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Interviewed by Greg Olma

Interview with Rafael Pensado, Ricardo Winandy, and Rodrigo Hidalgo of Mindflow from 2011


How did you get the support slot on the UFO tour?

 Rafael Pensado:  We have the same booking agent.  It was as easy as that.  We’ve already played some shows in the US and we’re trying to grow here.  This agency, ATI, got interested in Mindflow and we joined the team and now we joined UFO on tour.

MSJ: Do you feel that heavy metal music is not as big here in the US as it is in South America or Europe?

Rafael Pensado:  No, actually I think it is bigger here than in South America.  I think the metal scene here is more professional and I think you can grow here.  South America is still growing, like in Brazil, there is more pop style.  Rock is not so popular in Brazil.

MSJ: Your manager just mentioned that you were the number one band in Brazil.  You beat out Sepultura.  Congratulations.

Ricardo Winandy:  It’s not a competition.  Just for the record, it was like a People’s Choice Awards but even if they say we beat them, I don’t take that for anything.  I mean, Sepultura, those guys are huge.  They opened the doors for Brazilian metal music so everyone that came after them, they made it easier.  Somehow the world looks to Brazil for music like Pele for football.  We have Sepultura to thank for metal.

MSJ: How has the response from the crowd been on this UFO tour?

Rafael Pensado:  It’s been the best possible.  Since we’re not within the same era as UFO, for those who don’t know Mindflow, the show is the first time.  The first song or two, they might be suspicious, by the third, they are rocking with the band.  By the end of the show, they are screaming.  We feel that we have a really good connection.  In Brazil, the crowd is more enthusiastic but I think that happens because in a city here, you have ten shows in one week but in Brazil, it doesn’t happen like that.  It’s been great.  We get a lot of response from the audience.  After the show, we stay a little while at the merch table so we can talk and chat a little bit.

MSJ: Is this the first time you are touring in the US?

Ricardo Winandy:  It’s the fourth time we have been here; 2007, 2008 again, 2009 at the Prog Power Festival.  We will also be touring with UFO for the second leg on the west coast in September/October.

MSJ: What are your musical influences?

Rafael Pensado:  We have many influences but the major ones would be Rush, Dream Theater, and Megadeth.  Danilo, the singer, would probably say “Faith No More.”

Ricardo Winandy:  There are some new bands that influence us like Disturbed.

Rafael Pensado:  Every record we start writing reflects our metal history.  The first album, we were listening to Nevermore, for example.  On that tour, we would do “Narcosynthesis” by Nevermore.  The second album was much more experimental.  We would go for the 16-17 minute songs.  The third record we worked with Ben Grosse who is a huge producer and he showed us a side of ourselves we didn’t know which was a much more straight forward sound with the Mindflow DNA on it.  With all of those three records, by the time we got to the fourth record, we did the production ourselves and that just came out in Brazil.  In the US, With Bare Hands, is a compilation of that project of the two.  We feel that the band is growing better and bigger.  We are really concerned what the fans want to hear; the best sound possible, the lights - try to do as much as we can for the audience.

MSJ: What was the last record you purchased?

Rafael Pensado:  Rush Chronicles.

Rodrigo Hidalgo:  I bought the Rocky Balboa soundtrack.

Ricardo Winandy:  Last one I bought was Counterparts by Rush.

MSJ: What was the last concert you attended as a fan?

Rafael Pensado:  The last show besides UFO last night [laughter].  I would say, “Rush.”

Ricardo Winandy:  Mine too.

Rodrigo Hidalgo:  Bon Jovi.

MSJ: What is your favorite Spinal Tap moment from your career?

Ricardo Winandy:  I think when we lost Danilo.  We were playing Belgium and we stopped at the gas station and we took like five minutes at the gas station.  We took off and 30 minutes later my father, looked in the rear view mirror and said “where’s Danilo?”  He wasn’t there.  We forgot him at the gas station.  We got lost going back to get him but when we found him, he was taking pictures of some cows.

Rafael Pensado:  He wasn’t even concerned.  He was like “they’ll come back for me, what can I do?”

MSJ: What’s next for Mindflow?

Rafael Pensado:  Prepare for our next studio album, then go back on tour.  We want to bring back that old 70s/80s record, tour, record, tour [cycle] while we’re still young.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at
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