Not even an album in the market and an almost unknown Peruvian metal band The Fallen Symmetry is already playing in the same stage with THE multimillion selling metal band from Sweden: Arch Enemy. So how could that happen? I had the chance to interview the vocalist of TFS, the band I managed just a couple of months ago.
Jaime: Hi Gustavo, what’s the secret to play alongside Arch Enemy without even having released any album in the market?
Gustavo: It`s all about hard work and seeking opportunity. You have to be ready when the chance comes knocking at your door. We did not had our album out yet when it happened, but we played some good gigs, we had a pretty professional sounding demo out and we even had a Video of one of the songs of our demo. So, looking back, even if we did not had a official LP out, we did had material and had worked pretty hard for the last year as a band. Now, besides that, I guess there´s a matter of luck too, we were in the right place at the right time. But I guess that´s how things work, as I said before, you have to be ready when the train of opportunity passes by.
J: Your fan is a very special one: you don’t have a big amount of clicks in your Facebook fanpage or Twitter account, but I know your live shows always get packed, what do you think about this?
G: We as a band, exist for just over a year, so we are in the process of building our fan base. The thing about the metal genre is that fans are pretty loyal, they will go out and check out new bands, even if they don´t know you, of course, after that you have to make your thing so they become fans of your band, so they leave the show and go to their houses and look for your fanpage or webpage and stick with you in future shows. It´s a slow and hard road to make a name in the scene, but every show is a wonderful chance to gain more fans, for me, if at least only one person leaves the show in love with the band waiting for the next show, I´m happy.
J: Not so many long ago we did together some PR for the band having El Comercio (Peru’s most important newspaper) with positive reviews about the band’s debut videoclip, what are your plans now?
G: Just work and try to do things right. We are always looking for the next step for the band. We release our first album in a month time, we have 3 shows this month, after that we have the Arch Enemy show and 2 weeks after that, we headline one of the biggest local metal festivals in Lima, so we have no stop until the end of the year. We plan on shooting a video early next year for one of the album singles and then we want to record the band playing the whole album live on a location soon to be picked. so, actually we don´t have a PR plan, we just believe in doing things the best we can, and releasing the best material we can do, and with a little luck, word will pass along. There´s always space in the music business for bands who make a good job, we believe in that.
J: What do you think of festivals? What does Metal Madness mean? Tell us if you see potential of getting it outside Peru.
G: Festivals are always awesome. It´s pretty sweet to share the stage with other bands, listen to them, getting to know great musicians and all the vibe around what a festival represents. It´s also a great chance to bring your music to people who do not know. The Metal Madness Festival is pretty important for us because we along with 3 other bands are the promoters. It´s our way to thank everyone who support and listens to us. We put the best equipment we can, we put on the absolute best conditions we can even if we don´t get the money back. As I said, it´s our way to thank our fans and the people who support us in any and every way. It’s still a very early stage to say we’re gonna export this festival outside Peru but we never close any doors.
J: What does “artist management” means to you? Do you think a manager is a vital part of your business or do you believe more in the DIY culture?
G: Of course it´s super important to have a manager. As a musician, it´s vital to have your head on the music. Nothing else, nothing more. You, as an artist, have to be focused on your craft, that´s a main thing if you want to reach certain level. Of course, in the beginning, it´s not easy and you have to do things for yourself until someone checks you out and wants to take a chance with you, that may take some time, so it´s always very important to know how to move your band in the market until someone wants to do business with you. You have to know how to do things for yourself first, then delegate…