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Heleno Vale (Soulspell)

Interview with Heleno Vale from Soulspell
by YngwieViking at 23 December 2012, 11:42 PM

SOULSPELL has been one of the many musical adventures delivering an opera with plenty of artists to lay in their craft and trade on display. On top of them all there is Heleno Vale, the projects leader, that similarly to Tobias Sammet, creator of AVANTASIA, has been rallying the best of them to create a Heavy Metal opera telling mystic legends of the old. Lately the project released a new album named “Hollow’s Gathering”, via Inner Wound Recordings, therefore Cedric talked with Heleno Vale on the new release, Brazilian Metal and future expectations. 

Hi there Heleno, great to have you for this interview on Metal Temple. First I think “hollow’s gathering” is a bloody great album and as a FAN of Brazilian Melodic Metal It was for me a real treat…What will be your words to describe it?

First of all thanks a lot for this opportunity. I am really glad we can talk about Soulspell. I would describe Soulspell Act3 as our best work so far. It has a deep background story, the best lyrics I wrote so far and it is faster and more melodic than the last album. But I think our three albums are truly parts of a complete project. They work independently but they form a beautiful and powerful team. I miss it in some music projects. I’m looking forward to start recording the next one and the other ones :)

Can you first tell us about you, your background as a musician…Your past or actual involvement with other bands?

Heleno is a humble and very ordinary guy who dared to follow his instincts and try something different for his life. Something he loves above all: Music and Heavy Metal. He studied the drums, the piano, harmony and vocals. Besides that Heleno loves unusual things for a musician like to play tennis and to teach classes of computer science. Heleno is graduated (masters and doctorate) in Virtual Reality. Hence he tries to produce and record his own video clips for Soulspell Metal Opera spending as little money as he can (because he has no money….yet).

How your idea to create such a monster work as this Metal opera comes at first?

Well, I always wanted to write songs with my friends from my previous bands. Actually we have composed some stuff but we were not able to record it (and believe me, it was really a good stuff). So, I decided to write a project myself, because I knew I could do a great job and I knew I would struggle til the end different from the people who give up (believe me again, there is always a member to give up and to smash all your dreams). So I began to write some songs and it became a metal opera when a friend of mine told me a thriller story of his life. I love to write for Soulspell, it has a fantastic story which chills me and I can get a lot of inspiration from its characters’ lives.

Tell us more about the whole story and the full concept of those 3 albums?

Soulspell story is based on real facts: some visions a very close friend of mine had in the past. All albums are based on the same story. It describes the life of a very common guy named Tobit. He begins to have some visions he didn’t know what it is. Soon, he notices he is a special guy with special gifts: he can see his past lives. Despite the story takes place nowadays in Earth, it involves several dimensions and strange beings; because I really believe we are not alone at all. You can read the complete story at our website.

Can we expect a Soulspell number 4?

Definitely yes! I always told my close friends to be patient because our fourth album would be the “watershed” which would put us close to the biggest projects of this style. Let’s wait, work hard and see what happens :) You can certainly expect our greatest lineup and our best production so far.

How do you recruit the lineup?

I talk to some Brazilian and international friends (musicians) and they present our project to the musicians I want to record a new album. If they like it, I get them onboard. The Internet helps a lot of course.

Please give us your version of the story about the competition and your advice about the winner Jefferson Albert…

Ok. The Soulspell’s Singers Contest is a beautiful competition where some unknown Brazilian vocalists can show their talent to the world and have the chance to record an album among many important and well known Heavy Metal singers. We did it two times already. We had more than 300 participants from all states of Brazil. I love this competition. It is fantastic to see how much these guys want it and fight for it. Many of them deserve to become big artists. We always put together 10 or 12 judges, some great singers and musicians. It is hard to organize and much money is spent but it worth it and we will try to organize it again to choose a good and young singer for the next album. Actually Jefferson Albert didn’t win the competition, he was one of the finalists, but I think he is the best singer of all 300 participants we had so far. He has the most powerful voice I ever heard. Rafael Dantas (Caravellus) won the first time and Pedro Campos won the last time. They have both powerful and high pitch voice. Listen to them! Jefferson Albert recorded “A Secret Compartment”, “Hollow’s Gathering” and “A Rescue Into The Storm”. Rafael Dantas recorded “Dark Prince’s Dawn” and Pedro Campos recorded “The Keeper’s Game” and “The Dead Tree” respectively with Blaze Bayley and Tim Ripper Owens.

Do you plan on touring? If yes how I supposed that the logistic should be huge?

Yes I want to tour abroad with Soulspell. Like you said the logistic will be huge, but we can take care of it. We have good partners. I am working on it now. Hope I can give you some news about it soon.

In my review for the new album “Hollow’s Gathering” I stated that the album is pretty much dominated by the Brazilian cast more than the international guest star, did that something that make you proud?

Yes, of course. Brazil is huge. Brazilian talent is immense. There are still a lot of singers I want to show to the world. But, a project like Soulspell needs international names, of course. So, I intend to increase the list of international participants for the next albums. But, in Soulspell the talent will always be placed higher than the names. So, when I invite an international name to the cast you can be sure I felt he/she could fit some character more than anyone. I want the fans to listen to it and feel they are part of the story, part of the fairytale.

About those international guest stars, how did you get in touch with them?

I answered it in a previous question. I have many friends (musicians) who can start a conversation between the guests and I :)

Do you have some hard times to persuade them to be involved? It’s obviously a marketing trick but it’s also I suppose an artistic choice, please share your opinion about that.

No. I just show them the project and ask them if they want to be onboard. I think they are very clever and I can’t change their minds. Of course I give them all the details I have about the project, the character etc.

Do you think that the complexity of some of the structures can be a block for some listeners?

No. Soulspell is not Dream Theater. Soulspell is emotion, passion, honesty. We have in general simple structures “decorated” with few complex parts. Our strength is far from complexity. Our strength is the beautiful vocal lines, the powerful voices, the duets, the choirs, the harmonies, the feeling etc.

Do you keep this aspect in mind while composing, or did you just get the inspiration flows?

Inspiration is everything for Soulspell. I won’t write anymore when I feel my inspiration is gone. I will never try to write “mathematical” songs. It is so boring :)

I think the progress between the new album and “a legacy of honor” is huge, do you have any conscience of that or the everyday life with those songs keeps you away from some realities?

Of course I have. I know “A Legacy Of Honor” is a great album with so many great and fast songs, but it is impossible not to see how far from “Hollow’s Gathering” that album is. It is all parts of the same plan. We know what we are capable of, but we must not skip any steps. We need to write a first album so we can do better next time. Citing The Holy Dead Tree: “We must evolve to reach our past, looking forward we’re going back” :)

I think the technical aspect of the Pharaonik project is almost perfect…Please see if you can add more about your collaboration with people from around the globe?

I don’t know if I understood this question very well, but Soulspell is becoming more and more a world’s project. It will always have the Brazilian roots and I’m proud of it. But we can’t focus only in Brazil if we want to grow. So we have a lot of contacts and partners all around the world. I want to increase this list in the next years.

Please let us know your Brazilian Metal TOP 5?

Soulspell, Hibria, Angra, André Matos e Shadowside.

Please let us know your Alltime TOP 10?

In Heavy Metal: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, DIO, Slayer, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Savatage, Blind Guardian and Sonata Arctica.

I wish to thank you for the interview and wish you guys the best of luck with the new album. Any last words for the fans out there?

Thank you. Hope you enjoy this new album and keep supporting Soulspell for the next tours and albums. Thanks a lot my friends.



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