The rock and metal scene in Rio de Janeiro has birthed quite a few good heavy metal bands. One of the best local representatives of the genre is Innocence Lost, a prog metal band formed in 2007. They released their latest single “Iris” during these difficult times, a track with a strong message of resilience. Mari Torres (vocals), Aloysio Ventura (keyboards, backing vocals), Heron Matias (drums), Gui DeLucchi (guitar) and Ricardo Haquim (bass) bring to life a very compelling sound filled with virtuoso solos and powerful vocals.
As the band gets ready to record their first full-length studio album, Chaoszine had the chance to catch up with them. Check out the interview below.
Hello and thank you for talking to Chaoszine. How are you guys doing during this pandemic?
Torres: Hello! We are fine, as much as possible, taking care of ourselves and following the restrictions. We hope you guys are well, too.
Great! Can you briefly tell us about the beginning of your band? You guys first started in 2007 and released your first EP “Human Reason” in 2012. How did your sound develop over those formative years?
Ventura: We tried a lot of different things over time and got to know each other and ourselves musically. During that time we wrote some songs like “Innocence Silence”, which got into the EP but others were left out. We have played in many events with a repertoire mixing covers and original songs, and that helped us evolve as a live band.
How does your creative process take place? Does every band member contribute to the songs? And how do the lyrics come to life?
Torres: Our creative process has changed a lot since the beginning. We had a change in our line-up, then the pandemic happened, so lots of changes… At first, the songs sprang out from jams during rehearsals, or one of us would bring a song ready, or even a little section of a song, and we all worked on it from there. Nowadays we’ve got Haquim, our current bass player, who is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, and also Gui DeLucchi, our current guitar player, who is a great songwriter: they both brought us many great ready ideas and we are working on perfecting them, labouring on the context and choosing whatever fits us best as a band. Aloysio also writes a lot of the music; our last release, the single “Iris”, is one of his. Before our lyrics came from all of us, but for our next album we are working on a concept that Gui brought to us, so the lyrics are being written between him and Aloysio with vocal melodies usually written by me. Before I worked on those with Aloysio, and nowadays it’s more work between Haquim and myself.
Mari Torres’ potent vocals are really impressive. Tell us a little bit about your influences as a heavy metal singer.
Torres: Haha! Some singers that have always been inspiring are Tarja Turunen, Floor Jansen and Russel Allen. I’ve listened to every style of metal for inspiration. Nightwish, Helloween, Symphony X and Dio have always been on my trending topics…
You have recently released two singles, “Wake up” in late 2020, and “Iris” now in 2021. The latter has a very well-produced music video. Tell us a little bit about the task of recording music and video with all the restrictions of the pandemic.
Torres: Yes, it’s been complicated! We followed all the protocols, because it was a project that was ready to be made and had been postponed for months. So, when things got more moderate regarding the pandemic, we recorded everything but always observing all the protocols.
What inspires you as artist besides your musical influences?
Torres: Doing things outside of the music business inspires me a lot, but, for the moment, we have to stay put. So, reading is something that has inspired me a lot lately.
You also started working on new material for your first full-length studio album. How is that going? Any perspectives on the release date?
Torres: Yes, we have! Our original expectation was to start recording it by the end of this year, but because the pandemic lasted longer than anyone anticipated we could not rehearse and keep to our schedule. And recording without rehearsing… there’s just no way! So, we are moving forward with the writing process, using online means to do so, and we believe we will start recording in the studio in the second half of next year, as soon as the situation improves, and everyone is vaccinated.
You have performed as an opening band for Kamelot and Lacuna Coil in their Brazilian tours in 2016 and 2017. What has been the audience’s reception to your music over the years?
Torres: Yes, we did and it was wonderful! The audience’s reception was really impressive to all of us in all those concerts. We are excited to do more when all goes back to normal around here!
A tribute album of Led Zeppelin covers, “Stairway to Brazil”, is about to be released. It features Brazilian bands fronted by female singers. You recorded “Whole Lotta Love”, one of the band’s great classics. How was that experience?
Torres: It was an honour to be part of this project with so many Brazilian bands. It was really great to receive this invitation and we can’t wait to show the audience our version to see what everyone’s reaction will be!
How is the rock and metal club scene now in Rio de Janeiro? I know that you have been orphaned by clubs lately, and the pandemic didn’t make it any better…
Torres: Exactly. The situation here in Rio is dire… every day it gets worse in terms of clubs… we have many great bands around here, but we lack space to perform, and now, with the pandemic, many clubs have closed. In spite of that, as soon as everything gets back to normal, we hope things change for the best.
What can be done, especially in terms of governmental incentives, to assist the arts and culture recover from the blow suffered during the pandemic?
DeLucchi: I think that the incentives should be directed mainly in what concerns access to instruments and equipment since most of what we use is imported.
Matias: Financial aide to cultural initiatives and independent artists is where I see the greatest need, since the chaos the pandemic brought hurt the independent artists a lot as well as event promoters.
What other Brazilian bands do you listen to? Any suggestions for our readers?
Innocence Lost: We listen to Sepultura, Angra, Shaman, Hangar, Hibria, Dr. Sin, Krisiun and our friends here from Rio de Janeiro, like Forceps, Darktower, Lacerated And Carbonized, Unnature and Reckoning Hour.
Thank you again for taking the time for this interview.
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