Brother Against Brother

Brother Against Brother is a new music project that’s presented by Frontiers Music. The self-titled debut album is wonderfully made in general, the concept behind it and the music, so Grande Rock got in touch with one of the main vocalists Nando Fernandes, so as to learn more details about the debut release. Nando apart from being a gifted vocalist, he’s also a very kind and down to earth person, who really loves music on the whole. Read more below…
Brother Against Brother band pic
Hi Nando, I’m so glad to have you on Grande Rock! First of all tell us how did the idea about Brother Against Brother (read the album review here) come about and how were you involved in this music project?
N: Hi, I’m very proud of this opportunity to speak with you, thank you so much! Well, at the beginning of the pandemic I received an email from Frontiers showing interest in working with me. We settled all the details and after the contract was signed, they suggested this project to me alongside Renan Zonta. The name Brother Against Brothers was also suggested by them, as the CD is themed and tells, in a modern way, the story between the brothers Moisés and Ramses, and was written by producer Alessandro Del Vecchio.
Were you skeptical when you received the proposal for this project due to the Allen/Lande comparisons or not? Was it something that you wanted to try out anyway? A vocal duet with another Brazilian vocalist and see how it will turn out eventually?
N: In truth, no! I didn’t think about it at first, then yes, but without worrying about possible comparisons, because I don’t think anything like it, except for the fact that it's a duet all the time! By the way, I’m a big fan of the Allan/Lande project albums. About the experience of splitting a CD? Yes, I had already thought about it and the choice of the label was correct, Renan is a great revelation of Brazilian rock!
Are you expecting any reactions (good or bad) with the Allen/Lande project or what?
N: Jorn is a great friend, I have a lot of respect for him, Russell has great Brazilian friends too, I believe there will be no negative comments from them, who are mature and experienced vocalists, and know that now we are also part of a record company that has organized similar projects with several other artists, now! Whether they will like our voices is another story!
I feel that you and Renan Zonta (Electric Mob) are making a good duet. Were you afraid at some point that maybe your voices would not match that well?
N: No, and I believe that in the format of this project, the more different the voices, the nicer the final result can be, so the voices don’t get confused! In the story I represent Moses and Renan represents Ramses, I think the choice of characters was perfect!
Do you feel that Brother Against Brother is the Brazilian Allen/Lande project or something in the same vein, but with a different allure?
N: No, I think the project with Brazilian vocalists Brother Agains Brother is just another one with the same format, Allen/Lande is not the first in history and we won’t be the last! The important thing is to be able to represent the style well in front of our fans, and that’s for sure we can!
Who are responsible for the music and the lyrics of the album and who are the other musicians involved in this project?
N: The person who composed the songs and wrote the lyrics is the producer Alessandro Del Vecchio and some other composers. The musicians who played are: Alessandro Del Vechio on bass, Keyboards and backing vocals, Jonas Hornqvist on guitars and Michele Sanna on drums.
I’d like to have your point of view on each song:
N: “Two Brothers”: It has a prog metal trend with a very hard rock chorus that is easy to sing!
“What If”: It starts off with a lot of feeling, where the vocal melodies of the verses dictate the game and deliver for a short but efficient chorus!
“City of Gold”: It starts by bringing the mysteries of this incredible saga where the melody of the verses tell the story perfectly, exploding into a chorus that is quite difficult to sing.
“Heaven Sent”: Moment when Renan shows why he is one of the main revelations of recent times in Brazil, impeccable! An honor to be backing this amazing song!
“Haunted Heart”: This one also starts with a very prog footprint, even reminding me of Hangar times. Then it’s more hard rock, with a chorus of questions and answers all the time!
“Deadly Sins”: One of the heaviest on the CD, with dense, dramatic melodies that deliver a bright and catchy chorus with a beautiful solo!
“In the Name of Life”: One of the most beautiful songs on the album, where the different voices are in harmony and feeling within a wonderful arrangement, where our interpretation made all the difference!
“Demons in My Head”: Who said that a well-played piano can’t be in a metal band? This song proves it, where despite the simplicity of the arrangements the magic happens in the chorus, which pulls you to sing along.
“Whispers in Darkness”: This one has a very similar atmosphere with Malmsteen’s songs, I make that I thought a lot about Jeff Scott Soto when I recorded my parts, he was always a great reference for me! Once again highlighting the guitar solo, amazing!
“Valley of the Kings”: Needless to say about the keyboards in the songs, it’s clear their importance in the songs, here he dominates all the atmospheres and the music wouldn’t be the same without them.
“Lost Son”: A traditional heavy metal, warm and with an emphasis on the drums very well played!
Obviously this isn’t a one-time thing. There will be another Brother Against Brother album in the near future, right?
N: Unfortunately I can’t say yes, but it would be really nice a second album telling some other story where the differences between brothers suggest something interesting, like Cain and Abel, for example! Or the Gallagher brothers (laughs)!
What are your expectation form the Brother Against Brother debut in general?
N: I hope that people understand the story told through the songs, that they like the songs and listen a lot on digital platforms and, when the pandemic ends, be able to go on tour to perform various shows all over the world!
What about your personal music plans? Any new projects that you’re dealing with as we speak?
N: Yes, at the moment I am part of a Brazilian band called Sinistra. We have already released 4 singles, all sung in Portuguese, because we believe a lot in rock sung in our native language, soon we will release a full album. I have a second project with Frontiers, a band called The Grandmaster, alongside renowned guitarist Jens Ludwig (Edguy). In addition to an EP, by a Brazilian drummer named Saulo, where I sing 3 songs recorded a long time ago, sharing some vocals with my good friend André Matos.
Which are your main influences as a singer and as a musician in general?
N: My main influences come from vocalists from the 70s and 80s! I’ve always liked and studied voices like: David Coverdale, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Paul Rodgers, Jeff Scott Soto, Robert Plant, Bruce Dickinson, DIO, the master of masters and also some more current voices, like: Chris Cornell, Jorn Lande and a great revelation from Croatia, the young Dino Jelusick!
It’s time for our “Strange Questions”!!! What do you think about this corona-virus thing? How much has it affected the music business and people’s lives so far?
N: It’s very difficult to talk about this subject, due to all the assumptions that exist around this topic, but I think that regardless of whether there is a culprit or not, we have to think and act thinking about the best thing to do for ourselves and for other people! Respecting the suggested guidelines, taking the vaccine that is offered, since all have gone through rigorous tests and studies!
Talking about the impact of the pandemic on world entertainment, I say that: It’s been the worst phase my generation has experienced, where the great artists still manage to survive, but the smaller artists, who survive the shows, it’s been like walking in a desert without water, that is, despairing, paralyzing life and music activities was suddenly scary, debts do not wait, despair knocks all the time at your door. I hope this ends as soon as possible! It’s been very sad to lose artists, friends and family, I pray for the health and mental health of all human beings, regardless of race, color or belief!
Are “social media” a “compulsory part” of music biz these days or bands, artists & labels can do without them as well?
N: Social media is very important nowadays, that’s how you can get your music, quickly, anywhere in the world, but there is a lot of lies in this story too! The trading of numbers is scary and the number of musical options too, but the truth will always be at the shows, that’s where the strong will always survive!
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words:
N: Rockstar: Movie
Metal God: Dio
Eurovision: European glasses
Music Realities: Concerts
Fill in the phrase… “Heavy Metal wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
N: Bands like: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and many others from the 70s.
Which are the best 3 Heavy Metal albums of all time according to you?
N: 3 is too little! But let’s go! Iron Maiden – “The Number of the Beast”, Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell” and Metallica – “Black album”.
Which is the composer/songwriter who influenced metal music the most?
N: Tony Iommi…
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in metal history?
N: Ronnie James Dio and Lita Ford!
Which is that band that you’d like to be part of (any time & era)?
N: I would like to be roadie with Thin Lizzy (83), Led Zeppelin (74), Black Sabbath (80), Purple (72), to be part of a member would be to take the place of some of my biggest idols, and it wouldn’t be fair!
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
N: This one can dream far away! I would like to be part of the songwriting for the album “The Dark Side of the Moon” (Pink Floyd), I would definitely be immortalized for that!
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
N: It would be a Beatles collection, because that way it would be possible for rock to be born in any other galaxy!
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
N: To the past! Because that way I could see my older family members, witness some historical events and watch my favorite artists’ concerts in their early careers.
If you had the opportunity to invite any famous person, living or dead, to play on your album, who would you choose and why?
N: Guitarist Tony Iommy, because he would definitely write the songs I like to sing the most!
That’s all for now Nando. Thx for talking to Grande Rock. Say anything you feel like saying before we close. Take care dude!
N: First I would like to thank you for the opportunity of this interview, I feel much honored for that! I would also like to say that I am living a very important moment in my career, and that even at my 53, I never stopped believing in my dreams. I hope to be able to sing for many, many years, until my last day, singing is my life, long live rock and roll!