Interview with new ALMAh guitarist GUSTAVO DI PADUA for (August 2012): “I’m very happy to play in such a band as ALMAh and I have the best expectations possible.”

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Webmaster: Hello Gustavo! Could you tell us how did you enter ALMAh? In which circumstances did you receive the invitation? What about your first talk and meeting with the guys?
Gustavo: I’ve got a phone call from Edu (Falaschi) who invited me and it was my first contact with the band. It was a really cool chat and I liked a lot all the ideas and the vibe. He is a very nice and high spirited guy and it became clear very quickly. So, no wonder that I accepted the invitation! Everything happened in a moment because ALMAh had several shows already scheduled and soon we all met in the studio for the first of our three rehearsals. It was super cool! Everyone in the band was a super nice and open character and all happened in an easy and natural way.

Webmaster: Let’s talk about the past! How did you started to play the guitar? Where did you study? Why did you choose rock and metal as your main musical direction?
Gustavo: Well… to be honest I made several steps to take this way… :) When I was very young I used to pick the tunes out with a keyboard that my father brought from some trip. Although it came easily to me, I didn’t take that seriously. I even exchanged the keys for Atari (popular video game console at that time). My God, it was long ago! Interestingly enough, I remember my father always trying to make me excited in some way with the music. He gave me some Jimi Hendrix to listen, but I think it didn’t work ‘cos it was too early for me and I was yet not ready for that. Some time later when I became a teenager I’ve got a few lessons of the woodwind flute in the college and all in the house had their ears full with songs from my lessons and my own compositions. It’s so cool to remember all that! So, when I was 13-14, I got an acoustic guitar that collected dust in my house and the story began! Soon I succeeded to play songs from music magazines bought in news-stands and to pick out some melodies by ear, also I created some stuff myself. It was a time when the Rock really came into the world and it was Rock itself who has chosen me hehe! I saw a guy called Clovis Mourad playing on the beach, also there was a stand near my house where rock’n roll and metal played every Friday. I was really fascinated by that great guitarist and went to have lessons with him. I remember that on my very first lesson he taught me the pentatonic scale and some licks and I started improvising on the base that he had made. I returned home very happy and talked to my father: I’m doing solos! hehe

Webmaster: Where did you play before ALMAh? How did your solo career progress?
Gustavo: I’ve already played in various bands such as Endless (Heavy Metal), Aquaria (Heavy Metal), Glory Opera (Heavy Metal) and Cápsula (Rock) besides working with many solo artists as well. Thanks God, my solo career is going on well. I’m very happy with my career, with everything that has already been done or with what still should happen. I released my first solo CD “The Stairs” in 2008 and I’m ready to launch two new albums soon. The first one presents more Rock’n Roll stuff with my own singing in Portuguese (preliminary title “O Outro Lado”) and another album is an instrumental one, probably with several songs with my voice too. So, you see, I’m quite happy and working enough!

Webmaster: Wow, so you sing as well? Will you help Edu on stage?
Gustavo: Yeah, I’ll give my screams and shouts, sure! hehe I’ve already made some back vocals on the first shows, and the tendency is to participate every time more with Edu and Marcelo… I like singing a lot!

Webmaster: Have you already had any idea about ALMAh music before getting the invitation to join the band? What do you think about this guitar duo, Marcelo Barbosa and Paulo Schroeber?
Gustavo: To be honest, I knew the debut album and I’ve always thought that it’s very good!!! But that CD didn’t have a guitar duo yet, it appeared later and I got to know it using other opportunities. But I understood Almah double guitar work deeper after I entered the band and started to learn the songs. And yes, I’m sure it’s exciting! The guys played very well and made a great job on Fragile Equality and Motion.

Webmaster: Gustavo, you already shared stage with ALMAh twice playing at Metal Open Air festival in April and in Paraguay in May. How did you like your first performances with the band? I guess you had a lot of fun! Can you remember anything funny during the shows, backstage? Did you feel nervous?
Gustavo: Everything was very cool!!! Two great shows! We had a lot of fun in Paraguay. Hehe Super great atmosphere in the band and an incredible energy from the public! Total Rock’n Roll!! It’s difficult to explain in an interview but believe me, we had a lot of jokes and fun. I didn’t feel nervous more than usually, not at all. But I normally feel some natural pressure inside of me together with excitement before a show as a part of all this.

Webmaster: Some people have doubts how you get along with solos and parts of Paulo Schroeber live. Actually, he’s more from a VERY heavy metal like thrash, death etc and has other way of playing and composing. You look more like rock, jazz, melodic metal guy… how will you face playing the old stuff and expectations of your band mates and the fans?
Gustavo: Yeah, I can imagine that some people have doubts! It’s natural. Somebody can have preoccupations when something changes and it’s understandable. Also it can be a matter of a loyalty to things you like and got into the habit… I like and respect a lot the work of Paulo! No words! He is a Guru! Super technical, super creative! Very very good. But it’s not possible to ignore the fact that we are different guitarists with different styles and music languages. Thus, there’s no sense for me to try to sound like him playing solos and I believe the public doesn’t want it too. The band itself doesn’t want it! ‘Cos it wouldn’t be true, it wouldn’t sound even a little bit honest! It doesn’t overshadow any great thing that Paulo has done. And it has nothing to do with such things as a lack of respect to what he has done, on the contrary! And it’s cool that that the public on the shows understood it completely and it was great! They accepted me with open arms as a new guitarist and enjoyed my performance a lot! They weren’t in doubts or preoccupied about anything! I became very happy! And I’m very thankful to all!!!

Webmaster: If I’m not mistaken, you’d already known Marcelo Barbosa some time before you joined ALMAh because of various jams, workshops. How do you feel by his side, what do you expect of this partnership?
Gustavo: Yes, you’re right. He is one of the guys that I adore. Very high spirit, great guitarist, very professional and good man! What do you think, how can I feel by the side of such a guy? Imagine… hehe It worked very good when we were together and my main expectations concern future compositions. It will be great!

Webmaster: So, do you want to have your spirit and your own vision involved with the band’s creative work? How is your current work with ALMAh going on?
Gustavo: Yes, exactly! In a band, my soul and identity are totally involved and in this case it shouldn’t be different. At the moment, I’m extremely busy with my solo and music producer’s work, that’s why I can’t dedicate myself completely to ALMAh’s composing process, but Edu is already working hard at new ALMAh songs and according to what I’ve heard they will be great!!! I’m looking forward to work at guitar parts of the next album together with Marcelo.

Webmaster: Well, and last but not least… You entered the band in a period of great changes, what are your expectations in general and what would you like to tell the fans now?
Gustavo: I have the best expectations possible! There’s a lot of work ahead! I’m very happy to play in such a band as ALMAh that works with a lot of joy and that brings much good to the public. Thanks to all the fans for accepting me so well and I hope that we’ll be always able to exchange these cool vibes on the shows! I’m very excited for the next shows and the future album. Hopefully, you’ll like it!!! Hugs to all!

Irina Ivanova,

Live pics by Rock In Paraguay, Ross Noirche

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