Rodrigo Amorim of Astralplane on the Band's New Single and Influences
Based in Bahia, Brazil, Astralplane is an up and coming band. Their music traverses numerous genres, highlighting elements of psychedelia, Brazilian popular music, and progressive rock in particular.
With ambient effects and an unparalleled vibe, Astralplane is perfect for fans of Tame Impala and Mild High Club.
Single 'A-Calma' was released on March 12 in collaboration with Illy and DICERQUEIRA. 'A-Calma' is a low-key ode to the beauty of lazy afternoons and the summer sun. The visual art for the single captures the song's easy nostalgia and evokes complimentary imagery.
We spoke to Rodrigo Amorim, bassist and producer for Astralplane about the band's new single 'A-Calma' and their influences. Check out the full interview and listen to 'A-Calma' below.
Where are you from?
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
How did this influence your music?
Initially, right when we emerged as a musical collective, our greatest influences were turned to the foreign universe. We listened to Brazilian music, but our attention was focused on groups like Pink Floyd, Tame Impala, The Doors; including our first work (the EP Pales Tantral, which was produced entirely in the English language). During Astral's musical maturation process, we searched for national rhythms and artists. It completely changed our vision as musicians; we started to compose in Portuguese and incorporate the rich melodies and harmonies of our land in our search for universal sounds. We listened a lot to Milton Nascimento, with Clube da Esquina (a musical movement in Minas Gerais that mixed Brazilian popular music with progressive rock and psychedelia), and listened to Caetano Veloso and other tropicalists (Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes). These were all different musical phases, and were very important for our learning. We reached other references, other aesthetics, more focused on pop, funk, disco music, such as maestro Lincoln Olivetti and the versatile musician Marcos Valle.
How and when did the band form?
The band appeared in 2014, when brothers Lucas and Gabriel, vocalist and drummer, respectively, outlined a band project with guitarist Sávio. They already had references in common and the desire to play. With the arrival of bassist Rodrigo Amorim, the format was solidified, with mutual feelings for transforming it into a real project. From there we started; we rehearsed a lot to understand each other as a band and started our musical processes. And here we are... the flame is burning!
What is the story behind the name ‘Astralplane’?
‘Astralplane’ came up with the need to pass on to people all the positive feelings that we would like to build and develop in our music. I think that name symbolizes well what our music means to people. In addition, we see in the word 'Astralplane' a possibility to access the ears, minds and bodies of people from all over the globe, precisely because it is a universal name.
"We see in the word 'Astralplane' a possibility to access the ears, minds and bodies of people from all over the globe, precisely because it is a universal name."
How would you describe your sound?
This is a question that we always have difficulty answering. As I told you, we went through many references during the young Astral career. In an objective way, I would say that Astral mixes elements of Brazilian popular music with psychedelia and what is new in modern, electronic music. We are always changing our references, always looking for sound challenges. We started with psychedelic and progressive rock, we went to Brazilian popular music, we went through disco music, funk, deep house-- I don't know what we'll do tomorrow. I think the unpredictability is one of the wonders that keeps the Astral engine running at full throttle.
"We started with psychedelic and progressive rock, we went to Brazilian popular music, we went through disco music, funk, deep house-- I don't know what we'll do tomorrow."
If you could jam with any musician, who would it be?
There are certainly many iconic figures that we would be happy to share the stage with, such as João Donato, Chet Baker, Marcos Valle, Arthur Verocai, Donna Summer, Roy Ayers, Yussef Dayes, Donald Byrd, Mildlife and many others. There are many incredible people from different eras with important impacts on our musical growth. Very difficult to choose just one!
What is something each of the band members brings to the table?
One of the things I like most about Astralplane is the ability we have to unravel tasks and, with that, develop different fronts within the band. For example, Lucas and Gabriel, because they are brothers, are always together, It is from this union that, in most cases, the sketches of the songs emerge. From then on we get together and develop them all together. Sávio, on the other hand, is very dedicated to the technical process of recording. With much effort and dedication, he set up a kind of home studio, where he constantly studies music production. Nowadays, we record everything with him, except drums. He produces, records, and mixes the songs. I have a strong connection with the band's communication and the press, so I seek dialogues with the media and contributors to events, propagating our sound. I think we are a good team.
What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘A-Calma’?
'A-Calma' appeared in the quarantine, as well as the single we released before it ('PassaTempo'). 'A-Calma' reflects a good feeling we had enjoying a late afternoon on a sunny day in summer. We collaborated with two important artists, Illy and Di Cerqueira, who also make up the new Brazilian musical generation. Musically speaking, the track carries with it the beauty that exists in the summer, and shows the band in a new stage of its sound process, saluting influences from Bahia and adding elements of contemporary popular music. 'A-Calma' is a mix of Trip Hop and MPB, as well as the quartet's characteristic pop sound.
How are your graphics/album covers designed?
We managed to establish an important partnership with a visual artist that we admire a lot, Daniel Ferro. He developed the art behind the track "A-Calma" and produced a clip for a track of ours as well. I think Daniel blends well on the team and is in tune with the message that we want to convey in our songs.
What are your plans post-COVID-19?
We intend to release a new album in the second half of the year. Our idea is to tour as soon as we are able to with safe conditions and the possibility of performing shows around the country.