When he decided to be a drummer, Aquiles Priester couldn’t have imagined the paths music would take him along. After studying with renowned drummers, playing in many groups, founding the band Hangar, doing a Brazilian tour, and recording Paul Di’Anno’s Nomad album, he joined Angra, the major Brazilian heavy metal band. Priester has since recorded the albums Rebirth (2001), Hunters And Prey (2002), and Temple Of Shadows (2004). Last year, he also released his solo DVD, Inside My Drums, which features his performances from a behind-the-drums point of view.
Aquiles’ style is energetic, fast, and aggressive, with a lot of fills and advanced double bass drum technique. His feel is very personal as well. He’s always looking for new musical information in order to create fresh grooves and to make his drum parts unique.
About his shedding routine, Aquiles insists, “I practice four hours each day to keep up my stamina. To have conditions similar to the kinds I usually perform in, which are usually very challenging physically, I even practice when I’m very tired. This keeps me in good shape and helps my focus. I’ll play nonstop for hours. And, of course, I try to find time to work on new techniques, methods, and other musical styles. I feel that’s really important for drummers.”
Angra’s tunes are characterized by a strong influence of Brazilian music. Some grooves are inspired by maracatu and samba beats. On the song “morning Star,” the drums and percussion seem to be completely in sync. “For the Temple Of Shadows recording sessions,” Priester explains, “I asked my bandmates to give me the songs without any beats. That way, I could create with more leeway and not be stuck to a predetermined rhythm pattern. That made the drum parts on this CD a lot different from the past two albums.”
For more info on this Brazillian metal drumming great, visit www.aquilespriester.com.