an interview with Hugo Ferreira
by Troy Johnson
September 2010

Tantric cover design and illustration by Ian Chalgren

Tantric cover design and illustration by Ian Chalgren

Tantric first hit the music scene with a self-titled debut in 2001 that topped the charts with swaggering, grungy singles like “Breakdown” and “Astounded” that fit right into the New Metal mode that has been a staple of rock radio giants like Nickelback, Staind, and Creed since the late 1990’s.“Tantric” went on to be certified platinum but the band’s follow up albums have seen the band cultivate a more selective audience. In the decade since their debut, the band has completely changed its lineup. Only front man Hugo Ferreira remains of the original members of the group. Tantric released its fourth studio album “Mind Control” in August 2009 and has been on tour regularly since then. On stage, Ferreira’s grave vocals are his most distinguishing characteristic, but off the stage Ferreira’s work in the rock industry has brought him a great deal of insight to the many sides of the music industry. From the creative aspect of writing music and producing videos to the business end of promoting a product that people want to experience. I caught Ferreira the night before a show in Santa Rosa, California on a brief break during their summer tour.

MAXIMUM INK: I just got done watching the “Mind Control” video. You get a chance to do some zombie acting and television smashing. What is it like to film a video like that?
HUGO FERREIRA: We filmed the ‘Mind Control’ at an old warehouse in Nashville. We made it look like a ward with props and a lot of creative ideas. I wanted to do something a little darker and edgier and I was given some reign for creative choices. We were pleased with the end result.

MI: Your music has been described in many different ways. How would you classify your style of rock?
HF: It’s real different. It’s not the average radio rock. Once you put out a record you want to outdo yourself on the next one. We have so many musical influences and when we have new
enter the band we try to use their individual talents and push the music toward a new boundary that is unique. I like working with people who are creative that push me toward new musical boundaries.

MI: You have a lot of original ideas creatively and when it comes to business. Do you feel at home at your current label?
HF: Our current label is under debate. We are trying to find a new home that is not Silent Majority. Even though we’re very grateful for the work they did we just have different philosophy of how things should be done and we are not always on the same page. Eventually I think we will be with a new label. I’ve been doing this a long time and you have to feel real comfortable with the people you are working with and the way they put your product out to the public. There is a business side to being a musician.

MI:  So what specifically do you look for when searching for a new label?
HF: A label is as strong as their staff and track record. In looking for a label it’s important to evaluate how important you are on the totem pole of their roster. Of course a well-funded label with experience is key as well.

MI: If you weren’t so busy in the music industry what would be your second career choice?
HF: I would be involved with conservation and the environment. I’ve always been a proponent for creatures that can’t defend themselves. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and they have all been adoption pets that needed a home. I would be interested in helping other animals find homes.

MI:  As a musician what draws you so strongly to animal rights?
HF: Animals don’t judge or have human flaws. Normally they fall victim to human errors. That being said I love my own dogs

MI:  What are some of the pitfalls that instant success that you and your band have had to overcome and still remain relevant on the rock scene?
HF:  It’s always hard to out do an out of the box success but as long as there is unity within the band, common sense and a good work ethic, any obstacles can be overcome

MI: You are the only remaining member of the original Tantric lineup. Have you ever considered abandoning the Tantric name?
HF: “Not working with Tantric has never crossed my mind. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t be involved in collaborating with other artists but Tantric will always be part of my life. I’m sure everybody in the band has their own projects but Tantric is the mothership that brings us together. Opportunities are unplanned and present themselves in everyday life.”

Tantric plays in Madison on September 15, 2010 at the Annex with Adema and Burn Halo.

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CD: Mind Control Record Label: Silent Majority Group
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