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- Published Date
- Written by Joe Henley
Though it could be argued that the best metal bands of today aren't the young guns, but the old schoolers, metal is definitely kinder to the under thirty set than it is to those creeping towards the dark side of the hill. People age, mature, and inevitably wind up with a different set of priorities when they hit their thirties than they had when they were twenty. Such is the natural, and somewhat depressing order of things, for most, anyway. But then there are those musicians who hold onto that youthful vitality with such unshakable tenacity that, even as they see their band mates veering toward the road most traveled, they refuse to be drawn by its near overpowering gravitational pull
Such is the case with Almah front man and composer Edu Falaschi. In the past few years, he's endured internal disputes in the band he is perhaps better known for fronting, the symphonic power metal powerhouse that is Angra, and has seen his brothers in arms drift toward what, for some, can be that great creative buzz kill and the death knell for all edginess and attitude, stability. They've put in their time on endless tours away from loved ones, and now it's time to settle down. But not for Falaschi. As Angra moves subtly toward slowing down, if not musically then at least touring wise, Falaschi is just getting warmed up. He's not ready for shuffleboard and canasta just yet, and thus he needed a project to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for the next great riff, the next long stint on the road, and the next sweat-drenched crowd of adoring fanatics.
That project came in the form of Almah, a power metal band a vein apart from Angra with a thrash sound a world away from Angra's traditional symphonic approach. What originally started out as a solo project for Falaschi in 2006 has now taken on a full fledged life of its own as a proper band, which is gearing up to release its third album that will see a worldwide release in September, with touring to follow. Falaschi spoke to Taipei Metal about the story behind Almah, and where the band is heading.
Taipei Metal: What was your inspiration behind starting Almah and what did you hope to achieve with this project at the outset?
Edu Falaschi: The first album was a solo CD! I wanted to make something modern, direct and fresh! Angra started having many internal problems [at] that time and I needed to make real music again!
Taipei Metal: Almah began as your solo project, but has since become a full band, with other members contributing to the songwriting process. What was it like for you to go from having total control over something that was entirely your own creation, to sharing the songwriting duties with others?
Edu Falaschi: So, after the first album many fans were asking me for a second album. They said that Almah was an honest CD, with real love for music! Then I decided to turn Almah in a real band! Because I believe a band is much stronger than a project! And I like working in group!
Taipei Metal: Your most recent album, Fragile Equality, scored very highly with critics. Coming from a band such as Angra that has earned high levels of commercial success already, how much pressure did you feel when you embarked on a project of your own to live up to the achievements of your past?
Edu Falaschi: Thats was nice to see the potential of Almah! You know what, I never felt pressured, because Almah has influences from Angra, its natural, but its still different, and with this new (third) album Almah will define his own style, language and personality! You will see! Thats totally far away from Angra! Now its 100% Almah! Heavy, modern and sentimental!
Taipei Metal: Everything about Almah, from the name itself, to the lyrical subject matter, seems to be about balance in the world. What draws you towards this theme, and why is it worth exploring?
Edu Falaschi: Because only finding this equilibrium the world will really evolve! Balance is everything. If you eat too much you get fat. If your cells start multiplying too much you get cancer. So everything in life needs balance! But the lyrics from the new album are not about it! It's not a conceptual album anymore! It's free! We are tired of it! This album is to have fun! To be happy! To scream! To jump!
Taipei Metal: You've now been a singer and composer for over 20 years. What do you think is the defining moment of your career thus far?
Edu Falaschi: I'm getting old! Ha ha ha! But I'm much more mature and adult! I have many things to learn yet! But I feel well nowadays! As a singer, composer and person!
Taipei Metal: In May of 2011 Almah was recording songs for the follow-up to your second record, Fragile Equality. What can you reveal about this upcoming record in terms of the style and subject matter?
Edu Falaschi: It's getting fantastic! Its heavy, modern and up! its powerful! Full of good energy! An album to shake your head without stopping!
Taipei Metal: You are working with the same lineup which recorded Fragile Equality. How do you think the band has progressed in the three years since Fragile Equality was released?
Edu Falaschi: Now we are more friends and we know each other much more! This time the compositions and recordings are much more calm, relaxing and fun! Without any stress! It already became the most pleasant album I did in my life! And I have a feeling that in the end it will be the best album in my whole discography! At least the one I like the most!
Taipei Metal: What is the creative dynamic like between all the members of Almah?
Edu Falaschi: Felipe [Andreoli-bass] brought one song, Marcelo [Barbosa-guitar] brought one as well. I helped them with vocal melodies, etc., and I composed eight from ten songs in the CD! Then I asked the guys to help me with the solo parts! First I recorded on my own, all songs in my home studio. I did programming drums, I played guitars, bass, vocal lines and keys, and sent it to the guys for learning ,practicing and creating solo parts! Then after some days we went to the studio! It all was really fast! The band is totally in shape and in the same frequency!
Taipei Metal: You are also the singer of Angra, which is a full-time job in itself. How will you balance being in two bands, now that Almah is looking more and more like another full-time project?
Edu Falaschi: Angra is in the end of the Aqua tour, so its easier. I always loved Angra, I gave all my blood and put many efforts on it, as you can't imagine, but I feel Angra now like an old band, a bit surpassed, with old guys with family, sons, other activities and almost other priorities! Many, many internal, personal and administration problems! It comes from a long time! Sometimes it gets better and sometimes worse! But its a great band with many talented musicians! Almah started as my playground! And more and more it becomes bigger and with many new fans around the globe! I believe with this new CD Almah will consolidate his place in the rock scene!
Taipei Metal: It is inevitable that people will draw comparisons between Almah and Angra. What is your reaction to this?
Edu Falaschi: It was natural in the beginning! But with this third album, it will definitely finish! People will see Almah is Almah and Angra is Angra! Be prepared!
Taipei Metal: From a creative standpoint, what differences do you see between working with your two bands, Almah and Agra?
Edu Falaschi: Angra is typical and traditional symphonic power metal band and Almah is a fresh and modern thrash power metal.
Taipei Metal: What are your plans as far as touring with Almah after your third album is released?
Edu Falaschi: We're gonna do lots of concerts in Brazil in September and October. And we are try to organize an Euro tour and who knows an Asian tour in November and December! We are working for it! Maybe the fans from Taiwan can help it to come true asking for Almah for the local promoters! I would love it!