Supersonido: hard rock and heavy metal with a Brazilian accent

Author Flavia Andrade - 4.1.2024

Founded in 2012 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, hard rockers Supersonido bring to the table great riffing and guitar solos, besides captivating lyrics in their native Portuguese. The band’s name means “super sound”, persevering in the great tradition of rock and roll, and has adopted a heavy sound, which is somewhere between hard rock and classic metal: their influences range from Motörhead and Black Sabbath to Deep Purple. They have been compared to classic Brazilian hard rock bands such as Casa das Máquinas and Made in Brazil.

In February 2016, Supersonido released their debut self-titled album, featuring their former vocalist and founding member Léo. They have had their music featured on radio shows all over Latin America, and have played traditional stages of the Rio scene, like Teatro Odisseia and Audio Rebel. The high quality and heaviness of their sound has also given Supersonido the opportunity of opening both for Matanza in 2016, and Matanza Inc. in 2020.

In May, 2019, the EP “Dia De Caos”, produced by Bacalhau of Planet Hemp fame, was released, to critical acclaim, and between 2022 and 2023, a trio of singles “Trevas”, “Mundo Hostil” and “Salve” were unleashed, all with current vocalist Daniel Marques, whose voice has brought a new heaviness to Supersonido’s music.

Chaoszine has had the opportunity to chat with guitarist and founding member Daniel Musiello of Supersonido about the band’s origins, their releases and lyrical themes, as well as the current rock and roll scene in Rio de Janeiro.

Hello, Daniel. Thank you for talking to Chaoszine. I’d like to start by asking you how Supersonido came into existence.

Daniel Musiello: Thank you. Supersonido started about 10 years ago. It is a dissidence of Himalaia, a previous band, which was in hiatus for a long time. Then, Léo, who was Himalaia’s vocalist, Alex, our guitarist, and myself decided to use up the rehearsal time slots we still had for Himalaia, and play something new, a completely different sound from the latter: Himalaia was a pop rock band, and Supersonido sounds a lot heavier. That’s how we started this band: two guitars and a vocalist, no drummer, but already writing songs. We even recorded a couple of songs with Alexandre Verzan, a well-known local drummer, but JJ, our drummer from Himalaia, ended up joining us. We got a bass player and formed the new band.

So, did the defining of Supersonido’s sound come from these first sessions at the studio, naturally, or did you guys make a conscious decision of “let’s make a heavier sound”?

Musiello: Alex comes from a more heavy metal school, so to speak, so when he came into the fold, we decided to create heavier music. When our current vocalist, Daniel Marques joined the band in 2019, I think the sound got even heavier, due to the nature of his voice. Our first album, thus, with our first vocalist Léo, had a more hard rock oriented sound. But later, things got heavier, especially now that we have a new drummer, Rodrigo Tartaro, who is also the drummer of thrash metal band Forkill. Now we’ve got total brutality!

How is your creative process, is it collaborative?

Musiello: The band writes together. Our biggest hit, “Você sabe que meu sou?”, a song that tells the history of rock & roll, was literally written by all five who were in the band at the time: each one gave a word for some of the verses. The more recent songs were mostly written in the studio. We also had a project, which was going to feature songs in English, outside of Supersonido. But we decided to rewrite the songs in Portuguese, and make them into Supersonido songs. A song like “Mundo Hostil” was originally called “Hospice”, so, these are not literal translations, rather, we rewrote these songs to keep the sound as close as possible to the original English language versions, thus keeping the music. So, Daniel and I always write the lyrics, Alex comes up with a riff, and so on, so that there is no ego stuff here. The whole band is writing and contributing to the end result of what you hear. There are no fights about: “Your song made it to the album, mine didn’t”, and things like that. The creative process also goes in different ways for some of us. I write a lot in first person, and our vocalist Daniel has the ability to write about random themes, unlike me. But we still manage to fit all this together in the lyrics.

Your debut self-titled album has a very interesting cover artwork, with a car. Were you inspired by ZZ Top’s “Eliminator”?

Musiello: More or less. It was more like a mix of “Mad Max” meets Judas Priest. The artwork for the album was created by Flávio Flock, the whole concept. The cover is a car and the inside features a motorcycle.

The lyrics on that album are all great, there is a Rio de Janeiro feel to them, a more fun and laid back kind of attitude, “let’s go to the bar and drink a few beers”, kind of thing. There are also some songs that are darker. Where do you guys get your inspiration?

Musiello: These songs about having fun and drinking, all came from Léo, but songs like “Involução” with a heavier thematic, were inspired by the refugee situation in Syria, and “Tanto Faz” was inspired by how the use of drugs can affect you. People have compared some of those fun themes we write about with Matanza, but there is also that introspective side to us. Also, the romantic track of the album, “Não Importa”, was inspired by The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and it is our most played song on Spotify; there is even a guy who tattooed some of its lyrics!

Recently, you have released a trio of singles. Are they lyrically connected?

Musiello: Yes, and the cover art for the singles tell that story. It starts with “Trevas”, the darkness, and the cover art shows a little girl, holding a toy, and there is an evil figure in the background. Then, “Mundo Hostil” features this girl, now as a teenager, she is still holding the toy, and starting to free herself from the darkness; and she stands amid a war between light and dark, good and evil. In “Salve” she is all grown up, letting go of her toy, and is down on her knees, and it’s like her redemption, there are enlightened beings all around her, as darkness and evil are defeated. And this is all leading up to our upcoming album, which is in its final stages of production. It will be out by February 2024. This new album was mostly written during the pandemic, and its sound is heavier, as the themes are also darker.

Your first album and EP were both produced by Bacalhau, famous for Planet Hemp. What about the new material?

Musiello: The band produced it. I am now the manager of Estúdio Túnel, and this has become the headquarters of Supersonido. So, we produced it, with Marco Esteves handling mixing and mastering duties.

And how do you perceive the rock and metal scene in Rio de Janeiro nowadays?

Musiello: Honestly, I am really happy. We now have a collective in Rio de Janeiro, called RIO+ROCK, and I see the bands truly united in this common cause, which is to bring original music to the forefront. This time there is no unfruitful arguing about genres and subgenres, and people are supporting one another. And the quality of the bands involved is also of note: we are surfing a wave of bands with great quality. And this is a little bit the kind of thing that happened in Seattle at the time of the birth of the grunge movement: a lot of great bands together in place and time. So, if we can pierce through this bubble that kind of separates rock and roll from the mainstream of music here in Rio, there are so many incredible bands that truly are capable of reaching a greater audience. So, I see the scene here with a lot of optimism.

Thank you so much for speaking to Chaoszine.

Musiello: Thank you. Every door that opens to an independent band like us is truly appreciated.

You can check out Supersonido on the web:

Supersonido’s YouTube channel