Stone Breaker is a Portuguese rock band formed by Dutch singer Ray van D, Vasco Moura on bass, Bruno Vitor Martins on drums and Ricardo Batista on guitar.
In addition to The Presidents, a cover-playing project that has taken them to countries such as neighbouring Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Switzerland and others, they are also known as session musicians - where they have been playing for several years, although individually, several musical projects from the Portuguese music scene.
They are a band essentially united by musicality and a strong friendship that makes them a family. The music they write is meant to be a reflection of it — a true portrayal of their travels, their experiences together, the road, the laughter, the tears, the drunken nights, fatherhood, Love, places and of how they see World.
They love music above all, especially the one that gives you goose bumps or watery eyes or even the ones that make you want to grit your teeth. Each note they play is honest, the words are not intended to convince or deceive anyone - they are honest-ready.
It’s rock, with a bit of irreverence - because they have often heard the phrase "Rock is dead." But what others say doesn't matter, it's worth it, chasing your dreams and fighting for them- "Hopes & Dreams"is the name of the new album coming out in April 2020.
Bio em Português
Os Stone Breaker são uma banda de Rock formada pelo vocalista Ray van D, por Vasco Moura no baixo, Bruno Vitor Martins na bateria e Ricardo Batista na guitarra.
Para além dos The Presidents, projecto onde tocam covers e que já os levaram a vários países como a vizinha Espanha, Bélgica, Holanda, Alemanha, Inglaterra, Suíça entre outros, são conhecidos também por músicos de sessão- onde integram há vários anos, embora individualmente, diversos projectos musicais do panorama musical Português.
São uma banda essencialmente unida pela musicalidade e uma forte amizade que os faz serem uma familia. A música que escrevem pretende ser um reflexo disso- um retrato verdadeiro das suas viagens, das experiências juntos, da estrada, das gargalhadas, das lágrimas, das noites ébrias, do serem pais, do Amor, dos lugares e a descrição de como veem o Mundo.
Amam acima de tudo a Música, sobretudo aquela que faz arrepiar ou aguar os olhos ou mesmo aquela que dá vontade de cerrar os dentes. Tocam honestos as notas do novo album “Hopes & Dreams”, as palavras não pretendem nem convencer ou enganar ninguém- são honestas-pronto.
São do Rock, com uma certa irreverência- porque já ouviram a frase com frequência “ O Rock morreu.” Mas o que os outros falam pouco importa, o que vale é seguir o que se sente e lutar por isso- “Hopes & Dreams” “Sonhos & Esperança é o nome do novo album que sairá em Abril 2020.
A Long Story
Stone Breaker are a Rock band from the seaside city of Portimão in the south of Portugal composed by Dutch singer Ray van D on vocals, Vasco Moura on bass, Ricardo Batista on guitar and Bruno Vitor on drums.
Initially called the Presidents, they where drawn together by a special chemistry they had and became known for infamously playing cover songs without rehearsing. But they didn’t care, it felt good playing in this band. How is it that people with different tastes in music and quite distinct personalities find themselves in a rock band? Well, opposites attract and a little bit of alcohol helps too. Funny thing is, their paths have always crossed but they only started playing as a collective group in 2015.
Ray van D (vocals/guitars) and Bruno Vitor (Drums) met back in 1994 for the first time in a local rock club, both bands shared the stage and something clicked and became instant friends- “Man, we should start a band!”, but that was not to be (well at least for the time being) because Bruno Vitor met Vasco (the bass player) when he was invited to play drums in his new funk band called Duck - (and ended up playing the famous CBGB’s in New York!)- Ivo Perpetuo was their guitar player- a Hendrix/Page/Gilmour/Zztop funker- that eventually recorded the guitars in Stone Breaker’s 1st EP. Curious fact Vasco & Bruno went to study Double Bass together in 1996- they both play a mean Bass! Their friendship and musicianship since early on turned them into Sly and Robbie of Funk and alternative music (a reference to Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar)- their sound was Sly Stone & Funkadelic with Blind Melon and Cult.
Ray van D, shortly after meeting Bruno in 1994, started working with a local band called Iris and that pulled him in a completely different direction, after 3 albums and a million miles later, Ray formed his own band called Tambu, that started as a cover band as there were bills to be paid and eventually turned into an original project with a recording but was never released- though it was a quite successful band, the band eventually broke up and Ray was left searching for a new bass player. A name occurred to him when he met Bruno again in a concert where they shared the stage a few years before with his new band Duck- it was Vasco Moura. The new band didn’t last very long- the local music scene was dying and the band eventually went separate ways, but there was an empathy left, almost as a promise- “One day…” Ray started playing solo gigs and acoustic sets in small clubs and bars and studio sessions; Bruno had his mind set on Double Bass and eventually ended up playing Double Bass in orchestras, became a session player as did Vasco, but these two ended up recording and forming new bands. They have something special. They ended up forming a new funk band called Sabrosa’s Funk where they invited Ray to co-write and record a song called “Empty inside”- the reconnection was exciting. It felt good. But it wasn’t to be yet…Ray was quite successful playing his acoustic cover sets on his own, both in the south of Portugal and traveling all over Europe but man, he missed playing with a band. He kept on writing and recording for different projects and Vasco and Bruno where having a successful career as session players in the national music scene in Portugal, but mostly apart.
Occasionally Ray was getting requests to play as a band and he started playing with some friends that where living in Belgium and a band called the Presidents was born.
Bruno, Vasco and Ivo Perpetuo where setting up a band with a singer to play in a underground Rock bar in their hometown Portimão called Marginalia.
When the singer fell out with the band they called Ray to see if he was available.
They never played together as a band before but it felt right, it felt as if a puzzle was finally complete. It was exciting, it was loud, (it was obnoxious sometimes) but it was definitely Rock n Roll. It was a sweaty club vibe, smell of mould and old beer. They played all the Rock n Roll songs from Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Rolling Stones, Ac/dc, Red hot, but also the Beatles, Queen, Queens of the Stone Age, Aerosmith, Stevie Wonder they even played Abba all without a single rehearsal… now imagine, some days where good and some days where not so good depending on what they had for dinner, lets put it in this way…they fought, they cried together, they travelled and played for thousands of people. They turned into a tight collective, a fine tuned band and even more: a Brotherhood.
Wine flowed, words were written and music was played and Stone Breaker was born.
They travelled to Lisbon to record their first EP with Pedro Gerardo as the producer (Vasco’s brother in law!). Ricardo Navarro, a good friend and collaborator did the amazing artwork.The EP was released in October 2018 and the shows to support the EP were sold out which was amazing for the band. Right after the release of the album, Ivo Perpetuo who was struck by very personal tragedies had to rethink his life and had to leave the band. The band auditioned different guitar players but it didn’t fit, they played well, they were good friends but it didn’t sound right. There was one name left, a name that had been suggested by Ivo- a Guitar player known as Casquinho, someone he said would fit perfectly in the band. Ray arrived late, so they started to play. Ray, on his way to Marginalia - which in the meantime had become their rehearsal space, courtesy of their good friend & owner of the bar Paulo Filipe- got a text message from Vasco: “We found him, he’s the one!”.
(Funny thing is, Ray met Casquinho while auditioning for a Led Zeppelin tribute band a few years back and was left with an impression!)
The new album
Ideas started to flow, it was great having a new member, a new guitar player with new ideas and the sound changed, not for the good or bad, “It’s different and it feels right”-says Ray. They started writing the new songs in January and in February they got a phone call from Budda Guedes while they were returning from a gig in Spain- he had heard the EP and would love to produce the next album. They were stoked.
Traveling from their hometown Portimão to Bracara Augusta- named after the roman emperor Augustus-the ancient town of Braga in the north of Portugal, they recorded the new album in an old prison cell. The prison warden Budda Guedes (aka as the producer), turned this place in a studio and the old & cold granite walls are now decorated with nice and warm vintage guitar amps, cool instruments and great toys for musicians to play.
The album was cut live in 4 days between the 30th of June and the 4th of July 2019 and is scheduled for release on all digital platforms and on a limited edition of Vinyl and Cd in April 2020. The artwork is once again in the hands of Ricardo Navarro, a longtime friend and collaborator.
The story is still being written, but as in Ray’s lyrics in one of the new songs: