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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Tolerance from 2013

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Ricardo Figueroa: I was always surrounded by music since I was a child. My grandfather was a musician. He played guitar and flute, and my uncle, who is a professional singer, plays “cuatro” which is a four-string Venezuelan instrument that looks like a little guitar. These guys and my father got me interested in music and encouraged me to sing. They fed my passion and taught me to love music.

The first time I considered to make a living as a musician professionally was in college. I was eighteen years old and I was invited by a friend of mine to be part of his band. Being in a band was a conclusive experience for me. From that moment on I knew I had to develop a career in music someday. That was my thing. 

Carlos Cabrices: I started playing drums when I was thirteen years old. Later my father taught me my first guitar chords. Since it was so hard for me to play these chords, I considered playing this instrument a challenge so I kept on and dug into it.

The band was founded by Ricardo Figueroa and Rodrigo Nuñez in 2003. After several line-up changes and ten years of hard work the band finally consolidated itself with the current line-up in 2008. Tolerance is: Ricardo Figueroa, Carlos Cabrices, Antonio Ramirez, Rodrigo Nuñez (Drums). Our debut album called When Time Stops was released by Musea Records on April 2013.


If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Ricardo Figueroa: I would be a baseball player.

Carlos Cabrices: Psychologist.

MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?

Ricardo Figueroa: The name came from MTV. There was a TV commercial featuring a building with different kinds of people from almost every part of the world living in it with different tastes, hobbies, languages, traditions, etc. At the end of the commercial the word “Tolerance” popped up leaving you a powerful message. We definitely were caught by it. 

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?

Ricardo Figueroa: Queen, Dio, Deep Purple, Steve Vai, Rush, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Queensryche, Planet X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Magellan, Living Colour, Tower Of Power, ELP, Derek Sherinian, Ayreon, Explorers Club, Rick Wakeman, Megadeth among others.

Antonio Ramirez: Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, Mike Oldfield, 1 Giant Leap, celtic music.

Carlos Cabrices: Peter Frampton changed my life when I was fifteen or sixteen years old. Then I would have to name Queen, Van Halen, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Living Colour, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Toto, Megadeth and Jimi Hendrix among others. From my classical side: Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Bartok. As a professional musician I’ve had to play a lot of genres such as pop, classical, Latin, fusion and rock and I’ve learned from each one of them so sometimes it’s kind of difficult to name my influences but I’m definitely a rocker from the bottom of my heart.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?

Ricardo Figueroa: We are working hard on promoting our debut album and we are looking forward to planning an American or European tour to spread the word about the band. 

MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?

Carlos Cabrices: A huge amount of well executed musical ideas where nothing is missing and nothing is exceeded.

Ricardo Figueroa: Progressive rock meeting funk meeting metal, intended to be engaging and accessible.


Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?

Ricardo Figueroa: I think it helps to promote your music by spreading the word about your band but it’s not a good thing in terms of making profit from what you have invested producing your music. You are always hoping that somebody who downloaded your songs will eventually get interested in buying your record to listen to it with the proper quality and to have artwork which is a very important part of the production. 

MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

 Ricardo Figueroa: Doesn’t bother me actually. If you attend a concert and you want to film five minutes or the whole show and then post it on YouTube, go for it. Again, this helps a lot to promote bands. Maybe when somebody watches the show on YouTube they’ll get interested in buying the DVD.


What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

Ricardo Figueroa: I bought Clockwork Angels by Rush and I’ve been listening to Rainbow and Marty Friedman.

Carlos Cabrices: Deep Purple In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra.


Have you read any good books lately?

Ricardo Figueroa: No I have not.

Carlos Cabrices: The Book of Man by Osho.


What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Ricardo Figueroa: Judas Priest Epitaph World Tour with Whitesnake.


What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Carlos Cabrices: Once during a concert a bassist and I were sharing a solo section. I started soloing then he started soloing and when it was my turn again I stepped on the wrong pedal and I turned down the master volume of my guitar. That was my first muted live solo! It was embarrassing but also very funny. 

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

Ricardo Figueroa: Freddy Mercury, Clint Eastwood and Madonna.

Carlos Cabrices: Nikola Tesla, Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe.

MSJ: What would be on the menu?

Ricardo Figueroa: Italian food.

Carlos Cabrices: Fish or meat, salad and a lot of beer to get drunk.


Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Ricardo Figueroa: We want to thank Music Street Journal for supporting us. We do appreciate it! Our debut album is available on Amazon and iTunes and we hope you enjoy it!

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at
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