BJ is one of the rising stars in melodic rock. He has toured the world alongside Jeff Scott Soto, led the band DangerAngel and now is back with his new project, Spektra. BJ recently took some time to talk about creating this record and what the future holds.
Please press the PLAY icon for the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Spektra vocalist BJ.
On the public’s reaction to the record –It’s been a good surprise to me because I’m in love with this album, man. I think this is my best album as a singer so far. I’m really happy about it because people’s reaction is just great. So the songs are great. I love everything about the album, the sequences, and the songs. I’m this 80s guy. I grew up in the 80s and listening to all these great singers of the decade. The 80s are so, so rich with this melodic rock that I love. So I’m really happy about it. :46
On the members of the band –I’m gonna talk about Eduardo (Cominato) our drummer and Leo (Mancini), the guitar player. Back in the day, we had a band called Tempestt, and this band, we made some noise. It was a very good band. It’s kind of hard rock, modern, and kind of prog. We had a great record called Bring ‘Em On and I worked with these guys for more than 20 years. So I know Edu since he was 15 and the base player Henrique (Canale), I know him for more than 20 years also. I had a lot of projects with him also and he’s a great producer. So I couldn’t have a better lineup for Spektra. When I was asked from Frontiers about this and I said, “Guys, I have my band, no worry. I have the perfect guys to do it” because I work with these guys forever, I know them. They are amazing. I couldn’t have a better lineup. 3:25
On the involvement of Jeff Scott Soto and Alessandro DelVecchio –The beginning was only me. We were talking about having a project on Frontiers since 2009, I think, something like that. Because Frontiers said, “He’s a good singer, we have to do something” and we’re always talking. I sent some songs and said, “Oh, sounds good. But we don’t think it’s the right time to do this project right now” or something like that. So in 2019, Jeff said, “Frontiers just ask me to talk to you. They have a project for you. They think this is the right thing to do. This is the right project for you”. I said, “Okay”. They sent me two songs they had already done by the time. I said, “Okay, I’m going to do it”. Then I recorded the songs and (Jeff) said, “They’re crazy about it. It is done. It’s going to happen”. Then we have this confidence. They said, “BJ, this must be a real band. You have to choose your guys and choose your name. Do your thing. You have our trust, so do it”. So I think we have a dream team. The best label, the best producers. I love my lineup, my band. I love my bandmates. I think we’re doing the right thing. We’re working hard. 4:59
On working with the songs Jeff brought him –I have to say that Jeff knows me so well. He knows me. He said, “You know that you’re free to do your thing, whatever you want” and I did. I changed some of those melodies and put in my thing. The thing is, it’s a kind of perfect marriage because I just love Jeff just doing some vocal lines. He’s the master doing this, and I love everything he does. Of course, I changed some things because I put in my way. We discussed a lot, I said “I want to change this. I want to put this screaming like this”. He was in the middle of everything. We decided together so easygoing because I have this respect from those guys. That was the easy part to do because to work with those guys, they are so amazing. I’m talking about Jeff and Alessandro. It is amazing. I said, “Guys, let’s do it”. It was easy, I have to say. 7:02
On recording the record in Brazil –We had to do it separately because of the pandemic thing. So last year was tough. Especially here in South America. I recorded vocals about a year ago, it was May or June something in 2020. I said, “I don’t want to go to the studio every day to record if I have to do something. I’m going to record it at home”. I prepared my room here. My bedroom here, because I got some good stuff, a good preamp and a very good microphone. I have my home studio here. I said, “Guys, I’m going to try something here. I’m going to send you and you tell me”. I sent one song and Jeff said, “You have to give me this set up because I want to buy this thing. It sounds great. It sounds really good”. I think it’s the best vocal sound that I ever got in the studio. It was really, really good. The guys had to work at home and except for the drummer. So we had to record in a studio here in Sao Paulo but Edu is the perfect guy. He’s really fast. I think it was two to three days, the album was done, perfect. 8:59
On the possibility of Spektra playing live -I’m an optimist. I think, I hope we’re going to get better with this until next year. Everybody must (get) your vaccine, we need this to be normal again. It’s a kind of new normal, but we need this, especially musicians. I love to play. Live streaming is fine, but I want to see people, see people’s reactions. I want to get that energy. I’m a Latino guy. I want to hold people now. I need that. So we had three gigs three weeks ago. We had one in Russia with Jeff, two here in Brazil. I have to say it was a blast because nowadays we getting better here in my state, Sao Paulo. Things are getting better, and we don’t have the full capacity at venues. So everything is on the protocol, and we take this kind of thing very seriously in Sao Paulo. We had a blast, and it was two great concerts, was amazing and just makes you hope we’re gonna get back to normal very soon. I hope so. We cannot plan anything because we don’t know what to expect from this virus. So I hope we can do something, because next year, we already have some things already booked, like Monster of Rock Cruise with SOTO and Prog Power in Atlanta with Jeff playing just Queen songs. On this project his backup band is Spektra, it’s us. We cannot wait to play these songs live. 11:24
On upcoming projects with Jeff Scott Soto – We’re kind of on hold because this is Spektra time for me. Jeff is gonna have his Sons of Apollo thing because they had to postpone all their thing. But behind everything, we’re doing something, of course, SOTO, we’re planning on doing some new songs, also with Spektra, we have a lot of material to work with to the second album. About Talisman., we released two songs. I think it was in 2020. I don’t remember. I lost a time reference now, but, yeah, to me is an honor, man, to be in Talisman. I just love this band so much when they said, “We need you in the band. It’s going to be great”, I said, “Oh, my God. This is a dream”. The first time I saw Talisman was in 2007, Sweden Rock Festival. I was like, “My God, this band, they’re playing live. Oh, my God”. It was the beginning of Tempestt. Then in 2014, I was on stage with those guys. So that was a great, big thing, man. For me, it’s great. I’m not like Jeff who’s a kind of crazy workaholic guy, but I love work. I’m glad to be inside of these great projects. 14:08
On whether the next Spektra record will be Soto/DelVecchio or if he’ll write more –I think a little of both because I think we can work with those guys. Because this is a great team, we’re winning, why do you have to ruin something? But we have some new things already and some things from the past also. Then we work together a lot. So as I said, I work with this guy forever. So we had a lot of great stuff together, so I think we can keep everything together. This is a good team. 16:18