VANDROYA – Taking A Trip Beyond The Human Mind
May 16, 2017, a year ago
Brazilian female-fronted power metal band, Vandroya, creates some dynamic tunes on its sophomore effort, Beyond The Human Mind. Fans of Angra, Helloween, Soulspell and Symphony X will have a ball with Beyond The Human Mind. Its nine tracks contain hooky melodies, great musicianship and some powerhouse vocals from Daísa Munhoz. BraveWords writer Kelley Simms spoke with Ms. Munhoz via e-mail about the freedom she had in her performance on the new album, the band’s new progressive elements in its songwriting and Munhoz’s ongoing vocal role in Soulspell.
BraveWords: How did the songwriting process go for Beyond The Human Mind compare to your debut album?
Daísa Munhoz: “Quite similar, actually. Marco (Lambert) and I are the main composers and we realized that the best way of composing together was him getting the harmonies ready before I start working on the melodies. The only difference is that ‘Beyond’ was planned and all the songs you hear were made for this album. In one we had most of the songs already composed for a very long time. We just had to pick ‘the ones’ and then rearrange and record them.”
BraveWords: How focused were you on the song constructions and the way the music flowed?
Daísa Munhoz: “I believe the song needs to flow itself, so it leads us to understand how it will sound and how we will work out its arrangements. But of course Marco as the producer of the album, outlines plans for each song. I feel that the songs on this album sound more natural, with more fluid and harmonious constructions. It's definitely an album that shows a greater maturity compared to our debut album.”
BraveWords: What were you going for performance wise on Beyond The Human Mind?
Daísa Munhoz: “Actually, I'm free in my performance. As the composer of the melodies and the lyrics, I think it could not be different. That's why the melodies are so important to me and I work a lot on them before writing the lyrics. I also talk a lot with Marco and explain to him how I imagine the song or my voice to sound before we record it, and that makes it easier to achieve the desired result.”
BraveWords: Beyond The Human Mind contains more progressive/neo-classical influences. How did you go about injecting those elements into your power metal style?
Daísa Munhoz: “This is not a thing that we think about, actually, it just flows. But of course that Marco, as the producer and arranger, is the one you can blame for the album sounding like it sounds. But overall, my perception of this album is that Marco used a lot more progressive elements in the arrangements than he did in our previous album. As for the melodies, I just followed the course and I took advantage to include in my melodies some Hindi singing influences, especially sacred mantras, and I believe that it made a difference in the whole.”
BraveWords: I love the track “Maya” and its many intriguing layers. What’s this track about?
Daísa Munhoz: “I love this track as well. Maya, in this case, is not a girl, is a Sanskrit word that refers to the concept of the illusion that would constitute the nature of the universe. So the song is about realizing that we’re living in a world made of illusion and guess what? (It’s) created by ourselves. An unrealistic perception of life is the root of our fear. The fear is because we are not living the life, we are living in our mind. We are always suffering for what happened in the past or for what may happen in the future, so it’s based on something that don’t exist, because we are not rooted in reality, but hidden in our own minds. In this song, the ‘character’ realizes that, and start searching for an understanding of what is to live in the here and the now.”
BraveWords: What’s your favorite track on the album, or the one that you had the most fun writing or recording it?
Daísa Munhoz: “It was fun to record ‘You’ll Know My Name’ because it really reminds me those good old melodic metal bands that we have as influence. And I had fun writing it as well, because the song is about breaking alliances with the system we live in, since I recognize this ‘herd policy’ that the system applies to humanity. But my favorite track is ‘Beyond The Human Mind,’ because of its complex harmony and melody construction, which make me want to hear it over and over again.”
BraveWords: How does the album concept, lyrics and album art all tie together?
Daísa Munhoz: “The concept of the album is a search towards the ‘self’ in order to escape from the mind. If we assume that mind is part imagination and part memory, we can say that we are not living the reality, once that both memory and imagination don't really exist. So if you are lost in your imagination, trapped by your memories, than you make room for the fear, anxiety, depression or any other condition of this type. The lyrics in this album follow a crescendo: initially shows a tormented person who will gradually understand the conception of illusion and reality throughout her/his existence on earth. If you keep this concept in mind, is easy to look at the cover art, made by Felipe Machado Franco, and identify it, with your own interpretation of the art, giving your own meaning to the elements of the drawing. Felipe made an amazing job by capturing this concept and that’s why we love working with him.”
BraveWords: How much have you enjoyed your ongoing musical role in Soulspell and how do you approach each appearance?
Daísa Munhoz: “At first, it was just a guest appearance, but with time Soulspell became my second band. It’s been nine years now. I’m totally free in the interpretation of my character, which makes the recording sessions always fun, and this is certainly one of the reasons we always achieve the results we planned. I’ve been so lucky to work with such amazing artists from all over the globe, especially live. Soulspell is constantly renewing its cast and this is another thing that makes it a super exciting job.”