Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Was The World Like The Last Time Guns N’ Roses Released An Album?

On September 17, 1991, Guns N’ Roses released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, their last albums of original material to date (we’re not counting 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident? because it was a covers album … and also because it’s kind of lousy). There is a pretty good chance that you did not read early reviews of either Illusion album on a blog, because the World Wide Web was only one month old at the time. You probably didn’t send your friend a text about how awesome “November Rain” was, because the first person-to-person SMS message wouldn’t be made for more than two years. And you most certainly didn’t import either album onto your iPod, because MP3 encoding was still nearly three years away (and the iPod another 10).

Suffice to say, the last time we had W. Axl Rose in our lives, the world was a very different place.

That will all change Sunday, when GN’R’s long-awaited Chinese Democracy comes to screaming life. And, so, in celebration of what is undoubtedly the year’s biggest rock event — and to point out just how long we’ve been waiting — we’ve compiled a time capsule of sorts, a snapshot of the day the Use Your Illusion albums were released. It was a time when Axl was king, Miley was just a glimmer in her father’s eye, and George W Bush was the owner of the Texas Rangers. It was a different world, indeed.

» On the date Use Your Illusion I & II were released, Garth Brooks’ Ropin’ the Wind was the #1 album in the country and Color Me Badd’s “I Adore Mi Amore” sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations” was at #2). “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” was the #1 movie at the box office.

» Only two-thirds of the Jonas Brothers were alive on the day the Illusion LPs were released. Miley Cyrus wasn’t born yet, nor were Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez. Christina Aguilera was 10, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were 9. Chris Brown was 2 years old (but he could probably already dance), as were Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Tokio Hotel’s Tom and Bill Kaulitz. Jordin Sparks, Taylor Swift and Emma Watson were all 1.

» On September 17, 1991, Barack Obama was the president of The Harvard Law Review. John McCain was still serving his first term in the U.S. Senate.

» Pearl Jam’s Ten had been in stores for nearly a month, while Nirvana’s Nevermind was still a week away from being released. Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger would hit stores the following month, while the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream wouldn’t materialize for nearly two years. The inaugural Lollapalooza festival — featuring Jane’s Addiction, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails and Ice-T — had just wrapped a 26-date run in Enumclaw, Washington.

» MC Hammer’s Too Legit to Quit would be released the following month, as would Vanilla Ice’s “Rebel Without a Cause” update “Cool as Ice.”

» On this week’s episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” the students of West Beverly High are still atwitter over the arrival of mysterious new student Emily Valentine. In two months, Valentine will invite Brandon and the gang to an illegal “underground” dance party, where she will spike B’s drink with a drug called “U4EA” and attempt to make out with him. Brandon will be too wasted to reciprocate (and drive), so he will leave his car at the club, where it will be trashed by vandals. This was surprisingly compelling in 1991.

» The Sega Genesis rides high thanks to the success of “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Following the success of the just-released GameBoy, Nintendo unveils its 16-bit system, the Super NES, bundled with a copy of “Super Mario World.” The first incarnation of Sony’s PlayStation was still more than three years away.

» The nation rejoices as President George H.W. Bush proclaims September to be “National Rice Month,” in order to “promote greater awareness of the versatility and value of rice and to celebrate America’s status as a major exporter of rice for both commercial and humanitarian purposes.” Somewhere, his son thinks, “Man, being president is easy,” and ponders a run at the White House.

» Tommy Hilfiger, inspired by the success of his menswear collection, begins plans to take his company public. Nearly 15 years later, Hilfiger and Rose would engage in an awesome (sorta) karate brawl at New York City nightclub Plumm after Rose allegedly moved the designer’s girlfriend’s drink. After a few tense moments, Hilfiger is led away — reportedly “kicking and screaming” — by his own security guards while Rose laughed. Axl is awesome.

» On September 17, 1991, there are an estimated 252 million people living in the United States. There are an estimated 5.3 billion people living on planet Earth. Nearly all of those people buy Use Your Illusion. As of this month, the Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. population is now 305 million, while the world population has been estimated at around 6.7 billion people. Not many of those people still buy CDs, which does not exactly bode well for the success of Chinese Democracy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hi, everyone :-)

Just passing by to say that I am really happy about two of my recent works coming out this month.
Avalon/Marquee, the Japanese record label that released Adagio's "Dominate" and a bunch of fine, fine metal albums/bands, just released today "Flying Free", the debut CD from the Lightseekers. They are a great band and I am proud of the work we've done together. For the moment, just the Japanese have the CD out, but it will be availiable real soon via digital download. The band will have a new myspace site availiable tomorrow, at

There's a whooooooooole bunch of pics of the making of the Lightseekers album, video and live in this blog, so I won't repeat them or the great stories surrounding the creation of that album. Thank you for letting me cutting the fat in the music.

Invitation To Forever - Coming 2008

Also just out via SPV/Progrock Records is "Invitation to Forever". It is my first album with Takara, where I had the honor of... Well, I had many honors :-) Made a great new partner/brother in Neal Grusky... Had a great time with him and his wife Aliza in Santa Monica... Although from the pics below, you can be sure we don't share the same interest in healthy food and bio shit... although I should, I defintely should! Met Stefan Svenson, a/k/a Big Swede, a hell of a producer and great guy, which I'd really love having the oportunity of working and hanging out with again... Bjorn and Patrick, great bass and drums, crazy Swedes... Brooke, who I didn't meet, but kicked ass... Plus, Jeff Scott Soto, the one and only... Wow, bro... Grew up listening to you, could never have dreamed you'd be singing melodies and lyrics I wrote in my room, Praça Pasteur, Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil... Life's crazy... My great friend Guilherme Sevens... Killer artwork. You're a genius. Proud of having you be my webMaster, Master (Sorry, I am a big Metallica fan :-) ).

The band's site is revamped and looks gorgeous:
Bits of the new tunes can be heard at:

Just wanted to say a couple of things about "Invitation to Forever" and everything that surrounded it...

I have been following Takara since '94 or '95, since I was/am a big fan of melodic rock and at tht moment in time, not a lot had been happening in that field worldwide. A friend hooked me up with Takara's first couple of CDs and I fell in love with it. Already a great JSS fan, was amazed by the great songwriting and direction. Just wondered how Takara would have sounded with great production + artwork...looooooooool
We made it this time, Neal-age!!!

When JSS first left the band before the "Perception of Reality" CD, I got in touch briefly with Neal via Internet, but we ended up not collaborating, as I was working with Adagio and Neal had other options. Finally, two or so years ago, Neal and I got in touch again and decided to co-write this album. The only songs I didn't co-write on the album were a tribute to Neal's deceased father, "Spotlight", which is a remake from the band's debut CD + a tune written in '87 or so, by a guy who sung in Takara before Jeff and sounded killer. Kudos to you, dude! I wrote lyrics and melodies for 9 of the tracks.

From my perspective, I wrote most of those songs in a very special moment in my life. I was very hopeful and excited about the future, positive... It followed from the writing until the very recording of the album, in Los Angeles, camping at Neal and Aliza's.

I remember one of the happiest days in my life being this very sunny day in LA, where Timo had announced that I had been chosen to front Revolution Renaissance, while I had been doing great work with Neal and Big Swede tracking, enjoying LA, etc... Life was very good on a personal level, etc, etc, etc. TUDO é FUGAZ... Will never forget that day, because I had the impression that everything was in the right place and watching life through pink lenses (does it make any sense in English). Found out that one of my fave guitar players, Wander Taffo, died that day and realized that life wasn't fully perfect for not having afforded me a fully perfect day... Anywaayz...

I had dreamed of going to LA to study guitar in MI when I was a kid, before being a full-time singer (okay, I don't totally suck at the guitar...) and my first trip to the City of Angels was to actually cut a record with an MI teacher... Not too shabby, huh ??? My best friend in college was this girl named Gisele Habib and we used to skip classes and dream of going to LA one day... She lives there and we have realized this together. Realizing things is what life's about... I had a blast, met her friend Melissa, her great dog and crashed at her place. We met way back in '93 and I owe a lot to her. She's been a friend through some really tough times. Now, we're in "Countdown to Chinese Democracy" mode.

It was my idea to write a track-by-track on the songs on the CD. Some of the lyrics are really premonitory about some shit that has happened in my life between the recording and the release of this CD... Songs are about old friendships, love, betrayal, paranoia, anger, dreams, salvation, hopelessness...

Angel of Lies - It's a song about a bad relationship. When you manage to turn the page, not letting it come back to haunt you. Leaving past behind.

Final Warning - Being pissed off at someone and letting them know they should watch their backs. It was written in a moment of anger, frustration and disappointement at the ending of a working relationship. "I'll leave you at destination failure... The main attraction of loser's day parade... True as a letter on April Fool's day". P.S.: I don't give a fuck about the letter I got on April Fools' Day anymore. I'm better off now. Life works through mysterious ways. Just thankful for having had the inspiration for lyrics.

5:55 - Months go by and wounds won't heal. Want you back, hope to wake up from a bad dream, but it won't happen. Blah :-) Funny thing the part that leads to the chorus was from a song I wrote in 1992!

- An AOR classic song, not only a Takara classic :-) Happy about the outcome. Hope the fans will agree!

Riders on the road - One of the songs where Neal and I had different visions. In the end, we used his verses and the rest is my ideas. Weird how pieces fit! Some riffs on this album make me think Lizzy, Rainbow and all that good stuff... "Modern desert outlaw set in steel and on his own". Visions of Priest imagery, I dunno...

"This story has to be told" - More like a classic Takara song,with the keys and big harmony vocals. Lyrics are about feeling that you haven't finished writing a chapter in your story. Sometimes you cross paths with people where the connection is a once-in-a-lifetime thingy. Along with "Riders", there were some additional stuff recorded back home in Rio,with my buddies Alex and Tom Junior. Ideas kept pouring. Literally until last minute of mixing.

"Place under the sun" - The other song Neal and I had different opinions. He had a killer chorus for this (or was it for "Riders"??? I don't remember, but I hope it will be on one of the next albums), but we ended up using mine, and his verses. If you wanna know how my verses were, listen to the ending of the song. There they are in all their glory. Chorus was something I wrote around 2000, or 1999 and my verse comes from 1992. It was very weird how Neal's riffs, ideas and structures fit a lot of stuff I had in my back catalogue of unused shit!!!

Still a mystery
- I really liked when Neal played me this song, which I guess dates back from 1987, I mean, the original version. It seems that Mackey was this singer he worked with before Jeff Scott Soto and he was great, in a Geoff Tate way (in some lines, I could imagine a Ray Gillen vibe). I fell in love with this song and, although I put a bit of my on ideas in the melodies, I tried to go for the original flavor.

Looking for Salvation - Heavy song, and it's about leaving someone behind, a bad situation. It'sabout moving forward and finding your own way, not being there to save anyone's life. I really like the ending of the song, with all the melodies on top of each other.

This Photograph - It's too personal of a song for Neal. I didn't have a lot of input, as this was his baby. This song for me is Jeff Scott Soto's shining moment on the album. The chorus on this song has his trademark beautiful harmonies. It sounds very different from Takara, in my opinion, the singing is really loose... Making me think some old Stones acoustic stuff, more of a vibe than prfection...

I can't hold on
- It's a song about growing apart from your friends. In this case, I wrote about my first band and about separating from them, about changing as people. Thinking about good old days left behind. Everyone becomes different people and I took the rock'n'roll train alone. The verse melody is inspired on a song from our first demo, from '91. We all have scars. Old scars from the past, new scars from chaging as people and moving ahead.

Nowhere to Run
- Like the riffs. Make me think of stuff like "Round and Round", by Ratt, but the verses made me think of something like Alcatrazz. I don't know... The lyrics are miswritten in the booklet, looool "Got nowhere to run from the sign that surrounds". What does it mean? azerfgtyhjuklcvbn,;,:357kyfdrh

-Quasi-end of scattered ramblings...

Neal promised to send me some pics of the recording, etc... blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda... Lost my camera one late night in LA... But got all these great pics from Gisele... I know they have no connection to the music in "Invitation to Forever", but maybe they do... at the end of the day... everything is intertwined.

Monday, November 10, 2008


B-day :-)

Como doi... 94 anos:-( Meu Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeus...
Ainda bem que a vida é feita de compensações.

A epitome do rock pauleira. Ganhei o "Black Ice", do Gui,logo essa foto pode estar aqui :-)

Afilhada mais linda do mundo.

Mãe, Havaianas e Zozoh

Percy, Flavinho, Rapha, eu, Rabelais e Guizin Valhalla

Dani e Tony Dennis, vulgo Piratinha...

Véia Dinda. Meu exemplo maior de cair e levantar no mundo.

Monique, Rabelais, eu , Percy, Robertinho D'avila e Flavinho

Diego, Estrela Dalva, Bimbo, Beto e Valéria

Ela sempre ganha o primeiro pedaço de bolo.

Meu véio Rodrigo e eu, no meio do que parece um despacho numa encruzilhada...

Comemorar fora do dia conta, Ju? :-) Beijos pros Flower Rangers. Ass: Badernista

BH Rock City...

Irmãos dos mais queridos: Galeguinho e Pacote.

Fernando Pazzini (Overdose)

Bozoh, meu parceiro no Overdose, que agora comanda a Saravah e Mongodolls.

Jammin' no The Jack com o Hard'n'heavy.


Bom te ver no seu lugar, Gui... Beijos ao BLUEce Lee e ao Jean-Claude Fandangos.

Mais rock.

Alê figura.

Muito especial essa foto. Buxexa era tecladista do Cartoon, uma banda da qual sou MUITO fã e acompanho a trajetoria ha dez anos. Um privilégio ter dividido o palco com vc nos shows do Hard'n'heavy e Aeroguns. Além do grande tecladista, cantor, guitarrista, etc, um grande cara cm uma enrgia impar. Tudo de bom!

Meu amigo querido Vermelho e The Renatas.

Com o baixista Leco Estrada, Eduardo "Paulista" Simões (um dos melhores papos do mundo na minha lista, desde o aluguel do Marshall para a gravação do disco do finado Angel Heart, em '94) e Stanley Soares, que é técnico de som do Sepultura/Motorhead e destroi na guitarra. Tocamos uma "Wasted Years", da melhor qualidade...

Outro ds bons: Augusto, guitarrista do Scarcéus, banda que tah sempre no iPod :-) Toca muito + gente boa.


Galera do Metal I

Galera do Metal II

Minha sempre querida Ana Ribeiro.


Um dos meus amigos mais queridos e maiores guitarristas do Brasil/sae tudo de vinhos/sabe td de td/faltam adjetivos... PERCY

Dieguinho, Percy e Barbara

Gustavo, Monique e Milena

Meu companheiro infernal Francisco Petisco.


Esse cara rock'n'roll demais na foto é Daniel Macedo. Dani é o cara que tem a sorte de ter os pais incriveis (Taisa e meu parceiro do rock, Alê Macedo) e tah ai bonitão e cheio de saude. O papai coruja mandou essa foto com o presente que o Tio Gus deu e tah recebendo as boas vindas gerais!