Here is the English translation of the interview of Paulo Schroeber for Rio Metal Blog (read the interview in Portuguese here) !
A very special thanks to Irina Ivanova and Pied Piper for the translation ;)
Paulo Schroeber was born in Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, on 18th of August 1973. When he was 18 Paulo decided to improve his musical level and to study the classical acoustic guitar. Very soon Paulo became acquainted with the work of guitar masters, and was able to continue guitar studies on his own. Having played with a few underground bands, today Paulo Schroeber is famous on the metal scene of Brazil due to his work with such bands as Naja, Astafix and Almah.
Rio Metal Blog : Paulo, you were involved with music since very early age. How did your first contact with music happen? How did you choose to play Heavy Metal?
Paulo : It was a rather funny case. My father used to listen to a lot of German music and my sister’s boyfriend of that time left “Restless and Wild” album of Accept among other discs and I put it into the player. It happened 22 years ago, hahaha... I was fucking scared because the album began with a German song, then it seemed to be the sound of a scratched disc, and then a trommel came... it was like a slap in the face, my jaw dropped, and since then I have never stopped to listen to metal and this album is still one of my favorites.
Rio Metal Blog : How did you become a professional musician? What are your main influences in the musical field?
Paulo : It happened only due to my passion for the music, nothing more nothing less. My main influences are Tony Iommi and Jason Becker, besides some fusion guitarists like Allan Holdsworth.
Rio metal Blog : Many musicians always tell that in order to become a good guitarist it’s necessary to learn the acoustic guitar first. Do you agree that it’s the most natural way to master the instrument or it can be more direct?
Paulo : Particularly, I began my study with acoustic guitar, playing pieces of Bach and Villa Lobos, and it has been reflected in my technique and the left hand’s position. But you can begin your study with electric guitar without problems.
Rio Metal Blog : On your Myspace http://www.myspace.com/pauloschroeber it is mentioned that your first band was Fear Ritual. What happened with this band and how did it help you later on?
Paulo : Unfortunately, the band split due to personal problems and musicians’ disgust. But Alessandro Amorin and me are getting together in order to make some different work basing on the songs of original Fear Ritual.
Rio Metal Blog : You also participated in Burning In Hell and Predator - quite different bands from the sound point of view. Which style do you prefer to play and how do you get along with these style differences?
Paulo : I love a lot aggressive and heavy sound, it’s cool that in Almah I’m able to arrange this controversial point putting a bit of my own personality in the songs. I consider myself as a versatile guy and I believe that I don’t have problems managing my projects in different ways.
Rio Metal Blog : From your opinion, how much important is the sound diversity for a professional in music?
Paulo : It has basic importance for a professional who wants to live by music, because today it’s not so easy to live by music and it can get worse even more in case musical coverage of a person is small.
Rio Metal Blog : How do your studies look today and where do you find the inspiration to compose?
Paulo : Now I study 4-6 hours every day, but I’m connected with music 24 hours per day because I give lessons, I work with some production companies etc. Actually, the inspiration is born naturally. I don’t think about anything special at the moment of composing, the things flow in a natural and spontaneous way.
Rio Metal Blog : Paulo, one of your most renowned projects is Naja, you got a few awards with this band, could you tell us more about it?
Paulo : Yes, it’s true. It was a funny period of time, because the sound of that band was simpler, we had a young girl as a vocalist and the lyrics were in Portuguese. We made many shows here, in our state, we had a good promotion, we recorded a CD and a live DVD. But today I'm too much of an old uncle to play this kind of music...hahaha!!!!
Rio Metal Blog : How did your “incursion” into Almah happen? What was the result of Fragile Equality Tour?
Paulo : It happened due to a recommendation of Marcelo Moreira, then I passed a test before entering Almah. We did some pre-productions in the house of Edu and soon he showed it to the rest of the band and a short time later it was decided that I join Almah. The result of the tour was very positive as a personal experience and I’m looking forward to go to the next tour with our future third album.
Rio Metal Blog : How can you describe the climate in the band and how do the bandmembers get along with each other? Is there any funny story you could tell us?
Paulo : It’s as calm as possible. Actually, after Angra’s comeback and Almah’s taking break I’m talking more with Felipe (Andreoli, bass player of Angra and Almah) who is going to record bass parts for my instrumental solo CD. Many funny things happened! But the most amusing case was a churrasco that we made in Barbosa’s house in Brasília. Besides being foolishly oversalted due to Marcelo Moreira, the meat was transported to the fire in a bucket for washing the floor we found behind the apartment’s door, huahuahua!!!
Rio Metal Blog : There’s another band you participate in, Astafix, and it takes more space right now. How did you enter the band? How is it going on with the release and how did the public accept your work?
Paulo : It’s going on fantastic!!! We’ve already recorded one more videoclip for the song Desordem e Retrocesso, and we’ve just finished the live dvd of Astafix in São Paulo. Wally (the vocalist of Astafix) got to know me thanks to the producer Brendan Duffey from Norcal Studios and he went to see me playing a show with Almah (in Santo André). Very soon we were drinking beer in a bar and he invited me to join the band and I accepted because I enjoy more aggressive and heavier sound.
Rio Metal Blog : Paulo, you’ve been on stage for a long time, what can you say about the present musical industry? What do you think about mp3 files transmission?
Paulo : I think that everything is very complicated. On one hand, it’s much easier to get to music and artists you like, but on another hand it’s rather impossible for a band of the middle or small level to sign a label deal. I don’t care at all, because, on the yet another hand, there’s a freedom to release the work of any musicians provided by the Internet which without any doubt turned to be the main medium for publication today.
Rio Metal Blog : There are many Rock/Metal fans in Brazil. What do you think we missed to turn the stage better?
Paulo : The public exists but we still need more fans who go to mid-size and small shows.
Rio Metal Blog : Your latest project is Hammer 67, what about the advantages of this band?
Paulo : There’s a very heavy sound with the main emphasis in the arrangements, because we didn’t want to make the things too much complicated. It has a lot of influences of Industrial metal bands, we already have a videoclip for the song “1984” and one CD, “Mental Illnes”. Those who’d like to enjoy our songs and the clip and to get the info about the band can visit our Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/hr67. We already played a few shows in the South Brazil. We are working at the promotion and soon we are going to play a few shows in the central part of Brazil.
Rio Metal Blog : Is there a musician you’d like to work with?
Paulo : I invited a fantastic drummer to record my CD, his name is Rodrigo Zorzi, besides the bassist Felipe Andreoli. At the moment I’m finishing my CD, and I don’t know who I want to work with at the next projects.
Rio Metal Blog : And what about your further projects?
Paulo : Now I’m finishing my instrumental CD and my DVD lessons, I’m working at new albums of Astafix and Hammer 67. And soon we’ll be united to compose the 3rd CD of Almah, so there’re a lot of things to do!!!
Rio Metal Blog : Paulo, thanks a lot for the interview, feel free to leave a few words for the fans.
Paulo : I’d like to thank Riometal for this opportunity and everyone who likes my work and helps me in some way."
By Pedro Mello
For more news : Rio Metal Blog / Paulo Schroeber Official Website