Do you want to explain this idea of evil?
It has to do with me and comes from behind, in the context of the band. Sometimes I make songs that have almost classic progressions and in my head I think about how I get them off the ground, how in the next chord, here or there, I can make it not exactly what the listener is expecting. There must be malice, there must be poison. It is one of the things that gives me the most enjoyment in the process of making music, it is choosing almost a little poison for each song. There is the example of “Para Me Aleijar”: it is a song that in its structure is very classical, but then there is no chorus. It often happens on the record that the chorus verse structure is not there. Maybe it would be more pop songs, but why do I have to have a chorus? It was something that was agreed in the meantime and now it seems that the songs have to have a chorus to stay in people's memories, to be on the radio, they have to have the right 3 minutes … It's something I like to subvert.
In that song, “Para Me Aleijar”, which is a song that speaks of a kind of tortuous passion for the wrong person, I remembered a Scott Walker record from years ago that has a song… that must be an entire orchestra to do that, but they’re all on a hanging and crooked note throughout the song. It is a contrast of the guys, you hear that on the phones and the guy is playing a completely classical song, of crooner, almost Frank Sinatra, but in the whole song you hear a hum. I said to Ricardo: let's hear this Scott Walker song and in my whole song we will also paint a note over there. This idea of having a poison … I like that idea, of not doing exactly what is expected in a song.
The name of the album, Cajarana, has to do with the name of a character in a Brazilian soap opera, which became André's nickname…
[“And suddenly”, one of the themes of the solo album that Linda Martini's vocalist, lyricist and guitarist edits next Friday, March 13 :]
He even mentions that this was a time of discomfort and identity construction. That André Henriques who was suddenly André Cajarana, who was he, what expectations did he have about the life he would have?
At that time I didn't imagine anything. The telenovela is from the late 1970s. It happened in Portugal around 1984 or 1985, when I was 4 or 5 years old. For now, at that time I was completely far from this idea of music, of thinking about being a musician. I liked to sing with the microphone at home, but my parents were not musicians, there was no connection to music nor could I guess it.
The nickname was something that didn't stick. In fact, I don't know if I have a memory of that moment or if the memory already comes from the reports that my parents told me later. It is a time in life when we do not know exactly when memory begins. The story they tell me is that I came home very sad, with tears in my eyes, saying that the boys at school had called me Cajarana. A 4 or 5 year old kid still doesn't have a good idea of himself and the other. For me, at the time, it must have been a terrible thing, my name was André Henriques, I wasn't even old enough to see the soap opera, why were those guys calling me another name? That is why I say that it is a memory of discomfort, of identity. I thought it was the perfect metaphor for this record, because someone like me who spent a lifetime dedicated to a band and making music with friends, suddenly when he gives him this epiphany of 'I'm going to make a solo record' come the questions. Hence “Espelho Meu”, the entry song.
Have you ever written a song, even if it was disguised, without it being perceived, so clearly about parenting, about what it is like for you to be a father, like “Nonwoven Fabric”?
As it is [so clearly] in that song, no. I think that the only time this came across was a song on Linda Martini's Turbo Lento album. My son is now seven years old, he was born in 2013 [the same year the band released the album in question].
Is it the oldest?
Yeah, it was my first child. The Linda Martini song, which is the “Essential Tremor”, had to do with this moment that was going through. It was a difficult year: the first time I was a father, making a record with all this happening was something that transpired at the time. But they are themes that I sometimes have difficulty not only to put in the context of the band, because I want to write things that also represent them and are not just about me, but also because I have difficulty writing with a specific person in my head. It is one of the most difficult and uncomfortable things for those who are writing songs, it also happens to me in “The Best Love Songs”. Of course they are things that are experienced and known by mouth, but when talking about relationships – whether with the children, with the person you live with, with the father or with the mother – it is something so close that any something you write is afraid of not being entitled to what the person is, what the relationship is.