Here is an English translation of an interview of Paulo Schroeber and marcelo Barbosa, published on Guitar Player in May 2009.
"Fragile Equality is the name of Almah's second album, which has as a leader the singer Edu Falaschi (Angra). The ten tracks of the album show a fantastic instrumental work, performed by Marcelo Barbosa (guitar), Paulo Schroeber (guitar), Felipe Andreoli (bass) and Marcelo Moreira (drums), in add of the powerful voice of Falaschi. The arrangements are amazing, heavy and devastating solos impress the all CD. Check out the interview with Marcelo Barbosa and Paulo Schroeber.
The guitars are at the perfect harmony on Fragile Equality, like double solos on “You’ll Understand”, for example. How it worked, this connection between you?
Marcelo : Look, thanks God, we didn’t have any problem regarding that. Paulo entered the band almost at the end of the process of pre-production, and he came full of ideas and arrangements for the songs. Also he composed some things with Edu and it was for good. We got to know each other one month before the recording or something like that and we got along with each other very well as the persons and as the musicians. That’s funny, but even during the recording both, Edu and Felipe, discussed that they already felt the influence of one to another regarding our concord and the way of playing. I hadn’t known about his work before he entered the band, but very fast he became a big friend of mine. I believe that our musical connection became possible due to respect and admiration from both sides.
Paulo : It was very natural and quiet. The link was immediat. We complement each other, because we have slightly different ways of playing
How did you enter Almah?
Marcelo : I entered during the first album tour. At that moment the band consisted of the members of Angra without guitarists, and Edu Ardanuy. After a few shows Edu (Ardanuy) decided to leave the band due to personal reasons, and he indicated my name for his place. I’d already known these people due to our meetings at workshops, shows in Brasília with my other band Khallice, and Expomusic. I suppose, it also made their decision easier. Edu got in touch with me and finally he said something like that: Ok, it’s great that you were found. The problem is the following - the next show is to be in 10 days, and you should learn all this repertoir, 20 songs including Angra, Almah and covers before the next week, so that we can do at least two rehearsals together, ok? :) And it was a period of time I don’t remember much about except rehearsing…
Paulo : Before joining the band, I did a test with Edu Falaschi, giving some ideas on Magic Flame and Meaningless World songs. Marcelo, I met him later, when we were doing some tests for the recording.
Very heavy riffs are a constant thing of the album. Was it decided beforehand for this disc, or did everything flow out naturally?
Marcelo : Both things. We had already had an idea that the album would sound heavier than the melodic metal albums that we considered as a reference. It guided us during the composing and producing of the album. Besides that, almost the all tuning settings of the CD are in Eb with sixth string in Db. Only this made the songs heavier and it was also put together with that fact that Paulo used the 7-strings guitar in some songs.
Paulo : During the pre-production, we made things intentionally a bit more direct , so that the album sounds heavier. I think to use on next album my 8 strings guitars, which are still in fabrication. For the new album, Marcelo and I want to reduce keyboards place and leave more space for guitars."
What kind of electric and acoustic guitars did you use?
Marcelo : Basically I used my Tagima MB-1, my signature model, and for some rhythm parts a Carvin, which belonged to the studio, it had a hard tail and it was equipped with hard gauge strings, 0,13 I guess. The location of Almah musicians is a bit complicated. I live in Brasília, Paulo and Moreira live in Caxias do Sul. We finished all electric guitar parts close to the flight time to come back home. Thus, the recording of the acoustic guitar parts planned to be done after the electric guitars, were played by Edu himself and Felipe. They did it very well. They used Yamaha acoustic guitars.
Paulo : I used an Ibanez Universe, a 7 strings Carvin, an ESP, also 7 strings, and Marcelo's Tagima.
Did the guitars are totally your responsibility?
Marcelo : Working in Almah we all have some good freedom to choose, even knowing that sometimes it can generate some certain climate. We knew that every individual part affected the final result, affected everything. Edu presented some ideas, yes, and he chose among others Paulo and me worked at. He did a job of the album producer, besides being the founder of the project, and even having some certain freedom for the others practically everything was being done under his decisions, which is natural under these kind of circumstances.
Paulo : We are totaly free when we composed, especially for solos. I wanted to put a little part of my sound and I was very satisfred with the result. Edu brought melodies and some bases. Then, Marcelo and I did necessary adjustments. But I have also composed songs from the beginning, like Brids Of Prey.
Which effects were used in order to achieve this kind of sound of this CD?
Marcelo : We used my Marshall preamp valve JMP-1 connected with Mesa Boogie Strategy 500 equipped with a cabinet of 4 x 12, also Marshall. In some moments we also used a stack 5150 of Peavey. Besides that, according to what every song required, we used different pedals like boosts (mainly, for the solos and some melodies) and one or another effect. I remember that Shred Pro and Dual Chorus by NIG were used and some others like Full Drive by Fulltone and Phaser by Van Halen by MXR.
Having two extra class guitarists in one band, how did it works, the process of dividing the solos and bases without fight of egos in the studio?
Marcelo : We tried to divide the solos and passages rather in some equilibrium manner. We didn’t have any problem with that, it was a thing quite natural for us. We don’t have lead guitarist in Almah, like in some bands. Both played the roles of soloist and of rhythmist. It was some new experience for me to play together with another guitarist and I’ve used it for learning, not only the guitar.
Paulo : we divided all and there was never any fight of egoes between Marcelo and me. If one of us want to play a riff or a solo, the other accepted without any problem.
Tell us about your other projects.
Marcelo : I play in two other bands. Khallice is a prog metal band already known by a big part of Brazilian metal audience, the band is going to do its second release soon. Zero10 is a band formed by childhood friends I have a pleasure to play with every week in night clubs in Brasília for almost 10 years. We play the best of pop, rock and metal of all the times. Since I adore to play live Zero10 supports this kind of desire when the shows are regular. Besides that, I’m the founder and the owner of GTR Guitar Institute that already for 15 years graduates professional musicians and music-lovers. At the moment I’m working a lot at my instrumental compositions. I suppose to record my first solo CD still this year, if everything works.
Paulo : I'm recording an instrumental album. The recording sessions will begin in April. I have also another band, Hammer 67, which is a rock/ industrial metal band. The album will be out in November."
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