Interview with Brazilian Netto Rockfeller - devoted to the Blues and its aspects, R&B, Swing and Rockabilly

"From the Blues I learn that life has to be simple, just like the Blues simple and trustful."

Netto Rockfeller: Blues Globalizado

Originally from Sao Paulo Brazil, Netto Rockfeller starts his career as a guitarist and singer in 1997, two years after forming the band Blues the Ville with David Tanganelli. Since then devoted his time to the Blues style and its aspects, Rhythm and Blues, Swing and Rockabilly, both as a guitarist, songwriter, producer and singer. Netto has shared the stage with international artists such as Willie Buck, Johnny Nicholas, Tail Dragger, José Luis Pardo (ARG), Quique Gomez (SP), Gonzalo Araya (CHL), JJ Troche (ARG) and Danny Vincent (ARG), along with Brazilians like Flávio Guimarães and Greg Wilson, both of Blues Etílicos, André Christovam, Fernando Noronha, Igor Prado, Joanatan Richard, Adriano Grineberg, Gaspa (Ira!), Landau, Solon Fishbone Sergio Duarte, Big Chico etc.

"My songs are a consequence of experiences of my life and every song I listen. It is highly influenced by Lazy Lester, Jimmie Vaughan, Nick Curran, Junior Parker, Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many other Blues and Rock and Rock and Roll musicians."

He has published today two discs with Blues the Ville, Da Vila Para O Blues (2007) and Tupiniking (2011), also served as producer of Greg Wilson's album Lovesick Blues (2012) and produced jointly with Ricardo Gaspa and Edu Gomes. Santiago Blues Project is an Old School Blues Band consists of musicians from different backgrounds, born in Santiago de Chile in the summer of 2013 after a tour in different cities with major scenarios: Netto Rockfeller on vocals and guitar (Brasil), Edward Neidhardt on saxophone (UK), Danilo Hansem on drums (Brazil), Freddy Muñoz on bass (Chile).

Interview by Michael Limnios

When was your first desire to become involved in music and Rock n’ Roll culture?

I got involved with music because at home there was a lot of music, especially because of my dad, he always heard Brazilian folkloric songs (similar to old country music). I also have two cousins who are musicians and they influenced me a lot. About the Rock and Roll music, my older brother, who used to play the piano, got an Elvis Presley's LP with his most famous songs like Love me tender, Blue Suede shoes, etc. And this was my first contact with the Rock and Roll. 

What do you learn about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?

From the Blues I learn that life has to be simple, just like the Blues simple and trustful. The Blues is a big part of my life because through it I meet new people, make friends, see the world and live the life I love and I love the I live, just like the song (of Willie Dixon).

"I believe that most of the young people meet first the rock and roll and then they find out that it came from the blues. Both styles are rich and teach a lot about life."

How do you describe Netto Rockfeller sound and songbook? What characterize SBP’s philosophy?

My songs are a consequence of experiences of my life and every song I listen. It is highly influenced by Lazy Lester, Jimmie Vaughan, Nick Curran, Junior Parker, Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many other Blues and Rock and Rock and Roll musicians. SBP is a two years old band. Me and the other guys, Fred Muñoz (Chile), Ed Thomas (England), Danilo Hansem (Brazil), have other blues bands and live in different countries; therefore, we are only able to make two tours per year. We have a similar taste for the blues and the old rock and roll, so when we meet our philosophy is to make people happy with the songs we like. Even though we are together for only two year, we have a cd and a dvd recorded in Brazil, with all the songs that we like.

Why did you think that the Blues & Rock n’ Roll music continues to generate such a devoted following?

I believe that most of the young people meet first the rock and roll and then they find out that it came from the blues. Both styles are rich and teach a lot about life. That's why people still seek this kind of music.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?

I had the opportunity to meet great musicians but I met three people who were very special for me, Tail Dragger, Johnny Nicholas, and Rudy Tutti Grayzell. The best advice that was ever given to me came from Rudy, he said: The more you study and practice, more luck you have. Rudy is one of the most important Rockabilly musicians in the world; he recorded many records at Sun Records and made a tour with Elvis Presley and Roy Orbinson.

"The blues has been changing and I don't think it is bad; however, it is always important to look to the past so we don't forget from where the blues come from. One of my hopes is to play the blues singing in Portuguese but I am afraid that people won't accept it, especially in my own country."

Are there any memories from Willie Buck, Johnny Nicholas, and Tail Dragger which you’d like to share with us?

I lived very special moments with the three of them. With Tail Dragger I travelled for forty days and we went to the Patagonia Argentina. I heard many stories and we felt very cold there hahaha. Jose Luis Pardo (Argentina) and Quique Gomez (Spain) we also there.

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

The blues has been changing and I don't think it is bad; however, it is always important to look to the past so we don't forget from where the blues come from. One of my hopes is to play the blues singing in Portuguese but I am afraid that people won't accept it, especially in my own country.

Make an account of the case of local blues scene. What are the lines that connect the Blues from US to Brazil?

The blues started in Brazil in the 80's with three major bands, Blues Etilicos, Celso Blues Boy, and André Christovam. They were very important for the blues in Brazil. Today we have Igor Prado Band, Fernando Noronha & Black Soul, and many others that continue to spread this culture here. Brazil is one of the most important places for the blues because we have many big festivals and the Brazilian people enjoy it a lot. Many blues men come and play with Brazilian blues bands. That is very good to put us in touch with the real blues.

"The Blues is a big part of my life because through it I meet new people, make friends, see the world and live the life I love and I love the I live, just like the song (of Willie Dixon)."

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the local music circuits?

One of the most emotional moment in my life happened in the concert of Moacyr Franco, he is on the road since 1950. He is like a Brazilian Frank Sinatra. Moacyr is one the best song writers here and at this concert he told many things about changing our lives and starting over. It touched deeply.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would like all kinds of music to be respected.

What is the relation Tattoo & Rock n’ Roll culture? What are the lyrics that would you liked to write in a tattoo?

In the beginning the rock and roll was a rebel music and tattoos as well. But I am not a rebel guy hahaha. I have a tattoo which it is written: "Sunshine Of Your Love" from Cream. I love that song! I would also write: "Spoonful" from Howlin' Wolf.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

I would go to a recording session at Chess Records only to see Willie Dixon recording.

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