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Módulo 1000 Interview with Daniel Romani & Luiz Simas

Eduardo,Candinho, Daniel C. Romani, Luiz Simas (from left to right) This one appeared in the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone occupying the space of a whole page.

Interview:

I'm really happy we can talk about one of the best heavy psych bands that ever came from South America. For the start of this interview I would like to ask you what can you tell me about some of the earliest influences you had as a young kid and later as a teenager?

Luiz Simas: When I was a young kid I took classical piano lessons, played Chopin, Bach... but at the same time I was listening to Brazilian radio, mostly Brazilian music of all kinds. As I teenager I became influenced by French and Italian popular music (Françoise Hardy, Rita Pavone, Pepino di Capri, Gilbert Becaud, Charles Aznavour), and then I fell in love with Brazilian bossa nova. On my late teens I started listening to American and British rock: Blood Sweat and Tears, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Jimmi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, and many others.

from left to right : Luiz Simas,Candinho,Eduardo,Daniel

Daniel Romani: When I was a kid I listened to anything my parents would dial on the radio.But at the age of eight I discovered Rock 'n Roll and from those days on, I kept on listening to this type of music and I still do. First came Elvis, Little Richard, The Everly Brothers, Bill Haley, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Brian Hyland, Del Shannon and others. Then, as a teenager, I discovered The Beatles, The Byrds, The Hullaballoos, Dave Clark Five, The Trashmen, The Troggs, Herman's Hermits, The Animals, The Swinging Blue Jeans,The Shakers, The Hollies, The Mama's & the Papas, The Fourmost, and many more.

Eduardo, Luiz Simas, Candinho, Daniel C. Romani

Were you or other band members in any other bands before forming Módulo 1000?

Luiz Simas: I had been in a bossa nova group called Agora 4 (we recorded for Phillips record company). The other members of the band belonged to different groups. They asked me to join them when they got a contract to play in a nightclub in São Paulo, because the contract required them to have an organist in the band. 

Candinho, Eduardo, Daniel C. Romani, Luiz Simas

Daniel Romani: I and Eduardo played in a Rock band I created in 1964 called  Os Quem.

Luiz Simas played in a Bossa- Nova band called  Agora 4. Candinho, our drummer, as far as I know, did not have a band to play in. He studied and played his Jazz stuff at home with friends.

Candinho, Eduardo, Daniel C. Romani, Luiz Simas

What can you tell me about the beginning of the band? If I'm not wrong you started around 1969? How did you come together?

Luiz Simas: As I said, they invited me to join the band and we went to live in São Paulo. At this point I studied Architecture in a University in Rio, so I dropped my studies and went with them. I felt it was my chance to really focus on being a musician.

Luiz Simas, Daniel C. Romani, Candinho, Eduardo

Daniel Romani: In the beginning, Módulo 1000 used to play covers ( Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath , to mention a few ). Later, we decided to play exclusively our own stuff. That big change happened, as you said, in 1969. In fact, I have always said that Módulo 1000 was the last metamorphosis of a single band I created circa 1964, Os Quem , which changed its name to Os Escorpiões ,being next  Sindicato do Crime , then  Código 20,  and finnaly  Módulo 1000. Eduardo, our bassman, accepted my invitation to play with me in the first stage ( Os Quem ) and remained with me untill the end. Luiz Simas also accepted my invitation and joined us when we abandoned the name
Código 20 to become Módulo 1000 in 1969. Candinho joined us during the Código 20 stage and stayed with us till the band decided to put an end to its existence.

Luiz Simas and the " Mandum"

Do you perhaps remember some of the early sessions you had as a band?

Luiz Simas: At first we were more a dance band, and our repertoire in the night club in São Paulo included Brazilian music, American pop hits and a little bit of rock. The band had 6 elements, including a female singer (guitarist Daniel's sister). Then the vibraphonist and the singer left, and we became a quartet. We started to write our own music, singing in Portuguese.

Eduardo and Daniel C. Romani ( from left to right )

Daniel Romani: I can still remember that although we were a band that came from Rio de Janeiro, we were succesful in São Paulo, where a great number of people used to follow us wherever we played. For that reason, many people thought and some still think that we were a " paulista " band ( originally from São Paulo ),but we were not. We were a " carioca " band, from Rio de Janeiro that lived and worked in São Paulo.

Daniel C. Romani creating a solo

In 1970 you released single called Big Mama / Isto não quer dizer Nada and a legendary LP called Não Fale com Paredes. Now I would love if you could share your memories of producing and recording your LP.

Luiz Simas: The single Big Mama/Isto Não Quer Dizer Nada is not really representative of our own music. The songs in that single were not our own, we were playing together with another composer/guitarist because he had been included as a finalist in an important song festival. On the other hand, the LP Não Fale Com Paredes is very representative of our music. It was really a miracle that we were given total freedom to record it the way we wanted. In fact, the producer (Ademir Lemos) and our manager (Marinaldo Guimarães) were very enthusiastic about it. We tried all kinds of new rhythms, melodies, lyrics going way beyond what most other groups were doing at the time. It was a very exciting time for us. 


Daniel Romani: The truth is that although we had a producer, we ourselves produced both the single and the LP. We took the decisions and also put them into practice. We had some problems to record our songs,for the sound engineer could never understand what we had in mind, like making use of backwards tape, Leslie effect to our vocals, have an amplifier placed in the bathroom to create a different sound, and other " strange " ideas.

Daniel C. Romani in Praia Grande (São Paulo)

How did you get a contract with Top Tape Records? Do you perhaps know how many LP copies were made and what can you tell me about very simple cover artwork?

Luiz Simas: Producer and DJ Ademir Lemos got the contract for us. We were actually surprised that Top Tape signed it, because they were not used to that kind of music. I don't know how many copies were made. As to the Art work, it was done by Wander, and Daniel, our guitarist, can tell you more about it and about him, because they were close friends.

Luiz Simas
Daniel C. Romani going for a pee...
Daniel C. Romani, Eduardo, Candinho, Luiz Simas in Praia Grande (São Paulo) (from left to right)
Daniel C. Romani, Luiz Simas, Eduardo, Candinho in Praia Grande (São Paulo) (from left to right)
Daniel C. Romani (below), Luiz Simas (left), Candinho (above), Eduardo (right)
Eduardo ( behind,left), Daniel C. Romani (behind), Luiz Simas ( front,left ), Candinho (front, right)
Candinho, Luiz Simas, Daniel C. Romani, Eduardo in Praia Grande (São Paulo) (from left to right)    

Daniel Romani: Ademir Lemos ( the producer ) got this contract for us. He managed to convince the record company ( Top Tape ) that we were a good band, and it would be wise of them to sign us.
I am not sure about the number of copies that were made back then, nobody knows.
The cover artwork was really very simple. The artist that conceived it, Wander Borges, told me that the gray colour was chosen so as it would bring to mind the colour of the metal a rocket is made of. After having left the launchpad, a rocket takes its module up to its orbit.  ( module = Módulo )

Daniel C. Romani (Teatro da Praia, in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro)
Daniel C. Romani and the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

Would you like to share a few interesting stories you have from touring and where all did you tour?

Luiz Simas: We played mostly wherever we lived: first in São Paulo and Santos, where we lived for about one year, and then in Rio, our native city, when we came back. Once in a while we played out of town, though. One of the most interesting places we played at was in Pedra Azul, in a very arid and poor region of the state of Minas Gerais, close to the border with Bahia, some 20 hours from Rio. It was a rock festival organized by the son of the owner of a big farm, and I clearly remember the culture shock that happened when that bus with 4 or 5 rock bands from Rio arrived in those backlands. I don't think the locals had ever seen guys with long hair, and we had never been to a place like that. We had a great time. I don't think the locals quite understood the music we played.



Daniel Romani: We went to Praia Grande ( São Paulo ) to play in a popular club called Clube do Siri ( the Crab Club ). There were so many people that went there to see us, that those who were not succesful to get in, stayed outside,parked their cars on the pavement, and sat on the sands of the beach in front of the club just to listen to us.
Another curious story : When we played the Rock Concert that celebrated the release of our LP  Não Fale Com Paredes , fans invaded the theatre after having smashed the glass doors and stole all the LP's that hung on the walls of the entrance hall.
One more curious story : Once we were playing a song that was abruptly interrupted by federal agents who got puzzled when they saw us throw candies to the audience. They thought they contained cannabis. Besides, they were sure that the lyrics of Turpe Est Sine Crine Caput carried a subversive message against the military, when in fact it was just Latin, plain Latin. They were stupid, they should have payed more attention to Olho Por Olho, Dente Por Dente... Then yes, they might have found something ...
About touring, we played mostly in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, but we went to
Minas Gerais and Brasília,too.




Your sound was really heavy and dark. How did you came up with that sound?

Luiz Simas: That kind of sound evolved naturally. It came from the kind of music we were listening to, as I said among many others Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Hendrix etc. 



Daniel Romani: I believe that it was the result of a blend of musical influences. I listened to Hendrix ( And The Gods Made Love, If Six Was Nine, Machine Gun, etc... ) Led Zeppelin ( Dazed And Confused, Baby I'm Gonna Leave You, Whole Lotta Love,etc... ),Black Sabbath ( War Pigs, Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, etc... ) There was, of course, a lot of oppression for those who lived here, due to the dictatorial government. I'm sure our music expressed those dark days.


What can you tell me about song writing?

Luiz Simas: I think we usually started a song from a simple catchy phrase and unusual melody, and then added the rest. We all contributed to the final song, but the lyrics came mostly from Daniel (guitarist) and myself.



Daniel Romani: To me, the best way to write a song is to obey your inspiration, before anything else.
You have a rough idea for a new song, so you sit and carefully choose the appropriate chords that will give you the necessary support for your licks, riffs and worked out or improvised solos.
When you finish your solos,you have an established atmosphere that will be decisive
for you to create and sing the vocals. Once you have that, it is much easier for the other musicians to understand what you mean in terms of feeling, rhythm, colour, ambience, and atmosphere.
In my opinion, if you follow this formula, you will have a great song.



How did the audience react to the band at live shows?

Luiz Simas: They were mostly in a trance-like mood (lots of marijuana in the air...)



Daniel Romani: Our fans usually sat and watched us attentively, some of them seemed to be in a hypnotic state of mind,under their own particular mind-trip. However, songs with a strong beat like  Não Fale Com Paredes  would make them shake their bones...


Do you know other crazy heavy psych bands from that time in Brazil or South America?

Luiz Simas: We were part of a group of bands in Rio that played different kinds of "avant guarde rock", some more psych and heavy, others with a lighter sound, and others more performatic: O Pêso, O Terço, Equipe Mercado.





Daniel Romani: Not many. In Brazil the other bands were different from us. Their songs did not have
that atmospheric mood  we enjoyed so much. They played a more down-to-earth stuff, sometimes hard-sounding,yes, but mostly body music instead of mind music. Still, there are some worth mentioning -  Spectrum, Equipe Mercado, Som Imaginário, A Bolha, Os Mutantes, all of them Brazilian bands. In South America I would mention Los Speaks.

Was the band very well known in Brazil?

Luiz Simas: In the beginning, when we were living in São Paulo and Santos, we were only known locally. When we moved to Rio we got some national exposure, because we played in a nationally broadcasted song festival, but our fans were mostly in Rio.

Daniel Romani: Only for those who were into the underground scene. Once in a while fans would listen to a song or two on radio stations . We also played a couple of times on TV shows, but Módulo 1000 was really a cult band.

What happened next? I know you changed your name to Love Machine around 1972 and released only one single called The Cancer Stick / Waitin' for Tomorrow...

Luiz Simas: Daniel can tell you more about that. We didn't really change our name to "Love Machine", that was something we did on the side. We didn't quite consider those songs as part of Módulo 1000 repertoire, I guess.

Daniel Romani: We did not change our name. We were offered some free time in the studio so as
we could record anything. So, I decided we could profit from the situation and at
the same time have some fun...
The day before I wrote those two songs and we created a fictitious name just to
fool the listener. We just wanted to play a joke on our fans, pull their legs.

What did you do after that and may ask why did you disbanded?

Luiz Simas: Bands disband for two reasons usually: money or/and disagreements. In our case it was lack of money and real opportunities. Even though we had a great album, the record company didn't know how to promote it and at that time there was little acceptance for that kind of music in the Brazilian radio stations.


Daniel Romani: Well, we kept on playing here and there, but we had some problems to go on, though musically we were stronger than before. Songs like  Sete Quartos, Licor de Rabanete, Lajes Cadaverinas, Nua, e Olhar Estéril have never been recorded, and were, in my opinion, far superior than those which became known by everyone. They may be recorded one day. Who knows ?...

Did you know that now the Módulo 1000 is a cult band?

Luiz Simas: I learned about that a few years ago when Wolfgang Reuther, the director of the German label "World in Sound", called me looking for the band. They had made a reissue of the LP and wanted to get our official permission. It was only then that I realized that the band was a cult band...


Daniel Romani: Yes, and that is very rewarding to me, especially when I remember the prophetic words of our record company's owner who said : " This is a piece of shit, no one will buy this, no one will listen to this... "
Now it has been proved that he was wrong or drunk. Maybe both...

Why did you choose the name Módulo 1000?


Daniel Romani: I have always been a fan of space matters. I own lots of photos I got from NASA, static clings, pennons, everything related to this subject. I even have an autograph of Neil Armstrong, and many other things. I'm into star-gazing too, and up to this day this passion remains the same, it is
very strong. So, it seemed to me that Módulo 1000 was an appropriate name for our band. Módulo, in Portuguese, means module ( like the lunar module that took the three
astronauts to the moon, the Eagle ).

What did you do after that and what are you doing these days?

Luiz Simas: A little after Módulo 1000 disbanded I founded another band together with the drummer from Módulo (Candinho) and two other musicians: Vimana. It was more like a progressive-rock band. A few years later that band also disbanded and I came to live in New York. While here, I started to compose and perform again, more in the vein of Brazilian music (using traditional Brazilian rhythms) and what's now called Brazilian jazz. I have my own group, and we do mostly my original m
We perform mostly in the US and in Europe, and sometimes in Brazil too. Check out my website and video clips at www.luizsimas.com  

Daniel Romani: After the band disbanded, I dedicated myself entirely to study more my instrument, to improve my technique , to learn more about theory.
Today, I give private lessons ( electric and acoustic guitars ), write new songs for two new projects, The Four Walls, which is essentially in a progressive vein, and Wooden Passion, an acoustic/electric project that gives emphasis to wooden instruments ( besides acoustic guitars, there is a mandolin, flutes and the piano, of course ).   


Rose, Daniel , and Demian ( Daniel's son )
Daniel and Rose
Would you like to share something else?

Luiz Simas: About the four musicians of Módulo 1000: we now live very far away from each other, myself in New York, Candinho (drummer) in Miami, Daniel (guitarist) in Rio and Eduardo (bassist) in Brasilia. We all still play music one way or another and are very good friends. We are mostly in contact through email, but we get to see each other once in a while.
People many times ask us if we would want to play together again, do a "reunion" tour. I always think that anything is possible: with the right sponsors and backing,  I believe that it could happen. The only thing is that I'm not personally very interested in trying to recreate the original Módulo 1000 sound. For me, that kind of music was really great for that time, but I'd be much more interested in creating something totally new. The original spirit of our group was to search for something new that had to do with the moment, and in that spirit yes, I would be open for us to get together again.


Daniel Romani: Yes. It has been said that Módulo 1000 recorded a single album, and it is a pity we did not release a second one. Well, I would say that the dream is not over, and our fans may have a pleasant surprise. Why not wait a bit more ? Maybe one day, maybe on a sunny day...

I would like to thank you for your time and effort. I would also like to say,  I'm really happy I have one of the best heavy psych bands that were out there, here on my magazine.

Luiz Simas: It's our pleasure!

Daniel Romani: It was a great pleasure to give this interview to you. In case you need some extra  information about the band you know you can count me in. Thank you very much.

















Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2011

2 comments:

RMILLENINTERNATIONAL said...

I would like to congratulate klemen Breznika for the excellent interview with Daniel Romani & Luiz Simas.It was nice to know more about this Unique Brazilian Band ''MODULO 1000''.
Ricardo Millen

Rich AfterSabbath said...

Thanks for all you hard work Klemen, it is appreciated. I am making a Brazilian compilation right now and this will of course be very useful!