Tantric, having been through it’s fair share of new members, is still rolling as strong as ever with a new record, “Mind Control.” Since the hit single, “Down and Out,” they have gained popularity in the mainstream rock genre and have been working hard on keeping up with the new standard necessary to stay in the limelight. Being the great musicians and visionaries they are, they most likely will succeed in becoming even bigger and better than before. I had a talk with the founder and only original member left in the band, Hugo Ferreira. We discussed this new reputation and how changes in the line-up have affected him. Read on as Hugo tells us about the good times, as well as the hardships, that come when working in the music industry.
Jade: Your new CD, “Mind Control,” especially the title track, seems to have an underlying theme of being an individual. Did you plan it this way?
Hugo: Well, I think that’s always an important thing, but I don’t think that was the main subject matter of the song or the record. “Mind Control” was really talking about forms of media influencing your opinion on every-day subjects and about you being an individual and making your own decisions and not necessarily letting media make it for you. But it’s really only in that particular song. All the songs have different meanings.
Jade: The CD was created mostly through the internet, back and forth between band members. What was this experience like? Was it easier or harder to manage?
Hugo: Well, I mean, losing a band member is never an easy thing, and it’s always unfortunate because you don’t get to be with them, and you come attached to them, they become your friends. And obviously putting a band together again from scratch is a very difficult thing. But I think that, at the end of the day, I’m really grateful for how it all went down because the band that I have now is, I guess in general, better in the direction I always wanted to go, and I think that they’re just more on the same page with me.
Jade: What makes this album bigger and better than the rest? How has your sound progressed?
Hugo: I think that this record is one of the more aggressive records than we’ve ever done. And I think that the song writing, being as it was collaborative on this one, really made it a lot more diverse from song to song.
Jade: How do you feel, personally, that you’ve developed as an artist in this field of work?
Hugo: I feel like the fact that I’m still here is a lot to be said. It is a constant struggle and I try to better myself as a musician every day, and I think in that aspect, I’ve become a better song writer and a better artist, and have gone in different directions with the music. But I think the most challenging part is literally just surviving in this industry.
Jade: What’s your biggest accomplishment, in your opinion, in this field of work?
Hugo: I think having a platinum record is one of my personal biggest accomplishments. But I think that releasing a record, in itself, is a huge accomplishment, and having all that work coming to fruition is a great thing.
Jade: Being the only original member of Tantric, how do you keep songs from sounding like solo material, and more like a Tantric song?
Hugo: Like I said, the writing is collaborative, and just because I’m the originator or founder, the writing is still collaborative in the band. So, therefore, it is more of a band.
Jade: What is it like to have a complete change in line-up? Was the transition difficult?
Hugo: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought, initially, that bands were not going to accept it as well, but it ended up being more and running pretty smooth.
Jade: How did the original idea of including strings in your rock music come about?
Hugo: I think it’s mine and Marcus’ idea. He was the first new member of Tantric. And me and Marcus wrote “Down and Out.” So I think it all started with that, and then we started exploring more and more of what we can do.
Jade: Speaking of “Down and Out,” you’ve received a lot of radio play for that song. Have you felt a change in the band in any way from this popularity?
Hugo: Yeah, I think it’s always great to have a hit single. The band has more people coming up to these shows, stuff like that. And it affects us all in a positive way.
Jade: What bands or musicians have inspired your approach on music and unique sound?
Hugo: I would say I was a big Metallica and Alice In Chains fan. But I’m a fan of song writing in general. Anything from The Beatles to Hall and Oats to.. anything that was really good song writing, I was more a fan of.
Jade: What was it like to be able to support bands such as Saliva and Drowning Pool?
Hugo: Well, I’ve known those guys for so long, it was just kind of like playing with my brothers. So it was fun.
Jade: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects to recording and touring?
Hugo: Well, I like to tour, so that’s a good thing. And our band gets along really well, so that makes touring pretty easy, other than the every-day stresses of just bullshit that you have to deal with on tour. I love recording, I could record all day long. But just being away from our family, I think, is the biggest down-side.
Jade: Lastly, what are your expectations for the upcoming year?
Hugo: Hopefully, this record will exceed the last record’s success.
Jade: Any tour plans?
Hugo: Yep, the tours are always posted on myspace.com antric and daily updates are posted on facebook.com antric.
We would like to thank Hugo Ferreira for taking the time to talk to us during Tantric’s busy touring schedule. Again, you can go to www.myspace.com/tantric or www.facebook.com/tantric for more information on the band. *All photos courtesy of Backstageaxxess.com correspondent Steve Bowe.