November 27, 2015

ARANDU ARAKUAA interview online

I interviewed Zândhio from the band ARANDU ARAKUAA who released their second album "Wdê Nnãkrda", a month ago. We talked about this record, the band and more things which get an importance and deserve to be asked as well.

01. Hi Zândhio! You founded ARANDU ARAKUAA back in 2008. How have you got the idea to make folk metal music related with indigenous people ?
It is closely connected with the place where I was born and lived until my 24 years old, near the Xerente Indigenous land in the Tocantins state, Amazonia – Brazil. Earlier, I was blessed by the spirits of my ancestors with the gift of art, in particular to compose music and the time came when I noticed that need to use this gift to honor them and in favor of our struggle.

02. How close do you feel from the indigenous ? Are you part of one tribe ?
I am descended from indigenous and despite not living within the village suffered great influence of indigenous culture. The role of Arandu Arakuaa is rightly draw attention to the culture and struggle of the indigenous people of Brazil. Human beings need urgently to reconnect with Mother Earth rather than continue destroying it.

03. How have you all met, making the band ?
I moved to Brasilia, Brazil to assemble the band. I met Nájila (vocals) and Adriano (drums) on the Internet. Once Adriano joined the band called Saulo (bass), the two have played together in other projects.

04. Did the people and reviewers like your debuts EP and album ?
We had a great acceptance from critics and audiences. Since the beginning, we consider as the vanguard in the fusion of indigenous languages and heavy metal in Brazil.

05. Have you got positive or negative responses for the new record ?
So far, only received praise and so much excite us. We hope that people here in Europe also enjoy.

06. Can you compare your new work with the previous one and see if some things evolved or got better than it was in the past ?
I believe that on this record and explore, all the elements already shown in Ko Yby Oré (This Land is Our in Tupi language), ie , we consider that in Wdê Nnãkrda (Tree Trunk in the language Akwe Xerente) have a mature band. The writing and recording process were well thought out and also very organic and fun. Focus even more on climates and indigenous melodies, the harmonies of traditional Brazilian music and heavy metal parts in the sound are heavier. On this record we made sure to continue working with producer Caio Duarte. 
To be honest, I do not think we would get this result with another producer, with Caio always arises one tune and work ethic that just works. So far, we only received critical praise and audience and we are very happy and excited about the return.

07. I noticed for the band, that you don’t speak Tupi language only, but also the Akwẽ Xerente, Xavante, and Portuguese languages. Can you tell us about these languages used ? 
The culture of the indigenous Xavante, Krahô, Karajá among other Indigenous People of the Brazilian Cerrado, especially Xerente are part of my training, given when I was born and lived until 24 years old near the Indigenous Xerente in Tocantins, Amazon. The Arandu Arakuaa project is the result of a natural process and also an old dream of calling attention to the culture and the struggle of the Indigenous people of Brazil suffering genocide since 1500.

On the first album " Ko Yby Oré " we decided to compose only in Tupi - only Brazilians already have some reference about the language. The second album “Wdê Nnãkrda" is also composed in Tupi  language but also Xerente, Xavante and a song in Portuguese. The diversity of indigenous languages seeks to draw attention to preserve the wealth that we still have, among them languages that still resist and which need to be preserved.

In our lyrics and videos also seek to draw attention to the importance of urgently we reconnect with Mother Earth rather than continue destroying it.

08. What are the folk metal, metal, folk, or world music bands which influenced ARANDU ARAKUAA music ?
Each member of the band have very different musical tastes, some bands like Black Sabbath and Metallica . And Brazilian artists such as Alceu Valenca, Nação Zumbi, Sepultura and Brazilian Indigenous music are things we all heard.

09. Can you describe and explain things you show with your official videos ?
The letters of Arandu Arakuaa are made in the aesthetics of Indian music, a few words, but through a strong message and telling a story that is complemented by the ambience of the music and visuals. We want to write in nature just to pique the interest of the people to reconnect with the great mother. 

In the case of the clip Hêwaká Waktu (Black Cloud in Akwe Xerente language) I wrote it when I visited friends and natives of the video was recorded in Bananal village (Sanctuary of the Shamans ) - Brasilia , Brazil on 04.19.2015 (day of the Indian ) in a ritual tribute to one year from the death of their leader , Shaman Santxiê Tapuya.

10. Tupinambá indigenous had to fight often to keep their land, as this article can show. Do your lyrics also deal with this problem ? 
Yes. Our lyrics also speak of the struggles of Indigenous People of Brazil who continue to suffer from genocide and have their right to land, denied today. Even we have Tupinambás friends and we are following their struggle.

11. Can you describe us the artwork for "Wdê Nnãkrda" album out now ? 
The album's concept itself. WDE Nnãkrda ( tree trunk in the language Akwe Xerente ) , in a broad sense would rise , root , base, ancestry , connection to Mother Earth . On the cover you can see an Indian woman with body painting Akwe Xerente within strong indigenous and unit vertical lines like a log. 

Responsible for art and graphic design were the twin Bianca Duarte and Natalie Duarte, creators and illustrators of a project on Brazilian mythology called Brazil Fantastic . We have given them total creative freedom and we are very happy with the result and partnership.

12. What message do you want to share with that new album?
Cherish our roots and Indigenous blood and reconnect with mother earth again.

13. ...And with your band ?
Same thing like the previous answer but also : show what you can do rock/heavy metal using our native culture.

14. Do you plan to tour in your area; and Europe, soon ?
To play in Europe and particularly in France is an old dream. Yes, we have plans and we hope in the near future to take a little Metal Native Brazilian for you.

15. Have you already shared the stage with some famous bands ?
Yes. Cavalera Conspiracy, Nação Zumbi, Månegarm, among others.

16. Thanks for the interview, Zândhio! The last words are yours.
We thank you immensely for the given space. And hopefully soon, we'll play here in France and have fun with all of you!

Today, we learn in the newspapers, 16% of the Amazon forest were destroyed in a year... Hearbreaking...

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