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The Last Black Rhino appeared in Évora in 2019. Composed by Joaquim Pena (voice and guitar), Álvaro Lancinha (guitar), Pavlo 'Koro' Korotash (bass), Rodrigo Lino (sax) and Manuel Rico (drums), the band presents a sound that falls somewhere between folk and indie rock. They have just released their debut song 'Every Wave' and plan to release their first EP in 2021.
Tell us a bit about your history. How did the band came together?
The band emerged as all bands probably do: it was born from the friendship between Joaquim and Álvaro and after a conversation between them, Joaquim presented some of his themes that were lying in his desk drawer. At that moment it was clear that the songs had to see the light of day and that's where we started.
The Last Black Rhino is a very curious name for a band. Who had the idea?
We already knew this question would come up (laughs). There is no special or personal significance. The name came up because by the time Joaquim wrote the songs he had read some articles about the near extinction of the black rhinoceros and the efforts made to avoid that outcome. We found the name funny and it ended up sticking.
"Every Wave" is the first song from The Last Black Rhino's EP. How long have you been planning this EP, how is this experience going and how is it received by the audience?
Actually, we didn't think much about it, just about making music that we liked. Recording just comes as a natural step in the band's growth process. So far, the response has been excellent! We are very happy with the result and the studio work with Xinês was absolutely determinant. At this moment we continue working to make the EP a reality in 2021.
"Our idea is to give each song what we think it deserves and in the end we see the result".
What are your major musical influences, Portuguese and international?
Each of us has very different influences: Rodrigo and Manuel come from jazz while Koro is more adept at metal and symphonic rock. Álvaro and Joaquim are very much influenced by alternative rock and some indie rock/folk. But by mentioning here the names of musicians or bands that have influenced us we run the risk of affecting the public in some way, which would automatically look for these references in our music. Of course we like it a lot when they tell us that they recognize a little of this or a little of that, but between us we leave that exercise aside. Our idea is to give each song what we think it deserves and in the end we see the result. The important thing is to be happy with the result.
"(...) the situation about culture in Portugal is worrying, but we try not to make it an obstacle to creation.
What do you want to transmit with your music?
Probably what all musicians and artists want: to enjoy our work and have fun listening to it, without any pretensions.
They are a band that comes from Alentejo, more specifically from Évora. In general, how do you see the cultural panorama of the city?
This is a difficult question to answer in a few words because it is a complex subject. Évora is a city that breathes culture, full of artists and people who work hard so that the cultural offer is constant. There are many cultural associations that do a lot with very little and this new reality that we have is posing new challenges to all of them, without exception. We have some stunning musicians here, who have an immense creativity and it's a privilege for us to be good friends with the majority and be able to learn from them too.
Given the current cultural situation, what perspectives do you have for your group?
At this moment we are focused on the production and recording of the EP that we hope to release next year and from there we will think about our first album. In fact, the situation about culture in Portugal is worrying, but we try not to make it an obstacle to creation.
Thank you The Last Black Rhino!
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