Not Down And Out For Long
An Interview with Hugo Ferreira of Tantric
Interview Date: February 22, 2008
A lot's been happening in Hugo Ferreira's world. Label issues, band issues, and the ever-changing music industry could not keep him down. Now, the reconceived Tantric is preparing to release a new album, The End Begins, on April 22, and they're also getting ready to tour. Hugo took some time out his busy day to discuss with me just how he pulled it together to find new the band-mates that would help him create what could possibly be the best Tantric release to date.
T3M: How are you doing?
HF: I'm doing fantastic.
T3M: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
HF: Well thank you for wanting to speak with me.
T3M: I'm going to start with the hardest question. When the bottom dropped out, the label changed direction and band members quit the band, how did you handle that? What motivated you to pull it all together and move on to create something new?
HF: Well I think I spent a few months just feeling sorry for myself and drinking a lot. But I think that's natural. It wasn't like 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' or anything. The first few months after everything dropped out and the guys quit, I was just like 'Oh God, what am I going to do now?' After that initial shock faded away, I just went and released all that type of energy into music. I went into the basement of my house where I have a studio built, and I just started writing. The funny thing about going through struggles is that struggles make you interesting. They may make you go places emotionally that you normally don't go, and those places allow you to write stuff that sometimes you wouldn't necessarily write. Ultimately I have to say that it all happened for a reason, and I survived it and put it back together again with the help of my new band members. And, I'm stronger for it today.
T3M: I read that you had a lot of songs written prior to this record, but scrapped most of them. Do you think any of those songs will ever see the light of day?
HF: There was a whole record that was recorded with the other two members. When that record was completed, it was never able to be released due to the label bullshit... they wanted all this money. And the fact the guys weren't in the band, and they co-wrote a lot of those songs, and some songs were written completely by Todd, I didn't want to disrespect them by going ahead and putting songs that I didn't write, or have any involvement in writing and claiming them to be my own. I do think that in the future there's a possibility that it could come out somehow. I would definitely like to see it come out in a few years as 'the lost songs of Tantric'. There's definitely a possibility.
T3M: With the new band, how did you go about determining that these are the guys you wanted to work with?
HF: I had already been writing music with the violin player as a side project during Tantric's initial incarnation. When all the members of Tantric left, he was a natural choice because I had already been writing with him, and some of the music we had been writing ended up on this record. So, that was a done deal. I met my guitar player through a mutual friend. He used to play with guy who grew up with me named Nuno Bettencourt. He played bass in one of his bands. Nuno's family and my family have been friends for many years. Kevin from Fuel; just before the band had taken its final death blow we had done a couple of one-offs. I had seen Kevin performing with his new band, Fosterchild, and I kind of snatched him right there and then. Kevin brought in the bass player. At the end of the day, as hard as it seems on the outside, putting the band together wasn't really as difficult as it could have been. I was definitely very blessed. Everything just kind of fell into place. I was really lucky in that aspect and I've been really lucky in pretty much everything that's been going on since then.
T3M: I knew that you had collaborated with Nuno in the past, but wasn't aware you had a long-term friendship apart from that.
HF: I've known Nuno since I was the littlest kid. He's about six years older than me, and we grew up in the same small town of Hudson, Massachusetts. Even when I was just a little kid, twelve or thirteen just playing in my first bands, he was already the local town hero. He was already touring and doing that big stuff. He was definitely a big influence on me, not only musically, but just to show me that you can come from a town of sixteen-thousand people... actually two artists can come from a town of sixteen-thousand people and sell a million records or more.
| 02.22.2008 | Interview by J. Pierson |