Ibéria

The beginning
The story of Ibéria begins in Baixa da Banheira in 1978, when 3 kids aged 10/11 started playing guitar. João Alexandre Marques, João Sérgio Reis and Toninho, had the ambition of forming a band. In 1980 the musical panorama was dominated by the emergence of Portuguese Rock, while abroad the Post-Punk period and the New Wave of Pop Music were taking place. But their influences were different, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and the passion for Heavy Metal was recently renewed with the emergence of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This passion led them to find a drummer, Tony Duarte and a vocalist, Luís Filipe, forming their first band in early 1984, Asgarth.

1986 – 1988
In 1986, the band underwent fundamental changes. Francisco Landum, Ex. TNT joins the band and the name is changed to Ibéria, Tony Duarte leaves for the Samurai and Tony Cê takes his place. On January 31, 1987, they recorded their first demo with 3 songs: “Hollywood”, “Lady in Black” and “Warriors”.

Francisco Landum (still a member of Samurai) played the role of guitarist, producer and composer, but, officially, he was not a musician in the band, being considered a support musician. However, he was the one who promoted the band, seeking support from local radio stations and Heavy Metal fan clubs. At that time, the “Devastação Metálica” fan club became the Official Fan Club of Ibéria.

The three songs from the Demo begin to climb the tops of some Heavy Metal and Modern Portuguese Music programs, highlighting the Luso Clube program on Rádio Comercial where Ibéria achieved 2nd place after 36 weeks of staying at the top with “Hollywood ”.

Thanks to the success achieved on several national radio stations, Pita, director of “Luso Clube”, decides to place Ibéria on the Clipomanias program on RTP1.

After several successful concerts, some in mythical places such as Rock Rendez-Vouz, and several reports in newspapers such as Êxito and Se7e, the record contract with Discossete emerged.

At the end of 1987, the most important national fanzines, O Lusomania, Heavy Metal Zombies Paranoid, among others, already considered Ibéria as one of the best national Heavy Metal bands. In 1988, the theme “Hollywood” reached 5th place in the charts on the Rock em Stock program and the band appeared again on RTP on the program Sobe & Desce. Participating in the show in support of the National Association of the Disabled, Helping Hands, with Xutos e Pontapés, UHF, Delfins, Peste & Sida, Radio Macau, Sétima Legião, V-12, Samurai, In Loco, Adelaide Ferreira among others, performing, in that form, for the first time for 3000 people, at the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon. The Iberia Fun Club was also formed that year.

After Raul Durão’s program RTP2 Ponto por Ponto, Toninho leaves Ibéria. His departure forces João Alexandre to combine the role of rhythm guitarist with that of vocalist. At that time, they gave an interview on Luís Arriaga’s program on RR, O Passeio da Fortuna, with around 2 million listeners. They participate in the Clubissimo program, their 4th participation in a television program.

They began working with the Management agency Hipolab, preparing the album’s presentation concert, which will be given on December 3, 1988 at the Ginásio Atlético Clube da Baixa da Banheira, the location of their first concerts. The concert was considered by the music newspapers of the time as “…the best thing ever done in Heavy Metal on the South Bank of the Tagus…”. This is followed by a participation in the program Natal dos Hospitais, at Hospital de Stª Maria, where Ibéria perform the ballad “Lady in Black”. Even before 1988 ended, the band recorded “Warriors” and “Lady in Black” for the program “A Nossa Turma”, on December 30th.

1989 – 1993
At the beginning of 1989, the band was surprised with a recording on January 20th where it was said that the band was the first Portuguese band to be shown on BBC-Radio One, more specifically on the Friday Rock Show, Tommy Vance played the track No Pride, praised the band, thus giving Ibéria the widest promotion so far (FRShow had an audience of 20 million listeners across Europe and part of the USA), confirmation came the following Saturday with António Sérgio from Lança Chamas breaking the news: Ibéria is the first Portuguese band to be shown on the BBC… For these reasons and others, the band finds itself on the cover of “Se7e” on the 1st of February, with a 5-page article.

On the 10th of February, the band gives an unusual concert in Sesimbra at the end of the Kick-Boxing championship and highlights begin to appear in some magazines and newspapers such as Correio da Manhã, Maria, Contigo, Nova Gente, Diário de Noticias, European , etc., having even received the distinction of Best Debut Album and one of the Best of 1988.

They recorded their first music videos, for the two ballads on the album “Lady in Black” and “Children of the World”, the exteriors being recorded in Almada, Lisbon and Costa da Caparica. On March 17th, the publisher receives a Fax from the Publisher giving Ibéria the chance to record 2 songs for the collection “Metal Rock From Europe Vol. III” published by an independent American record label and to be distributed in the USA and Canada. They participate in the program At 10, where the attention turns to Francisco Landum who, as a guest musician with Da Vinci, plays a major role in this year’s Vitória do Festival song with the theme Conquistador, which he wrote.

The months that follow are worrying for Iberia, what was beginning to take shape after so much work begins to fall very quickly. Tony Cê decides to leave the band, Francisco Landum decides to leave to join Da Vinci, Tony Duarte and Toninho return to the band.

Following disagreements with the Manager, Ibéria changed agency, becoming represented by Uhsom, from Almada (owned by António Manuel Ribeiro, from UHF).

In 1990 they released their second album, once again being without Toninho who moved to UHF, leaving the band once again in a very bad situation. With his departure, Tony Duarte also leaves and the two remaining members have to look for new musicians. Those selected are Vasco Vaz, Guitarist and Marco, Drummer, both ex. Braindead.

With the new lineup, the band returns to television on the Mapa Cor de Rock program. At the beginning of 1990, the band recorded the video clip for “Mexico” with the “Pop Off” producer while giving several interviews to newspapers, fanzines and local and national radio stations. João Sérgio is invited to join Da Vinci. He accepts the invitation on the condition that he continues to accompany Iberia. At the same time, João Alexandre also started a project called Shangai Blue. That year, Ibéria gave their 5th anniversary concert at União Banheirense, which was also filmed on video. In August the band is one of the main bands on the bill for the “Sim á vida” festival that takes place at the Barreirense stadium, Barreiro, with Steve Harris from Iron Maiden doing the honors at the house. Participating in this concert, among others, Tarântula, Procyon, UHF, O Motim, Adelaide Ferreira and the British British Lion to close. However, days later the band recorded 3 clips and an interview for the “Clip Club” program and radio, fanzines and newspaper interviews continued.

The scarcity of live concerts and the fact that the album is selling less than the previous one, leads the publisher Discossete to not want to record the band’s third LP of originals, creating a rupture between it and Ibéria, who are left with this mode without a record contract. The publisher also launches onto the market a collection “To Love” where Ibéria has an old ballad “Lady in Black”, and another with the various Rock groups that the label had under its belt, which portrays the 3 themes that were to be released as a Maxi-Single in 88: “Hollywood – extended version”, “Feels Like Love” and the unedited “All Night Flying”.

With the difficulties of its members in keeping the band running, with João Sérgio and Francisco Landum in Da Vinci, João Alexandre in Shangai Blue and Toninho in UHF, they decided to stop to restructure the project. At the end of 1992, the project was resumed, with the end of its members’ participation in other bands: João Sérgio left Da Vinci and João Alexandre disbanded Shangai Blue. Vasco Vaz is taken by Adolfo Luxuria Canibal to Mão Morta and Marco joins Peste & Sida. João Sérgio brings with him Quim Andrade from Da Vinci (Quim had been a drummer in STS Paranoid and Samurai before joining Da Vinci), Toninho returns from UHF and João Alexandre brings with him the singer of the extinct Shangai Blue, Miguel Ângelo. The group decides to continue with the name Ibéria and changes to a stronger sound, but sung in Portuguese.

The band then works on new themes and from the previous repertoire they recover “México” which was initially recorded in Portuguese. Some themes already prepared for the third album of originals were recovered and modified. This is how they appear: “Água de Fonte Virgem”, “Extravagancia”, “When I’m there”, “Without Daqui leaving”, “Sou” and “Sismo”. Some of these songs were also recorded in demo, at the Radio Mundial studios, in Barreiro with Toninho as main vocalist, before the complete adaptation by Miguel Ângelo. With the band now complete, they begin a promotional bar circuit. At the end of 1993, João Alexandre left the band to go to England to take a course in Sound Engineering. Quim Andrade also left to join Vítor Gomes’ Banda dos Gatos Negros, with former Guitarist Vítor Brás joining. Shangai Blue and Drummer Pedro Torrão ex. Total Folly, to your place.

1994 – 1996
The year 1994 was spent creating, rehearsing, perfecting the themes, researching new sounds (including Portuguese guitar sounds and some acoustic work). While they wait for responses from publishers, the band is not giving up on recording two songs in the studio.

At Genisom Studios, in Vale de Milhaços, in November 1995, the band recorded the songs “Bicho Homem” and “Quero”, achieving a notable improvement in sound. The two songs began to be played on local radio stations and the band gave numerous interviews to fanzines and some newspapers.

Ibéria are invited to perform “Unplugged” live on Radio Super FM, and on March 9, 1996, the band gives an interview followed by an Acoustic Medley composed of 3 songs: “Gosto de Ti”, “Gosto de Ti”, “ Ties” and “Chocolate Revolver”. There was great acceptance and a take was recorded to be shown to publishers. The publisher Genisom shows interest and the recording contract for the 3rd original work is signed, however, Miguel Ângelo decides to leave the group and, after two years of trying to get the project off the ground, he becomes completely discouraged. After 10 years of existence, Iberia dissolved.

Resurgence
In 2007, João Sérgio, in contact with Francisco Landum, talked about Ibéria and came to the conclusion that the publisher Espacial with whom Landum works regularly, had purchased the catalog of the now extinct Discossete, where Ibéria would be included. In conversation with Espacial we are thinking about the reissue of the two LPs. It was therefore decided to remaster the two works from the original masters and prepare the edition of 2 [digipack] containing the band’s first 2 long-term works. At the same time, João Sérgio began to reunite the band to form part of a new line-up of Ibéria for their resurgence in 2009, 21 years after the band’s first single was released. Due to the distance of some elements from the musical environment (Tony Cê and Tony Duarte) and the geographical distance of others (the case of João Alexandre living in London for 15 years), he spoke to Toninho and Jorge Sousa for the guitars, who accepted Miguel Freitas on vocals promptly accepted the challenge and auditions for drummers have been held since the beginning of 2008. After listening to some musicians, the choice fell on David Sequeira ex. Ferro & Fogo, who accepts to embark on the adventure of resurrecting Iberia.

In March 2009, Editora Espacial released Ibéria’s 2 CDs for the record market and the renewed band presented themselves to the public in a live show at In Live Café, on June 6, 2009. The band thus announces their return in force, returning to live shows and releasing the [digipacks] of “Iberia” and “Heroes of the Wasteland”. In December 2009 they were headliners at Festirock in Montijo.

In 2010, recording began for “Revolution” with the participation of Fernando Ribeiro and Ricardo Amorim, from Moonspell, an album that was released in 2011. They recorded the video clip “Angel” and in 2012 they recorded the video clip for the song “Hollywood” with special guest Ricardo Amorim from Moonspell on guitar. That year, Ibéria, Tarantula and Alkateya performed two concerts called “Lusitania Old School” in Lisbon and Porto, both sold out. At the end of 2012, Iberia opened for WASP at Campo Pequeno and headlined the “Tattoo Rock Fest”, at Pavilhão Atlântico.

In 2013 there was a new change in the group’s composition, with the departure of Miguel Freitas and David Sequeira. Hugo Soares (previously from “Ethereal” and “Artworx”) joins the vocals, leaving the drummer’s position vacant. Even so, they recorded a presentation single “Living a Lie” which was presented in 2014 with the release of a video with lyrics. Drummer João Gonçalves collaborated in 2014 but it was Ricardo Reis who ended up joining the group. They repeat the success of the “Lusitania Old School” concert in Lisbon and Porto.

There were more changes in the band in 2015, with the departure of vocalist and founding member of the band Toninho, being replaced by Hugo “Pepe” Lopes (another former member of Artworx). And again in 2016, with the departure of Ricardo Reis from the drums and the return of David Sequeira.

After pre-production throughout 2016, Iberia began recording the new work in December at Wilson Silva’s Wrecords Studios (More Than A Thousand). This work is published by the national Raising Legends Records and released in April.

From 2017 onwards, they began working on the acoustic EP “Elipsis”, having played some songs at the award ceremony, by the Parish Council of Baixa da Banheira, of the Medal of Artistic and Cultural Merit for 30 years of their career.

In 2017 they released the album “Much Higher Than A Hope”.

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Hi! My name is Carlos De Castilho and I'm someone who loves Portuguese music.
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