Audio-Technica endorsers Breed77 are gathering both critical acclaim and a massive fan base for their distinctive brand of Hispano-metal. A career of constant touring has earned them a reputation as one of the hottest live acts around. The band sat down with us recently for an exclusive A-T web interview.
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Audio-Technica endorsers Breed77 are gathering both critical acclaim and a massive fan base for their distinctive brand of Hispano-metal. A career of constant touring has earned them a reputation as one of the hottest live acts around. Last year the band signed an endorsement deal with Audio-Technica; since then every microphone on stage is an Audio-Technica. Singer Paul Isola and guitarist Danny Felice took time out from their current European tour promoting their second album In My Blood to chat with Audio-Technica, a few weeks before their scheduled performance and appearance on the Audio-Technica stand at Music Live at the Birmingham NEC.
Live sound production has evolved to the point where many live bands are using the technology to provide much more of a studio feel to their live sound, but Breed77 live are definitely about the sounds and instruments that are being played on stage.
Danny: We grew up as live performers. As kids we grew up playing guitar with our mates down on the beach in Gibralta and Spain. We are all about playing it live. Itís the same in studio, we record it the way that we play it. Iím not knocking bands who use that technology, with samples and play back. Thatís their thing, but for us itís all about playing.
For a metal band Breed77 use a lot of traditional acoustic instruments on stage.
Danny: We are a hard-core rock band, but we are also fusionists, mixing straight metal guitars with influences from our Spanish backgrounds, with flamenco and other gypsy styles, as well as with Arabic influences. We have a rich culture in our music.
On stage that means that we play many acoustic instruments, so as well as electric guitar, I am playing mandolin, flamenco guitar. We are also playing many traditional percussion instruments, Arabic or North African instruments that we find in street markets in countries like Tangiers and various places we travel.
We DI instruments like Spanish guitars with Shadow pickups to match the volume levels of our guitar amps, but we are also using lots of ethnic drums and traditional percussion instruments like the cajon (or Spanish box). These have to be miked. All these kind of things have to be reproduced clearly because there is so much volume on stage, so we have to have good quality mics with a very open sound.
All of the mics on stage are Audio-Technica, itís a complicated set up, particularly the drums and percussion. We carry a lot of mics for all that.
Paul: Everything is miked with a full complement of Audio-Technica: vocals, drums, percussion, acoustic and instruments.
Danny: Having our own mic kit is important to us, we rely on it to give us a consistently high quality sound every night. Itís a must to take your own mics on tour.
Paul: We have a big collection of AE6100s, with as many as six of them on stage at any one time, on vocals, guitars, and all sorts of percussion. They are seriously high quality all round dynamic mics, with a very high output and wide tonal range.
My wireless system is the AEW4000 series which also has the 6100 capsule. I sing with many different vocal styles, and I need a mic that copes with my very full vocal range.
It is a bit different to the capsule on the wired mic, with a slightly higher output. You get a very crisp high end, but unlike so many modern mic designs it gives a crisp sound without developing a really hard edge to the sound, it keeps its warmth; like analogue warmth as opposed to a digital sounding high end. You can leave it very open, with only minimal compression in the mix.
My wireless system is coupled with big bi-polar antenna which is great for the big stages. Weíve used it all around the world and it has never let us down Ė totally fail safe.
You have been on the road almost constantly for a long time now. How are you able to sustain that?
Paul: We started touring properly about six or seven years ago. We signed our record deal five years ago, and we have only really come off the road to record our two albums since then. Itís the breaks from touring that are almost like cold turkey, because you become programmed to be at your peak come showtime. Touring becomes your reality.
Weíre now getting ready to play more European dates and to start playing dates in the States. We have done some appearances there, but never really had a full crack at it. Thatís something we are lining up to do next year.
How much does an endorsement with a company like Audio-Technica contribute to the bandís touring operation?
Paul: Weíre big tech heads in the band, having been on the road so long. Going with Audio-Technica was a decision taken after a long time, and after being endorsed by other companies. They operate in a very different way to these other companies. We have a lot of personal contact with the people, and they provide us with a lot of very hands on support. Itís good to have that level of contact with the people who supply you with your tools. Itís a very cool endorsement for us.
What's your involvement with the Music Live show held at the NEC (3-5 November 06)?:
Breed77 are performing on the Live Stage (Hall 9 at the NEC) in the afternoon of Friday, 3 November.