Tempus Fugit (April 2010)
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Topic: Tempus Fugit (April 2010)
Posted: April 25 2010 at 12:14
Tempus Fugit is one of the better new symphonic prog bands from Brazil. Their style is somewhere between the RPI scene and the old greats like Yes and Genesis. I have found a lot of pleasure in their albums. I contacted the band through their label and got their views.
Both Andre (AM) and Ary answered my questions.
Rock Progressivo Brasil (www.rockprogressivo.com.br) kindly translated their answers from their mother tongue to English before their answers were sent to me.
What is Tempus Fugit up to these days ?
AM: We are a prog rock band trying to find our place under the sun. Even all band members' works only with music, Tempus Fugit is not our main activity obviously. Henrique (guitar) works as musician on (Brazilian) Air Force band; André Ribeiro (bass) is a teacher and works with arrangements, as I do (I am a piano teacher).
ARY: I am teaching Drums in 3 different music schools and also teach private music lessons and have 2 other musical projects also in order to pay the bills. Unfortunately, musicians in Brazil are much underrated. Brazilian audience in general likes what the media plays in the FM radios, in other words, any kind of music less Rock.
In the last years, the Prog market in Rio de Janeiro has being under a revival and we are taking up again our activities with love and pride, because somehow this will to play always motivated us albeit the lack of space for prog rock shows in Brazil. We are always pursuing the new, new compositions, new language, and originality and mainly keeping our identity. With our 3rd CD, we have to watch our name and exchange positive energy with our fans and audience that admires us in general.
First of all, a big thank you for the good coffee you growing and exporting to us freezing human beings here in the northern hemisphere. How is life in Brazil these days?
AM: In my opinion, we are better now. Brazil was improving a lot in several areas and life is better mainly for the poorest people. Life is good in Brazil. We don't have racial or politic conflicts, etc...Brazil is a continental country and rich in natural resources, and every day we are learning to take care of it.
Please tell us more about your background and the start up of your band. Is it correct to say that Tempus Fugit is named after the Yes song of the same name ?
AM- Correct, it came from the album DRAMA, which I like a lot, even without Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
Ary: All begins when André Mello (keyboards) and Márcio de Almeida (drums), members of Visagem de Pandora, started a new project and invited two old friends: Bernard (bass) and Henrique Simões (acoustic and electric guitar) to become part of the band. The name Tempus Fugit was inspired in the title of one song from Yes band, which André Mello was always a fan. Weeks later, Bernard left the band to pursue his career as a Designer. Henrique asked his cousin Ronaldo Simões for the bass. This first line up of Tempus Fugit recorded two songs that later become part of our first CD. Thereafter, when Marci left the band, we needed a new drummer. In that period, the band played some gigs with César Lanzarini as Narrator. Ary Moura, always meeting André Mello in several Prog rock events in Rio de Janeiro, joined the band in the beginning of 1996 and in the same year, Bernard came back. This new line up recorded a demo and we started to spread out our work mainly in Brazil and looking for a contract in a big progressive music record company.
How and with whom did you get your first record contract ?
AM- We recorded a demo one year before the release of our first CD. We did a show in order to spread it out and we caught the attention of 3 business friends that loved prog rock. One of then was the owner of a record store called PC Mellody. They financed our first record and this originated PC Mellody Records, which existed no more than a year. Even with this, the CD was very well distributed worldwide getting chart positions in Japan and Europe and that helped Tempus Fugit to be very well known overseas.
Please tell us more about your debut album Tales from a Forgotten World from 1997. The recording, lyrics, the musicians, the artwork, the tracks.........
AM – - Tales…, released in 1997 was the beginning! Everything was new! We had a biggggg (sic) help from Alex Frias (sound engineer) in this CD. He cut the excesses and helped a lot giving suggestions and ideas that were primordial for the final result. We had no studio experience in that era. The compositions were brand new (The Lord…, Song for Distant Land,) but also very old such as Goblin’s Trail and War God some of our first compositions.
The first print of “Tales
From ...” (1,000 copies) were sold
out in 3 months, and was top of the chart on Garden
Shed – the reference for
progressive music in Japan. The good distribution of the CD "made
us big" worldwide. The artwork from Bernard (designer and bass
player) was a big landmark. After he did this artwork, he made
several other for several bands in this style (prog and metal-prog).
In 2007, a remaster extended edition with two bonus tracks (the ones
with Márcio and Ronaldo in the band) was released in order to
celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Tales...
Please tell us more about your second album The Dawn After The Storm from 1999. The recording, lyrics, the musicians, the artwork, the tracks...
AM - In this one we already knew better what we want. The compositions were well defined in terms of arrangements. We were better as musicians and the songs pushed the envelope from the previous album. New songs such as “Daydream”, “Discover”, “Never” and “Tocando Você” were mixed with songs from 1993 and 1994 such as ”O Dom De Voar”, “The Fortress” and “The Dawn After The Storm”. I like this album a lot. On The Dawn...I had already bought my Minimoog, a dream come true! Alex Frias again worked as sound engineer and a new bassist (André Ribeiro) enriched much more our sound. André Ribeiro was our support musician in our shows and he recorded hi parts in the middle of the CD recording because Bernard had left the band due to divergence music ideas, which was too bad as he contributes a lot always in the band. Bernard was very creative and fan of German band ELOY. As Bernard left the band, we had to do the artwork with another designer. So I choose a different perspective from the first CD, I mean nothing fantastic...Just a good image and a cleaner and direct visual. The booklet is simple and we focused on the music. There were only 3 songs with lyrics, one of them being mine (Never) and the others from my brother Alexandre Mello. Curious point here: He wrote the lyrics first and then he gave it to me and I do the composition, based on his lyrics, what is much more difficult then the usual.
There was a long break after those two albums where you were still playing festivals and gigs, but no new studio album was released before 2008, nine years later. What happened ?
AM - Before the release of our 2nd studio CD, in 1998 was released by Rock Symphony The Official Bootleg - Feb 98, a CD that register our last show with the first line up of the band. Still in 1998, André Mello invited André Ribeiro (bass; acoustic guitar) to join the band as support musician. In this CD, he played acoustic guitar and mandolin. Particularly I didn't like this CD and I'll live very well without it. Regarding time... Well, after the show on PROGFEST 2000 we started working in the arrangements of the 3rd CD. We started recording it in March 2001. Also in 2000, I released my (until now only one) solo CD called BLUE DESERT.
ARY - We had a lot of bumps on the way such as the almost loss of part of the drum recordings in 2001.
AM - Yes... In this time a lot of comes and goes from band members (Ary for example left the band and returned in 2008), problems with the record company, delays and problems in the studio, etc...It is a long story. For example, José Roberto Crivanno after replacing Henrique on Progfest2000 was officially a member as a second guitarist. But this didn't work well and he left the band right before we started recording in 2001. That's why Crivanno and bassist Pedro Perez (he substituted André Ribeiro on PROGFEST) played as guest musicians on THE PRINCESS from our 3rd CD Chessboard.
Please tell us more about your third album called Chessboard from 2008. The recording, lyrics, the musicians, the artwork, the tracks.........
Ary – Chessboard has being a special surprise for all of us, the anticipation for Chessboard was higher than we expected, the first pressing was sold out quickly. It has being extremely satisfactory so I came back to be part of the band again, and to learn that great part of our fans want us to be playing again!
AM – As I said, we had several problems during the recordings. Sometimes it seems that we could not make it. But we insisted and with perseverance we did it. And technically we did our best work. I think time played on our side because we could fix and repair what (with the time) does not sounded good to us. We changed lyrics, solos, timbers already recorded... Vocals had bigger attention too, as 4 of 5 musics from the album have lyrics. We had meaning participations on this album. Mirna Bertling, José Roberto Crivanno, Pedro Perez and Fernando Sierpe added a lot to our sound. These special appearances were a good choice, as you can notice the solo from “The Princess: Parte 2” by José Roberto Crivanno (how beautiful it is!). It was a team work that we are very proud of. Particularly, Chessboard reflects a very troubled relationship. My brother Alexandre Mello is the main lyricist of Tempus Fugit. My lyric on this CD “Only to Be with You” talks about a search for God. Curiously, years ago, an Italian review of one of our CDs already mentioned this romantic aspect that we have. I believe that it appears more in the melodies I compose. It is also something that who is a fan of Chopin and Tchaikovsky.
Bernard's come back on the artwork was a big gift for us. The booklet, cover and art in general was exactly what we are imagined. Sound and image blended and created an identity. Anderson Costa, our sound technician also contributed a lot giving the band a clear and embodied sonority. He was our Eddie Offord! About the musics: Some of then are dated from 1996 and others from 1998 and 2000. Some parts of Chessboard parte 1, for example, I purged from an old K7 where I recorded my ideas with a Roland JX1, Korg Polysix and an Arp Pro Soloist, circa 1993. I always wanted to do a suite in the same format of the 1970s. I had a hard time composing the almost 20 min of Chessboard but in the end it was very satisfying . As a composer, for me it was a landmark. But nothing of this would be possible without the talent of Ary, Henrique and André Ribeiro in the arrangements.
The compositions were brought to our rehearsing in a very well structure already. But, what I most like is that the other members give their opinions and add their personal touch in the composition. Maybe this combination is our secret.
There is also the matter of a live album called Live - Official Bootleg Feb'98 from 1999. Please tell us more about this album.
AM – As I said before: If it depends on me, this CD would never be released. It has its value as a register only. The CD was recorded without our knowledge that it was being recorded. In terms of sound, for example, there's no mixing or a channel separation. It was based on recording from a MD direct to CD. The artwork is terrible and without our band logo. It is a shame.
ARY - This CD was more an "introduction" then a release because we don't want a Live CD with that quality, considered by us extremely below our expectations from the actual technological standards. We knew that we could do much better, but because of the insistence of some of our fans we gave away and we released it it is worth only as a register of our first line up.
I regard Tempus Fugit as a classic Symphonic Prog band with one leg in the British tradition (Yes, Genesis and ELP) and the other leg in the South American tradition with bands like Crucis and others. How would you describe your music ?
ARY - It is good being cited by the fans, we are very thankful by their care I am very proud to have these big 1970s bands as a reference. We try to mix it, in a very balanced way, with some passages with great harmony and melody. I am a big fan of Rush and I have Neal as main reference, among other heroes such as: Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland, Bill Bruford, Alan White, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd and Terry Bozzio.
AM- I agree with Yes and Genesis...And I add Supertramp, Camel and IQ (pos 1993) and also German bands like Eloy and Anyone´s Daughter. But I don't think that we look like with those mentioned bands. Everything is mixed because each musician of TF has its distinctive influences and the sum of these make us what we are. From the South American (the non-Brazilian ones) I personally didn't known a lot, but I like Pablo el Enterrador and Nexus. From the Brazilian ones: O Terço, 14bis, Dogma and Quaterna Réquiem, just to mention some. Tempus Fugit is the sum of all that we heard.
What is your experiences with the music industry ?
AM - We worked with small record companies and in a small niche that is progressive rock here in Brazil. But our relation with Masque Records is the best possible. We signed a great contract for the release of our album Chessboard, and we expect working with them in the future.
ARY - We learned a lot during these years and automatically this process of maturing walk with us side by side. We are on the road for a long time and we want to try always more and more, we want to push much more from our talent so we have a lot of things to experience as musicians. A lot of promises were made in vain, and nowadays before we sign any contract, no matter the subject related with the band, we will do always with principles and lots of caution. Our goal is always improve, if we can reach right next to perfection, I can consider myself realized.
How is the prog scene in Brazil today and is there any local bands you would recommend to us ?
ARY - In special, in 2010: Quaterna Réquiem A Banda do Sol and Alpha III Project have being playing in several parts of the country. We are working on some dates after the Soccer Word Cup (July 2010). Before this, it is totally impossible because we will start preparing our material and if God allows us, some new stuff too.
AM – In a very popular social network in Brazil (ORKUT), I discovered a group of Brazilian active progressive bands. For now we are among 60 and 70 confirmed bands. The Brazilian prog scene survives in a small niche of the market, very marginal of the great audience. Very few bands are successful on surpassing this niche. More well known bands like O TERÇO and DOGMA came back a few years ago. From the newest ones, in my opinion, APOCALYPSE has been reaching a bigger audience as they choose a style more close of METAL-PROG bands. I also recommend SLEEPWALKER SUN, another band that has a more modern approach also.
How do you see the future of Tempus Fugit as a band/project? What is your plans?
ARY - What keep us playing today are our fans i Brazil and worldwide, without them we would probably gave up already. We love the sound we create and we will continue playing. We are very united as a band and our idea is always improve, exploring what each one has to offer inside our compositions. We will not retire so early.
AM - What I'd like to do was to release a DVD and immortalize on high definition images of our musics from our 3 CDs. But, what I have a lot of unreleased songs because I am always composing. And my brother sometimes sends me new lyrics by e-mail, so I have a row of eight compositions to be arranged by the whole band besides small music pieces that somehow fit together on these compositions. The world is changing faster and I don't know even the final format (CD, MP3, LP), but we want to released more albums.
What is your five all-time favorite albums?
AM – YES – Going for The One, SUPERTRAMP – Paris, GENESIS Wind and Wuthering – ELOY – Planets; Time to Turn – MARILLION -Misplaced Childhood
ARY –Rush -Farewell to Kings and Signals, Yes - Close to the Edge, Eddie Jobson - Zinc (Green Album), Eloy - Planets
Anything you want to add to this interview?
ARY - We want to thank ProgArchives for the respect and recognition. Our goal is to improve and if possible we always want to release a new work, but it doesn't depends only on us but also from our recognition in Brazil and worldwide. The next step for the band is to record a live DVD.
AM – We play progressive rock because we love music, the good music. We are very thankful to our fans worldwide and the people from PROGARCHIVES. You guys made an exceptional work regarding spread out progressive rock worldwide. Our goal is to continue on the road, releasing more albums and trying to give our best, as musicians and mainly as individuals. I am happy to see other bands such as Apocalypse, Quaterna Réquiem, Index, Tarkus, Sleepwalker Sun, Spin XXI, Aether, etc fighting for a place in the progressive rock market. They are examples to us. To Cesar Lanzarini: for his eternal friendship and dedication. To Masque Records that believed in our work. And GOD by inspiration and for the gift He gave me.
A big thank you to Ary and Andre from Tempus Fugit. Their three albums should please anyone into symphonic prog.
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RPI and New Suggestions Teams
Joined: December 11 2009
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|Posted: April 26 2010 at 02:41|
One of my favourites among the many fine Brazilian bands. Nice to see the guys paying respect to PA for spreading the word. They also mention a few bands I'm not familiar with, but will now check out. Cheers, Torodd!
Forum Senior Member
Joined: March 04 2008
Location: Retirement Home
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|Posted: April 26 2010 at 02:52|
Every time I go past your living room window on my bike, I notice the bands you like and I then interview them. Easy !
RPI and New Suggestions Teams
Joined: December 11 2009
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|Posted: April 26 2010 at 02:56|
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