About Me

Interview with Edu Falaschi

Brazil was dIscovered in 1500 by Pedro Álvares Cabral and its first name was Vera Cruz or Vera Cruz Island.
About this discovery, Edu Falaschi released “Vera Cruz”, through MS Metal Records, on the 31st May in Brazil and will be released worldwide, on the 15th June. An epic romance, about this same discovery, where he reports how the birth of Jorge, in Tomar, Portugal, helped in the discovery of Brazil, together with Pedro Álvares Cabral.
Idol of a generation, super charismatic, affable, ready to welcome people with open arms, characteristics that are well known to him, he did a very pleasant interview.
He told us about his collaboration with Fabio Caldeira (singer, poet and great lyricist, from the band Maestrick), who helped him with the concept and story of the lyrics, Festa Dos Tabuleiros, the Convent Of Christ, the choice of the guests, such as Max Cavalera and Elba Ramalho and the musics for them to perform, guest musicians and the team of “Cristiano Ronaldos”, that helped him in the creation of the album.
We’ve crossed the Atlantic in caravel to “fly with our own wings” and, without any doubt, HABEMUS “VERA CRUZ”.

M.I. - Good night, Edu. It’s with great honour and pride that Portugal and Metal Imperium welcome you with open arms. How are you, your family and friends, in the middle of this world crisis?

Well, we’re doing the the possible to live “normally”. It’s difficult to live “normally” in a time like this, but we’ve been getting very close to the family, to support each other. I’m very sad to see how many important lives were lost, from relatives, friends, people we don’t know, but we know they were people with dreams, with experiences, a present, within their life, working, going after their stuff, searching for their goals. And suddenly, a world disease came and “cut” everything, right? And interrupted the expectations of those people. As a human being, I’m very sad to see how many losses we had in Portugal, Brazil, Europe, all around the world.
I think the media, in Brazil, are very confused. A TV channel says one thing, another says something else. It was difficult and we had lots of losses. Many of these losses, I knew were fans of my work, people who were suffering from Covid and sent messages: “Oh my! I’m relying on your music for support! Your music gives me strength to overcome this!”. And some did overcome, some unfortunately passed away. And for me that was very sad but what I can do so that it doesn’t get worse, is to bring music and make music.
So, that’s my little contribution for the world, through art, music! (laughs).

M.I. - Vera Cruz, or Vera Cruz Island, was the first name given by the Portuguese explorers to the New World, which currently corresponds to the northeastern part of the Brazilian coast, reported in the Letter by Pero Vaz de Caminha. But it’s also the name of your magnificient and brilliant album, in which the theme takes place at the same time. This novel and the concept of the lyrics were created by you, with the help and special participation of Fabio Caldeira (singer of the band Maestrick). Was it difficult to create the concept? Tell us a bit about it and the story of the album, please.

It was difficult, because it’s a complex concept and a long story. it’s fiction, but with elements of real History, like the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese in 1500. Pedro álvares Cabral himself is part of History. Actually, it was difficult due to the complexity to build up everything, but the story happened very naturally, because Fabio Caldeira is a great writer, composer here in Brazil and Rock singer, too. It was like a gift from God I met him, to help me build this epic story that is the Story of our life!
I’ve developed this basic story and passed the concept on to Fabio Caldeira, who developed all the details: character names, dates, places. He managed to set the entire plot. 
There was an was ancient prophecy in an order that dominated Europe and was created around 1200. That order was Ordem da Cruz de Nero, that dominated Europe for many centuries. The prophecy said that an offspring from the creator of that order would be born, with a birthmark similar to the S. Jorge’s Cross, grow up and turn against the order, which was already dominating Europe. 
Around 1482, a child like that was born in Portugal and, when it reached the ears of the members of the order, the Black Bishop said that they could not let the child live, in order to fulfill the prophecy. So, he ordered his soldiers to kill the child.
The first music of the record is called “Burden” and it’s when the mother finds out about it and is told to run away, because they want to kill her child. She ran away and placed her son at the door of a monastery. The child was rescued by Sister Rosa who, upon seeing the birthmark, in the shape of the cross of S. Jorge, gave him the name of Jorge. He stayed at the convent, and she took care of him throughout his childhood. The head of the convent, D. Abelardo, knew the prophecy very well and began to suspect that Jorge might be the Chosen One and created a protection for this child, because he knew they would try to kill him, if they found out he was alive. Therefore, he charged Pedro Álvares Cabral, Knight of the Order of Christ, to look after and protect Jorge as he grows up. Jorge suffered some assassination attempts and they decided to send Jorge on a trip in a caravel to India. 
Jorge got on board on that great adventure of going to open seas, in the middle of 1500, in a wooden caravel. They went to Brazil in a caravel and, when they arrived there, they were fascinated by the nature and gave the name of Vera Cruz Island! That’s why the record’s called “Vera Cruz”! The arrival in Brazil is the song called “Land Ahoy”.

M.I. - That’s my favourite!

(Laughs). Mine too. And then he’s fascinated by the natural beauty of Brazil. Stays in Brazil, meets the native community, who save him from an attack, because the infiltrators came on the ship. They try to kill him and he’s saved by the indians, who kill the soldiers of Ordem da Cruz de Nero and save Jorge. The tribe joins Jorge, and during his time in that tribe, he discovers his mission, as an offspring of the creator of the Ordem da Cruz de Nero, that order of evil! And he rebels against that, because he doesn’t want that burden! He begins to assimilate and accept it, to become that knight who will rebel and create an army who will join the Knights of The Order of Christ and the natives, against the army of the Ordem da Cruz de Nero. Meanwhile, the Ordem da Cruz de Nero finds out he’s still alive in Brazil and send another army to kill him! But they didn't think that Cabral (of the Order of Christ) also had a very large army and was coming after the Ordem da Cruz de Nero, to defend and fight in the war. When they arrive, the army of evil had no chance, because Jorge’s army, mounted in Brazil, with the natives and with Cabral’s army, is arriving to help in the war.
And there is a battle, which is the song “Face Of The Storm”, that has that whole cinematic concept. It’s very important to make it clear that it’s a cinematographic album, because it has many events that I wanted the fans to hear in the story and feel inside the story. In the end, the army of the Order of Christ, together with Jorge, won the battle and he decided to stay in Brazil and marry the daughter of the chief of the native tribe, Janaína.

M.I. - What was first created? The lyrics or the melody? And the lyrics were passed to Fabio? How was the process?

I always do the music and melody first. I develop the melody and then fit the lyrics, on top of what I developed (laughs).
Actually, I wrote the lyrics for the record. Fabio Caldeira developed the concept and details of the story, as if it were a book  and gave it to me to read and I developed the lyrics.

M.I. - The Convent Of Christ, in Tomar, was the motto for everything to happen. What made you interested in this monument and include it in the story? Architecture, for example? And how did you know the Convent? Did you get to know something about the Festa dos Tabuleiros, that made you want to come to Portugal to visit the city?

In fact, this was the part that Fabio Caldeira developed. We needed elements to make the story interesting. We had the central line, which was the question of the prophecy, that the Descendant was going to be born, from who created that order of evil, the Ordem de Cruz de Nero. I already had this whole context, that they would try to kill him later and then there was an adventure! But who developed the entire setting was Fabio Caldeira! Through research, we realized that the best elements for the story were in Tomar! We imagine that this place could be a monastery, where Sister Rose lived. Therefore, we were contextualizing and it would be interesting to have a “mother”, also to have an emotional connection, for the fans when reading the story, to feel that maternal connection, within the story. 
Certainly medieval architecture is part of this setting and we looked for elements that had this medieval structure. Everything was on purpose! Everything has a reason! (laughs). 
In fact, my manager and I are talking about the possibility of creating a tourist itinerary, for those who want to know the story of Vera Cruz, in a real trip! Personally, I really want to go to Portugal, to get to know the environment of Vera Cruz's story.
I’m thinking about the possibility of doing this with the fans, to create a group trip, for everyone who wants to get to know the story of Vera Cruz. It's a big dream! Let's see if we can do it! 
There’s even a touristic tour, in Portugal, to ride in a caravel. I really want to do this tour (laughs).

M.I. - This story portrays several characters, such as Pedro Álvares Cabral, and gave them a new version. What kind of searches did you do for the lyrics and which characters are real? Who is the Black Bishop and is he related to Jorge's family? Were the searches difficult?

Pedro Álvares Cabral (Member of the Order of Christ) is a real character. The other characters are all fictional. The main character that we actually use is the one who really came and discovered Brazil. He was the cause of the Portuguese coming to Brazil and we have that connection to this day with Portugal, right? The other characters are all fictional! 
The Black Bishop is actually a title that is passed from generation to generation. The name Black Bishop is a title that has been passed since the Ordem da Cruz de Nero was created in 1200 by the first creator. This Ordem da Cruz de Nero goes completely against the rules of Christ, it is against this and the whole story, which revolves around the existence of Christ! That title, Black Bishop, is passed on. 

M.I. - This album even has a dream team, which leaves anyone gnawed with envy and which also has 11 guest appearances. Max Cavalera and Elba Ramalho are the guests in two songs: “Face Of The Storm” and “Rainha Do Luar”, respectively. What were the criteria for choosing the songs and the guests?

Well, as you said, we have a very large team working on this project... from the conception of the cover, which was done by one of the best, if not the best Heavy Metal cover designer I know, Carlos Fides. Obviously there are the musicians in the band, who have been with me for many years now. Some of them played with me in Angra. They played with me for many years: Aquiles Priester (drummer), who also played in Angra, and Fabio Laguna, who is the keyboard player, who also played in Angra's tours. In the band we have Raphael Dafras, the bassist, Diogo Mafra, the guitarist and Roberto Barros, who also produced the album with me, who helped me in the formulation of songs, instrumental, notes, melodies and harmonies! He was the producer along with me. 
There is also the participation of a key piece, called Pablo Greg, who is the icing on the cake, of “Vera Cruz”. Why? Being a conceptual and cinematographic record, Greg was the responsible for creating the orchestras for the record. He has a lot of influences from John Williams, from movie soundtrack orchestrators. When I met Greg, who was also a gift from God, I told him I wanted a record with fantastic and epic music, movie music! He said he would do it and he did a lot to bring those elements. In Brazil, Greg is the biggest and best creator of Midi orchestras. He is the top of the top. That's why I had a team of “Cristianos Ronaldos”, a very strong team, which I got together!
And, besides these people, there are the geniuses, who I invited to my album, which is Max Cavalera, ex-vocalist of Sepultura, who is a world legend within Thrash Metal. And Elba Ramalho, who is a great idol of mine, who is a Brazilian singer, very famous, of Brazilian music, who is a great reference for me, of how an artist should be, musically. She has a wonderful career and a talent beyond measure. From the beginning I wanted Max Cavalera and Elba Ramalho. It was a risk, because they are very important artists. I was also lucky enough to call them and get their participation. It was really, really good. This record achieved everything very naturally, by the positive energy, by the union of everyone within the project, it made us achieve a wonderful piece of art. In my opinion, it's a very good record, very well done! A masterpiece indeed!

M.I. - The rest of the guests include your brother Tito, on solo guitar, Greg, on orchestration, Federico Puppi, on cello, Tiago Mineiro, on piano, Maestro Adriano Machado, Rafael Meninão, accordion and a choir. What was it like working with these musicians? We can also hear a Gregorian chorus. Who are the responsible for this choir?

Other than these special guests, which were Max and Elba, there are other musicians who participated. Tito Falaschi, my brother, played the solo of “Bonfire of the Vanities”. There’s also the pianist, Tiago Mineiro, who is a great pianist, here in Brazil, very famous, who played in “Land Ahoy” and in “Rainha do Luar”. There's the percussionist, Marcus Cesar, who has played with everyone you can imagine, from Ivan Lins to Phil Collins! He’s a very important percussionist in Brazil, who is also on the record. There’s an accordion musician, called Rafael Meninão. There is a cellist, who played the cello wonderfully: Federico Puppi, who is a great Italian cellist. I think I didn’t forget anyone. There are several guests who helped build this great album!
The idea was the following: during Jorge's arrival, with the caravel and Pedro Álvares Cabral, it is known from history (this is true, it is a real fact) that part of the entourage that came from Portugal to Brazil, was from the Catholic church. When they arrived in Brazil, there was a very strong influence of the Catholic Church, within the colonization. And, in that period, throughout the story, the way I found to represent the church and its musicality, which would bring this Catholic atmosphere, was through Gregorian chant. That's why we used that Gregorian chant, during Jorge's passage and Cabral's caravels, in the song “Land Ahoy”. That's why (laughs).

M.I. - The recording began in November 2020 in Rio de Janeiro and was produced by you and Roberto and co-produced by Thiago Bianchi. Tell us about the recordings.
Not forgetting the renowed and legendary producer, Dennis Ward, who was the responsible for mixing and mastering. What was it like working with him again? He knows what you want, so what did he do that was special?

Thiago Bianchi is the main producer of Heavy Metal recordings. He’s the best of Brazil and helped me a lot in the album’s sound design, how to find the sound of the drums, how to find the best guitar sound, the best bass sound, all the instruments for "Vera Cruz"! What I wanted for “Vera Cruz”! He was crucial! We recorded in Rio de Janeiro, at Liminha's studio, who is a legend producer, here in Brazil! And we were honoured to be able to record the drums there. 
And, in order to maintain the quality of the album, at the level I always wanted, I called Dennis Ward, who was the producer of Angra, on the albums “Rebirth”, “Temple Of Shadows”, “Aurora Consurgens”. He’s the producer of many and many other bands: he has recorded Michael Kiske and many bands within the Heavy Metal world. And, for me, it was an honour to be able to work with him again. Aquiles and I could work with Dennis again and rescue that atmosphere, from the 2000’s, for “Vera Cruz”, so we finished with a golden key the musical quality of “Vera Cruz”!

M.I. - Power Metal, or European Melodic Metal, is very different from the Brazilian one and, with “Vera Cruz”, those differences can be noticed. I would like you to explain some of these differences, with the help of this new record.

We have the historical connotation of the lyrics, of the concept, which is the union of Portugal and Brazil. We need to use Brazilian elements. There’s also my idea of talking about my own country. Bring a little of that spirit, the pride of being Brazilian, the pride of my Portuguese origins. I wanted to “bring” that out as much as possible! That's why there are many ethnic Brazilian elements, within the musical concept of “Vera Cruz”.
It’s a special album for me, because I’m celebrating 30 years of career. And I wanted to show everything I've done during these 30 years. That's why it has many elements, that’s the main difference between European and Brazilian Power Metal. In my case, being a Brazilian Power Metal artist, is the fact that I'm a native of a culture that has nothing to do with Europe, nor with European musical roots. We had the peak of the disclosure of Brazilian culture with Bossa Nova. I've played Bossa Nova since I was a kid and this style is very Brazilian. Only Brazilians have this kind of language. That's why, when we make Heavy Metal and let this “Brazilianness” flow, we sound different from European bands! (laughs). 

M.I. - As the cover says: “Alis Volat Propriis”, we can fly with our own wings, and these songs are so beautiful that they make us want to fly. There are details that don't go unnoticed: from “Burden” to “Crosses”, which is when the story still takes place in Portugal and Europe, the style is totally European Power Metal. “Land Ahoy” already integrates musical elements from that time. From then on, until “Rainha Do Luar”, the “Brazilianness” increases. How was the composition of the songs and which instruments did you use for these sounds? Was “Land Ahoy” the most complex, as it is the richest, in terms of sound?

Well, this Latin sentence means a lot to me, because it's a time when I'm really going to “fly with my own wings”. It's my career as a solo artist, in which I lead my own work. It's also a way to inspire people to believe in their own potential. I had a lot of health problems over many years that almost ended my career and, therefore, this sentence is very important to me and I use it as an inspiration for the fans. 
It is a very smart question! Why? There are European sounds and there are Brazilian sounds on the record. I purposely set it up in such a way that the first half of the record, right up to “Land Ahoy”, is a European record. Why? Because they were still in Europe. Everything takes place in Europe! And then, comes the arrival in Brazil, which is “Land Ahoy”. That's why it's called, “Land Ahoy”, which is an English term, used by sailors when they found a land, which is “land in sight!”. And, from then on, from “Land Ahoy” onwards, there is more “Brazilianness” in the songs, because they were already in Brazil! The only song that returns to the European part is “Fire With Fire”, which is the moment Jorge tells his friend to return to Portugal and tell people that he was alive. When his friend returns to Portugal, he's already in Europe again. And the music is European again! There is no more Brazilianness! There is a harmony, which is the harmony of classical music, by Beethoven, which has this European connotation. When they return to Brazil, after he told them that Jorge was alive, Brazilian influences began again. It's all purposeful, everything was thought out (laughs). And also “Rainha do Luar”, which has Elba Ramalho, who sings in Portuguese, is a beautiful closing song, representing the marriage of Janaína and Jorge. It's a song of love, of union, where the war ends, they stay together and he stays in Brazil with her! 
I guess so! A friend of mine and another journalist commented that “Land Ahoy” would be my “Bohemian Rhapsody” (laughs). It’s a very complex music, and a very important part of the story, perhaps the most important, takes place in this music: since they arrived in Brazil, when he is rescued by the indigeneous, and they gave him the potion and he discovered that he is the person who has that mission, he is the Chosen One. The whole adventure takes place in Brazil. That's why the music is very long, it's an epic, it's a very long journey! There would be no way to make and tell this story, as something very simple, a two- or three-minute song. That's why it's a very complex song.

M.I. - You are undoubtedly the king of ballads and, with “Skies In Your Eyes”, you became the “Jon Bon Jovi” of Brazil. How do you feel about such a compliment?

(Laughs). I loved it. (Laughs). I was very happy, because Bon Jovi, for me, are mostly a great reference for ballad composers. I like Bon Jovi, from the band Bon Jovi. But I'm really passionate about ballads. I composed from:
“Close your eyes 
What do you see?”

“Wishing Well”, by Angra. I composed "Heroes of Sand":

“Sealing light 
Nothing to see 
Like a miracle life…”

M.I. - Let's stop, otherwise I'll cry.

There are a lot of ballad compositions! “Bleeding Heart”! I really like ballads! And I am very happy with the compliment and the comparison! Thank you very much!

M.I. - “Burden” was released as a preface to what we will be able to hear in “Vera Cruz”. How was the video made and which effects were used? What will the next video be? Will it be on the same line as the previous one or will you show up singing and the boys playing their instruments? Can you give us any tips? 

We made this preface to show the fans the complexity of the story. As if to give a little taste to understand what was to come. That's why we did just the introduction, so as not to reveal everything too, and we created this “graphic novel”, a “graphic trailler” in the form of a drawing, which was made by Antonio César, who is a great designer here in Brazil. We created this, as a first visual release, of “Vera Cruz”. 
We are already working on a video, also for the record. We had to stop recording the video, because of Covid, but we'll be back, now, to shoot and I believe that in July, we'll be releasing the first official “Vera Cruz” music video. 
No, no! It's a music video with the band playing! The video is wonderful! I can't reveal the song yet! 

M.I. - This album will be released through Ms Metal Records. On May 18th it was the global digital release, on the 31st was the physical release in Brazil and on June 15th the world’s physical release. I know Japan plays a key role in your career, but why split your releases into different dates?

In my case, I don't have a “major” as a label. I don't have a “Sony Music”, an “EMI Music”. The “majors” launch for all countries. And, in my case, which is the case with all the bands I've participated in, each region has its own label. In Brazil it’s MS Metal Record. In Europe, we will be released by a local distributor. In Japan it's King Records. In Argentina it is Icarus Records. We are talking with other publishers from other places, like Mexico. In South Korea, it will also be launched by a local distributor. And, we have labels around the world, which we think is the best way, for this style that we do and the best way to be released. Because they are different publishers, each one has its date.

M.I. - Last May 12th, the album was released in Japan and, on that same day, you were number one on Japanese Amazon. Sincere congratulations from Metal Imperium. Would you like to tell us a little about it, please?

Thank you very much! Many thanks to you all, who always support me! I was very happy to reach the number one spot in the biggest record store in Japan, and maybe in the world, which is Amazon, and stay ahead of my great idols and bands that I'm a fan of! It was an honour to be able to conquer it so quickly. 
The release was on the 12th and, 2 or 3 days later, we were already number one in sales in Japan.
The release in Japan was through King Records. They did a pre-sale, in Japan, of a traditional acrylic CD, which has a bonus track from “Skies in Your Eyes”, an acoustic version. They did a month of disclosure of this album, on social media in Japan, in magazines. Now we are working on promoting the album that just came out there. I did an interview for Japan's biggest music magazine, “Geki Rock”! “G-E-K-I Rock”! And I was on the cover of this magazine! A very happy moment for me! Very good (laughs)!

M.I. - For the Brazilian market and fans, several versions of the album were released: Digibook, Digipack, double coloured LP and a Box, which contains several items, which were conceived by the great “digital designer” Carlos Fides, such as the album cover. How is the production of them and how was the choice of the objects that compose them?

This material development was done by MS Metal Records. They were the ones who came up with the idea of making a Digibook. And the LP was a dream of mine, it's not a new thing, because it's something a lot of bands have done. It was a dream of mine to have a record released on LP! I'm making that dream come true too! The Box's idea, for pre-sales, is that stylized, beautiful box, in which there is a T-shirt and a mug. There's also the Digibook itself, I think that's it! This Box concept, my manager and I came up with the idea, together with a gift distribution company here from Brazil. We molded this Box and decided to launch it.

M.I. - How will the tour for this album be like? For example, the stage. Will you ever come to Portugal?

You are very smart! If all journalists were like you, it would be much better! We are preparing, as it is a very special album, a special moment for my 30 years of career. We are working on a tour, which in Brazil, we will be able to perform on a large stage, with many elements, a great production! I can't tell you yet, how this production will be! But it will be an audiovisual show, which will make the fans very happy!
I will try to take this production to other countries too! I don't know if it will be possible, but we’ll try! But for Brazil, as we live here, everything is much easier for me to manage this. In Brazil, it's already well underway, to be a special tour!

M.I. - Marcella Cronemberger Macedo and Eduardo Macedo Cronemberger, from MS Metal Agency, Bode, from Bode Metal Nacional, Ederson Leao and Juan Curral are your right arms. How do you feel working with people who believe in and support your work?

It's hard to talk about them all like that, because they're great friends! They are people I love and who like my music and believe in my potential! More than ever, they believed in me and, even in the worst moments of my life, they still believed in me! And, for me, that is very important! All of them: Eduardo, from MS Metal Records, Marcella, Juan, who is my manager, who came to work with me when I wasn't at my peak. And everyone you talked about, everyone else, it's a very big team! I will thank them forever! I'm fortunate to be able to have these angels around me! It's very good! 

M.I. - Bands/singers that influenced you the most, with whom you would like to sing.

Ah! There are so many bands! I really like 80's music! From Heavy Metal, I like Dio, Iron Maiden, Accept, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath! I also like other styles like: A-ha, Tears For Fears, Supertramp, Yes, Rush, Marillion, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd. I love Pink Floyd. But I also like Brazilian music bands like: Djavan, Ivan Lins, Legião Urbana, Paralamas Do Sucesso, Ultraje a Rigor, Titãs. These are the bands I grew up with, the artists I love here in Brazil. I like everything! Everything I think is good, I listen to it (laughs).

M.I. - Once again, it is an honour and pride to have this interview with you. Any words for the Portuguese fans?

The honour is mine! First of all, thank you very much for the affection of those who accompanied me during these 30 years. I hope I can be in Portugal as soon as possible! I hope I can take “Vera Cruz” to Portugal too. Especially to Porto! May I have the opportunity to take my music, once again, to Europe! A nice, beautiful tour. I actually just have to thank everyone for their support!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda