"Have fun. Sing your guts out with passion. Is this too cheesy? Maybe, but hey, there are more important things to hesitate about. You just got to have fun!"-Luis Emilio Lucchesi
An Argentine heavy metal singer, has carried a career forward for over ten years, FirstStep.me spoke to the English/Spanish singing rocker about life on the big stage!
Where are you currently located on the planet? I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
You are currently a lead singer in a Heavy Metal band in Buenos Aires, awesome stuff, tell us more? That's not exactly right. Actually, I'm the lead singer of two heavy metal bands: "El Lado Oscuro" (That you could translate into "The Dark Side") and Charger X.
One could describe El Lado Oscuro's music, as Heavy Metal, with its root based on Iron Maiden, Helloween or even Megadeth. We are a great team and we share responsibilities among everyone. Within the band, I don't just sing, write some lyrics, or make some arrangements, I also do graphic design, arrange gigs and venues and right now, I'm engineering the recording of our first album. However as I said, we do all the work together. The line-up of the band completes with Guillermo Villarreal (Bass), Diego Tellechea (Guitar), Alejandro "Chucky" Foti (Drum) and our newest member, the young Ezequiel Sa (also on Guitar). Most of our lyrics are Spanish spoken, but since I took over writing, I started writing in English, you can check out our 2011 EP! Our plans for the future are, finishing our first album, play a lot of gigs and trying to be a little world-spread, if it's possible. You can check some info about the band and maybe become a fan on our Facebook page.
With Charger X, we play with a little rawer sound, and we sing entirely in English (since the conception of the band). We are a little known among the Buenos Aires Heavy Metal Scene. If you would like to know how we sound, you can check our video called "Grave of my enemies" or maybe visit our not so updated site .
Within Charger X. I'm writing or/and proofreading all the lyrics and helping with some arrangements when needed. We already have a record that came out on early 2011, it is called WRONG. On this album you can listen to fast heavy-power metal, hard rock and, even, some country-ish music. We are expecting to record our second album this year, but first we have to look out for a new drummer. The band completes with Diego Urbano (Guitar) and Javier Uribe (Bass).
Where did you kick-start your singing career and how did you progress to get to where you are now? Basically, I'm a big fan of heavy metal. One could say that I started late, at my early twenties. I'm now almost reaching 33, and I can say that singing is one of my favourite things in the world. Once I listen to many great singers of Argentina like Javier Barrozo, Diego Valdez, Iván Sención, or many others, I wanted to do the same. So I started to search for the right teacher. None could be found until I told Javier Barrozo (by that time he was a friend of mine), that he should teach me. At the same time I started looking for a band to sing for. Once again, without even knowing how to sing, I sung for many unknown bands until I found some guys that had a band called Standarte. That was my first band. We never recorded anything except for a one-song demo. At this stage I already knew how to sing, developing a neat range and great falsettos. We played a lot, and of course we got tired because at that time it was very difficult to get along with a band that gave us no profit. I kept on singing for different bands until I found Tempestad, where I sung for two years and recorded 4 songs. Alongside Tempestad, I started singing on El Lado Oscuro. Then Tempestad disbanded and I started to play a lot with El Lado Oscuro. By that time I was already an experienced singer with a lot of gigs on my back. Fortuitously, I met Diego Urbano and started Charger X.
Over ten years have passed since I started singing, and I can say that I fulfilled a lot of dreams, but there are many more: Play a very big gig by ourselves. Be known overseas. Sell our record (or gigs) all over the world, and to live (making money) of this wonderful thing that is " to sing". (FirstStep.me notes that is one epic heavy metal journey!)
In terms of the global economic climate, how does one reach sustainability with a heavy metal band, can you make a full time career from it? Here in Argentina, it is almost impossible to reach sustainability. Living off music is almost impossible and for a heavy metal band, it is almost an utopia. The little money, as a band, we can earn is by selling our records on the venues, or maybe some extra tickets that the organizers give you. I do this as a "Professional Hobby" as I'd like to say. I mean, I perform professionally, but don't get any material profit of it. I can say that I enjoy better a standing ovation, than a few bucks. After all, this is art, I can't sacrifice my performance because I don't get paid. I love to sing and I would do it for free... wait... I'm doing it for free. I've seen bands that struggle a lot to get a little money and they disband early, because the end up tired and bored of a non profitable work. So, to summarize this idea. It is better to sing your guts out, and give the best that you can on every show, and get the applauses, than getting tired of working really hard for nothing and starting hating what you do. Eventually, if your performance is good, you will get some notoriety and the love and praise of the audience. That's what matters. (FirstStep.me says good advice!)
Before you start a gig how do you prepare yourself? I'm very confident of my voice, so, I'm never nervous. I usually do some warm-up vocalization, drink a lot of water. There are some other things to do as an independent band from sound checking, ticket sales, and other things that may happen. So, half and hour before the show, I dress up, make some push ups (to get some adrenaline running), a little more warm-up and then we are on.... it's all fun!
What are the main challenges that you face with the band? Definitely, members leaving the band is the first thing I hate. It's really difficult to get a new member who can get along with everyone. Not getting any money and having to deal with all the cost by ourselves. Sometimes, this thing leads to fights, but at the end of the day it's just money and after all our minds are spoken, we go back to normal.
Another challenge that is really important is that, right now, in Argentina, musicians are starting to protest and trying not to pay for play, so people can realize that we are artists. We paid a lot for our music teachers, we paid a lot for our instruments and rehearsal rooms. So we don't have to pay for play.
What are your ambitions for the band? To have fun, make good music and of course sing a little better each day. Also, I would like to be known and try to sell my music overseas. This means that I could live off my art. That would be cool.
What are the work and practice schedules like for the band? I rehearse 2 hours a week with each band. It doesn't seem to be a lot of time, but you can do a lot if you are organized. Besides we all have other jobs. Also we always send each other song ideas and make some house recordings to exercise our creation skills.
What has been the most insane experience that has happened so far with the band? Certainly, I'm not the craziest singer in the world, but i usually jump in the mosh-pit and then go back to the stage tired and barely able to sing.
Well, maybe, singing live for the first time. I didn't even know how to sing. The people where great, screaming and all. I'll never forget that first gig.
Are there any people in the music business that inspire you? Not really inspire. I'm more driven by music than people. I do admire singers as Michael Kiske, Thomas Rettke, Diego Valdez and Javier Barrozo (from Argentina), Iuri Sanson, Bruce Dickinson, Daniel Heiman, Jorn Lande, and many more. There are some incredible musicians here in Argentina, that in some way, are living off what they have created.
What words of advice do you have for the youth of the world who want to take on a career with the sort of ambition that you have shown? Have fun. Sing your guts out with passion. Is this too cheesy? Maybe, but hey, there are more important things to hesitate about. You just got to have fun!
Finally if you could name your own planet what would you call it? Weird question, even for me. But I think I'll call it "Hey little planet, come here, little boy..." Do you think, it will answer? (The FirstStep.me has a good chuckle!)
Check out Luis Emilio Lucchesi performing a cover of EDGUY 's the Land of the miracle.