Davi Giroux is a full-stack engineer at X-Team. In his spare time, he is the lead vocalist and guitarist of rock band To Descent, who recently released two singles on Spotify. In this interview, we discuss Davi's passion for music, the band's creative process, and what it's like to release music on Spotify.
What triggered your interest in music?
I've been around music since I was born. My mom is a graduated musician and the church's music leader. Because of the church, I started playing music when I was ten years old.
How was the church involved in your musical upbringing?
Since my mom was the music leader of the church, I asked her if I could play a little bit after the service was done. I did that for a while. Then she allowed me to play on the Wednesday service. Not many people attended the Wednesday service, so I could play without feeling too much pressure. Over time, I gathered confidence and ended up playing and singing at the church.
That's fantastic! What instrument did you play there?
I first played the drums, because I liked being noisy 😂. When I was fourteen, I started learning the acoustic guitar and quickly thereafter the electric guitar, which is my main instrument today.
At least, maybe. I love music so much that I'm always learning new instruments. All instruments are fair game to me. What I like about music is how it can make people feel. Every instrument can bring a different emotion based on how you play it.
For example, you can make a song feel strong and fast using a particular technique on the drums or you can make it feel emotional and/or calming with a particular progression on the guitar. It's amazing to create something where all instruments sound good together.
Tell me about To Descent. Why did you decide to start the band and how did you find your band members?
I think every musician dreams of having a band at some point. It was my teenage dream, and it came true when I made friends with two colleagues in a company I was working at before X-Team, in Campo Grande, Brazil. We discovered that we were passionate about music and had a pretty similar taste in music genres too, so we decided to form a band.
Initially, Brucy played the guitar, Thiago the bass, and I the drums. Eventually, I became the singer and switched to rhythm guitar, and we found André, our drummer who lives in another city. We record our tracks asynchronously.
You record your tracks asynchronously. How does that work?
Yes, we record async. It works better in the early stages of producing a song. We're just throwing together ideas and seeing what lands. We're all privileged that we can record most of our music in our homes. Then, we send it to Brucy, who has the most experience recording. He puts it all together.
When we feel like we have a song that's fairly put together, we go to a professional studio to record whatever requires better equipment (mostly vocals).
What does the rest of your creative process look like as a band?
In general, we like to start with the melodies first. We come up with ideas that each member gives opinions and suggestions on. We keep doing this until we have some kind of song structure. Then I take that and try to feel the song and understand what kind of emotion it brings. I start writing.
Many people believe the writing comes naturally. Words just come out and everything comes together nicely. Let me tell you, that's not at all what happens 😃. Writing, at least for me, requires a lot of practice, testing, and learning. I lost count of the number of times I changed a verse to make it sound better. Even when a song is done, I still feel as if I can improve it.
How did you come up with the band's name? What about song names?
We brainstormed different band names, put them all in a spreadsheet, and had multiple rounds of voting between two names until we decided on To Descent 😂. The band was called Prelude to Descent at first, but we changed it to To Descent because our friends struggled to pronounce the full name. So nothing really meaningful or deep for the name. We just chose the one we thought sounded the coolest.
And for our song names, I tend to choose them based on what the message is about. I write the song first and only choose a name when it's done.
What's your plan for the future of the band?
We're writing more songs and are thinking about creating an album. While the pandemic has made it hard to write songs together, we're trying to make it work.
What did you learn creating two singles and putting them on Spotify?
First, recording is hard. I'd never recorded anything before, and it's so much harder than I thought. The vocals, in particular, are hard. I'm not a professional singer and am still improving a lot. Hearing yourself professionally recorded is very different from how you hear yourself when singing in the shower.
Second, don't be too much of a perfectionist when writing songs. You're always going to feel as if a song is missing something. Most of the times, that's true, but use that as a lesson for the next song instead of polishing one song over and over. Don't be afraid to move on 🙂.
Finally, have fun. Being able to play in a band and release singles for the world to hear is a dream come true. We have a lot of fun doing it, and that's ultimately what's most important.
Do you want to join a company full of motivating, talented developer musicians like Davi? You can! X-Team is always looking for experienced developers. Send through your application today.