Where Do We Go From Here? An Interview With Hugo Ferreira from Tantric
Tantric has been around in different incarnations for years. The backbone or brainchild if you will, has always been Hugo Ferreira. His distinctive baritone voice has been recognizable since day one. If you are a fan, do I have good news for you! Hugo is back and he’s brought along a few friends. 37 Channels is the new album and features a diverse lineup that includes Shooter Jennings, 70’s pop star Leif Garrett, Austin Winkler (Hinder), Kenny Olson (Kid Rock), Kevin McCreery (Uncle Kracker), Greg Upchurch (3 Doors Down), Gary Morse, David “2B” Mouser (KNOXX, The Villebillies) and Scott Bartlett (Saving Abel). Intrigued yet?
Listen to the entire Hugo Ferreira interview below:
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Today I’m welcoming Hugo Ferreira to the Unsung Melody family. Hugo is, well he’s most everything when it comes Tantric. First off, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today.
Thank you for wanting to speak with me.
Let’s jump right in here. 37 Channels is the new record. So go ahead and give me every little detail. I’ll wait. (Laughter)
Basically it’s been three years in the making. I wrote about 120 songs for it. It took about three years to write and about six months to record. It was my sixth Tantric record, but my fifth release. On this one I really just pulled out all the stops. I had every friend of mine that I’ve ever wanted to perform with, or guest star on tracks. The first single is called Mosquita, which is actually performed with a friend of mine, Shooter Jennings. I’m really excited. I’ve been in my home and studio for the last few years, so for me it’s time. I’m ready to be out on the road and perform instead of just writing all the time.
Time to share your creations.
I enjoy both processes, it’s just I almost became like a hermit crab. Just because I kept to myself while I was doing this record. I’m ready to go out and see what the sun looks like again and hopefully enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I read the title is like a peek inside your brain. You have 37 things going on at once. With such a varied sound on this record, could that also be considered an album description?
It was really, I wrote 116 songs for this record and sometimes a rock song would come out. Sometimes a non-rock song would come out. I just really started to realize how random my thought process was creatively. Really, when this type of writing started shifting, there’s a lot of numerology in this. My birthday is on March 7th, which I didn’t intentionally mean for that to work together, but it really is kind of describing my bouts with my extreme deficit disorder and personalities, just from being from so many different cultural backgrounds. My parents are Portuguese. I went high school in Boston. Then I kind of grew up my latter years in Detroit. From Detroit I went to the South. Then from the South, I was in and out of Europe. So, I was influenced of different types of music and people and cultures. Basically it’s about all the randomness that I have to cypher through to actually get to the point. Where I’m like, “Oh, okay, this is what I’m trying to say.”
Mosquita is a track that you mentioned and people have gotten a taste of. I hear a little Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust in the pre-chorus there. Was that a hat tip to those guys?
I had written a whole different chorus. It was on purpose that I did that, kind of a tribute to Queen. I have always been a huge Queen fan. I had basically, that whole song written and there’s an A side to the chorus and a B side to the chorus. I’ve always been a Queen fanatic, so it was kind of like my little subtle way of putting a non-disrespectful tribute to that lick and just kind of hinting at it, then stepping away. When I first came up with the idea of adding that. I meet kids that are younger than me and I’m like, “Have you ever listened to Queen?” They’re like, “Who’s Queen?” I’m like, “Oh my goodness!” With me being such a huge fan, it’s just beyond me how some people are just not aware of them. There is a little subtle tribute there, but that’s about it. It’s kind of a personal thing to me.
I wasn’t calling you out on it by any means. I just figured there was something there. I was poking a little bit.
It was definitely an intentional thing.
You may have just figured out what’s wrong with humanity when kids don’t know who Queen is. Maybe we need to put that in as a subject in high school or something.
Yeah. Well that’s just the beginning of the things that are wrong. (laughter) I think that a lot of what is happening with music today, is that it’s almost kind of disheartening. There was really great rock music in the 70’s and there’s great music out there right now. I like to think that I made a great record, but the thing is, the powers that be they just tend to play everything a bit safer and kind of spoon feed people what they think they should be hearing, instead of giving them a variety. Even the way that radio stations and stuff work now, it’s just like there is one main guy calling all the shots for multiple radio stations and it’s definitely a change of climate and everything, but all I know how to do is write the music that I write. I’m sure it’s constantly being influenced by other stuff that I hear and I like. So, the rest, I have to hope for the best. As far as where kids are going and just their general knowledge. That’s part of the reason why I like to give tribute to a lot of these people. I did a cover song, on my 2nd record, of Fleetwood Mac. Which I think is a really great band. Unless someone is listening to a classic rock station, they’re not going to hear a Fleetwood Mac song anymore.
Gravity is one of my personal favorites. The melodies just flow so well and the focus, for me at least, is on your voice. You really shine on that track. That song seems very real and your emotions come through so well. Did that song come together easily for you or was that one that took a while to get where you wanted it?
I’ll tell you one thing, that song is basically a tribute to all of the strong women in my life. My mother, or my significant other or my manager. There’s support that I get from my boys, my dad, paternal figures in my life. Then there’s just a support, at least in my situation, that I get from my mom. So it’s kind of like a contrast. I go through so much shit in my life. There are so many crazy things going on in my life at any given moment, but it’s really held down by this woman or women that are nurturing. They know how to love you and how to care about you. They just seem to be like the gravity of my life, that kind of holds me down. There is a lot of meaning behind the lyrics and I had originally written riff to the verse, but the first melody was the same. Then I sat on that verse for a little bit and one day, I woke up at about 4:30 in the morning and I had the melody and what I wanted to say in my head. I tagged the chorus and then everything else just kind of flowed. To me, I try not to overwork songs. If it’s not flowing to me in like 30 minutes to an hour or so, I just drop it. Because you just start over thinking everything and trying a square where a triangle should be. Songs should be like emotion, they should just come out and you shouldn’t have to think super hard to write them. They should already be there and you are just rediscovering them. I kind of like that reference.
Where Do We Go From Here has hit written all over it. Could we see that as a single at some point?
You know, it’s really difficult to pick out singles. The thing is, picking out singles would be like parents picking out their favorite child. I’m trying to make a decision that ultimately, is based on what I think that represents the record and that the majority of people will enjoy. Not my particular favorite or whatever. I definitely believe that, that song is a single, but I believe that all of them could be singles. Just for different people. Because everybody is going to have a different favorite. So, ultimately, hopefully, the singles that they do hear on the radio, will inspire them to be curious to see what else is written. The one thing that I can say, is there is never really a repeat. It’s not like you hear one song and then you hear another one just like that one. All of the songs were written in different times of my life. They all have their own little different backstories. It’s a pretty different record. Even within it’s self.
I know it’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I’ll throw my hat in the ring for that one to be a single at some point.
Me too. I just hope that everybody loves it and all of them get there. I’ve always felt that, that song was a really great song and I wrote that song about six or seven years ago. It’s just always been sitting in my computer and it just didn’t feel right at the time. Finally it came out and I was like, “Now, here’s your time to shine.” It’s hard to dwindle down 100 songs into 13 for the record. That’s probably the hardest thing about this whole thing.
Are there any tour plans shaping up we can discuss?
I know that I’ll probably be touring in early November, if not before. I’m looking forward to being on the road for over a year. I just want to tour my ass off. I’ve been in my house for too long. I’m ready. I need out. I need to be onstage. I’ve been working so hard on it, I’m just ready to share it.
Alright, I always end on a random question. They recently announced Ben Affleck as the next Batman. What are your thoughts?
(laughter) Well obviously, I’m can agree that I have my hesitations. Christian Bale is great. I am a Batman fan, but I’m more of a fan of the Dark Knight. Which is what the last trilogy is based on. I want to give Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt, but I am skeptical. I feel like we needed a more rugged type of guy. He’s supposed to be a vigilante and I just don’t see how Ben Affleck can pull that off really.
(laughter) I couldn’t agree more.
I do wish him well.
Absolutely. It’s a franchise that I hope that they don’t weaken or water it down and make it the demise of it. So, I’m with you.
The backlash he is getting, to be on the other end of that, would be shitty at best. Just imagine how Ben Affleck is feeling right now. 12 million people signed a fucking petition so I would not be in this movie. (laughter) You don’t go from what you just did, what you won an Oscar for as a director for Argo, to this. I think that he’s a great actor, well great would be a big word, but I think that he’s a really good actor, I just don’t think that he’s right for this part.
I couldn’t agree more.
That’s only my opinion. I don’t dislike Ben Affleck. I think that he’s a nice guy. I just don’t know. Christian Bale left some big shoes for anyone to fill.
Hugo, I thank you so very much for joining me. The site and myself wish you nothing but the best. Hopefully once we get out on the road, we can get caught up some time.
Absolutely. I’ll buy you a beer.
Sounds like a plan!
Keep up with Tantric below:
Click the album cover to preorder 37 Channels below:
Tantric – Mosquita (Lyric Video):