IRIS – Rock Band

IRIS is a Portuguese rock band, of Algarve origin, created in 1979. One of the oldest in Portugal, being part of the history of the National Pop Rock Movement in Portugal.

The band IRIS was created in 1979 by four friends who started playing at balls in the village of Fuzeta. Gradually, they were earning money to buy equipment which allowed them to develop their unique style. Over the years, they made the circuit of dances, bars and a series of concerts all over the Algarve and outside it as well, however they created their own themes, gaining a loyal audience, it is currently difficult to find someone in the Algarve who has not heard of them.

After several changes in the structure of the band, it was only in 1994 that the main original line-up appeared, consisting of: Domingos Caetano on guitars and lead vocals, Chico Mesquita on vocals and bass, Thierry Guerreiro on drums and Ray Van Duyvenbode on acoustic guitar and vocals. It is with this formation that in 1995, after 16 years of existence, the possibility of recording the first disc of originals arises.

They sign, in April 1995 with Vidisco, a record contract to make 3 CD’s, the first one coming out in September of that year and produced by the Englishman Neal Kay, having been recorded at JPN studios in Faro, it would be the beginning of a long recording career.

The success of this work surprises everyone and even more the members of the band, who from one day to the next are faced with many requests, whether for their participation in radio and television programs, interviews, or for shows a little all over the country, when until then, playing was also and almost always synonymous with going to sleep at home. After some time, the CD reached more than 20,000 copies sold, and the band was awarded a Gold Record.

It is however in the following year, 1996, that this work and the IRIS phenomenon reach their greatest impact. “Oh Mãe, Aquêle Moçe Batê-me”, version of the song “The House Of The Rising Sun” immortalized by the Animals, was undoubtedly the theme that made the difference, bringing as a major innovation, rock songs sung with an Algarve pronunciation, taking the “moços marafados” performing more than 60 shows throughout the country. It is at this time that the band hires guitarist Rui Machado “Max” to reinforce this, which allows Domingos to move with even greater dynamics and energy on stage.

Two years later in March 1997, the band released their 2nd CD entitled “IRIS”. Work produced by the band itself, which again bet on “home” to record, once again using the JPN studios in Faro, which this time include, in addition to the usual elements, the participation of keyboardist João Ruano, accordionist Cláudio, vocal da Nita, who, like Max on the electric guitar, become part of the band’s live shows. The single “Atira Tó’Mar”, version of Bob Dylan’s original song “Knocking On Heaven’s Door”, was one of the most played songs on radio that year. Once again it is Silver Disc, with more than 17,000 copies sold.

Considered by everyone as one of the best and most energetic bands on stage, IRIS toured the whole country, leaving a trace of good mood among all those who attended their shows.

At the same time in November 1997, the band IRIS got involved together with other bands from their label, in the project “Heróis do Rock” where the song “Ser Jovem Sem Droga” sets the tone. With a very strong social intervention, this project draws attention to AIDS and drug problems, reverting a large part of its sales, in favor of the Portuguese League Against AIDS.

A show is then set up, in which IRIS and all project participants promote the ideals of a healthy and drug-free youth, drawing the attention of the media and the general public, through events held from north to south of the country, about the so-called “greatest scourge of modern times”. It is at this time that they perform 2 great shows, which will be the highest point of their careers, the Coliseu do Porto and the Coliseu de Lisboa. The CD achieves dazzling sales and participants are awarded a Gold Disc, in a ceremony held at the Lisbon Coliseu.

In November 1998 the project “Heróis do Rock” was repeated with the song “Sou Metade Sem Ti” as the launch song. Once again they offer part of the proceeds to the Portuguese League Against AIDS and once again the success of the project is enormous, sales exceeding 20,000 copies and a new Gold Record to be awarded to the participating elements.

In May 1999 the band released their 3rd CD entitled “Intuição”. This time they went to get producer Rodrigo Leal, who by this time was in the US. to produce his album, finding himself working in the studio of the well-known Nuno Bettencourt. The Noites Longas recording studio in Seixal was then used.

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