Basic Background Info
Considered best Brazilian heavy metal drummer for twelve years in a row by main specialized magazines and sites, in 2011 Aquiles Priester was the only Brazilian in the history of Brazilian drumming to rank 5th best Prog Metal drummer of the world according to American Modern Drummer magazine next to names such as Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Gavin Harrison and Marco Minnemann.
Aquiles Priester has already done more than 350 drum clinics in various countries and took part of the biggest drum festivals around the world such as Modern Drummer Festival (United States), Montreal Drum Fest (Canada), Batuka! International Drum Fest (Brazil), La Rioja Festival (Spain), Laguna Drum Fest (Mexico), London Drum Show and Drummer Live (England), International Summer Drum Camp (France), Thomas Lang’s Big Drum Bonanza (United States), Frankfurt Musikmesse (Germany) and Namm Show (United States).
Born in South Africa, he moved to Brazil while still a child, spending his childhood and part of his adolescence in Foz do Iguaçu, a city in the state of Paraná. In 1988 he moved to Porto Alegre and in 1997 he founded heavy metal band Hangar where he began developing the style that would make him known worldwide. With Hangar he released five studio albums, an acoustic CD and a live acoustic DVD.
The first parallel project while still with the band Hangar were some gigs with Tritone in 1999, a kind of Brazilian G3 with Edu Ardanuy, Frank Solari and Serj Buss. Soon after Aquiles was invited to record and go on tour with Paul Di’Anno, former Iron Maiden singer. And then Aquiles Priester was invited to record and go on tour with Paul Di’Anno, former Iron Maiden singer. This resulted in the album Nomad and a tour that included various Brazilian cities in 2000.
In 2001 he joined the band Angra and recorded the album Rebirth, which went gold record in Brazil. After six years and three studio albums, an EP and a live CD/DVD, Aquiles left the band.
A short while before, in 2006, he released a CD of the Freakeys project, an instrumental rock group formed by Aquiles, Felipe Andreoli, Fábio Laguna and Eduardo Martinez and which presented a totally different musical approach to all other albums released by the drummer so far.
From then on he hasn’t stopped, releasing products directed to the drum world that became best sellers, among them two educational DVDs: Inside My Drums (2004) and The Infallible Reason Of My Freak Drumming (2010), that was elected 3rd best educational DVD of the world by American Modern Drummer magazine in 2011. He also released a textbook on the study of the double bass called Inside My PsychoBook – 100 Double Bass Patterns (2007). In 2013 he released his acclaimed DVD Aquiles Priester’s Top 100 Drum Fills that was also nominated for voting in the North American magazine “Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2014”, being elected best educational DVD of the year. In the 37 years of existence of the most highly regarded drum magazine of the world, Aquiles places Brazil in first place of the most important and coveted ranking of worldwide drums, an unheard of feat for a Brazilian drummer until then. And finally, he released his first play along book called PsychOctopus Play Along (2014).
Besides the educational products, in 2010 Aquiles also released his autobiography "Aquiles Octopus Priester – From Fan to Idol" that’s on its 2nd edition and includes testimonies of famous Brazilian drummers such as Kiko Freitas, Vera Figueiredo, Serginho Herval and João Barone.
In 2010, he was one of seven drummers chosen from all over the world to take part of an audition to substitute Mike Portnoy in the American band Dream Theater – with Aquiles were Mike Mangini, Peter Wildoer, Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, Derek Roddy and Thomas Lang. After the audition, he was indicated by John Petrucci, Dream Theater’s guitar player, to world famous guitar player Tony MacAlpine, with whom he went on tour in the beginning of 2012. In 2010 and 2013 he went on tour with another American guitar virtuoso, Vinnie Moore.
Mapex provides the instruments used by him and in 2006 created the drum kit Mapex Limited Edition Aquiles Priester and, in 2013, released a signature snare, Aquiles Priester's PsychOctopus Black Panther Snare, worldwide.
On the other hand Paiste, the cymbal manufacturer, wasn’t far behind. In the beginning of 2009 they released the PST5 Limited Edition Aquiles Priester in the Brazilian market and in July of 2012 the signature ride 2002 PsychOctopus Giga Bell Ride 18" worldwide. With these accomplishments, Aquiles became the first Brazilian drummer to have signature products released worldwide by international drum brands.
Still in 2013, he was invited by guitar player Tony MacAlpine to record his new solo album “Concrete Gardens” and took part of the recording of a live DVD with him at EMGtv in 2014. He also took part of the recordings of albums of bands Noturnall (Brazil), Midas Fate (Czech Republic), Blackwelder (United States), Hevillan (Brasil) and the first solo album of Brazilian lead singer Marcello Pompeu of the band Korzus. In 2014, besides the release of Noturnall’s first DVD, First Night Live, Aquiles released another album with Hangar, The Best Of 15 Years, Based On A True Story…, as well as his first instrumental album, Our Lives, 13 Years Later with guitar player Gustavo Carmo.
Still in 2014, he went back on tour in the USA with Tony MacAlpine and was confirmed as the new drummer of German band Primal Fear. Aquiles is now preparing himself for this new chapter in his career with Primal Fear, who will release a new album in 2015 and travel the world on their new tour.
-Antonio Carlos Monteiro
For more information: www.aquilespriester.com – www.facebook.com/aquilespriester
Instruments of Choice
Pics & Clips