Alexandre (Alex) Santos is a guitarist, composer and producer. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Alex is a founder member of the Portuguese heavy rock band Scar For Life, and the international heavy rock bands D.N.A. (alongside vocalist David Reed Watson (Rage of Angels, Kill Ritual), bassist Joe Petro (Heaven and Earth, Spelled Moon) and Neil Fraser (TEN) on lead guitars) and Stagma (featuring Rob Mancini on vocals, Joe Petro on bass, Neil Fraser on lead guitars and drumming legend Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) on drums). He has also performed as bass guitarist with blues rock band Boneyard Dog and the US heavy metal band Kill Ritual.
Son of renowned Portuguese Singer, Paulo Alexandre, Alex Santos has been part of the rock music scene since he was a teenager. Best known for his work and composition with the Portuguese melodic rock/metal band Scar For Life, in 2008 Alex established his own recording and production facility, PressPlay Music. Alongside Marco Resende (aka Rez) on vocals, Daniel Cardoso (currently in Anathema) on drums and Sophie (Understream) on backing vocals, Scar For Life, aimed to create songs ‘from the most vitriolic, groovy assaults to soft acoustic pieces, … with a penchant for memorable hooks and vocal melodies’. The band’s debut album, Scar For Life, was recorded at Ultra SoundSystem studio facilities, with Daniel Cardoso as mixer, and released in July 2008. The reception of Scar For Life was very positive, described as an album that ‘brings out the side of metal you only see once in a blue moon’ and filled with ‘unpretentious, confident modern rock injected with metal attitude’.
To promote the album, Alex performed live concerts across Portugal with Scar For Life and the band opened for several acts, including the major Portuguese heavy metal band, R.A.M.P. They also headlined shows and played acoustic showcases around Portugal. Over the next few years, Alex composed songs for two further albums for Scar For Life: It All Fades Away (2010) and 3 Minute Silence (2012, released via Infektion Records). All songs were composed and produced by Alex and the albums were recorded and mixed at Alex’s PressPlay Music and at Ultra SoundSystem. 3 Minute Silence explored a heavier and more melodic side of Scar For Life and featured guest artists violinist Anne Vitorino d’Almeida, Finnish singer Kari Vahakuopus (Catamenia) and British keyboardist Ged Ryland (ex-Ten). To publicise this album the band toured in Portugal and London.
To celebrate their five year anniversary, Scar For Life released a compilation, Retrospective, from the band’s first three albums. The album also featured a bonus track, ‘Retrospective’ composed and recorded by Alex featuring Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath) on bass, Neil Fraser on lead guitars and Rómulo Herédia (Sonitus) on drums.
In 2013, Alex established the heavy rock band D.N.A. with vocalist David Reed Watson (Kill Ritual, Rage of Angels), lead guitarist Neil Fraser (TEN, Rage of Angels), bassist Mikael Carlsson (Lover Under Cover) and his Scar For Life colleague, João Colaço, on drums. Alex was the main songwriter and rhythm guitarist, with lyrics provided by David Reed Watson. D.N.A. recorded a five track EP, Life, and released a single, ‘Broken Hero’. In November 2018, it was announced on the band’s Facebook page that Alex and David were writing material for a new D.N.A. album, which is presently planned for release in 2019.
In 2014, Alex recruited singer Rob Mancini and Teen Asty (guitar, bass) to record Scar For Life’s fourth album, Worlds Entwined. Released by Escape Music and mixed by Swedish producer Martin Kronlund, Worlds Entwined featured special guests Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio) and Mikael Carlsson (Lover Under Cover). In August 2015, Scar For Life opened the Portuguese heavy metal festival Vagos Open Air, alongside such bands as Black Label Society, Destruction, Overkill and Within Temptation.
Late in 2015, Alex established the international rock band, Stagma, with then Scar For Life front man, Rob Mancini, as vocalist and lead singer, Joe Petro (Heaven and Earth, Spelled Moon) on bass and his D.N.A. bandmate Neil Fraser on lead guitars. Drumming legends Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) and Patrick Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen, W.A.S.P.) completed the line-up. In March 2017, Alex composed an additional song, ‘Sister Sister’, especially for drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, Dio, Queensrÿche). The album was mixed and produced by Alex at PressPlay in Lisbon and the first single from the album, ‘Pokerface’ was released in October 2017, prior to the international release of the full album in April 2018 from Alex’s own label, Headshell Records.
In October 2018, Alex performed live in Las Vegas as the bassist for the American metal band, Kill Ritual. While there he rekindled his relationship with D.N.A. vocalist David Reed Watson and the pair announced that they would be writing and producing songs for D.N.A.’s forthcoming album, tentatively titled Second Life. The band’s new single, ‘Lies That Bind’, was written by Alex Santos and Joe Petro with vocals by David Reed Watson and features Neil Fraser on lead guitar and Patrick Johansson on drums. The single was produced by Pat Fontaine (XYZ) and also introduced a new band member, Callie Elterman, who provided lyrics and vocals. The single is due for release in the spring of 2019.
In addition to keeping his guitar skills active in live performances for metal bands such as Kill Ritual, Alex is also currently writing songs for Scar For Life’s as yet untitled fifth studio album. It is planned that Scar For Life and D.N.A. will promote the new songs later in 2019/early 2020 with live performances in Europe and in the US.
|Scar For Life||D.N.A.||Stagma|
Scar For Life: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6sJSommBcJjwdjuI2VjNCR
Alex is credited in or as been involved with:
Scar For Life
- Scar For Life, 2008 (songwriting, rhythm and lead guitars, bass).
- It All Fades Away, 2010 (songwriting, rhythm and lead guitars, bass).
- 3 Minute Silence, 2012 (songwriting, rhythm and lead guitars, bass, mixing and mastering).
- Retrospective, 2013 (songwriting, rhythm and lead guitars, bass, mixing and mastering)
- Worlds Entwined, 2014 (songwriting, rhythm and lead guitars, bass).
- Downfall of Adamastor, 2010 (mixing and mastering).
- Keep Alive, 2012 (mixing and mastering).
- Life, 2013 (songwriting, guitars, bass, mixing and mastering
- ‘Lies That Bind’, single due for release 2019 (songwriting, guitars, mixing and mastering).
- Paulo Alexandre, 1977 (remastering from the original tapes).
- Romance Romance, 1978 (remastering from the original tapes).
- Mar Português, 1988 (remastering from the original tapes).
- Untitled solo album, 2017 (mixing and mastering).
- Stagma, 2018 (songwriting, rhythm guitars, mixing and mastering).