Interview date

19 Octobre 2012


Blaster of Muppets


Interview Heleno Vale (by mailer)

Hi Heleno, thanks for answering these questions for the French webzine Aux Portes Du Metal. It’s pretty unusual to have such a project with a drummer as the main composer. You seem to love singers… Would you say you’re a frustrated singer?

Yes. Definitely (lol).

Do you get help from other musicians from your band when you write or do you compose everything on your own?

I compose everything but all the musicians and mainly the producer Tito Falaschi make everything sound good. They are free to change what they want.

Each of your albums tells a story. What’s the story behind “Hollow’s Gathering” and is it a sequel to “The Labyrinth of Truths”?

Yes. All Soulspell albums are based on the same story I wrote some years ago. You can find the complete story at our website. Soulspell's stories are one of our strengths I think. It can make you understand each note I wrote and each interpretation the musicians did. "Hollow’s Gathering" tells the part of the story after Tobit (the main character of "A Legacy of Honor") unconsciously invades the Labyrinth of Truths in another dimension. Hollow, the dragon, guardian of the Labyrinth, notices a strange aura and arranges a meeting, gathering all the main leaders of all dimensions to know what is going on. Hollow will certainly destroy all dimensions and all those who are involved in this. No one defies Hollow, not even Samael – the prince of devils – or Padyal, the worshipful master (on Earth). Things will be tough for everyone. But, parallel with this meeting, Timo, Tobit’s son (the main character of "Labyrinth of Truths") looks for clues to find what happened to his father. He discovers his mother's diary and read a lot of new information about his father, which lead him to search for the Holy Dead Tree (Tim Ripper Owens) guarded by Banneth the dark rider (Blaze Bayley). His mother Judith (Daisa Munhoz) dies during this journey and tries to help him from the other world, dealing with Charon (Mike Vescera), negotiating to guide her son from there. It is an interesting story that will certainly thrill who reads it.

Once again, you’ve gathered some prestigious guests on your new record (Michael Vescera, Amanda Sommerville, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Blaze Bailey). Did you actually get to meet some of them or did you just work sending files to each other?

Yes. I met some of them. They are very nice guys and very talented artists. I’m very glad we could become friends.

Are there any singers you wanted on your album but who weren’t available or simply refused to participate?

Yes. We are negotiating again for the next album. I won’t tell you now. Let’s keep the surprise.

What music, pictures or films inspire you to write music for Soulspell?

Many, many soundtracks inspired me a lot since the first album. I watch several movies per month. Especially, every Walt Disney soundtracks inspire me a lot. A few other examples: the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack, Batman, Pulp Fiction etc. Every single sound inspires me.

Have you already got some musicians in mind for your next adventure? Who would you love to work with?

Yes, I have my idols I would love to have onboard but I didn’t decide who to invite yet: Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Geddy Lee, King Diamond, Andi Deris, Timo Kotipelto, Glenn Hugues, Tobias Sammet, Paul Stanley, Kai Hansen, Joacim Cans, André Matos, Bob Catley, Roy Khan, Phil Anselmo, James Hetfield, David Coverdale, Mike Patton, Sammy Hagar, Floor Jansen, Andria Busic, Hansi Kursch, Tony Kakko, Ralf Scheepers, Jorn Lande, Michael Kiske, Oliver Hartmann, Sergio Herval (Roupa Nova), Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears), Max Cavalera, Dave Mustaine, Russell Allen, Fabio Lione and many many others. It would be a good list, don’t you think?

Do you know if you will have the opportunity to go on tour to promote this new album? And if you could, do you know what the show would look like? Would you have some special guests?

I don’t know yet. I hope so. I can assure you I will tour only if I can have a big show, with great participations.

Have you already done some gigs in Brazil or somewhere else? If you have, how was it?

Yes, we have tried a lot. We travelled almost every state of Brazil and it was really cool most of the time. But, we intend to tour abroad now and maybe do some more concerts in Brazil with very special guests.

Back to the new album, now. Which are your favourite tracks and why?

It is hard to say. Maybe I could point “Hollow’s Gathering” as one of the best songs I wrote so far, with beautiful melodies, powerful voices, a different and beautiful intro part, a special, very different and hard to write ending part (there are lots of things and ideas going on and everything explodes in just one single point, it chills me). Also, the beginning and the ending part of “To Crawl or to Fly” chill me, when Princess Judith realizes all the choices we make are based on false knowledge. The last song – “Whispers inside You” (from the mid part to the ending) chills me, when Princess Judith is trying to find some energy, writing in her new diary, to keep fighting in the underworld “recall your purpose of life, let your flame burning inside - reborn from all this rot, we’re not the same, not anymore”. “The Dead Tree” lyrics are the best one I wrote so far. Finally it is a good and emotional album.

Why is the guitar solo on “A Rescue into the Storm” so weird? It sounds out of tune… Of course, it’s done on purpose so does it illustrate something from the story?

Yes. Of course. It illustrates Princess Judith’s feeling when she dies. It was the closest I could get to musically describe her moment of death.

It’s actually nice to have a Metal Opera where female singers have as much space as the male singers. Is that something you really care about or just a coincidence?

It was made on purpose. I want the world of Heavy Metal to know Daisa Munhoz. She is a great singer, maybe the best Heavy Metal female singer of all times. Amanda Somerville is pure talent too. Ligia Ishitani is a new one for the Heavy Metal world, but she is completely different from Daisa and Amanda. Manu Saggioro is a great guitar player and a great singer. She is already used to work with Daisa. They have a band and they are very impressive singing together.

People tend to compare your work to Avantasia as your band and Tobias’ both produce Metal Operas. Do you think it’s justified or are you a bit annoyed by the comparison?

Both. I think Tobias Sammet and Avantasia were part of my inspiration to start this work, of course. Tobias Sammet is an idol of mine and I like Avantasia songs very much. But, musically speaking, I think Soulspell and Avantasia are very different. I think Soulspell have a good, complete, and different story. Soulspell dares to create different things in its songs, because there are Thrash Metal and Pop Rock influences. Soulspell cares about the visual concept, characters description etc. I have completely different musical influences. I don’t get annoyed, but I feel sad when people don’t get these differences and listen to just one or two songs and feel free to criticize publically without knowing our real intentions, our real capabilities and without knowing our work a little more deeply.

What are the recent albums that really impressed you?

The more recent album I remember that impressed me a lot was the last Ayreon album called “01011001”. It is really a fantastic album. Another one that I liked very much was Blind Guardian's “At the Edge of Time”.

What are your favourite bands these days?

As I said before, I like many styles. There are some albums I never remove from my playlist, like: Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss, Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time, Sonata Arctica – Silence, Tears for Fears – Raoul and the Kings of Spain, Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side etc. But now I’m listening to some new albums like Alanis Morissette's new album “Havoc and Bright Lights” (which is very good), Andre Matos' new album “The Turn of the Lights”, which is another excellent album. Primal Fear, Testament, Sonata Arctica, Megadeth etc.

If you had to convince people to listen to Soulspell, what arguments would you use?

Soulspell is different. Soulspell is based on a unique, original and beautiful story. Actually, Soulspell is more like a Heavy Metal TV series. Soulspell intends to change the term metal opera to its own world. Also, for the first time we have the best Brazillian musicians put together and the best Heavy Metal artists of the world supporting us. Like I said, Soulspell has a good and different story, based on real facts. Soulspell is very connected to its story. It is more like a “soundtrack” project. You can read our story listening to the albums and use your imagination to be immersed in another world, like reading a good book or watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy all at once. Besides that, Soulspell is a young project which has huge plans. We are not just a trilogy. We intend to release more and more albums and become known abroad. We intend to make international tours with our main special guests. We also intend to improve our list of special guests for the next albums and become a reference as a metal opera.

Do you have a last word for your French fans?

I want to thank all Soulspell French fans for their support. France will be the first country we should schedule a concert when we start an international tour. I like French history very much and it would be a great pleasure to know your country. Thanks a lot.

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