Artist Interview: “Rise Above the Storm” by The Bateleurs

Q: I love the soul and passion in your voice, who are your biggest influences?

THE BATELEURS: Well, it’s a mix between rock and soul. When I was really young my sister showed me a lot of Soul music. I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, etc. Later, when I came from France to live in Portugal I started to listen to more Rock. Robert Plant, David Coverdale and Janis Joplin are some of my main influences.

Q: How is the blues/rock music scene in Portugal?

TB: Portugal is a very small country with a very narrow market. Almost all musical genres not in the mainstream have very few opportunities to promote their work, be it venues to play live, or specialized media. We have some good bands, but to work exclusively within our borders isn’t sustainable. Since the foundation of the band we focus mainly on external markets, especially Spain, because it’s very close and it’s easy for us to go there and play. They also have a much more healthy Blues/Rock scene and are always very welcoming of bands from abroad. We hope we can expand our operations as soon as Covid let us, and start touring in other European countries.

Q: Who is everyone in The Bateleurs and how did you all initially come together?

TB: The Bateleurs are: Sandrine Orsini on vocals; Ricardo Dikk on bass; Marco Reis on guitar and Rui Reis on drums. Ricardo, Marco and Rui know each other for a long time, since they’ve been freelance musicians. They played together in several projects, both live and in the studio, and already shared many musical influences. I’ve met Ricardo on a studio session for a project he was producing, and we realized that we had similar goals and projects for the future. We put a band together to play some local clubs, only covers of Zeppelin, Deep Purple and some Blues, and we immediately felt that the chemistry and vibe were special, and very soon we were writing our own songs. Very quickly we went to the studio to record, and that way our debut EP The Immanent Fire was born.

Q: What does your music say about The Bateleurs?

TB: I would say that it expresses that we are passionate about what we do. We make it a badge of honor to record everything like they did back when the records we love were made. We never use modern day technologies to perfect our performances, and do it all for real, without cheats. Nowadays it’s very easy to enhance your performance with digital tools, like audio quantizing and pitch correction, but we believe that tends to suck the soul out of music, and the main purpose of the art gets lost in the middle of all the manipulation. We just try to write an amazing song, and then go to the studio and play it until our fingers bleed and our throat is sore. That’s the only way to really imprint your emotions on a record.

Q: How often and for how long do you practice?

TB: We don’t practice a lot, we do it when we’re writing music, preparing a recording session or a tour, but not on a predefined basis, and never many hours in a row. That way we preserve the freshness of the music and don’t get tired of it.

Q: What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?

TB: Hopefully our debut album The Sun In The Tenth House will be released this Fall, and we want to hit the road hard later this year. We’re working with several agencies to play all over Europe, both venues and festivals, and we expect that 2022 will be a breakthrough year for us. Everything has been extremely delayed and conditioned by the Covid issue, but we believe that once we’re over this pandemic, the live music business will be back stronger than ever.

Interviewed by Jaye Maverick





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