Interview: Fred Pala

Fred Pala is a musician and songwriter based in London, originally from Brazil. He’s a huge fan of classic rock and has been making music for years and his most recent project, The Fred Pala Band, have released a new EP called Through a London Window. If you’re a fan of Hendrix, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin and are looking for new music in that style, this might be what you’ve been looking for. All the tracks on the EP are excellent, but I really liked “Losing My Faith” and “Shot in the Head”. Recorded with vintage analogue gear, it’s very true to the classic rock era.

As a huge fan of blues rock and hard rock, I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to hear more! You can stream it now on Spotify:

We’re lucky to have Fred Pala on the blog to talk about his music. If you want to learn more about him, keep on reading!

Angie Moon: Who are the Fred Pala Band: What do you want new listeners to know about you?

Fred Pala: I would say that The Fred Pala Band are formed by three friends bonded for the love of the blues, 60s and 70s rock, and sound experimentation with lots of free improvisation. We have been playing apart with many different bands for many years and then in 2018, er eventually started to meet up on jam sessions around the city so we put the band together to spread around the vibe and grooves from those eras with a new breath of life. That’s the way I feel free and I believe we can reach many others that want to hear new stuff without losing that vibe.

Angie: What brought you from Brazil to the UK?

Fred: I grew up listening to classical music, blues, and rock n roll albums, so I have a massive admiration for the UK arts scene from the mid 60s. All [those] groovy psychedelic images are registered deep in my mind. Such a wonderful time for music experimentations and what a remarkable number of good musicians those vibes promoted.

Angie: How did you get started playing music?

Fred: I was born in a house with my mother being a pianist and my father a passionate music listener. I cannot even tell when I started to play, so what I can tell is that I’m very glad to be involved with music since my first memories. Music has moulded my life always. I started with the flute and piano, then I studied violin for some years and around 10 years old [I] started on the acoustic guitar and at [about] 13, I got my first electric guitar.

Angie: How did you get into classic rock?

Fred: My father lived for a while in California, USA, during the early 70s and had been absorbed by all that flower power movement that definitely changed his life and so many others around him just like mine. He was so passionate about it that it was impossible not to get also.

I still remember getting to know bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin with him and back there in Brazil you would discover this type of music just through your friends and people who got access to it. It’s not like nowadays where we can type on Google and see it all. I think we are losing this personal connection with friends nowadays, but sure it’s amazing the number of new bands from the 70s that I’m still discovering online during the time.

Angie: Who are your biggest inspirations?

Fred: I have many musical inspirations, but the biggest first one was Jimmy Page. I used to pass hours playing to Zep’s albums, and then I got to know Jimi Hendrix… I believe it was the strongest musical connection I already felt. But so many others like Blackmore, Howlin’ Wolf, Paco de Lucia, Sergio Dias [of Os Mutantes], Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elmore James…

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Jimi Hendrix's house.🎶🎶 Good thinking.

A post shared by Fred Pala (@fredpala.official) on

Angie: How popular is rock music in Brazil?

Fred: In Brazil, rock n roll music was very popular during the early 70s, after that the things changed a lot in a bad direction, I would say. But nowadays we have a very interesting independent scene that reminds me a lot of the mid 60s in the UK with loads of good musicians playing together in many different bands.

I had the pleasure of being part of it playing at many pubs and beautiful festivals around the country. Some of the most remarkable ones I had the great enjoyment of playing aside with names such as Steppenwolf, Ian Anderson, Os Mutantes, Som Nosso de Casa Dia, Casa das Maquinas, Gong, and so many others.

So I would say that we have an amazing new scene there for music, but unfortunately, the mainstream channels are looking to another direction.

Angie: What differences do you notice playing in different countries?

Fred: I could say that some countries are more receptive to blues and rock vibes, but with our globalised world, it seems that every where is becoming quite similar now, though you can still find traditional music or roots resonating in some corners.

Angie: What are your favourite cities you have played in?

Fred: I think it wasn’t so much the cities, but the festivals, places with extremely exuberant nature and great people. One of my favourites is named “Pira Rural”, which means something like “Rural Trip”, situated in the south of Brazil, a place with massive waterfalls near the stages and that Woodstock vibe of freedom and happiness.

I have great joy as well when I play in historic places like The Troubadour in London, places where Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and many others used to play.

Angie: What was it like writing and recording Through a London Window?

Fred: Two songs on the album I wrote back in 2010 when I came to London for the first time. I was without money and sleeping [in various places] around the city so I came up with ‘Head on the Ground’, talking about blues and mysticism. The other one is ‘Strange Angel’, that is the bluesiest on the record. ‘Losing My Faith’ and ‘Shot in the Head’ complete the EP with four songs. We recorded all the songs in one day live at Gizzard Studios in the east of London. The remarkable thing for me was to do it using just analogue gear exactly as they used to do back in the day. For that, we used BBC 60s equipment. So the sounds are very organic and rich in dynamics on the old tapes.

Angie: What inspired the songs on the EP?

Fred: I pretty much write things inspired by thoughts from what I see and feel. I have my roots in the blues so I used to start jamming with my guitar first and then I like to let the melody do the talking. This EP in particular, I think was massively influenced by feelings of London. All four songs I wrote being here in a 10 year gap between them, so I would say it’s like 10 years of my life in one disc. I believe a track like ‘Losing My Faith’ reflects the hard times we are facing and the struggle to keep moving on, and then we go with ‘Shot in the Head’, talking about primitive feelings, love, desires…

Angie: What’s next for your band?

Fred: We are looking to return with the concerts as soon as possible, and we are trying to run through festivals around the country. We released our album on all the streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and now we’re releasing our physical CD.

[We want to] go back to the studio to record more songs. It’s between the top priorities as well, along with some video clips that we hope [will] be available soon.

I still have my bands from Brazil rolling as well and releasing a lot of new material on my social pages. We are selling my double LP mastered at Abbey Road Studios, recorded with my band, Centro da Terra Power Trio in a more prog rock path.

Angie: Any words for your fans?

Fred: I love to hear your thoughts and ideas about songs, lyrics, festivals, musical partnerships, and meet good people that love music as I do. so you can find me [by] typing Fred Pala on Google or social pages like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

You can follow Fred Pala on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and his website.

Shoutout to my friend Patrick for supporting the blog!

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