ICON AND THE BLACK ROSES :  interview with Joćo Silva

organized by Mr. Joćo Silva and GryphonMetal.ch

interview  by Salvo "Lovedeath" Russo ___             

13/05/2004    mail interview

 review Icon  the black Roses






  1. Hy Johnny!!!First of all. Congratulations for your first beautiful
    full-length, an album made after three year since the first demo with "Blue
    Obsession", that is the name with whom your band begun to play
    (for all our
    What is changed in these three years?

Thank you . So many things changed in these three years. Only me and Sean
remain from Blue Obsession. We evolved a lot as a band and with the new
input from Sebastian, Mike and Adam we are a completely different band. We
went through some bad times together (mainly me, Sean, Sebastian and Mike
because Adam joined in quite recently) which made us stronger. Personally I
changed a lot. In my life in order to get something I lost another... I got
a lot but lost a lot as well.


  1. The deep atmosphere of your songs discovers the hidden part of your soul;
    What do you need in order to compose songs like those included in your cd?
    Which are the main influences .(not only musical)?

I usually write about issues that I really can't talk about with anyone. I
became a really reserved person and music is a way of letting it all out. I
often write more songs when I'm not thinking of music (like when I'm on
hollidays) and when I don't have anyone around. When I was a kid I believed
I could move people to my own feelings, making them feel what I actually
felt. As I grew up this feeling kind of vanished but I think that I achieve
this naturally, so my songs are me, what I feel and like it or not, they are
in your face and sincere (which somehow frightens me, they  show too much of
myself). I'm heavily influenced by everything that is provocative, that is
the common point. I used to listen only to melancholic music. Right now it
kinda changed, I still prefer melancholic stuff but also like bands that
have an attitude.
Naming main influences : Depeche mode, HIM, Paradise Lost,
Iron Maiden, Placebo, Hedwig, Guns N Roses, etc etc.


  1. It's impossible not to think that bands like Him, Paradise lost , Depeche
    Mode are part of your musical influences. even if you get a personal
    style. What do you appreciate of these bands?

Well those three bands are without any doubt amongst our main influences. I
listen to Depeche Mode a lot (I'm a bit angry because they take too much
time to release new albums). I love Martin's songwriting. In my opinion he
is maybe the best living songwriter. HIM's Ville Valo is also an incredible
songwriter and managed to create a style that really attracts me, I love
their earlier stuff. Paradise Lost, well , since a kid that I listen to
their stuff, I was a big fan of Paradise Lost and got to know Depeche Mode
because they were always mentioning them in interviews.


  1. Ok. Let's talk about your wonderful cd! Good songs, but also an excellent
    arrangement and production.
    This is very important, considering that this is
    the first release. You’ve worked with two different producers, what's

Before we recorded this album we worked with Tommy Newton and ended up
working with Michael Gerlach for the final production. It was a choice made
by everyone regarding this production. Our label wasn't satisfied with the
results of the pre production and we also thought it could go another
direction. This producer stuff is always complicated, you have to be really
careful to find the right person to work with you. This doesn't mean that
if something didn't worked out it was the producer's fault, sometimes it's
the band's fault or they are both right but not right for each other.
In the
end we learned a lot with both.


  1. "Running up the Hill" is a cover included in your album. A great song
    re-arranged in a perfect way.
    ow much 80's have been important in your
    musical approach? And about that time which are your favorite bands?

Well the 80's is my favourite musical period. I love the bad hair, excessive
make up, the glamorous attitude. I think that we kinda lost the magic going
on in those times. All bands are much more careful so that they wont look
too defying or shocking. Marylin Manson is an exception. I love bands like
Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive, Kiss, Bon Jovi (the earlier stuff), Sisters of
Mercy and The Mission amongst others.


  1. The lyrics get  sadness, and often relate about love. When Love becomes
    sadness,  and I think that most people have felt 
    the "Sweetest Emptiness of
    Love" for once in the  life!  A realist and deep  way to see this
    very far from 80's classic hard-rock ballad ;  What can you tell me
    about your way to write lyrics
    ? Who’s the inspiration?

I am the inspiration for my own lyrics. Narcissistically hun? Well I cant think
of anyone else so I'd better just admit it.  Most of times people might
think I'm referring to someone else, but its just me talking to myself. I
like to assume control of my inner voice and make it say whatever I want to
myself, that way we get total control over our own intellect. As for the
Sweetest Emptiness of Love
, that song is about a big loss  had some years
ago. I wish that she is listening to this wherever she is.


  1. In the "Sweetest Emptiness of Love" I notice a shadow of Depeche Mode in
    your way to sing.
    ut I appreciate your style and your way to use metrics. a
    very important quality for a singer in order to give emphasis and melody to
    the lyrics .is it true? In your opinion which are the main characteristics
    for a good singer?

Yes its true, for me the main skills in a singer are tuning (this is
fundamental), rhythm (this is the way you make your sentences groove and how
you give the right movement to the lyrics your are singing) and expression
(this is where you can see if one singer is actually good or not, one can be
in tune and sound bad still, and sometimes if you have a really good
expression you can be off key and still sound good). If a singer has these
three factors working for him, it's really likely that he/she will be a damn
good singer.


  1. Is there a tournče project?

We have talked about that with our label. We still don't know, everything is
kind of unknown in our future as we are such a young band.


  1. If you'd choose a band to go around the world for  a tournče.... Give me one

The Darkness (we can't be too serious all the time)


  1.  Ok..the final question is the game of the tower!!!There are 3 bands on a
    big high tower! You must kick down two of them, saving the third one!!!And
    for you there are..:

           HIM            DEPECHE MODE           PARADISE LOST


Hey this is a really complicated question, ok let me do it like this, I
would kick out all Depeche Mode albuns until the "Black Celebration" and
would kick all HIM albums after "Razorblade Romance". From Paradise Lost I
would kick out the last album. Now seriously, I love Depeche Mode a lot in
this phases of my life but I can't just throw away my past that is strongly
linked with Paradise Lost and the first two HIM cd's.


Thank you , Johnny!



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