DISCOVER | Almamor – Stevenage/Baldock, UK.19th January 2024
Today on DISCOVER, I’m joined by Rafael Monteiro from Almamor. Almamor are a three piece band from Stevenage/Baldock, current members are Rafael Monteiro (Vocals and Guitar), Will Ang (Bass) and
Dave Radford (Drums). Today we discuss influences, time travel and new beginnings.
Good Evening, thank you for your time in joining me this evening. Almamor – Where did the band name come from?
Rafael: It comes from a couple of Portuguese words put together by me. The word “Alma” means soul and “Mor” is short for Maior. Meaning bigger or higher. I guess if you had to translate it it would mean higher soul.
Interesting! It’s always good when there is some depth to a decision. For anyone who hasn’t heard your music before, how would you describe the bands sound?
Rafael: It’s always a hard question to answer but we have been told we were a crossover of Led Zeppelin with Pearl Jam! I can’t say I agree with that analogy but we do bring some Middle Eastern sounds into our music like Led Zeppelin did I guess.
But mainly I would say there are some hints of Soundgarden crossed with Jeff Buckley into an alternative rock sound.
I can defiantly hear that in your music, let’s take us back to the beginning – When did the band form and how did that come a bout?
Rafael: Around April 2017 I believe! It was mainly out of frustration to be honest. I’ve always been a guitar player in bands but the last project I was involved with became a bit of a drag as we were not working on new songs. The fact that we were stuck playing the same stuff for so long made me come home after each practice and moan to my wife about it! That’s when she said I “should put my own band together” and assume vocals as well as playing guitar! I said she was mad as I didn’t have a strong enough voice plus I couldn’t sing, but eventually after much persuasion I caved in.
I got in touch with Nash ( drums) and Will (bass) as both of them were also in that last band I was in but not at the same time. The good thing was that I knew there was a strong musical chemistry with them so I just called and asked. They jumped on board and that was it.
Sounds like a straight forward formation. Doing music with people you’re familiar with (especially on a new project) always helps too! Since 2017 we’ve had a lot of changes both in the music industry and life in general. What has been your biggest obstacle so far as a band and how did you get past it?
Rafael: Well, everything was very organic. Songs and practices were easy and by September 2017 we were in the studio recording our debut album Shelter. The bad news were that Nash (drummer) announced he was returning back to Greece where he’s from, so we would have an album but no drummer. He flew back to England so we could all mix it then he left again. He came back for a launch party in June 2018 and that was it. We did a summer tour with him in 2019 in Portugal just before covid happened. Since then we have been playing with different drummers but we have finally found someone permanent and who has gelled well with our style. Dave Radford is our new drummer and we finally feel like a band again. Working on new songs at a great pace and making plans to record a new album.
Damn, that seems like it would be a MAJOR inconvenience but it’s great news that you found someone who gelled right with you guys. You mentioned your debut Album “Shelter”, what have you been working on since your debut album back in 2018?
Rafael: Well, as we didn’t have a drummer I was ready to record a solo album just before covid. A very intimate album more on the acoustic side, songs that wouldn’t fit the band’s sound but with lockdown all plans were abandoned. I started composing again for the band, I can say we have material for a second and third album. It was just a question of finding the right drummer to work with, so here we are saving our pennies so we can afford going to the studio.
Feel you. Hopefully 2024 will bring some opportunity for you guys! In terms of creative process, how does that work – do all members contribute equally or is it mainly your compositions?
Rafael: It’s mainly me to be honest, but things could change. Will and Dave are bringing ideas to the table and that’s fantastic. But so far they are my songs with a big contribution of Dave and Will. They have this capacity of making the songs sound a lot better once they put their stamp on it.
If for 2024, a fairy shook their magic wand allowed you to collab with anyone you would want who would your dream collaborators, past or present be?
Rafael: Mainly past I’m afraid and I’m talking about myself and not Dave and Will. I’m going to drop names of people who I admire musically! Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell -these two are the ones I wished I had met personally, also Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler. Sorry, it just sounds so presumptuous to talk about this music Gods. Obviously it’s just a dream.
No no, they are included. Got to dream BIG, right? We are now into 2024 – as a band do you have any gigs lined up already, music in the pipe works?
Rafael: So, We will gig as much as possible in 2024 but I have no doubts we will hit the studio to record our second album. That’s it, we keep on gigging and working on new material.
Sounds like some fun times ahead then! It seems like you’ve come through issues but ended up in a strong space now. Carpe diem and all that bollocks. So we’re at the end of the interview now, I like to leave the interview on a high note. a fun question. I have a sheet Infront of me with 20 random questions. Could you pick a number between 1-20. We’ll let fate decide the closing question.
You found a time machine that took you back 600 years. All you have are the clothes on your back. How do you tell the people that you’re from the future?
Rafael: I would grab a sword and play air guitar. Sing a song from Jimi Hendrix. I’m sure that would bring the message across!😂😂😂
Artist: Almamor / Label: Unsigned / Genre: Alternative Rock
For Fans of: Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam
Next upcoming shows: TBC 2024.
Can be found on the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and WWW.ALMAMOR.COM
Next upcoming shows: TBC COMING SOON