- What inspired the band’s formation and what are your influences?
The band started out as 2 high school friends that played guitar and loved bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Manowar and Iron Maiden, started to jam on weekends…this was around 1997/1998. As the years went by, that turned into a band, and the band just became a more solid structure as we got older and we got to experience more and more music from different bands and artists. Around 2001 we were looking for a studio to record a demo, and by then, we were looking for a name in the same sphere as “Symphony X”. That’s a great name because it sets the tone for the neoclassical progressive type of musical path while staying away from the usual cliché metal band name. So we were looking for something in that realm. We are also very much into the idea of the music being a soundtrack to a story created by us, instead of just making music that sounds cool.
So, we blended both and we got FANTASY OPUS.
Regarding influences, those have changed slightly as the years went by, but most of the influences still seep through our music here and there. They are literally formed by hundreds of bands, from older stuff like Venom and Queen to more modern stuff like Trivium, but for the sake of this interview if we had to point out 5 bands which we think shaped what FANTASY OPUS is today, we would say, Symphony X, Megadeth, Angra, Gamma Ray and Dream Theater.
- What was the thinking behind the new album, particularly the concept of The Last Dream Opus?
Well, when looking for inspiration, we searched for something that could metaphorically relate to life, mortality, the pursuit of one’s life goals and spirituality… at some point we figured out that the ocean would be a great metaphor, it is never still, even when at the surface it looks still. It harbours life but also death, it is immense but still finite. It is mighty but also fragile. So all the songs in the album have this backdrop – the ocean – and it is revealed in different ways, depending on the overall theme of the song.
Out of the 11 tracks, 6 of them make up an epic called “The Last Dream”- hence naming the album, and those depict a surreal landscape created within a dream/psyche of a dying old man in his sleep. Again with the backdrop of the ocean and the nautical elements associated to it as a metaphor for reflections on his life journey, spirituality, the sense of individuality and self-discovery.
- How do you approach writing and recording your music?
It’s very hard to write music without a strong theme/subject on the background. So we usually start off with the theme, even if it has logical and narrative holes and then the filling of those holes is done in parallel with the music being written. In our case, Marcos Carvalho creates the draft of the songs and then presents them to the rest of the band. We then start to discuss which parts to cut off, which parts to change, which parts are as they should be, and all the arrangements to go with it.
- What plans do you have for the future?
At the moment we are focused on promoting “The Last Dream”, as it is something we are very proud of, and receiving praises from everyone that heard it so far. The mid term and long term goals are to keep putting out exciting music and keep expanding the name of the band worldwide, ideally complemented by a few international tours.