From Brazil to St. John Parish: Musician lays down local roots

Published 12:58 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

LAPLACE — If it weren’t for the Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Gustavo “Guzz” Andrade might never have found his way to St. John the Baptist Parish.

Growing up in Brazil, Andrade had access to a lot of American movies and cartoons. However, hearing that song at age 12 is what ultimately sparked his passion to pursue a career in the music industry.

“That was when I knew I wanted to play guitar, and I had to learn English,” Andrade said. “I’m probably here now because of that song. It changed my life.”

Andrade picked up a guitar and started out playing music with friends from school. He became a vocalist in several bands, including the popular group “Vulgar Type.”

For the next few years, he would perform for cheering crowds at festivals in Brazil’s biggest cities and star in music videos. The rock ‘n’ roll scene in Brazil never reached the mainstream level of 1980s America, but that didn’t stop Vulgar Type from attracting a dynamic and loyal following.

Then came something unexpected. Andrade fell in love with a girl from Garyville, Louisiana.

“Because of the band and to promote the music, I always add everyone who requests my friendship on Facebook,” Andrade said. “One day, one girl from Garyville added me on Facebook. We started to talk, and I said, ‘I feel like I have to come visit you.’”

Plans to visit the United States sometime in the distant future changed entirely when he made his first trip to St. John the Baptist Parish in December 2016. Four additional trips followed.

“We decided to take the relationship to a different level because it’s hard to be apart,” Andrade said. “We got married last December, and that’s when I moved here.”

A lot was different in Brazil, including the level of affection one can expect from strangers. He learned quickly that not all Americans are receptive to a hug and a kiss on the cheek with each greeting.

In other areas, he’s become fully immersed in local culture. From performing at Sings & Strings near the old Timbermill Museum to jamming with local musicians at Fatty’s Restaurant in Garyville, Andrade took steps to make connections.

A few weeks ago, drummer Mason Mollare of Garyville reached out and asked Andrade if he was interested in starting a new band. They started practicing together and hit it off instantly.

Now Andrade, Mollare, and guitarist Daniel Bailey are collaborating to bring new band Silver Dose to life.

Andrade said River Parishes influences would add to the band’s unique sound, which he described as rock ‘n’ roll infused with Brazilian, electronic, pop and metal elements.

“I’m very open-minded to music and art in general. I try to learn from many different sources,” Andrade said.

Bailey now lives in Madisonville, but he got his musical start in the St. Joan of Arc band in LaPlace. At age 16, he listened the Beatles and became serious about pursuing music, going on to take vocal lessons and study audio engineering at a trade school.

Willingness to diversify will help Silver Dose make an impact in the River Parishes and beyond, according to Bailey. When the three band members got together for the first time, it was a real life “light bulb moment.”

“You see the openness of art and say, that’s where I fit in,” Bailey said. “Since then, I’ve been looking for the right people. You just feel it click. To quote Hunter S. Thompson, anything worth doing is worth doing right. Doing it with Guzz and Mason is doing it right. I just feel it in my bones.”

Although the band is just starting out, Andrade has a good feeling it will be a success.

Guzz Andrade’s past performances are viewable on YouTube by searching his name or “Vulgar Type.”

Silver Dose Band is now on Instagram and Facebook, and members plan to start posting recordings soon.

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