There are traditions that are worth to be kept for longer than the usual human life span. For this to happen there is a need for this tradition to be passed through generations while reinventing itself in a way that adapts to the new tastes as well as keeping its origins. And this is a mission that not many can do as well as the Lusitanian Ghosts, that picked up some of the best string instruments from the ancient Portuguese traditions, and gave their own interpretation to them while always keeping the Folk-Pop vibes in their music. It’s one of those that one HAS TO see live in order to understand the full musical experience.
Omiri has started his love towards music with Metal from Metallica and Sepultura developing then to study music, the classical one, and searching for instruments all around the World. However, being a guitarrist after a few years of discovering what was abroad he decided to look inside his country for their own instruments. Called the master Fernando Meirelles from Coimbra, considered the master of the instrument crafting art, which built him a cavaquinho and a braguinha which he used lately for this project. When asked about Giacometti he resembles Tiago Pereira and his project “Portuguese Music Loving Itself” where he picks up all the old traditions as the Italian born latter had done before. However Omiri rather adapting to the now and create new thing with the old.
O Gajo has already his own individuality expressed through the campaniça that comes from the Alentejo where he crossed paths with and fell in love ever since. He literally could not stop playing it during the whole interview and his mastery has an excellent contribution to this project. His first influences were The Suicidal Tendencies with their rough music.
Neil Leyton, vocalist of the project (sounds a lot like Mick Jagger which is just wonderful in this project pulling a “Wild Horses” kind of feeling to their album), is playing a beiroa coming from the Interior North of Portugal and he puts their project as “An Album with Portuguese lyrics and roots” since it would not make sense having played abroad more than 15 years with his Rock project in English now playing in that same language in the country he calls home for the last ten years.
Mick Ghost, a Swedish songwriter friends with Neil and fellow bandmate, has now Jazz from the 50 and 60’s Blue Notes recording his main influence not even picking up in the more contemporaneous BadBadNotGood since “There is so much to explore in those ages that it would be too expensive to see everything”.
When asking the band what would their favorite stage to play both Omiri and O Gajo had similar answers saying the first that “The Now is the most important moment to play and so the place matters nothing more than the fact that we are playing” as O Gajo says that “The emotional place matters most than the physical”. Neil said that Popular de Alvalde for a more intimist show with friends would be great or a Festival where with a big band the audience could see “My voice is not my only Mick Jagger trait!”, band which he ends up admitting was his greatest influence since everytime he would play it at a more “Adult Party” people would say “Stop with the Satanic Music!”. Finally Mick, which Neil says has a very similar voice with Bowie, would love to play in a club in Gambia a country his mother visited in the 70’s and which he always was curious about. We are curious about this combination of vocals in the live shows!
Two other members of the band, Abel Beja (Primitive Reason) and João Sousa were not present in this interview, however they are the two key elements that bring the act together in the live shows and good friends of the rest of the guys.
The future does not worry them not even this release of the album since they have been having the time of their lives building this project and have done it easily in a very organic creative process. In the day before we interviewed them they wrote six songs in an afternoon which can be combined in an EP called “Exotic Errotic” in a very near future!
Great Portuguese Traditional Folk Music made with the right instruments and with the perfect Rock & Roll souls.
1- A Long Time Ago
2- The World
3- Trailer Park Memories
4- Past Laurels
5- Let It Soar
7- Godspeed To You
8- Memories of a Once Familiar Future
9- Our Own Light
Video of the Live Act they put up for us at SuperBock SuperRock FM coming OUT soon! Thank you to one of our favorite radio stations for hosting us at their studio!