The Maloik Rock Blog got as the first media in Sweden a chance to talk with Youtube star and debute recording artist Raphael Mendes from Icon Of Sin! Enjoy!
Four years ago you launched a youtube channel launching Iron Maiden songs and theres no doubt that your voice is very similar to Bruce Dickinsson sound wise. Then you launched What if Bruce Dickinson sang in… what made you come up with that idea?
Well this guy called Fabio Lima called me as he had seen my small youtube channel singing some Iron Maiden songs and asked if I would be interested in doin some work with him, so together with him I recorded my first more proffesional video. And after that I started to do my own videos in a more proffesional way.
But I used to do some stuff just for fun with my friends before meeting Fabio Lima and we went like, how would this or that band sound like if Bruce Dickinsson sang their songs. So when Fabio and I meet up we were just jamming along and he suggested we should record it on video and that’s how it came along.
Except for Bruce Dickinson, who else hase inspired you as a vocalist?
I think I would say Freddie Mercury, Michael Kiske and Ronnie James Dio.
What about Maiden with Dianno and Bayley?
If I had to choose one I would choose Paul Dianno. I really like both Iron Maiden and Killers as albums. I mean there are good songs on foremost the X Factor but also a few on Virtual XI but even those songs are better when Bruce sings them.
I totally love Phantom of The Opera when looking back at the early albums. That is a personal favorite.
Your voice is obvious similar to Bruce Dickinson have you ever troed to go another way when singing?
Well I’ve learbed how to sing because of Bruce Dickinson. Before listening to him I never had done anything in music.
So when I was thirteen I first heard Irpn Maiden and went all crazy and wanted to sing like him and as I was singing along with Maidens music i discovered that I had a similar tone in my voice and from there I shaped my singing this way.
So that is how I know how to sing.
How would you describe your musical back ground?
Prior music I practice a lot Karate as my father was a black belt and when I took up music at age thirteen I started to play guitar and played in some bands performing rock classics but also at the same time I started to sing and discovered that for me it was easier to sing and imorove my singing prior my guitar playlng.
And now I’m here trying to do my best.
Icon of Sin hold on to the classic metal sound, melodic and still powerful. Was it all obivous what way to choose? How would you describe the Brazilian rock music scene?
We have a lot of good Brazilian rock bands but its really hard to make a career jere in that genre. But as we had the pandemic we got lots of live stream concerts which has been a good thing I believe. Nut the main scene for rock and metal in Brazil I believe is in Sao Paolo.
But I gladly discovered when recording the album in Curitiba, where except for me the band are from. Curitiba has got quite a big rock/metal scene. During the recordings I also learned to know lots of peoples there.
So where in Brazil are you from?
I live quite near Rio de Janiero so its quite a distance to Curitiba near 1000 km. You know Brazil is a large country.
So on to Icon of Sin. Was the way to go with a more classic metal sound, was that an obvious choice?
Yes when Frontiers Records approached me and asked me if I would be interested I for a short period thought that maybe this could be something towards power metal. But I think that if you just listen to the instrumental parts of the album and not hear my voice I believe it sounds a lot like Judas Priest and that’s a sound I really love to hear.
As you mentioned The band was put together by Frontiers Records did you know the guys in the band prior the recordings?
No not at all, when Frontiers contacted me it was because of my youtube videos. They asked me if I had a band which did not have and put me together with Marcelo Gelbcke and Sergio Mazul and then they told me that they’ve put together a team for me to work with.
Who has written the songs on your self titled debut?
Marcelo Gelbcke and Sergio Mazul has written both music and lyrics. When I got into the project they had lots of written demos already and that’s what we worked with. I did contribute with some melodic ideas for instance changed the key for the opening track.
I would have prefered a bit more bass in the mix but thats of course personal taste. Who has produced the album?
Marcello has produced it
Did you have anything to say about mix and producing?
Sometimes I had opinions on the vocals productions with the reverb and so on. But as you said the lack of bass has changed it was a more heavy bass in the early mixes. But I like it now as well.
There’s a good variation on the songs, an epic song like Clouds over Gotham makes me intro wise think about typical Iron Maiden songs with a calm melodic start.
Yeah that’s probably the one song that stand out a little sounding like Iron Maiden. The story is about Bruce Wayne and Gotham. On the Iron Maiden album The Final Frontier there are some vibes that one can recognize in Clouds over Gothham.
The chorus also reminds partly about the music from the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton and I really like this song, one of my favorites on our album.
One of my favorites is Nightbreed with its variable structure where the power of the song gets turned down prior the solo. Tell us a bit about the lyrics and some of the stories on the album.
Nightbreed is based on the movie with the same name, so its all about that. Virtual Empire is to me the coolest song when it comes to the lyric, as it describes the situation on social media and how man peoples hide behind ”simulated realities”, as I sing in the chorus.
There’s also a song called Pandemic Euphoria that’s all about the situation we all live in.
If you would be totally in charge and get to select how to launch the album what singels would you choose?
I would probably released Icon of Sin first, but is online now as our second single. And the third will be Nightbreed with a great music video as well and I think it will get released on March 28th.
The world is on hold. No travels or concerts nearby. What will happen for Raphael Mendez around the corner?
At the moment I’m working with my youtube channel. I enjoy it I just released what if Bruce Dickinson sang in Guns and Roses. A while ago I was part of a big stream event put together in Brazil.
My dream is to get to tour with the band, we are ready to put a show on when things get better.
Has Frontiers said anything about a follow up to this first album?
They said if all goes well and we get enough interest in the band we got a deal on three albums in total with Frontiers. But it all depends on how things turn out of course.
Order here: https://orcd.co/iconofsin
By: Mathias Westman