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Tantric Getting the Breakdown with Hugo Ferreira



Getting the Breakdown with Hugo Ferreira

By Nina McCarthy, Senior Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio



OK, I'm recording so anything you say can and will be used against you.  I'm just going to start with an old school question.  What I'm curious about is the band name, which refers to ancient Hindu sexual practices.  How did the name originate?


HF:  It actually wasn't that at all but that's the most identifiable meaning.  It really wasn't that deep. I wanted something that was cool, catchy and timeless.  I found it interesting and there were a bunch of omens that kind of pointed me to it.  I don't think a band name makes the band.  I think the band makes the name.  If Stone Temple Pilots was ChumbaWamba then  Chumbawamba would be a cool name because Stone Temple Pilots would be playing it.  I'm happy with the name.


Are you happy it is connected with sex?


HF:  Sometimes, but there's a lot to live up to because now you have to give them a disclaimer.. I'm not Sting.


I didn't mean to bring up sex on the first question.  So you formed in 99 but you're the only original member. So can you just introduce the current lineup.


HF:  We have Troy who plays drums for us. This is kind of a recent lineup with Jaron playing bass, and Cinderella's offspring (Sebastian on guitar.) What's the male Cinderella?  I don't know, but he's awesome and we like him. I'm not married and I don't have any kids, not for lack of practicing.  To do something like this for this long you have to be just completely in love with it or just too stupid to know when to quit, and I think I have a little bit of both. As long as there are still people trickling in, I'll always do it because I still think I've got something new to offer and I think that there's people out there that like it and I definitely enjoy doing it.  I'd rather do that then make 5 billion dollars and hate my life.


That kind of answers my next question. I was going to say, what kept you going to keep the dream alive?


HF:  I guess with anything like this, you always feel like around the bend is the next plateau.  You kind of have to be a little bit overly optimistic and a little bit naive to a sense because it's the hope that things will get better or bigger or newer whatever it is that that keeps us all going in anything. You know, it's what keeps people in relationships in different forms.  To me, the one constant for sure is that I know when I can capture a sincere moment in a song. I go back and listen to my stuff and I'm really proud of it and I know that it is all of me in there.  It was definitely something that I gave my all to, at least with my heart and emotion.


And I think your music is kind of making a comeback. Rock kind of died out a little and metal took very for awhile.


HF:  I think rock is like shades of grey. I mean there's metal but I don't think rock could ever go anywhere.  You know, when there was more like 80s glam rock and then from there it went to this grunge and post-grunge and the nu-metal and then all these offsets kind of thinned out and then there's the little ones of each category that seemed to survive. But I think that we've been around so long that the majority of people that listen to rock will definitely know at least a track because by default we've become a band that has always been on the radio.


Yeah I know I saw a mother with her son and that's cool that they pass it down to the next generation.


HF:  I think everybody has their own moment in the sun and I just like to be outside.  I don't need to be in the bright sun at all times.  As long as there's a little bit of light on me, that's how I'm happy. 


How has your music evolved over the years, especially with different lineup changes?


HF:  It always comes from a storytelling and a personal place with me and a guitar, or me and a piano. But I think that basically as musicians come in and out, I kind of use them as like for example, the eight color Crayolas and you just use the different ones, so I use the different talents that they have to highlight what I already make.  I welcome it.  It's putting different wheels on your car and it just adds a little something, but at the end of the day it's still the same core thing.  I think that people kind of let you deviate a little bit within reason.


Can you tell me a little bit about your own musical background, when you became interested in writing and composing?


HF:  I'm a Pisces.


Oh boy so am I!


HF:  We're already fucked there!  I've always had music in my life and it was encouraged by my family and it was in my family. I don't think that they saw me going to the extreme, but again, I was very fortunate to have a family that kind of just created this huge safety net for me for me to just fail a bunch of times and fall down and get up and they still do. The biggest wealth I have is definitely in the family I have and I was very fortunate for that.


Definitely.  Now 37 Channels was your baby though.


HF:  It was. It was kind of the bits and pieces of my fragmented self.  It was definitely a different CD than all of them.  It was pretty selfish.


It's ok to be selfish sometimes.  So this is your first show this tour. What are you looking forward to? Are there any special venues or cities?


HF:  I just love being on the road. But mostly I'm just looking forward to this year.  We got a new deal and a new record.  I finally procrastinated long enough.  It really is a great record and I'm just welcoming whatever comes.


Can you tell me about your new record?


HF:  I should almost just call it Massachusetts because it's definitely symbolic of the last three years of my life and they were very, very challenging for me in different ways.  Life is always full of challenges but I definitely came in one shape and out the other end a different one.  I will be happy to have written it and put it behind me.


Obviously you have a full band on the new album. Is it these guys?


HF:  Yeah, there are a few different players in the end.  Like I said, I play that by ear, whatever feels right. You know I'm saying?  But yeah, the players that I've had, I've been fortunate to always have good players. They worked really hard, so why not use them?


What songs are your favorites to sing live and are you sick of singing “Breakdown” yet?


HF:  I never got sick of it. It's a crowd pleaser and the energy is awesome.  As far as favorites to sing,  it just depends because I kind of just reflect people's energy. If it's a somber more wistful crowd it's whatever but they all just like to watch me and I always like to play songs that I haven't played in a long time but I have some eighty some odd songs out and that’s like Rush does, three hours, holy crap.


So if you could go back in time to the beginning, what advice would you give yourself?  Although things have really changed in the music scene...


HF:  I guess you can't really give yourself much advice.  Things are the way they are and it wouldn't be any other way they're supposed to be.  I mean, do you want certain outcomes to be different, of course, but for the most part there's more good than bad in general in my career and I think that the best is always yet to come.  To me now, the importance that I have personally and what I consider like my personal success, is different than it was when you're younger.


And what these young bands want today?



HF:  Oh yeah totally, what they think it is.   What they think it is about and what it actually is completely different. The only thing you can really do is be true to yourself as much as possible and try not to get jaded.


Speaking of that, do you have any advice for young musicians that are just starting out these days?


HF:  I don't know if I have any good advice.  I would just say that my advice isn't any better than anybody else's, but I would just say that if you're going to do it, it's already hard enough to do it in general but if you're going to do it just fucking do it right  Don't suck at it. 


I've heard that exact saying before, “Don't suck.”


HF:  At the end of it all, the only guarantee that you have is what you created, then that should be the motivating factor.


That's pretty much all the questions I have. Do you have any further comments or anything you'd like to say to your fans.


HF:  I just really appreciate all of them.  I think that fans that like music don't realize how ingrained they are in my life and other artists lives because it really is the air that I breathe and without that there is nothing.  I think that they all know I'm definitely appreciative.


I brought up how I saw the other mother with her son. How do you feel when you see the younger generation in the audience?


HF:  Of course I love it.  It’s crazy because I don't have kids so I don't have that reference but I still feel like I'm still young and when I see people that came a decade and a half ago and they were knocked up and now they have kids here, it's awesome. 


I saw a lot of pictures of you with teenagers and stuff.  That's cool that you take the time to do that because you know how much that means. It's so thrilling to them.


HF:  I try to think of myself at that age when I was a spectator and I would go and they'd act like “Whatever.”  It's the way they see you, it's wonder, and it's cool shit and it's great to have that feeling with anything to have something or someone make you feel in awe.  It's cool.










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