ITN Magazine: Let's talk a little about the history of your band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?
We come from the westernmost capital city of Europe: Lisbon, Portugal, and we were officially formed as a band in the Summer of 2011. That’s when we showed ourselves to the world, releasing, at the same time, our debut single “Born Too Late”, a 7” vinyl-only release. We also played our first concert on the occasion. Me (JP Costanza, drummer) and Rick Rivotti (guitarist) are the original members and started working in this project in mid 2010. Current line-up is completed with singer D.D. Mike - who is with us since 2014 and has recorded our 3 releases after that debut single – and bassist Tawny Rawk, who joined us about 3 years ago.
ITN Magazine: How would you categorize the style of the band?
We play Hard Rock with no compromises whatsoever. We take influences from subgenres as Sleaze and Melodic Hard Rock but also from Punk Rock and traditional Heavy Metal. That’s as far as we go, I think
ITN Magazine: What image do you want your music to convey to your fans?
ITN Magazine: Who are your influences and how have they shaped your bands sound?
It’s easier to identify genres that influence us than to pick bands, as these are endless and truth is you’re never totally conscious of all that influences your songwriting. Sometimes I really have a hard time trying to find a band to describe a particular riff of ours. I’m not trying to say we’re a revolutionary band or that we’re creating a new style; we’re pretty comfortable doing what we do, aware that all our influences come from the 70s and the 80s. I know that naming bands helps to portrait our influences better, so Aerosmith, Hanoi Rocks, LA Guns, Zodiac Mindwarp, Guns n’ Roses, Vain, Alice Cooper, Shark Island, Glamour Punks are surely amongst them. I’d also like to highlight the new breed of Sleaze Rock bands that appeared this century, especially from Scandinavia. I’s not that they have a big influence on us musically, but they surely brought a new kick to the whole Hard Rock scene and showed it isn’t dead nor totally depending on bands formed 30 or more years ago. They also inspired kids to form Hard Rock bands.
ITN Magazine: Where did record your latest release at?
The recordgind of the new album took place in our hometown Lisbon’s Dynamix Studio, just like we did with our previous release, the 2017 EP “Neon Gods”.
ITN Magazine: Producers are a very important factor in recording a good record. Who did you use to produce your record?
We believe the same! The album was engineered by studio owner Ricardo Fernandes – who engineered and co-produced “Neon Gods” - but this time around we added a dedicated producer, Ricardo Dikk. Me and Rick had recorded an album with him 10 years ago in a metal band we had at the time and we were impressed with what he brought to that band. He’s an extremely talented musician and, at the same time, open minded and perceptive. I believe that helps him to understand what bands are looking for, how to shape his and then take the most of each one of us. Our style is not common in our local scene, but Ricardo Dikk was already acquainted enough with our roots and the way we want to go so it was definitely a good decision to work with him. On top of it, the album was mastered by Phil Brewster in Los Angeles. Phil is a multi-platinum awarded producer who worked with the likes of Sebastian Bach, Steve Vai, The Darkness and many others and gave our record the final magic touch that every album needs!
ITN Magazine: Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?
The writing process in AFFÄIRE starts in an individual way but it is shaped and finished as a team work. Usually it begins with me, or Rick (guitarist), writing a full song individually at home. I’m sure that in some bands writing when jamming may work but we’re not the case. I can’t chose or schedule when a good idea will come up and it sometimes happens in awkward situations. To the point when I have to discreetly sing it to the phone recorder and work on it later at home. Other times, the song title even comes first! So, at least for me and Rick, inspiration isn’t something that we can “program”. It comes when it has to come and we just have to capture it. After the idea is properly worked and transformed into a project of a song it will be presented to the whole band and then everybody has a say about everything, including other members’ parts. When I write lyrics I usually have already some ideas regarding the way the words will fit but I prefer to leave almost all melody lines as a blank sheet for Mike, the singer. Just like anybody can suggest me to try a different tempo, rhythm or fill. So, at the end of the day it is a pretty “democratic” process.
ITN Magazine: Favorite memory from a show you’ve played or a place you’ve traveled to?
Since the beginning we’ve always tried to break the barriers of our country frontiers. So, also due to our location - stuck between Spain and the ocean - every time we have the chance to play abroad it’s a small victory for us! We have also good memories of playing in smaller towns in Portugal and being surprised by full venues and enthusiastic crowds. Last January we played at HardMetal Fest, the oldest metal/rock fest in Portugal, this time headlined by Chris Holmes and Grim Reaper. It happens in Mangualde a small town far from the biggest urban centers, for 25 years now and it’s always packed.
ITN Magazine: Favorite song of yours you’ve written?
Probably “Paradise Café”, from the new album
ITN Magazine: Favorite song of yours that you like to play live?
“Nasty But True”! there’s so much going on on this one!
ITN Magazine: How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?
Let’s be honest: music is the most important part. Especially today when many people will listen to it on online platforms and only a smaller percentage care about having the actual physical release. Having said that, the lyrics are not neglected. As I said, some song ideas actually begin with a song title and the first lyrics are then built around it or inspired by it. And maybe the lyrics are the part of AFFÄIRE that is more detached from our influences. We’re definitely not into writing “pure” love songs or songs stating how much we love rock’n’roll. Many of the music we hear talk about these subjects and we love the songs anyway, but it’s just not our thing to write about it. Our lyrics can have different colors: some are serious and deal with everyday life matters, most of them are rather rebellious, but there is also room for fun, lots of irony and not so serious subjects.
ITN Magazine: What are your current tour plans, if any?
By now, we have a decent number of live dates announced for Portugal. With the new album, we’ve noticed an increasing interest coming especially from Europe and North America, in terms of social media, merch orders and all types of specialized media. So, we’re already analyzing and conjuring a plan for AFFÄIRE regarding touring abroad.
ITN Magazine: Where can our readers find you on the web?
There’s our website www.affaireofficial.com where you’ll find the main infos about the band and an online store where you can order our merch. We encourage people to engage with us on social media: you can watch all our videos on our You Tube channel (AFFÄIRETV) and follow us/like our pages on Facebook and Instagram (affairerocks). We’d like to hear from you! Our music is also available all over the online platforms.
ITN Magazine: Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments for our readers?
We’d like to thank you for your interest in AFFÄIRE, exposing us to people that might have never heard of this band before. Everybody’s obviously invited to check our new album “Less Ain’t More” that has just been released worldwide by Perris Records. As I said before, you can easily listen to it online and then - who knows!? - you might like it and get your own copy! And don’t forget to support the upcoming bands that you like! Go attend their shows and buy their records to keep this thing alive!
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