Irist’s Rodrigo Carvalho: The 10 songs that changed my life

Since 2020 debut Order Of The Mind, Irist have become one of underground metal’s most talked-about bands. Here, frontman Rodrigo Carvalho unpacks some of the music that shaped his own art…

Irist’s Rodrigo Carvalho: The 10 songs that changed my life
Rodrigo Carvalho

While Irist have invited comparisons to some of modern metal’s greatest bands since their formation, there’s so much more than just heaviness that’s gone into their art. As frontman Rodrigo Carvalho explains of his eclectic upbringing, “There was always music being played in my house, especially on weekends. My father loves Brazilian and Latin music in general so I learned a lot from him. However, when I turned 12, I moved away from what I would call ‘slow music’. Punk and hardcore were now my favourite genres and I only started listening to Brazilian music again when I was in my late 20s.”

Here, Rodrigo guides us through 10 of the most important tunes from his life…

The first song that I remember hearing…Djavan – Sina

“This is a song that my dad constantly played when we lived in the Amazon in the early ’80s. He said that I could sing it when I was two years old. I do know for a fact that I cannot do that now!”

The song that reminds me of my childhood…Chico Buarque – Gota D’água

“This is the song that first got me into learning about lyrics, and assigning them as much importance as I do to instrumentals. I have noticed that this is something that Brazilians seem to do more than Americans. Even though I didn’t care much about the music at that time, I loved the lyrics and I became a total fan of Chico Buarque, and have been ever since.”

The song that reminds me of being a teenager…Kreator – Terror Zone

“This was the song that was responsible for my permanent move over to metal. It has groovy and fast parts. As I only listened to slow music before, it provided a nice transition. I have always been a big Kreator fan, though. I love their early fast stuff as well as their groovier songs.”

The song that reminds me of my first gig…Brujeria – Sesos Humanos

“I used to have a cover band in my teenage years and we would often cover this song. I love all of the ’90s Roadrunner music, and this one was one of my favourites.”

The first song I ever learned to play…Bad Religion – Drastic Actions

“I bought a bass when I was 12 years old. I didn’t even know how to tune it. I owned the first Bad Religion album [How Could Hell Be Any Worse?] on cassette, and I remember somehow finding the notes to this one. I would spend hours trying to learn those songs by ear.”

That song that makes me think of young love…Anathema – Temporary Peace

“This is such a calming, atmospheric song. When I was in college I was always looking for ‘depth’, so I guess this song filled that void very well. I would almost always go to sleep to it.”

The best song I’ve ever heard…Xangai – Violêro

“The lyrics of this song tell me exactly how I should love my life. I will let you all listen and translate it from Portuguese. And while you’re at it, go ahead and listen to Xangai and Elomar, two of our best folk guitar players.”

The song that was the hardest to perfect…Irist – Severed

“The verse for Severed was written a little too low for me. I will probably have a hard time with it for a while…”

My favourite song to perform live…Irist – Gloria

“This is the most aggressive song from our new EP, of the same title. It rips live, actually. I am very happy with how people have been responding to it.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…Anathema – One Last Goodbye

“I think there is nothing wrong with feeling incredibly sad when someone important to you dies. In Latin America, however, there is such a strong push for toxic positivity that some people feel that it is their duty to not feel sad, even when you are at a funeral. If people actually are, I want them to let it all out at mine.”

Irist’s Gloria EP is out now. The band tour the UK with Pallbearer and Elder from November 2.

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