GUI OLIVER (LANDFALL): “It’s A Great Feeling When People Say I Sound Like STEVE PERRY”

LANDFALL - Melodic Rock band from Curitiba, Brazil

Landfall is a new Melodic Rock / AOR band hailing from Curitiba, Brazil featuring ex-members of local bands AURAS and Wild Child. Their debut album The Turning Point comes out on September 4 through Frontiers records. Metal Express Radio spoke in the week prior to the release of the album with guitarist Marcelo Gelbcke, drummer Felipe Souzza, and vocalist Gui Oliver about how the band came to be, the recording, and composition processes behind the album, and their plans after the release. We also threw them some curve balls about comparisons people have been making between Gui and Journey singer Steve Perry.

Metal Express Radio: Can each of you tell a little bit about yourselves for people who are not familiar with the band?

Marcelo – I am Marcelo Gelbcke, guitarist for Landfall and also a producer for the band. I have a studio here, MGC Studio, and I do lots of things, audio related and music-related. I’ve been a professional since I was 18 years old. I’m also a guitar player and do a lot of gigs around here.

Gui – I’m Gui Oliver, the Lead Singer, Songwriter, and everything else. I’m the former lead singer of the band Auras who also released an album through Frontiers 10 years ago. I’m now living in Cascavel and no longer in Curitiba, where the band is based. I’m still doing music here; writing for other musicians but also for the band. I have my own studio here and I’ve been working a lot during the years.

Felipe – My name is Felipe Souza, I’m the drummer and producer for Landfall. I also work as a sideman with lots of projects and bands and have been doing this for a while.

MER: Awesome guys, We listened to your single “Rush Hour”, it’s a great song! What has the reception of the singles been so far?

Marcelo – The reception has been great, they have both been doing great! I think Road of Dreams has a wider range of reception, but Rush Hour is also great, it has the chops and is a fast song, and it shows people we’re not only the AOR radio-friendly thing, but we can also do heavier stuff and both of them showcase the variety we have in our band

Gui – It’s very hard to choose any one song to let people know about your music, and especially in our album because we have such different songs. We’re a Hard Rock band with lots of AOR and Hard Rock influences. The first single, “Road of Dreams” is a very Melodic Rock song. So people didn’t realize we’re also a Hard Rock band, and when we released Rush Hour it was like kicking them in the face.

Felipe – When we released “Road of Dreams,” if people expected to hear the same thing on the second single, they were like “Oh man, these guys have many different ideas and songs,” and you can discover that in the full album.

MER: Totally, and it’s such a joy to listen to! So, guys, we know at least 3 of you are huge Dream Theater fans with your previous Prog band Wild Child. Can you tell us a little bit about the transition from Wild Child to Landfall and working with Gui?

Marcelo – I think Wild Child was a more experimental thing. We were very young and tried a lot of different things. The main difference is our age, we’re older and hopefully smarter. With Gui, we’re doing a more focused thing. We also have more experience with recording, producing; I have been doing this for 10 years now, so it’s almost like we are getting better and better because we are actually living it!

Felipe – As Marcelo said, two of the albums we have with Wild Child were done in Marcelo’s studio, so we’re getting the experience and the way of doing things. Hopefully, we’re getting better each day.

Marcelo – And now we have a very strong songwriter in Gui, and he has this power with writing melodies that we didn’t have in the past. It’s kinda new and very good to have him on board, and the 4 of us always working together. It’s different chemistry, better chemistry.

Gui – I remember the first time I saw the guys when they were playing in a dingy basement. When I saw them, I knew they were awesome. They were awesome musicians. The first guy I played with was Thiago in a Cover Band I was in. When the 2 other guys in the band left, I asked Marcelo and Felipe to join, and we did 1 concert together.

Marcelo – And the setlist was amazing! It was like 30 songs, but not only hits, songs we liked from Mr. Big, Winger, Whitesnake, but we only played 1 gig.

MER: That’s a lot of learning for not a lot of playing!

Gui – Yeah! I remember the day Marcelo called me. I was driving my grandma to the airport, and I received a call. I remember this as if it was yesterday! He asked me if I’d like to do a concert with them. It was a great opportunity for them to show their music to the public.

Felipe – It was 4AM in the morning!

Marcelo – It was the anniversary of an important club here in the scene, Crossroads. We still were Wild Child. It was an excellent showcase for us.

Felipe – I think it was in 2017! The concert was great! This was Gui’s first concert, still before he joined the band!

MER: Well you had to try him out, right? Talk about a low stakes audition!

Gui – Yeah, like an audition. But it was very hard for me, the previous singer’s voice is very different from mine.

Marcelo – I remember me, Felipe, and Gui talking about the vibe during rehearsal. It was a very unique vibe! We laughed a lot, but they were really productive rehearsals. We’d come in Saturday morning and spend the day in the studio.

Felipe – I miss those days! Nowadays we have Gui living in Cascavel and Thiago living in Mexico. It’s difficult to get everyone together in the same room to play.

Gui – Hey I drive faster, more like 6 hours!

MER: Not during “Rush Hour” though! [Laugh]

Landfall: [Laughs]

Marcelo – I think at the same time, me, Thiago and Felipe have been playing together for 10 years now, and we have such great chemistry and method of doing things, that the fact that they moved out of town almost doesn’t change anything

Felipe – We actually produce more and better stuff than when everyone was living in the same City. It’s something that is clear for us, it doesn’t change anything.

MER: Glad to hear you’re still producing music! Sometimes when a key member moves out it’s hard on bands. Gui, now to turn the question around to you, what happened to AURAS and to you in the last 10 years?

Gui – I would’ve liked for AURAS to have been a real band. But it was just myself and Ferpa pushing it, and we did all the music, pouring our heart and soul into the band. But suddenly, when the time came to do something, only two of us, or maybe only myself, wanted to do something with the band.

I stopped playing, I stopped singing, it was a tough time. Later a friend of mine invited me to play in a cover band, and I kept on writing songs, I have plenty of them here. It’s what I love to do! Last year we got together again and started writing some music, but I don’t know what’s gonna happen, we’ll have to see.

Now I’m focusing on Landfall, and Landfall is a band. We do everything together and decide everything together. But back then I stopped singing for a while, I don’t know, I wanted to get out of the music business for a while. It’s a shame because people loved the AURAS album, it was a very AOR oriented album, but it’s life. Now I’m with Landfall and it’s wonderful. Now I have a real band and we work together. We can write together, and my focus is now on the band.

Felipe – We’re super grateful that Gui is in the band.

MER: Well, it seems he’s really grateful to have you guys as well, so it’s a great combination!

Gui – We love each other. The best thing is I can write a song knowing these guys can play anything!

MER: Since we are on the subject of writing songs, who does the writing? Is it just Gui, or is it the whole band?

Landfall– Everyone

Gui – Sometimes I have a song, I’ll show it to the guys and they arrange and produce it. But sometimes like with “Rush Hour”, Marcelo came up with the riff, I wrote the melody and lyrics and that was the song, just like that. Everybody puts their own style in the songs.

Felipe – We have basically our way to develop and build things. Right in the beginning with Wild Child, Marcelo, I and Thiago would get in a room and jam, start building an idea, go home, and record things in a tape recorder to later arrange and produce them. Now we’re producing things as we are building them. The whole thing starts getting polished before it’s even complete. Now we do a lot from the control room.

Marcelo – We’re players, we are rock musicians, and we like to get in a room and jam, but we’re not always able to do it. But sometimes, like in “Road of Dreams”, Gui sends us an idea with his acoustic and singing, and we never go into the rehearsal room with it. I plug my guitar into Guitar Rig, Felipe is a master of programming drums, and we do everything from the control room, and it goes really fast. We probably never played this song with the 4 of us in a room!

MER: Well, we’ve seen you guys playing it together inside a container!

Felipe – I think that was the first time we played it together! The video for “Road of Dreams”.

Gui – I think the best example of what Marcelo was saying is a song called “Jane’s Carousel”. I remember I sent a part of it to the guys, and they sent it back and I went “what the hell!” – they put magic in there, and it’s one of my favorite songs.

Felipe – We’re releasing the “Making of” in our Youtube channel, and you can see in these videos footage of us building the tracks in the studio on the spot. Think 4 guys building songs inside and outside the room on a weekly basis.

Marcelo – Since we learned to produce and record by ourselves, sometimes we go through the technical parts already. We don’t have a producer, we are the producers.

MER: Is that a deliberate choice, not to work with an outside producer to avoid external influence in the music, or is that based on the circumstances right now?

Marcelo – I always thought the band should be our laboratory to try things and to learn how to produce. It is an opportunity for me and Felipe to grow and improve as producers and musicians. With me having the studio here, and Felipe living close by, we can easily get together to work on the production side of things. We have our own way of doing things.

Felipe – We are kind of self-sufficient right now. There’s no other staff besides art, design, and videos, and even the videos I do mostly myself. We are self-sufficient right now since we have that kind of experience already.

Gui – It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t want to work with a producer in the future though.

Marcelo – It’s just a matter of it being faster, doing it ourselves

Gui – I know you guys love to do this though

Felipe – Yeah, we love to do it, so why not?

MER: So you guys are like Dream Theater, who also like to self-produce their records. Besides Dream Theater which is pretty clear from the Wild Child days is an influence of yours, which other influences do you have as a band?

Felipe – Well we’re not really influenced by Dream Theater in the band, but we have the kind of spicy stuff with our chops and riffs. As we said, the band is influenced by Melodic and Hard Rock and have our AOR moments. I’d say on Landfall we’re influenced by bands like Extreme, Mr. Big, a lot of Mr. Big, the 4 of us are big fans.

Marcelo – I’d say the spicy Hard Rock bands with good chops and technical stuff. But also the classics like Journey and Bon Jovi. We like virtuosity, but we also like to write songs for everyone.

Gui – And the classic AOR bands like Journey, Foreigner, Survivor.

Marcelo – Van Halen! Nowadays we’re also influenced by the Frontiers bands and the Melodic Rock scene like Eclipse, Revolution Saints, and Hardline. We are fans of the label first, and label artists second. Every Friday we listen to all new releases and discuss them among ourselves. I guess it only makes sense right?

Felipe – To us, it’s a dream to sign with the label, as we were already fans of the Frontiers sound!

MER: Gui, people say your voice sounds like Journey’s Steve Perry’s voice. What is your main influence as a singer?

Gui – Oh man… what to say. I’m a huge Steve Perry fan, I can’t deny that. When I started I played in cover bands and we played a lot of Journey songs. He’s a legend, and I try to do my best. For me, it’s a great feeling when people say “sometimes you sound like Steve Perry”. I think our voices are a little bit different. It’s hard to be compared with the king so… [laughs]

I think the way we construct melodies is similar. I used to listen to him a lot, and I don’t try to sound like him or Journey, but it just happens sometimes. His voice is something unbelievable, you know, I’m a huge fan.

Felipe – Your voice too man!

Marcelo – I think Gui sounds like Gui.

Gui – It’s big shoes to fill, but it’s an honor, a huge compliment. It’s great, he’s amazing.

MER: It’s also a lot of pressure, isn’t it?

Gui – It is, but I’ll just carry on doing my job.

MER: The Curitiba heavy metal scene is finally bearing fruit, with bands like Auras, Semblant, Electric Mob, and now Landfall managing to score recording contracts with heavyweight labels like Frontiers. Why do think it’s happening now?

Marcelo – I think people are getting better. We were here 10 years ago, but we kept working. Semblant is the same case, they just carried on working. Electric Mob, the guys are around for a long time and didn’t give up. I think people are just improving.

Gui – The bands are becoming more professional. People don’t want just to play bars anymore, they are getting serious about it.

Felipe – As Marcelo said, we have been at it for 10 years and keep pushing forward. We never stop, we never quit, we never give up…. Like the AURAS song “We Never Give Up” [laughs]

That’s something maybe those guys from Europe and from other labels are starting to notice. Good stuff is coming out of so many different places and not just the US or central Europe anymore. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about good bands in other places.

Gui – I also think, especially in comparison to other regions in Brazil, in Curitiba, bands are all friends with each other. We support each other and don’t try to hold other bands back.We all grew up together.

Felipe – We have known Sergio, Semblant’s vocalist for more than 10 years.

MER: Everybody in town used to buy records from him at Hard Temple Records right?

Felipe – Right! We started out playing in his bar, Blood Bar.

Marcelo – And Semblant rehearses and records at our studio here. Renan from Electric Mob is a close friend. I think what we have in common is the same focus. We wanna do things other than just playing clubs and bars. We want to build something, a career, a discography. As musicians, we have a lot to say.

MER: We’re living in weird times and touring is still out of the question. How has the pandemic impacted your plans as a band? 

Felipe – Yeah, we’re 6 months locked up at home now. Sometimes it’s really difficult for us. Thiago, he would’ve come to Brazil for 1 week but ended up staying 5 months because he couldn’t get a flight back to Mexico.

It was really good for us because we had our bassist here, so it worked for our benefit. But we wanted to schedule something to happen when the album was released: touring, some gigs, but it’s not the best moment right now, everything changed.

MER: So what about the release, are you planning a release party or a release concert?

Felipe – Yeah, maybe online.

Marcelo – Yeah, we’re planning something like a Live Stream, a real-time listening party. Something’s happening for sure. There’s one more video coming out the day of the release, and more. We would love to do a concert here, let’s see how it goes, hopefully, next year sometime. Playing the album in its entirety, or something like that.

MER: How about touring outside the country? US, Europe? Frontiers will expose you to a much broader audience that will be hungry to see you.

Marcelo – That’s the dream! Let’s see what happens.

Felipe – On the internet, we see bands booking dates for next year, it seems in Europe the situation is more controlled than here. Let’s see what happens.

Gui – My intention was to be in Europe right now promoting the album, but it wasn’t possible. We’ll have to see what happens. Our music is not popular like heavy metal, we’re a Melodic Rock band, so…

MER: Well, One Desire topped the charts in Finland not so long ago! Think again!

Landfall – Right!

Marcelo – Some days ago, we were in the UK charts on Amazon, the New Releases chart.

Felipe – We made a post that day and we were number 5, and hours later Gui sent me a screenshot showing we were on number 3!

MER: Wow, congrats!

Gui – The pandemic is not a good thing, but on the other hand, we’re grateful for being able to release the album.

Marcelo – We are just enjoying the moment, you know?

MER: Awesome! Is there something you wanna say to your fans before we close the interview?

Gui – I would like to thank everybody who supports the band. We have received messages from around the world of people saying they like the 2 songs we have released. People that follow me and ask for a band, they now have Landfall and I’d like to thank everybody. And of course, Frontiers for believing in us and Alessandro Del Vecchio, he’s been great to us. I hope people enjoy the album, we loved doing it, and there’s many great songs that people will probably enjoy more than the 2 we have already released.

Marcelo – Guys please go and listen to the whole album, don’t make conclusions based on any one song. The album has so much variety, we thought about the ride, the order of the tracks, and it has an amazing flow. Please listen to it whole. This is the AOR/Hard Rock album we always wanted to do. We poured our hearts on it. I’d also like to thank Frontiers and Ale, Alessandro Del Vecchio, he mastered our album and showed our album to Frontiers, he’s the one who showed our work to them and got us signed, we are so thankful. In the future, we’re doing a lot of new stuff, more albums, more music, lots more to come.

Felipe – Thanks guys, thanks MER for the interview, and I hope everyone enjoys the album. It was a great moment when we were making it, and I hope you all enjoy it.

MER: Where can people get your album, The Turning Point?

Felipe – All of the streaming platforms, and on Frontier’s shop. For more information go to our Instagram or Facebook. Website is coming up in the next days, I’m just finishing setting it up.

Marcelo – We are releasing the “Making of” of the album. If you’re interested you can go to our Instagram or Facebook and watch it to have a little bit of an insight on our creative process.

Felipe – And hear a few snippets of the other songs on the album as well!

LANDFALL - The Turning Point


You can read our review of Landfall’s debut on Metal Express on Friday, 4 September, the day the album comes out! Tune in to MER next week to listen to the best tracks off The Turning Point.


  • Alex Reis

    Alex is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, born and raised in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, yet living in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2010. AC/DC was his first intro to Rock and Metal, but Metallica and Iron Maiden were the turning point for his love of the genre. Alex has played the guitar since he was 14, and has been an aspiring musician ever since.  Also serving as lead guitarist and vocalist for Belgian/Brazilian Hard Rock outfit SSC, Alex and co. have released a single a few years ago, but are yet to follow with a full-length  release that's been 20 years in the works. When Alex is not writing for MER or making music, he works at the Belgian tech scene, having served as CTO and other technical roles in numerous startups and organizations.

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