Some time back I got an email from a guy by the name of Eduardo Benatar who was contacting me for a thesis he was writing. He also said I should watch out for his band RC2. Well time passed and here it is...RC2's Future Awaits. And a fine album it is, check the review elsewhere on this site. So I decided to find out a little more about this intriguing young band.

Jerry Lucky: Greetings Eduardo and thanks for taking some time to have a chat. First off, let’s talk about how the band came together, because it's a bit confusing. You started out being called Radio Clip in Venezuela, right?

 

Eduardo Benatar: Hello Jerry and thanks for having me, I feel honored. Yes, RC2 started when Radio Clip folded.

 

JL: The music of Radio Clip seemed to be a little more pop-rock, would that be correct? I heard a lot of late eighties British band sounds. Bands like Tears for Fears or INXS or even Ultravox.

 

EB: The band started circa 1987. Their first album was very pop oriented, but after that they started incorporating more rock elements. I think the bands you mention are very much in that vein, but Radio Clip tried to incorporate more heavy guitar playing on their music too.

 

JL: Radio Clip was very popular, right?

 

EB: They had number 1 singles and gold records on the Venezuelan charts, so yes, they were all the popular that a rock band can be in a country so immersed in Latin music as Venezuela is.

 

JL: So what led to the break-up?

 

EB: Lots of things… three of the original members left the country, their record company folded and the music scene in the country was very damaged by the economic situation. Basically, it was very hard to keep it rolling.

 

JL: So now what led to the formation of RC2 and how was it you decided to move more into the progressive rock style?

 

EB: When I entered in the picture, in 1998, the band was at a very low point. Only two of the original members remained: Felix Duque (vocals) and Arturo Torres (bass). We realized that prog rock was a style we all loved and, if we were gonna stop treating the project as a professional band and more kind of like an artistic thing, we might as well play the music we loved. At that point, it was the three of us and Demian Mejicano (RC2 first guitar player) and we needed a keyboard player. I called Rafael Paz, a childhood friend, and believe it or not, we composed 75% percent of the songs of the first album and even a couple that we used on Future Awaits. But then Arturo decided that he wanted to move to the States, so we broke up. Three months later, I called all the guys and recruited Pedro Misle, a bass player from Luz Verde, my rock and roll band, and we started a cover band. Radio Clip was Arturo’s band, so we decided to change the name to RC2.

 

We sucked at covers, so we only did one gig, and used that money to record a 3 song demo. We gave a copy to Pedro Castillo, from Tempano (Venezuela’s most popular prog rock band) and he gave it to Musea. A week later we had a record deal.

 

JL: When you thought about playing progressive rock, didn't anyone in the band say..."wait a minute, that's not a very popular style of music…why do we want to play prog?"

 

EB: That’s exactly what we thought, and we loved that! The pressure was off and we could start doing it for fun and not worrying about the success of a legendary band. By the way, Radio Clip has reunited in Miami.

JL: So while all this is happening where does the move to Spain happen and when did you find the time to work on your thesis?

 

EB: All of the above happened between 1998 and 2001. In 2002, when we were set to start recording, Felix decided to move to Spain. But that was not gonna stop us, so we recorded vocals first, the week before Felix left. We spent months recording – Demian works with glass and he had a nasty injury that almost left his left hand useless, so we had to stop for a while- and it was ready in 2003. In September Felix came to Venezuela to play in the release party… we’ve been in the band for 4 years, and this was our first concert, in front of more than 500 and in a very prestigious concert hall in Caracas…and we had only a week to rehearse with Felix! It was crazy.

 

After that, and because of the political turmoil in Venezuela, we decided to come to Spain, but we wanted to make the second album first. Demian decided to leave the band, so Rafael, Pedro and me started doing some serious writing. If we did it the hard way on the first one, we opted for the impossible on the second: WE COMPOSED AND RECORDED ALL OF THE SONGS WITHOUT HAVING ANY IDEA OF THE LYRICS AND VOCAL MELODIES! (emphasis his)

 

Drums, bass and keyboards for this album were recorded from April thru August 2004, and we came to Spain in October. In 2005, I enrolled on the Master in Music Critic, so that’s when I decided to do a thesis on Prog Rock and contacted you. We spent 2005 and 2006 composing and recording vocals and guitars in Barcelona (thanks to Eric Baule, a Spanish guitar player that helped us make our new sound come true). And in 2007 and 2008, we mixed and decided to go with Progrock.

 

JL: Now the band got a support gig with Dream Theater! That's pretty cool. How did that come together? And how did that affect the band?

 

EB: Mike Portnoy had the idea of making a contest to choose the opening bands of Dream Theater’s South American tour. We won the Venezuela spot. But our new guitar player, Mauricio Barroeta, couldn’t come… so we invited Demian and he said yes. So we had three days to play with a guitar player that hadn’t played with us in 5 years and we played in front of 7000 people. The next day we did Hard Rock Café Caracas and we came back to Barcelona. Needless to say, it was a journey full of strong emotions.

 

JL: Many of the reviews of your first album tended to put you guys in the prog-metal camp. Was that fair?

 

EB: I think it was mostly because of Demian’s influence. The guitars are very heavy, but the compositions are very symphonic.

 

JL: The new CD, Future Awaits, tells the story of your move to Spain. Tell me more about that as it relates to the music, because I don't hear any prog-metal on this CD.

 

EB: It’s because we’re not a prog-metal band. It’s true that we have a harder edge than most of the bands that have influenced of, but we strive for melody. Our main goal is to make songs that can function as a unit, rather than putting together bits and pieces of complicated parts.

The lyrics are a reflection of our personal and musical journey, from anxiety and aggression to hope and happiness. The lyrics were supposed to be in Spanish, but we decided it to try and do this one in English. I wrote about all of this (and about the odyssey of recording this album) on the liner notes of Future Awaits.

 

JL: What are the plans for the band? Can you make a living just playing music or do have to keep your day jobs?

 

EB: We plan to tour Europe with it. Trying to see how we can do it. As you should know, it’s never easy for prog rock. All of us except me keep our day jobs. I’m trying to make a living out of music… some months I succeed, some months I don’t!

 

JL: Any final thoughts you'd like fans and newcomers to know about RC2?

 

EB: As you may have noticed while reading this interview, we really love this band and we believe in our music. We have overcome lots of difficulties, but it is only for the best: we have what I think is a great record. I really hope you all listen to it… and come visit us at www.myspace.com/rc2prog!

 

JL: Hey, thanks for taking the time..wish you all the best in the future.

 

EB: Thank you, Jerry. I wish you all the best and hope that we can keep in touch.

interviews005002.jpg
interviews005001.jpg
Eduardo Benatar
interviews002002.gif
interviews001001.gif