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Far From Alaska: A Rock Band From Brazil

Great things happened in 2012 – one of which being the formation of Far From Alaska – a band with a, what is best described as, stoner-rock sound. The band hails from the distant land of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The band consists of Emmily Barreto on the microphone, and Chris Botarelli on the synthesizer, lap steel, and vocals. Originally, it was just these two members who aimed to have something consistent musically, but as time went on, it was decided that Rafael Brasil (on guitar), Edu Filgueira (on bass) and Lauro Kirsch (on drums) just made sense and completed their outfitting.


A Brief History

Far From Alaska was originally just a project between Emmily and Chris, and decided together to have a side project including the other three above-mentioned band members, influenced by the kinetic sounds of Queens if the Stone Age, Kyuss, and Nine Inch Nails. None of the members, however, were foreign to being in a band, as all five had been dabbling in bands prior to Far From Alaska’s formation.

Far From Alaska has their distinct sound. With the additional members, and being born as a band only six months prior, they won an award known as “Som Para Todos” and landed themselves distribution of their music through DeckDisk. Later they were so gratefully privileged to grace the audience attending the Planeta Terra Festival in Sao Paulo. This being only their second live performance together, they had to opportunity to meet and be complimented by the lead singer of the band Garbage. Chris comments on this experience Far From Alaska has with Shirley Manson by saying that it was an unusual experience, though it was through the same contact between bands that always happens behind the scenes of festivals. She was quite shocked and pleased that Shirley not only heard them, but also made a post on Garbage’s site about them on quite a positive note. Not bad for an emergence right?

Some Decisions Were Made

Having hurled themselves into such a quick success, as you may be able to call it, the band made a few edits and some decisions. Chris described naming the band as, to paraphrase lightly, five annoyed/annoying people who could not come to an agreement. Thankfully, Emmily’s mother had some whimsical input for the band name, and everyone just went with it! Something we do not believe many bands to face is the issue of language – not necessarily the usage of colloquialisms and vulgarities, but actual language. Some parts of the country appreciate the music despite the band singing in English, where as other regions question as to why they do not sing in Portuguese. Their reply to such petty questions, “Because we like it!” Really, though, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it! According to fans of the band, there is not a single thing that needs to be fixed, and their success tells a similar story.


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Then Some Progress Was Made

In 2014 they released their first album modeHuman, containing 15 tracks, including re-recordings of all four of their previously released EPs. Far From Alaska has made as far as to playing for Lollapalooza and the FIFA Fan Fest event in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This is coming a long way considering that their release prior to this was in October 2012 when they pre-recorded Stereochrome, their first EP. All the while, some of the members maintain other work outside of music itself.

The band expressed some of the difficulties they face – it’s been said that Brazil is rather large and the northeast, where they are from, is very expensive. Far From Alaska has moved their base from Natal to Sao Paulo to make things more conducive to their growth. The move from Natal to Sao Paulo was fascinating, to say the least: the people are more somber and tend to spend Christmas on the beach. Perhaps the move worked in their favor, as in 2015, they played at Lollapalooza again!

New Releases

This year they have released Chills, a song off of their new album. In June 2016, Far From Alaska was mentioned by Forbes as a band that is to be watched at Midem Festival 50th Anniversary in Cannes. All things considered, getting hundreds of plays on Pandora, thousands upon thousands of views on YouTube, and constantly collecting Facebook followers is pretty impressive. It’s estimated that Far From Alaska has nearly ten times the amount of popularity than is normal of a band with their short history and limited scope. Surely, their popularity could be attributed to their playing big-named stages. But they earned those spots and continually prove why and how they earned them!

Far From Alaska – Far From the End

In all modesty, a questions was answered pertaining to their success and where the band intends to go with their career: right now, they are playing things safe. It is frequently questioned as to whether they intend to sing in their mother tongue or not, but it had not been a serious consideration for Far From Alaska. As it was stated, “We do not have plans for world domination… and that was not a consideration when we started writing,” further concluding that if ‘world domination’ did happen, great! If not, that would be alright as well.


Having won the “We Are the Future” award for new artists at Midem (one of the biggest fairs in the world for the music industry!), world domination just may happen into their path. Up against 11 other bands and artists, they won by nearly a landslide. They had a celebratory performance of Politiks from their much-fussed-over album modeHuman.

If anyone will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, you can catch Far From Alaska playing at the Rolling Stone Festival on Saturday, December 3. The only other date before the winter solstice kicks in is this October in Brasilia, Brazil where the band will be playing Porao do Rock.

Keep up-to-date with the band on their Facebook to see when they will be opening shows and ears in a town (or country!) near you.

by Angelique Harris

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