Gustavo Carmo has enjoyed a more than 20-year career playing with a variety of bands and musical collaborators. But now the Brazilian prog-metal virtuoso has finally stepped out on his own with his first-ever solo album, On and Off.
The new four-song EP offers up everything that is exciting and diverse about Carmo’s playing, from the rollercoaster riffing and soloing of opener Byte Me! to the machine-gun staccato licks of Chain of Responsibility, the floaty, fusion-y legato lines of Clojure to the epic expansiveness of closer Contextual Bandits.
But while Carmo’s spellbinding guitar is always front and center, he’s also assisted by a first-rate team of collaborators, musical and otherwise, on On and Off.
Joining Carmo is a first-call backing band consisting of drummer Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Velvet Revolver), bassist Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Dio, Quiet Riot) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion).
Additionally, mixing and mastering was handled, respectively, by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Jimmy Page) and Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Yes, Sepultura, Fates Warning). Meanwhile, legendary designer Hugh Syme, renowned for his work with the likes of Rush, Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, created the album’s eye-catching graphics.
Regarding the EP’s origins, Carmo explained, “The initial motivation was the will to bring to fruition a more rock and roll side of me.”
When it came to his collaborators, he continued, “I then visualized a very strong team, in which each musician would play really naturally and with a lot of energy.
“Brian, Rudy and Derek would be a perfect team, bringing a spontaneous language, directed towards the whole with coherent pulse. It could not go wrong. I would have the perfect foundation to be able to express my ideas.”
On and Off is available on all streaming platforms now. Check it out here.