation, there was nothing alike around. But I still used the instrument for other purposes than music. I loved to modify the configuration of the patches to create new sounds. I also used to copy the grooves of electronic songs André used to listen to.

So I finally had my first production! The concert was to take place on the terrace. We had lights and a back drop made of some record sleeves on a yellow canvas. We also had a home video maker and an audience. My brother played the keyboard and I did backing vocals. But there in the yard I began to realize that it would be very interesting if I started to take music seriously.

I was still following my brother foot steps when I started to take organ lessons with Neusa Dal Rio. André was already in advanced level and could read simple pieces easily. I started from scratch. But the bunch of black balls bored me and I gave up lessons two months later. However I had not given up the dream of becoming a real musician. I continued practicing and learning at home until one day I got an invitation to join a band, Veneno Destilado. I went to the first rehearsal of my life, which happened at Marquinhos’s, the bass player’s house. He and the guitar player (Alexandre) rehearsed lying on the bed, I played by the window and the only vacant place of the room left was for the drummer and amplifiers. With this band I played my first gig, in a town called Milagres, in Minas Gerais. I left the band after the second gig, because I didn’t like the set list and that was something that bothered me at the time.

Some time later I met two guys who were to be responsible for great part of my musical identity: guitar player Rodrigo Ferreira and bass player Ricardo Lucon. While I was listening to strange things like The Doors, New Order, Dire Straits, Front 242, etc, they were light-years ahead. They introduced me to bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Deep Purple, EL&P, Black Sabbath, etc. We formed a band, Lord Harbor. The proposal was simple and clear: to compose and play progressive rock. It’s not too bad if you consider we were fifteen years old and lived in a provincial city. This audacity generated good comments from rock musicians and from the local musical community. And we released two demo tapes, Sounding in Your Mind and Shortcut to Mars. Besides playing keyboard I was also the lead singer ofLord Harbor. We rehearsed every weekend for a long time and we played some gigs in our area.

Although I was very happy with Lord Harbor, I wanted to broaden my horizons. So I started to look for a job with local professional groups. I was admitted to a band called Workshop, whose band members were the best musicians of the city: Beto Costa (guitar), André Costa (drums) and Joca Miquinioty (bass). The first gig I played with was scary. I sang La Bamba with my hands in my pockets because I was so embarrassed. But at least I did not sing out of tune and had a lot of fun! The day after the gig, I refused to receive my payment, asking why I had to get paid to play! I was only fifteen years old and I didn´t understand why, besides played a gig, amusing hundreds of people and amusing myself, I still had to get paid! I learned a lot with this band because we played many different music styles, and as all of them were almost twice my age, I learned a lot. I consider Beto Costa my best teacher and very demanding. That’s exactly why my musical enrichment was so great at the time. As Workshop was a ball band, we played all kinds of music. Thus, the most important lesson that I learned from this band was, that when you leave your house to play (work!!!), it’s better to leave your ego behind; therefore the greatest pleasure of playing is the act of playing in itself. And we played a lot. We traveled four years in an old van as a really happy family.

At this time I was in high school and, due to lack of time, had to abandon Lord Harbor. But to make up for that we had a band called Rockstory, with the same musicians as Workshop, but with a basic difference: we only played what we wanted to; today we still get together once in a blue moon to jam or to play a gig. At the same time I recorded my first solo work, a demo tape called Atomic Bride, which received good feed back from the musical press.

By the time I was eighteen years old, my life was upside down. Workshop had ended, I had no money left and I was about to start law school. It was a very difficult moment because if I had to work (in the most capitalist sense of the word), music would have to take a back seat, and it always has to come first if you want some measure of success. So I tried again and formed a new band, called Hangar 6, with Paulo Orlandi (drums), Joca MiquiniotyRodrigo FerreiraLuis Braga (vocals) and Anderson Burrone (percussion). At the time a political rally was going on. We played at about 50 political rallies and the two old month band already had a reasonably large structure. Even so, in the beginning we traveled in a Beetle, dragging a wagon filled with instruments behind us. It was a wonderful time. Everybody was alike, everybody made an effort and the band had an explosive live performance. The musicians used to alternate instruments so that the four hours of concert became less tiring. Besides keyboards, I played drums, percussion, bass and sang. We played over 300 gigs in four years. Long days... long nights... Luís and I also worked as band managers. We roamed São Paulo and Minas Gerais trying to sell gigs for the band.

At the same time, I found time to play with other bands and was invited to join Fábrica Velha, a blues rock band. There had been few gigs, but all of them explosive! During one of the gigs we played, I spun the keyboard around me and got caught in the cables, making everything crash to the ground: keyboard stand, keyboard, microphone and myself. Fortunately it happened during the last song.

During this time I also started working in recording studios as an arranger and producer for many bands of the interior of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. With Flavio Marx Band, self proclaimed pop rock from Minas Gerais, I recorded an album ( Em Um Estado Imaginário), at Haroldo Ferretti’s Studio (Skank). Drums had been recorded by Ely and part of the guitars by Claudio Venturini (both from the band 14 Bis). I’ve also worked as a free lancer for some bands. I was giving a little of everything a shot because I wasn´t able to make a living with any of my projects. These were some of those shots and their respective targets:

- Juke Box: rock'n'roll;
- Musical Som Três: weddings, anniversaries, women’s clubs, bazaars, etc;
- Alternativa: balls and carnival songs in strip houses;
- Môdas & Mudabas: pop rock and popular Brazilian music;
- Xaveco: pagoda music;
- Gil & Guaxupé: Brazilian country music;
- FEOBand: rock'n'roll;
- Coronel Joe: country music;
- Officina do Son: pop rock;
- Carlinhos Salvador: popular Brazilian music;
- Loucur@.com: pop rock and madness;
- Vide Bula: pop rock.

In a conservative, radical and idealistic point of view, my situation was critical, but I don’t care. The fact is that I’ve never given up on music. While playing a bunch of crap to help finances and finish college, I hadn’t forgotten my goals for any single minute.

In July 1999 I heard that Angra would be playing in Poços de Caldas. A week before the gig, I called one of the producers, Jean, in order to buy tickets. While we were talking, I found out that he had a heavy metal band called Victoria and he in turn found out that I was a keyboard player. I knew the guys who played in Victoriawhich was to be the opening act for the Angra gig. They called me to replace their keyboard player for this gig and I ended up staying in the band for two years. The compositions were very good and I left this great band with regret. In the meantime I recorded with some metal bands, such as Funeratusand Spirit Heaven, and started recording my first solo album.

I finished Law school in 2001 and I found myself at a new crossroad. If I could not make a living playing music, I would have to find another job. So I used my first solo album, All Night Party At Gallamauaka's Land, as a curriculum and distributed it the musical market, no matter the style, as a last attempt at getting a job. Moreover, it was an effort to justify my eight years as a professional musician and to the five years studying law, because I recorded the album thanks to the Rouanet Law (A law that aids culture).

Before the work was complete, I sent a monitor mix to some record labels with the sole purpose of finding out if the album was reasonably good enough to be released. I received many offers, but I could not accept any of them because it was an independent effort. However, on the same occasion, Hangar was negotiating with one of the record labels to which my album had been sent to, the label Mega Hard. The owner of the label, Márcio, said it would be cool if I could record real drums on the album and put me in touch with drummer Aquiles Priester. Unfortunately it didn´t work out since the album was almost ready and they were over budget. Coincidentally, Hangar was finishing their new album, Inside Your Soul, and was looking for a keyboard player to record an intro for some tracks. I received the demo CD and just loved the work! One week later I went to São Paulo with some ideas in mind, but many parts of keyboard had been composed or arranged during the recordings, such as the very introduction of the album, The Soul Collector. Still with Hangar, I took part of the projectWilliam Shakespeare's Hamlet and we played some gigs, such as being an opening act for Savatage twice.

Even considering the year of 2001 as the most important of my career, it had not started off very well. I had just finished college (great, but so what?!), I had passed the test for OAB (Brazilian Bar Association) and the entertainment market in Brazil was going through drastic changes. Dozens of bands had suspended their activities and musicians had formed smaller and cheaper bands, without a super production and any blah, blah, blah. This meant that there was more competition in detriment to the musicians´ income.

In an interval of two months the most important albums which I had worked on up to that time were released: Inside Your Soul (Hangar), All Night Party At Gallamauaka's Land (my solo album), Em Um Estado Imaginário (Flávio Marx Band), Storm of Vengeance (Funeratus), Aria's Kingdom (Spirit Heaven) and the projectWilliam Shakespeare's Hamlet. Despite all of this, perspectives were still dismal. With all these releases and the boost they gave my name, nothing further happened. And for the first time I seriously thought about giving up my dreams and become, who knows, a prosecutor, a federal agent or a judge!

On a Sunday night I received a call from Aquiles, who already was Angra´s new drummer, saying something like: "Fábio, the Rebirth World Tour starts next Friday. As they still haven’t defined who the keyboard player will be, we need keyboards tracks of some old songs for the first gigs. Can you do that until Wednesday morning?" Of course I could just answer: "Yes!" I moved all my equipment to my father’s office beside our house. I only left the place to eat, use the bathroom and drink coffee, because I couldn’t lose a second of the most important case of my life. It was all or nothing!

So on Wednesday morning at 5:45a.m. I’d finished the last one of the six tracks and took a bus to São Paulo at 6:00a.m. We spent the whole day mixing the tracks and at the end of the afternoon I returned to my city. The following day, Thursday, I was invited to join Angra on their new tour as a support musician. I cancelled all my other professional commitments and packed my bags to take on the most sought after job of Brazilian Magistracy: “heavy metal keyboard player of the samba country". The most impressive moment of my entire story with Angra occurred right before the first gig. It happened inside the tour bus, when I received the schedule, the heading of which was like a verdict: "Welcome to the Rebirth World Tour". Still according to the sentence, I was condemned to play over 270 gigs in 25 countries around the world; I also was to take part in some of the most important Brazilian TV shows and to record an E.P., called Hunters and Prey and a C.D. /D.V.D., Live in São Paulo.

Between each Angra tour, I dedicated my “free time” to other projects. In the beginning of 2003 I toured Brazil with Hangar. I had become an official member of the band the previous year. There’s a funny detail to this story: I learned the news through a Brazilian magazine. No one in the band had told me about it. It was a very good surprise! That same year I produced and recorded the keyboards for Eyes of Shiva´s first album, Eyes of Soul. Besides recording the keyboards I also took care of the production. I also recorded the keyboards on band Thalion´s debut album, Another Sun.

In 2006, I took part of the album Almah, a parallel project by singer Edu Falaschi, which counted with musicians such as Lauri PorraStratovarius) and EmpuVuorinen ( Nightwish). The instrumental album Freakeys, was also released. I composed and produced the album which has special participations by Aquiles Priester, Felipe Andreoli and Eduardo Martinez.

And in 2007 I was voted as best Brazilian keyboard player according to public opinion charts of the most important rock magazines and web sites. Besides, I recorded the new albums of the bands Torture Squad and Total Death. But the most important production of this year was The Reason of Your Conviction, the new Hangar album, released in July.

Trying to understand the inexplicable is a kind of induced schizophrenia. The best thing to do is to accept it. But if I could justify how my road brought me to where I am, I would say that it’s because I’ve never abandoned it. I believe that opportunities do not appear out of nowhere, we create them. Therefore, since we don’t expect anything beyond the denial of an expectation… go ahead! That doesn´t mean that if you play things you don’t trust or don’t like, you will be going against your "principles”. In the end we know that shit will feed the Earth anyway. 

And that’s enough crap!!! Excuse me, but now I have to enjoy the landscape because it’s not everyday we sit in the front seat. See you at the next stop! 

Contacts: MySpace | Facebook | Twitter

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I started playing the acoustic guitar when I was 12 years old, studying classical music themes and MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), which later changed due to my admiration for rock music, specially hard and progressive rock. At the time, access to the world of music was very difficult. Information was rare and there were few specialized rock magazines, TV and radio shows. At the time, two facts marked me and were very decisive to my getting interested in metal music. The first was that, in Porto Alegre, there was a radio show called Arrasa Quarteirão that aired the main progressive rock and heavy metal releases. It was common to hear “first hand” (I mean first hand for the listeners, for usually the tracks had been released two years prior to the release on the radio) tracks such as The Number of the Beast, of an English band curiously called Iron Maiden, or Ace of Spades, by Motorhead and Mob Rules by Black Sabbath. The second fact was that there was also a specialized rock store for those who were curious to hear these new sounds. It was a time for discovering new bands, sounds, album covers, etc.

After that I got very interested in a progressive rock band called Yes. I had all the records of the band and it made me discover a musical instrument called bass. Chris Squire, Yes bass player¸ caught my attention because of the way he conducted the harmonies and melodies of the intricate songs of the band. For me, it was a new conception to be respected and studied. In 1989 I received the first invitation to play in a rock band. I still didn’t have an instrument but I was invited by arranger, composer and guitar player Charles Vianna, to join the progressive rock band Fohat, in my home town of Gravataí, a few kilometers from Porto Alegre. The band had an old Giannini bass, on which I was able to learn my first lines. At our first gig I used a Giannini Duovox, a legend among Brazilian amplifiers. Until today I remember that incredible sound. I played with the band until 1993. We had played about 100 gigs in many cities in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul. The most interesting thing is that even though we played our own compositions and a couple of cover songs, we had many gigs, due mainly to strong connection and discipline among the band members. We took played many festivals, including the final of a rock band contest promoted by a big TV Channel in Porto Alegre, where we played a song called Alienígena, a reference to the comic book character Silver Surfer. The track was a big hit in our city.

Even though Fohat was a great school, I wanted to broaden my horizons. In 1994 we saw a wave of heavy rock taking over the country. Bands like Mr. Big,PanteraDream TheaterSkid RowMetallicaGuns´n´Rosesand Iron Maiden could be always be heard on the radio. So, with in this spirit, other musicians of the city and I formed our own band, Alma Beat. This is the name of a book by Brazilian journalist Eduardo Bueno, from Porto Alegre, that would later become very well known in Brazil due to the publication of the book Trip of Discovery, about the history of Brazil at the time of its discovery. In Alma Beat, he broaches the American beatnik generation of the 50´s, including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and other lunatics who invented that alternative movement. In this spirit we baptized the band and hit the road. At that time many things had already changed in the music scene: there were specialized rock magazines, stores and radio shows. This motivated me to search for more information relating to my instrument, amplifiers and so on, and mainly to study musical theory. My equipment was already very different. I’d ordered a new bass from luthier Fialho Domingos, as I was looking for an instrument with better quality than that I was used to. Fialho was known for having developed the first instruments for famous guitar player Frank Solari and a bunch of other important musicians of Porto Alegre. What I didn’t know was that he’d take about six months to deliver the bass. It was an overwhelming period. I went twice a week to his workshop just to ask for any news on the construction of my bass. Finally, on the eve of an important gig, it was delivered, even though some details were missing from the paint job. This instrument was very important to the development of some techniques I had started to discover. I continued to study Chris Squire; however other bass players had already appeared, such as Billy Sheehan, Steve Harris and Glenn Hughes, of Deep Purple, whom I already had listened to in the 70’s without paying too much attention. I was impressed with the way he improvised over the grooves of drummer Ian Paice.

In 1994 we started to rehearse and I wrote my first compositions. To do this, I counted with the partnership of guitar player Luciano Franco. It was a good inspirational moment. Our set list included about fifteen of our own songs and classics of all bands previously mentioned. One of the band’s traits were the gigs with powerful performances. In Gravataí people used to say that we were a mixture of Pantera and Mr. Big, which was both funny and rewarding at the same time. It was a very good period during which I could improve several techniques that I hadn’t known in my first band.

The first half of the 90’s was so promising for rock music that in 1994 I opened a store called Riffmaker, where I sold CDs, T-shirts, VHS, picks, strings, etc. The store was in Gravataí and it only lasted a year. As I continued working a regular job, I did not have enough time to dedicate myself to the store and had to close it. Alma Beat finished its activities in 1996 due to absolute lack of space, since at this time all the scene was being overtaken by the grunge style from Seattle and hard rock was yielding to new trends.

In 1997 and 1998 I only played acoustic guitar at home with no further pretensions. Those were very difficult years, and I was determined to sell my equipment. But by the end of 1998, a friend called Juliano told me that close to his house some lunatics of a heavy metal band were rehearsing a lot. They would be the opening act for an Angra gig in Porto Alegre, in December. It was only a comment, but I kept it in mind because I liked Angra very much and I intended to go to the gig, which did not happen, due to a huge storm that fell over the city that very day. A week later I placed an ad in a newspaper to sell an amplifier. On the same page, besides my ad, the following was featured: “Hangar Band looking for a bass player with influences of Dream TheaterStratovarius, etc…” I instantly remembered that this was the same band which my friend Juliano had mentioned before. After thinking for a while, I decided to call the number in the newspaper. The first voice of Hangar that I heard was that of a very receptive guy, with a good sense of humor and weird name: Aquiles. After this first contact, we decided to meet in a shopping mall to talk. On the 23 rd of December we met for the first time. I was expecting a bunch of long haired guys dressed in black. But to my surprise three guys with short hair showed up, two of which wore glasses. They were Aquiles, Michael and former guitar player Cristiano. I had never played in a heavy metal band before but the conversation was cool. They suggested an audition and gave me a cassette tape with eight tracks, which included bands such as Dream TheaterMalmsteenHelloween and Stratovarius. At the time I hadn’t played for two years nor listened to anything similar and that made me very apprehensive. In January of 1999, Hangar was already recording their first album and I went to the studio to listen to the mix and socialize. The first song I heard was Voices. I found the sound weird since my reference of melodic heavy metal was Angra and Voices sounded very heavy to me. I remember mentioning this to Aquiles and I sang a part of a song from Alma Beat, called Sweet Mary, in order to try showing him my point of view about melodic metal. It was a mistake, because until today he remembers this moment and makes fun of it, imitating the way I sang that track. So I left the studio kind of worried. We set the date of my audition for the summer, because I would be on vacation and would have time to learn the tracks (from the tape). In February, when we finally got together for my audition I still had not learned all the tracks, but had studied them enough to play and know the end result. We went to the studio and I remember playing some songs, which motivated the following comment from Aquiles: “Hey, if you were not prepared, you shouldn’t have come!” … That meant I had had my first stressful situation in the band. So we continued the rehearsal, and started playing a song calledVisions, by Stratovarius, which is about 10 minutes long. I had learned the song easily enough and thought that the band liked the way I played it. But years later Michael confessed that even they didn’t know how to play that song and had included it in the set list just to push me and see how I would do in the audition. All right…

After the audition, we started getting together and talking more often and what most caught my attention was the determination of the band members. They were really determined to make Hangar a great band. In 1999, we released the album Last Time, in which I did not record nor compose anything. I consider my first three years in the band as an adaptation in my way of playing a style completely different to what I was used to. During this process, the closeness of the band members was very important. We played several gigs, for instance the one we did in 1999, in Porto Alegre, for the release of the album Last Time. We spent two years hardly promoting the album at all and rehearsing a lot. During the second semester of that same year we played for the first time in São Paulo. It was also the first long trip undertaken by bus, eighteen interminable hours to play at the legendary Black Jack Rock Bar.

When everything seemed to be ok we received the unpleasant news that Cristiano would be leaving the band. He was the guitar player and one of the main composers. We were already beginning the compositions for the second album and I remember that Aquiles and Michael felt the impact of this change in the line up. When it seemed that we would have to restart from zero, I remembered a very well known name of the metal scene in the south of Brazil. So I called guitar player Eduardo Martinez and invited him to get to know the band, because I thought that he was the right person for Hangar, due to his profile and vast theoretical musical knowledge. And I was not wrong; he was really the right guy. Along with Martinez I wrote my first composition for Hangar, To the Tame the Land. The rest of the album was composed by April 2000. As a bass player I was used to playing hard and progressive rock. So the way Hangar played heavy metal was still something new to me. I needed to develop other techniques which would allow me to reach the standards the band demanded. Aquiles helped me a lot during this process. His peculiar skill of playing and his intricate drum bass were very important for my self-discipline. And discipline and good taste are elementary for a good bass line. During this period I had to adapt myself to using a pick, a resource sometimes hated by bass players. It was an option to playing the light speed tempos we play. Once more I had to recycle my studies and learn other ways of playing as, for example, the three fingers technique. Still in 2000 I went to São Paulo to record the second Hangar album, Inside Your Soul. It was my first recording experience. The album was released in May 2001. Between 2001 and 2003 we played several gigs. Amongst them, in 2002 we were the opening act for North American band Savatage, at the Via Funchal in São Paulo. And in the summer of 2003 we did a tour in the Northeast of Brazil.

In 2004 I started composing tracks for the third Hangar album. I also did a few gigs and played in bands of friends, such as Iron Maiden’s Tribute, with bandScelerata. In 2005 I accepted an invitation by guitar player Luciano Franco (Alma Beat) to join the band Cães de Aluguel, whose set list only included classical rock songs from the 60’s and 70’s. During two years I played gigs in bars and pubs in the south of Brazil. In November of 2006 I recorded the bass for the new Hangar album, which is without doubt my most important work in all these years as a bass player. In January 2007, guitar player Eduardo Martinez, keyboard player Marcelo Rodrigues and I formed a band, Riffmaker (a homage to my old store’s name), and played hard rock classics of all decades. I also finished recording the bass of five tracks of band Artheria, the new band of Hangar’s former singer, Michael Polchowicz.

To finish, I can say that I spent eighteen years playing bass in three bands with own compositions and two cover bands. During all these years, I always tried to persevere and trust my intuition as to the choice of musicians whom I would be playing with. I guess I have made the right choices. I’m very anxious to be on the road playing Hangar’s new album, sharing this work with our friends. Hugs for everyone!!!

Contacts: MySpace | Facebook | Twitter

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I was born in a town called Otjo, in South Africa where I lived til I was five years old. At the age of four, I saw a drum set for the first time. It was a Jazz drummer on a TV show. That was my first contact with the instrument, and the only, for many years. I landed in Brazil in 1977, more exactly in “Foz do Iguaçu”, and, in love with football, I soon started to play professionally, for the town team and so far I was sure that I’d be a great player. But in 1985, with the first “Rock in Rio”, things started getting other dimensions, and that vision I’d had when I was four started making more sense to me. During the festival, I made a drum set with cans, ice cream bowls, gas gallons and I started making some noise on the back yard. One year later, with some school friends, I started dubling a Brazilian band called “Ultraje a Rigor” [see picture]. Since then my life changed and I would only dream of becoming a great drummer. My first drum set was composed of a Snare and a tom (which I’d borrowed from the school band and I never took back), a bass drum, a hi-hat and a cymbal, which was hung on the ceiling.

I remember that, almost every week, we used to go to a TV show, in a new tv broadcaster, and in one of these shows, a ball band called “Tropical Band” saw me playing, actually dubling, and its members found I had the talent. They went to that TV Channel looking for me and invited me to play with them. I went down to the bar, in the same evening, imagining that they’d teach me the songs and everything... I was definetely wrong. After arriving there we had dinner, had a chat and right after, the bar was already crowded and they simply turned to me: “Let’s go, Menudo, let’s play”.

I sat behind the drums and wondered how I was gonna play if I’d never played a complete drum set, neither with those guys. That was how my professional life as a drummer started: Every night I was up there playing and the next day, I would get up at 7h00 in the morning to go to school. That was a tough year but at the same time really useful for my development as a drummer.

The first band I joined with my “huge” drum set was “Stylo Livre” in 1987 [see picture] [listen to song], and the same story repeated, the members of this band saw me playing with the “Tropical Band” and liked my performance, so, in the following week, they invited me to play with them. At that time, everything was recent and new and the fact that we were the only Rock Band in town opened up some doors and gave us opportunities that nowadays an amateur band wouldn’t have. We used to perform in several TV and Radio Station programs as well as be shown in magazines and newspapers.

At that time, an essential fact for my musical directing happened: I listened to “Caught somewhere in time” by Iron Maiden on a local radio station and after that, getting to know all the discography of this band would be a major influence for many years. We all believed in the future of our band, Stylo Livre, and the bass player, really on it, bought a drum set for the band and I could finally play a real instrument. Everything was like a dream until one day, I found out my family was moving to Porto Alegre and I could no longer stay in Foz do Iguaçu. I fought against it until the last day but I really couldn’t stay, I was only 17 (and I still had a lot to do for my life).

As soon as I arrived in Porto Alegre, I got really excited, because there was a local bands movement that were starting to get some space in the country’s musical scene, and I thought I could brighten up my path to success. But, it was much worse than I expected, I couldn’t join any band and I also couldn’t get in any school where I would possibly make new friends and get to know some people in the business. Finally, after some time, I got back to the studies and a guy invited me to join his band because he had seen me beating in class and was wondering if I were a drummer.

The band was called “Nômades de KZAK” [see picture] [listen to song]. We made some performances but the musical differences soon started to show and not so long after, I left the band.

In the beginning of 1989 I started leaving some adds offering myself as a drummer in many studios and finally someone called me, this time the band was “Lucas Scariotys” [see picture] [listen to song]. This band was closer to what I wanted to do: a heavy music without rules. I joined the band for almost two years and during this period we played in many shows and also started to find some differences on what we thought about the band’s future.

I’ve always wanted to work with music and try to live off it, even having to do some paralel jobs while joining the bands. I started to realize that it wasn’t that easy to find the right people to have a band and again, I left the band after watching the movie “The Doors”, as all the band thought we should have that same non-commiting behaviour and after hearing that, I left and was looking for another band. That only made me hate “The Doors” even more...

It was already June 1991 and there I was, again checking the newspaper adds. I had finally found a heavy metal band, “Spartacus” [see picture] [listen to song] and my only doubt was whether I’d have technical conditions to play with them, as it was a respected andwell known band in Porto Alegre.

I had just turned 20 and believing, more than ever, that my future would be the drums and there I was, in auditions, to be chosen.

I was really happy, as I was joining a cult band in town. We rehearsed a lot and started playing some concerts to present our new members, who were well in tune.

Yet in the same year, we recorded a new demo tape and headed to the biggest step of the band, with the new group, a concert with three other bands in an auditorium for five thousand people. For our total surprise the search for tickets was so unexpressive that it was cancelled and within it, our union and wish to continue playing together were gone. The band was excellent, but there was something telling me that the time hadn’t come yet. At that same time, besides Spartacus, I joined my first cover band, “Raro Efeito” [see picture] [listen to song], which later on, had the lead singer from Spartacus joining in. The band was there for almost two years, and without concerts, it became past.

In the following year, 1992, I had come to a decisive and fundamental year for my career. I joined a band called “Ecos do Silêncio” [see picture], which was composed by people much younger than me and, because of that, had no commitment at all to take the band seriously, they just wanted to play in some school festivals and nothing else. My time in the band was meteorical and also without any commitment, as I was in the band only with the purpose of not losing my practice. It was in that year that I finally could watch an Iron Maiden concert in Porto Alegre and, stuck on the hedge, I saw that, as it was my own band, as a flash of the future. I had to go on, I couldn’t give up.

On the next day I had a serious talk with my sister and I asked her to finance an imported new drum set. The next month, after being a pain in the ass, I got my first imported drums with the mission of getting a new cover band to pay off my debt. The band “Hora H” [see picture] [listen to song], played many concerts and travelled all around the state of “Rio Grande do Sul”. For the first time in my life I started to get some money with music, but I didn’t have a band making their own music and songs and that started bothering me a lot.

I was looking for a new band, but continued with “Hora H” and then I got to know the band I’d most believed so far, “Pistys Sophia” [see picture] [listen to song]. This band had a great potential and, more than that, style and musicians much more experienced than me (the band had Ivan Zukauskas, from the extinct Astaroth – Local Band), and it was then that I felt the necessity of playing with double bass pedal. Their musicality was so great, that years later Hangar would record, in the album “Inside your Soul” a new version of the song “Legions” (which you can listen the demo version of Pystis Sophia above) but now entitled “Savior”. Everything was great, the MTV Brazil had a good spot for the National metal music and the entire scene was getting really hot, searching for new bands and new promises. Among so many promises, the band was under pressure to take the moment and then the famous internal fights started and I was the main target, as I didn’t play very well with the double pedal and they complained that I couldn’t follow the passages and didn’t have the necessary grip for the band (how ironic, huh?). I left the band, decided to only study drum and continue playing in cover bands to make some money.

After seven years playing, I had some classes to deserve the equipment I had bought. I went deep on my drum classes at the age of 21 and tried to get back all the time that I had lost. Firstly, I studied with Mimo Aires, then with Thabba and finally with Kiko Freitas. I have a huge gratitude for these three professionals. Besides teaching me the technical parts, they also taught me to be professional. They prepared me to the market and this knowledge is with me til today. I had one class at night per week and, on the other nights, I would study desperately with a practice drum set in my room. Something else that helped me was that, when my boss traveled, I stayed alone in the office, as I was a kind of “Office Boy” or a “Do-Everything-Around Boy”, and that made it possible for me to practice all day long in a rubber pad and also during a great part of the night. I used to practice about twelve to fourteen hours a day. Two years later, much better technically, I lost my job and went through the worst 8 months of my life. I had left the Cover bands to have more time to study and got a little out of the market and when I needed to return, I already had no contacts, neither a job. I kept on studying a lot, as I had all day free and had to take advantage of it. I had all the time of the world but no motivation, as I was without a band and broke.

It was 1994 when I was invited to play in an instrumental band called “Infra Blue”, [see picture] and trying to play these songs I met a drummer named Deen Castronovo, who changed the way I used to see the drums. I looked for all the records that he played on and also his instruccional video and I started, little by little, to understand the grooves and licks he used to play. Once again, the band didn’t last long, but as a compensation I had met the drummer who I most identified myself with, so, only for that, it was already worth it. Within this band, we were invited (me and the other members of Infra Blue) to join “Apocalipse Now” [see picture] [listen to song], which made music following the line of basic Rock ’n’ Roll and had the idea of being a commercial band with great contacts in multinational record labels and in the musical scene, as a general idea, but, in fact, nothing happened and we ended up leaving the band, the three of us at once, and never played together again.

In the beggining of 1995 I decided that I couldn’t stay without a regular job any longer, I was already 24 and nothing had happened in my musical life, and as the weeks went by, I got more desperate for not getting any job and that was affecting my faith on getting something serious and really big with music. I gave up, promising myself that music would be only a hobby and from then on I would get a regular job and would dedicate to it. I looked for so long that after several interviews and tests, in October, I got a job in a multinational company [see picture], and I was really happy, but there was still something missing and I knew exactly what it was.

In November 1997 I formed “Hangar” [see picture] [listen to song], and we started playing covers of heavy metal songs before making our own music. For being employed, we rehearsed every weekend around 8 or 10 hours a day, and as the band had an incredible direction, we were all into it and knew that investing that time was necessary. The carreer of the band in Porto Alegre was thundering and with less than one year of exhistence (really ironic) we were invited to open an Angra concert, band that, two years before, had motivated me to form Hangar. This opening show to Angra had some interesting points that I must highlight: - The band was quite amateur in the scenary and we started hearing through the walls that the promoter of the show was trying to contact us to do the opening, but had no contact at all. As the date of the show was getting close and nothing had been confirmed, I got my car and went to the promoter’s store and when I stopped on the first traffic light, I saw a car in front of mine with two stickers: “Hangar car wash” and “Angra cars”... After that I knew it was just a matter of time to share the stage with the biggest representer of the Brazilian Melodic Metal in the world! The concert happened and, until today, I remember each detail that preceeded our show... But I didn’t know what destine had reserved for me...This concert was definetely the highest point of the trajectory of Hangar so far and right after that, we started recording our first album called “Last Time”, which was released in may of 1999.

The CD was well received by the specialized critics and was followed by a national projection of the band. During the disclosure shows of the album “Last Time”, the first opportunities to play with other artists came. The very first, came from “Tritone” [see picture] [listen to song], instrumental project composed by Edu Ardanuy (Dr. Sin), Frank Solari (Solo) and Sérgio Buss (Solo/ Steve Vai), where I followed these trio of Guitar Heroes on the launching concerts of the new album “Just for Fun and Maybe Some Money”, which was recorded with electronic drums.

In October of the same year, Hangar played in São Paulo in the legendary Black Jack Rock Bar and it was right after this show that I received an invitation to record, with other Brazilians, an album with Paul Di’Anno (Iron Maiden) [see picture] [listen to song].

I started to realize that my dreams were coming true, as I would record a CD with the first lead singer of the band that had been my biggest influence since I had started playing. The CD “Nomad” was recorded in São Paulo, in the year 2000 and right after it, the band went on a tour around the country and I realized that many people already knew my work with Hangar. I remember that, on the first rehearsal of the tour, when Felipe started playing “Remember Tomorrow” (it was on that time that I met Felipe Andreoli, who, later on, would play with me in Angra), I couldn’t believe that was happening: me, rehearsing for my first tour around Brazil with Paul Di’Anno... Too many things happening after such a tough period and that made me believe that my job was starting to be recognized. A tour around the USA was scheduled to follow it and to play on the first and really desired tour outside Brazil really excited the entire band. At that time, I was already living in São Paulo because the company had transferred me, and my boss (the guy was really nice) had arranged for me to play on the entire tour. I was already believing that something really good was about to happen, specially because playing in Paul Di’Anno’s band was bringing an excellent publicity for Hangar.

It was in September 2000 that the first contacts with Angra started. I was in the Music Fair in São Paulo, and Edu Ardanuy (Dr. Sin/Tritone) introduced me to Kiko Loureiro, who talked to me for a while and realized that there was a certain affinity for us to work together. As the tour with Paul Di’Anno had been cancelled due to Visa problems, Kiko invited me for an audition. But I had a serious problem, my drums were in Porto Alegre because of some appointments with Hangar and there was no way to do an audition with any other drum set besides mine. Hangar had scheduled a concert in November again at Black Jack Rock Bar in São Paulo and I told Kiko that after the show I could play for him. They (Rafael and Kiko) told me they were already watching some other drummers and if they found an interesting one I’d lose the chance. At that time, I just said: “Watch as many auditions as you want, but don’t make the decision before watching me playing”. Later on, they told me that this confidence and security that I had passed to them were decisive for them to wait to watch me playing live. On the day of the concert, there they were and also me, really nervous because I knew that my audition would depend on my performance that night and, to make it even worse, the bar was kind of empty and this would make it easier for them to pay even more attention. Right after the show we had a short conversation as everyone in the bar had noticed their presence, and tried, then, to be as discrete as possible not to enable gossips around. My audition was to make new arrangements for a new song and the chosen one was “Running Alone”. I was still working for that Multinational Company and spent two days listening to the cd only with the guitars and the click, and wondering what could fit in that song. When I arrived for the rehearsal, I asked for a few minutes to try some things and then called both of them for the definite audition. On the first time we played the song, I noticed they’d liked it very much because I was worried about playing the song, and not showing everything I was able to do. After that we spent some more time playing for them to assimilate my arrangements. We spent a few more days arranging other songs and I received, informally, the invitation to be the new drummer of Angra, that band that had inspired me to form Hangar and made my will and wish to be a musician rebirth.

With the band Angra, I recorded the albums Rebirth (2001), Hunters and Prey (2002), Live in São Paulo (2003), Temple of Shadows (2004) and Aurora Consurgens (2006). In 2004, I still had time to release my first instructional DVD, Inside my Drums [see picture] after which I traveled all over Brazil during 2003 and 2004 doing over 100 drum clinics and workshops. In 2007 I have released my first instructional book called Inside my PsychoBook [see picture]. In the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, I was voted best heavy metal drummer by the main specialized Brazilian magazines and web sites. In Japan, in 2002, I came in 15th place according to Burrn! Magazine, in 2004 in 4th place and in 2005 in 9th (without having released an album that year) in 2006 in 6th, and in 2007 in 6th again in the overall ranking of the 30 best drummers of the world. Many of my idols took part of these elections [see voting]. Not bad for someone who only had dreamed of becoming a professional drummer... However, the year of 2006 reserved much more.

In January, Mapex confirmed my participation at the Drummer Live Festival [see picture], in London, and, in February, I did my first drum clinic outside Brazil. There were five presentations, in countries such as Colombia, Portugal and Spain [see picture]. In Bogota, Colombia, I did a workshop for almost 1200 people, my absolute audience record until today [see video]. In March I decided to really hit the road: I went on my first workshop tour in the Northeast of Brazil with all the backline that I normally use. There were seven dates in thirteen days, a total of 8.500km traveled, and I was on the road almost twenty hours per day to carry out the schedule. The following month, the excellent feed back provided by these workshops in South America helped to confirm four more dates in the continent, three of which in Chile and one in Peru. From May on, I started focusing on the recordings of Angra´s new album, Aurora Consurgens, which began the following month, in Germany. Before this, still in June, Angra did a concert at the Italian festival Gods of Metal with Guns'n'Roses, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Gamma Ray, Helloween, etc. I reached a great mark in July, with the release of the Aquiles Priester signature drum kit by Mapex [see picture]. This was the first time in the music history of Brazil that a local drummer had a signature kit released by a company with worldwide recognition. And while new drum clinics had been taking place in Brazil, the next month the local Mapex distributor broke all sales records in the country.

As the show must go on, while the other musicians of Angra were recording their tracks for the new album, the first album of the band called Freakeys [see picture] was released. Members of the band included me, Felipe Andreoli, Fábio Laguna and the guitar player of Hangar, Eduardo Martinez. This album brought a completely different musical concept to what I had already released with both Angra and Hangar. Speaking of Hangar, during this month I started recording the new album, The Reason of Your Conviction. At the Expomusic 2006, a Brazilian music fair, which happened in September, Freakeys played gigs for the first time and they were a huge success. At this fair we also did three gigs with Hangar, thus introducing the new singer, Nando Fernandes. During that same month Drummer Live, in London, took place and I finally had a life dream come true when I personally met and played with nobody less than Nicko McBrain [see picture]. In October the album Aurora Consurgens was released and Angra started a new worldwide tour, playing at the Loud Festival Park, in Japan, with bands such as Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax and Dio, among several others. Also in Japan we did a tour with Blind Guardian playing in seven cities. During this same tour, Mapex and Paiste confirmed my first workshops in Japan and China [see picture], in February of 2007. The following month, I did two drum clinics at Paiste`s booth, in the biggest music fair of the world, the Frankfurt Musik Messe, Germany [see picture].

After that I dedicated myself to recording and releasing The Reason of Your Conviction, Hangar’s new album [see picture] which was released at the end of 2007. As Angra had its paralyzed activities temporarily, 2008 was dedicated wholly to Hangar and to my personal projects. Various gigs with Hangar took place in different parts of the country and at the end of the year we re-released the band’s debut album, Last Time – Was Just The Beginning [see picture] in a remastered version plus DVD and bonus tracks.

At the beginning of 2009, Paiste – cymbal manufacturers and one of my most important musical partners – released PST5 Limited Edition Aquiles Priester, my limited signature series of cymbals in the Brazilian market [See picture 1] [See picture 2].

Still at the beginning of the year, it was announced that I had officially left Angra after six years, three studio albums, one EP and one live CD/DVD.

From then on I dedicated myself completely to Hangar and immediately began working on the album Infallible [See picture] which was composed while the band was isolated at a farm in the interior of São Paulo in Tatuí (considered the music capital of Brazil since it is home to one of the most important music schools of the country). That is where we did the pre-production and recording of guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals with the support of the mobile unit of Daufembach’s studio, under the command of sound engineer Adair Daufembach. As to the drums, these were recorded at The Magic Place in Florianópolis. After that I went to Celle, Germany, to mix and master the album at studio Area 51 along with sound technician and producer Tommy Newton. The album was released at the end of 2009 and was an immediate success with both the public and critics. Click here to watch the video clip of the track Dreaming of Black Waves.

Even before beginning the tour of the album Infallible, at the end of 2009 I recorded my new DVD, The Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming [See picture], where I emphasize my double bass technique and also present a series of exercises that were the base of my evolution on the drums. I hardly could imagine the recognition and acceptance this DVD would earn throughout the world. The tracks performed on the DVD are basically by Hangar and Freakeys. Now I finally had my passport for the world of international drumming.

Before putting the album Infallible on the road, one more great surprise was in store for me. I was invited by guitar player and composer Vinnie Moore to tour with his band [See picture 1] [See picture 2]. We played a total of nineteen gigs between February 4th to the 26th in Italy, Turkey, Belgium, England, Spain, Austria and Greece. Besides me and Vinnie, the band also counted with singer and keyboard player Mike DiMeo (Riot) and bass player Lars Lehman (Uli Jon Roth). Our chemistry on stage was immediate and during the whole trip we had a great time. It is worth remembering that in 1995, when I still was with the band Infra Blue, we played some of Vinnie’s songs and suddenly fifteen years later, there I was on the drums playing those songs again, but along with their creator, something unimaginable to me at the time. Click here and watch me playing the track The Maze.

The first time we played the track Cinema of the album Meltdown during a rehearsal in Rome, another film went through my head. It was unbelievable that this was really happening. Nothing like one day after the other!

In March 2010 we finally began The Infallible Tour 2010/2011 returning to the place we like best: the road, but with a great novelty not only for Hangar but also for the Brazilian heavy metal market. To allow us to take our whole structure to any part of the country, the band is traveling in a personalized bus that transports not only the musicians but also the crew and all the equipment necessary for an impeccable performance, as is the standard for Hangar. One more dream come true [See picture].

Besides all this, I also found time to complete and release my official biography “Aquiles Octopus Priester – From Fan to Idol” [See picture] at the Expomusic 2010. But many things can happen in one year and my DVD The Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming and my book on double bass techniques Inside My PsychoBook – 100 Double Bass Patterns [See picture] were released worldwide by North American publisher Mel Bay Publishing Inc. [See picture].

Right after the music fair I had the privilege of being one of the seven drummers chosen throughout the world to audition for the post of Dream Theater’s new drummer, to substitute the great Mike Portnoy. I was very proud and extremely happy to have taken part of the most important audition of world modern music (see picture).

As I was always driven to fulfill my dreams, on March 21st, 2011 I traveled to New Jersey, USA to fulfill the biggest dream a drummer can have: to take part of the Modern Drummer Festival 2011, considered the most important event of its kind in the world [See picture 1] [See picture 2]. To be the first Brazilian heavy metal drummer to take part of the event is a source of pride for me.

But the biggest and most important recognition of my career happened in July, 2011 when I was included in the most important ranking of world drumming, the Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2011. I entered the ranking as 5th best prog drummer of the world [See picture] and my DVD, the Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming, came 3rd as best instructional DVD of the world [See picture]. This is the first time a Brazilian drummer enters the ranking of Modern Drummer USA magazine, which is published for 35 years.

Another important accomplishment in 2011 was being chosen best heavy metal drummer in Brazil for the tenth year in a row, since 2001. I make a point of sharing this achievement with all of those who have voted and supported my work throughout the years [See picture 1] [See picture 2] [See picture 3].

Today I look back and see that my path to be where I am today was really tough but I always kept the perserverance on believing that the one who really dreams and deserves it, reaches it. I am a regular guy who had a dream and, eventhough it was a tough and painful journey, in the deep bottom, I always knew that this was my destine: Being a musician. Through all these years there were always many superstitions and other things that made me believe that was the way to be followed. Throughout all this, I always kept with me a Chinese proverb, which says: “Where there’s wish, there’s a way”.

If you have a wish, you can make your own way...

Aquiles Priester

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