Velvet: There are a lot of pop/melodic punk type bands around these
days. Other than being from Portugal, what sets you and your band aside
from other bands? Do you have anything different or special qualities?
Why should people check you out rather than think 'oh, it's just another
Carlos Teixeira: Damn, I think that is the most
difficult question that I have ever had to answer, and personally I
would hate to read a review about a band saying that they are different
from everyone else, making the rest look bad and you're like the savior
of rock. That would be lame. Let me tell you something else. Last year
someone wrote a review saying that the first single from the album 'Wake
Up Call' was a rip-off of Agnostic Front. So can you imagine how difficult
it is for me to tell anyone that we are this and that when there are
critics saying that we rip off hardcore tough bands when I thought that
we were a pop punk band? So I think that is a very interesting point
for people to check us out. After that review I even listened to the
album myself ten times to find similarities but I didn't get lucky.
Fonzie began in 1996. It's now 2005. How has the band and music progressed
during those 9 years?
CT: I think the biggest progress is the song writing (lyrics and vocals)
because none of us is a native English speaker or has English as a first
language, so for us it's ten times harder. But I think throughout the
years we have been able to improve a lot, and of course we learned how
to play our instruments better to perform better live and we have learned
during intensive touring how to work with the crowd.
Do you think the slow rise (compared to some bands who get catapulted
into superstar status overnight) has helped build and solidify the band?
CT: Oh yes, I think so. We have been through hell together, fighting
all the odds for years, and every little step that we achieve we celebrate
and enjoy looking back and realizing how fortunate we are to do what
During the 9 years have you had any 'down' moments and hard times where
you felt like giving up? What kept you focused and committed to Fonzie?
CT: Of course. I'm pretty sure that everyone has had a down moment in
their life and we are not the exception. Lots of promises that were
never kept, broken hearts, stolen equipment, and the list goes on, but
we never ever thought about giving up. We always cheer each other up
and the rock and roll spirit is always leading us. I don't think even
Moses could bring us down we his plagues.
How well known/successful are you in Portugal?
CT: We are doing pretty good, our videos are on constant rotation on
MTV, our songs are being played on major radio stations, we get to play
in front of huge audiences and most importantly we are getting awesome
feedback from our fans, so I don't think it can get any better.
What do you want your listeners to get from your music and the band?
I know you have a positive outlook and want to give them a sense of
positivity and enjoyment but anything else? What sort of messages do
you have in your songs that you want to really stand out? Which songs
would you pick for someone who's never heard the band to check out that
have important messages?
CT: It's hard to say, because one thing I like about the band is that
we don't have an specific message. It all depends on the moment or feeling,
so I suggest for someone that is really interested in the band to check
the whole album because it's like a book. You just can't jump into a
chapter and read it because it would probably make no sense at all.
If you could change the world or make a difference due to Fonzie what
would you most like to do?
CT: Well my dream would be to do something like Bono. Even though I
am not a big U2 fan he is someone I respect and admire a lot, and if
I had all the power and money he has I'm sure I will use it to encourage
people, especially actors, actresses, musicians
you know, people
that are more influential to masses than stupid politicians, to help
and fight hunger for innocent people in the world.
The lyrics in 'More Than A Friend' are 'sometimes all we need is find
God, to help us out when there's no way out'. Are you religious guys?
CT: Actually I am a Christian, probably the worst one you will ever
meet, but I am and I do believe in God and I think these days it's good
to believe that in the end there is hope because someone loves us all.
Is there anyone in the world who you'd love to hear your music? If you
could pick, say, three people to play your latest album to, who would
you most like to hear it?
CT: Unfortunately two of them passed away. First one would be Joey Ramone,
second would be Joe Strummer and third Axl Rose who would probably kick
my ass and that would be cool.
Does Henry Winkler or any of the Happy Days cast know of the band?
CT: Actually yes. We wrote to him because he had the rights for the
name but he was really cool about it, and as far as I know he gave us
two thumbs up.
How was your UK tour that you did at the end of 2004? And what do you
think of UK/pop-punk rock fans?
CT: It was really cool, no complaints. Actually I was kind of impressed
about how well they treated us and how much everyone cared about the
band. For some reason I had the feeling that I was going to get my ass
kicked by some bad ass British punk.
You have a hairdressing sponsorship. Do you think maybe some people
will see you as pretty boys who care too much about your image and won't
take you seriously?
CT: Well too bad. I'm pretty sure they have to go and get a haircut
once in a while. The only difference is that they have to pay for it
and we are getting it for free.
What are your aims and ambitions from now on with the band?
CT: To keep on growing as musicians and be able to spread our music
to every corner on the planet.
Finally, if you had the chance to appear on one episode of Happy Days
what would the storyline be for that particular episode?
CT: Well it would all start with a small band from Portugal that not
many people believe in because they are not from the USA or from the
UK and they have funny accents, trying to get into a big battle of the
bands but no one gives a damn about them. One day they are rehearsing
next to Fonzie's house so he hears the infectious riffs and then catches
melodies. He goes and talks to them and they tell him the sad story
of their lives. So after him telling them how cool he is and that he
will help them out, he finally goes and talks to the organization of
the events and tell everyone that he is a manager of a band and that
they're the coolest band in world and that he wants his band on the
bill. They ask him what the name of the band is, he realizes that we
never spoke about that and he looks at them while he is combing is hair
and replies with a silly accent "Fonzie! Yes, Fonzie, you got it
right. The coolest band in the world". After the impressive and
confident presentation the band gets into the showcase and of course
they kick everyone's ass while Fonz looks at everyone all considerate,
that's my band.
Fonzie's new album
'Wake Up Call' and previous release 'Built To Rock' are both available
on Punk Nation/I Scream Records and are distributed in the UK via Shellshock.
Visit www.fonzietime.com for