Interview with Heleno Vale - Soulspell, October 2010
A dedicated and ambitious soul he must be, Heleno Vale from Brazil. The drummer embarked on a journey towards a symphonic metal fan's wet dream: The Soulspell release 'The Labyrinth of Truths' has a long list of brilliant artists on the guest list and is, said in all plainness, a fantastic album.
The Power of Metal.dk needs to find out more about the South American driver behind the project. Thomas sends a bunch of questions across the wide sea.
Hi Heleno and congrats on the release of "The Labyrinth of Truths"! How has the album been received by the press?
Heleno: Hello. Thank you very much for your kind words about Soulspell. The press is receiving our second album very well. Until this moment 'The Labyrinth of Truths'" had only excellent reviews far better than the reviews of our first album 'A Legacy of Honor'" (but do listen to it, because it's very good, too). I think it proves that Soulspell is growing to become a worldwide respected project and a great band.
When I received the promo material, my immediate thought was 'what kind of a nutcase could come up with this idea and actually pull it off?!' What drove you to do all this?
Heleno: I really believe in this project, because it is forged on integrity. Also, I hope many talented persons from Brazil can rise together with the project to the world. I think everything we do with our heart, from the beginning, becomes our life ideal and no one can stop this dream or tell you that it is crazy. You are a crazy person if you waste your life in things you don't believe. You have just one life. Enjoy it. Life waits for the ones who love to live.
Was it difficult to establish to contact with all of these musicians? It's an impressive list!
Heleno: Thank you. I like to talk about music (actually, I just talk about music in my conversations! lol) and I like to talk to musicians because they are the ones who understand me (or at least they pretend to do so lol). So one person had the contact details to another and then I got the contact details of the next one. It's my life and it's not so difficult and my list of idols is very long. But, I think I had to become a more flexible person to deal with so many different people and I had to make my days last 48h each (actually I am thinking of a way to make them last 72h each lol).
Did you meet any of the musicians from outside Brazil, or has all communication been taken care of electronically?
Heleno: I will keep the secret. Ok?
Do you think you will do something similar to this? I read the other day that David Burne from Talking Heads has suggested that Wagner's Rings opera should be turned into a heavy metal opera - perhaps you could be the right person to orchestrate that?
Heleno: Humm, really? Do you think I am the right person to do it? Thank you. Who knows (lol). I love the opera of Wagner and it would be my pleasure to start a project so ambitious like that. But before that I will certainly release Soulspell act 3, which is almost finished.
Do you intend to try to drag this circus onto the road somehow? Could be an interesting tour!
Heleno: Yes, of course. Unlike other projects like Soulspell, the main purpose of Soulspell is to hit the road and show our talents to the world. We have already taken the first step. We scheduled our first South American Tour 'The Labyrinth Tour 2010' - for October, November and December 2010. I hope we can do some concerts in Europe, Japan and USA soon. We have rehearsed a great band with so many talented musicians (I think they are the best ones from Brazil) that I am sure we will reach the stars together.
Let's turn to your background for a while: Where did you grow up and how did you become a musician?
Heleno: I grew up in Lenšˇis Paulista, a beautiful city of Brazil. Here, Rock and Roll music is everywhere, so it was not so difficult to become a Rock musician (actually I think everyone in Lenšˇis Paulista is born a Rock musician).
Who was your main inspiration when you started playing music?
Heleno: Finally an easy one (lol). Some of my inspiration comes from the Choirs, Opera and Orchestra that my father used to listen. Iron Maiden (that my friends forcedŁ me to listen, when I was fifteen lol) - Blind Guardian, Tears for Fears (the first album I bought), Helloween, Metallica, Dark Avenger and many others.
For me, Brazil is mainly Sepultura, Angra, Ratos de Porao and now Soulspell. Which Brazilian bands would you suggest metal fans from outside Brazil to check out right now?
Heleno: I like very much the first album of Dark Avenger (it is Heavy Metal!). Menahem is doing a great job on Prog-Metal (Angels and Shadows album). Tierramystica is rising with a different and great job. Aquaria released 2 super albums (Luxaeterna is fantastic). Almah is very good (Edu Falaschi). Caravellus have recently released their first album and it sounds really different from everything. Imago Mortis (the music Me and God is one of the best Brazilian Heavy Metal songs, in my opinion. It sounds so dark and great!). Delpht (listen to the song 'On the Cross' with an impressive vocal line of Maírio Pastore). Korzus has released a beautiful video clip in 2010 and one of the best thrash metal albums I've heard so far. Dr. Sin is a perfect Hard Rock band, Tuatha de Danann (well known here) and so on.
What are your current top five metal albums?
Heleno: It changes from time to time but: Iron Maiden - Powerslave, Slayer - Season in the Abyss, Dio - Holy Diver, The new Blind Guardian album (do listen to it!), Sonata Arctica - Silence (or Winterheart's Guild, I don't know how to choose).
Thanks a million for answering my questions! Any last rants for our readers?
Heleno: Thank you very much for your excellent questions and I hope everyone gave at least 54 minutes of their life to listen to The Labyrinth of Truths, because I am sure that, if you do that, you will enter the Labyrinth with us at least for the next 50 years (lol). You will certainly feel all the love and dedication we have put in this album. You will listen to a new hidden detail every time you listen to it. It's a whole life and feelings compressed in just one piece of plastic. Also, I hope everyone can visit www.soulspell.com and read Soulspell story and the description of each character (please see the beautiful handmade drawings too). And, I hope to see you soon on the stages around the world. Thank you Soulspell fans and great friends. We love you all. Bye.
Soulspell - The Labyrinth of Truths
Album available on Inner Wound Records.